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8: Postictal State

I recently read someone's depiction of their postictal state they experience after having a seizure. It was very different from mine. Sometimes I don't experience a postictal state. Only after a more severe seizure do I seem to experience a postictal state that lasts for a discernable amount of time.

For those of our visitors that don't know, a postictal state can be defined as follows:


"this is the stage when a person’s body begins to recover from their seizure. It occurs between the end of its seizure and its return to its reference condition.

Recovery time during this period may vary. Some patients can recover from their attack right away, while others can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours...There may also be an emotional component characterized by feelings of shame, anxiety, frustration, or sadness." (scopeheal.com)


Personally, I appear to experience memory loss, confusion, and a decreased ability to express myself verbally. However, I seem to only experience these things externally. When I am in a postictal state, my mind is running clearly, and I am thinking normally. I can't express myself correctly though. A memory comes to mind and I can't say it out loud. A sentence that I need to communicate will come up, but I can't say it. I stumble through communication in such a way that I sound much less cognitively aware than I actually am.

The first time I ever experienced a postictal state I wasn't sure what was happening at all. It was directly following my first seizure and I was totally clueless. I had never experienced a feeling like that before. I was so confused and felt lost. I could also not express myself the way I wanted to and felt extremely frustrated. It wasn't until much later when my neurologist explained to me what had happened that I finally understood what was going on when I felt that way.

I know that everyone's experience varies when it comes to postictal states, as does the severity and length. The few tonic-clonic seizures I have experienced in my life ended with postictal states that lasted anywhere from an hour or two, to a couple days. These were always accompanied by the symptoms described earlier.

Recently, if I have a serious enough postictal state, my wife will test me on a regular basis for days afterwards on the release date of upcoming movies that I'm looking forward to. The last time she needed to do this was in late 2017 at the time she asked when Psych: The Movie, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and Avengers: Infinity War were being released. If I was able to tell her the release dates of these movies, she would deem me capable of watching our little girl during the day while she was at work. There was only one day when I was unable to recall the dates, but I knew beforehand that I wouldn't be able to and didn't even try. I was in pretty sorry condition.


What are the symptoms of your postictal states? Let us know in the comments below and start a conversation on the forums!

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