What is PNES?
Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES), also known as Non-Epileptic Attack Disorders, Non-Electrical Seizures, and Pseudo Seizures, is a physical response to a psychological condition usually caused by trauma. Note, there are two kinds of trauma, big stuff and little stuff.
The same way being nervous can give you a stomach ache, certain psychological conditions can cause physical ailments. With PNES, that physical ailment is a seizure.
There are four common things that can cause a seizure. Epilepsy is the most common, usually people with epilepsy have had it all their lives or sometime grow out of it. Heart issues can also cause a seizure, such as a heart attack or arrhythmia. Injury to the head can cause seizures. The fourth is Psychogenic Seizures.
PNES is hard to diagnose because it looks just like Epilepsy, even on an EEG. The best way to diagnose PNES is to have a Video EGG. This records a video of you while taking readings of your brain. With Epilepsy, the waveforms on the EEG monitoring the brain will start to jump before the seizure. With PNES, the the waveforms on the EEG monitoring the brain will start to jump after the seizure has already started. This mean the brain is reacting to the seizure as opposed to causing it. At least this is what my Neurologist tells me. There are a few other things you can look for. I read somewhere people having psychogenic seizure tend to close their eyes, where as with Epilepsy they stay open.
* I am not a doctor or medical practitioner, this is just how I explain my condition.
Here are some good Articles on PNES
Easy to read PDF on PNES.
An educational video!
This is a whole blog about it