To those with psychogenic seizures

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy Forums

Welcome to the Coping With Epilepsy forums - a peer support community for folks dealing (directly or indirectly) with seizure disorders. You can visit the forum page to see the list of forum nodes (categories/rooms) for topics.

Please have a look around and if you like what you see, please consider registering an account and joining the discussions. When you register an account and log in, you may enjoy additional benefits including no ads, access to members only (ie. private) forum nodes and more. Registering an account is free - you have nothing to lose!

Cint -- as usual - full of good, no-nonsense advice.

I concur about seeing an epileptologist, not just a neurologist. I didn't even know what an epileptologist was, until our neurologist referred Jon to one, but the guy certainly knew his stuff.

I think it's awful that doctors sometimes assume that epilepsy with no apparent cause could be caused by childhood trauma. I would think that idiopathic epilepsy is more likely caused by either something in the brain that cannot be picked up by current brain testing (think about all that we now know from MRIs -- info we didn't have 20 years ago), or by some sort of metabolic disorder or gut issues or autoimmune disease or something along those lines -- would like to see serious study into the causes of what is now considered idiopathic epilepsy, because I suspect that effective treatment might involve treating below the neck.

I did want to add that when Jon has these "episodes" that don't register on the EEG, but do lead into a "real" seizure -- his oxygen levels drop into the 60 to 70 range when that happens. Would be interested in knowing if that happens with psychotic episodes.
I've mentioned on this forum that my son's neurologists , 3 of them, when asked point blank why we keep trying so many AEDs admitted that "it's a trial and error thing". In other words like others here have said it's PRACTICE on you time.

I'm surprised that no one here has mentioned anything about the following;

Making a killing; The untold story of psychotropic drugging.
This video tells you how psychiatrists are making up new conditions just to push drugs. It's on Youtube. Unfortunately I'm told I can't post links.
Last edited:
I do believe that psychotropic drugs are over-prescribed, and that health insurance is often skewed to favor pharmaceutical interventions over other kinds. That said, some psychiatric medications have been crucial to restoring health for many, and they shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

FYI: The "Making A Killing" documentary was produced by the Scientologists, and is not without its own set of biases and flaws.
Nakamova, the documentary I mentioned is not the only one that gives you lots of truth about the drug companies, there are many others out there.
I wasn't aware the Scientologists produced it. Are you sure?

These are a few others;
The Marketing of Madness
Psychiatry An Industry of Death
How Psychiatric Drugs can Kill You Child.........By a mother who lost her child to these drugs .

Then there are articles in Time, Newsweek and even CBS 60 minutes did stories on these drugs. Check them out.
Without question, I agree with you, all medications are over prescribed.
How do I know this? Let's just say I was employed for years in this industry until I couldn't live with myself!

The Drug Effexsor prescribed for my son has a much greater incident of suicide over some similar drugs.
"Based on the FDA's Adverse Event reporting System
Venlafaxine (Effexor) A drug related to Pristiq in the same class of antidepressants, both are also used to treat anxiety disorders. Effexor is also 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior."

According to highly respected Dr. Alex Glassman MD, Prof. of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia U., Effexor along with Paxil are two extremely difficult drugs to wean off.
Serious side effects include strong headaches, aches and pains, fever and the patient presents as if carrying an infection. He suspects these drugs cut down on the inflammatory
cytokines IL-1, IL-6 and TNF-a (Tumor necrosis factor alpha). When you stop these drugs you get a rebound effect. It's like giving someone alpha-interferon for Hep-C.
You can make them very sick. And, this is how people who take these drugs feel if they try to stop. See the drug forums.
Sadly after publishing a whopping 350 scientific papers he passed away last year.

Would I put my son on this drug? Not a chance!
A young lady on this forum was constantly pushed to take psychotropic drugs as her only choice to improve her life. After she stubbornly said no several times, her doctor told her about 5HTP.
This natural supplement changed her life so much for the better that she can't understand why this same doctor didn't suggest this first before the high side effect drugs.

May I suggest people Google "psychiatrists and suicides"
and you will find their suicide rate is 5X the rate of the general public.

I found this online;

In America, arguably the nation with the most 'medically developed' approach to mental health, psychiatrists commit suicide twice as often as doctors in general. This figure is five times the rate of the general population. During their residencies, psychiatrists are committing suicide almost nine times as often as the general population to whom they give mental health advice. Psychiatrist deaths are by far the leading suicides in any medical profession, and this suicide rate is quite stable. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that "…the occurrence of suicides by psychiatrists is constant year-to-year, indicating a relatively stable oversupply of depressed psychiatrists from which the suicides are produced."

Other studies were to confirm this alarming trend: "A joint study carried out by the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association in 1987 confirmed that psychiatrists have the highest suicide rate of any medical profession. Researchers interviewing the surviving families found that by far the most common reason given for the death - in 94% of the cases - was 'to escape from mental pain', which, of course, is the very thing psychiatrists claim they can alleviate. Additionally, 'more than half (56 percent) of those in the suicide group had prescribed a psychoactive drug for themselves.' Forty-two percent had been seeing a mental health professional at the time of their death."
Last edited:
you are correct this documentary and others were made by the Scientologists. I certainly do not endorse Scientology. These videos are made up mostly of true facts. However, I don't base my beliefs solely on these videos.
Like I said there are organizations like Time Magazine, Newsweek, MacLeans, CBS 60 Minutes,
The National Pharmaceutical Bureau, ChildHealthSafety, Naturalnews,
NewYorkTimes, and The National Institute of Health to name a few who have brought up the very same points.
In my case, I also fall back on my industry experience. Frankly, this alone is more than enough for me.
So for people who have been "diagnosed" with this, do they prescribe any meds to help with the seizures?
I'm asking anyone who has been told that they psychogenic seizures. do the drs just tell them they don't have E and it's psychogenic? and if they prescribe any meds to help with the seizures
My son has had seizures for over 20 years and has seen several top neurologists. He has a small scar on his brain. He is on 3 different drugs.
We recently went to a neuro-psychiatrist who said the seizures are pseudo-seizures or psychogenic. Now, I read up on it and i found that it takes a lot of investigation to diagnose someone with psychogenic seizures, including video-EEG.
However this neuro-psy. diagnosed him within a few minutes and wrote a prescription for the "drug known as the the one people wish they never took" as it is next to impossible to get off it.

