Is epilepsy a spiritual experience?

Cinnabar

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Cint,

Since my first episode, I began having auditory hallucinations. I quickly came to understand that this is symptomatic of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. So far, I can't peg them as being auras or the aftermaths of seizing..they seem to occur "inbetween" seizures. At first, I was beyond terrified. Now, I'm "nearly" accustomed to them but am unpleasantly startled. Knowing that they are a symptom has allowed me to stand back a bit. Otherwise I'd be out of my mind wondering about it. There is nothing "spiritual" about these voices.
 
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You are absolutely correct on that. Hope everything is well with you and continue to make further progress. Sergio
 

1096

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alright, i will give this another go...

when i wake up from my seizure it's an awful experience. however, when this dissipates i can relate to your sense of peace and freedom. i feel somewhat reborn also.
 
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What a great thread...Sergio, you might like this.

Is Epilepsy a spiritual experience? It kind of has been for me, although I must admit, this only happened recently ( allow me to recap, and I apologize for those that know my story and are reading it again)

I am 32, and have had epilepsy most, if not all of my life. When I was seven, I had my first grand mal on the way to my own birthday party!! I was in the car, and I remember telling people that I thought I saw God ( it was quickly dismissed as being crazy, and that I was just seeking attention).

For the next 21 years, I lived a life of seizures, medications, depression, and sometimes, drugs. I suffered from hot water epilepsy, among others, and would often leave the house wondering where I would wake up ( those grand mals in public are not fun)

Then, after I got the VNS in 2004, and quit all meds four months later, things changed. My brain kind of imploded, and I suffered quite a lot. I kind of became homeless after getting fired from a job due to my seizures, and suffered through some crazy hallunications, crazy voices, and the belief I was going to die ( this is all documented in the e-communities).

However, it was this same time that I believe a "voice" spoke to me, and put me on the path I am now. I am not religious at all, but I believe in something ( I just know I am not smart enough to know what that something is) It was this same time that I got the Santa Claus suit at my grandma's funeral, and since then, I have been on a mission to change the world. I don't mean to sound crazy, but I believe during a seizure, I was enlighted, and it is something nobody else seems to understand. I have learned that being enlightened kind of stinks, because not only does nobody believe you, I have had to fend off doctors who only understand treating people with drugs and not listening to them.

Sergio, I am one of the top Santa Clauses in the world. I was able to do all of this because of my seizures, and my belief there is something more out there. The spiritual side of Santa Claus is an amazing thing, and I think people with our disorder could appreciate it a ton. I am hoping to redefine the image of Santa, and already have other Santas interested in working with me. Maybe I will fail, but I have been through a type of hell only privy to a select few with out illness, and it has made me a better person than I ever thought was possible.

I hope this post made sense to you. I rarely like talking about the "voice" I heard that morning, because everyone just calls me crazy. But I believe it is important, and I hope to succeed, and maybe get epilepsy not to be such a taboo in this country.

Scott
 

Bernard

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Hi Sergio, welcome to the forum. :hello:

My wife has had a few "spiritual" experiences (most, but not all obviously related to heavy seizure activity). Have you read the book [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Kluge-Haphazard-Construction-Human-Mind/dp/0618879641"]Amazon.com: Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind (9780618879649): Gary Marcus: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-K%2BUeyzLL.@@AMEPARAM@@51-K%2BUeyzLL[/ame]? It offers an interesting perspective on the phenomena.
 

Belinda5000

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I would not call epilepsy a spirit experience, and I was dx'd when I was 2 but had seizures longer.I've busted my head open broke to many bones to think of it as a spiritual experience.
:twocents:

Belinda:huh::roll:
 
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Um... Yes. I got diagnosed because i was having full blown religious fits, and Im an atheist! the fear would give way to deja vu, then i would have a vision of a golden light in the center of my field, I have the sensation of "god". It is odd, but there is some evidence to suggest the prophets may also of had TLE. The buddha for example experienced enlightenment under the bodhi tree, (a form of sage... which yep induces fits in those prone). So id say yes TLE in particular is associated with religious feelings.

hope your well,
jim
 

flinnigan

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Hi jimijimenez,

That's very interesting about the profits and Buddha. I've had very intense experiences while meditating, my teacher was jealous. Maybe temporal epilepsy was the link.

I don't think any of us experiencing seizures in this way are relating the experience to Tonic Clonic seizures, they're a whole different ball game. I've been floating between simple and partial complex seizures this week and the complex seem to have much more of that out of body feeling.

Is that a lotus flower for your avitar?
 

Shelley

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bloggingheads tv

Hi Sergio, welcome to the forum. :hello:

My wife has had a few "spiritual" experiences (most, but not all obviously related to heavy seizure activity). Have you read the book Kludge? It offers an interesting perspective on the phenomena.
I have found nothing but positive reviews about your book Bernard. For those interested, here's an online vlog about it:http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10137
It's an hour long, but fascinating.
 
