I have spoken to many with PNES. The first step in overcoming these seizures is to connect with and fully understand the original trauma that has caused them. Remember that PNES are a defense mechanism, a "shield", and they are there in times of great pain. When children are severely abused they often feel they are going to die and the shield is raised.
Are you seeking Treatment from psychotherapists? – Don’t let them say no to seizures
Psychiatrists and psychologists (psychotherapists) have been known to refuse to treat a patient who has seizures that are psychologically based, such as PNES. They say that if the patient is having seizures than that indicates that they are experiencing a medical condition. However, if the patient has been diagnosed with PNES, then a physiological cause such as epilepsy has been ruled out.
T...herapists in my opinion have no right to refuse helping patients solely based on being uncomfortable with a patient who has seizures. PNES is much like PTSD, and those therapists who are familiar with PTSD should have an understanding of the basic symptoms of seizures that are related to trauma.
Feel free to tell your current or prospective therapist that the PNES are not epileptic seizures. They are a symptom of a dissociative or conversion disorder. That should be instantly recognizable to them. If they don’t have experience with PNES that is understandable. Few do. But they all should have experience with psychological suffering and they have a duty to help all those who ask regardless of how comfortable it is.
Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES) are a defense mechanism used to protect us against the painful and life threatening trauma we are either experiencing of have experienced in the past. This must be fully understood or healing will be very difficult. You may sometimes hear that PNES are caused by stress or stressful situations. This is not the case. Actually it is what is known as flashbacks that “cause” the seizures. Stressful situations can be a trigger for the flas...hback however.
So, here is the order in which PNES occur:
*Stressful situation, smells, sights, sounds, words and other things that are similar to what occurred during the past trauma.
*Feelings and sensations in us that closely mimic the original, severe trauma.
*This defense mechanism is selected and used involuntarily to protect us.
Please do not forget that the original trauma is the key to overcoming these seizures, not avoiding the stressful or specific situations. And the best way to do this is to work on facing, understanding and desensitizing the past trauma.
Please read my latest post on the Lowering the Shield Blog. I am addressing the major cause of PNES and how to prevent them. Sexual abuse and violence is devastating to children and women and must be ended now. I will be writing more about this in the future as well as how we can heal from the trauma.
All of the success in overcoming PNES is through connection with the original trauma. This I have witnessed with my wife and her courageous determination. Understanding the terrible trauma which is the basis for the seizures is the key to healing. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or pleasant of course but essential.
There are many activities, techniques and types of therapy that seek to help those with PNES. These are valuable and can help create the conditions for the critical wor...k of directly facing the original trauma. Please remember that Identifying and fully understanding this trauma is when the true healing begins, which is of course the goal.
As I have said before, stress is not a cause of PNES, trauma is. The trauma that was often experienced when someone was just a child. Trauma that represented imminent death to the young mind. Stress can induce a flashback, which is the trigger for the seizure. Eliminating stress is always a good thing, but it cannot forever keep flashbacks from happening. Flashbacks are your mind and body’s way of seeking expression of pain and grief, which is the bedrock of healing.
You are not responsible for the trauma. Please remember that. Your seizures were your way of dealing with trauma too terrible to believe you could survive. You did survive though. And you deserve healing and peace in your life.
My best to you in 2016 and beyond!
Please see my blog post at http://loweringtheshield.typepad.com/…/the-national-associa… for information on the National Association of Epilepsy Centers and their action plans.
Please don’t lose hope in your journey of recover from PNES. My wife has made great progress and it’s due to her understanding her past trauma which is the cause of her seizures. There is nothing more important than this understanding in recover. All therapies should be focused on this goal prior to all other recover issues.
Never give up and please know you’re not alone!
Finally we are seeing some news accounts that will help more people understand PNES. Please see this article about Ken Ritter’s challenges at http://www.nvdaily.com/…/frustrating-diagnosis-leads-stras…/
Everyone. Lorna Myers and Selim Benbadis are helping all in these videos! Wow! http://nonepileptic.org/psychogenic-non-epileptic-seizures…/
Hello all, please support Ken Ritter in his time of need to gather the funds needed to participate in therapy by Dr. Lorna Myers in New York. Ken is raising money for his lodging needs so please visit http://www.gofundme.com/KenRitter now. We are all in this together!
Possible action by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC)!
In 2013 I contacted the National Association of Epilepsy Centers (NAEC) to encourage them to take action on the lack of readily available information on Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures (PNES) as well as the lack of established treatments and treatment providers. I told them that those with PNES often go to an epilepsy center where they are misdiagnosed as having epileptic seizures. Based on reports as m...
Hello all! A lot has been happening and it’s been difficult to keep up on my posting and other writing. I will have much to say about doctors, the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, Lorna Myers and her efforts, etc. Stay tuned please!
Is anyone having problems having their medications refilled? My wife has been having a terrible time with this as doctors are starting to panic over the misuse of certain drugs by certain patients. I will talking in depth about this soon as I discover solutions to this problem. Please also watch my blog for continued posts on this.
Exciting news unless you've already been fortunate enough to have seen it - Dr. Lorna Myers, Ph.D. has written a new book on PNES. You can find it on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/Psychogenic-Non-epilept…/…/ref=sr_1_2…
Hopefully getting close to a new way to help those with PNES. If all goes well I will be announcing a new service at the beginning of the year. My goal is to dedicate more of my life than ever to help those newly diagnosed and those who have struggled for a long time. More soon...