The Coconut Day: A Poetic Interpretation of Seizure Experiences

Valerie Anne Featherstone, Anna Sandfield


This article presents a fraction of an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of people's seizure (ictal) experiences. In addition to undertaking individual analyses and across case analyses, a poetic interpretation (SZTO, FURMAN & LANGER, 2005) of participant's words was undertaken which focussed on bodily experiences and consciousness. The interpretations indicate participants' awareness of biological events unfolding; their abilities (or not) to interact with others; personal resignation to having the condition; and the effect epilepsy has on their lives. Although people are not always able to respond appropriately to events external to them during a seizure, having some conscious awareness allowed one man to act to save his life.

Findings from the study shed light onto subjective seizure experiences of consciousness. Collecting similar accounts could begin a corpus of data to inform research on ictal consciousness. The poetic interpretations below provide a porthole to a large vista of subjective seizure experiences, and could be considered both as research and clinical texts, being valuable to lay/professional carers and to the differential diagnosis of seizures.



epilepsy; seizures; consciousness; embodiment; interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA); poetic interpretations

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Copyright (c) 2013 Valerie Anne Featherstone, Anna Sandfield

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