What Does a Seizure Feel Like

What does a seizure feel like? How would you know if you had a seizure? What should you do if you suspect you had a seizure?

How you feel during an episode will depend on what kind of seizure you experience. If you have a partial seizure, you may suddenly see stars or strange lights or smell an odd smell. If you have a myoclonic seizure, you may simply find your face, neck, shoulders or arms twitching or jerking, and you may not find this to be anything more than strange and distracting. In some cases, you may not realize you're having a seizure at all. If you do know it is a seizure, you may not find the experience to be distressing or concerning at all.

Serious Seizures
If you have a petit mal seizure, you probably won't know it unless you are walking, driving or in a social situation. If you are alone, you probably won't even notice you had the seizure because a petit mal is a simple 2- to 15-second blanking out where you become absent for that brief amount of time. If you have a petit mal seizure while with another person, you may space out during a conversation or stare blankly long enough for that person to mention something to you. If you are walking or driving, you may suddenly realize you don't know what happened for that space of time. Petit mal seizures are especially dangerous when driving, since you could easily have or cause an accident. You may feel tired or have a sense of déjà vu after a petit mal seizure.

If you have a grand mal seizure, you will most likely experience an aura before you go into the seizure. This may be as subtle as a sense that you are fading out or as intense as seeing lights, hearing sounds or smelling something unusual. Sometimes you won't get a warning aura at all and will go unconscious without warning. You will not feel anything or be aware of anything while you are seizing, and you will not remember anything you did or that was done to you during the seizure. When you come to after a seizure, you will probably be exhausted and need to rest or sleep. You may be in pain because of falling, hurting yourself while flailing about or biting your tongue. You may have drooled upon yourself or urinated. After a grand mal seizure, you need rest and medical attention.

If you think you have had a seizure, especially if epilepsy runs in your family, or if your episode happened within a year of a head injury, you should see a doctor immediately for medical advice.

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