Experiencing and Dealing With Mini Seizures

Less violent and lengthy than a grand mal seizure, experiencing mini seizures can be a scary, worrying event.  Learn what may have caused your seizures and what you can do to deal with the occurrence.

Mild or short seizures fall under the label of mini seizure and can be experienced at any age.  Often a symptom of epilepsy, they can be felt in different parts of the body but always originate in the brain.

When the chemicals in your brain become unbalanced or the brain is deprived of oxygen, mini seizures occur.  Head injuries and withdrawal from prescription drugs or alcohol use can also bring on seizures.  Conditions such as stroke and diseases such as AIDS are also behind the occurrence in some cases.

It’s estimated that 10% of Americans will suffer some sort of seizure in their lifetime.  Over 2 million people suffer from seizures and epilepsy today. 

What Happens During Mini Seizures

The symptoms or problems that occur during seizures depend on what part of the brain is affected.  Sometimes you will smell unusual odors, other times your vision will be cloudy or dimmed.  You may have trouble speaking or being quiet.

You won’t necessarily lose consciousness or pass out with a mini seizure.  You will be awake and aware while still not having control of your body.  That can be a scary and frustrating phenomenon. 

A sinking feeling in your stomach or a sense of doom may also announce a mini seizure.  One particular type of mini seizure that affects children will have the appearance of daydreaming – staring off into space or not being able to concentrate on something.  These are called general absence seizures; usually the person is completely normal and void of symptoms afterwards.

Occasionally mini seizures cause a person to pass out.  They may tug at things, shake or turn their heads repeatedly or mumble incoherently.  Be sure to try and keep a seizure sufferer from harming themselves while passed out.  Cushion their heads and support them in case of falling.

Shorter than tonic-clonic seizures, tonic seizures are classified as mini seizures because they last about 10 seconds.  They result in stiff muscles and may cause you to pass out.

Going To the Doctor

It’s important to visit your doctor at the first incident of a mini seizure.  They will likely perform numerous tests, including possibly an MRI or EEG.  Seizures leave lesions or scars on your brain and these tests should be able to spot whether it was a one time occurrence or something that has happened regularly.

Take a list of all prescription medications that you are on.  Be prepared to answer questions about your social habits, sleep patterns and diet.  All of these things can cause or contribute to the occurrence of seizures.

You may be prescribed an anti-seizure medication.  This will depend on how frequent and severe the occurrences are and whether the doctor can pinpoint a direct cause.  You will likely begin with a low dosage and work up until the seizures are controlled.  There is some debate as to whether all adults who experience mini seizures should be automatically prescribed a drug, but talk to your doctor extensively about this or any other medical treatment.

It’s important to note if there are any triggers for a seizure.  Food allergies, flashing lights or tobacco use are some of the common triggers.  Practicing avoidance of these is always a good idea if you or your parent has noted it to be a trigger.  Some conditions that cause seizures are hereditary.

Remember to exercise on a regular basis and eat well.  All of these general health principles are good for preventing the onset of seizures.  Visit your doctor frequently and take any medications properly.  Educating yourself on the causes and treatment of mini seizures will give you a sense of control when these disturbances occur.