Psychiatr Clin North Am. 1998 Sep;21(3):649-57, vii. doi: 10.1016/s0193-953x(05)70029-0.


Pseudoseizures represent the opposite end of the spectrum from seizures that mimic psychiatric disorders: they are paroxysmal changes in behavior that resemble epileptic seizures, but which are without organic cause and expected EEG changes. Accurately distinguishing pseudoseizures from epilepsy and other illnesses is difficult because of the breadth and overlap of symptoms seen in each condition and because of the frequent co-occurrence of pseudoseizures and epilepsy. This article summarizes the various neurological and psychiatric clues that help the clinician identify this form of psychiatric presentation, whether it represents, for example, a conversion disorder, a dissociative disorder, or a panic disorder.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Errors / psychology
  • Electroencephalography / methods
  • Epilepsy / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / diagnosis
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Seizures / diagnosis*
  • Seizures / psychology


  • Biomarkers