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Possible complex partial seizures effecting sense of self?

Mon, 11/04/2013 - 23:52
A question for everyone on this board: Does anyone's seizures effect their sense of self? I have not been diagnosed with epilepsy but my psychiatrist has referred to me to a neurologist to be assessed. He thinks I may be having complex partial seizures. On and off for the last ten years I have had episodes where I will suddenly feel a strange feeling in my stomach and I chill/shiver throughout my body and I will suddenly feel a huge wave of fear and confusion roll over. I will feel as though I don't recognize myself and everything will be unfamiliar and I will feel a lack of connection to people I care about and my environment. Some of the ways that I have described to my doctor are: *Like looking at my inner self from outside somewhere and not recognizing what I see. Like I am not who I was 5 minutes ago and I are VERY aware of this. My sense of self is suddenly flipped over and malfunctioning. It happens in an instant, and sends a shiver through me and a hot feeling to flow through my body. Tingles all the way to my scalp. *Feeling like Me is gone and the me who is there is not the real me, like someone else is looking through my eyes at the world, without me being in it. *A feeling of strangeness, like things are just not right for some reason and i don't know why. *There is nothing to grab hold of that’s familiar, and what I grab onto isn't right. My self doesn't fit, it isn't right. *Knowing who I am but not "feeling" who I am. The who I am is wrong at that moment *Like suddenly being thrust into a new space and the self that is there doesn't feel like mine. These experiences are incredibly frightening and though they don't happen during a panic or anxiety attack, they can definitely cause one.They usually happen during times of high stress (moving away to college,getting married) Afterwards I find myself checking and rechecking, evaluating my internal processes and thoughts trying to figure out what just happened. My memory seems to be affected as well. Sometimes an episode can be accompanied by a twitch in my left shoulder and an internal shaking or vibration throughout my torso. I have spent the last ten years, since I was 14, being afraid that I am going crazy. I never talked about to doctors because I was afraid of the stigma. Has anyone on this site ever had any experiences like this with their epilepsy?

Comments

Re: Possible complex partial seizures effecting sense of self?

Submitted by pgd on Tue, 2013-11-05 - 07:51
Try to find a copy of the Nerves in Collision book (about the non-convulsive epilepsies, Dilantin) by Walter C. Alvarez, M.D. Assorted comments: there is a sense of self which can be described as: I am plus a blank as in I am happy, I am sad, I am neutral; I am alert, I am trying to be alert, I am unalert; I am here, I am almost here, I am not here; I am consciousness, I am almost conscious, I am not almost conscious, etc. A few persons have a difficulty with attaching a blank to I am along the lines of I am is separate (in a way) from a self-definition. Even the Hebrew scriptures have a passage where the weak are encouraged to say I am strong (aka Let the weak say, I am strong aka an affirmation). Also, the story - The Little Engine That Could - is all about the difference between I can vs I can't (aspects of the sense of self). There are a number of aspects of the sense of self which involve one or more of the following: an electrical short-circuit in the brain, one or more neurotransmitters (like dopamine, norepinephrine, etc.), strong electro-chemical connections in the brain vs frail electro-chemical connections in the brain, blood circulation, microscopic scar, etc. Glitches involving the sense of self may involve consequences of brain concussions, repeated sports concussions, etc. Primary idea: complex partial. Secondary ideas: large range of secondary ideas - working memory glitches, central auditory processing disorders, inattentive ADHD, temporal lobe issues, absence seizures, attention span, sustained attention, consciousness, prosopagnosia (face blindness), narcolepsy, brainline, Jack Dreyfus, the word - thought - (article - Wikipedia), executive functions, brainwaves, impacttest, coma, etc. Regarding a sense of self, there are several fictional movies which address ideas like memory glitches, stronger senses of self vs weaker, missing pieces of self - movies like Memento (2000) and Limitless (2011 - see only the Limitless movie with the movie director's educational commentary included). Best wishes.

Re: Possible complex partial seizures effecting sense of self?

Submitted by mereloaded on Wed, 2013-11-06 - 10:45
Recently, a couple of people described similar experiences while having a partial seizure, let me see if I can find it for you

Re: Possible complex partial seizures effecting sense of self?

Submitted by mereloaded on Wed, 2013-11-06 - 10:53
Here http://my.epilepsy.com/node/1001759

Re: Possible complex partial seizures effecting sense of self?

Submitted by nikitamarie88 on Wed, 2013-11-06 - 17:21
Thank you so much, it's comforting to know that someone else has experienced something similar. The anxiety and fear over it have become quite overwhelming. I will happy to go to the neurologist and figure out whats going on so that I can start to do something about it.

Re: Possible complex partial seizures effecting sense of self?

Submitted by Stanstedy on Sun, 2013-11-10 - 21:55

Yes. Yes, most definitively. Especially over the years. The shaking hands, headaches, fear on not knowing when the will come, the dreaded emotions and...more recently large memory dropouts of proper word names and directions, once I even spelled my own name wrong. I have learned to compensate. BUT..reading in the Bible as a Christian I must maintain that my identity is in Christ.

 

Stanstedy

Yes. Yes, most definitively. Especially over the years. The shaking hands, headaches, fear on not knowing when the will come, the dreaded emotions and...more recently large memory dropouts of proper word names and directions, once I even spelled my own name wrong. I have learned to compensate. BUT..reading in the Bible as a Christian I must maintain that my identity is in Christ.

 

Stanstedy

I have had the problem with a

Submitted by winifredbeware@gmail.com on Mon, 2014-03-31 - 13:11
I have had the problem with a sense of self. But I think it has less to do with the seizures themselves, but with the idea of having them. The act of having seizures and losing consciousness, either by blanking out or seizing, causes one to question the sense of self. Who am I if I am not conscious of some continual being who I know? Who am I if I can lose self awareness? It feels like being another person, one who I don't know, its something else. My body which does not respond to my commands, it acts out of some other thing not in my control. I think this occurrs more with absence seizures than with Grand Mals. I think its more psychological than inherent in the seizures themselves. I remember trying to sleep and talking to myself at night as if talking to some other self. Maybe this is Philosophical, or maybe I have been reflecting too much about these horrible experiences. I don't know if others have had this experience.

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