blobWho are we?
blobNEAD in numbers
blobHow this site works
blobContact us
blobWhat are non-epileptic attacks?
blobAre NEAs common?
blobWhat do NEAs look like?
blobWhat do NEAs feel like?
blobWhat about my other symptoms?
blobHow are NEAs diagnosed?
blobDo I have epilepsy?
blobHow to feel about the diagnosis
blobWhat causes my attacks?
blobEarly life factors?
blobWhy do NEAs start?
blobWhat can trigger further attacks?
blobWhy have the attacks not stopped?
blobHow do these factors act together?
blobHow can stress cause symptoms?
blobWhat if people don't believe me?
blobWhat do I tell people?
blobWhat should people do?
blobWhat can I/my family do to help?
blobHow can I help myself get better?
blobShould I stop doing anything?
blobWhat can my family do?
blobWhat if I get worse?
blobIs there any treatment for NEAs?
blobWhat can help?
blobWhat is psychological treatment?
blobDifferent types of psychotherapy?
blobWho can help?
blobWill I recover?
blobHow can I find out more?
blobCan I drive with NEAD?
blobCan I still claim benefits?
blobAre there any support groups?
blobYour personal stories
blobGlossary
arched back

Differences between non-epileptic attacks and epileptic seizures have been described for hundreds of years. This is a 19th Century drawing showing arching of the back which is more common in non-epileptic attacks

Tina says: ‘I do not seem to fit, just remain still although my eyes flicker rapidly. When I regain consciousness I am very disorientated, shivery, depressed, hurt, have a bad headache and tired. I usually have to take to my bed for up to 48 hours.’
Adam says: ’My attacks consisted of head jerking, arms and legs flaying, my hands and feet contorting so much that they hurt, losing control of my legs, I also used to go into a Trance, I could hear things around me but was unable to come around.’

What do non-epileptic attacks look like?

Symptom

Epilepsy

NEAs

Duration

0.5 to 2 minutes

Often longer than 2 minutes

Pelvic thrusting

 

rare

Occasional

Eyes / mouth

 

Typically open

Often closed

Side-to-side head movement

Rare

More common

Tongue biting

 

Occasional

Occasional

Crying during the attack

 

Rare

More common

Talking during the attack

Rare

More common

To find out what it feels like to experience a NEA, click here.

 


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