Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

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

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...

Face Masks: to wear or not to wear when you are living with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) during the Covid-19 pandemic

In recent months, I have been asked by a few patients who have been diagnosed with PNES (dissociative seizures) whether it is safe to wear a mask with PNES. On one hand, it is becoming obligatory to wear masks in some states.  We have all seen those signs that say: “If you come into this store, you must wear a mask or you will not be served.” On the other, some patients have mentioned that wearing a mask...

Staying healthy as a person living with PNES while staying cooped up during the age of COVID-19

We have all been asked to practice something called “social distancing” which means keeping at least 6 feet from others and avoiding (as of today) being in a group of 10 people. Schools, churches, public buildings, restaurants, gyms, etc. have all been closed for this purpose and now, many of us are stuck at home without our usual daily routine to keep us occupied. Basically, we are to be cooped up for at...

Persons diagnosed with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures deserve to be treated humanely by health professionals

Currently, emergency rooms, hospitals in general and medical staff are facing a serious crisis due to the Coronavirus that emerged just months ago but which quickly became a pandemic.  If possible, Emergency Rooms (ERs) should be avoided unless it is absolutely necessary because resources are stretched thin, the risk for exposure to this virus or others is greater in an ER, and especially because usually ERs...

Poem written by someone living with PNES

This poem was written by a young adult living with the effects of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES).  Through this poem she communicates to others what her experience is like.  Perhaps these words may resonate with you too. ITS BLINKING I SEE A BIG FLASH IM MY HEAD YOU FALL WITH A SPLASH YOU COME SO UNEXPECTED SOMETIMES YOU MAKE ME FEEL PROTECTED BUT I CAN GET...

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