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MichaelK

Panic attack versus seizure

What is the difference between a panic attack and a seizure? The seizure I had this evening started with a sheer panic attack and progressed into a complex partial seizure. I felt sheer terror at first working up my spine and then it generalized into a true seizure, where I lost consciousness.

Has anybody else had this happen to them? Any information or response would be grateful.

Comments

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

i have simple partial seizures that are so excruciating scary. It's worse than a panic attack. Notice if you are triggered. Or does it just happen. If it is spontaneous it is for sure a seizure. Though, it can be huge stress causing a seizure, I had that the other day. I cried for so long about a real thing that then I started going into a seizure with an automatism where I wander out of the house at night, It scares me. Trying to get these seizures back under control, along with the petrification I call it, the fear. Mine are accompanied by feelings that I am making a terrible mistake and a very very clear vivid dejavu unlike what normal people call it.
Good to talk. Ariel

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Thank you so much for your reply. The only consistency is that it sometimes occurs when I am thinking about how to make a plan for how to accomplish a specific goal in the future. There is something that I want to do yet I haven't written anything down for it. I am only making a rough sketch.

Sometimes it occurs when I am thinking like this but not every time. Otherwise, there is no other related consistency. These attacks/seizures just happen out of the blue. Does this sound more like a seizure?

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I know there have been quite a few replys already, but the panic attack feelings you have are exactly what I experience with my auras before my Complex partial seizures. It's definately a classic Temporal Lobe epilepsy symptom often confused with anxiety or panic attacks. I also tend to get deja vu feelings a lot. I read your profile Michael...it's too bad you're not still in Minnesota, I go to a great Epilepsy clinic in St. Louis Park that's really worked at getting my seizures under control this last time that they've come back. I too have had epilepsy since I was about 10 years old.

As for what you're experiencing "is it a panic attack"? It sounds like they may be auras of some sort. I know I'll sometimes get in a "zone" like that where I'll just be in deep thought, get a rush in my chest, then I can either make it go away by snapping myself out of it, or it'll turn into a seizure if the surroundings and situation is right. Our brains are weird things. Have you ever tried Topamax? When my seizures came back about a year ago that's what i've been on and so far it's been pretty good...i still have a random seizure if i forget meds or have a lack of sleep, but it's worked pretty well.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Ditto for me too.  My Dr. and I thought I was having panic attacks until we did an eeg and found out I have TLE.  That feeling of fear that comes at the beginning of my complex partials is like nothing else and I'm thankful that the Depakote ER seems to be keeping things controlled. 

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

My husband was in combat for 3 years, exposed to roadside bombings etc. He now started to have seizures, grand mal convulsive seizures, he has been put on Depakote ER. His seizures usually happen during his nightmares of combat, he goes back to Iraq everytime he closes his eyes. He attends therapy regularly. Two times his seizures happened during the day, the first one lasted 30 minutes, he was lucky to live long enough for the ambulance to get here. The second one during the day was only 4 minutes but started with the symptoms of panic attack, something stressed him, he got very confused, depressed and thought he was going crazy for a few hours, it finally ended in a major seizure. The Va hospital claims that his EEG and MRI are normal. We have eliminated VA doctors and now see civilian doctors only. Depakote worked well at 1000mg per day, the doctor increased him to 1500mg and he started to become extremely depressed, paranoid, distorted reality and memory loss. We cut him back to 1000mg, and so far have good results. Be careful with the dosage, the side effects can vary greatly and become very dangerous.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

peace R.C.

Hi not High!.......Not sure I could add anything to what all you folks have to say BUT I am wanting to make sure this stays bumped to the top for a day because it best describes so much of what so many of us are doing either once or for a lifetime.   I have just spent over a week in an aura like state and a panic,doom hanging over me after a med change and 5 g-mals in one night as I drifted into my first r.em. cycle .

I have also done EVERYTHING that is described in these paragraphs for many yrs. possibly a lifetime and after obtaining sobriety 17 yrs ago AND assuming I knew what a panic attack was lol I just brushed this feeling off as a possible "flashback" from drug use or hyper-active ? a panic attack from just being fidgety my whole life lol. 

Not even close to what really was happening ,that HEAD-RUSH most people get lasts a  second or two not 5-10 or 30 seconds or even minutes long with all the things described above in them even smells,vision,hearing all of it.   I waded my way through P.T.S.D. shock for over 20yrs. nightmares panic by association -meaning every time I heard a certain noise or found a certain smell I did certain things ,not paranoid schizoid behaviour but a little bit of a weirdo none the less,lol BUT I WAS AWARE OF IT -ALWAYS and still am.

