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Simple Partial Seizures v. BiPolar Disorder

This may sound strange, but I really need the input. My Nephew was recently diagnosed with BiPolar Disorder. The "Diagnosis" from what I understand was made simply from descriptions of his behavior. No types of tests. I'm concerned since there is a family history of Epilepsy and since his behavior could also be fit into the classification of Simple Partial Seizures -"Psychic seizures". Has anyone heard of or experienced one of these conditions being mis-diagnosed as the other? My sister will only investigate the possibility if I can show her that it has happened to someone else. I don't want to see my nephew suffer for hi mother's stubbornness. Or, am I totally off base? If I'm wrong I'll be glad to know that too.


was diagnosed 25+ years ago to have a problem in the temporal lobe and have at least two types of seizures. The diagnosis came after several...I still call them grand mal seizures, MRIs, cat scans, and EEGs.It is critically important your nephew sees a neurologist, have the necessary tests and gets the proper diagnosis. I do not know his age but he must be young and still living at home or you would not be concerned about his mother's stubbornness. My parents tried to hide from me and the world the fact I have epilepsy and I did not learn they were even aware of it until approx. 15 years ago when my wife and I were visiting my aunt and I had a grand seizure. She, my aunt, commented to my mother, in front of my wife, "You mean he is still having that problem". I am trying to say that a diagnosis is important, an opinion based on descriptions of his behavior could be forever detrimental to him. I was approx. 35 years old before being diagnosedÂ…. Do not let your nephew grow up to learn his mother has been hiding a physical problem. His life can be different with proper diagnosis and treatmentÂ…I wish mine had been earlier; and wish that proper diagnosis would reveal your nephew is not epileptic.

ajjech,First, thanks for responding believe me, I know where you're coming from. Second, I wrote my post in such a hurry, I left out the fact that I too was a "victim" of mis-diagnosis. A couple of them in fact. First, there was a bedwetting problem. According to the Doctors, this was due to nothing more than laziness. Then came the urologist who wanted to operate. I thank God that I "chickened out" in the hospital. He was wrong too. Then came the alleged "Behavior Problems" (this is where I see a parallel) and the tranquilizers at the ripe old age of 14. My first Grand Mal soon followed. It took that incident to get my parents to look deeper and get me to a neurologist not that there was much of a choice, he was on call in the ER that day. He connected the dots, so to speak, and let them know that I wasn't lazy, I wasn't a trouble maker with a behavior problem and the tranqs. were definately OUT. To my knowledge, my nephew has not had any problem with bedwetting. However, if he has or had, my sister wouldn't have shared that info. She wouldn't want to "embarass" him. It's interesting to note though that her other son is being treated for ADHD. But, his behavior is right along the same lines. He too reminds me of myself when I was younger. Why my family can't see the similarities is beyond me, even after I have pointed them out. If I were the only one in the family with epilepsy, I would probably not let it bug me so much, BUT, I know of 5 other family members (4 in my own generation 1 aunt and 1 nephew. I, unfortunately have no children.) There may even have been others farther back up the line. I'm still trying to find out. I just don't want to see this young man suffer because, like my parents did, his mother trusts a doctor who is more interested in treating a symptom than he is the cause.

I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and even once schizophrenia.  I have never felt comfortably with these labels, as their descriptions do not fit my case perfectly and leave a lot of unanswered questions.I first experienced affective symptoms immediately after a head injury in kung fu.  I had horrible comprehension of language, felt confused and depressed for months.  A few months later was a great improvement to the point of hypomania along with vivid, cartoon like hallucinations when I 'spaced out' for a few seconds.  I would see lights and hear a loud POP.  However, all of my visions and delusions came in the form of 'memories', 'insights' and 'deja vu' feelings that were very intense and took me out of my brain for maybe 10 second intervals.  Then when I was back in my head again, I would think "what is wrong with me?  Why am I thinking such bizarre stories?"I's been 5 years since I've been diagnosed as bipolar.  I'm on an antidepressent and take an antipsychotic only when these "wierd spells" happen.  They happen regularly, perhaps a few times a month. Other than that, I have a fairly successful career, good social life, and completing a graduate degree.  And I am in shock that temporal lobe seizures sound incredibly similar to what I experience and no psychiatrist, in my five years in the mental health system, has ever suggested an MRI or EEG.  I've just made an appointment with a neurologist (2  months away).  Putting all the pieces together on my own is difficult, and once a person is diagnosed as 'psychotic', no doctor really believes what you say anyways.  

