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Seizure? Or Panic Attack?

Discussion in 'Anxiety & Panic Attacks' started by changed, Sep 5, 2010.

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  1. changed

    changed Member

    I was wondering if anyone has had seizure like panic attacks?

    I had 3 seizures this year, pretty bad ones. One resulted in me losing consiousness and an ambulance being called. I have had tests done and it is not epilepsy. As soon as I mentioned my PTSD it was automatically put down to a panic attack which at the time I was angry about but now I have had an EEG test I think they could be right. It worries me though because the times it has happened I have not been in a panic, worried or triggered.

    Has anyone else had this?

    Changed x
  2. kris

    kris Active Member

    Yes, I have had panic attacks that I thought were seizures. It doesn't seem like a normal attack my muscles twitch my head jerks around just like during a seizure.
  3. dharmaBum

    dharmaBum Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Try searching online for Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures and Hyperekplexia. I'm not a doctor and can't say what is happening to you, but perhaps exploring information about these types of seizures will help you formulate questions for you health care provider.

    A few months into experiencing the spectrum of severe PTSD symptoms last year I began having what felt like petite-mal or "absence" seizures of 15-30 seconds which were followed by hours of confusion, blurred vision, and extreme fatigue or instant sleep. Frequently they appeared to be triggered by the ringing of the telephone, but happened on several occasions while driving.

    My mental health counselor said they sounded like the exaggerated startle response, which he described as a flooding of brain chemicals that temporarily disrupts typical physiological and cognitive functioning. When the "seizures/events" happened I could actually feel a numbness spreading from the right to the left side of my forehead and lost the ability to think about what I was saying.

    My M.D. was not familiar with exaggerated startle response, but was able to refer me for diagnostics to rule out physical causes. MRI and EEC were clear. I talked to the neurologist about the exaggerated startle response, and he wasn't familiar with it, since it is was outside of the realm of causes he treated. As I described the experiences to him, he said that they still sounded like seizures, but without a known cause according to his training. He offered to give me a daily seizure-preventative medication, but I declined.

    I've found that in general when my stress and hyper-arousal are low that I have fewer of these reactions, but I still have them. Sometimes unexpectedly, sometimes when the phone rings. I did EMDR on the phone ringing reaction and it seemed to help. It has happened a few times while driving, and I once very briefly lost the experience of consciousness (which is why I persisted with the neurologist). Thank goodness I noticed and had the passenger drive so that the ensuing confusion and fatigue didn't endanger my driving.

    For me, this reaction is nothing like a panic attack at all.
    changed likes this.
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