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Sleep Paralysis or Seizures?

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Posted

Starting in 1/04 I would find that when I napped, I would have this problem where I was half awake but asleep, and I couldn't move though I was aware of my surroundings and could open my eyes.  I felt completely heavy and could not even turn my head.  I felt like someone could get in my home or was coming in and that I was completely helpfless.  This has happened several times, about 50% of the time that I try to nap in the day.

Tonight it happened again but seemed even more severe.  I was more awake than normally when these happen which might be why it was worse.  But I would drift in and out of sleep and while drifting in I would hear this very loud buzzing noise, which went away if I drifted right out of sleep, but then come back when I started drifting off again.  And the same thing where I couldn't move, only it seemed like my head was moving and I was moaning trying to talk.  VERY freaky.

I've been having problems staying asleep at night and I wonder if these things happen to me in the middle of the night, only I don't remember because I'm in a heavier state of sleep.  I don't know if these are seizures or sleep paralysis or what... it FELT so weird, the buzzing was like ELECTRICAL and my brain seemed to be throbbing or something weird like that.

Anyone ever experience this type of thing?  I of course will see a doctor but I'm curious.  Sometimes I feel ilke I might have some sort of narcolepsy, because I do get so damn tired I feel like if I just rest for 5 minutes, I'll be fine.  So like at work I might go to the restroom and take a quick sleep, then wake right back up and do well.  So I just don't know...

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Posted

Hi Aloha,

I have had somewhat similar experiences the past few years. I was diagnosed with epilepsy when I was about 3 yrs old, put on anticonvulsants for a few years then weaned off and declared "cured". Well my tonic-clonic seizures were emotionally triggered. Whenever I got upset, I had a seizure.

Now that I'm older (28), I only have seizures in my sleep. I had one yesterday in fact, after going 3 months without. I was napping and woke up gasping for breath, my tongue was numb/tingling, my body ached and I was disoriented. After I came to, I sat up and cried. They are so disturbing. So I know how you feel. No matter how much you know, it's still difficult to understand what's happening.

You definetly need to get to a neurologist. I suggest keeping a log/diary of your experiences to bring to the doctor. I say this because the last few eegs I've gotten have all come back normal, yet I continue to have seizures. And the only info my new neuro had to go on was my first positive eeg (that I had when I was 3) and my detailed seizure history log.

Wether it's some form of narcolepsy, epilepsy, or sleep disorder, only the doc will be able to figure out through testing.

Good luck,

Croix

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Posted

Sorry for the name f-up, ahalo. I'm not awake yet, and the damn edit button seems to have disappeared...grrrrr.

Croix

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Posted

Sorry for the name f-up, ahalo. I'm not awake yet, and the damn edit button seems to have disappeared...grrrrr.

Croix

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Croix- you can't edit as a guest.

if you sign in and repost, we can fix these if you like?

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Posted

Sounds spot-on like Hypnagogic hallucinations, they are pretty normal (most people experience them at some point) and it may well be that the meds you are on are influencing your sleep.

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Posted

Hey Ahalo...this doesnt sound like any kind of seizure Ive had...but everyone is different...this is definately something I would talk to your doc about as soon as you can, in case it is something of concern, if it could be a seizure, or med related...Lisa

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Posted

hi ahalo,

i realise i'm going to sound like a complete tool here, but what you described reminded me of stuff that i read in carl sagan's book "demon-haunted world". this phenomenon of feeling paralyzed yet awake in one's sleep is as ancient as humans. a long time ago it was thought to be due to a night-time visitation by a demon which sat upon one's chest (hence the 'paralyzation and inability to move or get up') and tormented the sleeping person's thoughts.

p. 117

"Demons, the "powers of the air," come down from the skies and have unlawful sexual congress with women. Augustine believed that witches were the offspring of these forbidden unions. In the Middle Ages, as in classical antiquity, nearly everyone believed such stories. The demons were also called devils, or fallen angels. The demonic seducers of women were labeled incubi; of men, succubi."

