Originally Posted by Lovely.Aphrodite
It doesn't look like anyone has posted in here for a while... but I thought Id try and see what I get. I am 25 and as of July 2011 I have been suffering from what they just recently diagnosed as PNES.
Hi Lovely Aphrodite. I've been a part of this group for years now, but I don't think I have posted in it for years until I came upon an old file of links I had. How easily we forget about things when were not going through it anymore. Your story sounds so much like mine. I too was put on seizure medications, had about 10 eeg's until a "episode" was finally caught. Of course, brain activity was normal aside from panic/anxiety... natural bodily functions. I was diagnosed with Conversion disorder. PNES is a sub of conversion disorder/somatoform disorder. Its basically a part of PTSD, like the soldiers go through. They see things that bring back haunting memories, and they believe they are still there, and their actions can come out as violent behavior, depression, or seizure like activity. That's what PNES is. The last time I wrote on this question was in 2008 and I was still in the middle of my horrible experience with PNES. Amazingly enough, I can tell you, I have been able to move past it, and I haven't has an episode since 2010. Being in Canada, especially in Newfoundland, means I've been very lucky to have free care through community support. I have a psychiatrist, who I don't pay for and who works in the hospital on the psychiatric floor where I spent so much time. I have a psychologist provided through the community mental health center (I was lucky enough to get the most qualified one. Most were counselors, but I have the certified psychologist, but the counselors are mostly just as good). I don't pay anything for her either, but there was a 6 month waiting list to get into the program. We do cognitive behavioral therapy, set task's that I strive to do, but it dont always work out. We did manage to work through my PNES, but let me tell you, it was a lot of hard, exhausting work. Its was talking about past issues that came up during my episodes. It was figuring out what grounds me, so that the episodes wouldn't happen. I can tell you some of them for you to try. Grounding techniques are just basically what is sounds like. Something that keeps you grounded, and doesn't let you spiral out of control. Some techniques I learned are 1. place your feet flat on the floor and look around the room you are in. Pay attention to everything in the room. Note it all in your head. Count books, or dots on the ceiling lol. Whatever keeps your attention on the here and now, and not what causes the episodes. 2. Find your favourite smell, and take a little bit of it everywhere with you. When you feel it coming on, take it out and smell it. Think about memories aroound the smell. What I did was print off a picture of an orange and a picture of lilacs, and sprayed each of them with the scent or oranges and lilacs and put them in a little envelope in my purse and in my house. When I start to get that feeling, I pull them out and sniff away. 3. Get something that distracts your hands. I have those little magnetic balls that are awesome to play with in your hand. You can squish them, try to make them into objects, or make them into the shapes they are made for. 4. Make up a CD or play list of your favourite uplifting music and play it when you feel something coming on. 5. Make a small album of your favourite pictures. It doesn't have to be ones you took, but can be ones from online, just something that cheers you up, relaxes you. 6. Get an exercise CD and work it out. Exercise your *** off. LOL. I have a "Walking dvd by Leslie Sansone and its the best and easiest dvd but still makes you sweat and give you a chance to work your way up in levels. Or, if you can, find someone who will go for a walk with you. Don't focus on not having an episode, focus on everything around you. Take your camera with you and do some snap shots. Have a funny conversation with your walking buddy. Then if you start to feel comfortable, start walking on your own when you're sure you wont have an episode. The one thing they say about these episodes is that you can't hurt yourself the way you can when you are having an epileptic seizure. That during an epileptic seizure, your brain is firing of all different ways, and actually forces your body to do things that it shouldn't be doing. Like peeing your pants. Banging your head on hard things. Continuously biting your tongue. Holding your breath till you become cyanotic. Now I've bit my tongue, but it was only when I fell, I didnt continue to do it, because your mind isn't firing off telling your body to do the wrong thing, is a psychosomatic seizure, so your body wont let you continue to do what its doing wrong. I've banged my head, but again it was just when I collapsed at first, and didnt continue to do it. They say people who have PNES shouldn't have their licences taken away, because your mind wont let you go into a seizure when your driving. They did research on it. Same with holding children. People with eplieptic seizures need to have the fear of holding a child, because when they seize, they could drop and hurt a child, but people with PNES, their mind, without your control, wont let that happen.
There is one thing I can say. I wouldent suggest going to the psychiatric ward of a hospital, because the nurses are VERY V E R Y cynical when it comes to this disorder. You will have some nurses that believe in it, but most will believe you are trying it to get attention. If you do decide to go in there, do some research on it on the internet from well known medical study places, print it off and make sure to show it to your psychiatrist who will handel your case while you're in there, show the head nurse, and give it to your assigned nurse and kindly ask her to bring it into their shift change meeting so she/he can let the other nurses know the information. Don't let them keep it. If you find the nurses aren't taking it seriously, make sure you or a family member takes it up with hospital administration. You're psychiatrist who recommended you go into the hospital should be able to give you a list of support in the community, if he can't, i would find another psychiatrist. I did need some of the medications I was on and still use some of them today, like clonazepam for anxiety, but you need to get off the seizure meds, they are doing nothing for you. But follow your doctors rules, cause just dropping them can bring on actual REAL seizure activity. If you have a family doctor, ask him for recommendations to community support/counselors. If none of them can help you, you will have to do it yourself. Yellow page "Mental health Services" in Edmonton. I just did a search and there is a TON of places to call. The main one I would call first is "Canadian Mental Health Assn Edmonton Region" & "Canadian Mental Health Assn Alberta Division". They will be able to tell you anything and everything you need or want to know or direct you to the right place to find out what you need to know. http://www.yellowpages.ca/search/si/...AB?showDD=true
There is always help out there. You just have to do the work yourself sometimes to find the help you need. I wish you the best of luck, and if you every want to talk to me, feel free to message me. APeddle
PS. Just a little info on financial help. There is something called Canada Pension Disability. I am on that. Call HRDC or go online and get information on it. What I had to do was get my psychiatrist and family doctor the reasons why I couldn't work and fax it into them. There's a lot more to it, but they will tell you everything. It doesn't only cover physical disabilities, but also mental disabilities, which PNES, anxiety, depression, bipolar, ect, ect, IS!! http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/i...licant.shtml#b