In quickly looking over your posting history and seeing the extent to which your adrenal functioning is compromised... another possibility for your Depression and any suicidal ideation would be seizure activity. Have a look at the following...
Greenlee BA, Ferrell RB, Kauffman CI, McAllister TW.
Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.
A long-recognized association exists between epilepsy and affective disturbance, especially depression. People with complex partial seizures that result from temporal lobe seizure foci are highly vulnerable to psychiatric disorders. Accurate diagnosis of such disorders is an important key to treatment. Interictal Depression or dysphoria is the most clinically significant problem of this type. Pharmacotherapeutic treatments that have positive effects in other types of depressive illness are also effective for Depression associated with epilepsy. Electroconvulsive therapy is helpful to some patients with depression that is refractory to drug treatment or psychotherapy. Surgical resection of seizure foci may lead to psychiatric improvement for some individuals, but can also have psychiatric complications.
PMID: 13678563 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Depression, Epilepsy, and Suicide May Be Linked
Depression Could Be Early Sign of Brain Dysfunction Leading to Seizures
By Salynn Boyles
WebMD Health News
Oct. 10, 2005 -- Symptoms of major depression, especially suicidal attempts are associated with an increased risk of unprovoked seizure.
A provocative new study shows, that the same brain disorder that causes epilepsy may also be associated with whether a person also has an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
It has long been recognized that depression is common among people with epilepsy. "The assumption has been that having epilepsy increases the risk of depression and, in a subgroup, completed suicide," the authors write.
But the new research hints that suicidal behavior is a specific threat in people with epilepsy even before the disease is diagnosed. "The relationship between depression and unprovoked seizures is much more complex than previously appreciated," researchers add.
Researchers examined a history of depression and suicidal behavior among people who were diagnosed with an unprovoked seizure and who later developed seizures associated with epilepsy.
Children and adults with unprovoked seizures were more likely to have suffered from major depression before unprovoked seizure than people in the general population. They show that the higher the number of depressive symptoms the greater the risk of unprovoked seizures.
However, the researchers also show that children and adults with unprovoked seizures were four times as likely to have attempted suicide compared with those in the general population.
"This tells us that there is probably a common underlying brain dysfunction that links epilepsy and suicidal behavior," researcher Dale C. Hesdorffer, PhD, tells WebMD.
Seizures Don't Explain Depression
Roughly 2.7 million Americans have epilepsy or other seizure disorders, and 200,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
Depression has been shown to be at least three times more common among people with epilepsy than among the general population. It is clear that the difficulties of living with seizures can cause depression, but this does not appear to fully explain the link.
For example, people with a history of depression have been shown to have a higher risk of developing epilepsy. And studies have failed to show a link between the length and severity of seizures and depressive symptoms.
In an effort to clarify the relationship between depression, suicide, and epilepsy, Columbia University researchers compared people with unprovoked seizures with those without the condition who were enrolled in a health registry in Iceland.
An unprovoked seizure was defined as a seizure without an identified precipitant such as fever, head trauma, or brain infections.
Among the symptoms associated with depression, only suicidal attempts were shown to be a risk factor for developing unprovoked seizures. The association remained strong after other suicide risk factors were considered.
The study is published in the November issue of the journal Annals of Neurology.
Hesdorffer says the findings have implication for the management of patients who have recently been diagnosed with epilepsy.
Treatment-Related Risk? continued...
"Increasingly, clinicians treating people with epilepsy ask about current depression, but they may not ask about past suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts," Hesdorffer says. "Our results may alert clinicians to the need to ask this question and offer any needed counseling to prevent [later] suicide."
The findings may also help explain why the suicide rate among epileptics is so high.
In April, the FDA asked more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies to reexamine their study data involving seizure medications to determine if these drugs could be linked to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
Psychologist Bruce Hermann, PhD, tells WebMD that there is evidence that depression and depression-related symptoms precede other neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Hermann is chair elect of the Epilepsy Foundation's professional advisory board, and he is also a neurology professor at the University of Wisconsin.
"Clearly some people get depressed because they are living with a chronic disease, but depression could also be an early sign that something is not right within the brain," he says.
He agrees that physicians need to evaluate their epileptic patients for depression. According to one study, more than half of patients with both disorders never get treated for depression.
