As far as my epilepsy is concerned sometimes my brain cuts out, I fall to the floor turn blue and have convulsions… that’s not normal… that needs treating medically. But when it comes to our mood, what is normal? We all have our down days and sometimes the day’s role together to form weeks. But when do we need to get help… and what should that help be?
The thing with epilepsy is it impacts on our mood because it impacts on how we live our lives; we live with an increased level of risk and a certain amount of judgement from others. Even seizures can be confused for low mood and vice versa.
Since stopping Lamotrigine (which is a mood stabiliser) I have become much more aware of the ups and downs of my mood. At first it scared me, was I depressed, was this normal? But after a chat with my sister I am coming to realise that ups and downs in mood aren’t bad, they help make life more worth living.
And because to me this is new it is a chance for me to think about how I can manage my mood, make me feel more in control of it and so get the best of both worlds… the ability to feel the highs and lows of life but at the same time not letting the lows get on top of me.
So I have started running again, it’s how I got through my teenage years and it is doing wonders for me now. I try to get out three times a week for about 30 minutes and started by doing ‘Couch to 5k’ which I would definitely recommend.
You wouldn’t believe how much better it makes me feel, how positive I feel not just straight after the run but the next day or so too. I feel like it’s what gives me control over my mood. It’s a weird situation because I first started having seizures while I was running so it holds a bit of fear too.
I’m also looking into mindfulness training too; I think that would really help me as anxiety is something I can struggle with. I am not saying techniques like exercise and mindfulness can cure all mental health problems and I don’t want this to seem like I am criticising anyone. It’s just as I weaned off the Lamotrigine and started Keppra I have become much more aware of my mood and this is my way of responding to that.
Me with my tetrathlon team when I was at school and used to do soooo much exercise before I started having seizures running!