I have had my medications put up, down, back up again so much recently that I’m feeling less cheery; I’m more stressed; my sleep is dreadful; I’m way behind in my writing-I mean how long has it been since my last post? I thought I would share a list of reasons for what may be causing you to have a bad mood (along with a few tips) if you struggle like me too.
4 Reasons for a Bad Mood (and tips to help)
Stress may lead to feeling that you can’t cope, to anxiety or depression and to a higher risk of seizures. Exercise and keeping activemay help to lower stress. Complementary therapies that relax you may help to reduce the risk of seizures. I have recently bought myself some Lavender treatment to use before bed, and I have taken up more meditation and Yoga.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep or sleeping at irregular times may lead to tiredness and low mood, difficulty with concentration, a higher risk of missing medication and a higher risk of seizures. Keeping active and going to bed at the same time each day may help you to sleep longer and in a regular pattern. If poor sleep is a big problem for you, your GP may be able to recommend further help. I try to keep my routine the same on work days. It helps a lot.
Concentration or memory problems may mean it is harder to take in information, and you may be more likely to miss your medication, leading to a higher risk of seizures. Using memory aids such as lists, alarms, sticky notes or drug wallets can help you remember and focus on one thing at a time. I have a pill box and set numerous alarms on my phone to remind me to take my meds every morning and night, and I also take emergency medications with me everywhere I go in case I get caught without my medications if I am out of routine.
Low self-esteem may make it harder for you to socialise, and harder to talk to your doctors about managing your epilepsy. This could lead to a higher risk of seizures. Joining a group where you have a shared interest may help lift your mood and boost your confidence and self-esteem. Helping a friend, or taking part in a community activity or in voluntary work can be valuable for you and for other people.
What works for me
I have started to keep a diary of my mood, along with a record of any medication changes, so that I can see whether there are any links. There is always a light on the other side of the darkness, and I don’t want you to ever forget that if you are feeling low. Some feelings should not be ignored, especially if you are having thoughts about suicide, or about death generally. Telling someone how you feel is the first step to feeling less alone. Telling your doctor or nurse how you feel means that they can help.
Feel free to comment below on how you handle a bad mood.
25 yr old monthly columnist on Living Well with Epilepsy. Full time worker of NHS England.
Emily’s Perspective is a snapshot of what life is like living with Epilepsy. I was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 10.
Based in UK.