Epilepsy - Symptoms
Epileptic seizures are sometimes
psychogenic seizures, which are not due to abnormal
electrical function. A psychogenic seizure may be a psychological response to
stress, injury, emotional trauma, or other factors.
There are many types of
epilepsy. All types cause seizures. It can be hard to determine what type
of epilepsy you have because of the numerous possible causes, because different
types of seizures can occur in the same person, and because the types may
affect each person differently.
Some specific types of epilepsy
- Benign focal childhood epilepsy, which causes muscles all over the body to stiffen and jerk.
These usually occur at night.
- Childhood and juvenile absence epilepsy, which causes staring into space, eye fluttering, and
slight muscle jerks.
- Infantile spasms (West syndrome), which
causes muscle spasms that affect a child's head, torso, and limbs. Infantile
spasms usually begin before the age of 6 months.
- Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, which causes jerking in the shoulders or
- Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, which causes frequent and
several different types of seizures to occur. This syndrome
can lead to falls during a seizure, which can cause an
- Temporal lobe epilepsy (the most common type of
epilepsy in adults), which causes smacking of the lips or rubbing the hands
together, emotional or thought disturbances, and hallucinations of sounds,
smells, or tastes.
Epilepsy is not a form of
intellectual disability or mental illness. Although a few
forms of childhood epilepsy are linked with below-average intelligence and
problems with physical and mental development, epilepsy does not cause these
problems. Seizures may look scary or strange, but they do not make a person
crazy, violent, or dangerous.
Not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy. Seizures that are not
epileptic may result from several different medical conditions such as poisoning,
fever, fainting, or alcohol or drug withdrawal. Seizures that
occur at the time of a disease, injury, or illness and stop when the condition
improves are not related to epilepsy. But if seizures occur repeatedly (become
chronic), occurring weeks, months, or even years after the injury or illness,
you have developed epilepsy as a result of the condition.
other conditions with similar symptoms, such as
fainting or seizures caused by high fevers.