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Analyzing the Psychological Ramifications of Epilepsy

Julie LaMon

Epilepsy is a chronic seizure disorder. The hallmark of Epilepsy is recurrent, unprovoked seizures. In america alone, there are around 100, 000 new situations of Epilepsy every year (Sirven and Shafer). Epilepsy affects more individuals than cerebral palsy, tumors, tuberculosis, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis blended (Fletcher). Mindset is the scientific study of habit and mental techniques (Rathus). Epilepsy relates to psychology because it has the capacity to cause anxiety and stress, to effect just how epileptics connect to other people, and lastly it has the capacity to effect moods and may finally lead to subconscious disorders.

Epilepsy may appear in both children and individuals, and cause seizures that may be life threatening or even look as simply a empty stare. Seizures arise when electrical signs are abnormally transmitted; these indicators then alter typical brain functions (The Johns Hopkins College or university). Generally, whatever disrupts the function of the mind, or the normal style of neuron activity, can result in possible seizures or brain damage (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke). Researchers today remain trying to find answers to what cause some circumstances of epilepsy. The primary reasoning for why epilepsy occurs, lay under the thoughts that patients with epilepsy have irregular brain wiring. While the indicators of any seizure may have an effect on your body, the electronic currents that produce the symptoms happen in the mind (Sirven and Shafer). There is also discovered an active variable in epilepsy is the imbalance of neurotransmitters, nerve signaling chemicals. The imbalance of neurotransmitters changes important top features of brain skin cells, or stations (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Heart stroke).

In an interview with Julianna Macgregor, who was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014, she solved questions about what provokes seizures. Although not absolutely all cases will be the same, she notices an increase in seizures when she is under stress. Research has shown that "90% of seizures are induced by stress" (Fletcher). Certain situations like arguments, heavy workloads, time deadlines, concerns, and fevers make her and more more susceptible to seizures. She notices more seizure activity when she is not over a consistent sleep schedule. Macgregor also stated that her doctors explained her circumstance was "not textbook, " so they remain determining a harmless treatment. Seizure activity was within her right frontal lobe and both temporal lobes. Just lately there's been activity in her left frontal lobe as well. In the right frontal lobe, she encounters bursts which proceed to the motor cortex and cause her arm to twitch, that happen to be known as myoclonic seizures (Macgregor). Psychologically, epilepsy has effected Julianna Macgregor. Once diagnosed she became pressured realizing worries that she probably will have this disorder for the others of her life. She is constantly apprehensive of the turning of treatment and medication, because do not require work. Macgregor accepted to losing desire last year. Finally, she admitted her have difficulty in agreeing to that she cannot do things that everyone else can do. Due to her epilepsy, she'll not be capable of geting her license unless she runs one-year seizure free. Macgregor shared that she was stressed out for a while and had to attend therapy (Macgregor). Julianna Macgregor discussed that she presently needs 92 pills weekly in attempt to control her seizures and is lucky to complete 2 days with no kind of seizure. Her doctors continue to search for a beneficial treatment for her, but also for now, medication and diets are not effective. In June of 2016, she was place to receive brain surgery, but the doctors concluded it was much too dangerous. Since Macgregor has evident seizure activity throughout the majority of her brain, the potential risks were higher that surgery would only provoke more seizure activity in other parts of her brain (Macgregor).

The different kinds of seizures are dependant on which area of the brain is effected by the electric misfiring. You will find various kinds of seizures, nonetheless they can be split into two major classifications: generalized and partial. Incomplete or frontal seizures appear when a number of areas are effected. People experiencing this type of seizure usually experience some form of warning transmission (The Johns Hopkins School).

Simple focal seizures may manifest in different varieties, depending on what part of the brain is damaged. Seizures are usually limited by certain muscles. The individual is not conscious during simple target seizures (The Johns Hopkins School). Intricate focal seizures usually happen in the temporal lobe. This part of the brain controls recollection and feelings (Rathus). Of these seizures, the individual loses consciousness, but they might look awake. They could also display uncontrolled behaviors such as laughing, crying, or screaming. Following the seizure ends, the person often complains of exhaustion or tiredness (The Johns Hopkins College or university).

The four types of generalized seizures are petit mal, atonic, myoclonic, and generalized tonic-clonic, or grand-mal. Petit mal seizures last longer less than thirty mere seconds. Patients will appear awake but will blink/twitch. These patients are in a totally different status of awareness (The Johns Hopkins School). Atonic seizures generally appear whenever a person experiences total muscle damage and becomes flaccid and unresponsive. Myoclonic seizures are when the individual activities quick and erratic muscle activity. Myoclonic Seizures usually occur several times within a 24 hour time frame (The Johns Hopkins University). A generalized tonic-clonic seizure, or grand-mal seizure occurs in five phases. Although not within all seizures, a person activities contraction of muscle, extension of muscle, tremors, contractions, and relax periods. After the seizure, the individual might show extreme exhaustion or may experience head aches, muscle pains, blurred perspective, or diminished reading (The Johns Hopkins College or university).

After someone activities a seizure, for the first time, they are taken up to a healthcare facility for precautionary reasons. Doctors cannot consider patients for epilepsy, or diagnose patients with epilepsy until they experience another seizure. In order to research seizures and to determine the source, potential patients go through multiple tests. Some of the exams include EEGs, MRIs, blood vessels tests, and Feline scans. EEGs or Electroencephalograms are used to gather data about the mind a proper as the habits of brain waves. MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, is an operation that uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and some type of computer to produce thorough images of constructions in the body. CAT Scan, Computerized Axial Tomography, can be used to check and find abnormalities, such as brain tumors (Fletcher). Continuing research is targeted on expanding new treatments. In natural studies, theorists assume that genes may influence or cause epilepsy. This may allow doctors to avoid epilepsy, or figure out the most beneficial treatments because of their patients. Researchers also continue to study neurotransmitters, and how neurotransmitters connect to brain cells to regulate nerve firing and how non-neuronal cells in the brain contribute to seizures (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke).

The psychological implications related to a person with epilepsy is distressing. People who suffer from epilepsy generally suffer from low self-esteem. Other mental issues include nervousness, denial, despair, and anger. Epilepsy is not widespread in individuals until a seizure occurs, therefore it is easy to cover it from others. Epilepsy effects families, universities, and job. Generally, there tend to be conditions of learning disabilities that arise because of medication prescribed or memory damage anticipated to seizures. A person with epilepsy needs a strong support system involving the family, doctors, friends, and organizations within the community (The Johns Hopkins College or university).


Fletcher, Sally. The Problems of Epilepsy: Manage Your Seizures and Your Life- Third Model. San Rafael, Ca: Aura Posting Company, 2004.

Macgregor, Julianna. What Are Certain Causes For Seizures? Julie LaMon. 29 November 2016.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Heart stroke. NINDS Epilepsy Information Web page. 1 February 2016. 3 December 2016.

Rathus, Spencer A. "Psychology: Principles in Practice. " Austin: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2003. 4. Textbook.

Sirven, Joseph I. and Patricia O. Shafer. WHAT'S Epilepsy? January 2014. 30 November 2016.

The Johns Hopkins University or college, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. Epilepsy and Seizures. n. d. 30 November 2016.

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