Community Forum

Deja vu/panic attacks - Very tired of being undiagnosed

Hi all,
I'm very new to thinking that I possibly have simple partial seizures, however after looking through many posts here, it could possibly explain my symptoms.

Over the last few months I have started having these very brief episodes of intense deja vu/flashbacks, and have realised that they mostly revolve around dreams I've had. I usually have the worst ones in the morning, and lead to what I thought was a panic attack. Then, through the rest of the day, I have extremely brief (less than half a second) deja vu flashes, that actually feel like my brain jolts somehow.

I initially thought there was something wrong with my heart (as the panic attacks initially started with severe heart palpitations), however these have stopped, and after doing an ECG, EEG, and a holter test, nothing wrong at all.

I'm getting to the point where I am so over the whole thing and starting to think that I'm losing my mind, and also that this will never stop.

Does anyone have a similar thing happening, particularly with the brain 'jolts'?

Any help would be really appreciated, I don't know how much longer I can keep feeling like I'm losing the plot!

Thanks in advance,


hello my friend, i thought id give u my opinion on this. a majority of what u say sounds alot like a anxiety/depression disorder, i have those same symptoms when im worked up or very stressed. as for the deja vu i also experiance that when i have alot of auros, that is very comon with seizures yet im not a neurologist so dont quote me on this. although i highly suggest u see a neurologist and a psychologist would help for the anxiety. feel free to message me if u have any other questions ill help u as best as i could. and sometimes u have to be pushy with drs these days, tell them to run tests cat,pet,mri etc.

Hi, thank you very much for your response. I'm off to see the doctor today and push for a referral to a neurologist and possibly a psychologist as well. Fingers crossed!


Are you currently on any meds? I started having auras again after at least 5 years without and it looks as though it's related to a med switch from Brand name to Generic. I've switched back to Brand name and hope that they cease. Anyhow, I try to fight them off by finding a quiet place, focusing on something like reading a book, web-surfing etc. Take a few deep breaths and control your exhale as slowly as possible. A few years back I was seeing a pharma-psychologist as I was becoming depressed and had a full blown panic attack. Those things are as bad as a siezure as far as I'm concerned. I'm sure it was caused by job/marriage stress and med side effects to name a couple reasons. He got me into cognitive thought exercises which is nothing more than training yourself to look at the bright side, distance youself from negative people and places and proper breathing techniques. If you stick to it you will see results and it may help on side effects if you are prescribed meds by your Drs. Keep plugging along, don't feel that you're going insane. I know things out of our control are frightening. I hope you have a good support group and this site is full of people who care as well.

To your courage and God Bless,


Hi Howard,

Thank you so much for your response. I'm on nothing more than contraception meds at the moment, although have in the past been on anti-depressants.

I went and saw the Dr yesterday and he is going down two routes until we get a firm answer on either. One is the neurologist (however being in New Zealand, if you don't have health insurance, it's still free, it just takes a little longer, so I may be waiting around a month to have response from them), as well as the anxiety route.

I am definitely going to look at cognitive thought exercises as either way, it's not going to hurt me to have good techniques like that!

My husband is very supportive, but it is difficult for him to understand exactly what's going on, particularly without a diagnosis.

Thank you so much again, this small thread has made me feel like there are others out there going through similar things and that I don't have to feel so isolated and alone.


Deja vu is often called auras or simple partial seizures. I've experienced panic attacks, sometimes after a seizure, others without.  Some medications for panic attacks are also
AEDs.  As far as the 'panic attacks', that can be caused by seizures.  If you haven't had a diagnosis from your neurologist, see an epileptologist. (neurologist that specializes in epilepsy.)  There is a possiblity that these are nonepileptic attacks.  The only way to know for sure is by EEG.  If it isn't seen in a regular sleep deprived EEG, you might need a VEEG (video eeg). 


