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question about during my eeg

I am new to the forums and we are still in the air as to if I am
having seizures or migraines with associated anxiety attacks. An EEG was
scheduled and I had it done today. They did the strobe light and had me breath
heavy for three minutes. The tech was very good about explaining everything and
asked me a lot of questions regarding what kind of symptoms I was having. He
told me I might see images during the strobe part and that I might get some
tingling and light headed during the breathing part. Everything was going fine till
he did the strobe light. I was trying to relax and the second he turned each
cycle on I would jump and by the end I was in tears. I had an overwhelming
feeling of terror, not just being a little scared. It was like some deep fear mechanism.
I knew there was nothing to fear and that somehow the flashing lights were
causing it (I have always been sensitive to this type of thing, even some
patterns drive me crazy) but my heart started racing and my head was
wanting to explode. I wanted to tell him to stop but couldn't even manage that.
No matter how much I tried to relax I couldn't. I was so incredibly thirsty
during the breathing part that it was difficult to breathe through my mouth and
by that time I was shiver and almost trembling. I couldn't get my muscles to
relax and felt terrible out of it by the time he turned the light. The tech did
ask me how I felt about the flashing lights while he was taking the sensors off
and I told him that I simply can't stand flicker/flashing lights like that.

Is this a normal response to the test? I wasn't expecting anything even
close to the way I felt during the monitoring and he didn't say anything about
having strange emotions pop up. I should have the results back by tomorrow or Monday
because he said he wanted to get the report straight to the doctor. I will post
back with more info but would like to know others experiences with this type of



 Edit: I may have posted this in the wrong spot, bear with meI'm new :) 


Reading your letter was like much of it was like my EEG 1 wk ago.  I have been struggling with migraines for 4 years since a car accident.  I have had physical therapy, chiropractic care, meds, injections, braces, jaw surgery, gallbladder surgery, CT scans, MRIs, ... you name it.  The neurologist just suggested to have an EEG after an abnormal sleep study, and they said I have epilepy and slowing of the right side of my brain.

During the EEG, I was fairly calm until the lights began, then an overwhelming feeling of fear came over me that I can't explain.  My eyelids began to jerk uncontrollably, and the right side of my face began to twinge and tingle. as did my left arm.

I feel the same as you.  The technician did not prepare me for this, and did not say anything when I left, except that she would give the info to the neurologist right away.  The doctor did call me early the next day with the information.  For the next 2 days, I had increased tremors because of the EEG lights. 

Please let us know of your results.  I go to the doctor again on July 9th.

I am new to this site, but wanted to comment on the EEG's. I think having an EEG is worse than the clanging and pounding of the MRI machine. I don't have a problem with the strobe light part, it's the hyperventilating that gets the most stressful for me. Strobe lights aren't one of my triggers, but sleep deprivation and hyperventilating have shown some spikes on my EEG's.

 I have had 2 seizures, first one when I was 28 and 3 days postpartum (long story...son has birth injury (big baby!), I was sleep deprived, he wasn't nursing, I had 4th degree laceration). All of that just made me short circuit. All tests came back normal and they thought it was a fluke so put me on dilantin for 2 years. I was off meds for 4 years, then had another one 2 years ago. Again, all tests came back normal and I'll probably never know why this didn't hit until my 20's and after I had kids. It was the 3rd neurologist who said to stop spending so much money on trying to find out why because we'll likely never know. I'm on Keppra indefinitely and all is good so far. I did find out that Keppra will be coming in an extended-release form in the next year or so. The one thing about Keppra is that it's so intrusive, having to take it 2x/day when I was used to taking Dilantin all at once. Not trying to sound like a whiner, but it just seems like a constant reminder that I have epilepsy, which I still have come to grips with yet (and it's how many years later?).

I was dumbfounded when I went in for my follow up neuro appt last week and she had me spell the word condition backwards! It took me awhile, mainly because I felt really under pressure with her and her nurse looking at me and waiting for me to do it. I guess it could've been worse, she could've had me do the alphabet backwards--maybe I need to start practicing that for my next year's appt!

 Sorry to ramble!

That's so strangeI had my EEG a week ago and had a similar experience.  I stayed awake all night because I was supposed to be sleep deprived for the test.  I kept telling myself that if I could just make it to the doctor's office maybe I could take a little nap during the EEG.  WRONG!  I got to skip the hyperventilation because I have asthma and that would garuntee an asthma attack.  I was in no way prepared for the strobe light thing.  The flashing lights made me feel so ancious.  I HATED IT!  Then the second series of strobes made my whole face start twitching like crazy and made my left arm tingle.  It was so strange.  I couldn't stand the flashing lights.  I just wanted to jump off the table.  Then I was so wired from all the anxiety the lights triggered I couldn't sleep for three more hours (and that was after staying awake all night). 

Did you ever get your results?  The more I read the more I worry I won't get diagnosed.  I know that's weird but this is the closest I have ever come to explaining my "episodes"....



I have had epilepsy for 9 years now. Started when I was 18 by head injury. I don't even remember my 1st EEG to be honest, I think they had me so loaded at the hospital..

I do remember the rest of them though. I think what you both are feeling is actually a "normal" reaction to the test. Normal meaning that is the way I felt for each one, and it scares the hell out of you, doesn't it. I'm not sure if the "freak" feeling comes because it's a very weird test (mentally). Think about it, hyperventalate, lights flashing, little electrodes on your head with blue goop. Almost feels sci-fi a little. I think that by itself starts to freak you out, then when the lights do hit, usually people who have certain "reactions" to the light are the ones who are epileptic. Not saying this is true of your test.

When I had mine done, I was ok until the "light show" too. Then, my body tensed up, my face way uncontrolably twitching, my hands and feet felt like ice and I too, cried. I wanted to jump off the table, or even if I fell off, that would have beem ok by me too. I just wanted it to stop. Good thing though, they were able to see the effected areas of my brain, I have a large area. Upped my Dilantin (nasty crap) and I have been almost seizure free since my last test. Almost being key.

Sorry the reply is so long, I just think it's so important for all of us to share, it's such a weird med. issue to have. Not all in black and white you know? too many gray areas. Hope this helps.


This may be off base, but one form of simple partial seizures for some folks is a "fear aura" where you're hit all at once with a strong primal feeling of dread or impending doom. I don't have personal experience with that type, but you can read about them in the "types of seizures" links at the left.

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