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  #1  
Unread August 7th, 2005, 05:22 PM
Lawrence Teft Lawrence Teft is offline
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Default EMDR and Nonepileptic Seizures

My wife has non-epileptic seizures as a direct result of childhood sexual abuse. She was horribly abused when very young and had seizures as a defense mechanism. When the abuse stopped for her, so did the seizures. But when she had memories come back she began to have the seizures again due to flashbacks.

The memories automatically trigger the seizure so it is hard for her to work on the memories without having seizures. Does anyone know if EMDR has worked for flashback induced NES?

Thanks,

Lawrence
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  #2  
Unread August 9th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: EMDR and Nonepileptic Seizures

Nonepileptic seizures, also called "pseudoseizures,", are often associated with childhood trauma. In my experience, they can be associated with very very early trauma.

I have seen a case in which the seizures were actually infant ego states pulled forward by triggers reminiscent of abuse. The seizure appearance seemed reminiscent of the muscle dyscontrol and preverbal status that would be present if an infant experienced trauma. So it was a flashback, apparently, though its hard to be certain.

EMDR can be helpful for pseudoseizures, but if the case is actually a severe dissociative case, meaning, a DID case, the usual cautions must be in place first, namely, a period of stabilization, containment, grounding, ego strengthening, before using EMDR, or the EMDR won't complete normally. I don't know if this applies in your wife's situation, she needs appropriate assessment and treatment by someone qualified to work with pseudoseizures, and that would often be a therapist trained in dissociation. If that therapist is also an EMDR therapist, that's the best scenario in my opinion.

Last edited by Sandra Paulsen; August 9th, 2005 at 07:01 PM. Reason: correction
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  #3  
Unread August 12th, 2005, 03:08 AM
Lawrence Teft Lawrence Teft is offline
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Default Re: EMDR and Nonepileptic Seizures

Thanks Sandra for the reply. In the case you mentioned regarding the infant ego states, do you have infomation on the outcome of the patient or any information on how that person was being treated? It sounds like it was a flashback.

Also, I would like to add that the term Pseudoseizure is no longer a preferred term, as the root of the word (pseudo) implies, if not directly, the "faking" of seizures. True NES are completely involuntary events. The newest term is either Nonepileptic Seizures or Pyshcogenic Nonepileptic Seizures.

Thanks again,

Lawrence
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  #4  
Unread August 12th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: EMDR and Nonepileptic Seizures

The nonepileptic seizures were both flashbacks and child alters present. The patient improved with EMDR and with an appropriate treatment for a highly dissociative condition, namely, ego state therapy and treatment as defined under the guidelines by the ISSD, just revised a few weeks ago.

I agree that the new term is better, because now no one can confuse the word "pseudo" with deliberate. However, most of the existing (small) literature uses the older term.
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  #5  
Unread November 10th, 2006, 01:56 PM
haleydavidson_2009 haleydavidson_2009 is offline
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Default Re: EMDR and Nonepileptic Seizures

My friend is been having flash backs of her brother's death except it was like she was the one in the accident and now she gets terrified when we ge over bridges and she is aways having seizures from the flaskback of this..do you know iwhat i could do to help her?
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  #6  
Unread November 12th, 2006, 04:26 AM
Sandra Paulsen Sandra Paulsen is offline
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Default Re: EMDR and Nonepileptic Seizures

We don't do case consultations here because we don't have enough info to do a good and safe job. However, I'll offer some general comments.

It is not unusual for people to have a post traumatic stress response related to a death, especially a sudden or violent death, of a loved one. If someone had a prior trauma history it can get even more complicated. EMDR is very straightforward to use with a post traumatic response to a sudden death of a loved one. It is more complicated with a complex trauma history, but there too EMDR is typically helpful. It is necessary for anyone to be screen for a dissociative disorder prior to the use of EMDR however because containment and stabilization and system consent is needed before doing EMDR in complicated cases.

The above may or may not apply in this case.

Good luck, --Sandra
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