"If it is true that mood disorders and these other problems occur before or close in time to when the epilepsy starts, it is important to look for these symptoms and treat them," he says.
ScienceDaily (Mar. 9, 2005) — WASHINGTON, DC - Researchers have noted a higher incidence of depression among patients with epilepsy than the general population or others with chronic conditions such as diabetes. For a long time, depression was thought to be a complication of epilepsy.
But there is evidence that the connection between epilepsy and depression may be a two-way street, according to research carried out in Sweden and the United States and reviewed at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
"People with a history of depression have a 3 to 7 times higher risk of developing epilepsy," said Dr. Andres Kanner, a specialist on epilepsy at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. "This kind of information is forcing us to take a second look at the interaction between depression and epilepsy."
Since depression affects about 5.3 percent of the U.S. population and epilepsy about 0.5 to 1 percent, session organizers said, knowledge of any relationships between the two disorders could help physicians find ways to improve care for both groups. The two-way relationship between epilepsy and depression could mean common pathogenic mechanisms are at work, Kanner said.
Studies with rats that are genetically prone to epilepsy show abnormal secretion in the brain of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA and dopamine. The abnormal secretion patterns of serotonin and norepinephrine in these animals are similar to abnormal patterns for the same neurotransmitters seen in patients with depression, Kanner said. He summarized the evidence for common biological pathways in a paper published in January in the journal Epilepsy Currents. Phillip C. Jobe of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, another speaker at the meeting, also has studied underlying biological factors that may predispose some people to epilepsy and depression.
Common pathways between depression and epilepsy might account for recent data suggesting that patients with a psychiatric history may not respond as well to medication or surgery for treatment of their seizures, Kanner said. He and his colleagues recently studied 90 patients whose seizures failed to respond to antiepileptic medication and underwent brain surgery to remove tissue that was the focus of the seizures. Patients with a lifetime history of depression were less likely to become seizure-free, the researchers found. Kanner said that suggests depression could be a biological marker for a more severe form of epilepsy.
Epilepsy, marked by unprovoked seizures, is caused by recurrent electrical "storms" in the brain. More than 2.5 million Americans of all ages are living with epilepsy, which can develop at any time of life but especially in early childhood and old age, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
Possible links between depression and epilepsy have been noted since around 400 B.C., when Hippocrates, the Greek physician, reportedly observed, "Melancholics ordinarily become epileptics and epileptics melancholics." Galen, another Greek physician, later wrote a treatise titled "Epilepsy and Melancholy."
Whatever biological links the two disorders may share, clinicians and patients alike need to be more aware of the significant incidence of depression among those with epilepsy, says Dr. Alan Ettinger of the Long Island Jewish Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. That is true, he said, even of patients who exhibit less severe forms of the condition than those treated at specialized clinics and major medical centers.
Ettinger and his colleagues surveyed 775 epilepsy patients in community settings, 395 asthma patients and 362 healthy control subjects. Among those with epilepsy, 36.5 percent reported symptoms of depression, compared to 27.8 percent of asthmatics and 11.8 percent of controls. The study, published in the journal Neurology in September, also found that nearly 39 percent of the patients with epilepsy had never been evaluated for depression. Ettinger said it is important for doctors and patients to understand that those with epilepsy, even mild forms of the condition, face an elevated risk of depression.
"Patients with epilepsy usually respond well to anti-depression medication and with lower doses," Kanner said. "There is a lot of misperception that if you use an antidepressant, it will worsen the seizures. That is not really so." Kanner said a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (which include Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac) have proved safe in patients with epilepsy.
Trauma, Depression Can Cause Seizures
Link Between Seizures and Trauma, Mood Disorders Getting More Attention
By RADHA CHITALE
ABC News Medical Unit
May 1, 2009—
When 46-year-old Jane Smith underwent marriage therapy with her husband, the sessions unlocked parts of Jane's memory that she said she repressed for over a decade -- memories with frightening powers.
"I began remembering witnessing my brother being abused... And I began to remember my own abuse," said Jane, who requested her real name not be used. She said she later realized that she was physically and sexually abused by family members starting at age 4.
Jane confronted her parents, saying she wanted to talk about it, but they did not want to.
"Two weeks later I got a letter from them saying, 'Don't contact us again,'" Jane said.
That was when her seizures began.
