There are some people out there who have seizures and can’t help but to let it happen. When someone you know goes into a seizure, there are some things you need to know. Seizures come in two different forms: epileptic and non-epileptic.
Epileptic seizures are caused by a disruption is the electrical activity on the brain. If someone identifies themselves as an epileptic, taking precautions is necessary. If you witness someone, react immediately. Loosen all clothing around the neck, do not try to hold the person down or put objects in their mouth; ask bystanders to give them room, and remove sharp objects. After the seizure, roll the person on their side to open airways, and do not leave them alone until fully aware of what is going on. Call 911 if the seizure lasts for more than five minutes or if they have seizures one after the other.
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) can be divided into two groups: organic non-epileptic seizures and psychogenic seizures. Organic NES have a physical cause, including fainting and metabolic causes such as diabetes. Psychogenic seizures are caused by mental or emotional processes. This can happen when someone’s reaction to painful or difficult thoughts and feelings affect them physically.
Psychogenic seizures include: dissociative seizures, panic attacks, and factitious seizures. Dissociative seizures happen unconsciously, meaning the person has no control over them. This is the most common type of NES. Panic attacks can happen in frightening situations. Panic attacks can cause sweating, being able to feel your heartbeat, trembling and difficulty breathing. The person can lose consciousness and shake. Factitious seizures means that the person has some level of control over the seizures. These seizures form part of Münchausen’s Syndrome. This is a rare psychiatric condition where a person is driven by a need to have medical investigations and treatments.
When a person has a non-epileptic seizure, you follow the same precautions above while also remembering the following: keep the person safe from injury or harm, and only move them if they are in danger; if they have fallen, put something soft under their head to protect it.
Knowing this can save someone’s life. To learn more, visit http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/non-epileptic-seizures#.VfwrvCgVikp. Stay updated on this condition to help someone, and if you suspect someone is, ask them so you can prepare yourself.