The seizure disorder is different,it comes at all times in all places and until recently did not have a particular trigger like so many have,like lights,heat, food,etc. etc.I have certain triggers now that I'm still sorting out?

When I am swallowing hard trying to stay focused in a store I understand it is a what I am calling a partial sz.and I may do this multiple times in one store from the old style fluorescent lights flickering ,I "think" medication keeps this from progressing into a gran-mal type sz. BUT I also understand now I will have a full seizure with in days in my sleep . I also "feel" keppra xr is preventing this from happening at the moment.

The panic state is simple I do not get the head ache, with the p.t's I often have a mild pain in my front left lobe that will not go away until I have a huge amount of sleep or a gran-mal sz or both lol.

As I said I can not add much to what you fine folks have said but I BUMP this because the descriptions here are what someone needs to copy/paste to their next m.d, neuro visit. 

Just remember "IT'S NOT THE CRAZY PEOPLE YOU WORRY ABOUT....IT'S THE ONES THAT DON'T KNOW IT" R.C.

 

 

 

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

hey hope you are doing better but i know about fear and seizures

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Hi PettaCottontaiL!

Hope you are having a good day. Thanks for your response and yes, I am doing better. I hope that you are doing well, too!

-MK

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Hi Peeta,
I only just came across this forum now, but can i ask have you got your seizures under control? or by the sound of it your auras?
I haven't read every one of the comments, but I've had auras for 20 years now and it initially took me a few years to convince my doctor (at that point pre-teen) that they weren't panic attacks.
I was on medication for 10 years which i took myself off as they didnt seem to help, and have now gone back on meds and am wondering if you were able to get full control as you seem to have similar auras to me

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

michael did you change your name ?

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Sorry for the late response ladybg. Your description vividly describes what I go through frequently. Yes, I wish I would still be in Minnesota because of the clinic there. It is famous.
My auras can build until either they lead to a partial complex or a secondary generalized seizure. As it develops, so does the fear.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I have simple partial or auras and usually for me it is when something is going on.  If Im stressed out, if i have a Migraine, if my sugar is low and if I see a lot of flashing lights so for me personally I have to keep track.  The other day I had 5 right after another and it was that I needed to eat and I started getting a migraine so I had to calm down and eat .....I really didnt want to get to the emotional state 

I hope that this will help a little

:cvargas

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Hi,

I experience the intense 'de je vu' and the accomanying, undescribable sense of dread/doom/end of the world feelings. They occur about once every 6 weeks or so, duration approx. 30 seconds, (its hard to track time when going thru one).  

I was diagnosed with seizures about 20 years ago and I have only ever had 2, thats right, only 2  major seizures. 

The last one was about 2 months ago. And I know what caused it.  I was at work, there was a squeaky door,  it was driving me nuts, our unit clerk gave me a can of WD40,  before I could think about what I was doing I had sprayed WD40 on the door hinge, not realizing that the arosole can created a huge cloud of mist, which surrounded me ( I was in a confined area), which I inhaled. It was pretty intense and I knew this was not going to end well.

The very next night, sure enough, I had a big one!  Lasted a while I assume, cause like the last biggy, I came to to a room full of firemen, and paramedics.  

I guess I should'nt complain... 2 big seizures in 20 years and absolutely no meds!

I know everyones triggers for seizures are differant, but you should take note to what chemicals you are exposed to prior  to a seizure: big or small.  For me its petroleum distillates.  The major seizure I had prior to this last one was triggered by exterminators spraying our basement laundry room with pesticides... I went down too soon after the spraying.

I know that feeling you have of shear terror feels like a panic attack, but I think that is actually part of the seizure.  I think 'panic attacks' are something differant. I don't think people who have panic attacks experience the weird  'de je vu' sensations, and they are probably, and this is all assumtion,  triggered by something totally differant.

I have never had a panic attack, but I would bet that seizures are much more terrifing. When I have one, I cant talk, my eyes are wide and fixated, I have weird visual effects.  I feels like its the end of everything.... literally.  

Anyway,  I hope you find out your triggers. There is a reason for everything.  I know it frustrating when we don't have the answers, or even when we do, there is nothing we can do about it, and are still left to deal with the effects, (as in my case), but, life goes on and we just have to do what we can. 

Good luck

Adele

 

 

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Hi Adele,

Thanks for comment. You have expressed it very well, for when theise TLEs happen to me they feel as if I have begun to tour Dante's Inferno. That is why I dread them so much - the sheer terror of them. I walk through areas that I have had them before with more fear than before.

I appreciate your help!

