Sunday, August 9, 2009

Top 5 Most Embarrassing Public Fainting Episodes – Vasovagal Syncope

I have vasovagal syncope, also known as Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS). I have fainting attacks during which I get hot, dizzy, my blood pressure drops to next to nothing and I pass out. I can be sitting or even lying down when it happens. I go into jerks and spasms that look like I’m having a seizure (rest assured I have been tested and I am not having seizures).

It happens when my adrenaline kicks in too fast or slowly but too much. Crowded places, Migraines, Anxiety, Pushing myself to far, Etc and Who Knows can all cause an episode. It has been explained to me as that my heart is “allergic” to adrenaline and has an opposite than normal reaction. My blood pressure drops to next to nothing and I faint and then it corrects itself and I am myself again. After awhile.

Sometimes I can stop the fainting from happening if I get down on the ground fast enough and get my feet above my heart. The other symptoms (breaking into a sweat, nausea, jerking and spasming) still happen. Whether I faint or not it takes 20 minutes to get back myself and able to get up and around; it takes the rest of the day to get over feeling light headed, exhausted, “out of it” and able to get back to a semblance of normalcy.

I have had this since my teens and have a long list of times I’ve fainted. This is scary for my friends and loved ones to watch and they have a hard time sometimes seeing the humor even when a long time has passed. However, I wanted to compile a list of my most embarrassing episodes that have occurred in public. It happens at home and no one but me and mine know and I can handle that. The public is another thing. Sometimes it’s their reaction (sometimes caring and going for help and sometimes assuming I’m on something or drunk) and sometimes it’s just the embarrassment I feel knowing I did it AGAIN!

This post is meant to be humorous about a serious topic – sharing my most embarrassing fainting moments. But, hopefully you will find some comfort in not feeling alone if it has happened to you or you can find more information about this and other fainting conditions. Go to - Dysautonomia Information Network and check out @jeanneendo blog posts about Dysautonomia at – it’s a multi-part series and has a lot of information in it.

I'll do this as a countdown of the top five (there are more!) most embarrassing fainting episodes.

Number 5:
16 years old at the local teen hangout – bowling alley/pool tables/arcade: I was in the pool room with friends when something swept over me and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Broke into a sweat and my only thought was to get outside where there was air. So, I say excuse me, I’ll be back, not wanting my friends to know what was wrong. As I’m leaving, weaving through the pool tables, it gets worse all of a sudden and then nothingness. (I had apparently freaked a guy out who was on the other side of the table leaning down to make his shot when he sees someone walking by and then collapse right across from him). I come to in someone’s arms and immediately expect it’s my friend Mark, who has just had surgery on his knee. I thought he shouldn’t be carrying me and start squirming and saying “put me down, you’ll hurt your leg.” Turns out I was ignored and carried into the women’s restroom by the guy that was playing pool and watched me collapse and my friends following him. I get nauseous and start going into spasms and vomiting. The guy waited outside the restroom for me and gave me and a friend a ride back to my house so everyone else could stay out. I thought that guy was my hero, but then he kept calling and annoying me and I had to tell him to go away.

Number 4:
In my thirties at an outside theater watching Chicago the Musical: I had driven that night (my mom and some friends) to the play. We had stood in a lot of lines, including bathroom lines being the most recent and the bathroom was hot inside. All those people around me. I had had a glass of wine at the beginning of the show and we were in intermission. People were standing up all around me and talking and it was crowded and I thought, I just need to go sit down in the back area by the food area at a table and get away from all these people for a minute. I was feeling hot and a little nauseous and shaky. So, I told those around me I was going to go buy a water so they didn’t follow me and see that I was going to go lie down for a minute on a park bench. But, they thought, great idea “I’ll go with you.” Probably stressed me out more cause I didn’t want them to see what I knew was about to happen. So, I get up there and say I’m just going to sit down for a minute and they said I thought you wanted water. Water sounded like a good idea so I went and stood in line for water. Bad idea. Soon, I was shuffling and trying to stay conscious until I had to get away and stepped out of line and got nearly away to a wall and then nothing. Came to with my mom, best friend and health workers at the event surrounding me and them telling me I had gone into spasms and fell to the ground. Had to calm everyone down and tell them I would be fine and no, I didn’t need to go to the hospital. A crowd had gathered murmuring about “is she drunk?” No, just need air.

