Living life to the fullest, having the time of my life, happy and healthy as an ox and, then suddenly, like a bomb, diagnosis of a mental illness turned my life upside down. A mood disorder that forcefully makes you ride a rollercoaster of emotions. An illness that induces drowsiness, agitation and uncontrollable seizures, a nightmare that knows no boundaries. Why wouldn’t you want to end ‘thy’ suffering?

Originally captioned as the “sacred disease” by none other than Alexander the Great, who too was cursed with this affliction, it is now known as ‘epilepsy’. According to a new research, published in the Journal of Epilepsy and Behavior, conducted by the Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the annual suicide mortality rate was 22% higher among those suffering from epilepsy than in the general population.

“I go to sleep and wake up in the hospital,” expressed a fellow epileptic by the name of Lil Wayne, in an interview for MTV’s ‘RapFix Live’. Furthermore, the legendary pop singer and Grammy award winner Prince, too, opened up about his on-going battle with epilepsy. This just comes to show that an illness is like a psychopathic killer on the loose which neither sympathizes nor empathizes, and doesn’t care whether you are 9 or 90.

I go to sleep and wake up in the hospital.

–Lil Wayne

According to a study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, epilepsy has been linked with depression and anxiety. As a person who has had face to face experiences with deep rooted depression, all I can say is that it feels like falling in an endless pit of darkness, barely being able to keep your head above water, like a sinking ship getting lost in an abyss.

Imagine jumping from a high and then falling into a low, all in a moment’s notice. Not being able to escape this never ending torture, feeling trapped and alone. No wonder suicidal thoughts and mood disorders contribute to risks of death in people with epilepsy.

In conclusion, for all of you fellow sufferers, instead of giving up and accepting defeat, seek medical help and learn to be a fighter rather than a victim. As a wise man once said: “Get up but don’t ever give up.”