Seizure Triggers Viewed as Processing Overload

A big concept in epilepsy is identifying the "triggers", or mini-causes, of a person's seizures.  People experiencing seizures are taught to identify a trigger, or set of triggers, that is specific to them.  And for many epileptics, especially seasoned ones, they know a certain trigger will most likely set off a seizure.  Common triggers include: lack of sleep, alcohol, flashing lights, a certain food, etc.  Most of the time triggers affect everyone, but those with epilepsy react with seizures instead of less severe symptoms like being tired, irritated, hyper, etc.


What I have found in our situation most likely is true for many epileptics.  It is not just one or two triggers.  It is everything.  Everything is a trigger.  It comes down to processing.  Our bodies are constantly processing.  Processing physical, mental, and emotional aspects of our lives is taxing on the body and for those with sensitive bodies, for whatever reason, can cause overload much more easily.  So by addressing ALL processes we keep seizures to a minimum.


For instance, one day a seizure may be worse from eating a food that is difficult to process (see GMO's), another time it may be from having a bad cold and not taking a nap, one day it may be from the stress of a family altercation.  In other words anything can be a trigger if it is the one that takes the body over its capacity to process.  And yes, stress for whatever reason, is something the body processes as well.

Since we can't control everything that happens in Ruby's life, we try to control the things we can.  Like food (most of the time), getting at least 12 hours of sleep, noticing when she is overstimulated, avoiding crowds, addressing social stresses, making sure she gets breaks at school, etc.


I feel viewing triggers as a processing overload, may help people treat the body as a whole.  Addressing all aspects of life will help minimize the seizures length, strength, and numbers.  And for parents, this includes our bodies as well.  Children, especially sensitive children, pick up our emotions and thoughts just by being in our presence.  So addressing our stressors, obviously the biggest one being that our kid is having seizures, and processing our emotions, we can help our kids process as well.  Do as I do, and not as I say.