Number 3:
In my late twenties at a restaurant having dinner with a friend: We had to wait awhile in the waiting area for a table, was a busy night I guess, and I don’t know if that’s what did it but is when I started feeling it coming on, I tried to just think to myself, if I can just get to the table and sit down and drink some water I’ll be fine and my friend, Laura, will never know I had a close call. Well, I did make it to the table and sat down, ordered water and our dinners but before our salad’s showed up I knew I wasn’t going to make it. In order to not have an episode in front of the whole restaurant and be embarrassed with Laura, who had only seen me pass out two other times at work, and not to ruin her evening with me, I excused myself to the bathroom. There was a line but not too long and inside the door. I fell onto the bathroom floor and went into spasms and jerks but if I did pass out it was only a matter of seconds because I remember the fall and the “seizure” like symptoms. Freaked out all the women in the bathroom and the manager was asked to come in and check on me. I said I’m fine if I can just be next in line for an open stall and no, I didn't need an ambulance. Was able to get up and crawl on the dirty restaurant bathroom floor (a nice restaurant, but still, bathroom floor) into a stall and lied down and put my legs on the stool and took my time. My friend didn’t know why I had spent 20 or so minutes in the bathroom but I was finally able to go back to her and barely touch my salad and none of my meal claiming I just wasn’t hungry after all.

Number 2:
In 2005 at a midnight play: Friends and I thought it would be fun after the April 15th rush (I’m a CPA as are some friends) to get together and go see a midnight play in Lawrence KS – about a half hour from KC. The first time my later to be husband experienced an episode which scared him a lot and embarrassed me him having to see me like that. So, we are about halfway through the play, "Hedwig and the Angry Inch", and I had been standing up in the back because I asked my boyfriend if we could get out of the crowded seats since the chairs were so close together and it felt stuffy and constricted. After a little while of standing there and starting to shuffle from leg to leg, I told him I think I needed to sit down. He found me a chair at the back and we sat down. After 15 minutes, I said to him, “this isn’t going to be good, I’m sorry,” and then nothing. I had fallen out of the chair and gone into spasms on the floor, ripping my skirt and terrifying my boyfriend. I came to on a couch outside the theater, just inside the doors with people all around me and my boyfriend yelling at people that I hadn’t been drinking, it wasn’t funny and to shut the h#ll up. That was a fun ride back to KC – the friends I went with didn’t know until after the play when they couldn’t find us until they got out of the theater and I was lying there. I needed to use the restroom, throw up possibly, but it was up two flights of stairs and my later to be husband couldn’t carry me – he too has bad knees. But, I lost that battle too but a girlfriend followed and helped me in the bathroom. She had witnessed this before but told me my boyfriend was terrified for me and was really shaken up. Took me a while to stop shaking myself. The ride back to KC, I reminded my boyfriend that I had told him I had these episodes in the past but he was not comforted. I had to go to the doctor and have an EEG and wear a heart monitor for a month to ensure him I was okay. Thank God he still married me!

And the most embarrassing public fainting episode at number one:
In my early twenties, around 22, at an Improv Comedy Club: Was with friends and the only open seats were at the top level of a set of bleachers. All the tables were full by the time we had gotten there. Was sitting next to Holly and things went okay for half the show. I had started feeling nervous and anxious about I can’t remember what and then started thinking what would happen if I passed out at the top of the bleachers and fell down that far? Just before the break was over and the comedians were coming back on stage, I turned to Holly and said, “it’s going to happen, get me out of here.” Because I couldn’t fall down all that way and thought I could make it outside and lie down until it went away. We got to the middle of the stage walking in front of it and then nothing. Holly apparently begged the people at the front table to help her with me but they assumed I was part of the act and wouldn’t help. So, I come to outside lying down with all the comedians standing over me. They were apparently the only ones willing to help Holly with me and knew that I was not part of their act. So, I disrupted the show for everyone. Even once I felt better, I was too embarrassed to walk back in there through that crowd that hadn’t helped and face the comedians again or become part of the act – I’m sure I was but I didn’t stick around for it. The comedians gave me a free pass for another show and I said nice to meet you all and goodnight.