My significant other has been diagnosed and treated for Bipolar, Schizophrenia, and a host of other psychological problems for years.  On 27 Oct 04 he had two grand-mal seizures within just under an hour.  He spent most of the morning seizing before anyone knew what was going on.  The doc says he has Epilepsy.  He starts off with simple partials - these are anything from "precognitive" or "telepathic" type feelings, hallucinations - visual, sounds and/or smells, massive mood swings - from "psychotic happiness" to absolute suicidal with lots of incidents of homicidal behavior.  He never accepted the diagnoses of the mental problems, he said they never "fit".  I thought it was just because everyone is different and no explanation can "fit" perfectly.  But, now that we've been told epilepsy, he accepts the diagnosis more readily (HATES the fact, but accepts the possibility).  He's an extremely logical person and he says this "makes sense". 

Hi,My boyfriend has epile^psy i am not sure what kind but he has then 2-3 per month and within the last year he goes through a period when he looks spaced talks crazy and is super happy and does not listen to me like in a little happy land or total opposite and very mean and violente i have to sit in font of door so he does not get out or get out myself.   Could this be a seizure without shaking just mental does that even exsist. or is it schyzophrenia...what do you think..

Hi boddhisattva? Have you had eegs done to rule out the possiblity of epilepsy? I was grossly misdiagnosed with psychological problems instead of epilesy. I have temporal lobe epilepsy. But for seven years I was told that I had psychological problems, given several psychiatric diagnoses, and treated with psych drugs. The psych drugs induced me to psychosis. The drugs also induced me to seizure to the point of near death. In March of 2003 I underwent emergency surgery and received the vns. It has been 25 months since I stopped taking the psych drugs. I know what you mean about the "lables" that you aquire with a psychiatric diagnoses. It is horrible. You never loose them. I believe the psychiatrists receive better fiancial kickbacks from the pharmacutical companies than the neurologists. A prescription of Seroquel is more expensive than a script for dilantin. Seroquel costs more to make? It is a vicious cycle. If you can make a person drug dependant for life then you have a secure investment! If the person is a psychiatric patient the profits are gained through many different sources. The list of those who profit from one patient are as follows; the insurance companies, primary care and MD. physicians, attending psychiatrist, social worker or counselor, the pharmacutical companies, hospitals or clinics, (including inpatient and outpatient treatment centers,) and add a neurologist to the list. Since most of the drugs prescribed by psychiatrists lower the threshold for seizure many pateints who have never had need to see a neurologist will need one. I have to question the motive behind what moves the medical community, (and now a possible nation wide legislative act,) to psychologically test and medicate the masses. It couldn't be for financial profit could it? Maybe it is for control? I am 44. The misdiagnoses that I lived through happened after my brain was fully developed. If you feed a five year old mood stabalizers for seven years, what will happen to the child's brain when as a teenager the mood stabalizers are discontinued? The neurons inside of the kid's brain will start to fire at unrecognizable patterns. Poor kid. As his brain was cognitively developing the neurons learned to fire off under the instruction of the mood stabalizer. I almost lost my life (and did loose my mind,) from a psychiatric misdiagnosis. It is appauling that this issue is just gaining the exposure it derserves. It is a bad situation. I hope we don't ever live to see the day when manditory psychological testing is implimented. People make mistakes. It happened to me!!! I hope this has been helpful. Yakota.

