Question about Hallucinations
#1
Hello! I just adopted a new character, Azalea. I've got epilepsy and I've been thinking for a while now about bringing in a character that also had epilepsy, just for shits and giggles. But then I started thinking about it and figured I could actually have a lot of fun with this! Anyway, here's my idea, and I'd like to hear what y'all think about it! 

Let's say she has epilepsy (human epilepsy is barely understood and dog epilepsy is understood even less, so I'll be acting as if she is a human). A lot of epileptics go into a kind of fugue state after their seizure that's called the postictal state. Post meaning "after" and ictal meaning "seizure, stroke, headache". For most, they feel confused and/or have a headache (like me). Some people, however, go into a state of psychosis and experience heightened aggression, delirium, mania, etc, and even hallucinate. 

My idea is that Azalea has the kind of epilepsy where she hallucinates while in that postictal state and experiences psychosis and mania. After her hallucination she will spend anywhere from a few hours to over a week in a state of euphoria or dread. She believes that the hallucinations are messages from the gods. For example, let's say that she follows her father's religion. She has a seizure and hallucinates visions of death/destruction. Naturally, the visions aren't a message from god, but instead a manifestation of her own anxiety. But in her state of psychosis, she is filled with dread and believes that her vision is a message from Tak, their god of destruction. 

Interestingly, epileptic seizures are both highly predictable and unpredictable. Azalea may go several months at a time with no seizures and, therefore, no visions. Or she could have multiple seizures a day. Seizures can often be triggered by anxiety (I've had five since the pandemic started Regsweatdrop ). Because of that, when she is extra anxious about something, it is likely that she will have more seizures. This could easily be interpreted as the gods trying to commune with her in times of unrest.

Like I said previously, these seizures and hallucinations aren't actually messages from the gods and everything she learns from them has to be something that she either already knows or something that can be figured out (i.e. the clues are all there, someone just needs to put it together). For example, she won't be able to have a seizure and see a thief attempting to steal a horse from the stables. She can, however, have a seizure and be filled with so much dread that she feels compelled to check on her family/place of residence/horse/etc and then catch the thief out of pure luck. Then she can claim that the gods told her about the thief so that she could stop them.

Anyway, that's what I got. Please let me know what you think, I'm pretty excited about this! And I've got plenty of time to work this out more thoroughly since most dogs don't develop epilepsy until they're at least a year old and Azalea is only 3 months old. Smile
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#2
This all sounds fine to me! Can definitely be a fun thing to play with, as far as interpretation of hallucinations, etc.
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#3
One of my older characters, Kynda uses psilocybin mushrooms to provoke similar reactions, so I'm all about this idea!

The "coincidental timing" of her reactions to the feelings that come with her seizures also sounds like a good way to build her belief in these things. As she gets older and makes the connection between these, and given her place of upbringing, it's totally possible for her to believe them to be messages from the gods.
“History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” ― Mark Twain
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#4
Thanks, I'm really excited about this and am thrilled to play this out! :3
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