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.