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Types of Seizures -


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[EDIT Oct 18, 2006: This post was originally a call for someone to provide a brief listing of epilepsy types, but that never developed. PennyCentury did so in another thread pinned above. Consquently I have unpinned this thread. a.m.]

Hi gang,

My expertise in shakiness is with coffee and lithium.

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Im going to start this thread off by talk about my flavor of epilepsy....

I have juevenile myoclonic epilepsy. JME for short. I first got epilepsy when I was 15, my doctor at the time, made the mistake that some doctors make, and diagnosed me with general epilepsy. Yes, I was having tonic clonics...buuuut...there was something different. The medicine my doctor finally decided to put me on was not controlling my seizures, and I was on a high dosage of Tegretol.

So how do you know you have something like JME? Well, for one thing I went to a new doctor. They ran a whole lot of new tests...an EEG can ussually pick up patterns for JME... it will show 3 second spikes....which is what I had. JME can be controlled well, but its not a form of epilepsy that you grow out of. It ussually appears in early adolesence, sometimes there is a family history. TEGRETOL can aggravate JME...so now I take Keppra, Topamax, and Depakote ER. Ive felt alot better since the med switch.

JME seizures ussually happen first thing in the morning, or late at night, when overtired, or overstressed. Lack of sleep, stress, alchohol, drugs, not taking meds properly, menstrual periods (for some women) are some seizure triggers for JME sufferers.

The seizure ussually begins in the hands and feet, or arms and legs, (myoclonic) and may or may not progress to a grand mal seizure. In my case they almost always do...and my postdictals suck very much...thats why Im religious when it comes to my meds...

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My neurologist has also diagnosed me with simple partial seizures, so I'll add on a bit.

It almost always starts as a pressure in the left area of my chest near the shoulder. Sometimes, if I apply pressure there with my hand, the feeling will eventually fade. But sometimes it will start to tingle, and spread throughout my body. I'll feel dizzy, weak, nauseated, and my vision will become blurry. And if it does spread throughout my body, all of my muscles will stop working for a few minutes, so usually I lay down in bed so I don't fall to the floor when it happens. It's a very scary feeling, because I'm aware of everything going on and can see things around me, but I can't move any part of my body or speak, so I just lay there and wait for it to pass.

Lamictal has helped me, I haven't had the feeling of not being able to move any part of my body for a long time, which is great, but I still get the pressure in my shoulder area. I'll walk around and it eventually goes away.

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  • 1 month later...

I have mostly complex partial seizures. The problem with that is I'm probably the worste person to ask to describe them cos I kinda go blank but I'll try.

From what people tell me I'll generally say something along the lines of "I feel a bit spacey", then go on to stare at nothing and usually have some automatisms like constant nodding for no reason or chewing the inside of my mouth till it bleeds, people can talk to me when I'm like this and say my name but I don't respond I just stare and nod. Apparently I then reiterate that I'm spacey and eventually come to sometimes being aware of time lost but nothing else.

Simple partials are kind of nice, they're all tingly but can be disruptive and I can understand why I'm not allowed to drive. Usually if I'm standing up I'll have to sit down as not to fall over and funnily enough if I'm sitting down I'll usually stand up to have a SPS. The good thing about simple partials is that when they're over they're over with no hangover.

My Myoclonics aren't like Lisa's JME, they'e just one off sudden jerks usually of the trunk and mostly sideways jerks of the head, usually to the left. They can make me look like a bit of a spaz but mostly people just think I'm disagreeing with them.

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  • 7 months later...

I suffer from Temporal lobe epilepsy, i have about 88+ a year according to my last EEG, and to be frank this can come with some pretty bizarre manifestations. I was born with it, most likely the result of a forceps injury at birth. It takes several different forms. At one end of the scale, i get "visual snow" or pixelated vision, and little glowing blobs in my right side, dizziness and quite often I see faces in "noisy" background such as clouds, wood grains, carpets etc. Sometimes i get "macroscopia", everything looks massive and often in great detail and beautiful (occasionally i also feel like a midget). I often hallucinate smells, though generally evocative and pleasant and this usually invloves some sense of "deja vu". I have also hallucinated people having large foreheads, noses etc. In the dark i often hallucinate surreal objects/scenes ( eg horse with napkin round neck sitting at red and white chequered table top having dinner) they always "ebb" from my right side as do my more minor "globs".

In my most extreme seizures (and indeed the seizures doctors picked up on as being Temporal lobe epilepsy) I have extreme deja vu, that later gives way to an intense sense of dying, and at this point I lose consciousness and strike a "praise allah" pose, I enter a dreamlike world (though subjectively a more vivid reality than my average day). I generally hallucinate a golden light, and as i look into this light I feel a "wierd" telepathic knowledge being transmitted to me at an increasingly exponential rate. Im an atheist from an atheist family, but despite this for some reason I perceive this golden light as "god" and at some point feel a unity with the universe. I perceive all things, inanimate or animate as one, and at this point of "comprehension", I feel an intense euphoria of which i have not otherwise felt in reality, and which i must confess I can not otherwise relate!. At this point i find myself in my "praise allah" pose, and "wake up" generally to some, by now uncomfortable social situation, "oh i have epilepsy" i must explain to allay peoples concern!

My seizures from minor to just outright wierd "NDE/heaven" type generally last no more than 2-3 mins, and despite how strange and anomalous they may sound, in other most other regards (perhaps not my chronic insomnia!) im a sane, tangible person just like everyone else. I firmly beleive that by being open and honest with others about our experiences, many of the prejudices and problems of living with a mental disorder can be diminished and at best averted. Remember to have hope ya'll!

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Well, I've been meaning to add to this for a while but always forget about it. Penny's big list is a really good comparison of the different kinds and definitely the best place to start, but I like how this has different examples from people's experiences. I've been diagnosed with TLE like jamessherringham (after an EEG that showed abnormal activity specifically in one of my temporal lobes, plus symptoms matching up with it), and my seizures are just about all complex partials like dan was talking about (I pretty much always have a partial loss of awareness), but mine are not especially like either of theirs a lot of the time.

When I was unmedicated, I did have the smell hallucinations, too, but mine were kind of funny; I smelled a different food every time, and it was always something good. I never smelled something I didn't like. It was very strange.

The features of most of my seizures are that I tend to get spacy, my memory and thought processes don't function very well during them, and whatever I was doing or thinking about in the time leading up to them and during them doesn't form very well into memories afterwards. I don't lose consciousness or awareness or memory entirely, but it definitely gets screwed up somewhat. I usually stay functional enough to attempt to do things and fail, like try to make my way around a neighborhood I've known for my entire life and not recognize it at all, while probably looking to observers like I'm pretty out of it, because, well, I am. I get jamais vu, not deja vu, so I'm the exact opposite of jamessherringham; the familiar seems unfamiliar. Also, I tend to get tired a decent amount of the time, either during it or afterwards, and I get a headache a whole lot of the time, specifically in my temporal lobes, not too surprisingly.

Aside from those usual things, anything goes. I've had my vision change so that it looks like I'm looking through a wide angle lens. I've been sitting down and lost all sense of my legs from my waist to my knees, and if I weren't looking at them wouldn't have known they were there. I've been in the shower and had one part of my body lock up at a time until I was completely paralyzed 30 seconds later and couldn't even move my eyes, and then a minute and a half after that, I "defrosted" from the extremities inwards. Or plenty of the time, it's just the spaced out confusedness where I can't remember things, and my brain refuses to process things properly, especially the closer I get to getting my meds right. Before I was on a med that worked, though, it seemed like every seizure was something new. The temporal lobes are very strange places, and very strange things happen in relation to them.

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