Non-epileptic attacks can be triggered by physiological (bodily) processes, or by psychological (emotional) processes and therefore are divided into 2 groups:
• Physiologic non-epileptic seizures
• PNES (psychological non-epileptic seizures).
There are many causes of physiologic non-epileptic seizures. A few examples are:
- Syncope (a temporary loss of consciousness, also known as "fainting" or "passing out" and usually due to insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain)
- Sleep disorders and narcolepsy ("sleep attacks"), or daytime sleepiness due to sleep apnea (period of pauses in breathing while person is asleep).
- Low sugar (hypocglycemia)
- Other medical conditions
- Your medical doctor may need to run an extra series of tests to make sure that your events are not caused by a physical trigger that requires medical treatment.
Psychological non epileptic seizures are an events that may look similar to an epileptic attack, but are triggered by emotional distress and stress.