Some medical conditions, such as migraine or syncope, can mimic epileptic seizures. Certain mental disorders can also cause symptoms that resemble seizures, called psychogenic non-epileptic events.
Psychogenic non-epileptic events are episodes that look like epileptic seizures, but a key difference is they are not caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. These events are called a functional neurologic disorder.
This just means emotions and bodily symptoms (and the parts of the brain responsible for each) have become linked and are interacting in a problematic way. The best treatment is to learn new ways to process events and situations; in this way, the events will lessen in frequency and severity, and very often stop all together. A skilled therapist who specializes in these types of disorders can help you learn to recognize factors contributing to events and teach ways to take control of the process.
Patients who are diagnosed with active epilepsy are typically prescribed anti-epileptic medications to manage their seizures. However, more than 25 percent of patients with longstanding seizure disorders may ultimately be found to have non-epileptic seizures when seen in an epilepsy center, and may no longer have to take anti-epileptic medications.