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How can one differentiate between dissociative episode and petit mal seizure?

Most of the teenagers who suffer from petit mal often get confused with their mental state. It is observed that mostly symptoms of both the disorders petit mal and dissociative disorders are almost same. To distinguish whether the patient is having petit mal seizure or dissociative episodes it is very necessary that we must put a very keen eye on both of them.

What are similarities between dissociative episodes and petit mal?

petit mal

How can one differentiate between dissociative episode and petit mal seizure?

There are many types of dissociative disorder and the one that is often mistaken as petit mal is dissociative amnesia. It is characterized by an absent mindedness or state of forgetfulness in which a person isn’t able to recall his/her very basic personal information. The person feels to get lost in the thoughts while he/she is recalling information and the observer or the patient himself misunderstand it as petit mal seizure.

Dissimilarities between petit mal seizures and dissociative disorders:

There are a few similarities where as a large number of dissimilarities between both the disorders. A person suffering from petit mal goes “blank”. It can be explained as he/she is totally unaware of what is going on around, he/she forgets everything. There might be some other associated behaviors like twisting of fingers, rolling of tongue and frequent eye blinking. This may last for not more than 15 minutes. A person suffering from dissociative amnesia forgets his/her very basic information like name, address and other similar things. Petit mal seizures do not involve any forgetfulness just as the patient may experience in dissociative amnesia.

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