Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNEs): A case report and literature review

Saher Hoda Kamil, Mustafa Qureshi, Rikinkumar S. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) are classified as a somatoform conversion disorder. We present a case of a 24-year-old male with a past psychiatric history of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorder, admitted to our inpatient psychiatric unit. The patient experienced multiple episodes of seizures during hospitalization. Work up was unremarkable, and PNES were suspected and later confirmed with video-electroencephalography (video-EEG). He underwent supervised withdrawal of antiepileptic medications with the initiation of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which reduced the frequency of seizures. Diagnosis of PNES can present as a challenge and failure to diagnose its psychological nature can lead to a delay in the psychological intervention. CBT leads to a decrease in seizure frequency, and improvement in psychiatric symptoms, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life. It is important to consider PNES in the differential diagnosis of seizures presented by psychiatric patients, as CBT is necessary for better patient outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalBehavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 29 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CBT
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • EEG
  • Inpatient psychiatry
  • Management
  • PNES
  • Pseudoseizures
  • Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures


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