Epilepsy: A Way of Life

Dhir Patel, Editor in Chief

“What is this? What is happening to me?” This is what many people, including myself, think when they first learn about a specific condition they have, such as epilepsy. With epilepsy, it is hard to learn if you have the condition until you go through your first seizure experience. 

Just imagine being frozen, slowly falling down, and everything turning into black. Then, some time later, you will wake up while on your way to the hospital, or you won’t wake up until you are at the hospital for a couple of hours. Your loved ones are standing around you, worried for your health and safety. This is exactly what happened to me, so let me tell you about my experience with frontal epilepsy and how I am managing my life today.

Frontal epilepsy is defined as a disorder in which brain cells cluster together and send abnormal signals and cause frontal lobe seizures. While it is often diagnosed as a mental health disorder, it is also diagnosed as a sleep disorder.

To this day, I am not exactly sure what caused my epilepsy, but I have some type of idea. It is no surprise to me why I am always tired when I wake up. Now, I am getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep most of the time, but it was not always like this. I used to stay up very late, going to sleep at 2 AM to 3 AM. You might be wondering, “Why are you going to sleep that late?” I have one word for you: school.

While I would naturally be able to manage my school work and finish it on time, my extracurricular activities after school will always make it more difficult. This is one of the main reasons why I go to bed very late, but even with my epilepsy, I am still able to be involved in everything and will not let anything stop me.

Other common types of epilepsy are photosensitive epilepsy, which is mostly triggered by flashing lights, temporal lobe epilepsy, where you might look awake but are actually unresponsive, and myoclonic epilepsy, which is triggered by muscle jerking and twitching. 

Any conditions that are similar to epilepsy can change your life forever. For me, my thinking about how I want to live my life changed instantly. I am starting to live with more caution and awareness, while still managing everything I am doing after school. Even if you have a condition like this, do not let it get in the way of your future. Continue to pursue your dreams and your passion, but just do so in the right manner.

Medication is important when living your life with epilepsy or any other mental condition. Make sure that you take it on time and remember, as this medication will help you with what you want to do and make it achievable so no serious harm will ever come to you. I have had seizures in many places, including many places in my house and once in school.

Remember to be wary of anything that may happen in a certain situation. If your instincts are telling you not to do something, make sure to listen to them and be careful. Friends and family are important for helping you if you have a certain condition, so listen to them as well and be sure to stay close with people you know will be able to help you out.

While epilepsy can interfere with everyday activities such as driving, following directions and careful procedures, including medication, will make it feel like you are still living your normal life. While it may look like nothing has changed, the way you are living has changed. Most people think that epilepsy is just a condition that you can fix with medication or special help, but it is more than this. You have to change how you would usually go about your day, almost like you are changing your lifestyle. While there are many problems you can face, don’t be afraid to go out into the world. Don’t live life with fear. I have not had a seizure for one year now, even with my epilepsy, and I continue to accomplish many feats and participate in all of my extracurricular activities in school. 

The world is diverse with many people who have epilepsy and other mental conditions, including our school. If you, a friend, or family member are in search of epilepsy support, make sure to call the Epilepsy and Seizure 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-332-1000 or submit a question on line.