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Old 08-28-2012, 12:40 AM
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Strange episodes, could they be seizures?

Hi everyone, I am a mid-20’s female, wondering what to think of recurring episodes of confusion and strange sensations. Here is what these episodes are like:

I always know when it’s starting to happen because I get a very distinct feeling of pressure or “buzzing” inside my head, just behind the forehead region.

Sometimes this feeling is accompanied by deja-vu.

Sometimes there is a low-pitched ringing in one ear.

Sometimes I see waves of purple and green colors sweeping over my eyes. It looks similar to seeing colors when you press on your eyelids.

I space-out and stare, as though my mind suddenly switched to a low-functioning mode.

Sometimes there’s extreme nausea for no apparent reason, accompanied often by chills. This was very distressing as a kid.

Sometimes there is a powerful yet unprovoked feeling of euphoria in my stomach, like the feeling you get when going down a huge rollercoaster drop, only more pleasant. Then I’ll sometimes get tingling sensations up and down my arms.

Sometimes there are very strange emotions that I can’t find words to describe, but they're strong enough to make me lose my train of thought mid-sentence and become lost in my mind. For some reason these feelings are often accompanied by vivid scenes or images in my head of specific childhood memories or dreams I had as a kid, down to every last detail. I lose myself in these feelings and sometimes even enjoy them.


Either the symptoms stated above linger for a bit and then go away, or they burst into a bizarre state of extreme confusion, in which thought-processes seem to jumble up (but don’t become absent). Little language is understood. For example, letters look like a bunch of foreign symbols.

Changes in visual perception. Everything becomes very abstract. For example, a chair is no longer a chair, but a bunch of different shapes put together.

Sometimes my vision flashes quickly, and the flashes are either red or white.

I feel paralyzed by terror and shut my eyes due to the fear of this strange new perception of my surroundings.

My mind struggles to make sense of the sensory input, and my thoughts become disarrayed and grotesquely frightening. Images in my head are painfully vivid, but make no sense at all, resembling abstract or surreal paintings flashing in rapid succession. Sometimes I’ll suddenly jump up and rush to a wall or door and have no idea why.

The full-blown symptoms of stage 2 only last for a minute or less, but the previous symptoms can last for a few minutes. Then I’ll “come back” and everything suddenly makes sense again, except a little lingering confusion and fear, hoping it doesn’t happen again, whatever the hell it was.

These episodes happened much more frequently while I was taking 300mg Wellbutrin daily. I know it lowers the seizure threshold. Now that I'm off Wellbutrin, they happen less frequently and with less intensity.

The full-blown ones would usually happen at night, right before I would fall asleep, or upon waking up abruptly. But sometimes they'd happen during the day. They come out of nowhere. I am never particularly anxious or depressed when they happen. I know what a panic attack feels like, and it’s a lot different.

I remember getting these sensations when I was little and sometimes liking the euphoric bodily sensations, but wondering why on earth it was happening. I would always tell people I felt “weird” but then be unable to explain why. No one would believe me about the physical symptoms, because the feelings would pass a few minutes later, and I’d have no way to explain that I really was feeling very sick and weird! People thought I was being overdramatic. But these were/are very real physical sensations, arising out of nowhere. I always think “Oh great here comes the weird/sick/happy feelings again”, and then wait them out, hoping they don’t evolve into the more extreme kinds. I’ve always kept quiet about it because no one seems to take me seriously or know what I’m talking about.

I’ve never had a clue what to call these episodes, so when people ask me what's wrong I say I "thought I was going to have a panic attack or something". But I knew it wasn't a panic attack.

Could they be simple partial seizures? I don’t know much about them but after reading for a bit, I see many similarities to my experiences, and I'm shocked by how similar the symptoms are to mine. Any second opinions? Should I mention these same symptoms to my doctor?
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Old 08-28-2012, 06:23 AM
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Hello Someone Else,

Warm welcome to CWE.

You should for sure mention all of the above to your doctor and ask for referral to neurologist or better yet, an epitologist and soon…to help to get these stopped before they progress further (you suffering enough) and having to explain you are having a panic attack when you know you are not seems well unfair to you.

So much of what you describe, euphoric feeling, stomach sensations, nausea, chills, deja-vu, sounds very like my Son's (he is 26) seizure's. All of the mentioned are now under much better control with medication and lifestyle changes, but still the odd break through T/C on waking up. He not on high med dosage considering size/blood levels and does not want med increase. We understand and support this choice so on top of med he uses diet/nutrition, supplements/ neurotherapy/bio feedback (brain training) and tries to keep lifestyle and sleep patterns in check, albeit not easy for a young person….

Heavy stuff Epilepsy medication, but it can be necessary to stop seizure's in their tracks and get them under control… keep notes in a dairy of every single odd sensation as it will help you when u see the docs

Suggest you reevaluate everything in your life to see if you can find triggers (a diary will help), no easy feat but ruling out the good, the bad, the ugly even (especially) in your diet may amaze you, something as simple as NO diet drinks due to aspartame (our rule is nothing with aspartame).

There is some extremely interesting reading here on CWE about the gut (stomach) vs. seizure link, many which we are applying and not an easy path either but one well, well worth exploring…well worth it

Be it a natural path or a medicine path, my advice would be to get these under control ASAP.

Let us know where your journey takes you. We learn from each other here at CWE... Wishing you the very best…..
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Old 08-28-2012, 08:54 AM
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Hi Someone Else, welcome to CWE!

Your symptoms do sound like Simple Partials, and are worth getting checked out. Chaz's recommendations are spot-on. A symptom diary can be especially helpful for identifying patterns or triggers for your episodes, and can also give you a sense if they are progressing or changing in any way.

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Old 08-30-2012, 12:09 AM
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I've seen the green colors, looked to me like someone splashed paint on the ground but there's nothing there the next second. With me, sometimes I get a feeling of being overwhelmed and sometimes I get hot for a few seconds then it goes away most times without anything further but in the past I've been in a store and suddenly felt out of focus and things were buzzing around me and I could see people but they would be blurry and sounds were somewhat muffled and things were dim. Lasted about a minute or two, then went away.

With my Grand Mal, I had no warning, was fine one minute, next minute I woke in an ambulance.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:49 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'm trying to sort this out with myself.

Which of my symptoms sound like simple-partials? Which don't?

Can caffeine be a trigger? I noticed that it happens more often when I drink caffeine.

Is this going to get worse? What are the chances of simple-partials leading to more severe forms of seizure?

Also, is sleep paralysis in any way connected? I get that a lot too, along with abrupt awakenings accompanied by brief loud audio hallucinations. I lucid dream quite often too. Weird things happen to me when I sleep.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:56 PM
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hey, I had the same thing, thy are seizures and thy call it staring spells. I understand how annoying they are and embarrassing. call a neurologist and I'm sure they will get you started on seizure medications. I would go ASAP bc my spells eventually led to a grand mal and you rele want to refrain from that. hope I helped
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:07 PM
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It could be seizures, but it could also be other things. You need to speak with a doctor. I know you say that others haven't taken you seriously, but a doctor should take you seriously given your list of symptoms.
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