It is confirmed that epilepsy may cause certain behavior changes in the affected individual. In the majority of cases behavioral changes are closely related to poorly controlled seizures as well as associated neurological problems. This makes epilepsy even more complex neurological disorder than most people think.
Potential Causes of Behavioral Changes in Epileptic Patients
Many individuals suffering from epilepsy experience noticeable changes in their behavior. The reason may be fear, stress or embarrassment patients feels because of the condition. Some children may start to act strangely because they face learning and language difficulties associated with epilepsy. Also, in certain number of patients malfunctioning of specific brain areas that control emotions and behavior is to blame for obvious changes in their behavior. It may be that strange behavior originates from abnormal brain activity while the same problem may be caused by anti-epileptic drugs therapy that may alter the balance of neurotransmitters in charge of behavior regulation.
To sum up, whether the person suffering from epilepsy will or will not experience some behavior changes depends on the type and location of epilepsy, the frequency and intensity of seizures, the type of prescribed medications and patient's reaction and response to his/her seizures.
Minor Behavioral Changes
In children epilepsy may be a source of anger, fussiness and it frequently leads to crying. Such children also feel unwell. Fearfulness and anxiety are common for children dealing with epilepsy. These feelings may stem from the very disease (changes in the structure or function of the affected parts of the brain) or are associated with the person's attitude towards the illness and the reaction of people from his/her surrounding.
It is essential to help these patient accept their illness and stop being afraid of what other people think. Plenty of support and care may be sufficient enough to overcome minor behavior problems.
Serious Behavioral Changes
Not many patients may have more severe changes in behavior. For instance, some children may experience sudden outburst of verbal/physical aggression. Aggressive behavior is a reason for more complex approach to the condition. There needs to be a close cooperation between people from the patient's surrounding and health experts.
Many times even such behavior can be managed by using established behavioral techniques. if these fail, patients will need to undergo more demanding treatment with a combination of different strategies. These patients may additionally need to work with a social worker or psychiatrist. With intensive behavioral therapy and sometimes medications the episodes of behavioral outburst may be efficiently brought under control.