Information about non epileptic seizures and Non Epileptic Attack Disorder.

Richard’s Story

By on 17 March 2015 in Stories

I was first diagnosed with epilepsy thirty years ago, although it is now believed I have had this condition most of my life. I am now seventy.

There have always been times when I went into a dream world, or had blank spots when I missed information. Life was full of misunderstandings. School was difficult, but I later sustained a rewarding career in graphic design.

At the age of forty I started having violent tonic-clonic seizures and my GP told me I had epilepsy. During this time I woke up in various A&E departments, bloody, bruised and confused. I joined MedicAlert and, to this day, always carry my ID with me.

After being treated as a drunk, thrown out of an A&E while still having seizures, refused treatment in a Medical Assessment Unit, I re-located from Yorkshire to Cambridge. I managed to get a studio flat in a sheltered scheme within ten minutes ambulance ride of Addenbrookes Hospital. When admitted as an emergency, staff were very pleased I carry an ID card.

Addenbrookes is where I had four days video-telemetry as an in-patient and obtained an accurate diagnosis: the subtle seizures are epilepsy, the big ones are NEAD.

I subsequently had several sessions with a psychologist who helped me to find ways of managing the non-epileptic seizures. I was already taking medication for epilepsy. Neither is fully controlled but I can manage them adequately. I look forward to the time when future generations will have their conditions well diagnosed quickly and receive respectful treatment whichever hospital they may be admitted to.

Richard, Cambridge

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