Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Can Seizures Be Brought On By Stress

What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety

Seizures and Stress: What it Means, How to Block the Connection – Dr. Michael Privatera

Anxiety is a common occurrence in peoples lives. People with anxiety disorders, on the other hand, usually experience severe, excessive, and persistent concern and terror in ordinary settings. Anxiety disorders are frequently characterised by recurring episodes of acute anxiety, fear, or terror that peak within minutes .

The following are some of the most common symptoms of anxiety:

  • Feeling jittery, agitated, or tense
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lack of concentration

The Link Between Stress And Epilepsy

It is widely accepted that we live in a stressful society. The pressures of financial survival, work, travel in crowded cities and meeting our responsibilities are just some of the stresses that everyone experiences in their daily life.

For people with epilepsy there may be additional stresses associated with their condition. These included the need to take medication regularly, uncertainty about when a seizure will occur, difficulties gaining a drivers licence and dependency on others, to name just a few.

The effect of this stress, and the anxiety and emotion that accompany it, can trigger seizures. An Australian study found that 63 per cent of respondents believed there was a relationship between stress and seizure control.

Stress management cannot replace the use of anticonvulsant medication. However, together with regular medication, it can be one of the most effective approaches to reducing seizures and living well with epilepsy.

The Concern About Anxiety And Seizures

Those with anxiety have a tendency to fear the worst. Those with panic attacks even more so. Anxiety causes the brain to focus on worst case scenarios, and unfortunately that means that if you have a panic attack you’re more prone to believing it’s caused by something worse – something like a seizure.

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Symptoms Of Nocturnal Seizures

Nocturnal seizure symptoms can be difficult to recognize as they occur when the affected person is asleep. However, if youre more aware of the signs of nocturnal seizure you will be more likely to pick up on their occurrence. The following are some of the most common consequences and what do nocturnal seizures look like.

  • Inability to concentrate: Having difficulty concentrating and focusing during awake hours could be a nocturnal seizure sign. This is partly due to the fact that having seizures while sleeping greatly reduces the time spent in deep sleep leading to negative effects on your health and lifestyle.
  • Involuntary movement: This is characterized by abnormal movements during sleep. Some individuals suffering from nocturnal seizures wake up multiple times during the night due to thrashing movements of the arms and/or legs that they have no control over. Patients often are jarred awake and left in a state of disorientation and confusion.
  • Tongue biting and incontinence: Both hallmark signs of suffering from a seizure episode which could be exacerbated in cases of nocturnal seizure disorder. While sleeping, all of your bodily muscles are relaxed which could make you more susceptible to wetting the bed. Sometimes certain muscle groups can rigorously contract when suffering from a seizure, if this happens to the jaw muscles you could easily bite your tongue.
  • Other symptoms of nocturnal seizures:
  • Signs of sleeplessness drooling, headache, and vomiting

Natural Remedies For Dog Seizureswhat Are They Can They Work


Some dog owners swear by natural treatments for their epileptic dogs, though the scientific backing behind them is sometimes lacking. These natural remedies can include belladonna, aconite, cocculus, silica, Hyoscyamus, kali brom, bufo and cicuta virosa. Always check with your vet before starting new anticonvulsant medication.

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What Causes Epileptic Seizures

Epileptic seizures are caused by a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain . Our brain controls the way we think, move and feel, by passing electrical messages from one brain cell to another. If these messages are disrupted, or too many messages are sent at once, this causes an epileptic seizure.

What happens to the person during the seizure depends on where in the brain the seizure activity happens and what that part of the brain does.

Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with epilepsy who are then assessed at specialist epilepsy centres are found to have NES

This may be partly because epilepsy and NES can look very similar, and can affect people in similar ways. However, the difference between epileptic and non-epileptic seizures is their underlying cause.

Non-epileptic seizures are not caused by disrupted electrical activity in the brain and so are different from epilepsy. They can have a number of different causes.

