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Does anyone else have uncontrollable terror during every seizure?

I have had complex partial seizures for almost a decade now, and what seems to happen every time for me is terror.  It feels like I am inside an airplane that has suddenly just started plummeting toward the earth.  It is paradoxical, and the feelings of deja vu create false absurd meaning out of random stimuli, like whatever is in front of my face has some nonsensical meaning.  I lose track of reality and am lost in a dark non-reality for what feels like forever...I have no sense of the outside world anymore, so every seizure feels like it is going to last an eternity.  There is no voice saying "this shall pass;" I just think I am lost and doomed forever.  I feel like I am about to leave this world and go away to be dead forever, and this is the feeling every time, and it has now been thousands of times.  People talk about their complex partial seizures on here, but I don't hear everyone talking about sheer horror, so I'm wondering if I'm the only one who has this during a seizure.  It makes epilepsy a living hell for me not just because of the public embarrassment, but because the seizure itself is a living hell, even if I have one all alone in my apartment with nobody looking.  I am now developing panic symptoms and can't live on my own any more because I'm too afraid to be by myself. 


Hi Jfoster57,

I've had partial seizures since early childhood, with added monthly clusters of stronger seizures. Back then, people noticed my seizures only if I was speaking when they struck, and I was generally regarded as having speech impediments. The most common sensations the seizures gave me was intense visceral sensations of fear. Much less common were sensations either of divine happiness or annoying blandness. A few of my seizures seemed to be complex partial seizures during some of the clusters, with a very memorable one with amnesia, during which I was running away from nothing, out in the middle of the desert alone, when I regained awareness with sheer terror and had to follow my own tracks back to find my rock-hunting/camping equipment. Generally, I learned to try to ignore my seizures as much as possible, which didn't always work.

Some of the deja vu is spectacular, I just wish it would give me lotto numbers instead of random clues.

The seizures are typically short, from a few seconds to a couple minutes or so, but the short-term after effects can really impair my speech and body language for an hour or so. After graduating university, employers' prejudice about epilepsy brought my career plans to a halt, and after I ran out of money from being a commodity, I've been on disability for around 23 years now. After severe injuries from secondary tonic-clonics (TCs) in 2006, my aura is mainly now ones of divine ecstasy instead of intense fear, with a few bland ones with bouts of synesthesia. Keppra has stopped most TCs, but the partials and many migraines continue. The after effects of TCs can be days long.

Most books cite the aura of intense fear to be the most common aura of mesial Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE), usually from the right amygdala of the Limbic System by some references. The Limbic System has direct cross-over connections between the left-side and right-side, and by some theories (and a few experiments), very intense fear can flood over to the opposite side, into divine happiness. The controversial theory of kindling also predicts that the origin of seizures can slowly expand and/or change and cause additional brain damage. The functions between the amygdala and the hippocampus in the Limbic System result in many of the after-effects of Limbic Seizures. Other controversial long-term effects of TLE are the Geschwind Syndrome and Forced Normalization.

Ictal Fear:


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