Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

Are psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) the same in men and women?

In 2017, we set about trying to answer a question that had been on my mind for a few years. The query was whether women and men with PNES were the same in all respects or different, and if they were different, in what ways. The reason answering this question is important is because better understanding differences in the general PNES classification can help clinicians know better what factors to keep an eye open...

Book recommendation: Trauma and Recovery-The aftermath of violence from domestic abuse to political terror by Judith Herman, M.D.

In 1992, Dr. Herman published this groundbreaking book that, over the years, has helped educate countless clinicians who treat traumatized individuals. I believe I came upon this first edition in 1995.  The most updated version came out recently in 2015.  In my opinion, this book provides one of the clearest and insightful explanations of the many aspects of psychological trauma and is a must for future...

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,...

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures: Love and Light

  My name is JJ and I am 22. My seizures have been a sporadic problem since I was 13. They really became a problem December 2013. I had quit drinking in September, I later discovered my alcoholism was suppressing my seizures. My seizures became unbearable, I was unable to do the things I used to, I began seeking and searching for answers. Every time I would go to the hospital they would tell me I was “faking...

Psychogenic non epileptic seizures: why is your memory so bad if this is all psychological?

An almost universal cognitive complaint in persons with PNES is that their memory is bad and it is not unusual after going through neuropsychological testing of memory (verbal, visual, etc.), that these complaints are officially confirmed.  Although we are not sure, these memory problems are probably due to more than one reason.    The most obvious answer is that if you are clinically depressed or anxious (which...

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