Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

The debate on what to call psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), non-epileptic attach disorder (NEAD), dissociative seizures, functional seizures, etc. continues

This feature article was just published by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) and summarizes meetings that took place last year. https://www.newswise.com/articles/what-should-we-call-psychogenic-non-epileptic-seizures   Note: I will continue to call PNES by this name below since we do not have a better term yet. Why is this important what we call this disorder, you might ask? In summary, the name...

What if a patient has psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) but does not report any significant psychological trauma?

It is important for mental health professionals to be cognizant of this because these patients exist and are encountered in psychotherapists’ offices with certain regularity. For decades if not centuries (if we look back to Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud) it has been understood that psychological trauma is an important risk factor in the development of PNES and other conversion disorders.  However, we can really...

You have been told you have alexithymia: Now, what? (Post for patients)

Let’s first answer: What is alexithymia? Basically, it means, not having words for emotions (a=not having, lexi=word, thymia=emotion) or in other words, having a hard time identifying and describing feelings.  In psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), it is quite common to have some degree of alexithymia.  By the way, alexithymia can also occur in individuals who do not suffer from PNES or functional...

New article highlight: “Quality of life and psychological dysfunction in traumatized and non-traumatized patients with PNES”

In March, our summer intern, Nadine Boesten, together with her supervisors Ben Wijnen and Lorna Myers published an article with the following title: “Quality of life and psychological dysfunction in traumatized and nontraumatized patients with psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES).” This study aimed to examine whether there are distinct subgroups within those who have psychogenic non-epileptic seizures...