Today’s guest article is contributed by Meredith Walker, who writes about the masters in public health. She welcomes your feedback at “MeredithWalker1983 at gmail.com” Enjoy the article and please make her feel welcome!
Complex partial seizures are epileptic seizures that affect one particular region of the brain. These seizures do not usually cause a tonic seizure more commonly associated with epilepsy, but instead affect thoughts and behavior.
Sufferers may go undiagnosed or misunderstood as this type of seizure is often not recognized as a physical disability and thought, instead, to be a mental disorder. Even when diagnosed, those with complex partial seizures may feel isolated as this invisible disability may not be recognized. The good news is that these types of seizures are often well-controlled by medication.
Here are seven facts to help you better understand complex partial seizures.
- No control, no memory. During a complex partial seizure, a person cannot interact normally with others because she is not in control of her body. After the seizure, the person probably will not remember what happened during the seizure.
- Not all seizures look the same. A person having a complex partial seizure may look like they are continuing with their activities or pursuing rather normal activities. Other people having this type of seizure may act strangely, crying, screaming, repeating the same words, or taking off their clothes.
- What it looks like. When observing someone going into a seizure, it may appear that she is staring into space, but may then begin to engage in activities.
- Early warning. Some people with complex partial seizures get early warning signals such as a visual aura, an odd sensation of fear or déjà vu, or a sensation of tingling or numbness. For others, however, the seizures can onset very rapidly with no warning.
- Duration. These seizures can last from 30 seconds to several minutes. Many people are disoriented or sleepy and may not feel normal again for many hours.
- Causes. Complex partial seizures may be caused by any number of factors. Commonly, brain injury, illness that affects the brain, or stroke can cause these seizures. There is also some evidence that children who experience prolonged or frequent febrile seizures are at greater risk for complex partial seizures.
- Helping someone having a complex partial seizure. Stay with that person until the seizure has passed. Try to guide the person to sit quietly. Do not use force unless he is acting dangerously to himself or others or may be putting himself at risk. Remove any objects from the area that may be dangerous.