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A look back at the blogs on seizures

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A look back at the blogs on seizures

Epilepsy Society's Ben O'Keefe looks back on his video blog series on seizures and analyses the comments and feedback from supporters.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has read my blogs and commented on the Facebook videos depicting different types of seizures. I think these blogs and videos have started some great discussions between supporters. You can read my round up of all the different blogs I've written over the last couple of months below. I also discuss some of your comments and feedback that were posted on Facebook.

Absence seizures

The first seizure type I looked at, that people tend to be less aware of, was absence seizures. During an absence seizure the person will become unconscious for a short time. They might look blank and stare or their eyelids might flutter. It's not unlike daydreaming  but the person will not usually be able to respond to you or the environment they are in.

Read my blog and watch the video on absence seizures

People commented under the Facebook post that when you experience an absence seizure you feel like you are frozen while not being able to respond verbally. Supporters also found the video slightly confusing as they didn't know which person was having the absence seizure. This is something we will be taking into account when producing videos in the future.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the absence seizure video:

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Myoclonic seizures

We then looked at myoclonic seizures. This is when a person's muscles will jerk, usually for a very brief amount of time and often happen shortly after the person has woken up. Some people might have myoclonic seizures that happen very close together, sometimes called clusters.

Read my blog and watch the video about myoclonic seizures

We had positive comments on Facebook mentioning that these videos are helping family and friends understand their seizures and spreading the word on different types of seizures.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the myoclonic seizures video:

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Tonic clonic seizures

My third blog was on tonic clonic seizures. This seizure is probably the most recognisable type of seizure and is widely used to portray epilepsy in film and TV. At the start of a seizure a person will become unconscious, their body will go stiff (if they are standing they will usually fall backwards), they may cry out and they may bite their cheek or tongue.  

Read my blog and watch the video about tonic clonic seizures

We had some great discussion under the Facebook video. Some supporters mentioned that they experienced memory loss due to these seizures and had pain in their limbs and face straight after. We also had some lovely comments from supporters saying these videos are helping them show friends and family what someone might experience after a tonic clonic seizure.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the tonic clonic seizures video:

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Simple focal seizures

My next blog was on simple focal seizures which only affects a small part of one of the lobes of the brain. Sometimes a simple focal seizure is called a 'warning' or an 'aura' because, for some people, it will develop into another type of seizure.

Read my blog and watch the video about simple focal seizures

We had lots of comments describing exactly what other people experienced while having a simple focal seizure. This included flashes of light, rainbow colours and black and white spots.  Supporters also said this video was very helpful for them to experience what family members went through during a seizure, as it's difficult to explain what an aura looks like.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the simple focal seizures video:

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Complex focal seizures

My fifth blog was on a complex focal seizure which affects a bigger part of one side of the brain than simple focal seizures. During the seizure, the person might make strange or repetitive movements and they may wander around while not being aware of what they are doing.

Read my blog and watch the video about complex focal seizures

Supporters used the Facebook comments section to state how pleased they were with the blog series and that these videos were a fantastic way to educate the public. Supporters were also thankful that we were showing different types of seizures and not just the seizures which are widely known like tonic clonic seizures. It's great that these videos are helping people to understand seizures more.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the complex focal seizures video:

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Tonic seizures

In my penultimate blog I looked at tonic seizures. During a tonic seizure a person's muscles will suddenly become stiff. If they are standing up they will usually fall, often backwards and could potentially injure the back of their head. Tonic seizures are generally very brief and will happen without any warning.

Read my blog and watch the video about tonic seizures

One thing that came from the comments on the Facebook video was that supporters felt that the recovery time was very quick for the person having the seizure. Comments stated that it can take different lengths of time to recover depending on the seizure and person. This just go to show that every seizure is individual to that person with different recovery times, injuries and symptoms.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the tonic seizures video: 

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Atonic seizures

In my final blog I looked at atonic seizures. During an atonic seizure a person's muscles will suddenly become floppy and relax. If they are standing they will usually fall, normally forwards and may injure their head or face. Atonic seizures will usually be brief and happen without warning.

Read my blog and watch the video about atonic seizures

Some supporters felt that the video showing an atonic seizure didn't accurately represent their seizures and they wanted to see an actual seizures all the way through. We will be taking your comments into account when creating future videos on seizures. We hope to be able to show you a first person perspective video of someone having a seizure all the way through, so people can understand exactly what people with epilepsy go through.

Here are some of the Facebook comments on the atonic seizures video:

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I've really loved writing these blogs and reading you comments. Your feedback has really shown me that everybody experiences epilepsy differently. Using your comments we will create content which educates the public and shows exactly what people with epilepsy go through on a daily basis.

For more information on seizures