Michael

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

discussion/981904 MichaelK, Panic attack versus seizure; Sat, 02/28/2009 - 3:08am|26views|5comments
March 01, 2009 Sunday 10:45 PM PST USA

Most of my cluster seizures in early childhood would start with a vague sensation of fear with a
minor partial seizure as an aura, and in about eight hours later, then each seizure would be very
frequent with sensations of intense fear and clumsy actions of panic. I believe most of these
physical actions were caused by the sensations of intense fear because severe punishment stopped
my actions and I learned to sit very still and try to avoid any actualization of any desire to
take action from the intense sensations, but this didn't always work. My non-cluster seizures
back then usually just interferred with my speech/language and coordination, with few directly
caused emotions or internal emotional consequences (but many indirect ones, i.e., "pronounce
'feather' correctly or no recess or gumdrop for you or your speech classmates," then corporal
punishments when I "spoke in tongues" trying). Much less often were auras of divine joy to auras
of blandness with occassional synesthesia; in early adulthood, auras with migraines also developed.

Despite that the first sign of clusters was usually the sensation of fear no matter what all the
other circumstances, teachers, nurses, and doctors wrote-off my descriptions of my seizures as
stubborness, maligenering, panic attacks, to agoraphobia and other toxic mumbo jumbo.

Studying Pavlovian Conditioning in junior college, I discovered I could induce minor versions of
these "fear sensations" with independent stimuli conditioned as preceding painful electric shocks,
but never to the point of triggering a seizure.

My Social Psychology professor at the university was the first person who told me that I probably
had seizures from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, and that my description of my childhood seizures sounded
like "Seahorse Epilepsy" (seizures radiating from the hippocampus) that he had recently read about
in a journal that described the secondary seizures similar to the one I suffered in his classroom.

In the university library I discovered that "gut fear" was the most common adverse viscereal sensation
caused by Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, and that the "gut fear" was totally unrelated to everything else,
despite what Freud and others may preach. Also, that "kindling" of TLE over adolescence often results
in the Geschwind Syndrome, which doesn't respond well to AEDs (either not at all, or results in
Forced Normalization phenomena and back to psychological toxic mumbo jumbo).

Some recent literature I've read goes so far as to say that people with epilepsy "train themselves"
to have the signs and symptoms of seizures with fearful thoughts, and they just "think" they have
seizures once their epilepsy is in remission and should be classified as having psychogenetic non-
epileptic events. Such invasion into "hard-science" neurology by "soft-science" psychological
philosophy seems like so much balderdash to me, maybe useful to immorally shun or exploit patients
at best with even more toxic mumbo jumbo. LOL.

The book "Imitators of Epilepsy" by Kaplan and Fisher, has a chapter by Grady and Stahl on Panic
Attacks and Epilepsy with some 130 References/footnotes.

I hope this helps.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

This is extremely helpful and does support a strong relationship between neurology and psychiatry. My understanding is that the "gut fear" of which you speak does not relate to anything else, however, there still remains a lot of controversy of whether "kindling" actually exists.

Originally, I had only absense seizures. I would just sit still to those and not move on. Then I had these TLE seizures as well as tonic-clonic seizures, with the tonic-clonic seizures originating, I now believe, in my temporal lobe. As with the other seizures, I would try to sit still with them, for I was very embarrassed. Occasionally I would be happy about something but most of the time I would have some type of fear associated with it.

I will look up the book that you mentioned on Amazon. Thanks a lot.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I had gone to about 8 different doctors who told me that i shouldn't worry, i was only dealing with "panic attacks". I went from being scared to de je vu, to straight out not being able to move or function but still being aware of everything going on around me. My hand would twitch, and my face would pale. They would only last for about a few seconds my friends would tell me. But they felt like a life time. I crashed two cars because of them. I dealt with these so called panic attacks for 5 years before i had two grand mal seizures and they realized what i had after all! My first seizure i fell down 3 flights of stairs at the San Diego Sports Arena. I went from the top of the arena all the way down to the bottom floor with my 8 year old daughter watching every minute of it. Luckily i didn't get hurt. The next one was at the dentist. I was getting ready to have some work done and next thing i know i woke up to paramedics asking me if i knew my name. I really wish doctors could tell the difference between petit mal seizures and panic attacks from the first time you have one. Not after 5 years and two car crashes later! It took alot out of my life and my daughters life! Time i will never get back!

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Hi Diana,

It's so hard to find the right doctor. I wish it wasn't this way but the doctors simply do not seem to think about things the way we do. It's sad but these things cost us valuable time.

