Epilepsy Series: The Intersection of Epilepsy and Psychiatric Disorders

People living with epilepsy have a higher incidence of psychiatric disorders than the general population. Between 25 and 50 % of people living with epilepsy will also be diagnosed with a psychiatric comorbidity the most frequent of which include depression, anxiety and attention deficit disorders in adults and children, and less frequently personality disorders and psychosis in adults.

A better understanding of the intersection of epilepsy and psychiatric disorders will help to improve screening and identification and incorporate appropriate treatment for these disorders. You can positively impact the lives of your patients by increasing your knowledge of epilepsy.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to: 

  • Review the epidemiology of psychiatric comorbidities in people with epilepsy
  • Provide an insight on the bidirectional relationship between epilepsy and some of the psychiatric disorders
  • Review the most important aspects of mood and anxiety disorders in epilepsy
  • Review the particular aspects of psychosis in epilepsy
  • Describe the temporal relation between psychiatric symptoms and seizures (pre-ictal, ictal, post-ictal) and their impact in the lives of patients
  • Outline other causes of psychiatric symptoms in epilepsy
  • Review multidisciplinary management strategies
  • Review resources available through the Epilepsy Foundation