Anxiety and epilepsy. Do you experience anxiety? Anxiety is an emotion that many people have experienced at some point in their lives.
Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive feelings of fear, uneasiness or dread regarding something that is about to happen. Anxiety affects 10-50 percent of people with epilepsy. Physical symptoms, such as a rapid heartbeat, stomach or chest pain, or feeling short of breath may accompany anxiety.
So how is anxiety related to epilepsy? Is anxiety simply a reaction to the diagnosis of epilepsy or a symptom of epilepsy? Are feelings of anxiety or fear actually a part of a seizure or a side effect of seizure medications? How is anxiety treated in individuals with epilepsy?
This is your opportunity to "Ask the Expert" your questions relating to anxiety and epilepsy. Dr Alan Ettinger, a professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, can offer some answers to your questions. Post your question for Dr. Ettinger here: AskTheExpert@efa.org
Please note: Questions on this topic will be collected up until October 5 and answers will be available online the week of October 29.
Alan B. Ettinger, M.D., M.B.A. is a nationally-known epilepsy specialist who has dedicated his life to helping individuals with seizures and related disorders. He is Epilepsy Director at Neurological Surgery PC of Long Island and Professor in the Department of Clinical Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Ettinger has directed several national and regional epilepsy symposia. He has published widely in peer-review journals on psychiatric aspects of epilepsy and on psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, has edited several journal supplements and textbooks. He is on the editorial board of several epilepsy journals, serves on national committees of the American Academy of Neurology, American Epilepsy Society, and the executive Board of Directors of the National Epilepsy Foundation.