Seizure control

Hello last year I was diagnosed with vasa vagal syncope which I now take a tablet for to reduce the events and it works as I have not had a a episode for a year. However after a year of being free from any events I had a seizure the other day which lasted 5 minutes. I first went rigid and then my arms and legs started convulsing my eyes where open but we're rolled back into my head. My mouth was also slightly open with saliva coming out. Throughout the seizure and afterwards I did not bite my tongue or become incontinent. The limbs where also moving together. I was still convulsing when the paramedics arrived but then stopped shortly after spontaneously.

I was referred to a neurologist to see if I had epilepsy and I had a standard EEG, sleep deprived EEG and a brain MRI which all came back normal. I am worried as the other day I had another seizure the same as the one described above. I was wondering if any has any experiance with being diagnosed with epilepsy just by a description of the seizure? And how common is it to be diagnosed by description? Any help will be appreciated

5 Replies

  • I have had epilepsy since I was 3 months old I am now 48 over the years I havevhad all the eegs and MRIs taken off my tablets for a week at a time yet still had no fits when they wanted me to have them! However they are quite certain I have epilepsy

    unfortunately for me I had an operation but it was unsuccessful so continue to have tests unsuccessful so far!!! Perhaps one day I'll let them see one!!!haha!

  • Hello Katiex

    It sounds like you have had a scary time recently.

    It is possible for a person to have a single seizure in their lifetime, and never have another. If a person is diagnosed with epilepsy, it means that they have a tendency to have recurrent seizures. It is good that you are being checked out by a neurologist, as they are the only person who will be able to guide you as to whether it was a seizure caused by epilepsy.

    Seizures can be caused by a variety of health related conditions and this is why doctors often run a variety of tests to try to find a cause. The doctor can then combine the information they get from these tests with the descriptions you give them, and move towards offering treatment if needed. Some people never find a cause for their seizures. More information about diagnosis can be found on our website:

    It is possible that a doctor could diagnose a person by hearing a description of what has happened and adding these to the result of certain medical tests. Sometimes though, a person may have one seizure and never have one again.

    If we can be of any more help, or if you would like to talk in person about this please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline:


    Epilepsy Action Advice & Information Team

  • Thankyou so much for the information I know sometimes you can never find the cause of your seizures does that mean you still have epilepsy? But not know the cause for that? Like a brain tumour.

  • Hi Katiex

    Yes you can still have epilepsy and not know the cause. In fact, in around 6 out of 10 people doctors don’t know what caused their epilepsy. For some people it’s just part of how they are made that makes them more likely to have seizures.

    I hope this helps. If you’d like to talk anything through please feel free to contact the Epilepsy Action Helpline

    Best wishes


    Epilepsy Action Advice and Information Team

  • Hi yes I have, and like you my eeg came back normal, and so did the mri, I don't always have the classic sytoms either, mine happen during my sleep, or prior to dropping off. Also in my case i have a strong family history of eplepsy and have had it in the past

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