In the past, I have witnessed several people having epileptic seizures, including my grandfather. I had no idea that there was such a thing as non-epileptic seizures, until I was diagnosed with them a year ago.
When most people think about seizures and what they entail, they usually envision a loss of consciousness, convulsions, and jerking movements. However, my seizures didn’t result in the standard symptoms that I visualized. I would get nauseous and dizzy, and then my back would start to spasm and I would lose control of the movement in my arms. I would punch my legs and hit myself to point that it would actually hurt, but I couldn’t do anything about it. I never lost consciousness, I was fully aware of what was going on around me, but I couldn’t communicate with anyone. After the seizure would end, it would sometimes take me up to an hour to hold a conversation, walk, and sometimes I would instantly fall asleep. I was seen by a neurologist and who performed a Brain MRI and an EEG, and after those came back negative, it was then that I was officially diagnosed with non epileptic seizures.
According to Wed MD, people with non epileptic seizures (NES) have periods of seizure-like activity. They portray a loss or change in physical function without a central nervous symptom problem. NES are usually cause by a mental health problem, for example emotional conflicts or stress. When my seizures started, I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and my husband had recently become mentally abusive.
People with NES usually exhibit only one symptom, but if episodes continue to occur, the symptom may reappear but in a different location or intensity. For instance, in the beginning, the only symptom that I displayed was shaking in my hands and arms, but after awhile they evolved to what I described above.
Treatment for NES varies with each individual. You’re doctor’s goal will be to try to remove the stress or emotional conflicts that could be causing the loss or change in physical function. Treatments may include medicines, counseling, or specific life changes, but because NES are not caused by a problem in the brain, medicines that are used to treat epilepsy will not work. I was put on antidepressants, sent to a psychiatrist, and then sent to a therapist that I saw weekly.
After I left my ex husband, my seizures completely stopped, however, I still see my therapist weekly, and my physiatrist monthly. Even though you will feel as if you are “cured,” I will still urge you to continue your therapy sessions, in order to help prevent future relapses.