p. 118

"As they seduced, the incubi and succubi were perceived as a weight bearing down on the chest of the dreamer. Mare, despite its Latin meaning, is the Old English word for incubus, and nightmare meant originally the demon that sits on the chests of sleepers, tormenting them with dreams."

neat huh? and interestingly (well, to me at least, and presumably unrelated to what we're talking about) "demon" means knowledge in greek.

so i have absolutely no idea if what you are suffering from is MI related, or med related, but it certainly has some substantial historical, uh, history.  i certainly don't want to seem to be making light of your situation because i know how upsetting it can be. i have experienced the same kind of thing you describe. one time was when i was in grad school and our grad student office was directly across the hall from the Head of School's office. i was sitting at my desk having a nap with my head and arms resting on it. one of my office-mates was a student of the Head and i dreamt that they were talking in the hall and were going to come into our office to continue the discussion. i DIDN'T want the Head to see me napping when i should be working so i tried to sit up and pretend i'd been doing some reading. but i couldn't move. i was immobilised. utterly. i could not sit up. i fought it and tried as hard as i could to sit up but there was some force keeping me down. i remember the panic as i tried to do this. i think i finally managed to sit up, but i have no idea if it was still in the dream or not.

grouse.

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Posted

They don't think it was a seizure or med related-- probably just sleep paralysis.  Apparently both my half-sisters have always had the same problem though not with the loud buzzing noise.  ONe time I had to roll off my bed in order to snap out of it.  But it just seemed worse last night...  Thanks for the replies...

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Posted (edited)

They don't think it was a seizure or med related-- probably just sleep paralysis.
Edited by ScatterBrain_UK

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Posted

I'm going to go against what it seems everyone's agreeing on here ;) Those are almost the exact symptoms I had that made me seek out a neurologist in the first place. I would suddenly freeze up, be able to move any part of my body, but I still knew what was going on around me. It usually happened for less than a minute, but it does feel really weird. My brain will start throbbing and my vision gets fuzzy at the sides, and I know that if someone were to come into my room, I'd be unable to say or do anything. It's a scary feeling.

To make a long story short, my neurologist diagnosed me with simple partial seizures.

Let me quote this from epilepsyfoundation.org:

People who have simple partial seizures do not lose consciousness during the seizure. However, some people, although fully aware of what's going on, find they can't speak or move until the seizure is over.

They remain awake and aware throughout. Sometimes they can talk quite normally to other people during the seizure. And they can usually remember exactly what happened to them while it was going on.

However, simple partial seizures can affect movement, emotion, sensations, and feelings in unusual and sometimes even frightening ways.

Hope that helps! Maybe something you should mention to your neurologist if you decide to seek one out.

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Posted (edited)

I would suddenly freeze up, be able to move any part of my body, but I still knew what was going on around me. It usually happened for less than a minute, but it does feel really weird. My brain will start throbbing and my vision gets fuzzy at the sides, and I know that if someone were to come into my room, I'd be unable to say or do anything. It's a scary feeling.

To make a long story short, my neurologist diagnosed me with simple partial seizures.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Surely the big difference is that sleep paralysis only occurs when you're asleep/falling asleep, whereas the whole point of mentioning that one "remains awake" during a simple partial seizure is because they usually happen when one is up & about and conscious to start with.

This is in contrast to things like absence seizures or grand mals where you usually (or in the case of absence seizures, by definition) lose consciousness.

What ahalo described was something that happens exclusively and specifically upon falling asleep (or in the case of hypnopompic hallucinations, upon waking up), i.e. sleep paralysis with hypnagogic/hypnopompic hallucinations. (In her case auditory)

I am aware that there are some kinds of seizures that only occur during sleep, and that there might be connections between seizure activity and sleep-onset phenomena (such as myoclonic jerks), but sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations are well-known phenomena.

If someone exclusively experiences the things described by ahalo, and never experiences them during another activity other than the deliberate process of lying down and falling asleep (unless one is narcoleptic), a diagnosis of epilepsy based solely on that description seems highly dubious.

