Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

how to deal with seizures

The vast majority of seizures are self-limited. Thus, even if you did nothing at all, the person will almost always completely recover after the seizure. During the seizure, your main objective is to ensure

that the person does not injure herself. Do the following:

• If possible, try to turn her on to her side.

• Do not try to force any object into her mouth.

• Do not try to hold or restrain her.

• Do not try to force her to take medicines or drink water.

• If the fit lasts more than five minutes, inject diazepam or phenobarbitone (see below).

• After the seizure is over, she may be sleepy. Comfort her after she wakes.

• Once she is fully conscious and calm, the most important thing to do is to assess her carefully,as described earlier.

Ideally, all people with seizures should be assessed at least once by a medically qualified physician, if possible by a specialist in neurology or psychiatry. This is especially important for people whose

first seizure occurs after the age of 30. The main reason for this is to make sure the person does not suffer from a disease that is causing the epilepsy. Since the diagnosis of epilepsy often means

that the person has to take medicines for a long time, and may be restricted from doing some activities, you need to be confident that the diagnosis is correct. Specialist doctors may have

access to tests such as EEGs (whichexame the electrical activity of the brain) or CT or MRI scans (special X-rays of the brain).

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