Hysterical seizures: a sequel to incest

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1979 Oct;49(4):698-703. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.1979.tb02655.x.


Six cases are described in which hysterical seizures developed after incest and disappeared after psychotherapeutic exploration of the incestuous experience. Patients were adolescents referred for seizures, suicide attempts, sexual problems, and running away. It is suggested that Navajo and Galenic folk beliefs connecting epilepsy with incest may derive from observations of this symptom pattern in incest victims.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Conversion Disorder / psychology
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis
  • Epilepsy / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysteria / diagnosis
  • Hysteria / psychology*
  • Incest*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Rape