Emotional Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a diagnosable condition with measurable symptoms, predictable triggers, and consistent patterns of behaviour. The condition arises from a systemic imbalance. Someone experiencing seizures loses control of themselves and can be dangerous to themselves and others. Treatments are available for many symptoms but the afflicted individual must choose to seek diagnostics, medical intervention, and support.

Emotional dysfunctions are diagnosable conditions with measurable symptoms, predictable triggers, and consistent patterns of behaviour. The condition arises from a systemic imbalance. Someone experiencing an emotional dysfunctional episode, an emotional seizure, loses control of themselves and can be dangerous to themselves and others. Treatments are available for many symptoms but the afflicted must choose to seek diagnostics, medical intervention, and support.

During a seizure, the person with epilepsy may involuntarily strike out at their surroundings, may become blind to dangers, may not be able to consciously safeguard themselves or others. If they were to injure a loved one during an uncontrolled seizure they would likely feel intense guilt and shame at the damage they did. Their loved one would not blame them for the behaviours whilst out of control of their body, yet would hold them accountable for seeking treatment, for creating effective coping strategies, for learning how to manage their outbursts in order to make the relationship safer for both of them. No expectations, only boundaries. If epilepsy goes unmanaged, the support person would be in constant risk.

During an emotional seizure, the person with emotional dysregulation may involuntarily strike out at their surroundings, may become blind to dangers, may not be able to consciously safeguard themselves or others. If they were to injure a loved one during an uncontrolled episode they would likely feel intense guilt and shame at the damage they did.

But that’s where the similarity tends to end, which is why mental illness so often grows, and passes on to another generation, accumulating shame, blame, and guilt with each new seizure.

Mental illness is painful for all who endure it as sufferers, victims, and witnesses. Just like epilepsy. But unlike epilepsy, it gets mistaken for a choice, judged as a lifestyle, and dismissed as unworthy of compassion or empathy. Yet like epilepsy, compassion, empathy and support constitute part of the treatment and are central to managing symptoms.

To support someone through epileptic seizures, you cannot pick and choose which symptoms are epileptic and which are not. You accept the whole and forgive what happens during a seizure, if you choose to interact with the person who is potentially unsafe for you because of their illness. To do otherwise is to judge and that puts imbalance between you. Better to keep boundaries between, not scales, and accept completely or let it be. Only you know if the relationship is worth the risk to your safety. No outsider can tell you that although they may try.

To support someone through emotional seizures, you cannot pick and choose which symptoms are choices and which are illness. You accept the whole and forgive what happens during a seizure, if you choose to interact with the person who is potentially unsafe for you because of their illness. To do otherwise is to judge and that puts imbalance between you. Better to keep boundaries between you, not scales, and accept completely or let it be. Only you will know if the relationship is worth the risk to your safety. No outsider can tell you although they might try.

Understanding epilepsy does not mean excusing the dangers of it or absolving people of the responsibility to manage it. But an informed perspective allows preparation for making a choice when a Moment of decision – stay or go – presents itself. Understanding is the foundation for compassion. Knowledge dispels fear and eases trauma. The wise mind guides decisions once the emotional and judgemental brains quiet down.

Understanding emotional dysfunctions does not mean excusing the dangers or absolving people of the responsibility to manage it. But an informed perspective allows preparation for making a choice when a Moment of decision- stay or go – presents itself. Understanding is the foundation for compassion. Knowledge dispels fear and eases trauma. The wise mind guides decisions once the emotional and judgemental brains quiet down.

Emotional abuse is not ok. But it is understandable. It has patterns, predictable triggers, and treatable behaviours. Hope for stability is what keeps people in abusive situations and hope is a precious, powerful force. To judge either party for having hope is to create greater imbalance while acceptance adds more hope and a sense of a safety net.

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