So, if you have any form of Dysautonomia, I hope this shows you that you are not alone out there. Hang in there and This Too Shall Pass.



  1. Elizabeth,

    Wow! I am so sorry you have had to go through all of that!!

    I feel badly that you feel embarrassed when you faint because it's not your fault.

    At the same time, I understand how awkward it can be to faint in public from having done so.

    When I faint in public, it's usually at a doctor's office or dentist's office for some reason. So it is awkward because it causes a commotion but at least I'm not collapsing in a comedy club.

    You poor thing! I am so sorry you've been through all of that.

    When reading your stories, I found myself feeling badly that you felt the need to hide what was about to happen (even from your mother). Maybe you'd have less anxiety about these fainting incidents if you told whomever you're with what's about to happen rather than try to "act normal" until you can get to a ladies room or something?

    You certainly have had some interesting fainting episodes.

    It is great that you can keep a sense of humor about it all. Yes, it is a serious subject. At the same time, it makes sense to be able to keep that humor.

    Thank you for sharing your stories. I believe that increasing awareness of dysautonomia in its various forms: vasovagal syncope/NCS, mitral valve prolapse dysautonomia, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), etc. is important and I appreciate you writing this post. Thanks for the mention. I need to get those last 2 dysautonomia posts published. :)


  2. Thanks Jeanne, it is a serious subject but hopefully some people won't feel as alone by reading my embarrassing episodes.
    Your right, I do make it worse by worrying about not wanting to upset my friends/family or have them know. Sometimes I do tell them it's going to happen, a couple of the times I mention above, but still is embarrassing and my worrying of how it's going to look likely does make it worse because I get my adrenaline going more - a cycle downward.
    Look forward to your remaining posts!


  3. I have a bad habit lately of fainting in line at stores and especially at the pharmacy. Each time the store manager insists on calling an ambulance (probably because they're afraid of the liability) and it's just so humiliating. My PCP teases me about it and makes me promise to send my husband to pick up my prescriptions now!

    I met two of my college boyfriends by fainting during Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur services and having them catch me. :-)

    Thanks for sharing some of your stories. It really does help to know there's other people going through this kind of thing!!

  4. It helps me too to not feel alone out there in all this. I try to joke about it too, but many of my friends and family - especially my husband - don't think it's funny and don't want me joking about it. But, humor is a way to get through hard times for me. And it has been embarrassing at times and I think good to try to find the humor later on.

    Thanks for your comment - I agree, have your husband pick up your meds - know your limitations.

  5. Wow, someone who knows exactly what my life is like. You are the first person I've found who has the seizure-like activity after the syncopal episodes. My doc says it is due to hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) but my husband swears it is just like seizures. We are both former medics so he knows very well what seizures look like. I've had an EEG and they've told me that it is not seizures. I'm still not convinced. It definitely takes me quite a while to come back around.

    I hate that you have to go through this but since you do, it is really great to find someone who is like me! I'd love to talk to you more. I'm going to read more of your blog when I'm feeling a little better. Today has not been a really great day. I hope you ARE having a 'good' day though. I'll be back soon.


    Teresa <><

  6. Teresa - I also have had EEGs - more than once to rule out seizures because it looks so much like one. It's just become a part of me. I don't want it to be seizures. I've sometimes wondered if it was related to my migraines, but don't always happen at the same time or correlate. Now I have constant migraines and the pain has caused more episodes of late.

    Good to talk to someone like me - and look forward to getting to know more about you too.


  7. Elizabeth,

    I just returned from the hospital for an overnight stay of vasovagal syncope that happened right at the admissions desk in the ER. I've had infrequent migraines since 2001, but also have problems with dehydration and kidney stones.

    A really sharp internist put all of these together, and did a thyroid test, which may be the root cause of all of these problems.

    I came across your blog through a Google search, and a lot of things clicked.

    Have you heard of anything like this?

  8. David, that is very interesting! No one has ever put all my problems together as stemming from my thyroid disease. However, all doctors have said that my thyroid disease - hypothyroidism - is a huge factor in the intensity and how/if meds work on other disabilities. So, for my migraines, for example, if my thyroid is off then my migraine meds may not work as well, etc.

