The Epilepsy And Depression Connection

In general, seizures occur when the electrical activity of the brain in the humans become abnormal. During this neurological condition shaking or loss of consciousness is common. Epilepsy is such a type of disorder and it is a neurological condition. Some patients experience absence seizures that will cause lose of awareness and at these times, the patients will stare blankly until the brain returns to the normal patterns. Having a single episode of seizure does not mean that a patient has epilepsy and doctor might recommend for testing the same, when a patient experiences more than a single seizure or other symptoms like traumatic injury to brain. There are medications that will help in controlling seizures for patients, who are known to have this condition.

What is depression?

As most of us know, it is a common mood disorder and patients with this issue generally have loss of appetite and they also lose interest in hobbies. They feel sad, angry or scared and they will have sleeping difficulty as well. Even, this condition can interfere with the personal relationship of individuals, thereby preventing them from enjoying their lives. Medications and talk therapy can help patients in getting out of depression.

The connection between epilepsy and depression:

There are great chances that a patient with epilepsy will be depressed as well. Reports state that women with this condition are more prone to depression as against men. The reason is the regular hormonal changes taking place in women as compared to men.

What causes depression in patients with epilepsy?

Brain injury:

There are many common possible causes of depression in people with epilepsy. Brain injury is the most common of them as the portion of the brain that is responsible for mood may be affected in the case of patients with epilepsy caused due to brain injury. This can lead to a wide range of mood changes inclusive of depression. This is the physical reason that brings together the two conditions.


In general, dealing with a chronic medical condition can be a challenging task. For some people, it can lead to sadness and it is difficult to overcome. When seizure comes at an inappropriate place it will create anger, embarrassment and anxiety and all these combined with other negative emotions can lead to depression.

Hormonal changes:

Hormone levels can also play an important role in triggering depression in people with epilepsy. Reports state that for those with depression, low estrogen levels are common and when there are changes in the level of hormones, it will in turn affect the frequency of seizure.

Side-effects of medications:

Another reason behind the increased risk of depression is the side-effect caused by medications. The reason is that the anti-seizure drugs given for epilepsy patients can affect the mood centers of the brain. But, if the doctor finds that medications are causing depression in the patient, some other medications will be prescribed for epilepsy and for seizure.

Generally, treatment for depression in patients with epilepsy is something challenging as the medications can interact with each other and can worsen the symptoms of both.

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