I know this won't happen with everyone but thought it might encourage some of those with epilepsy to hear my story - I am 46 and have been free from epilepsy for 12 years now .
As a child I had migraines and 'strange headaches' when I concentrated on an object . It was "temporal lobal partial dysplasia" , a feeling of 'Deja Vu' or like "I dreamed this now it's happening" - sometimes I would actually have a dream while I was awake and totally forget everything about it as it finished . [ One dr recently suggested that a bad enough migraine could have possibly done enough damage to trigger the epilepsy [???] but originally an EEG suggested it was from a knock [one of many] to my head as a child ] .
At 13 it was the beginning of a new school year at a new school and I had just had my dog put down - I had my first fit in my sleep most likely triggered by the stress . Once a year every year after that at the beginning of each new school year I had a fit , in my sleep only , each year my dose of Epanutin was increased accordingly. When I was out of school and married we moved to another town and while there I had one fit every 6 weeks in my sleep - my wife could tell by my eyes and the smell of my skin that I was going to have a fit soon . I was on Epilim at the time .
Then I saw a specialist who put me on Tegretol which controlled the fits , but with many side effects .
18 Months later I left South Africa and moved to New Zealand . They put me on the "new improved controlled release " Tegretol which built up in my system and caused problems with my work . I ended up back on Epilim
Possibly with the decreased stress in New Zealand amongst other things I eventually went off my medication - one night 7 years ago I worked extra late which messed up my sleep pattern for three days and on the Monday morning I had my first migraine in 10 years - it was vicious , it took away 90% of my eyesight , paralyzed my left arm and by the time I got to the clinic it had taken away my speech - this lasted about an hour before I could talk normally again .
I ended up back on Epilim [ very low dosage once a day ] to control the migraines .
I haven't taken medication for 3 years now , haven't had a migraine for 2 1/2 years and am in a job where I don't have to work late nights and have the weekends to myself which all helps I think .
I still keep regular sleep patterns - go to bed 10:00 pm and wake up 6:30 am every morning regardless of what day it is .
I eat healthy , brown rice , vegetables and fish/meat/chicken each night . I never touch alcohol and have never smoked .
I keep fit and exercise regularly .
I also believe strongly that much of it is in the mind . I used to be able to trigger "blackouts" by concentrating on something.
I met someone recently who has fits and he told me that one day he had a fit while watching the sun setting - this produced a fear of the sunset in him and after that he had a fit every evening when the sun went down because he had convinced himself that was causing it . There are many different causes for "epilepsy" and my story obviously does not apply to all of them and is not a professional medical opinion - but hopefully some of you suffering from the condition will gain some hope out of the idea that you may also outgrow it because if stress contributes to your epilepsy worrying about it will aggravate the condition - so hopefully some positive thinking will bring about some improvements for you .
I also too belive that i can be in the mind, i had my first two seizures in the shower after work and was terrified to have showers after that and actualy felt that if i had a shower i would fit! I took a while for me to get over the fear of showers and sometimes would have a fully blown panic attack after a shower. I was fine throughout the day untill even just the dreaded thought of having to shower and then all the symptoms would start to happen just by the thought of it. Ihad accupuncture done to control the anxiety and it worked completely! it was sooo good to have something natural that actually worked for the fear, which then i belive lead to me over coming the seizures altoghether.. The mind is soooo super powerful beyond our belief and you have to realise that you are in control of your brain and thoughts, not the brain.. Ive heard cogniotive therapy can be really good for having a posotive change in the way you think and can allow your thought process to happen.