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 .
Conclusions And Future Directions
Screening and using early interventions for stress in epilepsy could improve diagnostics, treatments, and patients quality of life . Stress management includes both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods for enhancing stress coping mechanisms . In addition to healthy nutrition and exercise , mindset approaches have been proposed to manage stress and depression in patients with epilepsy . Notably, psychosocial interventions have been shown to improve the immune system function in humans . Other studies also revealed a potential efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of depression in both animal models of epilepsy and in people with epilepsy .
A Perfect Storm For Traumatic Stress
Caring for someone with uncontrolled epilepsy can be like living in a constant state of danger. There will be another seizure, but no one knows when. Even for those who have witnessed hundreds of seizures and know exactly what to do, seizures generate stress. Someone they love is in distress. Something different could happen this time. The seizure might go on for too long. Their loved one might stop breathing. They just dont know.
Stress is a normal part of everyday life, with stress-response systems that alert people to danger or motivate action. But the stress associated with caring for someone who has uncontrolled seizures ticks all the boxes for traumatic stress: its severe, recurring, chronic and unpredictable.
Many parents who care for children with special needs, especially ones that require them to be hypervigilant, are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder , said Eileen Devine, a private-practice therapist in Portland, Ore., who focuses on parents of children with special health care needs.
Research on the effects of epilepsy on caregivers and families is relatively sparse, though nearly every study concludessomewhat obviouslythat a heavy stress burden exists and that it can affect family relationships, income and emotional health, including PTSD.
A 2019 study in Epilepsia Open examined seizure burden in young children and the effects on parents. The study concluded:
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Why Do I Forget Words When Speaking
If you forget words when speaking you could have aphasia and it can range from mild to severe. Aphasia is considered a communication disorder that is caused by damage or injury to the areas of the brain associated with language. This is more common in older adults and particularly those who have suffered from a stroke. People with aphasia may find it difficult speaking and finding the appropriate words to complete their thoughts. There are several types of aphasia and they can affect people in different ways. The most common types are Brocas aphasia, Wernicks aphasia and anomic aphasia.
Can You Get Aphasia From Stress
No, you cant get aphasia from stress. However, living constantly stressed can increase your risk of having a stroke which can lead to aphasia but if you already have aphasia, your symptoms may be more noticeable during periods of stress. Moreover, if someone is constantly under a lot of stress, they may start noticing speech problems, concentrating, difficulty retrieving words or even thinking clearly.
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How Are Seizures Treated
If you have epilepsy and your seizures are being triggered by stress, you should consider working to decrease or avoid stressful situations. You might also think about working with your doctor to find an effective medication regimen.
There are a number of medications that can be used to control seizures, and additional medications may be appropriate to help you deal with stress, depression, or anxiety. Talk with your doctor or a mental health professional if youre having trouble coping with seizures or daily stress.
If you dont have epilepsy but are experiencing non-epileptic seizures brought on by stress, there are a number of treatments that may help. These include:
- medications to address anxiety or depression
- ruling out physical problems that could be increasing stress
Psychological Mechanisms Of Stress
Psychological models of stress emphasize the role of the subjective interpretation of a stimulus or event. According to the dominant model of stress, the stress process consists of four stages: stimulus presentation, primary appraisal, secondary appraisal, and stress reaction . If the stimulus is appraised as threatening , and the individual’s coping resources are appraised as insufficient , the individual responds with a stress reaction. This involves negative emotional responses , as well as other behavioral reactions such as changed sleeping or dietary habits .
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Driving Regulations For Dissociative Seizures
Driving regulations for the UK are set by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency . You will need to stop driving and tell the DVLA that you have dissociative seizures. You may be able to apply for a new licence once you have been seizure free for three months.
If seizures are considered likely to happen while driving, a specialist review would also be needed. These regulations are based on the risks of having a seizure while driving.
Visit gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions for more information.
Find out more about driving and epilepsy
Reasons For Having Speech Difficulties
- Having too much to drink can cause slurred speech since alcohol slows down how our brain communicates with the rest of our body. Your liver can only break down some of the alcohol, leaving the rest in your bloodstream.
- Having a stroke, as we have mentioned, can cause trouble speaking, among other difficulties with mobility. When your brain doesnt get enough oxygen or it gets suddenly cut off then you could have slurred speech, difficulties speaking or troubles understanding.
- Severe headaches can also cause difficulties with your speech, this is known as transient aphasia because it is temporary. Migraines can affect your senses and can cause dizziness, confusion, numbness, among others.
- Neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis, brain cancer and seizures can cause speech issues.
- Speech difficulties can be a side effect of certain medications and supplements and a symptom of the intake of certain sedatives and narcotics.
