NEAD Non Epileptic Attack Disorder, Edinburgh
NEAD is a condition where dissociation is severe and results in apparent loss of consciousness. This looks identical to an epileptic seizure and therefore historically there is common misdiagnosis.
What is NEAD?
NEAD is a condition where recall of suppressed trauma is so painful that the mind of the sufferer chooses to black out rather than consider the scary consequences of the memory. This is unconscious and not deliberate, the sufferer does not “choose” to do this, they are a victim of the trauma. Victims may present with a wide range of seizures and it is not uncommon for diagnosis to only occur when a “fit” happens when on an ECG machine. At this point the difference in brain wave patterns isolates which condition is present.
Is NEAD fake?
Absolutely not. The dis-association present in a NEAD seizure is very severe and acute. It is a result of the unconscious basically saying ” I can not do this – lights off”. It is not voluntary and the subject has no control or choice over the result, at least in the short term. NEAD is often caused by severe trauma, such as sexual abuse, rape and other psychological abuses.
Can NEAD be helped
The NHS suggests CBT, which is pretty much the standard NICE recommended psychological therapy. It can help, but NEAD is usually caused by severe trauma, often sexual or mental abuse, and therefore a more comprehensive and holistic approach tailored to the needs of the individual may be preferred.
NEAD is a very personal condition, it causes a range of resultant symptomatic conditions including PTSD, Personality Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Eating Disorders, OCD’s and self harm.
Therapy for NEAD
Moving on from NEAD is very personal, it requires a flexible and comprehensive therapy approach including treating the post traumatic elements, and unlearning the negative formative patterns. Psychoanalysis, CBT and counselling combined would be a sensible approach. No two cases are the same, since the trauma is unique.
Polyvagal theory has provided greater insight into treating disassociative disorders.
NEAD in Edinburgh
Stuart is experienced in treating NEAD in a range of situations, NEAD is an anxiety related disorder and Stuart trained in this speciality from the start of his career. Stuart is a Level I and Level II Certified Trauma Specialist including Complex and Dissociative Disorders. He is also a Certified Specialist in the use of Hypnosis, Neurology and Mind-Mody work in Trauma Treatment.
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