Plasma concentrations of growth hormone (GH), cortisol, and prolactin (PRL), following a spontaneous generalized seizure in epileptic men were compared with similar measurements made in nonepileptic, stressed men to determine the role of stress in the hormonal response to seizures. Nonepileptic, nonstressed men served as control subjects. GH concentrations increased significantly within 60 min postictally, and as expected, so did cortisol and PRL. A subgroup of alcoholic patients exhibited a smaller GH response to seizures. Stressed patients had significantly less elevated cortisol and PRL plasma values, but no rise of GH. The data suggest that neurogenic stimuli responsible for the postictal release of GH, cortisol, and PRL are, at least in part, independent of stress mechanisms and that GH response is blunted in alcoholic patients.