A person with epilepsy has a tendency to have recurrent seizures – also called convulsions or fits. In major seizures the person loses consciousness and falls to the ground i.e. a “black-out”. In minor seizures there may be just an alteration in consciousness. Your brain is divided up into different areas. Each area is responsible for a different function of your body.
For example there is an area in your brain that controls speech, another area that controls movement of the muscles in your body, another area interprets sensory stimuli from what you touch and feel, another area is responsible for interpreting what you see etc. The communication between your brain and body occurs via electrical impulses that travel along nerves. When an electrical impulse travels from your brain to your muscles, the electrical impulse “shocks” the muscle and causes it to contract. The contraction of the muscles produces movement. An electrical impulse from your eyes to your brain tells your brain what you are seeing. An electrical impulse from your ears to your brain tells your brain what you are hearing. In epilepsy there is an abnormal electrical discharge that spreads throughout the brain causing an imbalance in electrical activity in the brain.
In tonic-clonic seizures (also called grand mal convulsions) this abnormal electrical discharge spreads along the nerves to the muscles, causing the muscles all over the body to contract. The person goes rigid and looses consciousness, falling down heavily if standing and often sustaining injury. At this stage the person stops breathing and his/her tongue and lips may go blue (from lack of oxygen). After a few moments, the rigidity is periodically relaxed, producing jerk movements. Some people do not have this rigid phase of muscle contraction – instead the muscles are totally limp (flaccid) and they go into a deep coma for a few minutes. The person then gradually regains consciousness, but is confused and disoriented for half an hour or more afterwards. Full memory function may not be recovered for a few hours. During the attack urinary incontinence may occur and tongue biting with bleeding is a hallmark of a generalized epileptic seizure. After a seizure like this the person usually feels terrible, may have a headache and will want to sleep. It is frightening for people to witness a seizure like this and they often think that the person is dying.
In another type of seizure called a partial motor seizure which is similar to the one above, there are spasms or rhythmic jerking that begins in one part of the body, such as the mouth, thumb or big toe and spreads gradually (Jacksonian epilepsy). These attacks can last from a few seconds to several hours. After a long episode, the involved limb may be paralyzed for several hours after the seizure (Todd’s palsy). Partial sensory seizures cause unpleasant tingling or ‘electric’ sensations for a few seconds on one side of the face or an arm and leg on one side of the body.
Another type of seizure is a partial complex seizure, where a person has an alteration of consciousness without the person collapsing to the ground. The person stops what he or she is doing and stares blankly, often making rhythmic smacking movements of the lips or other automatic movements such as picking their clothes. After a few minutes the person returns to consciousness but may initially feel muddled and drowsy. Before having an attack like this the person may experience an alteration in mood, memory and perception such as undue familiarity (déjà vu) or unreality, complex hallucinations of sound, smell, taste, vision, emotional changes (fear, sexual arousal), nausea or stomach pain. These hallucinations or alterations in perception are due to abnormal electrical discharges in the sensory area in the brain – the brain receives electrical impulses which falsely makes you think you are seeing, hearing or smelling something that is not really there.
Absence seizures (also called petit mal convulsions) is a minor seizure that occurs in children which resembles a partial complex seizure, but the attacks are shorter and a lot more frequent (up to 20 or 30 a day).
A seizure or convulsion can be caused by brain damage due to other underlying medical problems, some of which are mentioned below:
- Infections – abscesses in the brain, an infective mass of TB in the brain, toxoplasmosis, HIV and encephalitis. (HIV and viral encephalitis were discussed under the section on viruses above. Bacterial infections (including TB) and parasitic infections (like toxoplasmosis) are explained on page 249.)
- Inflammation – sarcoidosis, SLE, multiple sclerosis and vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels in the brain). These diseases involve the immune system attacking its own body (autoimmune diseases are explained on page 200).
- A brain hemorrhage bleeding into the brain that squashes and damages the nerves. This can be caused by trauma, high blood pressure (discussed on page 339) or aneurysms (discussed on page 352).
- Blood clot to the brain which cuts off blood supply to an area of brain (stokes are discussed on page 290).
- Trauma – an accident or during surgery or damage to the brain during birth.
- Tumors in the brain that squash and damage the nerves.
- Alcohol or amphetamine withdrawal.
- Side effect of medication for example:
– Antibiotics such as penicillin, isoniazid (used to treat TB), metronidazole.
– Anti-malaria drugs like Chloroquine and mefloquine.
– Drugs used to treat abnormal cardiac rhythm such as lidocaine and disopyramide.
– Tricyclic antidepressants and lithium (used to treat Bipolar disorder).
- Disturbance in electrolyte balance in the blood:
– Very low levels of sugar (glucose) – e.g. when diabetics overdose on their medication or when an elderly person has not eaten for a long time.
– Low levels of sodium – for example sodium can be lost with excessive vomiting or diarrhea.
– Low levels of calcium and magnesium.
– Kidney failure– because there is a build-up of toxic waste in the blood which was supposed to be filtered out by the kidney. These toxic waste products interfere with the normal functioning of the brain.
– Liver failure – when protein is broken down by the body, one of the by-products is ammonia. The liver takes up the ammonia and converts it into another compound that is later excreted by the kidney. When the liver is not functioning as it should, there is a build up of ammonia in the blood which is toxic to the brain.
