Absence Seizures for Adults?

Hello, I'm new

I'm a 21 year old and I started noticing that I was "blanking out" oddly a couple of years ago

Finally after 2 years, I see a doctor, he tells me I might have "Absence Seizures"

and he referred me a Nuerologist tells me I have Complex Partial Seizures (without testing me or anything at all)

but my Seizures are not Several minutes long, they are only about 10 seconds

and I keep telling myself I have Absence Seizures, but Im an adult

Here's how seizure is:

A sudden vertigo/dizziness like trance, only lasting about 5-10 seconds, I forget my surroundings for a second, they happen one or two days a week, up to 12 times a day

and some weeks they don't happen at all

and only a few times I've had a bad headache afterwards

Anyone had this same problem as an Adult, can Adults get Absence Seizures?


Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

I remember having absence seizures when I was about 8 years old. At that time I was taking 3 seizure medications one of which made me gain ALOT of weight My mom stopped giving me the meds at about 11 years old cause she thought I had outgrown the seizures.  I am 33 years old now and married with 2 children and I know for a fact that I still have the seizures. In the beginning of my marriage my husband would get very frustrated with me because he thought I would ignore him alot, he would tell me that he or the kids where calling me and he didnt believe me when I would say that I didnt hear them. I am sooo tired of feeling spaced out and forgetting things. For example, I left my house keys, alarm keys,car keys on the outside part of the door when I was getting home from work!!! I did this 3 times. My husband is starting to get annoyed by this, even though he knows that sometimes its out of my control :-(  I havent taken any seizure meds for 22 years now and I didnt like the side effects they had on me as a child so can anyone reccomend any natural remedies???

Could it be?

I am 24 years old. Everyone thinks I am nuts, but I believe that I am having "Complex Partial Seizures" and have the same symptoms as described above. Now mine may last a little longer than that, but typically they last about 30 seconds to 1-1.5 minutes. All of my EEG/CAT Scans have come back clean, they are lost. I also wil sometimes have a right-hand temor lasting anywhere from 2 minutes to 30 minutes after having "one". usually happens when not involved in something, albiet had one walking yesterday and noticed my walk slowed down to a very slow "shuffle" and had to sit down for fear that I would colapse. The thing that is throwing me off is the fact that when i have one, I know that I have had one and I do not nessesarly have any of the automitisms that are described, that i know of. If anyone can realate and finds out anything to help me fiqure this out, your help would be greatly appreciated. Also I did forget, I did suffer from severe head trama as a child as that does add to it. Thanx in advance

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

Hi :

I am a 39 yr old married mother of 3 who has recently had a craniotomy '06 and am now experiencing what i think is absence seizures. My neuro has all but confirmed and i have also had an EEG. What if any is the next step? Can anyone help? Am currently taking topamax 2x a day for headache as well...what is next for me?

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

I began having sleep seizures at 11, which then begame drop seizures or tonic clonic. I've had every type from petite to grand mal and after they put me on dilantin when I was around 20 I think----my seizures have stopped. Unless I was foolish and forgot a dose or something. I take dilantin and acetazolamide together and they stop me from seizing. Well, theyve given me the generic for what might be a year. Ive been spaced and having muscle spasms (so bad that my arm knocked a glass onto the floor and shattered it) I feel like I spend most of my day spacing out or thinking about what I should be doing...or trying to compose a thought. Did some research and it seems the generic of dilantin (phenytoin) does not stop partial seizures. Im anemic and this medication also lowers B12 levels. Not to mention once a month....my phenytoin levels are weaker. During menstruation. Needless to say, One week a month my head is on another planet. I feel like Im on an island, stuck in my confused head and trying to tense myself so the spastic twitches arent so noticable. Pretty frustrated that I had to find this out myself.

Looking for Some Advice

I am 24 years old and about 2 years ago I started having episodes that lasted anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds. I notice them most while I am driving. I will be approaching my exit or my turn and the next thing I know, I'm looking around in a daze, confused and having to remind myself of where I am and what I am doing. Not only is it terrifying to realize that I briefly lose consciousness behind the wheel, but experiencing this while driving in a new city means I get lost at least a couple times each week. At times (if someone else is in the car) it's quite embarrassing. Can anyone tell me some treatments that have provided results and what types of specialists I may need to see?

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?