As I mentioned before, I have brought this up to my doctor but he brushes it off, asking more about the seizures that occur afterwards. He knows that these seizures generalize and to him, it seems, if the medicines he is prescribing are preventing tonic-clonic seizures then things are going OK. Otherwise, he should increase my dose. Give me the MD!

Sorry for blowing off some steam. Good luck.

Michael

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

what feels like a panic attack to me is the beginning of my partial complex seizures (temporal lobe). i believe this is a physiologic reaction to the beginning of the elecrical activity going awry in my brain or what doctors refer to as an "aura". i don't know what your neurologist has told you regarding your "panic attacks" but trust your own instincts. if a seizure follows, it's got to be some sort of aura. i have read many people with temoral lobe epilepsy suffer from this "gut feeling of dread". you are certainly not alone my friend! i am a first time blogger and would appreciate any feedback from others with retractive temporal lobe epilepsy!!

 

     

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Thanks, Laurie! Doctors have always brushed aside the panic feelings and have been interested in what happens afterwards. My recent doctor asks me questions about how long it lasts, do I lose consciousness, etc. as a result of the seizure. I have always wondered what the panic is - am I crazy? When I started to read other people's experiences in this site many of them talked about a panic reaction and I began to wonder if this didn't have a connection somewhere that I didn't know about. I appreciate your help.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I agree with the previous comment.  A seizure may begin with a feeling of panic.  When I had complex partial seizures I would feel panic, escpecially if I didn't know where I was.  The first PA that saw me said it was seizures or a panic attack.  He gave me anti-anxiety meds and referred me to a neurologist.  I didn't take the meds because I new I wasn't having a panic attack.  An EEG confirmed I had seizures, so maybe one of the differences is that seizures activity can be confirmed.  I've seen people have panic attacks and haven't seen one loose consciousness like you did.  Have you talked to your neurologist?  Good luck.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

HI MICHAEL, I HAVE HAD PANIC ATTACKS AND I HAVE HAD SEIZURES. THE PANIC ATTACKS WERE A LONG TIME AGO, AND RELATED TO MY THEN HUSBAND. I LEARNED THAT WHEN I FELT LIKE I WAS GOING TO HAVE  A PANIC ATTACK, ALL I HAD TO DO IS GET ON THE PHONE AND TALK TO SOMEONE. WITH THAT, THE PANIC SUBSIDED, AND I WAS FINE. NO SEIZURE WAS RELATED TO THESE. I WAS TERRIFIED OF MY NOW EX-HUSBAND.

NOW, AND I DON'T REMEMBER HOW LONG THIS HAS BEEN HAPPENING WITH ME, I FEEL THIS OVERWHELMING PANIC OR FEAR BEFORE I HAVE A SEIZURE. IT IS A PANIC/FEAR THAT COMES FROM NOWHERE/IS SOMETHING THAT BAFFLES ME BECAUSE I AM FINE/LAUGHING/CONTENT AND PEACEFUL,  THEN SUDDENLY THE PANIC/FEAR FACTOR COMES IN AND BOOM, A SEIZURE. I HAVE COME TO RECOGNIZE THAT AS SEIZURE ACTIVITY, YET IT ALWAYS SURPRISES ME.  

FROM READING YOUR BLOGS AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOU, I KNOW YOU ARE ANXIOUS ABOUT ALL THE SEIZURES YOU ARE HAVING. WHO WOULDN'T BE? HOWEVER, I THINK THAT THE PANIC YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE SEIZURES. I AM WONDERING IF YOUR DOC OVERLOOKS THIS BECAUSE HE IS MORE FOCUSED ON REDUCING THE SEIZURES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. SOME DOCS ARE LIKE THAT UNFORTUNATELY. THEY LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE AND IGNORE WHAT IS ON OUR MINDS. SINCE YOUR SEIZURES ARE NOT CONTROLLED, AND YOU ARE HAVING SO MANY, I AM WONDERING, STILL,  WHY YOU DO NOT GO TO ANOTHER DOCTOR? YOUR CONCERNS ARE VALID AND YOUR DOCTOR ISN'T GETTING THOSE SEIZURES UNDER CONTROL. YOU ARE GETTING INJURED FAR TOO OFTEN, AND YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER TOO OFTEN TO NOT CONSIDER WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU.      

I WISH YOU PEACE, LOVE, BLESSINGS, JOY.........JAN

I USE ALL CAPS FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

MICHAEL, SORRY, I TRIED TO EDIT MY COMMENT, BUT CAN'T DO IT. THERE IS NO PLACE FOR ME TO EDIT IT.

