Can Anxiety Cause Seizures?

Anxiety is a common mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by feelings of fear, worry, and uneasiness that can be overwhelming and disabling. While anxiety is usually associated with psychological symptoms, it can also have physical symptoms, including seizures. This article will discuss the link between anxiety and seizures, and whether or not anxiety can cause seizures.

What is a Seizure?

A seizure is a sudden, uncontrolled electrical disturbance in the brain. It can cause changes in behavior, movements, and emotions, as well as a loss of consciousness. Seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including head trauma, brain tumors, stroke, and certain medications.

Can Anxiety Cause Seizures?

Anxiety can cause seizures in some cases. Studies have shown that people with anxiety disorders are more likely to experience seizures than those without anxiety. In fact, some experts believe that anxiety may be a trigger for seizures in people with epilepsy.

The exact mechanism by which anxiety can cause seizures is not fully understood. However, it is believed that the stress and tension associated with anxiety can cause changes in the brain that can lead to seizures. Additionally, anxiety can lead to changes in breathing and heart rate, which can also contribute to seizures.

Types of Anxiety-Related Seizures

There are several types of seizures that can be caused by anxiety, including:

  • Generalized seizures: These are the most common type of seizure and can involve a loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, and convulsions.
  • Absence seizures: These seizures involve brief episodes of staring and loss of awareness.
  • Myoclonic seizures: These seizures involve brief muscle jerks or twitches.
  • Atonic seizures: These seizures involve a sudden loss of muscle tone and can cause the person to fall.

Treatment for Anxiety-Related Seizures

The treatment for anxiety-related seizures depends on the type and severity of the seizure. In some cases, medications may be prescribed to help control the seizures. Additionally, therapy can be helpful for treating the underlying anxiety disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can be particularly helpful for treating anxiety-related seizures.

Conclusion

Anxiety can cause seizures in some cases. The exact mechanism by which anxiety can cause seizures is not fully understood, but it is believed that the stress and tension associated with anxiety can cause changes in the brain that can lead to seizures. Treatment for anxiety-related seizures typically involves medications and therapy. If you are experiencing seizures and believe that they may be related to anxiety, it is important to speak to your doctor.

FAQs

What is the relationship between anxiety and seizures?

Anxiety can be a contributing factor in the development of seizures. It is thought that the stress response triggered by anxiety can cause changes in the brain which can lead to seizures.

What are the signs of anxiety-induced seizures?

The signs of anxiety-induced seizures may vary, but some common symptoms include a feeling of fear, confusion, changes in vision, and muscle spasms.

What treatments are available for anxiety-induced seizures?

Treatment for anxiety-induced seizures usually involves a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Medication may include anticonvulsants or antidepressants, while therapy can focus on relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and stress management. Lifestyle changes may include regular exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough rest.


References


1. Beran, R. G., & D’Souza, D. C. (2018). Anxiety-Induced Psychogenic Nonepileptic Seizures. In Epilepsy and Behavior (Vol. 83, pp. 27-31). Elsevier.

2. Lai, T. W. K., & Cheung, C. W. C. (2017). Anxiety and Seizures. In Epilepsy: Current Concepts and Emerging Therapies (pp. 521-530). Elsevier.

3. Sperling, M. R., & Alldredge, B. K. (2013). Psychogenic Seizures. In Neurologic Clinics (Vol. 31, No. 4, pp. 1063-1076). Elsevier.