What Does a Seizure Feel Like?

by Editorial Board on November 3, 2010 · 0 comments

in Questions & Answers,Neurological Disorders

A seizure occurs when there is a disruption to normal brain activity. There are numerous causes for seizures, although often a doctor will find no reason at all that a patient is suffering from seizures. Seizures affect millions of people across the world, from all walks of life.

For most sufferers of seizures, there will be no or little warning beforehand. To answer the question of what a seizure feels like is difficult. This will vary from person to person and on the type of seizure being experienced. Sometimes a person will be completely unconscious during a seizure, sometimes they are conscious but not aware of their environment, while other times they are completely alert to what is happening.

Different kinds of seizures occur in different parts of the brain. Some of the effects they can have on the body include movement such as twitching and convulsing, sweating and fever, changes in awareness and changes in general behavior. Seizures can be divided into two general categories.

A partial seizure is one that involves only one part of the brain. If you are having a partial seizure it is unlikely that you or anyone around you will notice. There are several symptoms that can indicate a partial seizure. Symptoms could simply involve a slight change in feeling and emotion or a change in your sense of awareness. Increased heart rate and feelings of nausea are common. You could feel a loss of sensation of tingling to parts of the body. Some people may experience psychic symptoms of hallucinations or deja vu.

A generalized seizure will actively involve the entire brain. These sometimes begin with the person crying out, and usually their body will stiffen and then fall to the ground. Often they will experience a range of convulsions or jerking movements of the body. The seizure will last from just seconds to several minutes.  The person who just had a generalized seizure will not have had any awareness of what has happened, but may feel confused or frightened afterwords.

For most people who suffer from seizures, only the aftermath of a seizure episode will be remembered.  Feelings of confusion, agitation and anxiety are common after a seizure. They may simply return to feeling normal straight away, not realizing anything has passed. Oftentimes a person who has had convulsions may experience muscle soreness and some bruising after the seizure.

If you think you have had a seizure it is important that you seek medical help immediately so that your situation may be assessed. If you notice someone having a seizure it is important to keep them safe from harm until the seizure is finished. Make sure there are no nearby objects they could hurt themselves on. A soon as you are able seek medical assistance.

People who have seizures should keep a diary of when each seizure occurred, and a brief description.  Any important things like things you remember before or after the seizure could be helpful to your doctor.  A seizure diary could also help prove your seizure disorder is severe enough to prevent you from working, enabling you get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits.

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