Weeping during psychogenic nonepileptic seizures

Epilepsia. 1996 Feb;37(2):208-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1157.1996.tb00013.x.


Ictal weeping may help distinguish psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) from epileptic seizures. However, the prevalence of weeping during PNES or epileptic seizures is unknown. We reviewed videotapes of recorded events in 84 consecutive patients with PNES or epilepsy. Weeping was observed during 14% of PNES in 31% of patients with PNES. Ictal weeping was not observed in any epileptic seizures occurring in 48 patients. The differences were highly significant. One patient with epileptic seizures originating in the right temporal lobe wept soon after the end of a seizure. Depression was not more common in PNES patients with than without ictal weeping. Weeping during an apparent seizure strongly argues that the event is not epileptic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dissociative Disorders / diagnosis
  • Dissociative Disorders / psychology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Emotions
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Psychophysiologic Disorders / psychology
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / psychology
  • Tears / metabolism*
  • Videotape Recording