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One in three people with epilepsy will at some point in their lives have a psychiatric disorder,” said Dr. Kanner, citing a population-based study of 36,984 subjects that compared people with and without epilepsy.

Anxiety is a core emotion that many people experience at certain points in life. Anxiety can become a disorder, however, if it gets out of hand, it causes a constant feeling of nervousness, distress, and unease for no apparent reason.

It has been usual practice to classify anxiety disorders in people with epilepsy according to the temporal relationship between the anxiety symptoms and the epileptic seizures. Here are the types of anxiety linked to epilepsy:

Peri-ictal anxiety – some patients experience nervousness, irritability and anxiety in the prodromal phase, i.e. hours or days prior to a seizure. This is known as pre-ictal anxiety. In these cases, the seizure often comes as a relief; the anxiety then subsides.

Ictal anxiety – This is anxiety as a symptom of the seizure. It occurs especially in patients with temporolimbic epilepsy. This is a focal type of seizure, and awareness may be maintained or reduced. Patients suddenly experience intense anxiety or panic, sometimes combined with other known temporal lobe phenomena such as déjà vu or autonomic symptoms. Ictal anxiety is reported to occur in up to 15–20 % of patients with medial temporal lobe epilepsy.

We believe it is important to explain to patients and their close family members that the anxiety experienced by the patient is caused by epileptic disorders. This is likely to improve compliance with treatment.

Post-ictal anxiety – Occurs hours, and sometimes days, after a prolonged seizure or series of seizures, and is often combined with confusion and dysphoria. About one-third of patients with post-ictal anxiety have also experienced anxiety prior to the onset of epilepsy.

Interictal anxiety – This is anxiety that arises independently of the seizures is most common, and is often of a generalized type. Also in this case, patients with temporolimbic epilepsy have the greatest predisposition.

You may want to read “How to take care of people with anxiety” HERE

How to deal with anxiety:

Most people struggle with anxiety or even depression. We walk around with smiles on our faces but deep down, we’re not as happy as we portray.

One way of dealing with these problems is learning how to be your own friend. If we’d talk to ourselves the way we talk to the people we love, our outlook on life would be very different.

To be your own friend, you have to be kind, encouraging and caring. These are all aspects of positive self-talk.

There are more benefits of positive self-talk than you think and to help you get started here are some that you should know about.

i. It improves your mental health

The world is learning to pay more attention to issues surrounding mental health. We’re becoming more aware of the triggers and one thing we have identified is negative self-talk. Although there are many outside factors that can harm your mental health, a big chunk actually comes from self-hate, self-criticism and other forms of negative self-talk. Start practicing how to be kinder to yourself and soon, your mental health will improve.

ii. Self-talk empowers you

Once you start practicing this kind of self-talk, you become unstoppable. You’re more motivated to set goals and achieve them because you believe in yourself more. You’re also more likely to take up challenges and break out of your comfort zone. If at all you try and fail, you’re able to take things positively and try again. You won’t focus on your failures because your self-confidence has been reinforced.

iii. Self-talk empowers others

What you think about yourself manifests itself on the outside. Think of it this way, you can’t give what you don’t have. If you have formed a habit of being kind to yourself, it radiates to how you treat those who are around you. In the same way, constantly putting yourself down can have an effect on those around you as well. So once you decide to be your own best friend, your outlook on life will change and you’ll be able to be kind to those around you as well.

iv. Positive self-talk is good for your heart

Negative self-talk puts a lot of stress on your heart. Every time you put yourself down, you increase your risk of developing all sorts of cardiac illnesses. Having a healthy diet and keeping fit keeps your heart strong. But, you should also remember to practice positive self-talk because this contributes a lot towards cardiovascular health.

v. It keeps your immune system strong

Did you know that negative self-talk can contribute to a lowered immunity? The stress linked to it can suppress your immune system and make you susceptible to common infections. Constantly being sick makes you less productive and this will make it harder for you to achieve your daily goals. You can actively boost your immune system by being kinder to yourself.

Negative self-talk puts a lot of stress on your heart. Every time you put yourself down, you increase your risk of developing all sorts of cardiac illnesses. Having a healthy diet and keeping fit keeps your heart strong. But, you should also remember to practice positive self-talk because this contributes a lot towards cardiovascular health.

vi. Positive self-talk is good for your overall happiness

We’re constantly searching for happiness. We look into outside sources like movies, makeup, relationships or even unhealthy habits to distract our minds from the empty feeling inside. We don’t realize that the small negative comments and jokes we make about ourselves are slowly killing our happiness. Focus on your positives and appreciate your mistakes. You have the power to interpret your experiences and there’s no harm in being more positive about yourself.

In order to stop the toxic cycle of negative self-talk, start by taking small steps like filtering the negative thoughts whenever they come up and cancelling each one with something positive.

Also, avoid magnifying the negatives because this will only force you back into a monstrous cycle of self-criticism.

SOURCE: ByFredrick Beuchi Mboya in evewoman.co.ke

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