The meds that ahalo is on, especially Effexor, are well-known for causing slight sleep disturbances, and ahalo has I believe extensively described excessive sleepiness as a side effect from that medication.Phenomena such as sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations usually tend to increase in such cases.

Edited by ScatterBrain_UK

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Posted

Surely the big difference is that sleep paralysis only occurs when you're asleep/falling asleep, whereas the whole point of mentioning that one "remains awake" during a simple partial seizure is because they usually happen when one is up & about and conscious to start with.

.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well, some epileptics do have seizures upon falling asleep...myoclonic seizures, for example, are known to occur late at night before bed as well as in the morning...as other seizures can occur this way too, essp. after a stressful day. Been there. Then theres always the night seizure tonic clonic...thats only happenned to me once that I think I am aware of ( I say 'think' because I woke up with my tongue chewed up, sore, wet pants, scared, etc....but Id been asleep all night) but it was nothing that ahalo described.

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Posted (edited)

Well, some epileptics do have seizures upon falling asleep...

I know, that's why I stated above:

I am aware that there are some kinds of seizures that only occur during sleep, and that there might be connections between seizure activity and sleep-onset phenomena (such as myoclonic jerks), but sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations are well-known phenomena [should have added "...and are very different from the types of seizures normally experienced during sleep"]

Please also note that the quote of mine refers to seizures that occur when awake (as highlighted in bold),  specifically to the partial complex seizures the previous poster referred to, seizure types where "remaining conscious" is emphasised due to the seizures commonly occuring while the person is awake.

Edited by ScatterBrain_UK

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Posted

Thanks ScatterBrain for clearing that up ;) But just to point something out, I only have my "freezing up" spells when I'm laying in bed about to fall asleep, or once in a blue moon when I'm waking up in the morning.

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Posted

Thanks ScatterBrain for clearing that up ;) But just to point something out, I only have my "freezing up" spells when I'm laying in bed about to fall asleep, or once in a blue moon when I'm waking up in the morning.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Was your diagnosis based *just* on what you told the doctor or did you get a sleep study/eeg etc. done?

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Posted

I'm going to go against what it seems everyone's agreeing on here ninja.gif Those are almost the exact symptoms I had that made me seek out a neurologist in the first place.

no no! demons i tell you. ;)

grouse.

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Posted

GrouseMouse - Are you still there? I just found this board and your post of four years ago. I've seen the demon. On my chest. It had the head of a griffin, black with a large beak and a green hood -- almost like you'd see on a falcon. I have been having these "episodes" for over 20 years. Any they follow me -- I can be at home, on vacation, or half-way around the world. Egads.

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Posted

This exact thing happens to me. I will feel perfectly fine and then all of a sudden, I am forcefully thrown into a repressive sleep state, struggling to stay awake in fear of this horrible feeling. I become partially paralyzed, my head begins buzzing in throbbing increments, and I feel like I am falling into something dismal and horrifying. I have to violently trash my head back and forth before it consumes me and I can't move at all. I can shake myself out of it. I usually sit up or change positions in hopes it will not return. It usually does, and I am then forced to get up and walk around to fully climb out of this state. It's like quick sand. If you don't get out all the way, you will continue to sink. Many times, whilst in this state, I have been accompanied by frightening images and hallucinations. Objects in the room shape-shifting and moving like fractals. I fall into REM sleep right away and have the most intense dreams. I awake from these dreams and large traces of DMT are still present in my system. After an initial dream, I can awake and still see visualizations and fractal points around the room. I have had this problem ever since I was a child.

