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Is it even a seizure? Should I go to a doctor?

Hi! I am not sure what I have experienced. This happened three times this summer when I was waking up.

It felt like my brain got jammed in between awake and asleep state. It felt like I woke up and fell back asleep hundreds of times in a matter of a few seconds. Like I was quickly switched on/switched off. It even kinda hurt because it felt like my brain was working way too hard and way too fast and I was relieved when I finally snapped out of it and woke up. I also feel like my eyelids were flickering.

Was it a seizure? Should I go to a doctor? Or it was just a sleeping issue (I had a very stressful couple of months this summer)?

Never been diagnosed with any mental disorders but my mom has. Never had seizures before (my mom might). I do have a history of severe mood swings but in the past six months I have been relatively stable.

Please let me know what you think and if you have experienced something similar. Thanks!


We are not able to tell you

We are not able to tell you if what you are experiencing is a seizure or not, however some of what you have described is similar to what doctors have noted in my discharge summary during what is called a video EEG monitoring (rapid eye blinking) as part of my focal impaired awareness seizures that occurred during sleep. Someone from the Epilepsy Foundation may respond to you during the week, but what you are experiencing does sound concerning and if it is a seizure, you may be having them when you are unaware. When you go to the doctor, be careful about calling it a seizure though or even bringing up mental health issues because it can affect the way that you are treated. Just focus on the symptoms that you experienced, which you’ve done a good job of describing and let them ask the questions and run the tests. If they don’t suggest “seizure” or EEG then you should ask something about it because it’s clear that you have that as a concern. But, sleep affects people in all sorts of ways and seizures affect people differently too, so it can be hard to diagnose the conditions especially if anxiety or something else is in the mix.

Epilepsy is not a mental

Epilepsy is not a mental disorder!!! I know a lot of people who had seizure cuz of stress and tiredness. Wait and see if it happens again while you don’t have a stressful time. 

Hi Iya, Thanks so much for

Hi Iya, Thanks so much for posting. We cannot determine if these episodes you describe are seizures, or not. It's important that you’re following up with your healthcare provider to express your concerns and describe these episodes you’ve experienced, as well as, any changes in behaviors, symptoms and side effects. Seizures can take on many different forms and affect different people in different ways. Learn more about seizures,here: Practicing good sleep habits is important for both physical and mental health. Melina &Gianna mentioned, stress and not enough, or poor quality of sleep is a common trigger for some individuals living with epilepsy. If these episodes continue,or you’re having issues with your sleep it’s important that you also discuss this with your healthcare team. You may want to consider keeping a seizure diary. My Seizure Diary: a great tool for not only tracking seizures, but setting reminders, recording your medical history, moods,behaviors, triggers and other health events that may affect wellness, which can be shared with your healthcare team.Additionally, you may always contact our Epilepsy and Seizures 24/7 Helpline: 1-800-332-1000, where a trained information specialist can connect you to resources, provide referrals and additional   

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