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Matt - Interview 40

Age at interview: 24
Age at diagnosis: 15
Brief Outline: Matt was diagnosed with tonic-clonic epilepsy at the age of 15. At the moment he has seizures about once a month.
Background: Matt is 24, single and lives in a shared student house. Ethnic background / nationality' White British.

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Matt took drugs because he was 'in denial' and wanted to be 'one of the lads'. He was 'guaranteed...

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I went through a stage of denial, went through of the stage of being as most teenagers are, rebellious. I also went through a drug stage. The drug stage was, it started off with just smoking a bit of cannabis which then moved on to MDMA, Ecstasy, as some people call it. Then from then it was a case of it was a frequent thing, not only a frequent thing because I wanted to do it, a frequent thing because my friends were doing it and I wanted to prove that I could do the same thing. I could shove chemicals in my body and still be all good. I've pretty much have done in my lifetime have done every single drug apart from heroin and crack cocaine. Not only just proving to myself that I could do it, but proving to my friends that I could do it, you know, I could still be one of the lads,. There were stages, certain stages where it became really serious, and it was a big issue but at the end of the day not only did I have to figure that out for myself, but I wanted to experience it. Because one thing I noticed was that my parents weren't as clued up about it as would be necessary.

After a while it did get serious and I was doing it a lot, but then once I realised myself, that it was not only a bad thing, but it was a bad thing especially for me. For example the next morning, you know, there was gonna be a definite risk of me having a seizure. The state I was in, the sort of come down period if you like, took a while but I realised it, it just, it's not good'It was always a risk.

I never had a seizure when I was on any of them; it was always the next morning, the come down, especially with ecstasy. When I was doing ecstasy pills, the next morning you could almost guarantee it. That's when, in a way I thought to myself, yeah whatever, you know I'm gonna have it in the morning, okay I'll do what I do in the night, I've never had one when I was on it. I woke up in the morning, give it half hour, sit in bed, have my fit, wake up, carry on, the next thing the next night. So, after I looked back on that and thought that is actually quite a serious issue, I got a bit more mature about in myself. It did affect me, it affected the seizures and it affected me.

 
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For Matt, the come-down from taking Ecstasy and other pills 'guaranteed' a seizure the next day.

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I noticed, I never had a seizure when I was on, any of them [recreational drugs]; it was always the next morning, the come down, especially with ecstasy. When I was doing ecstasy pills, and the next morning you could almost guarantee it, that's when, in a way I thought to myself, yeah whatever, you know I'm gonna have it in the morning, okay I'll do what I do in the night, I won't have, I've never had one when I was on it, I woke up in the morning, give it half hour, sit in bed, have my fit, wake up, carry on, the next thing the next night. So, after I looked back on that and thought that is actually quite a serious issue, I got a bit more mature about in myself. It did affect me, it affected the seizures and it affected me but it was certainly an experience. Put it that way.

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