Seizure Phobia a 'Distinct Anxiety Disorder' in Epilepsy!
Seizure phobia occurs in nearly one-third of people with epilepsy (PWE), but was mainly associated with variables not related to epilepsy, based on data from 69 adults. Anxiety and depression are known to affect quality of life in epilepsy patients, and previous studies have shown that anticipatory anxiety of epileptic seizures (AAS) was present in 53% of patients with focal epilepsy, wrote lead author Aviva Weiss of Psychiatric Hostels affiliated with Kidum Rehabilitation Projects, Jerusalem, and colleagues.
@lalima Seizure phobia has been defined as an anxiety disorder in which patients experience fear related to anticipation of seizures in certain situations. In a study published in Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, the researchers recruited 69 PWE who were treated at an outpatient clinic. Data were collected from interviews, questionnaires, and medical records. The average age of the participants was 36.8 years, 41 were women, and 41 were married. Overall, 19 individuals (27.5%) were diagnosed with seizure phobia. Compared with PWE without seizure phobia, the seizure phobia patients were significantly more likely to be women (84.2% vs. 44.2%; P = .005) and to have comorbid anxiety disorders (84.2% vs. 34.9%; P = .01). Individuals with seizure phobia also were significantly more likely than those without seizure phobia to have a past major depressive episode (63.2% vs. 20.9%; P = .003), and posttraumatic stress disorder (26.3% vs. 7%; P = .05). Seizure phobia was significantly associated with comorbid psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNES) (36.8% vs. 11.6%; P = .034). PNES have been significantly associated with panic attacks, and “all patients with both panic attacks and comorbid PNES were diagnosed with seizure phobia. No significant association was found with epilepsy-related variables