Posted by: docdenbow | May 8, 2014

Am I Ashamed Of My Epilepsy?

Today is not the greatest of days inside the mind of this Denbow. Once again I feel wracked by indecision and insecurity. I feel like I’m not in the loop of everyday normal life, an outsider who wastes time, thought and emotion on dreams and wishes that only very rarely come to any kind of natural conclusion. I think of things that need to be done and worry and fret yet don’t actually do anything to remove these feelings. I worry that the decorating is still not completed in the new kitchen and that makes me worry about the simple indisputable fact that I can’t hang wallpaper. This simple piece of household DIY makes me feel totally emasculated. I’m worrying that the TV we bought to hang from the wall that requires the wallpaper won’t work when we finally get it out of the box.

I spend too much time worrying and thinking and nowhere near enough actually doing and that’s my problem in life. I seem to have cluttered up my mind with half baked and half assed ideas so that I cannot see past the junk to find what it is I really want to do. It’s just that it’s that time again.  Not a time of year or something that follows any discernible pattern. It just happens randomly and thankfully infrequently but it’s not something I look forward to. When the time does come round it brings the same thing every time which is a feeling of dread and a sense of foreboding. If I’m not careful it can take over my life and send me into clouds of self pitying depression. These days I just try to ignore it thinking that if you fear the worst then the worst will probably happen and at these times I just like to divert my brain away from these thoughts.

I have epilepsy. I’m a mild case I suppose as I don’t have fits very frequently, but when I do they’re Grand Mal and they batter my body and scramble my brains. I’ve had epilepsy all of my life and I suppose I’m used to the fact that now and again I ending up as a twitching convulsing husk of a human being with no bladder control and drooling into someone’s lap as the fit subsides. I should be thankful that my seizures are pretty under control thanks to the medication that I take I live a normal life. It’s just that now and again a  tremendous fear sets in. I’ve tried over the years to figure why this happens. I’ve analyzed and thought and virtually tortured myself to come up with an answer and have never really found one.

Man thinking on a train journey.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’ve got older I do think that I’m getting closer to an answer to the problem and I have a better understanding of myself. How much blame I can attribute to the medication is a moot point for without them life would truly suck. Both of the drugs are used not only as anticonvulsants but also for people with mental health issues and they may be exacerbating and amplifying my thought processes and feelings. It’s said that people with epilepsy can have personality issues depending on how people around them treat them. Some sufferers are “babied” and perhaps as a result never truly mature into an effective adult. Others try to ignore their condition and stagger around blindly from one fit to another. One way or another I believe that a lot of sufferers of this invisible condition suffer in relative silence.

Sometimes I feel pretty worthless, inconsequential and devoid of value. Whether this is because the aggression of my younger days has all but gone, or because I realize now what I am I don’t know. I’ve only been taking lamotrogine along with epilim for two or three years and maybe that’s messing with my psyche and is killing my ego. The likely explanation for me is that I am ashamed of my condition. Ashamed that I have to live my life with limitations to try to avoid fits. Ashamed basically of myself.

I think that’s why I flit from thing to thing throwing myself into new things with an obsessed enthusiasm to the point that the desire to continue the “project” is sated. There’s been so many things that I’ve said that I would do and resolved to do that never get done or seen through to their conclusion. I cannot convey just how much that aspect of myself disappoints me. Am I trying to make myself look good by saying I’m partway through writing a novel or writing a play? Who am I trying to impress with tales of my 32 track recorder so that I make some (inept) guitar recordings? I think that other people see me as a bit of a sad case when I make these statements of intent, but surely they must be fed up of hearing them by now.

Please tell me, are these “plans” desperate attempts to become the centre of attention or to get people to find me interesting or are they simply the delusions of a middle aged man searching for something? I’m not religious so I don’t have a faith to hang on to and can’t honestly feel that I am ever going to become Born Again. I think my problem is that I don’t know who I am and where I fit in outside of my family. I feel right now that I need to do something a bit different in order that I may be able to answer at least some of my own questions

Ciao For Now


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  1. I think part of the “epilepsy syndrome” do relate to social functioning & part of that is being on the edge of the social circle, but that also gives us a view of society that is more unique,Ive chosen this path as much as it has chosen me. In what you relate theres hormonal factors at work too, as well as medication obviously. My step father always insisted I keep quiet about my condition to all & the inference is clear “you=shame”, but that isnt actually societies reflection of myself, without narcissism its more “interesting fellow” & I think this is related to personality & epilepsy even if its root causes arent actually discerned by the general public, and hence its taboo lifted. Like you I dont really fit in anywhere, in any “tribe” but rather on the edge of several, this contrasts with those I know who really dont understand the several viewpoints I comprehend & combine rather easily. This may afford insight to us in some peculiar limited ways , although it doesnt change the fact that still, I hate myself & want to die.

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