YOU WANTED TO KNOW WHAT A PANIC ATTACK IS. A PANIC ATTACK STARTS WITH A FEELING OF EXTREME PANIC CAUSED FROM EXTREME FEAR.AS I SAID, MINE WERE DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TERROR I FELT WHENEVER MY THEN HUSBAND WAS COMING HOME OR WAS AT HOME.  THE PANIC BECOMES SO EXTREME THAT ONE IS UNABLE TO MOVE, BREATHE, THINK, STAND-UP, OR EVEN CHANGE POSITIONS. THEY CAN LAST A VERY LONG TIME, BUT THERE IS WHERE I DON'T REMEMBER HOW LONG. I THINK MORE THAN 15 MINUTES, LESS THAN 30. OF COURSE, THEY ARE VERY DRAINING IN ALL ASPECTS. AS I JUST TOLD YOU, I FOUND JUST GETTING ON THE PHONE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE STOPPED THEM DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS. NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN DO WITH A SEIZURE. IT IS A TERRIFYING EXPERIENCE.........SOUNDS REDUNTANT, DOESN'T IT? LOL!  THANK GOD I HAVEN'T HAD ANY IN MANY, MANY YEARS!

I WISH YOU PEACE, LOVE, BLESSINGS, JOY.........JAN

I USE ALL CAPS FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Thanks, Jan! I am going to write more but because it is late I have to go. It is GREAT to hear from you , dear!

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I have had panic attacks and my panic attacks aren't like my seizures.

However, usually my seizures (Partial Complex) start with a "smell" though I have had 2 that started out with an overwhelming sense of high anxiety/doom out of the blue for a few seconds, followed by the "smell", and then the Partial or Partial Complex in it's entirety.  Kinda like having 2 auras, if that makes sense to anyone.

Neuro still believes I have PNES and that these 2 are sure signs of it because she has said it is "not typical seizure symptoms" along with some other symptoms like being aware of my symptoms up to the point of loss of consciousness (after that things are fuzzy).  The other seizures I've had have only started primarily with "smell" with one starting with a "visual disturbance". 

 

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I have had problems with panic attacks and seizures as well. When I had panic attacks before, they were usually whenever I went to work. Now, I have had episodes on several occassions. They felt like panic attacks, but they were worse. At first, they feel exactly the same. The problem is that now that don't go away like they used to. The one time, it took probably an hour or so before I felt normal. The other time, it took that long as well. When I talked to my psychiatrist, he suggested my panic attacks were seizure related. Now, comparing the experiences before and the more recent experiences, I honestly believe that my current panic attacks are actually auras.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I got to say I am so happy to read this discussion this is exactlly what happens to me!! I am stressing, hurt, getting blood drawn, too hot and next thing I know I'm feeling really ill and if I don't decompress or get out of the room or situation, I know I'm going doooooooooowwwwwnnnnnn and like in slow motion I can feel everything shutting down which is a scary horrible experience because I have no control and then I wake up sweaty and it takes me a while to recover. I know this sounds so funny but I am so happy to hear you guys are having the same thing. I was thinking maybe mine was really bad anxiety, but they told me people don't pass out with panic attacks although they may feel like it. That and my EEG came back abnormal with focal type activity in the temporal lobe. Just like you!! I know this sounds stupid, but I am so happy to know I'm not alone with this experience of anxiety and seizure. So I guess that means I'm having partial complex seizures. Now I even have a name for the seizure, YAY! Thanks guys.

Gabrielle

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Hi,

I was having what I thought to be panic attacks for about 4 years, went through various anti deppressants, at one point a doctor put me on 4 different ones at a time, and still having attacks!  The funny thing to me was they typically came at the same time each day as well as other times but mainly the same time.  They would come after I put my son down for a nap or when the 3 kids were either sleeping or not home, the most relaxing times of the day for me!  (the kids are 4, 5 & 6-so stress is usually a common thing around here!)  It never seemed right that I was always told they were panic/anxiety attacks but foolishly accepted the various doctor's diagnosis and agreed to try the different meds.  I had 1 TC in my early 20's while competing in Trampoline, I was about 20 feet up in the air-doing a trick I had done without fail since 14 and the from what I remember I blacked out in the air and woke up a few minutes later on the ground with 7 people holding me down, they all said I was shaking and trying to get up, followed be excrutiaing migraine (from the fall, and extremee tiredness).  After going to the hospital and having a CT the doctor's thought it was just a typical trampoline accident and repeatedly told me it was the most dangerous sport to ever come along-which I could not disagree more with!  But that explanation never sat well with me-I had never had anything like that in the 10 years (at that point-a total of competing for 16 years) and had never had one since, but it still did not make sense to me!   Then a few months ago I had another TC in a restaurant on Valentine's Day!  (put on Keppra immediately-with horrifying side effects of SEVERE ANGER not too mention still having cp's-finally after 4 crying, desperate phone calls to my doctor I was switched to lamotrigine (generic Lamictal) with no side effects and total control of cp's!)   I then went to an Epilesy doctor at the Cleveland Clinic , described my panic/anxiety attacks and how they would wake me up and I would sleep for hours and wake up feeling crappy and she tol me they were CP's and was diagnoed with non-focal epilepsy with cps.  

