Epilepsy Talk

Déjà Vu or Prescience? | August 25, 2021

Think of it as knowing something from the past…or feeling a premonition of the future.

Those who have experienced the déjà vu feeling describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity, with something that shouldn’t be familiar at all.

Those who experience prescience, feel they have the ability to see into the future in some way.

Déjà vu – Every day is groundhog day!

The term “déjà vu” means, literally, “already seen”.

Déjà vu has been firmly associated with temporal lobe epilepsy.

Reportedly, déjà vu can occur just prior to a temporal lobe seizure as an aura.

But you can experience déjà vu during the actual seizure activity or in the moments between seizures.

Take the neurological circuitry of the hippocampus, a region of the brain where new memories are formed.

Neuroscientists know memories are actually groups of brain cells linked by especially strong chemical connections; recalling a memory involves finding and activating a specific group.

It’s also this circuit, the scientists are convinced, that explains déjà vu.

Every so often, the circuit misfires, and a new experience that’s merely similar to an older one, seems identical.

It doesn’t happen very often to most people. But, some people with epilepsy have this experience all the time.


Because seizures involve random firing of neurons in the temporal lobes, which include the hippocampus, and that could scramble the circuit.

In a person with chronic déjà vu this circuit is either overactive or permanently switched on, creating memories where none exist.

When novel events are processed, they are accompanied by a strong feeling of remembering.

So, you remember specific details about something that never actually occurred.

Prescience – Crystal ball, crystal ball…

Well, let’s see…

We’ve been described as mutants, aliens, crazies.

But in fact, only one study to date has been done on prescience.

And that study concludes that prescience is an aura of temporal lobe epilepsy.

The study is written up in PubMed and basically says: all of the patients tested had similar experiences.

They described the phenomenon as “knowing” what was going to happen in the immediate future.

The experience was distinct from déjà vu and other psychic experiences.

And all of the patients “probably” had temporal lobe epilepsy.

Only one other description of prescience as an ictal feature was found.

The conclusion was: Prescience can occur as an ictal feature of temporal lobe epilepsy and represents a previously under-reported psychic phenomenon.

Obviously, there a bit more studying to be done.

But speaking from personal experience, prescience is downright scary.

In one way, it’s a gift.

I warned a friend not to go on a skiing trip.

Happily, he didn’t.

But there was a serious car accident and the passenger seat of the car (where he would have been sitting) got totaled.

That’s the good news.

Othertimes, it’s a curse.

I’ve had the prescience to foresee events (usually unhappy), but I was helpless to do anything.

Because even though I “knew” they were going to happen, I didn’t know when.

So, given the choice, I’d take déjà vu over prescience any day.

What about you?

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  1. The three available vu states that I know of are deja, presque, and jamais. I have experienced all three. At its worst, 30 deja vu experiences an hour, compared to the two per year in the general population. Jamais vu, being in a familiar place and not recognizing it. Disturbing when you’re away from home. And then that rare, nagging presque vu, something is imminent, something (terrible) is about to happen, omg. My temporal lobe awake and at play.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by HoDo — August 25, 2021 @ 11:08 AM

    • I never knew the name of it, but I guess my first memorable seizure in middle school was the presque vu type. I felt like the sky was rushing toward me and I thought the world was about to end and I was witnessing it. I’ve had a few deja vu’s, but my worst were jamais vu.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Hetty Eliot — August 25, 2021 @ 8:45 PM

  2. HoDo, it’s good to hear from you. I’ve been trying to get in touch with you.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 25, 2021 @ 11:18 AM

  3. Reblogged this on Ken's Devotions.


    Comment by Kenneth — August 25, 2021 @ 11:47 AM

  4. 30 an hour — wow that’s a lot. It’s a more common event for me as well but nothing like that, every few days, repeating a few times on those days and frequently lasting longer than they should. Doc just upped the Keppra. – whoohoo. <– sarcasm

    Simply stated, I love it, all these feelings and experiences are something special since I also have the postictal bliss part of it. Even the terrible scenes feel good to the brain. Occasionally I will see a vast wasteland of what was once some suburbia. That is the only uncomfortable returning image for me – and feeling like I should be there is a dubious feeling.

    from my log

    8/20/2021 – approx. 8:30am. Complex seizure while watching aerial footage of a of green flat landscape dotted with native trees and a dirt road running down the middle. Yavapai county land. Since I was seated safely I did not try to distract from the seizure.

    Sense of familiarity
    Continuation of storyline being on a vast terrain / hallucination overlaying real vision.
    Sense of Deja Vu with a feeling of "belonging" there.
    Two men were there, talking about something relevant to the situation but now gone. It sounded like a puppeteer might sound if I were the puppet. The voices were from above and dimensionally very stereo.