    I don't take anything for my vasovagal syncope - I think it's NCS technically - a form of dysautonomia. Same thing however you slice it - but the reason I don't take anything is because of my already really low blood pressure and everything they give me makes my blood pressure lower.

    So, my low blood pressure is one common - but not all have it - among a lot of migraine patients.

    It's like what comes first, the chicken or the egg. If you find or have info that links migraines and vasovagal syncope to thyroid issues, I'd be interested in reading it.

    Thanks for the comment.


  9. Hi Elizabeth
    Like David I was diagnosed with a severely underactive thyroid gland about 3 years ago and about a year after I had my first seizure. I have now been diagnosed with vasovagal syncope and I know exactly how you feel as I have been out for 30 minutes after a seizure before! I find that I can sometimes prevent them by lying down (Parma Airport in Italy being my most embarassing episode!). I also got some advise from a syncope nurse to try and drink at least 3 litres of water a day and up my salt intake, as dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure. I have been following her advise and I defenitely feel less dizzy on the days that I stick to my 3 litres. I have also suffered from migraines since the age of 13 and I also suffer from vitiligo. I have been told by my doctor that the vitiligo and thyroid point to an auto immune disease, so it could all possibly be linked! It is so good to find more people with the same problems, and I will be coming back to your blog regularly.

  10. Elizabeth,

    I'm a middle aged guy that has had episodes almost exactly as you describe since I was a teen. I also get the seizure activity when I pass out, and yes, it scares the hell out of anyone who sees it. Like you, I also get migraines from time to time, although they tend to be mild and go away quickly with aspirin. What's strange is that the very first hint I get that a migraine is coming on feels almost exactly the same as the feeling I get when a sycope episode is coming on. It's such an awful feeling, that feeling of "oh no, I'm going to pass out in a about 20 seconds". You describe the feeling perfectly.

    I'm sorry to hear you have to deal with this strange condition too, but it is somehow comforting to know it happens to other people and to see how you deal with it with humor and courage. I have my own embarrassing episodes that include my own graduation ceremony, a recent flight (they made an emergency landing for me - ugghh talk about embarrassing), and a flop I took at basketball camp back in my teens.

    Thank you for posting this, I'm feeling sort of bad today and this cheered me up!

  11. Elizabeth,

    I forgot to mention in my comment. I have had some success with compression stockings helping me avoid episodes. The help they provide might be all in my head, but it helps me to know I've tried something.

  12. Thanks for your comment and sharing your embarrassing moments. I have not found a way to stop the episodes - I try to stay out of heat and standing in crowds and drinking lots of water. But, if it comes on, it comes on. I have found I am able sometimes to keep from completely going out if I get down to the ground very quickly and get ice packs and water - from someone - if alone which has been my last few after a shower - I get down to the ground and put my feet up if I can somewhere and wait it out there for half an hour or so because if I get up too soon it comes right back.

    Strange thing is I have had episodes while sitting or even semi-lying down and still faint. This sparked my docs to do more tests, but it is what it is - NCS - and that's that.

    I don't like the idea of compression stockings because anything tight makes me feel too trapped which is likely to bring on episodes - but thanks for the idea.

    With my constant migraines the episodes are more often but are at home since I rarely get out these days.

    All the best to you.

  13. Yup, I've also had 1 episode while sitting and one while lying down. That made my primary care physician very doubtful it was NCS. But I've been examined by 3 or 4 cardiologists and a neurologist over the past 20 years or so, and they find no evidence pointing to anything else. It's a strange diagnosis in that on one hand I'm glad its not something more ominous, but on the other there's pretty much no treatment for it. It's frustrating to hear "just avoid these situations". It's like that joke about the guy that goes to the doctor and says "Doc, it hurts when I lift my arm" and the doctor says "well then don't lift your arm".

  14. HaHa! You are so right! And with me as well they checked for all sorts of other things because they found it strange it could happen while sitting or lying down even but all the tests come back NCS. And yes, now it's just avoid this and that situation and do this if you get into it. Just like you said. They put me on a beta blocker for a while but it didn't help and they said was just preventative so that I didn't have an arythmia or something during an episode and everything else they've tried has lowered my BP too much and mine already runs normally very low so that was dangerous. They then talked about me eating more salt but I hate salt and it makes my face itch and makes me not want to eat so I may be slightly allergic and besides not eating is worse than not eating salt.

