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deja vu and epilepsy?

Liane ekuckny at ciaccess.com
Sat Apr 3 14:28:49 EST 1999


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

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.

Liane...   mailto:ekuckny at ciaccess.com
Chatham, Ontario, Canada

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