Trauma Related Seizures
"When her parents sent her a letter rejecting her, she suddenly had a seizure in our house," said her husband, 47-year-old John Smith (not his real name), said. "We were shocked. I thought she was just dying."
But Jane was not dying. Instead she was suffering what are known as psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES), seizure-like episodes that can be brought on due to trauma as well as depression and anxiety.
Although such seizures are well characterized in medical literature, PNES are difficult to treat because the condition falls in the gray area between psychology and neurology -- a place where many doctors are unwilling to go.
"It's an incredible no man's land," John said.
But new research presented at the American Academy of Neurology this week may be a step towards identifying the link between the mind and the brain when it comes to PNES and towards improving treatment.
"There's more and more evidence that there's a bidirectional link between seizures and depression," said Dr. W. Curt LaFrance, an assistant professor of psychiatry, human behavior, and clinical neuroscience and Brown University and the lead author of the study. "If you treat those comorbidities, can you treat those nonepileptic seizures?"
PNES are not the result of irregular electrical activity in the brain, as is the case with epileptic seizures. Instead, PNES have underlying psychological or emotional causes, including post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and chronic illnesses such as cardiac disease or chronic pain.
In his study, LaFrance examined 38 patients with nonepileptic seizures, half of whom were given a placebo drug and half of whom received antidepressants. He found that those treated for depression showed a 40 percent reduction in seizures. The data also showed that patients with more severe depression were less likely to improve after being treated with drugs.
Antidepressants as Therapy
Although LaFrance said he could not be certain that the overall results would not prove random after further trials, he pointed out that when the data was broken down by seizure type, significant seizure reduction occurred in the group that had underlying psychological problems. LaFrance said his results support proceeding with a larger trial on the use of antidepressant therapy on people with PNES.
Overall, experts in the field accept LaFrance's theory.
"People with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures can often have other psychological or psychogenic symptoms [like depression and trauma], and it is that comorbidity that people have been trying to sort out for a long time," said Dr. Martin Goldstein, director of cognitive neurology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
"If you treat the comorbid, associated psychological symptoms of patients who have nonepileptic seizures, these patients do over time do better. They do have a reduction in frequency and severity of nonepileptic seizures."
Seizures are in fact a primitive way to express emotions or feelings that cannot be expressed verbally or in other ways, such as crying.
And seizures were a way for Jane Smith to express what had happened in her past. After more therapy, Jane realized that she had also had seizures during episodes of abuse as a child starting at age four, periods she described as "lost time."
"I remembered the first time I was being [sexually] abused and that I had a seizure," Jane said. "And then when I have had memories and flashbacks of it, that has caused seizures."
Jane said her seizures were likely a coping mechanism for her abuse. Eventually, as she took control of her body and her life as a teenager, Jane repressed memories of the abuse and the seizures stopped. Neither the memories nor the seizures surfaced again until she was 31 and received the letter in which her parents cut off contact.
Problems Seeking Treatment
Jane is unique in that she was able to identify the connection between her seizures and past trauma quickly. The Smiths run a resource Web site for people with nonepileptic seizures called The Nonepileptic Seizure Organization, and John said that most of the people who get in touch with him are clueless about what could be causing their condition.
"Nonepileptic seizure patients feel absolutely, totally neglected. They literally are desperate," John Smith said. "They want to believe it's a medical problem and they just don't make the [trauma] connection."
As a result, people with PNES are shunted back and forth between neurologists and psychologists as they attempt to classify and treat their condition.
"From a practical point of view, what else are we going to do?" said Dr. Selim Benbadis, a professor of neurology and director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
The subtleties of classifying a severe physical problem, such as a seizure, that is brought on by intense emotional troubles and are difficult to treat with medication make doctors uncomfortable, according to Benbadis. He estimates the prevalence of nonepileptic seizures to be between 2 to 33 in 100,000 people.
Confounding the issue is that over 20 percent of people with epilepsy may also have PNES, which could lead to people with PNES being misdiagnosed with epilepsy and treated with drugs that prove ineffective. In addition, a small subgroup of patients who fake seizures for attention, for money, or other advantageous reasons -- known as malingering -- can bias treatment providers against people who don't know the cause of their seizures.
Mind Or Brain Or Both?
Because she identified the connection between her past trauma and her seizures, Jane could explore treatment options faster than others in her position. Most people with PNES average seven years before receiving proper diagnosis and treatment.
