Psychological Non Epileptic Seizures
Northeast Regional Epilepsy Group

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...

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...

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...

Breaking news: Results of a major Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Study for psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (dissociative seizures) just published

Recently, Goldstein et al published their results from a randomized CBT treatment versus “treatment as usual” (TAU) study in which treatment outcome in patients who had a history of dissociative seizures was compared (Goldstein et al., 2020). The study is the largest and most well-designed study to date. It included an initial 3-month observation period — during which patients were asked to keep a careful log...

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...

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