Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

Book recommendation: Guises of Desire is the beautifully told story of one of the best known patients with a psychogenic and dissociative disorder

The time and place: Vienna, Austria in the 1800’s.  The main character of the story is real: Bertha Pappenheim (AKA Anna O). In Guises of Desire, the author, Hilda Reilly, recounts Bertha’s intense years living with these psychogenic symptoms using a wonderful combination of solid research and imagination.  Ms. Reilly descriptions of Bertha’s variety of psychogenic symptoms including a persistent cough,...

Psychiatry and Psychology are dropping the ball when it comes to psychogenic non epileptic seizures

Dr. Selim Benbadis published an excellent editorial article in the Neuropsychiatry Journal this year in which he called out both the American Psychological and American Psychiatric Association for the absence of information about Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (conversion disorders) they have on their sites. He pointed out that both associations have a plethora of mental health topics and diagnoses for which...

Psychogenic, pseudo, psychological: why does PNES have so many names?

Does it matter what we call PNES? In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliette, she said: What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… Similarly, as kids we were taught: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. What do these two statements mean?  That what you are is what matters, not what you are called, that words are not powerful.  But actually,...