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Epigenetic Modifications In Development Programming And The Effects Of Stress
Epigenetic modifications regulate gene expression without altering the DNA sequence. Epigenetic changes involve DNA methylation at cytosine-guanine sequences-CpG sites, histone posttranslational modifications , and microRNAs . Epigenetic mechanisms control nucleosome spacing and how they are condensed, which subsequently determines gene activity. Briefly, chromatin exists in an inactivated and condensed state that prevents gene transcription, but when activated to an open state , genes can be transcribed.
It is now clear in both humans and animals that glucocorticois and stress have a significant epigenetic impact, and the relationship between the stress response and epigenetics in the brain is bidirectional . Epigenetic alterations have become especially attractive to researchers in recent years, as increasing evidence indicates that they can be induced by physical and social exposure early in life . For some neurobiological disorders, exposure to environmental agents during early developmental stages can epigenetically disturb gene regulation in a long-term manner and cause significant pathological manifestations later in life. This process is the latent early-life associated regulation model by Lahiri et al. .
How Is Anxiety Related To Epilepsy
Anxiety can be quite significant in the life of a person with epilepsy. In any medical illness, people may become anxious after the diagnosis of their condition. But anxiety is also related to epilepsy in more specific ways. It can occur not only as a reaction to the diagnosis, but also as a symptom of the epilepsy or as a side effect of seizure medicines.
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Taking A Personal History
Tests used to find the cause of seizures cannot, on their own, confirm a diagnosis. However, taking a personal history can help to find the cause of your seizures. This includes looking at:
- your neurological history
- your psychological development and mental health, including whether you have had depression or other psychiatric conditions or have been subject to stress and trauma in the past
- whether there is a family history of depression or other conditions
- the history of your seizures, such as when they first started and when they happen
- whether you have been diagnosed with epilepsy but your seizures have never been controlled with anti-epileptic drugs.
Acute Stress And Hormonal Changes
Researchers investigating stress-related effects on epilepsy have also conducted studies to determine the hormonal basis for the negative effects of acute stress. The literature consists of conflicting findings, especially regarding the ability of acute stress to produce hyperactivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in rodent models of epilepsy . For example, hippocampal kindling exacerbates cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone release in Sprague-Dawley rats, but diminishes basal levels of cortisol in Wistar rats, in models of acute stress . Animals with epileptic predispositions, like the Mongolian gerbil and the epilepsy mouse, have also demonstrated upregulation of HPA-axis mediators, including corticotropin-releasing factor and cortisol, in response to acute stressors . The existing evidence suggests that differences between findings may be the result of variation in methodology, and that mediators of the HPA axis are involved in the propagation of seizure activity .
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Acute Stress In Animal Models Of Epilepsy
2.2.1. Acute Stress in Epileptogenesis
Although this review focuses primarily on the epilepsy-modifying effects of acute and chronic stressors, there is substantial literature detailing the effects of acute stress on the antecedent processes of initial seizure induction and epileptogenesis. In these experiments, an acute stressor is presented to the animal prior to primary chemical or electrical seizure induction. Investigators use measures such as latency to the first seizure, seizure threshold, functionality of various brain circuits, and relative levels of neuromodulatory compounds associated with the first seizure or status epilepticus onset to better understand the anti- or pro- convulsive priming effects of stress. These studies have yielded widely varying results with findings that describe both anti-convulsive and pro-convulsive stress effects. The discrepancy between results can be attributed to the variance associated with the use of different acute stressors.
2.2.2. Acute Repetitive Stress in Epileptogenesis
2.2.3. Acute Stress in Chronic Phase of Epilepsy
2.2.4. Acute Repetitive Stress in Chronic Phase of Epilepsy
What Can I Do To Manage Stress And Prevent Seizures
While there is no definite evidence that reducing stress help seizures, a recent study showed that nearly 9 in 10 people who actively managed their stress believed it reduced their risk of seizures. Common sense tells us that if something is bothering you, see what you can do to avoid it or make it better.
Managing stress is very personal and specific to your situation however, there are some universal activities and recommendations.
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Epilepsys Effects On The Family: Reducing And Preventing Stress And Anxiety
About two-thirds of people with epilepsy can have their seizures controlled with medication. Another small fraction undergoes successful epilepsy surgery. The otherswhich include millions of people around the worldmust live with drug-resistant epilepsy. Millions of others have uncontrolled seizures because they have no access to treatment.
Seizures affect their daily lives in hundreds of waysas well as the lives of their family members, such as parent caregivers and siblings.
The seizures and their consequences affect every aspect of a caregivers world: their physical health, emotional health, psychological health, social relationships, education, employment, finances and futures. These multiple effects often result in stress and anxiety.
Are They Dangerous
While they wont hurt them directly, they can be hurt by accidents. When a cat has a stress seizure, they can easily fall off of a high place, bite their tongue, or get stuck somewhere. This can lead to other issues like head injuries and broken bones. It is important to watch over your cat when this is happening so they do not hurt themselves. Make sure they are on the floor and not biting their tongue.
