Medical Specialty >> Psychiatry

Doctors Lounge - Psychiatry Answers

Back to Psychiatry Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: Complex Partial Seizures/PTSD or DID?

 devastated83 - Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:50 am

It's been over a year since our violent fight. We were both drunk and completely not understanding one another. I guess I hit him in the head which I can not recall till this day.

He was in a serious car accident 4 years ago where a drunk driver hit him and his friends - the result is a titanium plate in his forehead and cheek - he has no recollection of the car accident because he was sleeping. Thus he has no PTSD related to the car accident.

Well, now after a year later, he has been having flashbacks and nightmares. They intensify the days he sees me.
We could be the happiest couple in the world - and he can't sleep at night.

We can't even have a tiny tiff or he gets super upset and cranky or, then after yelling - he seizes. If we're both sad and I cry - he seizes. If we're intimate - he seizes.

When I mean seizes, he gets this blank stare and becomes incoherent. I try to wake him up like he's fainted. When he comes back, he can not recall our arguments and complains his head hurts.

I know I sound like a criminal or a villain, but I am a victim of domestic abuse for many many years before I met my boyfriend. I think it was an impulse that I hit him with the years of physical abuse I faced myself. That isn't an excuse for my action, but within 1 minute (unbeknownst to me) I screwed up my entire existence.

I wish someone could tell me how to make him better - I love him more than anything - he was my best friend in the entire world before we started seeing each other - and now he is the love of my life.

Now he's getting EMDR therapy - it doesn't seem to be working.

I've read where PTSD can mimic DID and where Complex Partial Seizures can mimic DID?

Reasons for suspecting DID:
- When we fight - he becomes someone else, then after he passes out - he becomes himself again.
- When he's sleeping and talks to me - he won't acknowledge my name, talks about me in 3rd person, and will talk to me like he's in counseling if I give him a pseudoname.
- Nightmares and Flashbacks can be tied in to DID.
- EMDR doesn't work proving that DID could be the reason why.

Reasons for suspecting Complex Partial Seizures:
- No traumatic childhood incident
- He blanks out - staring into space - for 1-3 minutes
- He will make repetitive motions
- He will repeat a phrase over and over again
- He has called me, texted me, lit a cigarette, walked, has had sex, pointed at me, tried to ram his forehead into mine - all while in sleep
- When he has passed out - he has wandered from work a couple times home and when he has awoke - he does not recall the entire day spent at work
- Emotional stress triggers them along with my presence - yet he wouldn't know if he had them if I wasn't there to tell him

 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:10 pm

Hello, devastated83,

I sincerely apologize that your post has not had a quicker response. I hope that you've had some help or resolution by now, but will provide some information in hopes that it will be useful to you, and to others who may read your post.

Dissociative Identity Disorder is quite rare, and does not really fit what you have described about your loved one. Because of the organic nature of some of his behavior, it would be more likely that his problems are related to the traumatic brain injury that he received in the accident. There is often a strong emotional component after such injuries. Of course, this, or any diagnosis, could only be determined by a thorough medical evaluation and a detailed psychologial interview and evaluation. His sleep disruptions might be clarified by having a sleep study performed, which would require his doctor's permission. It's very difficult to say whether or not your violent fight had anything to do with his current situation; I would be more likely to believe it didn't, but this also could only be confirmed through medical evaluation. Complex Partial Seizures or Petit Mal Seizures are possible; maladaptive emotional response due to traumatic brain injury is also possible, and may be more likely.

You can help him obtain the best medical evaluation by helping him maintain a record of his symptoms, including what exactly happens (don't use medical terms; rather, explain what he actually does or acts out), when it happens, how long it lasts, what helps or makes it worse, what was happening at the time or just before the time that the symptom began, and any other details that you think is significant. If he will take this record with him to all medical appointments, it can be invaluable to his physician in helping to figure out the most likely cause of his symptoms. It can also help you track his improvement or lack of it.

I hope this helps. Good luck to you both.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us