How long can temporal lobe epileptic seizures last?
A few years back I began experiencing very strange, dream-like episodes characterized by an overwhelming sense of deja vu, an overpowering rush of highly emotionally charged thoughts and feelings that felt like a dam had burst in my mind, a strong feeling of dread, an inability to remember my own phone number or the name of my doctor, and other strange and disturbing characteristics. These episodes will last for hours and leave me so drained that I spend the next few days napping throughout the day, and feeling emotionally dead and empty and even suicidally depressed.
I surmised that these episodes might be some kind of epileptic seizures, so I did some searching on the web. I found many descriptions of temporal lobe seizures that seemed to very closely resembled what I had experienced. But when I went to see a neurologist at the University of Washington Medical Center he told me that temporal lobe epileptic seizures last only a few seconds, so that could not be what I was experiencing. He even scolded me quite sternly for even presuming to ask him if my episodes could be temporal lobe epilepsy. He said it was his job as the neurologist to apply diagnostic labels not mine, and that my job as the patient was only to report to him my symptoms, not to guess at self diagnoses based on what I read on the internet.
However, be that as it may, he offered me no diagnosis, and told me that what I was experiencing did not fit into any known neurological classification.
In the intervening years I have continued to experience these debilitating episodes and have noticed that they only occur during the spring and summer when I take an antihistamine for my allergies. So, perhaps, if I can find an alternative to antihistmines for my allergy symptoms, I may not have to suffer these disorienting and disabling episodes.
But that still leaves the question unanswered: What *are* these episodes called? They certainly seem to be neurological. So, if they are not temporal lobe seizures, what are they?
Also, is there some kind of regimen of vitamins, supplements or foods that I could take following these episodes to help me get over the days of physical and emotional exhaustion that I experience in their aftermath? I suffered one of these seizures a few days ago and still feel as if the stuffing has been knocked out of me.
I am not a neurologist, but a retired physician. I have heard people on this forum mention episodes VERY similar to yours. I also have had very brief episodes with some of those features, that I have blessedly outgrown.
First, my new mantra:
Blow off any Dr. that blows you off!!!
What an A**! Full of himself, no? You deserve better. We all do.
Did you have febrile seizures as a young child or baby? Is there a family hisotry of migraine or seizures? Do you have any neurologic disorders?
My reading on temporal lobe seizures now called Partial or Partial Complex (depending on whether there is loss of consciousnness) indeed does describe a duration of seconds to a couple minutes. Partail Complex can have an "after effect" called the post-ictal phase, which can last up to 30 minutes. Any seizure lasting more than 30 minutes is serious and called "status eptilepticus." I gathered (but am not sure) that even Partial seizures can occur in "Status."
That said, there are some very interesting variants of migraine (which can occur with and without headache) that are difficult to distinguish from temporal lobe, frontal lobe or Partial seizures. These can last much longer.
You need to find a neurologist to evaluate these episodes. You probably shouldn't bring up words like "I think..." or "internet.." but say you are worried by how long they last and whether it might be a form of migraine or seizure disorder. Don't try to treat them yourself until you get a proper evealuation with a doctor that actually listens to you, complete neuro exam, and probably an EEG.
Good luck. Come back and tell us if you get any answers. Quix
I too have had some similiar "attacks" as you will.. i am totally confused because i have seen a neurologist who did an MRI and EEG and told me both have come back fine... i hate these "attacks" i have because i feel out of it but are still able to hold a conversation and drive during them... i do feel shaky and nausea, but no headache... i have suffered from migraines in the past ... the funny part of all this is that i have been suffering from lightheadedness and dizziness on/off... scary...since january of 2008 when i had my first episode of dizziness... i do have allergy symtoms and take a antihistamine.. especially now that i have had the dizziness which is very scary... it is bothering me alot because i am afraid every day of experiencing these "attacks" and also the dizziness.. so needless to say i live in fear and it is exhausting worrying everyday... i wish i could have some diagnosis and some answers... it is affecting my daily living and i am afraid to stray far from home or work... its holding me back from progressing in my career and experiencing things in life... HELP!!!
I have bee diagnosed with left temporal lobe seizures. Before I started medication I was very dizzy and lightheaded at times as well as very sleepy. There are times when I can't tell what road I am on when I am driving home from work. My lightheadness comes in a form I refer to as my "whoop de doos". It's like standing up to fast with all the blood rushing from my head except that it stays with me and I don't recover. Frequently the weakness and dizziness comes and I feel like the floor is coming up at me or my knees are giving out and I'm falling when I'm not. Sometimes it gets worse and I will have outward seizure symptons where my body feels like lead weight and I can't lift my arms or move my legs. Sometimes I cry a copious amount of tears that just flood out of my eyes (once it looked like someone had poured a glass of water on me). I remain aware of everything around me. This lasts just a minute or two but the afterward effects can last a couple of hours or the rest of the day. I am completely weak and exhausted.
You need to be careful with the driving. I thought I was just tired in the mornings on my way to work until one day while stopped at a red light, thankfully with my foot on the brake, I passed out. It felt more like I just fell asleep. There was no warning. I awoke to the car behind me honking and my head was laying on my shoulder, completely limp and very heavy. All of the traffic ahead of me was long gone.
My seizures are under control now with Trileptal. I tried Lamictal but it gave me even greater seizures. The drug experimentation if difficult on the body and head.
Don't accept no for an answer, get more professional opinions. It turns out that I have had some form of these seizures for over 20 years before I knew what they were.
Deal with what you've been talking about...been taking meds for epilepsy for over 20 yrs just to finally get the realization that what I have are not epileptic seizures...mine last for hrs at times and meds I was taking just caused me to have more....they still dont know what causes them..but no longer taking epileptic meds so not having them as often...all the can say is it might be early stages of MS, but if that was the case in 20 yrs you think I would have those symptoms....so I deal with it...live with the pain ...and go on...hope one day the find what it really is and wish you the best as well....I know it isnt easy to deal with at all...but keep on the doctors...they seem to want to give a quick diagnosis...I've been telling them for years about the length of mine and they just never seemed to listen been on 20 different meds....just hang in there and keep researching
Mine start with the tightening of my muscles in my arms then to the rest of my body....they have lasted from an hour to longer....all the tests I've done have come back fine like Audi131's has so they automatically assumed it was epilepsy ...which now after many years of research is not the case...dont know what it is...its painful and scares the hell out of ppl that see it but for me I know everything that is going on during them...I can hear ppl and know whats going on...just cant move or say anything when it gets really bad..just wish Doctors would actually listen to what patients say...we are not trying to self diagnose ourselves...just trying to tell them the facts...my body pretty much put up a tolerance to meds after taking as many high dosage ones throughout the years...if I ever figure out the cause will let you know...for me it has become part of my life and am dealing with it as best I can
Have you had any luck with your situation? I have similar issues, and have been longing for a fix. My muscles tense up and can freeze or twitch, and the pain can be unbearable. I can usually feel them coming for a while before it happens. I think it may be nerves because of the twitching and the out of body feeling, slight nausea... but I have only been given lorazapam for it. which helps minimally. It can last for hours, and it is frightening for everyone around me more so than myself because of how awful it looks. I may be foggy, but I am totally still with it. The recovery can last for days. Please let me know. I can't deal with it any more. It has interfered with my existence for long enough.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.