I finally had an MRI & EEG to rule out neurological cause for my mood/psychosis episodes.  The MRI was normal however the EEG was Abnormal.  The hieghtened beta waves are in all probability due to antidepressants, yet I also had rythmic cycling of Theta and Alpha waves throughout the duration of the test.  There were 'highly contoured peaks' suggesting a seizure disorder, yet not definately.  The neurologist is requesting another EEG to be certain.Perhaps I am looking for another 'excuse' for my mental health issues.  But isn't the overlap between these supposed mutually exclusive categories of "Neurology", "Psychiatry" and "Psychology" more than coincidental?  If so, then why has the medical institution superimposed these distinct and seperate categories and overlayed them on top of our dynamic brain?  Could it be that mental health and irregular egg results be somehow linked?  And how?  And why?  

Go to and take the brain tour.  They have illustrations of all kinds of brain tests with explanations.  They illustrate and explain the effects of anti-depressants, epilepsy, mood disorders, etc.  Very good stuff.  Helps to understand exactly what is going on.

Hi Linda here. Thanks for the link. I am going to research it today. Maybe I will come across helpful information that will shine some light on how the bulk of the medical community grossly misdiagnosed me so long with psychological disorders instead of epilepsy. I know there are simularities between symptoms of partial seizure and withdrawl syndrome. Physical symptoms of epilepsy are often mistaken for psychological disturbances. I will share any added insight once I research the site. Thanks. Linda

Yakota,I am anxious to see what you thought about this site!  Shelly

Hi Shelly. I went to but was unable to access the brain tour. I will try again today to see the info. Anyway. I hope everyone out there is having a good day. I know of one particular psychiatric diagnosis that has symptoms very simular to those of partial complex seizure and that is "Withdral Syndrome." The manufactures of the drug Gabitrial strongly caution physicians to be certain when making a psychiatric diagnosis of "Withdrwal Syndrome," that what they are actually seeing is not partial complex siezure. This Warning statement is found on each enclosed Staff Sheet which accompanies every box of the drug that the pharmacy receieves. Unless one knows about the "staff sheets," they would be ignorant of this fact. The consumer only recieves the information printed on the unvelope in which the drug is given to them. Unless you have acceess to a PDR or one of the mnufactures "staff sheets," then you only get the surface information about the drug. I am not trained in the field of psychiatry but am a certified medical assistant. There must be many other symptoms of epilepsy that to the human eye might first be diagnosed as a psychiatric symptom. If I were in a position to do so I would undertake and research the subject. It seems that a lot of mistakes, "misdiagnoses," are being made all too frequent, mistaking a pysical problem (epilepsy,) for a mental problem (psychiatric diagnosis.) I wish everyone the best in getting to the root of their problems. No matter what always back up a medical diagnosis of significant importance with a second oppinion. It has been my experience that when first pursiung a medical issue physicians appeare more that willing to give you their honest oppinion. It is only after you have been diagnosed and treated for something that physicians all of a sudden endorse each others oppinions no longer taking a stand behind their on oppinion. This has something to do with the hipocratic oath that they take. It is a rare thing to find a physician testify against another physician. I hope this has been helpfu. Have a good day to all. Linda.

My son has bipolar disorder, and my brother has epilepsy as well as other mental health issues, not all of which I am aware. My mother has had a few seizures, has always seemed to suffer from depression. Now my youngest daughter, who I've been thinking is becoming bipolar like her brother, has now started having what I think are seizures.I have always wanted to know how they are related. My mother blamed me and my husband for our son having so many problems; yet she herself is mentally ill, has had seizures, and had a mentally ill father and aunt (his sister). My brother was literally institutionalized at the age of 10 for bizarre, out of control behavior that began once his epiliepsy developed. My son became manic and depressed when he was 10. Hmmmm.Know of anyone who can help me understand this?

