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i had my first episode in september of 1996, at the age of 14. seeing as i was living in a community with limited medical staff, i was diagnosed by a pediatrician rather than a neurologist. i was given a prescription for tegretol... i continued to have tremors daily, so i was then switched to a "time-released" form of tegretol... oooh. well that didn't work much either. so in 1999, i was switched to depakote (by a neurologist). following the transition from tegretol to depakote, i had one seizure in the beginning of august , but have been seizure free since. i can't say that i've had any of the problems with weight gain that the women mentioned, or the depression either. or it's possible that i don't attribute it to the medication, seeing as that was a problem beforehand [but counseling fixed that]. my qualm with the depakote is this: i was told by physicians that i might eventually grow out of this... but none of them are willing to risk the "dry-run" trial period required. quite frustrating for a college student, and i know that there are people out there much worse off than me who are thankful that the medication is there for them. but somehow, i've managed to stay somewhat bitter about it. it's hard to understand why i'm the only one in my family with the problem--there's no hereditary linkage. it's maddening, really.