COgnitive Behavioural Therapy for Dissociative (Non-Epileptic) Seizures

A Randomised Controlled Trial

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Telling others about Dissociative Seizures


Most people haven’t heard of dissociative seizures, and it can be difficult to explain what they are. You could say, for example: “I have dissociative seizures. They’re attacks that I cannot control.  They’re like epileptic seizures but they’re not caused by the same things that cause epilepsy.”


Encourage close family and friends to read through this information as well so that they know about your attacks and can support you.


Seeing someone have a dissociative seizure can be quite frightening.  It helps if people know that you don’t need emergency medical attention.  In fact, emergency treatments for epileptic seizures can make dissociative seizures worse and can be dangerous.


You don’t need to have someone around all the time in case you have a seizure. People may bruise themselves during a seizure but there are no recorded cases of severe harm. If someone is present, they should:

Dissociative Seizures

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Dissociative Seizures

  • take simple steps to prevent you from injuring yourself (e.g. look for hazards in the immediate environment)

  • take simple steps to save you from embarrassment if the seizure happens in a public place


It is best if they don’t talk to you during a seizure. This is because if they are feeling frightened by what is happening you may pick up on this and this can make your seizure worse.


Other people should not restrain you during an attack as this could also make it worse.