    Thanks for your comments - you have lifted my spirits!

  15. Ah yes, the salt treatment. I've heard that one from time to time. My little incident on the plane a few months ago sent me back into the doctors for another round of tests. This time they tried an electrophysiology test as well as a tilt-table test. The EP test is the one where they send electrical signals through your heart actually trying to induce an arrythmia. That was a party. With that test I got the feeling the Doctors are thinking "hey let's tinker with this and see what happens". They didn't seem to find much of interest with the EP test, so then it was on to the tilt-table. They finally got me to pass out by giving me some kind of nitrate (nitro-glycerin?) and tilting me up on the table. Within 2 or 3 minutes I told them "Yup, I'm going to pass out". Seconds later I was waking up in a nautious haze. It turns out they could have skipped the tests and just showed me the medical bill I'd get, that would have made me pass out too. Anyway, end result of all this has been the cardiologist telling me it would be a good thing for me to increase my "salty snack intake". I love salt, and will gladly do that, but I don't think that's gonna do the trick. It seems like a strange thing for them to suggest, since I'm already on medication for borderline high blood pressure. Why would I take medication to lower my bp, and then eat more salt to increase it? Waaaaa? I have an appointment with this cardiologist in a few weeks and I'll find out more. Things get curioser and curiouser.

  16. I totally disagree with the increase the salt in your diet diagnosis. I can't handle salt - makes my face itch and I find salty foods make me not eat much and then I lose weight - too much weight! - PROBLEM! I was put on a medication SO many years ago that was salt based, before my NCS diagnosis, and I lost so much weight I went down to 80 pounds - so not a good idea for me.

    Interesting you bring up nitrate/glycerin - I was doing some research and there have been some studies that say that people with NCS may have "insulin hypersensitivity" during an episode. I went deep into the study and looking up other studies as this is opposite of diabetes, I was borderline diabetic during both my pregnancies, AND diabetes runs rampant in one half of my family. NCS is on the other side. Insulin freaked me out. Well, although they have been able to see that this may very well be the case, there isn't a solution or anything to do about it. So, VERY interesting diagnostically and perhaps why they gave you that nitrate - however, doesn't mean they can make it stop. My research seemed to indicate it as a neurological condition that can not be reversed but only managed. I think after a while we figured that one out!

  17. Your insulin hypersensitivity idea is interesting. Minutes before my last episode on the plane, I had wolfed down a huge double-cheeseburger because I hadn't eaten all day. I ate it in about 4 bites right before we got on the plane. I've been wondering whether that had anything to do with it. Like maybe my blood sugar spiked or my insulin went nuts. Who knows. I guess I'll probably never know. This condition is so random I think I tend to look desperately for any correlation to anything so that I can hope by avoiding that thing I can avoid the episodes.

    But the longer I deal with NCS, the longer I'm getting the idea that what I have to avoid is "Any situtation that puts you in even mild discomfort that you can not immediately remove yourself from." Well, that rules out almost every situation out in the real world, so I'm going to have to work at this.

  18. I'm only 23 but i've already had too many embarrassing moments for a life time. I used to faint quite regularly although lately it hasnt been so bad.

    But I know whenever i go to a wedding there's always a chance i'm going to faint...always so embarassing in front of all these people i don't know. I once went to my then boyfriend's brothers wedding and fainted half way through and just as i was assuring his mother and the rest of the family this stranger walked up and said youre not pregnant are you? I was mortified! Not only was i quick becoming the centre of attention on someone's big day but all these people were making outlandish reasons for my fainting.

    The latest one was 2 days ago.... i was having a meeting at the Hilton as we're holding an event there and half way through i said i needed to sit moved away (and felt quite rude doing it but hey you have to do what you have to do) then 3 minutes later they're running up asking if i'm okay and then i just fell sideways (luckily onto my bag)in a dead faint. It's so embarrassing and then 10 minutes later i was totally fine but everyone kept shooting me dark looks and i tried to lighten the mood and laugh it off saying it happens all the time (although it had been nearly a year since my last faint) but they just made me feel worse when i know they're not meaning to but it's horrible when there isnt a single person to say she's fine!

