Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

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...

Studying Emotion, Relationships, and Psychogenic Non-epileptic Seizures (PNES) at Arizona State University

This month’s blog post comes to us from sunny Arizona, more specifically, Dayana Villarreal, Graduate Student, Arizona State University. Below, you are invited to read about her current research project on PNES. She hopes you may decide to take an online survey that will be used to better understand the inner workings of PNES.   When I joined the emotion research lab at Arizona State University (ASU) as a...

How important is alexithymia in the treatment of psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES)? (Post for clinicians)

Spoiler alert: Important in patients who have PNES and high alexithymia What is alexithymia? Basically, it is, 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 psychology it is associated with two concepts: emotional knowledge (EK) and emotional regulation (ER). EK has to do with: 1) Being able to identify...