Information about non epileptic seizures and Non Epileptic Attack Disorder.

Glossary

Below is a list of terms and their associated definitions.

Abdominal breathing – is the act of breathing deep into the lungs, flexing the diaphragm through expanding the stomach rather than shallow breathing, flexing the rib cage by expanding the chest. Abdominal breathing can be a healthier and fuller way to ingest oxygen, and is often used as a therapy for hyperventilation, anxiety disorders and stuttering.

Antidepressant drugs – medication prescribed to alleviate mood disorders.

Anti-epileptic drugs – Drugs used to treat or prevent seizures in epilepsy. They are also used to treat certain mental, emotional and pain disorders. Also known as anticonvulsants.

Anxiety – A state of apprehension, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event or situation.

Anxiety attack – often referred to as a panic attack, episode of incredibly intense fear or apprehension that is of sudden onset.

Clinical Neuropsychologist – A specialist in the branch of psychology that deals with the relationship between the nervous system and mental functions such as language, memory, and perception. They understand broader aspects of peoples’ problems such as anxiety and depression due to their training in clinical psychology.

Clinical Psychologist – A person trained to perform psychological research, testing, and therapy.

Conversion seizures – Another name for non-epileptic attacks.

Convulsion – An abnormal violent and involuntary contraction or series of contractions of the muscles.

Counsellor – A person trained to listen to peoples’ problems and help to find ways of dealing with them.

Depression – An emotional disorder in which people feel a loss of interest and enjoyment in life, and have problems with concentration, sleep patterns, loss of appetite, feelings of extreme sadness, guilt, helplessness and hopelessness, and in severe cases even thoughts of death.

Dissociation – is a partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of a person’s conscious or psychological functioning.

Dissociative seizures – Another name for non-epileptic attacks.

Epilepsy – Various disorders in which attacks are caused by abnormal electrical signals in the central nervous system (brain).

Epilepsy Specialist Nurse – Provides support and advice for people with epilepsy and related conditions, their families and carers.

Epileptic – Relating to or associated with epilepsy.

Epileptic activity – abnormal electrical signals in the central nervous system (brain).

Epileptic attack/seizure – occasionally referred to as a ‘fit’, is an episode of abnormal, excessive electrical activity in the brain that can result in involuntary changes in body movement or function, sensation, awareness, or behaviour.

Epilepsy Specialist Nurse – Provides support and advice for people with epilepsy and related conditions, their families and carers.

Fatigue – a feeling of physical and/or mental exhaustion.

FND – an umbrella term for a variety of conditions including NEAD.

Functional seizures – Another name for non-epileptic attacks.

Hyperventilation – is the state of breathing faster and/or deeper than necessary sometimes as a result from a psychological state such as a panic attack. Hyperventilation can but does not necessarily always cause symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands, feet and lips, lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, slurred speech, nervous laughter, and sometimes fainting.

Isolation –the lack of contact with people.

Neurologist – A medical specialist in the branch of medicine dealing with the nervous system and the disorders affecting it.

Neuropsychiatrist – A medical specialist in the study of disorders with both neurological and psychiatric features.

Non-epileptic attack (NEAs) – Clinical spells that resemble epileptic seizures, but are not due to epilepsy. Unlike epilepsy there is no excessive electrical activity in the brain during an attack, and the symptoms are often related to psychological factors.

Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD) – A disorder in which people experience non-epileptic attacks.

Non-epileptic events – Another name for non-epileptic attacks.

Non-epileptic seizures – Another name for non-epileptic attacks.

Panic attack – an episode in which adrenalin floods the body, causing people to experience sudden feelings of intense fear and apprehension, and many physical symptoms associated with fear.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a very traumatic event.

Pseudoepileptic seizures -Another name for non-epileptic attacks. This name is now not generally used because it implies that the seizures are an imitation of epilepsy.

Pseudoseizures – Another name for non-epileptic attacks. This name is also not generally used now.

Psychiatrist – A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental health and emotional problems.

Psychiatry – The branch of medicine that deals with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders.

Psychogenic seizures – Another name for non-epileptic attacks.

Psychotherapist – A person trained in working with people with emotional problems to help resolve them.

Psychotherapy – is a form of talking therapy used by trained psychotherapists to aid a patient in emotional problems and related physical symptoms.

Psychological – Relating to or arising from the mind or emotions.

Relaxation – is the emotional state of low tension.

Seizure – A sudden attack, spasm, or convulsion.

Self-confidence – the belief in one’s self, personal judgment, and ability.

Side effects – is a harmful and undesired effect resulting from medication.

Self-esteem – is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth.

Stigma – A mark of shame or discredit.

Stress – Difficulty that causes worry or emotional and mental tension. Can produce physiological reactions that lead to illness.

Symptoms – are those that are related to the systemic effects of a disease. They can be noticed by a patient, indicating the presence of disease or abnormality. A symptom is subjective, observed by the patient, and not measured.

Talking therapies – Treatment of problems through conversation between patient and therapist.

Therapist – A person skilled in a particular type of therapy.

Trigger – An event that sets other events in motion. An event, situation or emotion that sets off a non-epileptic attack.

Uncontrolled epilepsy – epileptic seizures that are not stopped completely by anti-epileptic medications.

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