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What Is The Relationship Between Stress And Seizures

Stress can affect different people in different ways. Some people with epilepsy find that during periods of stress they are more likely to have seizures. This can be particularly likely if the stress happens over a long period of time. For other people with epilepsy, stress doesnt affect them in the same way.

Stress can sometimes contribute to people developing epilepsy in the first place. This is more likely if your stress is severe, lasts a long time, or has affected you very early in life. In very young children, stress affects the development of the brain. In older people, long-term stress can change the way the brain works. For some people, this can be one of the reasons why they develop epilepsy.

The parts of the brain which regulate the stress response are also often involved in epilepsy. So its not difficult to imagine how stress could play a role in triggering seizures, or the development of epilepsy.

Long-term stress can change the way you think and feel about your life, and how you react to situations you find yourself in.

If you are stressed you might also:

  • Have problems sleeping
  • Eat too much or too little
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Feel anxious or depressed

These are all things that can make seizures more likely too. Taking active steps to help manage stress is good for your general health, and may also improve your seizure control.

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When Do I Increase My Chances Of Having Seizures

Many people with epilepsy say that sleep deprivation, increased alcohol consumption, and menstrual changes lead to an increase in seizure frequency. You probably already knew that. What you may want to know is why. The reason is that all of these situations change your brain’s excitability. Your brain is very sensitive to these changes, and if there is a big enough change from normal, you may begin to have a seizure.

Emotional stress also can lead to seizures. Emotional stress is usually related to a situation or event that has personal meaning to you. It may be a situation in which you feel a loss of control. In particular, the kind of emotional stress that leads to most seizures is worry or fear. One study found that in some patients, anxietyanother term for worry and fearled to hyperventilation and an increase in abnormal brain activity and seizures. Other emotions that have been linked with stress and seizures are frustration and anger. Sometimes the stress is a ‘major’ event, but most often people report a build up of daily hassles or stress.

What Are Psychogenic Non

Can stress or anxiety cause seizures? – Dr.Advait Kulkarni |Doctors’ Circle

Most people dont understand what is a pseudoseizure? Well, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures or pseudoseizures are different from neurological seizures caused by abnormal brain activity. Often abbreviated as PNES, these are brain responses to stress or anxiety in extreme levels to be considered psychiatric. PNES is classified among functional neurological disorders or conversion disorders.

Typically, these disorders occur due to emotional stressors that cause physical signs that cant be justified with other underlying conditions. PNES usually affects those who struggle to manage anxiety, stress, and traumatic emotions using traditionally accepted coping mechanisms. Once the emotions become overwhelming enough, it shuts down the bodys defense mechanism.

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Who Has Dissociative Seizures

Dissociative seizures can happen to anyone, at any age, although some factors make dissociative seizures more likely. Dissociative seizures are:

  • more common in women
  • more likely to start in young adults
  • more likely to happen to people who have had an injury or disease or who have had severe emotional upset or stressful life events
  • more common in people with other psychiatric conditions .

Studies Of Nonpharmacologic Interventions

Better understanding, recognition, and control of the seizure triggers might not only reduce the unpredictability of seizures but could also help prevent or even eliminate their occurrence . Seizure frequency reductions associated with the use of interventions based on nonspecific seizure prevention methods that target stress as a seizure precipitant could therefore provide additional evidence for the role of stress as a seizure trigger.

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Causes Of Idiopathic Epilepsy In Dogs

Many different factors, including the pattern of seizures, can influence the development of future seizures. For example, how old a dog is when it first develops a seizure may determine the likelihood that it will develop future seizures, recurrent seizures, and the frequency and outcome of those seizures.