  19. Dear Anonymous from 9/22 - I SO know how you feel. My episodes were really bad in my mid-late teens and early twenties. And I didn't have the tools I have now so I had some really embarrassing moments and didn't know how to handle people surrounding me.

    I know the feeling of guilt when you feel like you are "stealing" the spotlight. Please know you aren't stealing it because you don't want this!

    I think you did the right thing excusing yourself. I've tried that myself and been too late so that I still go out in front of people and embarrassing!!! And worse when they want to call 911 or something like that.

    I've gotten better at recognizing it earlier so I can excuse myself sooner so I can pass out and come to in the bathroom. But, it doesn't always work.

    And I know what it's like when there is no one there to be on your side at that moment to push others away and say she's fine.

    I also know how scary it looks to others so please give others some credit for their concern. You don't know what you look like when you go out. I have been told how scary it looks as my eyes roll back in my head and I start jerking like a seizure and I'm out the whole time and I have scared loved ones and dates that didn't know it could happen!

    There are different types of dysautonomia - mine being NCS which yours sounds very similar to - basically an adverse reaction to adrenaline that causes your blood pressure to drop from the adrenaline rather than raise as is normal. Weddings, events, being surrounded by people, but I'm not a doctor so I can't diagnose you.

    I have gone out in a dead faint even when I try every way avoid it. In a good way, I have been there when a friend had a fainting spell and felt embarrassed in a restaurant bar area and I told her let's lie on the ground together and put up our feet. I'll be with you so if people are staring at you - they are at me too and I talked to her about some of my embarrassing moments and she felt better. To heck what those others thought and I told the waiter to bring us water and ice and a cool cloth and leave us be. I was so happy I was there for her and wished someone had been there like that for me during some of mine.

    I wish I had been there like that for you.

    Drink lots of water - stay very hydrated. Try to stay clear of caffeine and remember that sometimes getting up to hurry up and leave can cause it to happen quicker. Sometimes just say I just need to sit/lie down on the floor - I have a condition and it will pass soon, please bring me some water and if I pass out, something for under my head.

    Sounds good, but doesn't always work.

    Best wishes to you my dear - you hang in there and don't let anyone make you feel embarrassed. It's medical and not your fault. And good job trying to lighten the mood.

    Best wishes to you,


    1. im 40 yrs old now. I started fainting when i was 17. i have blood pressure issues. i have fainted so many times i can't even remember i also have issues with the heat if i get to hot im going to faint if i don't lie down. I have fainted everywhere. I live in florida so i have to deal with heat and humidity.I have so many stories and i know exactly what you guys aer talking about how embarassing it is when it happens in public and around strangers i've fainted in wal mart probably 15 times that is the worst place ever. I grew up in the 80's was in the preppy crowd and still wear my khaki shorts or pants, polo shirts and penny loafers the reason im saying this is because in my part of town where i eat, shop im pretty much known as that guy who is always wearing penny loafers and fainting everywhere he goes. i've fainted 14 times at the same video store while simply renting movies that the owner mrs. lewis and her duaghter know when im feeling faint i usually tell them and they help me to the ground. I don't have any seizure like symptoms i always do the dead faint they always tell me i start turning pale and becoming weak my eyes roll back in my head and im out before i hit the floor and im completely out for 5 to 10 minutes everytime i have fainted at the video store i come to and mrs lewis is holding my feet and her daughter is fanning me and i have to lay there for 30 to 45 minutes before they will let me get up but not everybody is that understanding. The worst experience and most embarassing faints for me was at this antique flea market that is in this really old huge building that can be really hot but has the coolest stuff. the owner is a very sweet women who runs the place with her 3 sons and daughter. katie is the owner and always is good about taking care of me when she sees me looking weak she'll help me to a couch or bed and put a fan on me if i faint i always come to and the first thing i see are my penny loafers because she elevates my feet and she"s usually sitting on the floor by me but she was gone one day and her sons are always making fun of me because of my fainting spells and that day i was wearing a pink polo and they telling me how nice it looked with my nice shorts and my brown belt matched my loafers and other stupid shit so i was getting a little nervous which was making me a little hotter than i already was and i went to the back of the place to look at some lamps and started feeling hot, dizzy so i started making my way back towards the front and i was becming really faint i startet to fan myself and knew i was about to go i remember hearing them laughing and making fun of my eyes rolling and when i came to they picked me up imediately so as soon as igot to my feet i fainted again which is the worse because people don't understand how bad that is for you and it takes so much longer to recover plus everytime that happens to me im always faint for much longer sometimes for 30 min or so. thses assholes thought this was hilarious so they repeated this 8 more times for 4 and a half hours the last three times they weren't even able to get me up because i was fainting again as soon as they would raise me up. I don't remember any of this katie they're mom showed me the video when i came to i was laying on a bed and katie was sitting next to me.Neeedless to say inever went back there again i was so embarassed