How could this doc diagnose my son in 10 minutes flat?
Because this drug actually greatly increases chances for suicides and has a multitude of side effects, he will not take it.
And, I certainly agree with him.

In the past I have been told that I have psychogenic seizures.
I have yet to find a neurologist personally to spill this news well.
The last one that told me they were psychogenic said I'd have to seek psychiatric care and there is help but that it's a year long waiting list and to please stop coming to the hospital with my issues.
Worst delivery ever. She wouldn't even look me in the eye.

In my experience if you are accepting of the diagnosis they will simply send you to psychiatric care. If you are not accepting they will merely show you the door.

I have heard of others though that are given anti-depressants and anti-convulsants.

Personally I was just given ativan by my family doctor which is of the valium family.

I looked at a little of the psychotropic drugging video...I didn't watch the whole thing but AED's didn't seem to be their main focus. Am I right? It seemed to focus on anti-depressants and medications used to treat psychiatric disorders that are dubiously diagnosed. Although I know ativan fits the bill, and certainly PNES.
AED's have psychotropic effects though. Right?
A number of seizure meds are also used to treat psychiatric diseases, so I suppose if there's really such a thing as psycogenic seizures (I'm dubious) -- that they could be treated with one of those drugs.

However, with children, a lot of those kinds of drugs cause the reverse effect -- causing the child to become psychotic -- Jonathan has had such a reaction with trileptal and diazepam.
Thanks for the info KarenB. Certainly I know nothing about the effect of these drugs on children. I cannot even imagine dealing with that and how distressing and confusing that would be.
Psychogenic seizure diagnosis seems to be on the rise. I have read articles that state that psychogenic seizures are underdiagnosed in the medical field and that many people with refractory epilepsy actually have PNES. I have no idea why something like PNES that they poorly understand is something they want to diagnose more. Scary.
I talked with my son's neurologist this morning and I told him that doctor's in his field seem to be fighting with psychiatrists for territory.
He reluctantly agreed with me. Psychiatrists as you may have seen in the video(s), 60 minutes, Time magazine, Newsweek, Macleans, New York Times articles are being aggressive to market their diagnosis and their drugs which one will be on for life.
Here is another video to watch;
DEAD WRONG - How Psychiatric Drugs Can Kill Your Child
It's those Scientologists again. I can't watch the video as I'm at work but I would say as a general point that I think it's wrong to give antidepressants to under-18s, given the warnings that exist. However, I'm not sure if you can justify the claim about people being on them for life.
you are correct, people don't end up being on these drugs for life.
I was thinking in terms of how the drug companies wish and hope, to have people on them for life. However, it's more like the person getting switched onto the next generation of similar type drugs for a further number of years. This is how I was trained to think as a drug rep calling on doctors.

again you are correct about the drugging of our youth. It is stunning how many prescriptions are being filled out for youth using these dangerous psychotropic drugs.
Even our pets are now getting Paxil and the like.
Veterinary meds used to be for infections or as vaccines, but now they include the very same psychotropic drugs given to humans.
I have worked in the veterinary field for 12 yrs and it's true. Pets are getting anti-depressants but it's interesting that where I work it is the clients that are pushing for them and not the vets.
People are thinking that if it's good for them it must be good for Fido.
Although, of course there are exceptions. We do have dogs that have separation anxiety so badly that they jump through windows (that are closed and smash through the glass) just to escape being home alone. Poor doggy. Of course that's pretty extreme.
Sorry maidenminx! I guess this thread is straying from the original topic! It just goes to show how passionate people are about psychogenic seizures and how they are treated!
This study just came out...

On the relationship between seizures, psychological issues, and suicide

We know of the relationship, but the assumption could be made that the epilepsy or meds for epilepsy are causing the depression and other psychological issues (that seems to be the case at our house).

But after analyzing the medical records of 3773 epilepsy patients, researchers discovered that incidents of psychosis, depression and anxiety often happened PRIOR to the first seizure, and actually that psychological symptoms often increased right before the onset of epilepsy (and most certainly after).

How does this relate to psychogenic seizures? Well, I've already submitted my opinion that I believe what is considered to be "non-epileptic" seizures are most likely real seizures that just aren't picked up on the EEG. But even if that isn't the case, if a person has a psychosis causing seizure manifestations, there is a likelihood that real epilepsy will manifest.

My advice to anyone who has been diagnosed with psychogenic seizures is to not be satisfied with the diagnosis of some small-town doc - get yourself to an epileptologist or at least a neurologist at a hospital connected with a medical university -- for an evaluation from someone who really knows their stuff. A clear EEG does NOT mean you don't have epilepsy.
Top Bottom