Most Americans don't recognize subtle signs of seizure

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A seizure doesn't always look like what you see in the movies, but a new survey finds most Americans don't know what the more subtle signs of seizures are.
The standard mental picture of a seizure is someone falling to the ground with full body convulsions, which can be what a generalized tonic-clonic seizure looks like.

A new national survey by Orlando Health found most Americans recognize these symptoms. Yet only 32% believe numbness or tingling signals a seizure, while about 35% think of blinking rapidly as a sign. Meanwhile, roughly 13% see crying out or screaming as a seizure symptom, while just 6% think of laughing as such.
"For some people, their seizures present outwardly, with very subtle signs like smacking their lips, picking at their clothes or just staring into space, and it's important to recognize when you or someone around you is experiencing them so they can be accurately diagnosed and treated," she said.

"By looking at their brainwaves (EEG), we can see if those behaviors are being caused by seizures," Nemade explained.

One patient, Mike Sail, described his seizures as a flushed feeling that travels from his abdomen to his throat. That is followed by raised arm hair.

His condition was initially misdiagnosed as acid reflux, until he lost his memory for an entire week. Sail was then referred to Nemade, who diagnosed his condition as epilepsy.

"I kept saying that it can't be acid reflux because that doesn't cause the hair on your arms to stick up," Sail said.

"For the most part, these episodes were not very disruptive. They only lasted a minute or two and usually only happened once every few weeks. Sometimes I'd have them while I was doing things like playing golf, and afterwards I would just go about my business. So, I was shocked to find out they were seizures because it wasn't what most people think a seizure looks like," Sail explained.

This likely won't be news to the CWE community, but it's nice to see the issue getting some media attention.
I've always known that most people can only recognize grand mal seizures. I'd complain about the "weird feelings" I would often have, but nobody could diagnose them. It wasn't until I had 3 or 4 grand mal seizures that those were recognized as simple partial seizures.
Doctors thought I had some type of vertigo issue or maybe something wrong with my heart before then. They did EKGs & halter monitors, but of course they didn't find anything--my heart is fine.
Of all the seizures I have that not grand mal, for 32 +/- years now, no one has recognized I had it, not even my wife. And of course, I never share to others it had happened. Maybe I should state rarely ever do others notice since many times I leave our world.
Often people don't realize it when I've had an absence or complex partial seizure unless I tell them it happened. The person
the recognizes my seizures is my husband and that's because he's been around me for 37 yrs. and he can tell when I start to
stare that I'm in a seizure.
My cousins son had a grand mal while he was in a video arcade. They think the seizures might have been brought on by the flashing lights, which is very possible. We tried to tell her that there are several different types of seizures other than grand mal, trying to explaining them to her, but she didn't want to hear it. We also told here that seizures can be brought on my more than flashing lights too but she didn't want to hear that either.

He can't see a neuro until January and nothing is going to change until then. He's still going to be driving and everything else that he probably shouldn't be doing.
very true, you can sit in front of some people and have a seizure, and they never stop talking, and the sheer number cops and hospital staff has assumed it was drug related
My sister-in-law has epilepsy. I think almost all of her seizures are focal and they might last under a minute. We don't spend very much time together, usually only on Sundays when the family gets together for lunch, so I really don't know. She'll be staring off into space for five or ten seconds then she'll start talking or moving again. Sometimes my mom will ask her if she's ok ? It's odd but she'll shake her head once or twice, sort of like she's shaking the seizures out of her, and it to bring her too again.
Definitely glad to see this and you can say that again!

It's rough to be sitting in a room full of people, suffering, and no one notices.
Somewhat related tangent, here's a story on a woman who details (on social media) her experiences with strangers when she has seizures in public:

Lauren Spanner suffers from PNES and uses her social media channels to help people understand this seizure disorder better. She has been experiencing seizures for about three years. Although she is aware of some of her triggers and can remove herself from situations to avoid a seizure, that isn’t always the case. She often details strangers’ reactions to seizures in her videos.

Part of Lauren’s awareness program is a series of posts where she has rated the heartwarming reactions strangers have had during her seizures. She uses a scale of 1 to 10 and describes what the people did to earn the rating. Some of the videos have groupings, such as “teenagers” or “families” helping. The 30-second video clips are educational and sometimes humorous.

I went decades undiagnosed. I've had seizures my whole life. My mom said she remembered one time right before I was born I was "doing somersaults" for several minutes. That seizure made it so I wasn't breech though...😅
My simple partials were completely undiagnosed until I actually had one during an EEG done after the tonic clonics I had. That's when they realized that those "feelings" were seizures.
very true, you can sit in front of some people and have a seizure, and they never stop talking, and the sheer number cops and hospital staff has assumed it was drug related
I witnessed a young man having a seizure in a book store about 10 years ago. A few others saw it, too and one woman made a snide comment to the effect, "He's probably on drugs." I looked at her and asked if I look like a person taking drugs. She didn't reply.
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