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Posted

I have had similar expriences since I was a young girl. I wake from my sleep, unable to move, feeling afraid that something is going to come into my room and hurt me and I can open my eyes but I usually just close them b/c I'm too afraid of what I may see. Then I hear a very loud buzzing sound and my body starts shaking uncontrollably. I am aware, at least in the beginning, of where I am and what is happening, in fact can even hear my husband snoring. Next I'm not sure what happens most times and I wake up when it's over. I went to a neurologist many years ago to try to figure out what was going on but we came to no definite conclusions. Though it continues to happen, but not very frequently, I haven't gone back to the dr, nor have I brought it up to anyone. I wish I could just leave it at that but I have also had many other strange experiences in the night. Including, remembering seeing beings, being moved around etc. During a recent episode, I opened my eyes, only to see my husband floating above the bed beside me, a tall being standing against the wall near our bed and I saw long ugly fingers of a being coming into our room through a window. Though I could not move, I could definitely see. I tried my hardest to scream but all I could get out was a wierd noise that did nothing to awaken my husband. I closed my eyes and prayed for it to be over. Next I remember feeling something like examining me, picking up my legs and feet and inspecting them. Really wierd. And then, I was awake in a panick like always. Another recent episode, I was so sick of this that I had this feeling like I knew something was coming into my room. This time my husband was out of town and our baby was asleep with me. I couldn't move but I tried my hardest and was finally able to get one of my arms up and I swung 2x at the thing by my bed. I wasn't able to turn my head to see but whatever it was grabbed my arm and twisted it so I couldn't move. I remember finally giving up and putting my arm back over my baby and crying b/c I knew I was helpless. I woke up when it was over.

I have no idea what is truly going on here. I mean what the hell is happening to me?

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Posted

I have had the same thing happen to me on and off for about 14 years...since I had my daughter out of wedlock...I believe it is a demon tormenting me...I am probably damned...a few years ago when I said the sjnners prayer and had my home blessed out of desparation it stopped...i got married and went to church...it went away until i got divorced and stopped going to church...now I am back to being tormented...I guess I am lost...the lost burn in hell...what a future I have to look forward to...at least I will have company

Forever Lost

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Posted

From the NIH on hypnopompic and hypnogogic hallucinations:

These are states of consciousness which occur

between the "normal awake" state of consciousness

and sleep. Hypnopompic states occurjust before

awakening while hypnogogic states occur just

before one falls asleep. These two states are felt to

be similar in that, while they occur at different

phases of the sleep cycle, they are related to stage

4 of deep sleep. They are characterized by visual

imagery and occasionally by auditory impressions

with the subjective feeling that one is awake.

These states may occur as normal phenomena

(probably related to an altered sleeping pattern) or

may be induced by antidepressant medication

which increases stage 4 phenomena.4 It is clear

that these hallucinations need to be differentiated

from the hallucinations occurring in psychosis as

one is indicative of a disorder of the state of consciousness

related to sleep, while the other is a

disorder of the state of consciousness involving

fragmentation.

This may or may not prove to be interesting:

Hypnagogic and Hypnopompic Hallucinations during Sleep Paralysis: Neurological and Cultural Construction of the Night-Mare

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Posted

so I totally had that happen to me. The throbbing the moaning and moving of my head, and even the weird buzzing sound. Did you ever go to a doctor and find out what you had bacause I hate it I have them all the time since I was 14 and it has gotten worse since I am now 22. But last night was the worst and I want to get some answers!

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Posted

so I totally had that happen to me. The throbbing the moaning and moving of my head, and even the weird buzzing sound. Did you ever go to a doctor and find out what you had bacause I hate it I have them all the time since I was 14 and it has gotten worse since I am now 22. But last night was the worst and I want to get some answers!

Sounds like a......hypnopompic or hypnogogic hallucination, as mentioned in the post right above yours. The original poster posted way back in 2005, I do not think they are here any more to answer you.

nf

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Posted (edited)

yes ive had these happen to me, luckily i was put on an anti-seizure medication amonst other meds to prevent such things from happening. they mostly happening when i was on antipsychotics, my head would jerk around in my sleep, almost like a seizure, or a fit. nothing crazy like what was seen on "the fourth kind." but definitely frigtening liek something was in control of my body. these consisted as many people say of attacks on their body. like you try to fight against it, and become awake. but something pulls you under and violently controls and contorts your body.

ive never had anything as bad as something on the "fourth kind" if youve seen that movie, but defnitely woke up with weird marks or lines on my body.

Edited by Blart752

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