Idiopathic epilepsy is genetic in many dog breeds and is also familial meaning that it runs in certain families or lines of animals. These breeds of dog should be tested for epilepsy and if diagnosed, should not be used for breeding. Breeds most prone to idiopathic epilepsy include the:

Multiple genes and recessive modes of inheritance are suggested in the Bernese Mountain Dog and Labrador Retriever, while non-gender hormone recessive traits has been proposed in the Vizsla and Irish Wolfhound. There are also recessive traits in the English Springer Spaniel, which can lead to epilepsy, but it does not appear to affect all members of the family. Seizures are mainly focal in the Finnish Spitz.

The characteristics associated with genetic epilepsy usually manifest from10-months to 3-years of age, but has been reported as early as six months and as late as five years.

Seeking Help For Stress And Epilepsy

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Talk to your doctor, nurse, or counselor if stress is negatively affecting your life. Let them know whats bothering you. Below are some ways to find help:

  • Make sure your epilepsy team knows that stress is affecting your seizures.
  • Seek counseling or psychotherapy. If you think you may have anxiety or depression, talk to you doctor about treatment options.
  • Contact the Epilepsy Foundations free, confidential Epilepsy & Seizures Helpline available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week in English , and Spanish for information and resources.
  • Read stories from other members of the epilepsy community via our eJourney blog.
  • Reach out to a local Epilepsy Foundation office near you.
Learn More:

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How Is Pnes Treated

Unlike neurological seizures, PNES is psychological. Therefore, treatment of any underlying condition is important. Treatment options include:

  • Psychotherapy CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a good option for any anxiety-related disorders. CBT enables affected individuals to learn how to cope with anxious or stressful thoughts and feelings. This can reduce the frequency of PNES.
  • Medications Antiepileptic drugs cannot help in treating pseudoseizures since the seizures are not neurological. Therefore, Selective Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors are preferred to reduce the symptoms of anxiety.
  • Lifestyle Changes Various lifestyle changes can minimize exposure to stressful situations and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Good sleep, daily exercise, a balanced diet, and mindful meditation can reduce anxiety and improve the quality of life.

What Causes Dissociative Seizures

We all react to frightening or stressful situations differently. When we are frightened we might feel physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat or a sweaty feeling. When we feel sad, we might cry. So how we feel emotionally can sometimes cause a physical reaction.

An extremely frightening or upsetting experience may be so emotionally difficult for some people to think about that they cannot consciously cope with how this makes them feel.

In some cases, we will unconsciously hide or repress the memory of these experiences. These memories may always remain hidden and we may never remember the events that have happened.

For some people, the memories of these painful past events can suddenly come up or intrude into their thoughts or awareness. This might happen during an emotional or stressful situation or when there is something in the environment that unconsciously triggers a distressing memory.

Dissociative seizures can happen as a cut-off mechanism to prevent bad memories being relived. The person splits off from their feelings about the experience because it is too difficult to cope with. The seizure happens because their emotional reaction causes a physical effect.

These seizures are an unconscious reaction so they are not deliberate and the person has no control over them.

  • major accidents

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Understanding Seizures And Anxiety

Those with panic attacks know how easy it is to fall into the trap of convincing themselves that their anxiety is something more serious. If you haven’t already been diagnosed with epilepsy, the reality is that your panic attacks are likely just that – panic attacks and intense anxiety.

It never hurts to talk to a doctor. And those with epilepsy are at risk for further seizures because of the intense stress of an anxiety attack. But in general, the two conditions are unrelated, and it does not appear that those with panic attacks are more or less prone to seizures than the rest of the population.

If you have anxiety, no matter the cause, you should get help. Only commitment to an anxiety treatment can rid you of anxiety forever.

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Exercise Several Times Per Week

How to help if someone has a tonic clonic seizure – Epilepsy Action Employer Toolkit

Exercise is an excellent coping mechanism for stress because its benefits are twofold. First, exercise helps boost endorphins and combat the emotional effects of stress. Secondly, exercise helps improve your cardiovascular health and thus help protect your body from the harmful effects of stress, such as high blood pressure.