i was just recently dx w/ temporal lobe epilepsy but have a long history of seizures. I have dealt with depression for the last several years. I also would have terrible very sudden mood swings that my Neurologist thinks were actually seizures. It was something that was so unusual for me and out of character. They would pass just as quickly as they came on. It might last for awhile or only a few minutes. I also had the phantom smells and sounds. There were times that I thought that I must be having some serious mental issues but would never have told anyone b/c I was too afraid! WHen I fianlly did come clean with my new Neurologist, she was very glad that I did b/c she said that this was something that needed to be addressed and of course not just ignored and that i was not crazy!! I can see how though these symptoms could be mistaken for mental disorders.I hope that your sister does take this serious and take your nephew to get an eval soon!!

For what this is worth, my 18 year old daughter had developmental delays due to a chromosome abnormality.  She was diagnosed with Intermittent Explosive Disorder at age 12, and at age 17 she was also diagnosed with Complex Partial Epilepsy, which originate at the Frontal Lobe.Since the frontal lobe is responsible for impulse control and inhibitions, all this is related. But what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Was she really having seizures (undetected) since age 12 which were causing the aggressive behavior? Or, does she truly have two diagnosis that are related and wreak havoc on each other?  If she does have 2 diagnoses, then are the frontal lobe seizures causing more damage to an already abnormal part of the brain?She's on 7 meds - 2 for seizures and 4 for mood, behavior and anxiety and 1 for thyroid. She is stable, and for that I'm thankful.So, for those out there asking about bi-polar and other mental illness diagnosis, perhaps an EEG would uncover some abnormal brain waves.  This showed up on my daughter, and she did not have a seizure while undergoing this particular EEG. An MRI may also be helpful.

Check out!  Take the Brain Tour! I am very impressed!  They have made a direct association with Bi Polar and epilepsy.  I believe Temporal Lobe Epilepsy and Bi Polar both originate in the same portion of the brain.  I will have to keep studying, but that is what I understand thus far.  It is the most informative site on brain fuction I have found thus far.  Also, estrogen has a dramatic impact on the hippocampus (hippocampus has receptors connected directly to the frontal lobes).  They are currently researching estrogen's connection to Bi Polar and Epilepsy!Read this stuff and help me understand.  My daughter is having very similar problems.  So far the only diagnosis is TLE. This Brain tour has a lot of stuff about Epilepsy and its origination in different areas of the brain.Interesting!!!Mishelle

Hi Valdrum. It is very common for the symptoms of epilepsy to be misdiagnosed for some type of psychological disorder. It seems that many physicians are too quick to slam dunk a psychiatric diagnoses on symptoms associated with seizure. It is a sad thing to aquire such psychiatric lables under false pretenses. They are hard to loose. Unfortunayely this is what happened to me. For seven years I was treated with psychiatric and anti-depressant drugs which induced psychosis in me. The neurologist I went to said that it was not seizure that I was having and sent me to a psychiatist. The neurologist refused to run an eeg; had he done so he would have found the problem to be medical and not psychological. I strongly suggest an eeg to rule out the possibility of epilepsy on any human before a psychiatric diagnoses is given Seizure does cause bizzare behavior. But the anti-depressant and psychiatric drugs that I took caused far more bizzare behavior that any seizure that I have experienced. Back in Febuary of 2003 I saw a new psychiatrist. I owe her big time!!! She said that I needed to stay away from SSRI's (anti-psychotics,) and TRICYCLINES(anti-depressants,) because I was a seizure patient. These drugs lower the threshold for seizure. When you give them to a seizure patient they will have more seizure. After seven years of taking SSRIs and TRICYCLINES I was having lots of grandmal seizure. At the beginning of the sixth year of tratment I was on poly-therapy trying different combinations of three AEDs at a time. Nothing would stop the ever increasing grandmal seizure. In March of 2003 a month after I found out the SSRIs and TRICYCLINES were causing me to have grandmal seizure I received the vns. I tried this as a last resort to stop the seizure. By the end of March 2003 I was off all of SSRIs and TRICYLINES. Seizure stopped abruptly on April 02, 2003. Nine months ago I stopped taking AEDs. In October of 2004 the vns was turnd off. I still have abnormal eegs. It looks like status epilepticus on paper. But I don't have a physical convulsion. While all this is going on I experience blurred vision, a tingling sensation of the tongue, and a feeling like I am falling down. I take lots of "B" vitamins, amino acids, and suppliments. What happened to me totally interrupted my life. I am greatful to have come out of the ordeal with my mind intact. It is to soon to tell what the "status epilepticus" showing up on the eegs is caused from. It could be fromm taking all the high doses of SSRIs and TRICYCLINES. The drug manufactures don't test these drugs on people who don't have psychological problems. For everyday that I don't experence seizure I consider myself blessed. I hope you find this information useful. Yakota.

