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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?
Alan B. Ettinger, M.D., M.B.A.
Alan B. Ettinger, M.D., M.B.A. is the epilepsy director at Neurological Surgery P.C. of Long Island, NY (seizureli.com) 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 depression in epilepsy and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, has edited several journal supplements and textbooks. He has also co-authored the book The Essential Patient Handbook. Dr. Ettinger is also on the editorial board of several epilepsy journals, has served on national committees of the American Academy of Neurology, American Epilepsy Society and the national Epilepsy Foundation, as well as, the International League Against Epilepsy. Dr. Ettinger is president of the Long Island Epilepsy Foundation Professional Advisory Board and is a member of the national Professional Advisory Board and the Executive Board of Directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of America. He was the recipient of the Epilepsy Foundation of Long Island's 2004 Professional Achievement Award and the co-recipient of the March of Dimes Long Island Chapter's humanitarian award in October2004. In preceding years, he has often been cited in Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and New York Magazine guide's to the Best Doctors.
Deborah Weisbrot, M.D.
Dr. Deborah Weisbrot is the Director of the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Stony Brook University Medical Center.After attending medical school at the State University of New York at Buffalo she went to the Yale School of Medicine for her psychiatry fellowship.She has published and lectured nationally on child and adolescent mood and anxiety disorders, threat assessment in childhood and psychiatric aspects of pediatric neurological disorders including epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.She co-authored a patient advocacy book entitled The Essential Patient's Handbook (Demos 2004) and has been frequently cited in New York Magazine and Long Island Newsday list's of Best Doctors.
This web event is intended to provide basic information about epilepsy to the general public. It is not intended to be, nor is it, medical advice. Readers are warned against changing medical schedules or life activities based on this information without first consulting a physician.