Psychopathologies in patients with nonepileptic seizures with and without comorbid epilepsy: how different are they?

Epilepsy Behav. 2003 Feb;4(1):13-8. doi: 10.1016/s1525-5050(02)00683-2.


The underlying psychopathology in patients with nonepileptic seizures (NES) is diverse and poorly understood. The prevalence of epilepsy in NES patients is higher than in the general population, so epilepsy can be understood as a risk factor for NES. The question emerges if psychopathology differs in NES patients with and without epilepsy. Retrospective data concerning psychopathology and personality in both groups show two differences: (1) somatoform disorders are more prevalent in NES-only patients and (2) personality disorders are more typical in NES patients with epilepsy and resemble the pattern of psychopathology found in epilepsy-only patients. If true, then NES in epilepsy patients may be associated with an epilepsy condition. Consequently, in studies of psychopathology in epilepsy patients, patients with comorbid nonepileptic seizures have to be included.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Comorbidity
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology*
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Personality Disorders / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / epidemiology
  • Seizures / psychology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis
  • Somatoform Disorders / etiology