Hi usmale. Yes. I encourage you to seek several opinions before you treat your son for a bi-polar disorder diagnosis. People are misdiagnosed with psychological disorders all the time when in fact it is seizure. Even the pharmacutical manufactures stress this to physicians on the drug staff sheets to make sure that what physicians are diagnosing as withdrawal syndrome is not actually a small complex partial seizure. I was misdiagnosed back in 1996. At the time I was having spells, small complex partial seizure. I saw a neurologist who refused to run an egg and sent me to a psychiatrist. The neurologist said that it was a psychological problem, not a nuerological one. It was the the one time in my life that I should have sought a second oppion! To make the story short I was misdiagnosed with a psychological disorder when in fact it was complex partial seizure that I had. Over the next seven years my family and I went through a really bad time and that is putting nicely!!! The drugs they use to treat depression and psychological disturances lower the threshold for seizure meaning that if you give TRICYCLINES Anti-depressans and SSRIs Anti-psychotics to a seizure patient they will have more seizure. That is what happened to me. And since it was a neurological problem and not a psychological one the drugs that were prescribed me for depression and psychological disturbances actually induced me into a state of mental psychosis that lasted for seven years. Taking so many SSRIs and TRICYCLINES caused me to suffer much from seizure. In March of 2003 I received the vns for epilepsy. At the time I was on a combination of three different seizure drugs. But because my CNS (central nervous system) was loaded with SSRIs and TRICYCLINES the seizure drugs were not were not able to control seizure. I had the vns turned off in October of 2004. It has been over 2 years since I stopped taking the drugs that were prescribed me for a wrong psychological diagnosis. What happen turned my life upside down. I picked up some rather unhealthy lables during that seven year period. Please rule out all possibilities of seizure before you accept a psychological misdiagnosis. I hope this is helpful for you. Yakota.

Hi usmale, You did well to see the possible connection here. Our 15 year old son has been having a horrible past 12 weeks, first being diagnosed with severe, sudden onset, depression, and then, due to his reaction to the antidepressant, being considered possibly bipolar. He was put on Wellbutrin, which induced a manic episode, brought on major anxiety (in a kid who has always been incredibly laid back) and severe hallucinations and visual/perceptual distortions ( walls moving in and out). We have history of bipolar in my family (my brother), but my son's symptoms were worse in the context of depression, suicidal thoughts, and hallucinations, than my brother ever had. Also he was still taking care of himself, and he still wanted to see his friends, and do the things he liked, his lack of ability to concentrate was what was getting in the way. Through this ordeal, he was hospitalized twice and we just didn't feel that the psychiatrists we were working with were getting it right. This was a kid who was having a great year, had a great group of friends he saw regularly, was doing really well in school and liked his teachers, and participating in after school activities and sports. This change for him seemed to come out of the blue - but the more we thought about it, it seemed to follow up a period where he had been working out in two sports (swimming and running), getting less sleep (due to the sports and school work) and eating less (eating later so wasn't as hungry).

