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Pract Neurol. 2019 Mar 16. pii: practneurol-2018-002177. doi: 10.1136/practneurol-2018-002177. [Epub ahead of print]

Dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures: tackling common challenges after the diagnosis.

Author information

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Academic Neurology Unit, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK


Dissociative (non-epileptic) seizures are one of the three major causes of transient loss of consciousness. As such, their treatment cannot be left to superspecialised experts. In this article I draw on personal experience to suggest ways to tackle some challenges that commonly arise after diagnosing dissociative seizures, focusing on three issues: "I want to know what is wrong with me," "I hear what you are saying but it doesn't apply to me" and "What if I have a seizure?" The suggestions detail both actions and words that may help at a crucial point in the patient's journey. If handled well, the process can leave the patient better equipped to understand their seizures and to engage in further treatment; if handled badly, patients may be left more traumatised, angry and with additional disability.


communication; dissociative seizures; nonepileptic seizures; treatment

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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