There is a clear difference between epileptic seizures and non- epileptic seizures. Seizures that are caused by epilepsy are a result of electrical discharges happening in the brain itself. On the other hand, non- epileptic seizures or dissociative seizures are usually caused by physical symptoms such as hypoglycemia, or a psychological cause.
Around one in five people or twenty percent of people diagnosed with epilepsy are found to have non- epileptic seizures. The reasoning behind this may be that epileptic seizures and non- epileptic seizures look similar and have the same symptoms.
Non- epileptic seizures can be further separated into two groups: organic non- epileptic seizures and psychogenic non- epileptic seizures. In organic non- epileptic seizures, the individual’s seizures are related to a physical cause. These include fainting spells and diabetes. Due to the fact that organic non- epileptic seizures have a physical cause, they can be easily diagnosed and their cause can be discovered. Psychogenic non- epileptic seizures are a result of mental or emotional reactions by the person. These seizures may occur when someone has a painful reaction to an unsettling event that triggers a physical response.
There are different types of psychogenic non- epileptic seizures. These types of seizures include dissociative seizures, panic attacks, and factitious seizures.
Dissociative seizures happen unconsciously. The individual has no control over them. This is the most common type of psychogenic non- epileptic seizures.
Panic attacks can happen under frightening circumstances. The person may have felt anxious or really uncomfortable. The symptoms can include sweating, a rapid heartbeat, and trembling and difficulty breathing.They may also lose consciousness and have a convulsive seizure.
In factitious seizures, the person has some type of conscious control over the seizure. An example of these types of seizures include in those that have münchausen’s syndrome. Münchausen’s syndrome is a rare psychiatric medical condition and is characterized by the person needing to have medical investigations and treatments.