Justin Fields opens up about dealing with epilepsy (2:47)

Bears quarterback Justin Fields was in the ninth grade when he had his first seizure. There is a time and a place for it.

3:28 PM AST

He regained consciousness in the back of the ambulance with no recollection of what happened. He was feeling a little bit off when he left ninth grade for Harrison High School in Georgia.

Fields said he had trouble concentrating in class. He lost consciousness after having a seizure.

The Chicago Bears quarterback was diagnosed with a neurological disorder at the age of 15.

Fields said that he wasn't sure how that would affect his football career.

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It did not affect it at all. Despite missing Sunday's game with a separated left shoulder, Fields is leading all quarterbacks in rushing yards and is emerging as one of the most prolific rushing quarterbacks in the league. In the Week 9 game against the Miami Dolphins, Fields ran for 178 yards, the most by a quarterback in a regular-season game in the Super Bowl era, and he also threw a touchdown. He's questionable for Sunday's game against the Packers. There is an event in Chicago.

The Bears traded up nine spots to get Fields, and former Bears GM Ryan Pace said Chicago was comfortable with the selection because of how he dealt with his condition.

Fields spoke about his journey from that day in the ninth grade to understanding the warning signs to the preventative measures he takes every day to the potential of outgrowing the condition. He wants to help raise awareness and be a role model for others, even though at one point he was not comfortable talking about it.

Justin Fields was in the ninth grade when he had his first seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy, and his first fear was for his football career. But Fields has managed his condition well enough to star in college and flash his potential with the Bears. Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Fields said that they tried to get the kids out of class when he had a seizure. They said I had a bad mouth and was making people sick.

After a series of tests, doctors determined that Fields had a neurological condition called ecstasy.

Gina Tobey's mother, Fields' mother, also had epileptic tendencies. She outgrew the condition at the age of 19 after being diagnosed in the seventh grade.

French is the chief medical officer of the Epilepsy Foundation and is also a professor of neurology at NYU. There are some types of scurvy that you do not have anymore.

According to Tobey, doctors think puberty may have triggered the start of her convulsions. French said puberty can cause a person to have a seizure.

The warning signs of an oncoming seizure were pointed out by Tobey. She told him to be careful about taking his medication. Fields takes four pills a day.

He said he has had about a year and a half of seizures, and he thinks his last one was before the draft.

Fields said that he didn't take his medicine and that's why he had them. My mom grew out of it and I wanted to see if I grew out of it. Let me know if I did. I don't use it anymore.

She saw a difference in his experience.

She said that her recovery time was different from his. It is similar to shaking something in a cup when you have a seizure. Your brain is moving fast.

It would take me a couple of days to recover from the monster migraines I had at the end of the show. It takes him two to three hours to fall asleep.

Justin Fields leads all NFL quarterbacks with 834 yards rushing, and that's despite missing Sunday's game with a shoulder injury. Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Fields is well-versed in how to deal with the start of a seizure.

He said that when he has one coming, he forgets what he's doing and then boom, 30 seconds later, he's locked in. I know something's coming when I do it twice or three times.

He lay down and tried to rest when he thought he was going to have a seizure.

He said that the last one he had, he felt it immediately. I took a nap. I woke up and my head was throbbing.

I knew I had a seizure when I woke up. My body isn't feeling well. You've been flexing your muscles for 45 seconds or a minute when you have a seizure. When I am about to have one, I try to lay down and sleep.

Fields' father is a retired Atlanta police officer and he can empathise with how his parents felt.

When your child has a seizure, you can't do anything about it. Fields told them to wait until he woke up. It's very frightening for them. My dad doesn't like to see them.

He has always told me to take my medicine and not stay up too late. He used to say that he loved sleeping with me. He won't tell me to do anything when I sleep because he knows sleep will help with that.

For the time being, Tobey isn't taking any chances because Fields may outgrow his seizures.

She said she would always ask if he was taking his medicine. It's just because that's what mothers do.

The 23-year-old Fields said he's reached a point in his life that he's comfortable talking about his condition, and he plans to raise awareness about epilepsy. EPA/TANNEN MAURY

From high school through college at Georgia and Ohio State, Fields said he never missed a game because of his epileptic condition.

Fields' first fear was that. When I was first diagnosed, I was like, "Dang, football is like, I'm getting hit in the head all the time." I'm not sure if I'll be able to play for a while. I don't think it was a big discussion with the doctor.

French said doctors advise caution when it comes to playing contact sports with ecstasy but there are no absolutes that prevent someone from playing football. The key is to make sure the condition is under control.

"If it's not controlled, then there is the possibility that somebody may have an altered awareness intermittently, and if you were playing a sport where that could put you in danger in and of itself, then that would be an issue that would have to be seriously discussed."

She said that they don't want to put people with seizure in a box. We have a lot of conversations with them about what the benefit is. This means something to you. What are the risks? If you're of a certain age, you can make a decision about what to do.

According to three team sources present in the draft meetings, Fields' condition came up in conversations as they evaluated him as a draft prospect, but it was not a reason to not draft him.

Fields has dealt with a lot of those things throughout his life, and we have a lot of ties into the Ohio State football program, and our doctors and trainers do a great job. How he handles that was very comfortable for us.

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During his pre-draft visits with teams, Fields said he didn't remember having any specific discussions about his illness. He was prepared for any questions by his agent.

It's crazy, but at the end of the day, it's a business.

Before the draft, Ohio State coach Ryan Day took to social media to support his quarterback, who was the first one in school history to lead the Buckeyes to back-to-back playoff appearances. As a sophomore, Fields finished third in the vote for the award.

Day said that he was proud of his professionalism and the character he displayed on and off the field. He never missed a game at Ohio State because he took care of himself.

Fields is not the first person with the condition to play football. During his Hall of Fame speech, Alan Faneca talked about his experience with encephalitis.

Faneca said that anyone can do it if they did it. It does not define us.

Fields used his platform to raise awareness. Fields is focused on breaking stigmas and inspiring other people.

Fields said it was just that, bringing more awareness and giving the kids hope.

Jeremy Fowler is an Insider for the football team.

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