Yep, I’m going there. That awkward, not-often talked about subject coupled with epilepsy. When epilepsy and seizures decide to kill the mood for intimacy in a relationship. Sometimes we might feel self-conscious of our bodies, our emotions, or a deep sense of worry that a seizure will interfere. Sometimes, we might not feel anything at all. A lack of desire to want to be intimate with our partners.
We shouldn’t punish ourselves with guilt and shame for these feelings. This is not uncommon for anyone living with epilepsy. As many as two-thirds of people with epilepsy face some change in sexual desire. Have you ever found yourself questioning why you lack the desire to want to be intimate with your partner?
After two years of being on epilepsy medication, adjustments and changes, I took notice of a change in my behavior when it came to intimacy. I became mildly self-conscious of my body and worried of the thought of a seizure striking in the midst of intimacy. I felt as though someone had pulled the plug and my emotions began to fade over time. At the time, I couldn’t make sense of it. I bottled my suspicions but they silently continued to gnaw at me. I was concerned that my behavior was sending the wrong message but how could I explain a behavior that I didn’t understand? How do I research that? Where do I begin?
I’d built a wall around myself because eventually, I became emotionally dull when it came to intimacy. Yet, inside I was screaming for answers and a way out of this hell. Finally, I couldn’t take the gnawing any longer and I broke down to release my suspicions to my husband.
Had it dented our marriage? Not one bit. We decided that it was time to talk to the doctor.
Doctors often are reluctant to bring up such topics during a visit, and it’s not always comfortable talking about intimacy. According to one study, only 13% of epilepsy patients have had a conversation about intimacy with their doctor.
It’s important that we start that conversation with our doctor. Be sure that they know about all the medicines we’re currently taking. We might not even realize that our medication is affecting our sex drive until we have switched to a different medicine. A change of medication could be all that we need.
Whatever the reasons behind the silence, there is no need to suffer.