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...

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...

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...

Book review: On the floor again: A raw look at life with nonepileptic seizures by Mia Montgomery

If you have been diagnosed with Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) and are feeling alone on this journey, I advise you to pick up a copy of “On the floor again” by young author, Mia Montgomery. This is a highly entertaining book in which you will find yourself turning page after page, wanting to know what will happen to Mia in the end: Will that enchanted childhood become somehow marred by an unhappy...

Recent article: Conversion disorder and the trouble with trauma

  Kanaan and Craig recently published an article “Conversion disorders and the trouble with trauma” (see reference at the bottom of this page) in which they present the reader with a cogent overview of the current debate of whether conversion disorder should be conceptualized as “psychogenic” or instead “as a yet unexplained neurological disorder.” They argue, quite persuasively that what might seem...

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