Non-epileptic attack disorder

NEAD, dissociative seizures

What is non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD)?

Non-epileptic seizures can look and feel like seizures caused by epilepsy, but they are not actually caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain, like epileptic seizures.

What causes NEAD?

NEADWhat are the symptoms of non-epileptic attack disorder?

Non-epileptic attacks happen when the brain is unable to control specific thoughts, memories, emotions or sensations. This could relate to a stress or trauma that has occurred.

Symptoms include:

  • People lose control of their body
  • Shaking or other movements of arms and legs
  • Blacking out
  • Unresponsive
  • Change in breathing


Are you affected by non-epileptic attack disorder?

If you’re affected by non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD), The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD), emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with non-epileptic attack disorder (NEAD) from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with non-epileptic attack disorder

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with NEAD? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including non-epileptic attack disorder, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The library at the Brain Charity has a range of resources on non-epileptic attack disorder and on a wide range of disability-related issues.

Non -Epileptic Attacks: Information for patients
by Non-Epileptic Seizures Treatment Group

Non-epileptic Seizures: Describing dissociative seizures
by Epilepsy Society

The Management Of Epilepsy In General Practice
by David Chadwick

Support groups

Unfortunately, The Brain Charity is not aware of a support group currently running for this condition.

Are you interested in setting one up, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

Epilepsy Action
Freephone helpline: 0808 800 5050

NEUROkid - information for children and young people diagnosed with NEAD