Can Stress Trigger Epilepsy?

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What is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a chronic condition that affects the brain’s electrical system, leading to unpredictable seizures. These seizures can range from brief and nearly undetectable to long periods of vigorous shaking.

The condition can be caused by various factors, including genetics, brain injury, and certain infections. Understanding the triggers of epilepsy is crucial for managing the condition, and one potential trigger is stress.

Stress is a natural response to challenging or threatening situations. When a person experiences stress, the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

Can Stress Trigger Epilepsy?

Yes, stress can trigger seizures in individuals with epilepsy. Chronic stress can affect brain function, making the brain more susceptible to seizures. Stress affects the brain’s activity and can lower the seizure threshold, meaning it takes less to trigger a seizure.

For some people with epilepsy, managing stress effectively is a crucial part of controlling their seizures.

  • Lifestyle Changes: Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help reduce stress and lower the risk of seizures. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help calm the mind and reduce stress levels.
  • Professional Support: Seeking help from a therapist or counselor can provide strategies for managing stress and dealing with anxiety or depression, which can accompany epilepsy.


While stress itself does not cause epilepsy, it can trigger seizures in those who already have the condition. Understanding the link between stress and epilepsy is essential for managing the condition effectively.

By reducing stress through lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, and professional support, individuals with epilepsy can improve their quality of life and reduce the frequency of seizures.

Dr. Rahul Mathur
Consultant Neuropsychiatris

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