I am curious if you ever received a diagnosis.  I have the exact same symptoms, and it is affecting my life greatly.  I am 20 years old and about to leave for Basic Training, and I would like to have an idea of what this is.  From the internet, I have gathered that these are temporal lobe seizures.  I cannot afford to go to the doctor any more for this and would like to find ways to deal with these overpowering deja vu symptoms. I have had many tests done, and the doctors cannot find anything wrong.  I read on the internet, that the only way they can find out what it is, is to have an episode during a CT scan.  Obviously, that is hard to accomplish because these episodes happen at random.

Thank you,


Hi Jennifer,

Yes, I have had a diagnosis. I was symptom based diagnosed at the end of January with epilepsy and went straight on to Levetiracetam. This decreased the frequency of seizures while I waited for an EEG and a CT scan. For the EEG, they put the wires on my head and did some testing, and then gave me some liquid to drink which semi-knocks you out. They then get you to look in to lights and hyperventilate to try and cause some kind of brain reaction. They then let you sleep for a bit. The results came through from this in May and I was diagnosed with right front temporal epilepsy. I was put on Lamotrigine (as well as continuing on the Levetiracetam) and had to very slowly increase my dosage. When I got to max dosage of Lamotrigine, my seizures completely stopped and today I am 62 days seizure free.

I will be going back to the dr soon to slowly start taking away the Levetiracetam.

When do you have to leave for basic training? I know how draining the deja vu feelings are, and how frustrating it can be!

One of the frustrating things about the whole system is that you have to keep pushing doctors to try and get neurologists reviews. I know that it's expensive so they can't just do it whenever someone wants it, but you do have to push it! I found myself a really awesome Dr, who is quite young and I'm his first epileptic patient, so he is really loving learning everything, so I'm very lucky!

Let me know how you get on Jennifer, and my email is should you want any advice or have any questions.

Gemma x

Hi, my name is Mallory and I am 24. I have never even considered that what I was experiencing might be a seizure. I found this post and it seemed to nail it on the head (which is hard to do with this feeling). For me, the feeling usually starts with a smell. I don't think the smell is actually really there, but it's overwhelming and it reminds me of a dream that I can't quite put my finger on remembering. Lately, there's also been sounds, like music of which I also can't quite place. It is very disorienting. I have to breathe deeply. Hot flashes and nausea also accompany this feeling. I used to get it a lot, but it hasn't really been an issue for about a year now, but just a few weeks ago, the feeling has started coming back again, with more and more frequent episodes. If this is a form of epilepsy, what are the risks of it going untreated?

Hi gemma

It is highly possiable to have seizures and not find anything on the EEG. Been there done that. Thpse wierd feeling deja vu and other things could very well be seizures. Some people have auras which are wierd feeling and seeing or hearing things. Auras are basically seizures themselves. It took 15-20 different EEG's and a weeks testing to actually find an answer to what was causing my seizures. Back then there was no MRI or CTscan but there were tests that could give the doctors the same results. Believe me you would much rather have an MRI. Consider the fact that in the neuro=angeogram they pump air up inot your head and take x-rays. They can't suck the air out so it has to escape naturally. The escape route are the nose mouth eye sockets and ears. They aint fun at all. The last day they preformed another you guessed it an EEG. I was tired and at 13 tired was welllllllllllll tired. I fell asleep and that was when they saw seizure activity. With that they went to that area of the brain and looked closer and the angeu=gram and found a faint view of what is scared brain tissue caused by a hemmorage to the brain from a blow to the head.Now that diagnosis was backed up by Doc (my current neuro) He did an MRI and the EEG in a monitering unit. The same results only he had about when the blow too place. I was between 6-8.

Tests can prove some things but there are people with epilepsy that have seizures that they have not test information on a reason.

Brain jolts? your brain is basically a little bittty computer with more gigga bits then most people can imagine. Your entire body works off of electrical impulses. All a seizure is is an electrical impulse going off wrong causing a chain reaction. The heart is also run on electrical impulses. I not only have epilepsy but I also had a irregular heart beat which has now changes to Afib. The medications for epilepsy are to control the electrical impulses and if they work well you have few or no seizures. Afib is also controlled by a different medication which controls the electrical impulses which keeps the at levels they need to be at instead of 200-400 BPM mine are generally 68-85 BPM.

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