Pseudo seizures resemble epileptic seizures but which are in reality psychogenically induced. Seizures are normally caused by electrical abnormalities in the brain or have abnormal EEG readings. Pseudo seizures lack the electroencephalographic characteristics of an epileptic seizure. Pseudo seizures may be a way of coping with stress, or it may be subconscious. Pseudo seizures often occur in persons who also have epileptic seizures and may be difficult to differentiate from these two seizures. King, DW 1982 states that because "data suggest that pseudo seizures occur frequently in patients being evaluated for epilepsy or suspected epilepsy and that the clinical differentiation between the two is often inaccurate."

Trimble suggests that the nature of these episodes are perhaps when, "Patients feel badly, guilty, distressed or resentful that their condition is perceived in a pseudo-artificially - sense and that they are being actively accused of causing it."

My girlfriend had an episode on December 21, 2004 which the doctor declared was a “pseudoseizure.” That night, explained in great detail in the prior link, she may have felt extremely guilty for what occurred between her and me. She had some serious trauma in her past because she was molested. Thus I may have brought it out when we were together. I thought she was going in and out of consciousness and she ended up leaving in an ambulance after I called 911.

Slavney emphasizes that those undergoing a pseudo seizure did not consciously motivate themselves to the state, but that they are doing it to themselves.
    Although I did not find any research on physical symptoms, my girlfriend on that night had the following: To my observation
  • Twenty second intervals of sharp pains. She squeezed my hand every twenty seconds (precisely) during the first ten or so minutes of when I personally declared her attack began. Symptom stopped after these ten minutes, though I was driving and they may have gone unnoticed.
  • Five second intervals of her right hand and some of her right half of her body twitching in convulsions. This started occurring after I got her inside the home of my ex-girlfriend's. This still occurred when the paramedics showed up, and I am unsure when that stopped.
  • Unresponsiveness, mumbling, and a relaxed body state. Scientifically speaking: Paralysis and mutism.
  • It did look like she was going in and out of consciousness, but from what I have learned she was probably awake during all of it. Though her memory of the situation is great in detail.
Merskey suggested a positive correlation to those who had pseudo seizures and multiple personality disorders.

Research suggests that pseudo seizures are sudden and have onsets over seconds and usually last short times. Though they can occasionally last hours (as in the case with my girlfriend).
    Emedicine gives "Classic Clues" to define a pseudo seizure or nonepileptic seizure: I have bolded the symptoms that my girlfriend had.
  • Induced by stress
  • Lack of physical injury
  • Lack of headache or myalgias following convulsions
  • Lack of incontinence
  • Biting the tip of the tongue as opposed to the side or the lip
  • History of sexual or physical abuse
  • Signs or symptoms suggestive of another conversion
    • Clinical Symptoms or signs:
    • Gradual onset of ictus
    • Prolonged duration (>4 min)
    • Atypical or excessive motor activity such as thrashing, rolling from one side to the other, pelvic thrusting, or arrhythmic (out-of-phase) jerking
    • Waxing and waning amplitude
    • Intelligible speech Mumbling meaningful words I could understand.
    • Bilateral motor activity with preserved consciousness She had only convulsions on the right half of her body.
    • Clinical features that change from one spell to the next (ie, non-stereotyped)
    • Lack of postictal confusion
    • Postictal crying or cursing
    • Directed violent acts
    • Resistance to eye opening
    • Purposeful resistance to passive movements
    • Spontaneous remissions.


Further related diagnosises:
Atypical Psychosis, episodic dyscontrol, post traumatic temporal lobe dysfunction or multiple partial seizure like symptoms without stereotype spells.


Sources:
http://www.mercksource.com/pp/us/cns/cns_hl_dorlands.jsp zQzpgzEzzSzppdocszSzuszSzcommonzSzdorlandszSzdorlandzSzd md_p_40zPzhtm
http://www.braininjury.com/seizuresandheadinjury.html
http://www.paulbunyan.net/users/Academy/seizure.htm
http://www.pni.org/neuropsychiatry/seizures/epilepsy/pse udo_seizure.html
http://www.emedicine.com/med/topic1150.htm

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