    10 second ramp up – 20 seconds of strong hallucination – rapid return normal consciousness. Mostly pleasurable feeling with mild confusion. Postillic bliss lasted maybe 5 minutes – medium strength.

    question: maybe my movement in vehicles is only coincidental. maybe it's the colors green / white in movement."

    Boy do I have stories of the things I've seen – but – while that's "just crazy talk", At least I enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Bill — August 25, 2021 @ 11:53 AM

  5. This was great. I must share this with Rose. Thank you Phylis

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Flower Roberts — August 25, 2021 @ 12:48 PM

  6. My seizures ALWAYS begin with a DeJaVu feeling…… and I think the ironic part is that I went to school for psychology and Cultural Psychology…… so most of my studies are in “psychic” concepts as well as magick and psychology…… what is real?……

    When it all started happening I asked my first nuerologist, why I get these “psychic” feeling?…… he said it was because my brain was short circuiting and allowing my memory centers to create memories prior to my processing centers to actually process the information……. this blew me away!!

    The hard part is that I based all my studies and research on people who have experienced auras and trance mediums that “channel” other beings……

    But what if they are one and the same?…… Its a crazy ironic concept about human perception that really gets me…… and quantum physics teaches us about concepts like quantum entanglement…… where things are connected regardless of their physical relation…… so is it “real”?……. is it simply just a misfire?…… or is it something more?……

    To bad Gene Roddenberry died already, maybe he was the only one to come up with an answer 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Aaron Holmes — August 25, 2021 @ 11:19 PM

  7. Dejavu, Jamais vu are both I have experienced. It does not happen nearly as often as it used to. I also no longer take medication, last tonic clonic was in 1994. But, at the time I did not know the dejavu experiences were aura’s leading up to the big one. And it explains a great deal as a teenager I had almost constant dejavu. I never told anyone. Back in the late 70’s/early 80’s I was afraid to say anything. In the 90’s the dejavu was intense…and I often felt myself fading. Of course, when the first big one hit me and I started doing some reading I connected the dots. I had a big seizure in 92. Then another one in 94. At least prior to the second one when the dejavu began getting intense I had the sense to tell my husband, but the big seizure came before I could get into the doctor.

    Jamais vu always happened when I was driving. I would be driving on a road I’ve driven many, many times when suddenly I wasn’t sure where I was…yet, a small part of my brain would tell the other part…yes, you know where you are. This would often lead into a panic attack…while I was driving! Luckily, this has not happened in many years.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by lifechristandotherthings — August 28, 2021 @ 6:33 AM

    • I found that as my seizures abated so did my deja vu. Further proof to my mind that it was definitely related to Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — August 28, 2021 @ 10:47 AM

  8. I’m commenting using an old account. Just saw it has the name of a blog I never really got going so I changed it to my name.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by JodiRaeK — August 28, 2021 @ 6:35 AM

  9. This recent ,hope am not breaking a rule or anything by replying this, but often is easier to relate my feelings,thoughts in prose,especially with topics with such a deep emotional bond. thank Rick
    Deja Vu Repeat

    Locked in time renew a familiar view hitting replay of the same old rhyme

    Not a dream as many might say it seems, or illusion and delusion or sinister scheme

    Stopped in motion, fraction from a vision, not locked out similar to stuck in, lost in a ruse easy to confuse often crosses a fine mental center line

    Full range from stored images, reflections of recollections left spinning in a round room made of mirrors, each a different theme

    Grand or simple thoughts trapped abruptly unwrapped, even seen as sinister by a minister that wants us to repent, demons or angels, neither is divine

    Old time feeling came again just to leave me reeling, Comes and goes how or when nobody knows, future thoughts cannot be foreseen

    With a wink in a blink images stepping forward never a warning, moment of mayhem to fast to be a coward, another journey stuck in time

    Mental pictures like flashcards with similar frames, same game on repeat with a new theme

    Not a clue of when it might end, like an email stuck on send, never planned or something grand, thoughts brought forward from the back of our mind

    Fast or painfully slow, icy cold or warm glow, similar paths along a straight row, high fall from a white wall, patterns and colors flash over then repeat, another view from a familiar scene

    This incident another increment, fraction segmented placed on hold, splice of a memory, stuck on forward then reverse, just time that we did not rehearse

    Explanations seem futile unless they have truly done this before, splice of a memory, stuck on forward then reverse, just time that we did not rehearse, Similar segment or unknown fragment, another glimpse we survive

    Deja Vu is coming through will see it all again, when I have seen it all before why begin a familiar spin with an unknown end, take it all in as temporary rental on mental hygiene R.C.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wichitarick — September 24, 2021 @ 1:10 AM

    • Fabulous! I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. Thanks so much for sharing them. I’m sure many can relate.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 24, 2021 @ 10:20 AM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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