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How To Prevent Non
Since these seizures happen when someone has reached their limit with stress, what you need to do is try to prevent yourself from reaching that point. Let yourself have a break and relax and eliminate stressors that are unnecessary.
You can also try using CBD oilas well. Studies show that it can help relieve you of stress by making it easier to manage your emotions. By elevating an endocannabinoid called anandamide, CBD hemp oil can help with stress by making the activity in your brain less influential, making it easier to handle everyday stress.
What are some ways that you decompress to relieve stress? We would love to hear about it in the comment section below!
Sarah Potts has been writing about the wonderful benefits of cannabis for CBD Instead since 2017. Medical cannabis has changed her life and her goal is to show others how it might help them as well.
Effects Of Postnatal Stress On Seizure Susceptibility And Epileptogenesis
Edwards et al. investigated the effects of maternal separation on kindling epileptogenesis utilizing a relatively benign separation protocol that included 60 min on postnatal days 4 and 5 . The comparison group included the other littermates, which were briefly handled but not removed from the mother. This postnatal manipulation had no effect on after-discharge threshold or rapid hippocampal kindling rates when assessed at 2 weeks of age.
Similarly, Leussis and Heinrichs cross-fostered El pups to CD-1 dams because CD-1 dams exhibit a higher quality of maternal care than El dams. El pups raised by CD-1 dams experienced delayed seizure onset and reduced seizure frequency, suggesting that early-life environment can play an important role in shaping the adult seizure phenotype . It should be noted the El mouse model has not been verified for its effect on early-life stress. In addition, El pups raised in a biparental environment with both the El dam and sire attending the pups received more parental attention than El pups raised by only the El dam, yet they showed an earlier development of seizures . Together, early-life environment can interact with a genetic predisposition to shape the future seizure phenotype.
Table 2. Summary of rodent studies investigating effects of postnatal stress in rodent models of epilepsy/epileptogenesis.
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Trauma Depression Can Cause Seizures
Researchers seek to decode seizures of an emotional nature.
May 1, 2009 — When 46-year-old Jane Smith underwent with her husband, the sessions unlocked parts of Jane’s memory that she said she repressed for over a decade — memories with frightening powers.
“I began remembering witnessing my brother being abused… And I began to remember my own abuse,” said Jane, who requested her real name not be used. She said she later realized that she was physically and sexually abused by family members starting at age 4.
“Two weeks later I got a letter from them saying, ‘Don’t contact us again,'” Jane said.
That was when her seizures began.
Trauma Related Seizures
“When her parents sent her a letter rejecting her, she suddenly had a seizure in our house,” said her husband, 47-year-old John Smith , said. “We were shocked. I thought she was just dying.”
But Jane was not dying. Instead she was suffering what are known as psychogenic nonepileptic seizures , seizure-like episodes that can be brought on due to trauma as well as depression and anxiety.
Although such seizures are well characterized in medical literature, PNES are difficult to treat because the condition falls in the gray area between psychology and neurology — a place where many doctors are unwilling to go.
“It’s an incredible no man’s land,” John said.
Stress As A Seizure Precipitant: Identification Associated Factors And Treatment Options
- AffiliationsDepartment of Neurology, Epilepsy Division, UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, University of Cincinnati Medical Center , 260 Stetson St., Suite 2300, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0525, USA
- AffiliationsDepartment of Neurology, Epilepsy Division, UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute, University of Cincinnati Medical Center , 260 Stetson St., Suite 2300, Cincinnati, OH 45267-0525, USA
- We summarize the literature on stress and seizures and corresponding treatment trials.
- Depression and anxiety are higher in patients with stress-triggered seizures, with anxiety as an independent influential factor.
- Small prospective trials using general stress reduction show promise in improving outcomes in patients with epilepsy.
- Future research should clarify mechanisms of stress-seizure relationship and establish evidence-based treatment recommendations.
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Hippocampal And Hpa Axis Development
The hippocampus develops primarily during the fetal period in both rodents and primates . The limbic system, which includes the hippocampus, amygdala, and anterior cingulate cortex are already formed during the third and fourth month. Dentate gyrus forms at late stages of embryogenesis, however small numbers of dentate gyrus cells are formed from mid-embyrogenesis making temporal matching and connectivity of cells from other hippocampal subfields . Rodents and primates differ in the timing at which the majority of the dentate granule cells are produced however, both rodents and primates produce ~85% postnatally . A similar percentage of cornus ammonis 13 subfield neurons are produced during the last days of gestation in rodents, and during the first half of pregnancy in primates . The hippocampal subfields can be recognized with distinct molecular markers from embryonic stages .
In the rodent, maturation and full differentiation of the hippocampal formation takes place during early postnatal periods . During the first postnatal weeks, neuronal birth, differentiation, and migration are ongoing . Neurogenesis of granule cells peaks during the second week of life in rodents , and during the third month in humans . In addition, synaptogenesis and the establishment of enduring connectivity patterns continue for weeks in the rodent, and for years in humans .