Needless to say I was actuall happy to get a diagnosis of epilepsy!  After reading about the different types of seizures there are many
things in my life even since a child that all seem to make sense now,
things I had always thought were just quirks and told were nothing but
typical childhood behaviors.  I feel like everything truly does make sense now  and things are finally going great!

I hope this helps even if just a little!  Best wishes!

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Really relieved to have found everyone on here. I had a panic seizure two weeks ago that has me alone and home bound right now. ive been on lamictal for two years becaus i used to have episodes where my blood pressure used to drop, i would get really hot and then i would be down for the count. I had been symptom free from those although i have to admit i was hiding from everyone how bad my panic has gotten over the last year. My husband didnt even know that i constantly felt like i had someone standing on my chest and that i was constantly looking for exits in buildings. Even i didnt know why. But its gotten worse and i didnt want anyone to know. i thought i could handle it. Two weeks ago while i was driving for the first time i felt a sheer sence of terror and panic and i knew i was gonna have a seizure. i felt another presence and went in and out of consciousness and terror. i deficated and urinated on myself and i frantically tried to get my husband on the phone. i didnt know where i was was.He found me at a gas station barely conscious and on our way to the hospital i shook uncontrollably and vomited everywhere. Im terrified of having another one and havent been myself since.i cant remember things very well, i still feel like i have someone constantly standing on my chest, even right now. Im an avid runner, career women, with three daughters. Im 35 and im scared.I dont know why this is happening. I did face alot of trauma in my early twenties, and have overcome a lot in my life. I consider myself spiritually fit and absolutly resent that iv e been given ativan .i see the neurologist today for the eeg.the whole thing makes me really sad.

Anybody?

Jen

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I was feeling the same way not too long ago. Having to deal with the horrible anxiety/panic attacks and the doctors and try's. it's just all so overwhelming. I am still coping with my diagnosis, but learning how it doesn't bedding me every day. I'm sorry your going through this. Into was driving when I had my second grand mal. It was terrifying and I pulled over, called my boyfriend, and tried to tell him where I was but it was too late: I couldn't read the street sign and was really confused by then and dropped the phone. There goes another 6 months of driving. It's hard to be isolated and have to rely on someone to take you everywhere!

I am a nurse and it's been hard for me to be on the patient side of things. I'm always scared that I may have another one, but as time goes on I think of it less and less. After I was diagnosed, I felt with a significant amount of depression. I have delt with anxiety and panic my whole life so that just got twice as bad. I felt like I had my life taken away: I can't practice as an RN in the ER or ICU like I've always wanted to because they are high stress areas and I can't physically handle that without having a seizure right now. My epilepsy is fully under control with meds now but it's still the chronic illness I have to deal with each day. I have a significant amount of memory loss. It has come back slowly (some of it) and I hope yours has too. I can't think as quick as a could before either.

I've struggled a lot in my life as well with depression and anxiety/panic and now epilepsy. We all have to just stick together though this. It's hard, but it gets earlier once they get your meds done and figured out. You will feel so much better :)

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I was feeling the same way not too long ago. Having to deal with the horrible anxiety/panic attacks and the doctors and try's. it's just all so overwhelming. I am still coping with my diagnosis, but learning how it doesn't bedding me every day. I'm sorry your going through this. Into was driving when I had my second grand mal. It was terrifying and I pulled over, called my boyfriend, and tried to tell him where I was but it was too late: I couldn't read the street sign and was really confused by then and dropped the phone. There goes another 6 months of driving. It's hard to be isolated and have to rely on someone to take you everywhere!

I am a nurse and it's been hard for me to be on the patient side of things. I'm always scared that I may have another one, but as time goes on I think of it less and less. After I was diagnosed, I felt with a significant amount of depression. I have daelt with anxiety and panic my whole life so that just got twice as bad. I felt like I had my life taken away: I can't practice as an RN in the ER or ICU like I've always wanted to because they are high stress areas and I can't physically handle that without having a seizure right now. My epilepsy is fully under control with meds now but it's still the chronic illness I have to deal with each day. I have a significant amount of memory loss. It has come back slowly (some of it) and I hope yours has too. I can't think as quick as a could before either.

