Blog · Dealing with epilepsy

Death to epileptics

Suicidal thoughts are one of the side effects you can find for every type of AED. Criminal thoughts are less likely, but it appears on boxes from time to time (see Fycompa).

Although I think about (not suicide, nor murder) death sometimes, I never had such thoughts.

And I was wondering: what does death mean to epileptics? A relief? Something to be afraid of?

I spoke with a friend this morning about this (it’s his birthday on Facebook). Let’s call him Brian.

Brian has epilepsy since birth with both grand mal and absence seizures….all quite often (about 1 every other day). His epilepsy turned refractory and he’s currently trying VNS (which seems to reduce the seizures quite good).

For Brian, death is a relief, but he wants to grow old anyway. He was bullied starting primary up to his university studies and he saw suicide as a get-away option several times. The bullying was quite rough, going beyond name-calling and practical jokes.

I never experienced that. The people around me, those who knew anyway, were quite caring (or didn’t care at all, but, at least, they didn’t hate or bullied me). I never thought about suicide, but Brian’s accounts told me one think: epilepsy doesn’t make you kill yourself, but the others do.

If the people who know about your epilepsy treat you like you’re defective because of it, it’s not your fault, it’s not your disorder’s fault. It’s just the fact that some people are ignorant and stupid.