Child with Epilepsy; serious behavior/psychiatric concerns

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Lauren, May 30, 2008.

  1. Lauren

    Lauren New Member

    hi there, my almost 6 year old daughter was diagnosis with epilepsy at 2 years old. She has temporal lobe onset seizures that are caused by a lesion on her brain. Last year, she had brain surgery to help control the seizures. She has been doing okay seizure wise, but has not become seizure free.

    We are seeing such unusual behavior from her. She seems spacey, hyper, unfocused, restless, agitated, has irrational thinking, is aggressive, impuslsive, etc. I am so sad right now for her and for us. Epilepsy does cause behavioral problems in some children. We are due to see the neurologist in a couple of weeks and she will have an EEG to see if there is abnormal brain waves.

    Can anyone help? She is so ADHD'ish. Strategies anything you can advise that might help?

    I am so worried right now.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Lauren, welcome.

    Is she taking any medications? If so, what and what is the dose?

    As you may know, Temporal Lobe Epilepsy can mimic the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Perhaps that's what you're seeing . . .

    I hope the neuro is able to give you some answers.
  3. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    My son has emotional seizures -- rages. We eventually picked up on his auras -- funny feeling in his stomach and suddenly feeling hot are the two most common. When he became aware of those feelings, he would try to calm himself down. It didn't necessarily work to stop them but it did seem that they would be less severe. My friend's aura is paranoia. He knows to go lie down when he feels that everyone around is talking about him.

    The temporal lobe is responsible for emotions. It's not surprising that a child who had a lesion and surgery on her temporal lobe has emotional problems. Her emotional problems may not be seizure activity, but a result of the lesion or even the surgery.

    When my son had his emotional seizures, he didn't remember everything that happened even though he appeared totally awake and functioning. What he did remember he usually had misperceived, sometimes to the point that I wondered if he was hallucinating, He also had no sense of time and thought they lasted about 10 minutes. They invariably lasted 45 minutes from start to sleepy period.

    It is very difficult for EEGs to pick up temporal lobe seizure activity. Neither my son, my friend or I ever had a truly positive EEG but we all have/had TL seizures. It is believed that only 50%; of TLE is picked up with EEGs.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so very sorry your daughter is having such a hard time. Sara is a wonderful resource on seizure disorders. And on medications. She has done a LOT of research to figure out what the prescribing info (not the marketing info in the patient info) means. and about seizures of many kinds.

    I think it would be truly amazing if your daughter did NOT have a number of emotional/psychiatric problems with a brain lesion and surgery in most any area. We know so very little about what most of the brain really does.

    Is this Julianna, the child listed as 4, or another child? I am just a bit confused.

    Please be sure that her medications are first approp for her epilepsy, then approp for things like ADHD. Many medications cause MORE seizures, or other serious problems. My Jess has absence epilepsy, and we have had to adjust things with that in mind first.

    Sending hugs,

  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    The only thing I know about seizures is that they can cause behavior problems that are sometimes erroneously attributed to other neurological disorders.

    But I wanted to send you a hug.
  6. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    My daughter has had epilepsy from age 3 1/2. She is on Trileptal for the seizures. What medication is your daughter taking? Could it be that she's taking too much? Or not enough? Are the "spacey" periods absent seizures?

    We have had behavioral issues with Missy from the onset of birth, I think. She may have had seizures when we didn't realize it. She, however, did not show any signs on the MRI.

    Neurologist suggested that we place her on Risperdal in place of Abilify, which we will probably switch to next week after we see her other doctor. Neuro at CHOP said that medication can help with my daughter's aggressive behaviors. Missy rages, is impulsive and aggressive at times. The rest of the time, she's wonderful.
  7. jenesc99

    jenesc99 New Member

    Hi, I'm new to this board...and not sure where to turn five year old daughter was diagnosed with primary generalized epilepsy back in march and in april was diagnosed with adhd. Now they are trying to tell me that she has ODD. I think the epilepsy and the adhd tie into the behaviors we are having. Went to see a psychiatric and didn't like him at i'm going to try and take her somewhere else to get a different opinion....I hate seeing my five year old go through this..It hurts so much. She throws a temper tantrum and just screams over the littlest being told no she can't do something or she can't have something. It seems to be when she's really tired...anybody have any ideas on why she might do to do as much research as I can but so much information out there....
    Jen-single mom
    Dee- Daughter
  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I first noticed my son's emotional seizures when he was still a toddler in diapers. He would blow up over something small -- a "no" -- but his reaction was far more than a temper tantrum. They went from start-to-finish a predictable 45 minutes. (Twenty one years later, they still do.) He clearly wasn't himself and couldn't stop his behavior. I remember looking into his eyes and realizing he was having "some sort of weird seizure-like thing". At that point I knew about partial seizures because I had had them but it took me 15 more years before I found out that emotional seizures are a form of temporal lobe partial seizure activity.
  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Jen, is your daughter on any medications for her seizures or adhd? ODD tends to be a symptom of other issues, like adhd or mania. When Missy was really hypomanic, she was extremely ODD, but when that is relatively under control, the ODD is gone.

    If you go up to "quick links" you can find the edit profile button and fill out your profile and let us know a little about yourself and your daughter. Keep in mind that this is a public forum, so please don't give any indentifying info.
  10. adearing01

    adearing01 New Member

    I have not heard of emotional siezures before. That is something that I will certainly do more research on.

    I am new as well and your daughter sounds exactly like my son. One episode lasted an hour and a half back when he was probably 4 or 5. These have lessened in frequency and severity, but still occur and something inevitably will be damaged in my house when all is said and done.

    I wish I could give you more advice on what to do to help your daughter. All I can say is try everything you can. I still feel like giving up sometimes, but I have to pick myself up and keep going for him and my other boys. Don't ever stop fighting for her no matter what. You are her only true voice.

  11. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Emotional seizures are simple partial temporal lobe seizures.

    Some considered them non-epileptic seizures (and therefore a psychatric condition) but that's sorta hard to tell considereing the existing diagnostic tool, the EEG, is notoriously unable to read the temporal lobe accurately. It is estimated that of temporal lobe epilepsy is not picked up on EEGs.