Epilepsy Action

Is this Epilepsy?

Hi all,

For a few months now, I've had weird experiences. I'm going about my daily business when suddenly, its as if iv'e had a very, very vivid 'Memory' gets forced into my thoughts. Its not an hallucination, i can't see or hear anything. It's just that this memory is so strong. But the more i try and solidify it in my mind, it starts to fade until I'm left with nothing other than the knowledge that something strange has just happened. While its happening, i can still function normally.

Any help/advice would be great.

Thanks in advance.


2 Replies

Hi IanLeg

Thank you for your question.

It can be a worry when we experience something out of the ordinary. So I hope our information will help you decide if you need to see your family doctor or not.

If it is a type of epilepsy it will be a focal seizure. In these seizures the epileptic activity starts in just a part of your brain. You can remain alert and experience or unusual sensations or feelings.

Focal seizures can be very brief or last for minutes. epilepsy.org.uk/info/seizur...

If you think you may have epilepsy, it would be best to talk to your family doctor. If necessary, they usually refer you to a neurologist. The ideal would be to someone with a specialist interest in epilepsy, as there are many different neurological conditions, and neurologists tend to specialise in different ones. epilepsy.org.uk/info/diagnosis

It would also be helpful for you and your doctors if you take notes or keep a diary of what you experience.


I hope this is of help. If we can be of any more help, please feel free to contact us again, either by email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk or the Epilepsy Helpline freephone 0808 800 5050.


Diane Wallace

Advice and Information Team


Dear Ian,

Prepare to have your life turned upside down if you visit the medical profession. My wife reported me to my GP, and subsequently a neurologist for occasionally experiencing something similar, which I would have described as daydreaming or absentmindedly thinking about more pleasant issues when we were together. Some would describe this as a typical, long time married, response from a disinterested husband - the classic 'yes dear, no dear response'.

Having no choice but to allow my wife to express her observations and her great desire for a medical 'label' to be put on her every ailment, and by association, mine (Munchausen/hypochondria?) and believing I could not stop her I foolishly allowed her to put her embellished descriptions to my GP and then a neurologist. Marital relations were at a low ebb, and I would have been unable to stop her making these accusations, even if I had tried. I am still struggling to believe that she acted in what she though was my best interest.

I had not realised just how much of a slippery slope I found myself on, when faced with a neurologist who pointedly ignored everything I reported, whilst lapping up my wife's embellished reports, simply on the basis that I had had a seizure, and therefore anything I said was irrelevant. I was ORDERED Not to drive (although he couldn't legally do this) forthwith, with no clinical tests or diagnosis at all. Anyone can make such an allegation, it seems. I was ORDERED to start a case with the DVLA to assess my capability to drive.

Despite getting a second opinion from a private neurologist, at great cost, and passing all the tests performed by both neurologists, the first neurologist recommended to the DVLA that my driving licence was revoked, for at least six months, or until I could prove I had not had a seizure for a year. The opinion of a neurologist who had done a more thorough assessment and said that the tests did not suggest epilepsy, was simply ignored. Guilty until I can prove myself innocent. I wish I knew how to do so.

I am trying, at further great expense, to get an appeal raised before my professional life is completely destroyed, and with it my ability to provide a livelihood for myself and my family. I am self employed, for almost thirty years, the wrong side of sixty, and have a job requiring mobility on occasions. I am unlikely to find any work in my chosen profession within public transport range. I work in computer support, often remotely, but it is essential that when remote activities fail I must attend site. My marriage was stressful, and the likely reason why I would absent myself on occasions. It must now end in divorce. I may have been able to retire in the next few years. I now can't afford both retirement and divorce. I have no opportunity to find any gainful employment with the limitations on my mobility. The doctors probably think that by making me an invalid they are lining me up for a nice comfy early retirement on a company pension, thereby effectively enhancing my life. The reality is rather more grim. My customers must find an alternative consultant, and are unlikely to ever employ me again. My business is being destroyed. Sadly they seem to enjoy the power they have over me.

So think carefully before 'consulting' the medical profession. They've happily destroyed my life, just to be 'on the safe side'. I'm not suicidal, but one of the significant side-effects of the drug they wanted me to take to stop the non-existent seizures is to produce suicidal thoughts. Oh, and to give the patient seizures - a fait accompli if I ever heard of one. Fortunately I declined the drug.

It's ironic that this site is 'heath unlocked' The medical profession have effectively locked me up in my own home.

Good luck.



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