How much exercise is enough to make a difference though? The American Heart Association recommends moderate physical activity for at least 40 minutes, three to four times per week, to reduce hypertension.

If youre able to, try exercising outdoors, as spending time in green spaces has also been linked to reduced stress levels.

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Can Partial Seizures Be Brought On By Stress

How does stress trigger seizures?~Stress makes or releases certain hormones related to the nervous system that can impact the brain.~Areas of the brain important for some types of seizures, for example partial seizures, are the same areas of the brain involved in emotions and responding to stress.

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thirty years

Concussion, traumatic brain injury and seizures~Head trauma is one of the most commonly identified reasons that patients develop epilepsy. Most studies suggest that approximately 6% of patients with epilepsy have TBI as the cause.~The more severe the head trauma, the higher the risk of developing epilepsy. For example, patients with penetrating brain injury have a 53% chance of developing epilepsy.***Epilepsy does not typically developimmediately after head trauma. Often, there are a few months, or even longer, before recurrent seizure activity is noted.


Causes of Stress

Understanding The Connection Between Stress Anxiety And Epilepsy

Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, there are ways to cope so you dont become overwhelmed and anxious. Anxiety can also take hold for no apparent reason, making a person feel constantly nervous, uneasy or in distress.

Of course, a diagnosis of epilepsy or worrying about unexpected or uncontrolled seizures can fuel more stress and anxiety as well. In some cases, anxiety can even be a side effect of epilepsy medication.

At the Ohio State Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, we understand that anxiety may not be easily controlled. The same triggers or abnormal brain functions that cause your seizures may also be responsible for your anxiety. This can lead to obsessive behaviors or agitation, which are often seen in people with epilepsy.

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Aims And Method Of This Review

Several previous reviews have focused on the role of early life stress and stress in adulthood in epileptogenesis . The current narrative review concentrates instead on the relationship between stress and seizures in people with established seizure disorders, that is, the process of ictogenesis. We carried out PubMed and Web of Knowledge searches using the following search terms: âepilepsy,â âseizure,â âseizure trigger,â âictogenesis,â âstress,â âappraisal,â âstressor,â âphysiological response,â âhypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis,â âcortisol,â âcorticosterone,â âsympatho-adrenomedullary system,â âadrenaline,â ânoradrenaline,â âheart rate variability,â âpsychotherapy,â âself-management,â âbiofeedback.â We focused on original research reports, although review articles were used to identify additional primary research in the area. We included studies involving humans and animals. Although our interest is mainly in the role of short-term stressful experiences as triggers of epileptic seizures, we acknowledge that exposure to chronic stressors may influence the individual’s response to more acute stressors and the effect of the acute stressors on health outcomes . For this reason both acute and chronic stressors are discussed.

Neuroinflammation And Chronic Stress In Epilepsy

Dog Seizures: Triggers, Causes &  Treatments

A major goal in epilepsy research is to determine the key events that occur in the brain after an injury, such as stroke, trauma, prolonged febrile seizures or status epilepticus that predispose it to develop spontaneous recurrent seizures. Rational therapeutic intervention for epilepsy requires an understanding of the mechanisms responsible for epileptogenesis. Despite successes in developing therapies for existing epilepsies, our understanding of the sequence of events, such as those after a brain injury that causes a normal brain to become epileptic is lacking. There are very limited clinical cases reporting the pathology of brain tissue with regard to inflammatory mediators in humans however, serum levels of inflammatory mediators such as interleukin-1 beta and high mobility group box 1 have been shown to correlate with seizure severity in children with febrile seizures . Additional evidence of a potential role of inflammatory mediators in epilepsy is derived from clinical studies wherein inflammatory mediators were measured in the cerebrospinal fluid of 14 epileptic patients with severe seizures and compared to 14 patients with other neurological diseases . Although human studies investigating the relationship between neuroinflammation and seizures are ongoing, the vast majority of information on this subject comes from numerous animal studies.

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