What Are Stress Seizures?

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A stress seizure is a seizure that is caused by high amounts of anxiety. Both epileptic and non-epileptic seizures can be caused by a stressful situation that leads to anxiety.

Causes

  • In epileptic seizures, stress can trigger the abnormal chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures. Non-epileptic seizures can be triggered by stress as well, as the anxiety experienced can cause sudden changes in sugar, oxygen and the blood supply to the brain.

Risk Factors

  • Seizure patients placed in high-stress environments are at risk of experiencing a seizure triggered by stress.

Treatment

  • Anxiety may be treated with antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications if the condition is serious enough. If the stress that causes the anxiety is not constant, generally no treatment is needed aside from the initial treatment for recurring seizures.

Misconceptions

  • Feeling anxious or stressed does not guarantee that a seizure will occur. There is only a chance that seizures will be triggered by environmental factors.

Treatment

  • Avoiding stressful situations and depression can help lessen the chances of a stress seizure. Taking epilepsy and non-epileptic seizure medication as prescribed for recurring seizures also decreases the chances.

References

  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images
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