Sunday, June 21, 2015

Convulsions Take Control

Convulsing is becoming more common as it has become a symptom of many other health problems. These convulsions usually relate to a seizure. By definition, a seizure is the physical finding or change in behavior that occurs after an episode of abnormal electrical activity in the brain. A convulsion is the actual uncontrollable shaking of the body where muscles are continuously contacting and relaxing. When a person begins to convulse, they lose total control of the body. The convulsions take control and can cause severe pain when a person awakes from a seizure.

There are many different types of seizures, with the most common being epilepsy. Epilepsy is diagnosed when there is a pattern of seizures. However, other types of seizures are: Myoclonic, Absence, Clonic, Tonic, Grand Mal, and Atonic seizures. All of these seizures occur in different parts of the brain, and their severity depends on the amount of electrical activity and where it occurs. 

What causes this excess electrical brain activity? There are many causes, some still unknown. Some include: Head injury, Drug abuse, heat related illness, tumors, poisoning, brain injuries that occur before birth or during birth. Though these are not all of the causes, they are a great portion.

There is one type and cause of seizures that is usually not classified when researching. This is called a Pseudo Seizure. For those that do not know, the word 'pseudo', means fake. However, there is nothing fake about these convulsions that take over the body. The cause of this seizure is a traumatic event. This is definitely broad, and the word traumatic can mean something different for everybody. Many people with anxiety, depression, and high stress levels are classified as suffering through a traumatic event. For the most part, people with pseudo seizures have been medically diagnosed with PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Unfortunately, these seizures are becoming more and more common as the convulsing is a way for the body to relieve some of the stress it is carrying. 

One last thing that I would like to point out is that not all seizures are shown through convulsing. There are seizures in which a person may stare off into a distance, pass out or struggle breathing. These can all be forms of seizures and will only be classified as one when an EEG shows there is abnormal brain activity. 

If a person is having a seizure, and you are around, it is important to remain calm and activate EMS unless otherwise told. Some people have a specific action plan for their seizures, so be willing to listen to those that are also present with the person. Always block a persons head from any hard objects. This can be done by laying a persons head on your thigh while they convulse - preventing possible brain damage. Stay with the person and remember to follow all directions given by the operator from the emergency medical services.


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