View Full Version : Aura Preceding a Seizure

07-09-2019, 01:10 AM
I am writing a chapter in close POV where the character experiences a seizure. I know that she wouldn't be conscious when the actual seizure is taking place, but I need to know what she would be experiencing in the moments leading up to the actual seizure happening.

Personal experiences would be great, but so would likes to articles and videos, even other stories that try to write characters experiencing seizures.

07-09-2019, 02:56 AM
She might feel something "funny," or smell something bad, there might be some twitching, (one sided), she might feel tingling in a specific part of her body, she might see flashing lights/dots, headache, a specific nausea, like when you're on a ride and hit a bump, feels like your stomach is coming up, sudden anger or laughing...auras can take many forms depending on which part of the brain is experiencing the activity. they're actually simple partial seizures (meaning only one part of the brain is involved, with preserved consciousness).

Not everyone who has seizures experiences auras, and sometimes the seizure stops with the simple partial and doesn't progress.

07-09-2019, 10:05 AM
Remember there are two kinds of seizures: grand mal (tonic clonic) and petite mal. (https://www.reference.com/health/difference-between-petite-mal-grand-mal-seizure-de2da6f68e50a83f)

Tonic clonic seizure with an aura (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/epilepsy/tonic-clonic-grand-mal-seizures)
The seizure may start with a simple or complex partial seizure known as an aura. The person may experience abnormal sensations such as a particular smell, vertigo, nausea, or anxiety. If the person is familiar with having seizures, they may recognize the warning signs of a seizure about to begin.

A seizure dog is a dog that has been trained (or has learned) to respond to a seizure in someone who has epilepsy. (https://www.epilepsy.com/learn/seizure-first-aid-and-safety/seizure-dogs)

07-09-2019, 01:38 PM
Actually, there are more than two types of seizures.

They can be generalized, meaning the entire brain is involved: tonic clonic, absence, or atonic. These all involve loss of consciousness, whether for a second, a minute, or a few minutes.

Or they can be focal seizures: Simple focals, as described above, one limited area of the brain is involved with preserved consciousness. Complex focal seizures: Not the whole brain but not limited to such a small area, the seizure does spread, often but not always staying in one lobe or one side of the brain, these involve altered consciousness or loss of consciousness. Certain complex focals will involve the person appearing to be awake, they may even keep walking, but the movements look a bit odd, and responses will be off or nonsensical. Like the simple focals, what is experienced and or seen by others depends upon the path the seizure takes in the brain.

There are myoclonic seizures, where a limited muscle group is involved in repeated jerking or twitching, this is usually both sides, but can be one side. Consciousness is preserved during myoclonic seizures.

Then there are secondary generalized seizures, which begin as complex focals and spread to the entire brain.

Simple focals do not impact memory. Complex focals and generalized seizures usually do. Complex focals & tonic clonics often involve a recovery period, called post-ictal, where the person who has had the seizure sleeps a particularly deep, hard sleep immediately afterwards. This could be a few minutes or a few hours.

People may have more than one seizure type, but generally, people with epilepsy have typical seizures, ie:what is seen and experienced for their aura will be the same, or one of two or three every time, their seizures will present the same/similar every time.

If you have questions specific to your story, feel free to ask.

***Get the seizure response/first aid right!!! If you write a scene where someone having a seizure is held down or something is stuck in their mouth, you will be faced with the wrath of everyone who has & or loves someone with epilepsy. :tongue Those are very old school movie responses that are dangerous to both the person seizing and the person trying to help them. Seizures are generally self-resolving, meaning they end on their own in 30 seconds-3 minutes (absence, atonic, and myoclonic are shorter, just a second or a few, but often occur in clusters). Seizures lasting more than 5 minutes are a medical emergency called status epilepticus.

Seizure First Aid: Stay with the person having the seizure. Stay calm. Move anything they might harm themselves on through jerking/falling. If they are still up and moving but near stairs/water/ subway tracks, guide them away from the danger, try to help them/encourage them to sit--do NOT force. If wearing a tie or scarf, try to loosen it. If they have fallen/lost consciousness, gently turn them on their side. They will NOT, I repeat, NOT swallow their tongue, physically impossible, however, it is possible when all the muscles relax for the tongue to block their airway, or excessive saliva to pose a choking hazard. Turning them onto their side prevents this. Time the seizure, if longer than 5 minutes, call 911. If people begin gathering, encourage them to step back, 1) this is not a show, 2) people with epilepsy often come out of the seizure confused, sometimes agitated, a crowd of people on top of them is frightening.

07-10-2019, 12:07 AM
I was trying to keep it simple. :tongue

That's all excellent information, by the way. :D