I may be having seizures without even knowing it.

So for many years now, I’ve had these odd panic attacks that I’ve never really known how to describe or why they happened. They were always kind of different from my other normal panic attacks. I didn’t experience the same physical symptoms: tightness in chest, racing heart, trouble breathing, etc. They always had these weird auditory symptoms as the main focal point. Everything around me was intense and way too loud. It was like someone had turned the volume up a million times too loud, including inside my head. My own thoughts were too loud. You can imagine how horribly frightening this could be. It had a very “I’m going crazy” effect the first few times it happened.

Luckily these “attacks” generally only happen at home. I have noticed no pattern as to what causes them. I sometimes have them in the shower or when I’m on the computer. They just seem to come out of nowhere and they last about 20 minutes or so. There’s really nothing I can do to stop them. I know that I have to take cold/tepid showers now and that’s about it.

I told my ARNP about the one I had today because I’m finding that they are getting more frequent and more intense. I described the symptoms to her and she said that it sounded more like a seizure and not like a panic attack. Seizure?! What?! Because I’m on Topamax, they may be happening more frequently because of the medication. This whole time, I may have been having seizures and not even have known it. How many health issues can I write off because of this now?

I now have to contact Volunteers in Medicine and see if I qualify. She wants to see about getting me a neurological workup. Also, I just did some minor research on Auditory seizures and this is the first thing that popped up:

Aura (symptom) – An aura is the perceptual disturbance experienced by some migraine sufferers before a migraine headache, and the telltale sensation experienced by some people with epilepsy before a seizure. When occurring, auras allow epileptics time to prevent injury to themselves and/or others.

Auras can also be confused with sudden onset of panic, panic attacks or anxiety attacks creating difficulties in diagnosis. The differential diagnosis of patients who experience symptoms of paresthesias, derealization, dizziness, chest pain, tremors, and palpitations can be quite challenging.[1]

Some examples:

  • Heightened sensitivity to hearing
  • Someone speaking at a level and normal tone sounds like they are shouting loudly
  • Feelings of numbness or tingling on one side of the face or body
  • Feeling separated from one’s body
  • Feeling as if one or multiple limbs are growing
  • Anxiety or fear
  • Weakness, unsteadiness

I’ve experienced all of those above and when I found this on Wikipedia, I nearly burst into tears. It’s like something is finally explaining my life for the last several years. I’m not even exaggerating. These are all symptoms I totally thought were unique to me and I thought were weird and no one would possibly understand if I tried to explain them. Here they are, right there. Someone else has had them!

I might be having seizures. It’s weird to think about but if I am, I need to know now and I need treatment. One more thing to tackle.

3 thoughts on “I may be having seizures without even knowing it.

  1. Hi,
    I am going to a neurologist next week. As a teen, I suffered a life changing trauma. I was experimenting with cannabis for the 1st time.
    My first indication of intoxication was a powerful feeling in my stomache.
    It was like “butterflies x 100”. It was a queer feeling I had never experienced before. It radiated outward and I felt flushed and uncomfortable. Then, there was overpowering fear.
    During my intoxication, I had repetitive and bizarre visual hallucinations for the duration. I have described those hallucinations/illusions as having the focus of my view suddenly “zoom away” and becoming very small, as if I were suddenly looking through the wrong end of binoculars. The zooming was accompanied by a shock feeling on the left side of my head, which had become numb/cold/tingling. Post intoxication, I was mentally confused.
    I fell into a clinical depression and became agoraphobic. I would suffer “spells”/panic attacks for the next 20 years, without diagnosis or treatment. Over the next 20 years, I would receive psychiatric treatment, and much of it I feel was inappropriate for me. The underlying cause of my condition was never identified. My doctors were just throwing darts at the pharmacological board.
    I now recognize my unique symptoms of my initial trauma as being very consistent with focal temporal lobe seizures. I regret living my life with emotional and physical deficits related to my trauma. I was fairly successful in life, and objectively I might have no complaints. But, I enjoyed very little of my existence. Here is hope for me, and hope for you. Thank you for blog.

  2. Ooops,
    I forgot the reason I was posting a reply. During the period post intoxication, I experienced auditory “hallucinations” of the type you mention. I had insomnia for a few weeks, and my brother was in an adjacent room reading a book. The sound of the pages turning in the next room sounded like a whip cracking. When I returned to school and participated in gym class, I would have strange tastes in my mouth after exercising vigorously. I won’t get into headaches and anxiety or migraines or floaters in my vision.
    Thanks again.

    • Wow, thank you for sharing this. This further solidifies my need to get in and get a neuro checkup a soon as I can. I appreciate you sharing your story with me and wish you all the best.

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