With therapy and antidepressant medication, Jane has been able to reduce the frequency and severity of her seizures to the point where she remains conscious, talking herself through them.
Coping With Trauma-Related Seizures
"I'm having some pretty severe memories that almost cause me to go into [a seizure]," said Jane. Instead of the paroxysms of a full seizure, her body now only clenches in feelings of helplessness.
"But then I remember I'm there for myself. The memory is of the child but the adult is there to pull me back into the now."
There are over 40 different types of seizures and they can manifest in any number of ways. I too am experiencing seizures and am in the process of reviewing natural and alternative methods for addressing my own. Seizures can be influenced by a great many things, including hormones, blood Sugar levels, exertion, amount of sleep, challenging relationships, isolation, sensory overload, physical pain, difficult living conditions, any stress and trauma, etc... and where in the brain any lesions may exist. In my case they become more frequent and more severe when I am under considerable stress, have had to over-exert myself, or am in physical pain... which becomes a vicious cycle with the many challenges I am facing... as well as frightening because seizures themselves cause brain damage... which in turn can lead to an increase in seizures.
You might want to consider being evaluated for seizures. The best test for this is an EEG... and preferably a Video Ambulatory EEG because the test is conducted over a period of time as you are going about your usual routine so there's an increased chance that any seizure activity will be detected. Here is a link about Video Ambulatory EEG testing...
Once you have the correct diagnosis then you can look into treatment options including, natural, pharmaceutical and surgical. As I stated... I am currently working on putting together a natural protocol that I will be using on myself. Additionally... as you improve your adrenal functioning some if not all of the seizures should take care of themselves automatically... provided that your AI hasn't progressed to the point of an Acquired Brain Injury. In such a case... eliminating seizure activity is going to require more than just restoring your adrenal glands. You also have to repair the damage to the brain.
By the way... this is one of the many reasons that the manner in which "PTSD" is currently being addressed, particularly in vets, is less effective than it should be. In some cases... Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is used to treat "PTSD" (as well as other so-called psychiatric conditions) as a means of motivating a patient and controlling their behavior. However, the findings from my research indicate that "PTSD" is actually an Acquired Brain Injury that stems from trauma and Adrenal Insufficiency... and CBT is not an appropriate choice for either of these conditions. It can in fact do more harm than good when used with someone with AI &/or an ABI! The added tension created when someone else is imposing their will on another in an attempt to shape their behavior (i.e. an "expert" trying to control you) along with the failure to properly assess these conditions and the lack of understanding regarding how they manifest creates additional stress that can lead to increased and more severe seizure activity... which in turn can cause further brain damage. An AI... whether with or without seizures... as well as an ABI need to be treated holistically... and any therapy or counseling should be client-centered... and with the utmost respect that the patient is the true expert regarding their own bodies and how much they can push themselves to do. Unfortunately... far too often we are surrounded by people who maintain a philosophy of "No pain, no gain" or who for whatever reason want to exert their will upon us... both of which can be very detrimental to someone with Adrenal Insufficiency, an ABI and Seizures. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has its roots in Behavioral Therapy which was an outgrowth of research with animals. Human beings are more than just their intellects and behavior... should not be treated as animals to be trained!
Although Albert Ellis, the 2nd most influential psychologist, has been referred to as the founder of CBT... he was actually founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy... or ABCT (A=Affect). He was highly praised by George Bush... ran into some major legal problems near the end of his life... and CBT, which lacks the emotional component of REBT was put in place by the board instead in what could best be described as a hostile takeover... Aaron Beck gained greater influence in the area of CBT and is responsible for the 2 brief surveys that are used for assessing depression and hopelessness as well as working with soldiers with "PTSD" and taking Albert Ellis's spot as the 2nd most influential therapist... while Ellis himself expressed concerns for freedom and liberty! Oh... and a major difference between Albert Ellis and Aaron Beck is that Ellis was a psychologist and Beck is a psychiatrist!
You can read more about this at the following links...
I would imagine that there's no need to point out who has gained the most as a result of this New Freedom Commission on Mental Health! So now you know another piece of the puzzle as far as why there's been an explosion of psychotropic drugs flooding the market not to mention in the water supply... and how Bush & Co. have been able to keep raking it in on dangerous pharmaceuticals that screw up people's brain even more!
And of course... who are the biggest consumers of "mental health" services?