I've struggled a lot in my life as well with depression and anxiety/panic and now epilepsy. We all have to just stick together though this. It's hard, but it gets earlier once they get your meds done and figured out. You will feel so much better :)

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

A very interesting topic. I had to fight a judge to qualify for disability benefits and distiguish the difference between just a panick attack and a seizure. There is a huge difference. A panick attack, if you're trained, can be subsidded and calmed down. You can't stop a seizure! However, I do seem to get jumbled panicked thoughts right before seizures. Almost as if all my stressors got thrown at me all at once with no order what-so-ever and my brain can't sort it out. My brain starts thinking about negative stressors rapidly and randomly before I can even process them for about 30 seconds before I have a seizure. It sucks. It helps having my seizure alert/response dog around because I wasn't even aware of it until he started alerting me and I had to lie down for 10 minutes before it would come waiting it out until I had a seizure. I would notice I would get panicked for no reason and he would have to literally lie over me to keep me calm until the whole spell was over and I was okay to get up. I wish there was more awareness on this topic because I thought I was alone with this and felt sort of embarrassed. I appreciate being able to read this thread. :)

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

I was so happy to find this post.

It was only last year that got diagnosed with a seizure disorder/epilepsy. I initially went to my psychiatrist discussing my panic attack symptoms and was prescribed xanax which only seemed to make things worse. In fact whenever, I'd read the generic name on the Rx bottle, it would almost trigger one of these events.

I've suffered with mental health issues since I was a teenager. I grew up in an abusive environment. My step-mother used to point out my gayness by calling me the F word repeatedly for about 8 years, among other things. I was hospitalized for suicide attempts/major depression twice but still but back into the same home. Anyway, I'd told my family about certain odd things I'd experienced, some things I didn't talk about for fear of being labeled crazy.

