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Getting episodes of unconsciousness while crying. What could be the problem?

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Practicing since : 2003
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I have a sister and she is married, when she cry then she start vomiting and immediately Unconsciousness, once I close her nose and mouth she wake up, then again goes to Unconsciousness, It is happen approx 10 mins and then she start fast BREATHING and again goes to Unconsciousness, last time she repeated all those thing and also shouted very loudly and saying "please help me someone is killing me" and that make me scare, after few mints she gets OK, so please help me that what type of problem Is It and what I do so that she can get right treatment. she is not taking any medicine yet.
Posted Thu, 8 Nov 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

I appreciate your concern for your sister. These episodes of "unconsciousnes", sometimes accompanied by hyperventillation, which your sister is having, seem to be indicative of a psychological problem called Dissociative disorder. This disorder is caused due to underlying, unresolved psychological stress or conflicts, which she is not able to handle appropriately. She needs a detailed psychological assessment and further treatment by a Psychiatrist. Treatment is mostly by means of counselling and psychological therapies. Sometmes, she may need medication for a short period also. Your approach may not be the right solution as it does not tackle the root cause of the problem. Unless she is able to resolve her underlying stressors or conflicts, her symptoms will not improve. So, please take her to a Psychiatrist for further evaluation and treatment. There is a high chance of improvement and recovery with appropriate and timely therapy.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Getting episodes of unconsciousness while crying. What could be the problem? 14 minutes later
Thanks for quick response, If I will not be go to Doctor as she denied so what can be happen to her I mean In Future, Is it genetic or not so that she must take treatment as soon as possible, I am repeating again but she gets these attack on 6-10-2012 and then 13-10-2012.
I did not talk to my Mom and Dad for the same because I do not wanted to hurt them and most of the time she have fight with her hubby and not able to adjust her life, Is it also a reason between them. one more thing I forgot to put here is that "she is very Emotional" by nature.
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Hello again and thanks for writing in.

This is not a genetic disorder or a serious mental illness. This disorder is common among people who are very emotional and sensitive (as mentioned about your sister) and those who don't have the emotional strength to handle difficult situations. So, when there is psychological or environmental stress (like family problems, relationship problems, etc) they find it difficult to handle it or cope up. This psychological stress and tension manifests itself as such kind of physical symptoms. So, it is actually an indicator that such people need help and are finding it difficult to handle life. That is why I mentioned that she needs professional help. Now, the earlier she is given counselling and therapy, the earlier will she get relieved of the stress and her symptoms will also subside. But sometimes, if you let these episodes continue without proper therapy, it may soon become a habitual behaviour, which may later on be difficult to stop.

I think that it is better to let your parents know about this, so that they will be able to take her to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will evaluate her in detail, find out what is causing her stress, whether it is the quarrels and misunderstandings with her husband, etc. and counsel her so that she is able to handle such stressful situations better. If necessary, he may also call the husband for a marital counseling in order to improve their relationship and understanding.

So, it is not going to help her if you just keep it secretive from her parents or just ignore this. Please explain this to your parents in a gentle way - you can tell them that you consulted a psychiatrist online and that he advised that your sister seems to be in a lot of emotional stress and that she needs a psychiatric consultation.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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