I am 41 years old and for the past couple of years I have had problems when I drive. I have felt like my head sways at times, sometimes a few times in a row, and I feel confused afterwards. I have wondered many times if I have blacked out as I feel like things aren't right...I couple months ago I was driving and I don't know what happened but before I knew it I was on the other side of the road and I don't know how I got there. Thank goodness there was no traffic and I was close to home. It scared me to the point that I decided not to drive on very glarey days (it seems to be caused by glare)  I had a thunderclap headache the week before this happened and was booked in for an EEG.  My nurologist informed me that I had abnormalities on my EEG that are found in people with Epilepsy and has told me Im not to drive for 4 months to see if it continues.   He didnt say I had absence seizures or epilepsy but after reading up on absence seizures it sounds like what has been happening to me.   If it continues he said I will have to be on medication.  I have gone through a lot of stress the past 2 years and I was originally  told the light headedness/confusion i was experiencing on and off all day was hypervigilence.  Now Im wondering if It was actually absence seizures.  It's a scary thing to happen when driving.

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

My doctor said that I have had complex partial seizures and now the
recent discovery of the Absence Seizures - it would just be a whole lot
easier if there were a test or something to prove that that is actually
what it is but I guess they just use your symptoms etc to make a
diagnosis. Thinking back to my previous seizures I would have a slight
headache and then start feeling sick in the stomach, get hot flushes,
feel like vomitting - the last 2 times I've managed to say to who I was
with at the time that I didnt feel so good, however both of them do not
recall this ... I must of past out as I said it. I also remember once
when I was about 11 and it was real late at night and I'd been ill - I
walked up to my parents room and called for my Mum next thing I was in a
pile on the floor but I could still hear my Mum talking to my Dad.

I want to know what caused my part of the brain called left hippocampus
to be a different shape and smaller than the other side, how does this
cause seizures and why?? You probably cant answer that but I will have
to ask my Dr.


 I hate that I forget everything, I'll be mid sentence during a conversation and completely forget what I'm talking about ... 

today I was driving through the city - in the passenger seat - my
boyfriend was driving.  Coming up to a major intersection, I see the
cars are banked up ahead but we make it accross, I see a girl at a bus
stop across the street and a car beside us. Next thing its like I snap
out of a "absence seizure" I think and I look ahead and we are coming up
to the same intersection again and the traffic ahead is banked up, its
like mega de ja vu - OR I mistook the previous intersection for the
major one we had come up to. This really weirded me out. 

Through School I was critisized for my lack of concentration and 'being
off in my own world', daydreaming and teased for staring at kids in high

Differences Between Absence Seizures in Adults and Children.

Hi, I'm 22 yo medical student and was diagnosed with absence and complex partial seizure last year. I had my 1st "blank out" when I was 10 and still have them until today. I have to face many problems studying in clinical years and I had to dropped out many times. I'm interested in neurology and wanna be a specialist in epilepsy. So I did some research studies with my teacher(whose also my neuro) and study more about epilepsy by myself.

 The thing is that you wonder "if an adult can have absence seizure?" The answer is "yes." But there're some differences between absence seizure in adults and children.

Firstly, the part of the brain that was involved. In children, it is mostly primary generalised. But in adults, it is from some parts of the brain. That's why it's called "complex partial seizure". The symptoms of complex partial seizure are vary in many individuals. Some loss conscious, but some loss only memories, or some have automatisms.

 Second, the pattern of the EEG. In children, it is typical 3 hz spike and slow waves. In adults, usually frequent slow waves.

Hope this answer your question. :) 

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

From what you write, it does sound like absence or complex partial. If your memory was intact (no forgetting), it could possibly be something a little different like ADHD Inattentive or central auditory processing disorder (CAPD). That's my understanding.

Re: Looking for Some Advice

Go see a neurologist right away. It turns out I was having Simple Partial seizures and they were caused by a tumor in my brain.

You can either have your primary doctor suggest you a neurologist or look for one in the yellow pages.

Best of luck


Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

If anyone on this forum takes phenytoin, you may also want to know that it is 75% as effective as dilantin. I woke the other night feeling as if I was going to slip into a seizure. And Ive been free of them for a year, the grand mal anyway. Its hard to keep track of the smaller ones. How do you remember when you forgot?

