Community Forum

Can my grandmal seizures be caused by vasovagal syncope?

Since the age of 23, I have had what appear to, and diagnosed,  as having grandmal seizures. I have reached a point in my life where the fear of having a seizure is causing me so much fear that I won't even go to the doctor for routine treatment and blood work. Although I am medicated, I stop driving frequently anytime I feel the slightest anxiety. I can't even discuss my seizures out of fear it will cause one. It has gotten worse over time since I have had 2 seizures while medicated. I am now determined to find a way to deal with this but I am not getting much help from my neurologists.

Please help. I would greatly appreciate if any of you could provide some insight.  Does my vasovagal syncope cause a grandmal seizure or is it not really a seizure in the first place? I have seen two neurologists and they gave me two different answers.

Because I tend to ramble on I am going to list some facts about my seizures.


1) I become dizzy and pass out.  Continue to be unconscious throughout seizure. On two occassions I woke up at end of seizure and experienced a hellish state of confusion, random thoughts and fear that cannot be matched by any other experience. I scream for about 10 seconds until it fades away.

2) Convulsing.

3)  Loss of bladder control.

4)  Body temperature rises and I sweat so much that my shirt becomes soaked in a couple of minutes.

4)  After seizure I am completely incapacitated. I have shallow breathing and it takes all my energy just to talk. Even when I try it is very difficult to help EMT's move me onto stretcher. As soon as they sit me up, I begin violently vomiting for about 10 minutes straight. Extremely dizzy. It takes about 3-5 hours for me to stand and leave hospital. I then sleep all day.



My first major "seizure" occurred in my primary care physician's waiting room. He observed the seizure and reported that it lasted about 5 minutes with     convulsing and loss of bladder control. 

 Seven  out of the eight seizures were all brought about by anxiety directly related to some kind of medical situation;

  -   Once in Dr.'s office when I brought my wife in with severe kidney  pain. I started sympathy pain and then fainted.

  -   Two in same Dr.s' office having blood taken. Once from the nurse trying 8 times unsuccessfully trying to find a vein and another time while having blood taken and mentioning to the nurse that I had a seizure in the same exact room.

   -  One at my desk, at work, while reading about the side affects for the Prednisone I was taking.

   -  One at the Dentists office watching my wife being put under anesthesia.

   -  One in bed after I woke up with chest pain and was afraid I was having a heart attack ( I wasn't)

   -  Once I was sick and went out drinking with friends and then went to sleep at like 2 A.M. I started fearing a seizure and then fainted.

 I have passed out twice under similar stress without having and post-ictal affects.


It seems like my events start out as vasovagal syncope but my question is whether or not it's a real seizure. I am hesitant to undergo testing since having the seizure really sucks! I probably will have one before they attach the electrodes. 



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