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tonic clonic seizures

(previously called grand mal)

These are the seizures most people think of as epilepsy.

At the start of the seizure:

  • the person becomes unconscious
  • their body goes stiff and if they are standing up they usually fall backwards
  • they may cry out
  • they may bite their tongue or cheek.

During the seizure:

  • they jerk and shake (convulse) as their muscles relax and tighten rhythmically
  • their breathing might be affected and become difficult or sound noisy
  • their skin may change colour and become very pale or bluish
  • they may wet themselves.

After the seizure (once the jerking stops):

  • their breathing and colour return to normal
  • they may feel tired, confused, have a headache or want to sleep.

Experiencing a tonic clonic seizure

Watch this video to find out what the experience of a tonic clonic seizure may be like. During the seizure a person jerks and shakes (convulse) as their muscles relax and tighten rhythmically.

Taken from our Seizures leaflet. Order this leaflet from our online shop as part of our 'first five free' offer, or download the pdf using the link below.

 

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