Horrorfest 2013 Is Almost Here!

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Tomorrow, October 18th, sees the start of Horrorfest 2013. 

It’s a fortnight long horror themed event  showcasing the darker side of Second Life. There will be lots of wonderful items to spend your lovely Lindens on, as well as a fantastic hunt and entertainment from burlesque dancers and even a DJ event too. It’s pretty special, and that’s an understatement!

The best bit is that 100% of the proceeds from the sale of exclusive items created solely for Horrorfest will go to charity, and this year the chosen charity is the Epilepsy Therapy Project. A very worthy cause indeed, and I thought I’d write about my own experiences of this condition to highlight why we need to raise funds for research.

For a short while it was thought I had Epilepsy.

I went through a whole barrage of tests, and it was a scary time for me, even as an adult. (So I honestly have no idea how a child copes, nor a parent. They have my admiration.) Eventually (and to my relief) it was discovered that I didn’t have the condition, and my run-ins with Epilepsy ended there, or so I thought. .

When I was diagnosed as Bipolar one of the drugs they gave me to treat the symptoms was actually an Epilepsy drug. This was one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for the condition, and someone had discovered that it was beneficial for treating Bipolar Disorder. This was because of the effect that the drug had on brain activity, it basically hushed your brain up and told it to behave itself, something that is incredibly useful for us Bipolar bods. (Our brains do not behave themselves, at all.)

Unfortunately I didn’t fare well on it. The side effects were brutal; I became totally zombie-like.  Everyday life seemed to have slowed down for me, and I had a host of other symptoms too. My hair started to fall out causing the shower to look like a Yeti had been shaved, and  worst of all I just didn’t feel like myself.  (It’s hard to quantify that statement, but suffice to say I wasn’t any better for taking the drug.) A quick trip to the Docs got me off the pills and onto something else, and the side-effects disappeared. Incidentally, the dumbing-down effect had worked enough to stabilise my Bipolarity, but the side-effects were so severe I just couldn’t endure them any longer, and the three months I was taking these pills were pretty challenging indeed. Although it worked to an extent, I can’t help thinking what a harsh treatment for the condition that was, and how difficult everyday life must be like for patients whose only choice is to take it. That’s why fundraising is so important, so that better, more tolerable treatments may be found.

A final thought; I think people have an awkward take on Epilepsy because of what they have seen in the media and film. I think a lot of people are scared of the condition, and don’t know what to expect when someone has a fit. Let me assure you, it’s not as strange or scary as you might think. In fact, I have actually been with someone who has had a fit.

This was back in my college days, in a very old building in the toilets of all places. I was in a cubicle when someone entered the one next to me, and within a few minutes I started to hear banging, crashing and yelping galore. It was surreal because I couldn’t see what was going on, but  I immediately realised what I was hearing was someone having an Epileptic fit.  Unfortunately  I was helpless to assist. The toilets were solid floor to ceiling builds, so I couldn’t stand on the loo and jump over the cubicle. They were also incredibly cramped, and I had no doubt, as I was hearing proceedings adjacent to me, that someone was going to be very bumped and bruised indeed.

I waited what seemed like an age for the noise to die down, and then shouted and asked the person if they were alright.  To my joy they were; shaken and a little uncomfortable but they were conscious. With no-one else around I had no choice but to sprint to the nearest lecturer and ask for assistance, and fortunately that came swiftly.  My toilet-buddy emerged looking a little poorly, and with a nasty gash on her head, but all was well.

What I’m trying to say is that you probably encounter loads of people every day who have Epilepsy, but you don’t even realise, and fortunately it isn’t as taboo as it was in days gone past. I have one friend who has the condition, but in my circle of acquaintances I know of at least three more who are also affected. It is incredibly common, so it is important that we learn more about it and discover ways to help people afflicted by this condition. Hopefully one day when we understand a little more about the brain and the secrets that it holds we’ll be able to find a cure.

I’m really chuffed that Horrorfest has chosen this charity to fundraise for this year, and I really hope the event is a roaring success. I’m proud to be an official blogger for this event this year, and over the next few days I will feature some of the outstanding items for sale at the event. You will not be disappointed, I can assure you!

Here’s to a successful, and pant-wettingly scary Horrorfest 2013!

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