Holistic Therapy & Personal Development Services
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NEAD management and counselling in Edinburgh and GlasgowNEAD stands for non-epileptic attack disorder, which refers to a condition where the subject appears to suffer an epileptic seizure, but actually the seizure is triggered by other non-organic causes. The causes in NEAD usually relate to psychological trauma or learned stress reactions over time.
What are NEAD fits / Seizures
When a sufferer has a seizure with NEAD it is usually because of one of the following events:
- Retriggering of a past trauma
- Overall stress level being excessively high
- Subconscious triggering of a trauma without being aware of it
In each case the stress or anxiety level of the sufferer peaks and this causes the conscious of the sufferer to "opt out" creating a variety of fit symptoms, almost identical to an epileptic seizure.
Are there differences in types of seizure?
Often the "fit" will appear the same, although according to some studies the seizure may come on with less warning than in classic epilepsy, it often lasts longer, muscle jerking is often less rhythmic and certain other features also sometimes vary. The main discernible difference it that brain electrical activity is not effected in the same way and therefore if caught on EEG, the brain pattern results reveal the different nature of the seizure.
How often do seizures occur?
This is very much an individual by individual thing. Sometimes they are fairly regular, sometimes haphazard, sometimes there is a pattern relating to stress or menstrual cycle. Certainly stress and poor sleep can influence increased levels of seizures.
Co-morbidity - presence of other features and conditionsIt is very common for sufferers to have other mental health conditions or emotional issues present - in fact is it the usual presentation. Common co-existing conditions include:
- Post traumatic Stress Disorder
- Childhood abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Violent abuse
- Other mental health processing issues
- Traumatic experience of being in detention
All of these classically act as an underlying cause of the stress and anxiety reactions.
If you do not have a diagnosis
If you suspect you have NEAD you should seek medical advice and a referral from your GP to a specialist. In the meantime we can assist in addressing any related mental health or stress related condition, and assist in collecting information that then may be useful for your GP or Specialist. We are NOT however an alternative to appropriate medical attention.
NEAD does not respond to anti-seizure medication. Some cases benefit from anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs. Usually the treatment is psychological and focuses on the underlying or associated emotional issues. In some cases this results in a reduction of seizures. In other cases, especially if the issues have gone a long time without assistance, the prognosis may be the continuation of seizures, but an improvement in overall wellbeing and emotional state.
Treatment is therefore twofold: to improve lifestyle and wellbeing, and where possible to reduce seizures by addressing emotional triggers.
You may be offered CBT or psychotherapy based treatment via the NHS, or you may seek assistance via a private provider like ourselves. We offer a holistic and solution focused approach which incorporates more methods than the more common NHS approach which often focuses entirely on CBT. You should however investigate what NHS choices are available to you before paying privately for assistance.
Stuart has experience of working in Intensive Service Support with people with epilepsy, and experience of caring for someone with NEAD. He is involved in post graduate study and research into areas of psychology that include relevance to NEAD and currently provides assistance to NEAD and Epilepsy cases.
In the first instance drop us an email or use the feedback form to contact us. We can then advise whether we feel we can appropriately assist you.
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Mental health treatment is based around methods recommended in NICE guidelines, and those fully researched as effective such as CBASP. More information on both adherence to NICE guidelines and on underpinning research please visit our other site www.psychoanalysis.center
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We adhere to appropriate National Occupational Standards, carry professional insurance and support voluntary regulation of therapists. We are both subject to regulation in therapy. Both therapists area CNHC registered hypnotherapist (voluntary regulation of hypnotherapy). Both therapists are registered on both CNHC and FHT PSA Accredited Registers. Professional Standards Authority Accredited Registers are for healthcare practitioners not subject to statutory regulation.
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