Community Forum Archive

The Epilepsy Community Forums are closed, and the information is archived. The content in this section may not be current or apply to all situations. In addition, forum questions and responses include information and content that has been generated by epilepsy community members. This content is not moderated. The information on these pages should not be substituted for medical advice from a healthcare provider. Experiences with epilepsy can vary greatly on an individual basis. Please contact your doctor or medical team if you have any questions about your situation. For more information, learn about epilepsy or visit our resources section.

lip-smacking, Deja Vu, fear episodes

Fri, 06/19/2020 - 11:11
Hi all, I have noticed that my wife (30 years old) makes lip-smacking sound often when she is asleep with rare jerks, sometimes she wakes up screaming and feeling very lost for 10 -15 seconds either because of a dream or unable to explain what happened (forgetting about the whole thing the next day). Also, she does mention very often experiencing a deja vu. Finally, sometimes during the day, out of no-where, she starts crying and feeling very afraid (similar to a panic attack) without being able to explain even why she is crying or what she is thinking of. We are very close to each other and it is very hard that she is hiding anything from me. These symptoms do not happen all at the same time. These are just different things that happen every now and then individually. I have read online (while reading about my own adult absence Epilepsy) that there is something called focal partial seizures that do cause fear, deja vu, lip-smacking, but not sure how these happen and if they do fit my wife's case or if they are even a seizure or not. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks, George


George,You're right; the

Submitted by birdman on Sat, 2020-06-20 - 21:36
George,You're right; the symptoms you describe do sound very much like partial seizures to me.  I did lip smacking as a child.  Also fear and deja vu are symptoms I feel during some of my seizures.  You used the term "focal partial seizures".  They used to call them partial seizures as the seizures come from part of the brain.  Recently they changed it to call them focal seizures as they can identify a focus that sometimes can be treated surgically if medications do not work.  These can happen with impaired awareness, but it sounds like your wife is having them without impaired awareness which is very common but deserves treatment.Did I understand you that you feel she is hiding information from you?  I've had epilepsy all my life (>50 yrs) and I have been hesitant to share everything with others.  I imagine others are hurt by this but I would like to share a few thoughts why this may be:-- The symptoms can be very strange and hard to explain.  I've often felt foolish trying to tell others including my doctor about what I feel.  I'd say it's good that you can listen and make no judgement.  And do not go talking too much to others about what she is experiencing as it m at least until she is more comfortable talking more about it.  This forum is an excellent place to share but talking openly in daily conversation may break some trust trust between you.-- I enjoy me freedom and independence and I dislike it when others feel they need to watch over me very carefully.  Maybe your wife is having more events than she wants to share but does not disclose this.  Again the uncertainty of what she is experiencing can make her feel a little silly and humiliated.  It may be that she would welcome your support during this scary time.  On the other hand she may prefer to be left to deal with it more on her own so that her independence is not jeopardized.   Be sensitive to this and maybe ask her how she would like you to react to her disclosure of information.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts her on this forum,Mike

Dear Michael,I appreciate

Submitted by Georgio on Thu, 2020-06-25 - 15:28
Dear Michael,I appreciate every word you wrote by all means and I thank you very much. And I really need to ask you a few questions please.Just to explain one thing, what I tried to say regarding trust was the opposite of what you seemed to understand. I was saying that we share every little thing, I have Epilepsy and ADHD and we discuss everything with each other. The reason I mentioned this is because I trust that she is feeling fear and sadness episodes that she really doesn't know why and NOT because she is hiding anything from me.My main question is that can you explain a bit more of the symptoms you used to have such as lip-smacking, fear and sadness episodes, deja vu etc? Did they happen all at the same time or separately? Did you have seizures with impaired or non-impaired awareness and how can I read about the non-impaired ones and what did you feel when having seizures?My wife may feel what she calls a huge Deja Vu from nowhere or could go into crying from literally no reason whatsoever, or she may feel sudden fear for no reason (which we used to consider panic attacks), and of course, she does lip-smacking while asleep. But again, these symptoms do not happen at the same time. which sometimes make me think I am overthinking and this is just normal stuff that happen rarely.Thanks a lot for any reply you may write I am really lucky to have someone to ask a few questions before I consult a specialist. And I understand this might be a sensitive subject for you so if you prefer not to answer me I understand.Best wishes,George

George,Many of the symptoms

Submitted by birdman on Thu, 2020-06-25 - 22:06
George,Many of the symptoms happened with the same seizures, then there were different seizures, and then there were other experiences that happened outside of the seizures.  I remember having scary experiences as a child that left me in a panic, "Oh Oh, mom.  Here I go again."  I don't know if it was the intense, sudden onset that scared me the most, or was it because of the seizure.  But over the years I didn't want the attention and I didn't want to panic so I tried to relax despite the symptoms (sour smell/ taste and feeling like I had been in the same place and situation before).  But I couldn't hide the experience; if mom was close by she could tell something was wrong, "Are you having another seizure?"  My mother told the doctor that I often picked at my chest during these spells.  I denied it and swore I did not pick at my chest.  They call these automatisms and I was not aware of them.  Mom also said I chewed at my lips during these seizures.  Again as a child it was embarrassing because I did not understand how I could have these and not remember what I did.   I was aware during the seizures but I was unaware of the automatism.  Later elementary years I experienced more of the seizures with impaired awareness where I was told I stood just staring or doing some crazy thing like trying to get mom's high heel shoes on.  And then as my teen years went on I had the generalized seizures or "grand mals" where I fell, shook, and stiffened up.  I never did experience intense crying or other emotion during my seizures.  But after I had some of my most intense generalized seizures I first slept and recovered from the physical strain.  Then maybe a week afterward I had a day or two were I sometimes had trouble controlling the urge to laugh.  There was nothing humorous but I just wanted to laugh.  Then there came the period of depression.  Many patients experience "post-ictal depression".  It was uncomfortable, but I was able to cope because I knew it didn't last too long (a week or ten days).Also I often became more emotional before the seizures hit.  Like a string winding me up the emotional spell was there and then the seizure happened.  Afterward I was more relaxed and easygoing.  So I'd say our experiences are different but they have many similarities.  If you'd like to read many more seizure descriptions there is a good book, Brainstorms: Epilepsy in Our Words.  I read this many years ago.  It was comforting to read it and know that there were others who experienced the same thing yet there was quite a diversity.I'm glad to share with you.  At one time I would have felt foolish sharing this, but my understanding of epilepsy has left me comfortable telling about it.Mike

Sign Up for Emails

Stay up to date with the latest epilepsy news, stories from the community, and more.