Sep 4, 2008

deja vu and epilepsy?

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When I was around 10 I started having a LOT of deja vu.. only it wasn't like most deja vu experiences I'd ever heard of before or since. At that time I was living with my aunt and uncle and 2 little cousins.. but my aunt's sister Judy, Judy's 5 yr old daughter Tammy, and my aunt's mother all lived on the other side of this duplex. (I'm related on my uncles side). Anyway, I said all of that to give you some examples of the type of 'deja vu' I was having so often at that time.

Not only would I have a feeling that I had already seen and experienced before what I knew I hadn't really seen and experienced before... but it would be as if I was 'remembering' the same situation but reversed roles. For example, one time I pushed Tammy down the steps and she cried and ran in to tell my (our) aunt and got me in trouble. Immediately, I remembered (deja vu) this the other way around, as though it was Tammy who pushed me down, and I remembered thinking I didn't really have to cry but that I would to get her in trouble as a way of getting back at her. I remembered that being my reason for going in to tell. The deja vu experience was so intense that to this day I'm am not sure which way it really happened.
Did I push her down? Or did she push me down? I'll never know!

I could have dismissed these things as delusions, but it seemed that I was correct in knowing what others were thinking at times. I couldn't do this at will or anything like that.. and it happened with things that didn't even matter.
But I remember once I came out into the back yard and as Tammy then also came out, I had another 'deja vu' experience in which I 'remembered' living on her side of the duplex, wearing what she was wearing, and I remembered doing certain things with my dolls or teddy bears or something like that. Anyway, there was no way I could have seen her doing those things because the window was too high for me to see in and even if I could, I knew for myself that I didn't see her. Yet when I told her... I asked her 'did you do this.. did you go here and do that and put this over there' etc.... and she said 'yeah, how did you know?' I had been trying to tell her of these experiences and she hadn't believed me. She thought I was pulling her leg I guess. So when I told her that it was because of these experiences that I knew, she said I had to have looked through the window or something. I was really surprised at how accurate my 'memory' seemed to be... that I knew without seeing her what she had been doing.
This was all strange to me.. I hadn't even heard of deja vu at the time so I called it 'fantasies' without even knowing what the word fantasy meant!! I had heard of the word before but didn't even know what it meant and yet I used it to give a name to what I was experiencing. How bazzaar!!

Anyway, these are the types of deja vu I had a LOT of while living there.

When I was 12 I remember having my first petit mal seizure... by the time I was 14 I had my first grand mal and was diagnosed with epilepsy. I had forgotton about the deja vu experiences and had no idea there could be a connection, so I didn't even think of telling the doctor about them. I still experienced this deja vu.. just not so often.

The first meds they put me on worked.. they stopped the seizures.. although I don't think the 'deja vu' experiences had stopped... though far fewer even before I started on the meds. (phenobarb and zarontin) Later on I would try going off the meds only to find I still had epilepsy.

When I was around 15, I believed that psychic ability was caused by evil spirits and I wanted no part of it so suspecting that my particular deja vu was closer to psychic ability than simple deja vu, I began to ignore the experiences whenever they started to occur and they went away. They
completely stopped. (still had epilepsy however which seems to show no connection between the petit/grand mal seizures and the deja vu experiences) I had tried talking about it with an adult but I was told it was my imagination. I knew it wasn't.

I'd like to know if this deja vu was actually a type of partial seizure or not. I'd also like to know if anyone else has experienced this particular type of 'deja vu'. I can't find anyone else who has ever experienced or heard of this.. and I can't find anything on the internet about it. I found out that there are different types of deja vu, such as deja su etc.. but non of the descriptions matched what I experienced. I can't be the only one. Hasn't anyone out there experienced this? I was also surprised when I found out that there could be a connection with epilepsy, although this itself seems to be debatable. From what I've read, some believe it is a seizure and others think that notion is silly.

Mostly I think I just would like to find others who have experienced this.. and I thought that since this newsgroup is 'neuroscience' maybe some of you might have some interesting things to tell me about this whole bazaar thing.

BTW - I am now 30 yrs old. I managed to have 3 children. My dads side of the family has similar problems... my dad is schitzophrenic, my grandmother is OCD and my uncle suffers panic disorders.
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Anonymous said...

I've experienced this same thing, but felt I was watching a movie I had already seen. During the episode I would often feel nauseous. They seemed to occur frequently over a few days and then disappear for awhile. I would also tend to get a headache afterwards. I was diadnosed with epilepsy at 13, but then "grew out" of it by 19. I havn't had a episode since I started ACD's

tlr said...

great to know that many of us had these marvelous experience.

Anonymous said...

hi, ive been looking for something like this on an off for a few years now, its the closest description to what ive had, although, what i get seems to come in a "wave", or a "spike"

at the spike, its not just the scene im presently in, but things further away, the next rooms, as if for a brief moment my awareness has peaked beyond conventional means.

i dont get these very often, once every 6 months or so, im now 28 been getting them for roughly ten years. never taken meds.

afterwards i feel very ill, and want to vomit, but dont actually vomit.

in many ways i wish it would happen more often so i could study it futher, but im certain theres some thought processes which trigger it

id like to look into it further, and if anyones interested my address is

Anonymous said...

I am trying to find info on "symptoms" my 14 yr old daughter is having. For months now she has classic deja vu, to the point that we will go somewhere she has never been and she will be able to close her eyes and tell us what is going to happen and describe what is around the corner. Then she feels like she is going to vommit, but doesn't. From what I'm reading on these other posts, you all seem to be saying it is a precurser to epilepsy. Is that correct? "Intuition" and psychic abilities run in my family, so I guess I just chalked it up to that, but after reading these posts, I am kinda worried for her. Epilepsy doesn't run in our family, nor does any type of seizure disorder. Can anyone offer advice/ideas?

Anonymous said...

I have had a few "deja vu" experiences and also one or two Sprirtual / Psychic experiences where I have realised that I am more entined with my family / close friends than I realised and that I have been related to family members in other scenarios in the past.Although I appreciate that Spritual truth/reality should be deeper than family bonds, I couldn't help but notice this strange occurence, also when this Psychic episode happened, I realised that premonitions of it had been echoing back through my earlier life, almost like ripples/reverberations of significance spreading backwards in time, I found this very odd and difficuilt to handle.
however the point of my e-mail is to say that I have definately experienced an almost unconscious tie with people who I feel I have been around in many similar scenarios, perhaps we have been related to our closest ones over many lifes, in many different ways ?

thelastreflex said...

@anonymous, thanks for the share.