Stress impacts us differently, and one way it does it so is through stress-induced seizures. What impact does stress have on you? Some of us have trouble falling asleep. Some people may experience frequent tension. Moreover, stress-induced seizures become a serious problem for people with epilepsy.

According to surveys, stress is the second most common trigger for seizures in people with epilepsy. Despite the fact that many people believe stress and seizures are related, experts are unsure of the precise reason.

What is stress? Are stress-induced seizures a real thing?

The body’s reaction to tensions from the outside world is stress. It might be brought on by things like work-related difficulties, relationship troubles or academic tests. Some hormones begin to be produced by the body when we’re under stress. The immune system may become activated, and a flight or fight reaction may be triggered.

Small quantities of stress might be beneficial, as they encourage you to work harder or pay attention. However, persistent stress can become overpowering and can be detrimental to health. There’re strategies to deal with stress so that you don’t feel overwhelmed and nervous, even if it’s an inevitable part of life. Some may experience persistent anxiety, unease or distress for no obvious reason.

However, receiving an epilepsy diagnosis or worrying about unanticipated or uncontrolled seizures can increase stress and anxiety. Anxiety may occasionally even be a consequence of epilepsy medication.

It can be difficult to control anxiety, which may be brought on by the same triggers or atypical brain processes that causes your seizures. That can result in agitation or compulsive tendencies, which are frequently observed in epileptics.

It can be difficult to tell which condition occurred first — the stress and anxiety or epilepsy — or if they simply feed off each other in an annoying loop, as anxiety can affect both mental and physical health, as well as aggravate them.

Unmanaged stress that develops into persistent anxiety that has no apparent cause might cause epileptic episodes. Stress not only causes production of some hormones that might affect the brain, but it can also cause seizures to start in the same sections of the brain that regulate emotions.

Sleep may be impacted by stress and ongoing anxiety, which is another risk factor for more seizures.

How can stress cause seizures?

Stress is a necessary component of our daily existence. Stress typically results from specific circumstances or events that have occurred in our life, frequently and unexpectedly.

The tense scenario is frequently the result of several events coming together. The body automatically responds to changes brought on by stressful situations by producing physical and emotional responses.

We naturally respond to these stressful situations with feelings like irritation, panic, concern, grief or fury. These are emotional responses, but what can cause a seizure is the physical response of the body to stress.

When the brain’s level of excitability shifts, it creates chemical imbalances that result in seizures. Neurons start firing erratically as a result of these imbalances. When that occurs, it gets out of control and may cause a seizure. Several factors can change how excitable the brain is and cause a seizure.

Symptoms of stress-induced seizures

Many physical and mental symptoms, like psychogenic non-epileptic seizures can be brought on by stress. PNES was formerly referred to as pseudoseizure, but that term is no longer appropriate.

Stress-induced seizures can also be brought on by anxiety and stress in people without epilepsy. PNES is biologically distinct from epileptic neurological seizures. Despite the similarities between PNES and neurological seizure symptoms, there are some distinctions between the two.

Stress-induced seizures, for instance, may manifest some of the signs and symptoms of neurological seizures, like:

  • Lesser level of consciousness
  • Loss of physical awareness
  • Thrashing or flailing
  • Head arching
  • Biting of the tongue

PNES is distinguished by the fact that the aforementioned symptoms typically manifest more gradually and persist for a longer periods than neurological seizures.

Although stress-induced seizures cannot always be anticipated or managed, there’re steps you can take to reduce your risk of experiencing one. Your behavior can also influence how likely you’re to experience a seizure.

Try to recognize the purple day, and increase your awareness of epilepsy and related disorders. Treating the underlying stress and anxiety can help lessen or stop these episodes, as they have a mental cause. Seek a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment if you’re worried that you have recently experienced stress-induced seizures.

Source:, Bhargav, Janvi Kapur