Negative emotions in children with newly diagnosed epilepsy.

K.J. Oostrom, A. Schouten, T. Olthof, A.C.B. Peters, A. Jennekens-Schinkel

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    To understand the emotional predicament in children with recently diagnosed idiopathic or cryptogenic epilepsy. We used the well-tried method of structured projection for the first time in children with epilepsy. Thirty-six children with epilepsy, aged 7-15 years (mean age, 9.5 years) and in 35 control children aged 7-15 years (mean age, 9.4 years), attributed shame and guilt in relation to three types of situation (non-illness related, illness related, and epilepsy related). Children were evaluated twice: shortly after diagnosis, before antiepileptic drug (AED) use and after an interval of 3 months. Children with epilepsy and healthy controls were similar in their way of attributing shame and guilt. However, the type of situation was of influence: Both children with epilepsy and healthy children attributed more shame to incompetence due to epilepsy than to incompetence due to other illnesses. Increased affective problems in childhood epilepsy cannot be explained by excessive attribution of shame and guilt, affects known to be important precursors of psychopathology, yet both healthy children and children with epilepsy attribute more shame to epilepsy than to other illnesses. Epilepsy is not like any other disease
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)326-331
    Number of pages6
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000


    • Children
    • Epilepsy
    • Guilt
    • Psychopathology
    • Shame

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