People with epilepsy are forced to cope with their chronic medical condition, the adaption process may be accompanied by grief, anger, anxiety and helplessness. These emotional instabilities may develop into psychiatric conditions on their own.
Many patients with epilepsy are afraid of future seizures, but also of prejudices against the disease and people suffering from epilepsy. To be aware of these behavioural patterns and to confront them, many patients with epilepsy need psychotherapeutical support. The aim is to identify remaining resources, and to strengthen these in a second step.
After diagnostic work-up, it becomes obvious in some patients that they do not suffer from epilepsy but from psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, or from both conditions. For these patients, we initiate psychological treatment that needs to be continued in an outpatient setting.
We offer psychotherapy in groups as well as for individual patients. Parts of the therapeutic spectrum are concepts of “Progressive muscle relaxation” and “Seizure self-control”. The latter aims to identify situations that facilitate seizure occurrence. Patients learn to develop strategies that may reduce the frequency or severity of epileptic seizures.
Dr. phil. Tobias Gleich
Head of Psychologists
PD Dr. rer. medic. Thomas Bengner