How to Help Someone Having a Seizure

How to Help Someone Having a Seizure

At least 3.4 million people in the United States suffer from seizures. Whether from epilepsy, central nervous system infections, brain tumors, stroke, brain injuries, or other health conditions, more people are living with seizures than ever before.

If you’re dating or spending time with someone who experiences regular seizures or is at risk of having one, it’s essential to know what to do to keep them safe.

While witnessing an episode may seem frightening, it’s crucial to understand how to help someone having a seizure. Not only will you be better equipped to handle the situation effectively, but you’ll have the tools to stay calm while keeping everyone safe. Please keep reading for everything you need to know.

What Is A Seizure?

A seizure is a surge of uncontrolled electrical activity within brain cells. This burst causes temporary abnormalities in muscular movements, sensations, behaviors, or mental awareness.

Not all seizures are alike. They can be caused by a single event such as an injury or medication or can happen regularly. A person who experiences recurring episodes has epilepsy.

What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders and is characterized by recurring and unpredictable seizures. It affects people of all ages and is a spectrum condition with a range of seizure types that varies from person to person.

While dating someone with epilepsy may seem nerve-wracking, seizures are often managed and controlled with medication and different treatment options. In cases where seizures are difficult to treat, it’s essential to prepare yourself to understand what may happen and how best to react during a seizure to keep everyone safe.

Seizure Guide: What You Need To Know

Whether you have a friend with epilepsy or recently started dating someone with a disability that puts them at risk for seizures, it’s essential to understand what to do when an episode strikes.

Witnessing someone having a seizure can be a frightening experience, but most cases aren’t an emergency. It’s essential to know the different types of seizures and how to identify them.

Types Of Seizures Explained

Some seizures are more dangerous than others. Here are the two main types:

Focal Onset Seizure

This type of seizure starts in one area of the brain and can cause mild to severe symptoms. For example, their leg may begin to move, or facial muscles may twitch. Even though the person is awake and aware of what’s happening, they can’t control it.

A person suffering from a focal onset seizure may seem to zone out or stare off as the attack becomes more complex. While they stay conscious during the episode, they may not remember what happened afterward.

Generalized Seizure

A generalized seizure involves multiple areas of the brain all at once. The most well-known type is the generalized tonic-clonic seizure, sometimes called a grand mal seizure.

A tonic-clonic seizure causes loss of consciousness and extreme muscle contractions. Most people picture these types of attacks when imagining an episode.

During the beginning of the seizure, the muscles of the arms and legs will stiffen, known as the tonic part. Then the face, arms, and legs will begin to jerk violently, known as the clonic part of the seizure. Some people will experience only one part, while others will experience both.

Generalized seizures usually last no longer than three minutes. Any episode lasting longer will require immediate medical attention.

Seizure Symptoms

Symptoms of a generalized seizure may include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stiff muscles
  • Crying or groaning
  • Jerking of the legs and arms
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Limited breathing
  • Arched back
  • Blue lips

After the seizure has ended, the person may experience confusion, drowsiness, memory loss, headache, and weakness on one side of the body lasting up to a few hours.

How To Help Someone Having A Seizure

There isn’t much you can do to prevent or stop a seizure once it’s started, but there are steps you can take to protect someone from harm. It’s essential to understand basic seizure first aid and when it’s time to call for help.

Seizure Tips: First Aid

Seizure first aid is all about taking precautions to ensure the patient’s safety and those around them. You’ll most likely need to follow these steps during a generalized tonic-clonic seizure.

  • Keep others out of the way
  • Move any sharp or hard objects away from the patient
  • Avoid holding them down or trying to stop the movements
  • Place person on their side to help keep their airways clear
  • Time the length of the seizure from the start
  • Don’t put any objects near or around the mouth (the patient cannot swallow their tongue during an episode)

If the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, or the person has difficulty breathing or waking up, it’s time to call 911 for help.

Causes And Risk Factors

While most seizures are caused by epilepsy, other conditions may put someone at risk. Other common conditions include head injury, Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumor, stroke, meningitis, loss of oxygen at birth, extreme loss of sleep, heavy alcohol use, and brain infection.

Keep Your Cool And Stay Calm

Now that you know how to help someone having a seizure, you have the tools to keep your cool and effectively react when one might occur.

Witnessing a seizure can be a frightening event. While it’s completely normal to panic, it’ll only make matters worse for you and the other person. So breathe, stay calm, and remember the steps you learned to address the situation to keep everyone safe.

Feel free to contact us with any further questions about dating someone with a disability. We’re here to help!


  1. Mz. Blessed

    February 1, 2024 at 5:23 pm

    Perfer someone that’s moble, Perfer Epilepsy

  2. Mz. Blessed

    February 1, 2024 at 5:24 pm

    Perfer someone mobile can drive. Epilepsy


Leave a Reply

Questions or Concerns?

Have a question about Special Bridge? Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.

Contact Us
Mailing List Signup

By subscribing to our mailing list you will always be up-to-date with the latest Special Bridge news and articles.

Your privacy is always important to us. We will not give your name or email address to any third-parties.


Your privacy is important to us and we will never rent or sell your information.



Go up