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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 49 (2007) 8, 581 - 585

Case report

A life-threatening situation due to interactions between epilepsy and psychiatric problems

A.K. Jonker, J.J.F. Verkade, A.W. De Weerd

Epilepsy and psychiatric problems can occur simultaneously and can, quite unexpectedly, trigger interactions that may lead to life-threatening situations. This became obvious in the case of a female patient who suddenly developed a status epilepticus while admitted to hospital. The seizure was probably connected with secret self-induced vomiting which led to a low intake of antiepileptic medication. She used the vomiting to control emotionally charged post-traumatic intrusions. Both the vomiting and the number of seizures were triggered by a life event (in this case emigration). In case of epilepsy, early screening for psychopathology seems advisable because there may be interactions with epileptic variables.

keywords epilepsy, mental disorders