  20. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I have fainted twice in my whole life but I'm pretty scared that it'll happen to me again...

    The first time was last 2009. We went to a weekend trip to Madrid (barely any sleep) and headed to the biggest club in town. It was already around 3 or 4 AM and I was too exhausted that I had fallen asleep at one of the couches in the club. My friends woke me up maybe 20 minutes later telling me that it's time to leave. I think I got up too quickly and started feeling dizzy. I wasn't quite sure what was happening as this would have been my first time to experience fainting. My first question to myself would have been, "Did I drink THAT much?" I don't remember drinking that night so it didn't make sense. Good thing I was able to utter to my guy friend that I was dizzy (which I don't even remember happening..) and before I know it, I was in the middle of the staircase walkway, surrounded by my friends fanning me. I had collapsed in the staircase. Good thing my friends were able to catch me or I would have had a very dangerous fall down the stairs...

    I thought this was an isolated event and this would have been explained by my friends as "a sudden rush of blood to the head" as I didn't stand up first and rest for a few seconds before rushing out after falling asleep. I never saw a doctor.

    Then, yesterday (March 26) was my graduation day. We had to wait, standing, under the sun for a good 45 minutes before going into the gym where the ceremony would be held. The weather would probably be in the lower 30 C's. Then we walked into the gym and had to stand for another 15 minutes or so while waiting for the rest of the candidates. We were around 1,000 during that ceremony. The national anthem was sung, prayers were read, etc. Before I knew it, I was feeling really dizzy. I was seeing sparks (like Television static) but I disregarded that as I never expected myself to collapse. Before I knew it, sparks turned into darkness and I couldn't hear anything. After this, I wasn't really sure what happened. I just woke up (already seated thank God) with my toga unbuttoned and my seatmates fanning me once again. I heard people asking me if I was fine, asking if I ate lunch, etc. I was feeling better indeed and was glad I didn't collapse on the floor and that they held me to my chair. However, what was clouding my mind was, "Shit, that was embarrassing..." more than, "What the hell happened there?"

    Supposedly I had a blank stare and my face and lips were really pale. They were talking to me but I wasn't answering. At this point I really wasn't "awake" anymore. I think I need to see a doctor... This worries me :( I don't want it to happen to important events such as my graduation. :-|

  21. .... Although for my second fainting episode, at least I know what to expect now. I actually was tempted to sit down during the ceremony when I felt dizzy but sensed that I would draw attention that way as everyone was standing up. Next time, at least I know what to do... I read it's good to sit down and have your head between your legs if you feel like a fainting episode is coming up.

  22. wow this has been going on since I was a child and it took several trips to the ER (nothing found) and several different Cardiologists (who kept dismissing me) before I finally had a tilt table test and got diagnosed with NCS. I don't know of anyone else who has this or has gone through this so it's comforting to know it's not just me.