I recall several times as a young teen or around that age, lying on my right side watching tv with my head proped up on my arm. Suddenly, I would get the oddest sensation of all the blood from the left side of my body draining into the right side closest to the floor. I'd get pins and needles, my vision would go, and i'd have to lie on my back to recover as I lost strength. I even went to see a doc about this and it was dismissed as nothing real. Once I stayed up to read a book that was due the following day. I only got so far and then I woke up in the morning, but my eyes were already open, and I was still in the same position. Weird. Another time, I remember falling asleep in the living room with my two step brothers, but I was still somehow conscious of everything that was going on, what they were saying, etc...Weird. Another time, I had a picture of Jesus that fell off the wall, but it looked as if it had thrown off the wall a couple of feet before falling rather than just falling. Another time, during a lightning storm while I was in the house, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up and I fell to the bed as I could have sworn that lightning came into my room and just narrowly missed me. When I was even younger in elementary school, I used to get this weird smell sometimes out of the blue that smelled like a musty old carpet or something. It burned my nose, it was so odd. then it would be gone. Again while I was a teen, I had a seizure sitting at the dining room table while my step-mother was screaming at me during dinner. That was her favorite time to really let me have it. I remember starting to shake, my arms and my head and neck and my dad grabbed me and brought me to the floor asking if I was alright. Another time when I was sick with a touch of pleurisy, I had a dream that someone had hidden my asthma inhaler and I started to panic and woke up. I went to look for it upstairs (my bedroom had been moved into the basement) but couldn't find it. I grew increasingly more panicked and remember calling up to my Dad and stepmonster to call the ambulance. I was walking in the kitchen and all I can remember is my legs giving out on me and I fell face first onto the floor. When I was a little kid, the door of my sister's bf opened up as we drove away from a party and I fell out of the car onto the road again face first. Another time in elementary school, I went to kick the kick ball during recess and managed to roll my entire weight onto the ball with my foot which cause me to fall backwards onto the cement and hit my head and black out for a minute. They kept me awake to make sure i didn't slip into a coma. I was always getting into trouble for turning on the tv during my sleep. I had a series of dreams that were so disturbing to me that I would wake myself up screaming with my hands on my face shaking my face telling myself to Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! As a boy I also remember going to bed one night, I turned off the lights and hopped into the bed next to my older brother who was snoring beside me. I suddenly heard my name being called repeatedly from the opposite side of the room which caused me to freeze in terror for a minute or so. When I was able to move, I jumped up and turned on the light, but no one was there and my bro was still asleep. I used to get very faint and pass out sometimes. I remember my eyes rolling up in my head and the teacher grabbing me from falling to the floor.
When I was teen, my migraines started, I would get violently ill, vomiting, floaters in my eyes, couldn't stand light or noise, couldn't get off the floor basically writhing in pain with the most intense throbbing pain in my head like someone was taking a knife pick to it with each and every heart beat. They would completely exhaust me, but after I'd vomited and rested a bit, I felt renewed and thankful that my prayers for death had not been answered. The imitrex injection I tried once only made it that much worse...I felt like I was being scalped.
I learned to control the migraines mostly with stress management, massage, essential oils, and lots and lots of advil at the start of one because the migrapap and fiornal were just too much fun. I've had many REM behavior disorder acting out events in my sleep where I've injured myself, or my partner, or just found myself completely panicked and unable to utter a word...only waking myself up by finally being able to scream in the real world.
About two years ago, I started taking anti-hiv drugs which made everything worse. I had to switch meds to Truvada and Issentress because Atripla was just too disgusting to deal with all the side effects. Unfortunately, while the side-effects seemed to subside with the med change up, the 'episodes' seemed to become more frequent and more intense. Until, I had 12 of them in 4 days. I woke up around 9 pm and was unable to figure out why it was so dark outside. I'd slept through the entire day. My back was sore and my calves were very sore. I'd bitten my tongue on both sides. I knocked on my neighbors door who is a doc and asked him what he thought about it and he said they sounded like seizures. I finally got my pcp to refer me to a neurologist after a couple of visits. The EEG showed normal, the MRI showed I'd had a chronic lacunar infarction in the right hemisphere of my thalamus deep in my brain. She prescribed me Keppra at 1000mg 2x a day. Almost immediately my symptoms of deja vu, jamais vu, vertigo, nausea, light headedness, intense fear, feeling that an evil presence was in the room with me (I actually saw it once), and the need to lie down on my bed in the fetal position til it departed often crying a bit out of utter hopelessness and needing to take 4 hour long naps, well those symptoms got about 80 per cent better right away. My memory is not what it used to be. I can remember faces of people I see all the time, but sometimes I have to search and search and occassionally will have to ask them what their name is again. Kind of embarrassing. I still have twitches from time to time. they seem to be deep muscular ones or my left index finger will twitch uncontrollably for a time, but that overwhelming sense of fear has mostly gone. And I never want to experience it again! I still sometimes feel like I'm going into one of the seizures, but its as if they just skim the surface rather than sinking into the abyss of epilepsy.
I forgot to add that there have been at least four times where I was high on pot during my twenties and would start to feel a bit 'off', have a panicky feeling. My eyesight would go black like seeing through a tunnel, my heart it seems would slow and my blood pressure would fall. I've gotten up to get out of the house before and couldn't figure out how to open a door at the top of the stairs and fallen face first down the stairs...People there have had to pick me up and carry me somewhere to recover, my heart would be pounding. Or I'd just collapse on the street while walking with friends. Its pretty embarrassing/humiliating because nobody knows what's going on and I can only wonder if I'm going to die from one of these attacks.
Upon looking into my family medical history, I find it riddled with epilepsy on my Mom's side. They side I was mostly kept from growing up. Three of my sister's 4 kids had some form of epilepsy, a brother of mine is hyperreligous, and has aggressiveness and anger issues. Another brother seems to blank out and stare a lot. I find it do that too, but its the least of my concerns. My Grandmother had tonic clonic seizures and I've been told sometimes that she'd see fires burning in the fields when there weren't any. Some aunts and uncles have similar issues, or there is schizophrenia. Its all very confusing, but the more I delve into it, I'm thankful that I pursued this line of investigation because you can only take so much of being labeled crazy, feeling like a pariah, or having doctors misdiagnose or dismiss your complaints.

Re: Panic attack versus seizure

Thank you for replying! I also was heavily abused as a kid by my father, not for the same reasons, but because he was simply mentally ill. For example, he chased me and my brothers out of the house with a shot gun and once I had to step in the way of my father holding a loaded pistol to my Mom (bless her soul!). Those were only a few examples of how mean-spirited and downright evil he was. I am so sorry to hear about your experience, for being gay and lesbian has been an enormous problem and continues to be one (i.e. Sarah Palin, for example).

The doctors have diagnosed that there was no particular reason for my condition, I was born with a problem in the left side of my brain and it doesn't get enough blood. 

However, in scarier situations, I have atonic seizures (blackouts) and secondary generalized seizures as well. I am wondering if all of that has contributed to my current mess.

Good luck and hang in there! I am fully supportive of you and want to hear more.