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

Hey there- I'm new, too...and it sounds like we've had similar experiences... I "blank out" several times a day, usually with no warning and no recollection of the episode other than the fact that I feel confused afterwards (can't remember what I was saying, etc.). My doctor has done a CT Scan and an EEG (I'll get the results when I go home next...I'm a student in another province), but he's pretty sure that what I'm describing is absence seizures. However, any of the info I've found describes absence seizures as being primarily in adolescents and something that you can "grow out of". My episodes seem to be getting worse...my mom noticed that around 13 or 14 my eyelids started fluttering a lot, but it's only been in the past couple of years that I've been "blanking out" (I'm 22 now). The thing that bothers me the most is that I've had a couple episodes where I've fallen... the most recent one was yesterday, when I was on an external clinic rotation. My supervisor, colleagues, and I were walking back from lunch and I fell for no apparent reason- and didn't even try to catch myself. One moment I'm walking, the next I'm picking myself off the ground and picking gravel out of my leg. Needless to say, it's embarrassing... just wondering if this is also a "normal" part of absence seizures, or if it might be indicative of something else. Thanks for a response in advance!


Re: Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

do you do it everyday sarah? or just once a week?

It depends...sometimes it's

It depends...sometimes it's once a week, sometimes once a day, other times it's ten or twenty times.  It all depends on how stressed/tired, etc I am.

Re: Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

It sounds like you are having more than absence seizures. An EEG will not always catch all of the types of seizure activity that you have. It depends on the type of EEG you have done and how long you wear it, plus whether or not you're on meds when you do it...and so on. To me it sounds like you are having absence and partial seizures. Good luck in finding answers and help. Sometimes it takes quite a while to get all the answers and find the right "fix", so don't give up. :D

Re: Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

they told my parents when i was 12 that i had out grown my abscence seizures but my brother said i did it all thru my teen yrs. he would just count one one thousand two one thousand etc, and than say shes back!!!! he was always a jokster so i ignored him, and never asked him what he was talking about until this year. i was still having seizures. then at 25 i had my 1st t/c. but i used to fall alot too. i think if you are walking and have abscence you can trip and fall or lose your balance. but i have primary generalized epilepsy. its genetic. i am now 49 and still have both types of seizures.


Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

I didn't think a person could be aware they were having seizures.

Re: Absence Seizures for Adults?

They could be able to aware if they have simple partial seizures.

My wife had them as an

My wife had them as an adult. She used to have multiple absence seizures every day. They stopped when she used EEG Neurofeedback about 10 years ago. She hasn't had a single one since.

Check out my chart of alternative epilepsy treatments.

Re: My wife had them as an

Our sonhas had them since he was 5 or 6 and has failed 6 meds.  We are currently weaning off of felbatol and just starting Neurofeedback.  Can you tell me how long it took for your wife to see any benefit and if there wear any negative side effects.  We are trying to be very hopful as the drugs have been a nightmare and he so wants to have a more normal life.

Any info. will help. and thanks for you web site.


Re: My wife had them as an

really? that's great

Re: My wife had them as an

My son is 16 and has had medication resistant absence seizures since he was 5.  He has failed 6 meds. We just started neurofeedback last week.  We are praying it works.  Was your wife on any medication when she started neurofeedback?  And did she every have any negitive side effects.  At the end of the last session our son got really brain fatigued, which of course caused him to have more seizures that evening.  The Dr. said she would lesson the training time during the next session due to that.  Also, she wants to get a QEEG. ( a brain map) did your wife do that?

Thanks for your input.


Re: Re: My wife had them as an

Yes. Most neuros don't know much about neurofeedback or the research that has been done on it. Most neurofeedback practioners are actually psych docs. Insurance generally doesn't cover it for neurfoeedback, but they mostly do for ADD/ADHD.

I am hopeful that it will gain better traction in the medical community. It's so much safer than just about everything else docs are currently prescribing (drugs, vns, etc.).

Check out my chart of alternative epilepsy treatments.

Re: Re: Re: My wife had them as an

how many days does it take to do?

Re: Re: Re: Re: My wife had them as an

It took somewhere between 5-6 months of sessions (3x week at first and then 2x week) before my wife realized the full benefits. I've seen studies that only measured progress through 3 months. At 3 months we almost gave up because we hadn't noticed any real benefits/effects of the sessions, but we stuck it out and it was like a switch had been turned on when she got into month 5.

Everyone is different though. A lot depends on the patient and the practitioner overseeing the sessions.

Check out my chart of alternative epilepsy treatments.