- • Degenerative diseases – for example Alzheimer’s disease (discussed on page 292).
Strokes, infections, inflammation and bleeding in the brain can be picked up by a doctor by doing a CT or MRI scan of the brain. Disturbances in electrolytes are picked up by taking blood tests. However, many people with epilepsy have none of the above medical conditions – on EEG studies and brain scans no physical abnormality can be found. There is a specific spiritual root behind this type of epilepsy which is explained earlier in this chapter under the heading “The ADHD, Epilepsy, Dyslexia, Color Blindness, Autism, Learning Disabilities, Homosexuality and Bisexuality Profile.” Please read through that section on page 458 before continuing to read further here because it is essential background information that is necessary to understand the spiritual dynamics behind epilepsy.
Epilepsy is caused by a deaf and dumb spirit. We know this because we see it in the Bible
As you have just read in the section I referred you to – epilepsy is caused by
a deaf and dumb spirit. We know this because we see it in the Bible: Matthew
17 v 14 – 18: “14 And when they approached the multitude, a man came up to Him, kneeling before Him and saying, 15 Lord, do have pity and have mercy on my son, for he has epilepsy and he suffers terribly; for frequently he falls into the fire and many times into the water…17 Jesus answered…Bring him here to Me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.”
We gain more insight into this story which is described in more detail in Mark chapter 9 – as you will see the description of the attacks is exactly like a grand mal epileptic seizure. We also see that it is a deaf and dumb spirit that that Jesus cast out.
Mark 9 v 17 – 27: “17 And one of the throng replied to Him, Teacher, I brought my son to You, for he has a dumb spirit. 18 And wherever it lays hold of him [so as to make him its own], it dashes him down and convulses him, and he foams [at the mouth] and grinds his teeth, and he [falls into a motionless stupor and] is wasting away. And I asked your disciples to drive it out, and they were not able [to do it]. 19 And He answered them, O unbelieving generation [without any faith]! How long shall I [have to do] with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring Him to Me. 20 So they brought [the boy] to Him, and when the spirit saw Him, at once it completely convulsed the boy, and he fell to the ground and kept rolling about, foaming [at the mouth]. 21And Jesus asked his father, How long has he had this? And he answered, From the time he was a little boy. 22And it has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water, intending to kill him. But if You can do anything, do have pity on us and help us. 23And Jesus said, [You say to Me], If you can do anything? [Why,] all things can be (are possible) to him who believes! 24 At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my weakness of faith! 25 …Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit saying to it, You dumb and deaf spirit, I charge you to come out of him and never to go into him again. 26And after giving a [hoarse, clamoring, fear-stricken] shriek of anguish and convulsing him terribly, it came out; and the boy lay [pale and motionless] like a corpse, so that many of them said, He is dead. 27But Jesus took [a strong grip of] his hand and began lifting him up, and he stood. 28And when He had gone indoors, His disciples asked Him
privately, Why could we not drive it out? 29And He replied to them, This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”
Another account of a man being healed of epilepsy through casting out of an evil spirit is given in Mark 1 v 23 – 27: “23 Just at that time there was in their synagogue a man [who was in the power] of an unclean spirit; and now [immediately] he raised a deep and terrible cry from the depths of his throat saying, 24 What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are – the Holy One of God! 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hush up (be muzzled, gagged), and come out of him! 26 And the unclean spirit, throwing the man into convulsions and screeching with a loud voice, came out of him. 27 And they were all so amazed and almost terrified that they kept questioning and demanding of one another, saying, What is this? What new (fresh) teaching! With authority He gives orders even to the unclean spirits and they obey Him!”
Here is a testimony by Henry Wright who dealt with a case of epilepsy just like Jesus did: “They brought a young lady to me in 1985. She was about 21 years of age and had been experiencing grand mal epileptic seizures for many years.
They heard that God was using this ministry, honoring our work and people were being healed. They brought her to me; she was unsaved and she was living with her boyfriend in sin. She had had two abortions, and I had to talk to her about these issues. She decided to accept the Lord. I broke the power of the deaf and dumb spirit and cast it out of her and commanded the spirit of epilepsy to be gone.
I didn’t know if it had gone or not; I didn’t see any visible evidence. I said, “Good bye”. One week later she went to her doctor in Ashville, North Carolina. He ran an EEG on her and her brain wave tests were all normal.
The last time I heard about her, she was serving God internationally with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). Saved, healed and now serving God. She didn’t have another epileptic seizure, ever again. That was the first of several encounters with people with epilepsy. So far, we have never lost a healing of epilepsy in the history of our ministry, although there is never a guarantee. Everything is in God’s hands by faith.”
For more than 15 years Pastor Henry Wright has been ministering to people with epilepsy on the basis of casting out the deaf and dumb spirit – He claims to have not seen a single failed healing from epilepsy. The healings that He makes reference to have been documented through EEG tests in which the brain waves were normal. 50% of people with epilepsy will also have normal brain waves on an EEG, thus this in itself does not exclude epilepsy. However, these people also are not on any medication and have never had another seizure. From a medical perspective, this confirms that they are healed. However, in order to get those healings, they had to repent for ungodly order in the home personally or generationally and cast out the deaf and dumb spirit. Some seizures can be caused by fear.
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