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Keywords:

  • Psychogenic seizures;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Self;
  • injury;
  • Suicidal attempts;
  • Incontinence

Summary: Two patients who incurred significant injuries during psychogenic seizures prompted us to do a telephone survey of self-injury and incontinence in 102 consecutive patients diagnosed with psychogenic seizures by EEG-closed-circuit TV (EEG-CCTV) monitoring. Seventy-three patients (or a close family member or friend) were reached by telephone and responded to our survey. During typical attacks of psychogenic seizures, 40% reported injuries, 44% reporting tongue biting, and 44% reported urinary incontinence. Suicide attempts were reported by 32% and were more common in those with self-injury and urinary incontinence. We compared the results of patients with psychogenic seizures with those of 30 patients with refractory epilepsy documented by ictal recordings, using a similar telephone survey. Injuries of all types were more commonly reported by epilepsy patients. Burn injuries were reported only by patients with epilepsy. Suicide attempts were more commonly reported by the psychogenic seizure group. Self-injury and incontinence are commonly reported by psychogenic seizure patients. In view of their significant association with suicide attempts, they may indicate an underlying depression.