Persons who suffer from epilepsy may also experience intense feelings of anxiety over the possibility of suffering seizures. This condition in which a person suffers anticipatory anxiety over suffering seizures is called seizure phobia, and is very common among patients with epilepsy. New studies reveal that as many as one -third of epileptic patients suffer from such phobia.
Earlier studies have also found an increased risk of anxiety and depression in persons who suffer from epilepsy. Much of this anxiety stems from the anticipation of seizures. Previous studies have found that as many as 53% of persons who suffer from epilepsy also suffer from such anxiety over the possibility of seizures. While science has been aware of the increased incidence of anxiety in persons who suffer from epilepsy, seizure phobia as a distinct anxiety-related disorder in epilepsy patients has not been sufficiently studied until now.
According to the new study whose findings were released by Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, the risk of seizure phobia is especially high in persons who suffer from epilepsy and also have a history of anxiety. Persons who experienced seizure phobia were much more likely to have also experienced manic depressive episodes in the past. Overall, persons with a pre-existing history of anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder seem to be much more likely to suffer from seizure phobia.