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Dear Nancy,

I knew someone who experienced pseudoseizures. My heart really went out to her, all the more because no one seemed to believe her experience (because the seizures weren't neurologically based) and interpreted her experience as manipulative behavior.

She was so scared of everyone and everything and had experienced a very difficult life. She was a wonderful person, too, but in so much pain. I firmly believed that she was in a great deal of inner turmoil. I was furious that no one seemed to believe her-- because it ignored her pain and didn't take the time to understand that her fear and anxiety was so overwhelming for her that it was unconsciously being translated into pseudoseizures.

I don't know what her internal experience was and I can't speak for her or as a person who experiences this... I guess I'm trying to say that it got better when she could keep calm. She was very anxious and used to have these especially when either she became fearful or anticipated something awful happening. The best way to deal with it (for her) seemed to be to keep as calm as possible, practice thinking in positive ways to add perspective to the anxiety, and have friends and distractions (like going places or crafts).

I'm not sure about the confusion. I certainly have confusion when I feel anxious, but not to the same extent I don't think. I can have trouble concentrating, or trouble focusing, trouble with organization in my thinking...and learning... but I haven't been aware of it being an extreme problem, or thought of it in quite the same way that you describe. As your therapist thinks it is common for PTSD and that your symptoms fit onto that spectrum, he may be attempting to reassure you that you are not alone. Many with PTSD have similar symptoms, but symptoms may vary.

In any case, you are not alone in your struggles. You are a unique and wonderful person. Make yourself some hot tea, and cozy up with a good book or coloring book- be good to yourself.



Dear Nancy, You are not going crazy. Other people experience very similar symptoms. I know I do.

I have PTSD and I dissociate. When these symptoms occur you may just be caught in a state between dissociation and full consciousness . At such times it is normal to feel confused and disoriented. For me, at such times if I was not careful, feeling so confused and disoriented would scare me. Being so scared would in turn push me right back into a dissociated state. For me, this could become a vicious cycle and keep me dissociated for a long period of time. Knowing what was happening has lessened the fear I feel when I am in this in-between state. And I was helped when I found techniques that can lessen the severity and frequency of these symptoms.

My therapist recommended a book called "Growing Beyond Survival," by Elizabeth Vermilyea. It is easily available at both Amazon and Barnes and Nobles. If you are just starting to deal with dissociation and unfamiliar with your individual triggers it might be wise to read this book WITH your therapist. Maybe ask your therapist to read it first. For me, the first couple of times I read parts of this book I had to put it down because I felt I was starting to dissociate. Interestingly, I now can refer to all parts of it without dissociating. I hope this book helps you if it doesn't keep trying until you find something that does. THERE IS HELP OUT THERE. YOU CAN AND WILL FEEL BETTER! For me, I still have occasional crises times but on the whole getting the right treatment for me is like the difference between night and day.

Also, is your therapist a specialist in PTSD and dissociation? Medically, would you go to a podiatrist for an eye,ears and throat problem? Dealing with PTSD and dissociation can be difficult and necessitate specialized knowledge. I am concerned that your therapist seems to tell you that 'Yes, these are common symptoms of PTSD' but does not suggest any techniques to deal with the symptoms. He/she may just be approaching you cautiously: My therapist was aware of the fact that I dissociated before I was. She controlled the pace at which she gave me information because she correctly sensed that a misstep could trigger a dissociative state in me. BUT IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A THERAPIST WHO EITHER SPECIALIZES IN PTSD AND PTSD TREATMENT OR IS WILLING TO FAMILIARIZE HIMSELF/HERSELF WITH THE MOST UP TO DATE APPROACHES. Ask your therapist why he/she has not given you techniques to deal with your symptoms. Is it because he/she is proceeding slowly or because he/she is unfamiliar with the techniques? YOUR THERAPIST SHOULD NOT BE ANGRY WITH YOU FOR ASKING.

I had to change therapists in order to get the help I needed. My previous therapist maybe a very good therapist for other conditions but was not knowledgeable enough about PTSD and its treatment to even recognize his lack. I spent a number of YEARS not getting the help I needed and my condition became more severe and chronic than it needed to be. I believe this site as well as can help you find therapists who do specialize in PTSD and dissociation treatment in the remote chance that you find yourself really uncomfortable with your therapist.




I have not talked to anyone on the internet that couldn't remember a time when they didn't have symptoms like you are talking about. It may be called different things but the feelings are the same. Like myself, many of us that walked around with undiagnosed Dissociate Identity Disorder (DID) suffered in silence. I functioned in what I thought was a well scripted act each day to raise my children. I even worked a couple of years before my system started breaking down again. Each break down took more time and effort to get back up to where I was prior to what I had before.

For more then twenty years I told the same stories to any therapist/doctor I had during those times. Some would touch on briefly about the abuse in my life and each would come up with a new diagnosis for me. Along with what ever was new and proven for this new label. I didn't fit into the category so neatly and my symptoms seemed to be changing and getting worse during these break downs. My last one was the final blow to my system.

Lack of cohesive thoughts was not my only problem. I found myself once again living what appeared to be three lives. Except this time my system was pretty co-conscious inside and when I laid down to let the body sleep, the mind had me awake every hour on the hour in some sort of great debate.

Oh yes, I was sent for many tests to rule out neuro stuff "again". A wonderful thing had happened though between the years since my last work up. The professionals had put together all the case studies and had finally realized that there was a bit more facts about what we were telling them. There were actually professionals who believed in co-conscious multiples. For the record, I allow for a full range of dissociate disorders. I don't listen to the neat labels the professionals put on us. People who dissociate "in any form" are welcomed into the groups we have on the internet to inform and empower others who are just finding their way into the system. I can still remember the first time I came online and found Many Voices Press. I still remember writing my first letter to Lynn saying "I can't believe we can really talk about this now". She wrote back saying "yes we can". I've put a lot of information out there since those days. You'll find a listing to Lady Jz Talk Zone listed in the resources and you are welcome to come and listen to others who are on this journey too. There are many groups out here and if you search you will find others who you feel akin to.

Just know that it is normal to feel the way you do and there is not right or wrong way to progress. It just all happens when your system is ready. As fluent as my words can spread across the pages in a moment my brain will jam up and I have to walk away from the board. I don't let it get to me anymore, I accept it and move on. Hope to hear from you soon and good luck.

Lady J


Yes, Nancy,

I understand your experience. Please understand this is my first experience responding to any one. I would like to thank you for sharing. You opened a door I had never shared with anyone. I've been in and of therapy since the age 20 and now I am 53 still in therapy. My room mate got this information from a therapies from Naples, FL. I moved from Naples to Ky. Wow, if you would like me to share as pen pals I will share each day with you.

My experiences started after I moved out of my parents home. It started when at my first job no one understood my mood changes. When I would get home at night at bed time this power would come over me that I could not get up, I felt like I was being electrocuted, then my body felt like my spirit was leaving my body. I had kept this inside me until I told a church elder and he said for me to move out of my apartment because someone who lived there before me had been evil so I moved and it has continued. I have felt like I was having seizures. I had been so scared all my life.

I went to AA when I became pill and alcohol dependent. God, the hell I've been thru. I had such a problem talking, know one could understand me for I didn't know how to talk. The people would cut me off and I would try to comment suicide. Thirty years, not one therapist knew about dissociative disorder. I am angry when I think all these years of suffering until now I have hope. I'm trying, I hope we can share from this moment on. I'm grateful I found you.
Thank you,

Mickie C.