Seizure Awareness

According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 10% of people may experience an unprovoked seizure in their lifetime. Just one seizure alone does not indicate epilepsy or seizure disorder; however, 1 in 26 people in the US will develop a seizure disorder. About 80% of those individuals can manage their symptoms with medicine, but there is no known cure for seizure disorder. As you can see, seizures and seizure disorder are not rare, so what exactly is a seizure? Though there are many types and classifications of seizures, they are characterized by sudden excessive and abnormal brain activity affecting how a person may appear or behave for a short period of time.

Types of Seizures:


  1. Absence seizures. Also known as petit mal seizures, absence seizures are characterized by staring into space and subtle body movements like eye blinking. They may occur in clusters and cause a brief loss of awareness.
  2. Tonic seizures. These seizures are characterized by a stiffening of the muscles and often times result in a fall to the ground.
  3. Atonic seizures. Similar to tonic seizures, atonic seizures cause a loss of muscle control and may cause you to drop to the ground, hence, their characterization as a “drop” seizure.
  4. Clonic seizures. These seizures are associated with repeated, rhythmic, and jerking muscle movements.
  5. Myoclonic seizures. Similar to clonic seizures, these seizures appear as sudden, brief jerks of the arms and/or legs.
  6. Tonic-clonic seizures. Also known as grand mal seizures, can cause loss of consciousness and are characterized by body stiffening and shaking. These are often the scary to witness.


  1. Simple partial seizures. These seizures may alter a person’s emotions and/or perceptions and may result in involuntary jerking and spontaneous sensory symptoms.
  2. Complex partial seizures. Individuals experiencing this form of seizure will often lose consciousness or awareness, will not respond normally to their environment, and may perform repetitive movements such as hand rubbing, chewing, swallowing, or walking in circles.


  1. Febrile seizures. These seizures are most commonly experience by infants and children and are triggered by infection and high fever.

First Aid Tips and Seizure Facts

  1. You can NOT swallow you tongue during a seizure, so NEVER put something in the mouth of an individual experiencing seizure activity.
  1. Make the individual experiencing the seizure comfortable and help them to the ground if possible, but NEVER restrain them or attempt to hold them down.
  1. Call 911 for prolonged seizure activity in those diagnosed with seizure disorder or epilepsy or immediately in individuals who have never experienced seizures.
  1. Most individuals with seizure disorder can do the same things that people without seizure disorder can do; however, those with more severe symptoms or with frequent seizure activity may be restricted from working or driving and may also experience other problems in day to day life.


*All information was collected from the following sites:

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