The importance of PNES diagnosis

Psychogenic Non Epileptic Seizures Information

How important is it to make the diagnosis quickly?

It cannot be stressed enough that the sooner the diagnosis is made, the better.
A misdiagnosis of epilepsy can expose the patient to:
• Dangerous interventions in the emergency room, such as being "loaded up" with powerful drugs and intubation.
• Spending years being treated with medications that are not for the patient's true diagnosis
• Making life choices that are based on a wrong diagnosis
• Avoiding independence promoting behaviors (i.e. not driving, not going out alone).

A correct diagnosis of PNES will allow the patient to:
• Start psychological treatment ASAP. The treatment will seek and target the triggers that are keeping the condition active as well as exploring the early sources of the condition.
• Determine if psychiatric medications are necessary.
• Allow the psychologist and epilepsy doctor decide when and if anti-epileptic-drugs can be tapered off.
• Start making changes in life based on this new diagnosis (i.e. gradually become more independent and make important life decisions)
• Move in a multitude of healthy directions including starting a physical exercise, nutrition, and self care routine.

Even with cutting-edge technology available to medical doctors these days, the average delay between the time symptoms begin and the person is diagnosed with PNES is between 7-10 years.