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Playing the 'Medication Game' as Someone With Epilepsy

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One of the greatest things I despise about being epileptic is having to play what I always referred to as “The Medication Game.” Every few years my body became used to the substances that I was on, forcing me to seek out new treatments for my seizures. Some medications would work, while some wouldn’t, and I would get caught in the crossfire, having seizures and living each day on edge wondering, “Am I going to have another seizure today? Am I going to have one in public? Will I be alone?”

This also causes a heightened level of anxiety to shoot through me at certain times, like when I am driving, in groups of people, or even if I am alone. I get the nagging feeling that someday, people who care about me will someday stop, that they will get sick of essentially taking care of me and what my condition entails. It makes me feel I have to constantly look over my shoulder for an invisible illness no one else can see and that I can never feel creep up on me.

It also makes me feel guilty that because of changing medications and side effects, people who associate with me miss out on certain events and things they would like to engage in. The level of guilt starts to manifest itself into a deep pit of depression that I seemingly cannot escape from for several months, and knowing these depressive episodes will continue to happen for the rest of my life only seems to make the cloud of depression darker. It is also harder to escape this deep level of depression as an epileptic since many of the side effects are seizures, so the choice would either be to treat the disability or to treat the mental illness that accompanies the disability.

Playing the medication game is an exhausting ritual that most often takes more than it gives, but can be rewarding if the correct formula and doctor are found.

Getty image by Miha9000.

Originally published: August 7, 2018
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