Medical Questions > Mental Health > Panic Attacks Forum

Deja vu, unknown memories.

Hi there,

I always seem to get deja vu at least 3 times a week regardless of what my current activity is.

Also, lately I've started getting (what I think)are panic attacks. They normally occur just as I start walking down the stairs. My head goes woozy, I get awful nausea, these unusual and unknown memories of different people/locations pop right into my head (of course, instantly forgotten afterwards)and I get this totally overwhelming sense of negativity and pessimism. They normally leave me quite badly shaken after.

I was wondering, are the feelings normal? What are the 'memories' all about? And why have I started receiving them?

Sorry for the lack of details, but I'd really appreciate any help I can get for this.

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First Helper Rembrandt

replied September 9th, 2009
Hi Rembrandt,

No answers for you, but maybe a shared experience will help?
I think I have had this happen - twice in the last fortnight, for no obvious reason. One happened when I was just dozing off - a flash of a maybe-memory, maybe dream - suddenly filled me with this absolute terror, that gut wrenching fear that happens when you're just about to jump out of a plane (I talk from experience). And that threw me into a panic attack (I don't think the PA would've happened if this...thing...hadn't).

And then the other day I was sat in work, casually chatting, and Woomph, there it was, I felt sick, I was so unexplicably scared, I am told I started telling my colleague that another colleague was planning on going to an event, but she's on holiday for a month and couldn't possibly have planned to go. But this is the conversation that was in this...thing? I can't remember it really. Just that somehow I ended up outside trying to think happy thoughts.

The sudden memories for me are locations and people I know, but, things that haven't happened, conversations, etc.

I don't know what it is, but if you (or anybody else) have an alternative to the google suggestion of epilepsy (I'd never be able to drive again!), then please, let me know.


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replied February 5th, 2010
Unknown memories: Epilepsy? Stress?
Hi. I get exactly what you are describing and I've had symptoms for about two years. I find that in times of stress in my surroundings, the unknown memories and deja vu increase. I have always been told by people that I handle stress incredibly well. I don't have outbursts, temper problems, crying fits, emotional reactions (I am female, incase you were wondering...). I have read alot about these types of incidents on the internet. I first thought I was going crazy. My mom is bipolar, and I knew my symptoms were't something she had experienced. After realizing from my online research that this feeling could be attributed to Temporal Lobe Epilespsy or stress, and that other people experienced similar things, I felt much better. I can't help the internalization of stress, my personality allows me to be diplomatic, and sometimes emotional, but I would'nt say emotional to the point of normal. I am not a career focused robot, narcissist, or extreme go getter, more the artistic laid back type. So I think this extreme internalization of stress, not characteristic of a large personality deficit or function, probably has alot to do with the deja vu/unknown memories. I used to get all of my attacks in the shower. With epileptics, subconscious memory of a violent trauma can trigger an attack. For example, if you are predisposed to epilepsy, you get hit on the head accidentally (or in a car accident, intentionally hurt, whatever) your brain stores memory of that trauma. Part of chronic pain deals with your body responding to its rememberance of pain by causing more. When I am upset, I have always gotten in water to provide instant therapy. So, psychologically speaking, getting in the shower is a response to stress my mind recognizes. Thus, the unknown memory attacks I have gotten probably started there as a response to past stresses. I cannot tell if my experiences are due to epileptic activity, or just stress. I live in a high stress environment (moved out of house due to gang activity in neighborhood, my boyfriend, dogs, and I live with my mom, she is mentally unstable, my parents are divorcing after 28 years, my brother has severe psychological problems, I have degenerative disc disease in my back, I just broke my femur, and since getting off the meds for the femur, I have severe problems sleeping). I cannot attribute my stress level to my attacks since my stress level is so high at an internal level all the time. I have talked to a few people and done some research. I think the best thing for you to do, and what I will do, is observe my blood pressure when or immediately after an attack (I can't do anything during the attack, even if those around me have no idea I'm having one...), see if I can find a relationship between stress and the attacks, and if I can't, go see someone to get an EKG. I hope this helps. I wanted to be specific as possible, I have noticed through all the posts I have read that symptoms vary greatly, so I thought a full explanation might be most helpful to you! Good luck
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replied March 28th, 2011
deja vu
i have been having extreme deja vu for almost 2 weeks now. its hard to eat and im always nauseous. i have to take care of my daughter and am having a hard time doing i have my husband watch over her. i can not remember where i am i always think that i am in some other place and that outside looks different than i think it is. i know where i am but my brain doesnt recognize it. leaving me in a panic state even curling into a ball crying i dont know what to do and i am sooo scared. having deja vu and not remembering what outside is like because i see past memories or dreams and inside is the only place i know. please help
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replied May 16th, 2011
Ihave the same symptoms..I get the deja vu and for some reason there is always this girl in each of my deja vus? And they make me feel sick and dizzy..sometime I faint/passout..I went to the neurologist and they diagnosed them as "episodes" that cause me to have a partial seizure. So maybe you are having episodes? Mayb seizure disorder.
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replied March 2nd, 2015
Ive had the same thing for about 15 years now. Never passed out or lost control, but a memory of something that never happened seems to take me over for 10-15 seconds. In the middle of it I can totally grasp it, and then it goes away and I forget what it was that was just so real. Butterflys in Tummy, sweats.hard time being in the now and present, sweat, etc.

Ive just learned to live with them, sometimes they dont happen for months, sometimes weekly, and sometimes like now every 10-15 minutes for a day or 2. I ve gotten used to them- theyre kind of cool.

Hope theres nothing wrong, but I had them for a while/ Honestly, they seem more like "prophetic visions" than anything else, hard to explain but theyre lake predictions of the past, In the middle of a vision feels like I am manufacturing a significant event from my past- its real- and then it goes away. quite distracting sometimes. Its like Im having a vivid memory of something that never happened.
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replied May 30th, 2015
I have this frequently, I've come to a more spiritual conclusion that I'm an empath. If you want you can look into that type of stuff if the medical world fails you. You can learn to control it to an extent in this case, or learn to harness and strengthen it, which from the intensity of mine, I wouldn't suggest pushing it further, it can and will break you. Sorry that I have no sort of medical related explanation for this.
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