Is there a connection between epilepsy and mild mental illness?

I need to know from people who are epileptics or have lived with one..even if the medication is working and they havent had a seizure in years, is it still possible for something to be neurologically wrong? I'm seeing rash thinking, anxiety….almost bipolar symptoms. Is there a connection between the functioning of the brain, thought and the illness epilepsy.

Written By Nurse007

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Stephen Fry February 17, 2009, 6:47 am

    The short answer to this question is really 'no', but epilepsy is caused by abnormal electrical impulses – an excessive discharge of cerebral neurons – that result in disturbed activity of the brain, resulting in full or partial seizures. They can be general, involving most of the brain and causing a major seizure with unconsciousness, or they can be focal, where the discharge is limited to a local area of the brain and just has a local effect such as twitching on one limb or the experience of an unusual sensation.

    Seizures may occur without any obvious cause, or follow brain injury, and can also be brought on by some drugs, and on withdrawal from alcohol, sleeping tablets and tranquillisers. However they are not brought on by the chemical imbalances that are thought to occur in the brain of people with depression, for example.

    There is no direct association between mental illness and epilepsy, but mental illness may occur more frequently in epileptics for a number of reasons. Examples would be recurrent status epilepticus, where a series of unremitting seizures can cause secondary problems to brain function, and where epilepsy severely curtails employability and lifestyle. This can affect outlook on life, personality, and cause social withdrawal and induce depression. Drug treatment can also cause sedation and influence mood.

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