Also, after the depression started, whenever he did a little more intense of a workout (beyond walking), he would feel more out of it and more depressed (exercise usually helps depression!). Anyways, we kept on saying that he may have an element of bipolar, since it is in the family, but he only had 4 of the 15 markers that often suggested bipolar - so we thought there was something else going on. On top of that, he hadn't responded well to the prozac and wellbutrin, and wasn't responding as well to the lithium as they expected. In the meantime, this kid was going to therapy and trying everything they told him to make things better (he was making sure he got to bed at the same time, very careful to eat healthy meals, engage with us for a walk or to play a game, or get involved in an acitivity he could handle if he felt a slide coming on). He was dying to get back to his normal life. We were a far cry from that - he had been a kid who would read a book a weekend, was in honors classes, and now, couldn't even read a paragraph without the page moving or starting to feel depressed.

 We finally heard about this residential program that does well with med stabilization and we decided to try that since we felt that no one we had access to was listening or getting it. We were so lucky because the psychiatrist we got at this program is amazing. She listened to everything we said and asked amazing question. She was the one to mention that she thought he had a possible seizure disorder, and it started to make sense in so many ways. Wellbutrin can induce seizures, especially if some one is already having petimal seizures. Also it explained his saying, he would all of a sudden lose track of where he was, and what he was doing for a 20-30 seconds and come back and then know what was going on, and why intense exercise could make it worse. We have an MRI scheduled for tomorrow and an EEG for Friday, plus she is trying to get us in with a pediatric neurologist. We know that he may still have a bipolar component, but we have always felt it was only part of the picture, not the major picture. Encourage your sister to get a second opinion and to keep a journal. I kept a journal, only to stay sane, because you can feel like every day, all day is bad. With a journal, you start to see patterns and if you get a good psychiatrist, they can make sense of the patterns. It is hard to have our son away for these 3-4 weeks, but we are so glad to have someone who really listens and is helping us solve this puzzle. I feel for Yakota, it must have been such a long 7 years, and it's so frustrating when you don't feel like they listen. Thank God you are alive and can help other people not go through this nightmare. Best of luck usmale - you could be saving your nephew years of misery.

Am trying to find out how much are they linked. As my Mum is BiPolar and my son has epilepsy that has medincines that a depressed person would take (Epilim and Clonmazepam). The hospital couldn't find out the cause of his Epilepsy.....could this be the cause??



Depression is a commonplace event in modern times, taking on many different forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse, occurring in many different contexts.

TOM Dual Diagnosis Info: Dual Diagnosis


I hope you have found out what you need to know by now since it has been over five years since you first asked this question.  I figure I would responed because I use to have temporal lobe epilepsy and now have bipolar disorder.  Most doctors believe this but, some think I may have a type of partial seizure or epilepsy disorder now and not bipolar.  I have been on many different drugs over the years.  Tegretol was the first medicine that worked really well when I was a child.  I took it from about a 3-14 at which time the doctor I was seeing decided I didn't have seizures any more and we stoped my medicine.  I was fine for about 3 years then I had a really bad spell.  I went back to the same doctor and he couldn't find anything wrong but, suggested we see a psychiatrist unstead of a neurologist like him.  We did and he diagonsised me as being Bipolar.  I took depakote for a while with some sucess and am now on lamictal but, have tried may drugs like keppra (awaful drug for me), trileptal, and seroquel.  So far the only ones I have stuck with for some time have been tegretol, depakote, and lamictal. 

Back to your questions though.  I had an abnormal EEG when I was little but, had a EEG test for about 5 days done at the hospital in Jan. 2009.  The new EEG showed no sign of seizures according to the neurologist but, it did so some stress changes.  I have been told by my doctors that most or some partial seizure disorders do not show abnormal EEG.  My seizures at the age of 3 did but, now today I have a clean EEG but, still have some mental problems if I am not taking medicine for it.  Weather or not it is bipolar or some form of seizures I don't know and the doctors have said it doesn't matter what we call it has long as you get better.  That is the key getting better. 