  23. @Elizabeth: I am dealing with this illness too. I've been passing out ever since I was 13... I will be 21 this October.
    I know exactly what your going thru. For me its happened more then a few times in high school, 4 times in my church, once with my ex. It's frustrating because I'm unconscious for over an hour, to as long as 3 hours. And I never remember the incident. I've been to every hospital in maryland. And they tell me its "dehydration" lol.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! I also have Vasovagal Snyncope. I have had episodes of passing out on the toilet, getting a massage, and my most embarrassing moment, at work. I have found that lying down immediately when I get the dizzy, tingling feeling throughout my body is a big indicator I am going to pass out. I have finally learned how my body works and when I feel this coming on, I lay down immediately and after about 5 minutes I am able to get up. I feel awful the rest of the day and end up getting panic attacks from this. I hate this feeling but at least I know I can control this situation now that I know what it is. With my Dr's help, she has taught me various ways to cope. It is weird because it just pops up out of the blue and I never know when it will happen. I think this is why I am getting panic attacks. My episodes seem to happen maybe once every 10 months or so. What about you? How do you cope and not get panic attacks? It is hard to go out in public sometimes because I get scared.

  24. Sorry you had to go through that ive fainted around 23 times 14 of them in public (at least!) so I kind of have some experience school is always the worst place to faint

  25. Hi, iv had vasovagal syncope for 15 years now and pass out at least 3 times a month. it can be very scary as everyone here knows. What iv found is that having a medical id on you whenever your out alone really helps as it squashes the "oh she's just drunk" thing and iv put on mine not to ring an ambulance so that makes life much easier. Also drinking at least 4 bottles of water and an isotonic drink every day. hope thats helpful :) x

  26. I know this is an older post but I just want to say how comforting it is to hear other's similar experiences. I've been having episodes since I was a kid but was just diagnosed a few months ago after a tilt table test. My husband also freaked out the first time he saw it and still does every time I suddenly sit down in the aisle at the grocery store or jump out of the shower dripping wet and lay on the floor. A couple days ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, possibly Hashimoto's, and a gluten intolerance. I was trying to find if either could be linked to Vasovagal when I came across your post. Other people in my life just don't understand when I pass out and then tell them it's no big deal, happens all the time. Good to know someone does.

  27. Once i fainted after standing up for too long in a meeting where we had to promote some thing and i was the assistant! I felt it coming on and then ....................................................................................... When i got back up all of my workmates were frantically hurrying around. They are so nice though and i

  28. Those are some pretty embarrassing stories!

    A few weeks ago I fainted for the first time. I was hanging out with a guy friend and his 4 other guy friends in their dorm room. I had a pretty bad cold and had been feeling light headed and weak for a while. I don't have a fainting history so I didn't think anything would happen to me. So we were all standing in his room talking and all of the sudden I felt really dizzy. The next thing I knew I was on the floor and there were four guys gathered around me. They were all super freaked out and didn't really know what to do. It was especially awkward because three of the guys I barely knew. I ended up just lying in his bed for an hour (they made me lie down) while they all just stayed in his room and chilled. Finally I couldn't take the awkwardness anymore and I randomly said I had to get back and just biked to my own dorm. Now whenever I see his friends it's just super weird.

  29. My husband was diagnosed with NCS shortly after we were married. His is not nearly as severe as yours, from what I see here, but this was new to both of us and, yeah; it's pretty scary. I totally thought he was having a seizure the first time -- in the middle of the waiting room at the doctor's office and no one noticed!

  30. I first fainted in 3rd grade due to standing for over an hour under the burning sun (Sports day assembly at school in India ). That's the only time I've passed out cold. I learnt to recognise the symptoms after that. I do come very close to fainting in crowded rooms ,lots of heat and during strenuous excercise.

  31. There was one time in 5th grade when I had just got my first training bra. I was in church that day when I started sweating like crazy and feeling suffocated. I freaked out cuz I felt like I couldn't breath. I kept telling my mom that my bra was too tight (haha! I wish ). I still get teased to this day.

    I've got a question. Does your heart race before you faint? Mine beats really really really fast. But my doc said that I probably had vasovagal syncope ,and in that your heart slows down.

    1. Yes, my heart races. I have NCS neurocardiogenic syncope, rather than vasovagel syncope, and you may as well. NCS in simplistic terms is when your body reacts opposite to adrenaline, so your blood pressure drops instead, but because it starts as a reaction to adrenaline, there's the racing heart and sometimes seizure like jerking, but it is not a seizure, my diagnosis was after a medical test where they put adrenaline into my artery at the hospital. I fainted within 30 seconds. Still the best thing to do is recognize warning signs. Thank you for sharing your story. You can go to the websites above and talk with your doctor.