What Triggers My Epilepsy?
Last updated: June 2023
Some of my seizure triggers
I occasionally forget to eat on time because I'm in a rush to finish my work. I get so enthused about my job that I forget how hungry I am, and this lack of food can trigger my epilepsy.
When I first enrolled in my university to pursue my degree, I learned about this trigger. There, the classes were crowded and the allotted time for meals was very short. I'd starve myself until class was over, and only then could I go out and buy food. I had been doing this for the a few weeks when my aura appeared. It was bad.
I immediately ate and took my emergency medication. At that point, I realized that being extremely hungry could trigger my epilepsy. I always pack my food with me whenever I go out now. And I make sure I plan my meal time with my family and friends if I am going out with them.
Weather can also trigger seizures for me. Ever since I was diagnosed at age of 10, I have been extremely sensitive to weather. When my body became extremely cold, my epilepsy is triggered.
It was challenging when I was a teenager because I never turned on the ceiling fan or the air conditioner in my room. My mum and sister sleep in the same room with me and they were really sacrificing so much for me. I used to roll up my blanket and sleep. But as time passed, my body also began to adapt a bit. I am now able to turn on the air conditioner and go to my bed, under the blankets. And if I'm in an extremely cold room, I will wear my thick jacket to warm up.
My seizures are also triggered by extremely hot weather. I discovered this when I went to India in 2019. I developed rashes all over my body due to the intense heat there. I experienced seizures during the day, and the medication I carried with me was ineffective. It was a really terrible situation for me because I couldn't enjoy the vacation and had to go back to Malaysia.
I have experienced depression at times in my life. I had no idea that these emotions could trigger my seizures. But being depressed for a prolonged period of time has a negative effect on the brain and makes me feel bad about myself.
During one episode of depression, I started having seizures. I had to be admitted to the hospital because it was so serious. I was able to deal with my sadness fairly well and believed it wouldn't affect me, but it does. Epilepsy really taught me valuable lessons. I discovered that everyone is designed to want to live a fulfilling life. This is one of life's truths for me now.
I was surprised to learn that large crowds can actually cause my epilepsy to flare up as well. I enjoyed going to concerts, shows, and weddings, but now I have to stay away from them. I find it difficult to get used to the constant noise of large events, and this noise can trigger my seizures. At first, I thought it wasn't fair that I couldn't enjoy any of these things in life, but now I have accepted it and find joy in my solitude.
My relationship with myself has improved. I cherish my alone time more, and I am truly just being myself. In contrast to being in a crowd, there is no stress whenever I am by myself. I prefer quiet places to hang out because they help me feel so calm. I like visiting libraries, parks, beaches, or places with serene views of nature.
What triggers epilepsy for you?
As I learn more about my triggers, I am becoming more at ease with myself. I don't battle with my body. Yes, I occasionally force my body to perform certain tasks because I want to overcome my physical limitations. There is an unimaginable joy inside of me when I push past the limits. I believe understanding your triggers – which are different for everyone – will teach you more about who you are. It's a journey to understand our bodies.
What are your seizure triggers? Please share with me in the comment section below, as I'd love to learn more.
Since being diagnosed with epilepsy, has your memory been impacted?