Let me know if I can help with any other questions or if you want more information about something.

Anyone who says you can confidently arrive at a diagnosis for a mental condition for a teenager is wrong. The pediatric psychiatrist we worked with when my son was having problems made it very, very clear that diagnoses are not made for that age group. You can treat and run tests according to symptoms but it is inaccurate to stick a label on a kid of that age group.

I know this is an old thread, but perhaps there is someone else out there that is still reading it.

I have bipolar type 1 disorder and Simple Partial Seizures.  My bipolar disorder seems to have started when I was 15, but wasn't formally diagnosed until I was 32.  At 33 the bipolar disorder became so bad that I was hospitalized.  Altogether I was hospitalized 10 times during a 4.5 year period mostly for mixed manic episodes, the rest for a manic and depressive episode leading to a suicide attempt.  Somewhere between my earliest hospitalizations I seemed to have these "abnormal" symptoms that were either hard for the psychiatrist to explain or interpreted as being psychosis, which I did have with bipolar disorder.  The thing is that some of these weird symptoms are rare ones for bipolar disorder as well.

When I was hospitalized the 4th or 5th (or 6th????) time a psychiatrist actually suspected I had some seizure activity involved.  He ordered a CT scan and an EEG.  The results were normal so they ruled it out.  Later more and more odd symptoms occurred so my home psychiatrist ordered a PET scan (I had also had MRIs done).  All turned out fine so as a last effort to explore it I was sent to a neurologist.  I described what was "not typical" bipolar and she said it sounded like I had Simple Partial Seizures.  A 48 hour EEG came back fine, but a sleep deprivation EEG showed seizure activity.  That was interesting since sleep deprivation also affects bipolar disorder.  I had my dual diagnoses.

I take Tegretol (an anticonvulsant moodstabilizer) as well as some Lamictal (ditto) and Klonopin (which helps anxiety and seizures).  My "seizures" still show themselves but ONLY when I'm in a mixed manic or hypo/manic episode and mostly mild.  Almost never when I'm just depressed.  I used to get mild seizure activity when stable in the form of musical hallucinations, but a large dose of Tegretol has seemingly wiped them out.  The Neurologist thought they were psychiatric-based, my psychiatrist thought they were seizure-based.  I believe my psychiatrist.  I'm getting to have a good sense for what causes what.

My course of bipolar disorder has been very bad.  I've been home on disability for most of 7 years.  My bipolar episodes have lasted months and months or as little as a weeks or two.  I have seen stability during this period but for only a couple of months at a time max.  I'm on a very extensive list of medications including moodstabilizers (some anticonvulsants) and antipsychotics.  I have told my psychiatrist that I think I have a very special (not in a good way) type of bipolar disorder.  Probably one that needs its own name.  He sort of agrees with me.  Not sure if the "Simple Partial Seizure" disorder is part of that, or seperate.

I know that people with Simple Partial Seizures have different symptoms from each other, but some of mine (that I identify as the seizure activity) are as follows:  repeating words, gibberish, deja vu, adrenaline rush, desire to run or become violent with things, psychomotor agitation, staring into space (catatonic), falling (in worst cases), smelling smoke, musical hallucinations (mostly original music).

Hello all. My older brother has bipolar manic depression. He started to get sick after he graduated from high school and was working for a stereo company. He would go days and days with little sleep, hardly eat or not eat right. He came to my dad's work one day, talking fast, agitated, and my dad knew something was wrong with him. He went to the hospital and they diagnosed him with bipolar. He takes meds like lithium and mood stabilizers too. He has been in and out of hospitals most of his life. He likes getting manic he told me once. When he is manic, he talks about religious things and a couple of times he thought he had powers like filling up someones glass with liquid with his finger when it was empty. He also has hallucinations too when he is manic. Like once he thought it was raining out and it wasn't. 

