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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9227

Resumen

ALVARADO, Luis  y  BANDERAS, Javiera. Pseudoseizures and Epilepsy: A Contribution to Their Understanding . Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2002, vol.40, n.1, pp.67-75. ISSN 0717-9227.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-92272002000100008.

This paper deals with the issue of epilepsy and pseudoseizures and their relevance to the psychopathology and psychotherapy of epileptic patients. We report the case of an epileptic woman presenting both genuine epileptic seizures and pseudoseizures as well. Borderline personality disorder and sustained sexual abuse were also diagnosed. Discussion focuses first around the multiple relationships between epilepsy and personality, and especially how epileptic seizures could affect normal personality development (particularly when early-onset seizures are present). The issue of pseudoseizures is also critically reviewed: available data suggest that more than 60% of patients with pseudoseizures have experienced some kind of sexual abuse during childhood or even later. Similar figures are also available for borderline personality disorder. Our discussion focuses on the heterogeneous determination of psychiatric symptoms: Our patient has both pseudoseizures and genuine epileptic seizures as well. The experience of trauma, the defenses used to cope with it and the experience of epileptic seizures are all condensed in pseudoseizures. Thus, pseudoseizures are strongly produced by both epilepsy and the experience of sustained sexual abuse

Palabras clave : epilepsy; personality; pseudoseizures; sexual abuse .

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