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Stress-Related Seizures

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Old 02-06-2009, 02:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Boynton Beach, FL
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Fantasyjb HB User
Stress-Related Seizures


My husband had his first seizure in late November. He's 38. At the time, I didn't know that it was a seizure and I called 911. All of his tests in the emergency room came back fine. He then had an EEG and an MRI done by a neurologist and both came back normal. At that time, he was on new medication (Ultram) and since the EEG and MRI came back normal, his regular doctor (and us) figured that the Ultram caused the seizure. (One of the side effects of Ultram is an increased risk of seizures.) He had only been on the Ultram for a few days and immediately stopped it after the seizure.

Unfortunately, he had another seizure today. Considering that his tests came back normal and that he is no longer on the Ultram, the only other reason I can think of is stress. He was under a lot of stress in November and is under even more stress right now having been laid off last week.

These have been full-blown seizures with convulsions, eyes rolling back in his head, foaming at the mouth, and unconsciousness. As he comes to, he doesn't remember basic things, such as our dogs' names. And he has no recollection of the seizure at all. As anyone who is familiar with seizures knows, it seems like it is harder on the person who actually witnesses it and I am beside myself - I cannot stop crying. Does anyone know if stress can cause seizures? Has anyone had this experience?

Thanks so much.

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Old 02-06-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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vicinric HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

I can relate. DH loses his job next month and its about all I can think about sometimes. I have had 2 in the last two weeks. I am sure the stress is a contributor.

Old 02-06-2009, 06:57 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: USA
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Mediocrates HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

Anything that places stress on the body can contribute to seizures. So, the simple answer to your question would be yes.

Everyone has a seizure threshold, whether they have epilepsy or not. Those with E simply have a lower threshold than those without it. Illness, high fever, etc. can cause seizures in those without E.

For those with E, lack of sleep, illness, mental or physical stress can make seizures more likely.

I know it can seem unbearable at times. Please keep in mind that this may be temporary, but even if epilepsy is eventually diagnosed it will likely be controlled with medication.
Choose your specialist and you choose your disease.
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Old 02-07-2009, 08:37 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cadillac MI
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MrsNik459 HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

Just to let you know, my Neur. told me before my first EEG not to give up if it came back normal. He has had some patients who had 7 EEGs before epilepsy showed up.

Old 02-10-2009, 10:43 AM   #5
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ang11 HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

Im not sure but the information ive read on epilepsy all say stress can be a contributing factor. Im sorry that you are both really going through it at the moment.

I can really understand with the memory thing. I have only just become unwell in the last few weeks and i am not experiencing the full symptoms your husband is having, but i sometimes really struggle with spelling and the names for simple things. I went to book my wedding the day after i came out of hospital and couldnt remember my partners first name (how embarrasing is that!)

I hope things improve for you, keep your chin up

Old 02-16-2009, 11:16 AM   #6
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WilliamsRDan HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

My seizures are stress induced. We figure it's a form of panic attack. Any sort of stress can bring it on, physical, emotional, pain, heat, and emergency vehicle lights (which makes things really fun with the fire truck, ambulance and police are surrounding me, or go by).

As far as it being worse on the witness, yeah it is. I dated a girl that also had seizures, and it was tough for both of us to watch the other convulsing. She would lose consciousness, and when she'd come out she often couldn't hear or talk or see (any combination of), feel her legs, and occasionally forgot where she was. One day after studying for an hour for a test we had, she came out and couldn't even remember who I was or who she was. Explaining to her that I was her boyfriend was very difficult, and that lasting for a few weeks as I had to try to win her all over again. As we sat down for the test I had to tell her how to spell her name, though somehow she did better on the test than I!

However, for me, I don't lose consciousness. I'm fully aware of the seizure. The pain is so intense. I feel my skin stretching, and it feels like its going to crack open. It is extremely difficult to breath, and I have to fight in order to get a breath in. I have to try to pull myself out of it so I can breath, and then I go into more convulsing attacks.
I know that her seizures look very different than mine, though I have not yet video taped my seizures and watched it myself. It is scarier to watch someone you love be out of control of their body. But those who do go out are lucky that they don't feel the pain involved.

Good luck to you both!

Old 03-15-2009, 02:52 PM   #7
Murray Crawford
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Location: Barrie, On, Canada
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Murray Crawford HB User
Question Re: Stress-Related Seizures

Stress is overlooked.
stress can be a main cause, and only dealing with the stress will fix it long term, medication may be required long term. I know because I have seizures caused by stress. This is usually a build up of issues as I try to replace my income. I was part of the Auto Industry, in Quality Engineering, but that has died out due to the economy. I think I should try for a job as a bill collector, there seems to be lots of opportunity in that field (ha,ha). My medication is 1300 mg per day of tegratol and this still won't stop the seizure.

Old 03-16-2009, 08:09 AM   #8
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WilliamsRDan HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

I tried tegratol too. And it didn't help any. Seemed like the only thing that helped was valium and vicadin. (though I haven't tried marijuana, living in California I could get it, it helps one friend of mine.)

Old 03-18-2009, 11:46 AM   #9
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crzydaisy HB User
Thumbs up Re: Stress-Related Seizures

Originally Posted by WilliamsRDan View Post
I tried tegratol too. And it didn't help any. Seemed like the only thing that helped was valium and vicadin. (though I haven't tried marijuana, living in California I could get it, it helps one friend of mine.)
Hey i'm fairly new to this site and have epilepsy,since 97. I'm 39 and I have major stress related seisures,and especially during menstration,.The point being is I use marijuana during these times and it has helped me considerably.I know evryone does not react the same,so be careful,my neuro knows about this and believes this has helped. I suggest you talk to your neuro,(if he's cool) and see what he says first.Good luck I'll keep ya in my prayers. Dani

Old 05-12-2009, 10:19 PM   #10
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tempelton, CA
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jdtraub HB User
Lightbulb Re: Stress-Related Seizures

Four books I have read on "complementary and alternative treatments for seizures" and lots of internet sites all say that stress is definitely a seizure trigger. I have read that relaxation techniques and diaphramtic breathing can reduce stess and thus help stave off seizures. Also, good nutrition as well as good sleep habits can help. Some sites even recommend psychological treatment to get to the bottom of unrecognized stress triggers.

Old 05-20-2009, 06:08 AM   #11
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Belton, SC
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Frogans2005 HB User
Re: Stress-Related Seizures

This thread has brought a whole new light to my life. In 2006 I began having seizures directly after a death in my family. It was so bad that I had to take a leave of absence from work for 3 months. I was hospitalized for 3 days and the psycologist (sp?) told my mother ( I was turning 18 the day I got out) that I was faking to get attention. When I have a seizure I know when it is coming and I am fully aware of my surroundings and what is going on. Alot like Williamsrdan says. I had an EEG and it came back normal and my DR. put me on Xanex (sp?) I found myself becoming addicted to it and stopped taking it after a month. My docotr wouldnt do anything else for me because he believed the psyc. Here it is 3 years later and I have the same problem. It is not near as frequent as it use to be but is worse directly before menstration. Infact on several occations i would have one and within a few hours start menstration. Does anyone know what I should do? Do I go back to a DR do I just keep going on and not worry about it and just handle the situations as they arrise?

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