My older sister claims she has narcolepsy, a sleeping disorder where a person is asleep doing things like making a sandwich and they don't remember doing the activity when they wake up. I don't remember her being like that during my growing up years. All I remember about her is it was hard to wake her up sometimes when she would take a nap.

The brother who has bipolar also has sleep apnea and has to wear a mask when he sleeps. My older sister also has sleep apnea, and depression as well.

I have a seizure disorder. I have grand mal seizures only in my sleep. There is no epilepsy or seizure disorder in my family but mental illness is in my family. The brother who has bipolar, my dad's mother had something wrong with her but it was never diagnosed. This is how my dad would describe her and how she would act. When neighbors would come and  visit, his mother would start to giggle like a little kid and start talking gibberish. It really bothered my dad's dad when she would get like that. They don't know what was wrong with her. My mom's dad had Alzheimer's and my mom suffered from depression. I have a few siblings who have depression and I have depression as well. My dad had panic attacks and I have anxiety too.  But I am the only one in my family that I know of who has seizures only in my sleep.

I also suffer from auras. I have the icky feeling aura where an icky hot flash type feeling comes over me and travels from my head down my body to my feet. My vision goes tunnel vision and dim and my hearing goes dim as well. I look at my hands and they do not seem to be a part of me. I also have the thought aura. Where the thought, You're going to have a seizure tonight pops in my head and later that night I have a seizure. I also have the smell aura. I smell this smell of like sauce cooking. I think it is my mom's spaghetti sauce. The smell smells familiar but I can't place it. Weird. 

But bipolar and seizures are connected somehow. So is depression and seizures, and anxiety and seizures. When I used to take seizure meds, my dr. also gave me an anxiety pill.

More research has to be done on these disorders and how they all can be connected.

I liked reading everyone's post and all take care.


I think bipolar screening test will serve better in dignosis as it is based on human review.

I see that this post has been here for some time ut for an answer you will need a few tests and those are for the diagnosses. There are tests for both dosorders. I am not sure what tests is used for Bi Polar but I am sure of several tests used for epilepsy. You seem to think that simple pertial seizures are all the same. Believe me thay aren't jst as absence seizures are not the same in all people with eiplepsy. The dejaVu you reead about is different in all people some hear things others have a strange feeling others see lights and then there are colors. All are listed as DejaVu which is a seizure in itself. One of the main tests for epilepsy is the EEG and they check the electrical output in the brain. If it comes up normal it means that during that test everythng was normal. But I had about 15-20 EEGs that were all normal and I was tired and fell asleep i the last one and they found the abnormality (seizure activity). If they have an EEG done it should be at least a few hours if not 24 hrs. As for it being genetically passed from family member to family member very few people get epilepsy that way.

Hope this helps people that have questions

 I have simple partial and simple complex seizures. I am on medication which controls both. I have a friend whose son has been diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder. I went with him to a support meeting. Some had the disorder and some were there as support people. I listened to stories of what that was like. One person described it as a wave of ups and downs. The ups get out of a 'normal' range into more of a nervous type of 'keep this going' kind of thing. The down side is very down. One gal there looked so obviously sad. Another didn't talk. She has something so 'down' that she cries at about anything. She remains silent. One man said when he was down once he would put pins in his legs. Somehow that relieved the depression?

  My kind of seizures are just that they begin with a strange aura. It's a kind of 'I've been there before' feeling, which is a warning I'm going into a seizure. I have an instinct that I just let it go though, it will pass, uncomplicated. It doesn't last very long. It is strange. Then I let it go. I have been fortunate that they aren't too bad or last too long. My meds control them much of the time. For those with Bi-Polor it sounds very different. The younger people learn, like the older ones with experience, those meds are needed. Our brains have a disorder. I do hope for ways to make things better. I believe good nutrition is/will help. Good luck and nice for anyone to care for others in any way.


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