Pseudoepilepsy: a study in adolescent hysteria

Am J Psychiatry. 1979 Feb;136(2):210-3. doi: 10.1176/ajp.136.2.210.


Of 19 adolescents with diagnosed psychogenic seizures, 13 had hysterical convulsions and 4 had amnesiac fugues. Sixteen of the patients were given a diagnosis of hysterical neurosis; 2, process schizophrenia; and 1, borderline psychosis. Thirteen of the patients were initially diagnosed incorrectly as having epilepsy and were treated for an average of 15 months with anticonvulsant medication. The therapist should always consider the possibility of psychogenic factors in children and adolescents who suffer from seizures.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Epilepsy / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysteria / diagnosis*
  • Hysteria / therapy
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia, Childhood / diagnosis