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...

Shame and Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES): research topic?

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by one of the leaders in the field of research of Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES); he proposed a project to several professionals in the field of PNES focusing on a topic that is often overlooked not only in PNES but in many other conditions and a variety of clinical settings. He stated that he had the sense that this emotional state may play an important role in the...

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...

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...

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