Could these episodes be seizures? Lost for answers

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I'm going to try my best to explain how this feels. I refer to them as brain zaps, however some are different than others and that's why I am here. For example, I was very anxious yesterday and very stressed. I was at a an appt trying to talk to a physical therapist and I had "brain zap" moments where I couldn't speak. I couldn't swallow. My jaw was tight. It was like my body froze for a few seconds. Then I would get this weird feeling like it was over and I would get flushed (sweaty, hot). It almost felt as if my heart stopped, too.

Most of my "brain zaps" are just an electrical shock feeling through my body that causes a few seconds of vertigo and it's over. However, when they're intense I experience tunnel vision, body weakness, and then my heart starts beating very hard/fast. It almost feels like I'm going to faint but I don't.

Within the last year, I have had 6 EKGs, a nuclear stress test, wore a 24 hour holter monitor, and had an echocardiogram - all normal so my heart has been ruled out. My neurologist I saw does not think they are seizures but I have no idea what they are.

Anyone have any thoughts?

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    No there not seizures, your doctor is correct.

    my daughter is epileptic and that for sure is not a seizure?!!

    u need to go back to your doctor and see what he says, you May then be referred to a Nurologist where a sleep depresed test will take place, ie no sleep for 12+ hours so they can monitor you, with tests that way they can identify what is going on?. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying.

      I have no idea what they are but they've been happening for the last year. I've been to 3 neurologists and they don't seem concerned about them but they're a major factor in me not being able to live my life.

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  • Posted

    It sounds like a staring sezuire. If you are having sezuires your not going to know anything wat u feel or when its happening i was told after i had mine. The best thing to do if the docs are not helping is do your own research. I found google and webmd to b very helpful. Bring your findings to ur gp or a pysic dr

    Good luck


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  • Posted

    hi heyhue

    i've been following your thread - sorry i'm only getting round to replying now.

    right, well my only credentials even to have an opinion are those of being put 'through the hospital mill' after a head injury of over 30 years ago left me with epilepsy.  i'm no doc but i would like to share some personal experiences - anything i say or suggest that you ain't already heard from one should be checked with a qualified medic.

    firstly, bad luck ..i'm sorry to say that with respect i have to disagree with shelly on this one - however, i think aja may just have hit the nail square on the head.  terminology has evolved somewhat since the times epilepsy simply had 2 categories - "grande mal" and "petit mal" ..what you describe would seem to fit with the second (tho as my neuro doc observed "silly name - there's nothing little about it"!) and would now be properly described as a "simple partial siezure"; its 'bigger brother' is known as a "complex partial seizure" and at worst, the classic image of a seizure involving thrashing on the floor - formerly known as "grand mal" - is now called "tonic clonic".

    it's a fact that they are constantly finding new 'sub-categories', they can't always spot it even if they know it's there and some folk simply don't respond to meds.. all that said, there's still no better advice to give than go seek further professional help.

    are you in the states?  i cross my fingers not but i fear yes ..i've had a couple of conversations with american folk pulling their hair out in frustration trying to navigate thru your healthcare system.  sad

    so to finish, take it seriously - definitely do your research ahead of any more appointments but i do urge you to act on it now - it's NOT any kind of certainty but it IS conceivably possible that you could even exacerbate whatever's going on now by leaving it.

    i hope it may be all a transient thing, hayhue; it may be something that's easily controlled and you can get on with the rest of your life but go look up those terms i threw in; this site right here has some awesome resources but you'll find info all over the place.

    ok - i've talked your ears and typed my brain off here but i'll keep an eye on your thread.. once you've taken all this in and if you think it might help, do drop me a reply and we can talk some..  and i haven't even started on the pill-lottery merry-go-round they'll likely throw you under the wheels of, yet!  ..haha!  wink

    best wishes.


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    • Posted

      Hello there,

      I looked into what you suggested and the difference between me and the absence seizures is that I am aware what is happening when it happens. Instead of jerking or twitching, my body stiffens.

      I've looked into brain zaps before and it says that people have them when coming off of SSRI withdrawals. I, however, have not taken any SSRIs.

      I've never had any of this before until a mystery autoimmune illness started last year. That is why I started going to the neurologist.

      I have a neurologist appointment next Thursday so I'm going to bring it up again but she dismissed it last time. They always do.

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    • Posted

      hello heyhue -

      i'm sorry that you didn't feel the absence siezures route led anywhere; it couldn't have led anywhere great but at least it might have given you a starting point to try tackle it.  the jerking and twitching i mentioned wasn't aimed at you.. just mentioned it in context of the many variations there are now recognised to be.

      you'll have seen your neurologist yesterday - how did it go?

      i do hope she gave you a fair hearing, although as i've found out myself over the years, that can largely just be a matter of luck!

      do post an update if you can ..and take care.


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    • Posted

      hi hayhue

      thanks for the news; hope you can manage to hang in there for the next couple of weeks without too much distress.. it seems as though if one ain't waiting for an appointment then it's a matter of waiting for results!

      hopefully though you're moving closer to identifying what's amiss - it wasn't great news when they confirmed my epilepsy but, oh boy.. i sure was a relief finally to 'name the beast' that'd been lurking for so long!

      again, i'm so sorry that you're having to do all this under your healthcare system rather than ours - we all moan about aspects of ours but i sometimes wonder if we know just how lucky we are!

      jas.  biggrin

      all the best and i'll keep an eye open for any 'late news extras' you post.


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