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I don't know about spiritual, but E and seizures do give one a unique perspective, I'd say. I've read most of Oliver Sacks' books - highly recommended, BTW - and am kinda jealous of others with TLE who get spiritual visions and comfort from their seizures. I do not. If anything, I lean towards being too literal, too tangible. I think that way of thinking is a symptom of my TLE, because the right frontal lobe of my brain is where the damage is, so I'm more likely to view things through a logical lens.

However, having seizures and seeing what medications do to my brain and personality has been an interesting experience. I believe it makes one a better person in certain ways. It's led me to several inward journeys, asking who am I? I mean, I see what drugs do to me, and it's hard not to wonder at the personality traits we all take for granted.

My experiences with epilepsy and thyroid disease have definitely allowed for a more tolerant attitude towards others. Especially after trying different meds, and dealing with bad treatments, undertreatments, etc. you really appreciate how complex the brain is. There have been days when my 'self' gets lost in the hormones and enzymes and medications floating around in the blood and brain. I had no idea how many 'personality traits' were really thyroid symptoms, for example. Conversely, several personality traits have surfaced over the years as a side effect of seizure medications. Most people just take their brains for granted, and are allowed to do so. :sigh:
 

Shelley

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think and do

I like thinking. It gives my brain an excuse to exercise and grow. The more I learn, the more I grow. I am already way better than I was two short years ago. :pop:
 

McGill

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In spite of what has been posted, I've had a "near death experience". I've also heard psychiatrists say that it's not uncommon for those with TLE to be very religious, atheist or not. (What Jim described fits in with this description.) One thing I know is this: my experience occurred after switching Rx for which I had be allergic and had been taking for over 20 yrs. at the time. I believe that in my case, I could have died if I had said "yes" and I wouldn't be here today to describe it. In some cases I believe that there is a matter of will involved if a person feels as tired and drained as I did, to the point where they could just give up the will to live.
 

Shelley

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god

Technically, it is not 'god' that we see or hear, but rather the brain in panic because of an extreme lack of oxygen and glucose. (That is why 'professor Lupine' gives 'Harry Potter' a chocolate bar after a visit by the dementors.)
Atheists don't see or hear god. Just something interpreted as light, and voices.
 

McGill

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Thanks for the information! Will add it to my knowledge base.
 
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hi, I am new to the forums here, and has been interesting reading through, in particular this thread. I throughout life until recently have been rather agnostic about spirituality, and more so religion but having experianced 2 seizures lasting some 30 minutes each, has in some way allowed me to see what others do not, i dont mean literally "see" or sense directly but alterted my mind in a way that makes sense of it all, I shall explain with my life experiance.

After recoving from the siezures, thankfully a sort peroid of time for me, which was the time that I was starting university to study physics and astrophysics, I started asking the big questions that we all do either through religion or science and I ended up with some quite abstract view of the universe/everything. I have of course, being a scientist at heart am trying to prove it if possible, however as is linked into what we would call the spiritual, proving it proves very difficult more likely impossible to prove. I have found patterns within that strangley have helped my understanding of physics, and have the live tv feed repeating what I say and other tv channels repeat what i happen to be saying at the time, to an absurd amount. Yesterday about 12 times it happened, and yes I am in the room with another, mainly my partner.

I have wondered if I am crazy, my family and friends assure me im not. But I never thought that way before the siezeures..... strange

love to hear your thoughts
 
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I'm not quite sure what Lupin giving Harry the chocolate bar has to do with there being a God or not......but anyways, I have tonic clonics the majority of the time, so my epilepsy isn't very spiritual. Unless you can consider "possession" spiritual, cause that's what I appear to be
 

survivor

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Do not really know how some of u can relate Epilepsy with spituirality but for me there is no connection. What does spirituality actually mean................ being close to one self, being close to god, being calm and compost, thinking properly in the right direction, feeling the lord always with u, within u.................... Sorry! For me E and 'S' are two things not even far related. When we have an episode our brain is so tired that we can not think anything, and that way we may feel we are being close to ourselves. Are we close to god? When on bed, we can not do damn anything, we keep thinking about him, actually we have no other option left!!! We can not think straight, be ourselves then how is spirituality related? In India, still in the villages, when people come to know that there girl child suffers from E, they try to pose to the world that SHE is having god in her and experiencing spiritual episodes. But thats not true!! Lets not make connections between an ailment and GOD. Where God dwells, no ailment can dwell!!
 

Shelley

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PhysicsguyMatt
Were you told you had TLE? It does sound like you experienced that type of seizure.
Clarity of thought about an idea afterwords? It might be possible (if I understand your post correctly). I think that since we are taught a certain amount of things in a certain way about science, we are closed to other possible ideas of what might be.
Were you able to breathe during seizures? If not, then maybe part of what your brain was doing was 'sending messages' about that to get you to breathe again. At a certain point, the electrical discharges become so intense that we interpret them as light. Depending upon our upbringing and guilt trips, we may see spiritual entities that do not exist.

msuder
The chocolate bar after a seizure helps restore serotonin and sugars to the brain.
And yes, it does seem like a story about a pwe as well as a story of good vs evil, doesn't it?
 
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