Shocking footage shows a woman having one of her violent seizures that have left her covered in bruises from where she has fallen.
Charna Mee, 23, has blacked out during her seizures, and claims her heart has stopped twice while unconscious.
The mother-of-one has spent the last month in and out of hospital since the seizures started as doctors struggle to work out what is wrong with her.
She claims medics initially put it down to stress after multiple CT scans and blood tests came back negative.
When epilepsy is ruled out, seizures can have a number of different causes. Sometimes they are triggered by emotion or mental pain, a condition known as NEAD.
Charna, from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, has lost the ability to walk unaided because she feels as though she has lost control of her legs.
Charna Mee, 23, has been left covered in bruises due to violent seizures
Charna Mee, 23, has blacked out during her seizures, causing cuts to her face
The mother-of-one to Layla Rose has spent the last month in and out of hospital since the seizures started as doctors struggle to work out what is wrong with her
Sister Anastasia Mee, said she no idea when Charna will be able to return home to her beloved daughter Layla-Rose, aged four.
Technology advisor Anastasia, 19, from South Normanton, Derbyshire, said: ‘Charna started having blackouts a month ago and went to hospital, but doctors couldn’t pin anything on it.
‘On one occasion she was discharged, went out and fell at the hospital door so had to go back in.
‘Then seizures started happening, and she’s even lost her pulse twice.
‘It started from nothing and it is still all undiagnosed.’
Non-epileptic seizures (NES) are different from epilepsy – caused by disrupted electrical activity in the brain.
It’s sometimes known as non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD), thought to affect 15,000 Britons.
The seizures can have either physical or mental causes. Physical causes include diabetes, while ‘psychogenic seizures’ may happen when someone’s reaction to painful or difficult thoughts and feelings affects them physically, according to Epilepsy Society.
Video footage has captured one of Charna’s seizures where she fits violently under a bed sheet with her eyes rolling back into her head while her whole body shakes and trembles
Bruises on Charna’s hips from where she has fallen during seizures
Charna was described as ‘the most bubbly person’ who ‘always tried to make everyone smile’
Sister Anastasia Mee, said she no idea when Charna will be able to return home. She said: ‘We are absolutely clueless as to what it is, if the doctors don’t know how are we meant to know?’
NEAD is diagnosed by a psychiatrist or psychologist after several medical tests, including blood tests and brain scans, have found no neurological cause for the seizures.
Anastasia said: ‘She [Charna] has had CT scans and blood tests but they have all come back negative.
‘At first the doctors thought it was stress, but you can’t get seizures and blackouts from stress.
‘She doesn’t think they are taking it seriously.
‘We are absolutely clueless as to what it is, if the doctors don’t know how are we meant to know?’
Since she originally became ill a month ago, Charna has spent most of her time in hospital.
Video footage has captured one of her seizures where she fits violently under a bed sheet with her eyes rolling back into her head while her whole body shakes and trembles
Charna has also been left unable to walk and said it feels like her brain has detached itself from her legs and won’t respond to signals.
Anastasia, pictured with Charna before she was hospitalised, said: ‘It started from nothing and it is still all undiagnosed’. It is possible Charna has NEADS
Anastasia has launched a fundraiser to support her niece Layla-Rose (pictured with Charna)
Anastasia said: ‘Before, she was the most bubbly person. She always tried to make everyone smile.
‘It’s scary seeing somebody go from being like that to nothing.’
Anastasia has launched a fundraiser to support her niece Layla-Rose, who is currently living with her dad, during the difficult period and to cover travel expenses and childcare.
She added: ‘Layla-Rose is four years old, she knows that her mum isn’t around and she is missing her.
‘We don’t take her to see her because we don’t want her to have a seizure in front of her so hasn’t seen her mum for a week.
‘Charna has no income at the moment, we’re a family who get by when we all pull together but unfortunately it’s been going on too long and her strength and health is worsening over time.
‘We have no idea when it will end, so the fundraiser is for her.’
The effort can be supported by visiting here.
WHAT IS NON-EPILEPTIC ATTACK DISORDER?
It is currently believed that non epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) or mon-epileptic seizures (NES) is the brain’s response to overwhelming stress but there may be other causes
NEAD can be divided into two types: organic non-epileptic seizures (physical) and psychogenic seizures (emotional).
Organic seizures have a physical cause, such as diabetes.
Because organic NEAD have a physical cause, they may be relatively easy to diagnose and treated when the underlying cause is found.
Psychogenic NEAD seizures are caused by mental or emotional issues. They may happen when someone’s reaction to painful or difficult thoughts and feelings affects them physically.
Psychogenic seizures include different types, but the most common type of NEAD is dissociative seizures. These happen unconsciously, which means that the person has no control over them.
NEAD can be difficult to diagnose because they can appear similar to epileptic seizures.
There are no symptoms that will definitely identify NEAD from epileptic seizures.
Psychotherapy is the recommended treatment for NEAD, and people can recover or reduce their seizures.
For some people, NEAD may disrupt their daily life or they may want to avoid activities in case they have a seizure. However, becoming isolated and anxious can may make seizures more likely.
Source: Epilepsy Society