What is Epileptic Psychosis

Epileptic Psychosis is a progressing disease and its effects have appropriately been described in the text book of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology by Modi, 24th Ed. 2011 where it states as follows:

Epileptic Psychosis. – Epilepsy usually occurs from early infancy, though it may occur at any period of life. Individuals, who have had epileptic fits for years, do not necessarily show any mental aberration, but quite a few of them suffer from mental deterioration. Religiousity is a marked feature in the commencement, but the feeling is only superficial. Such patients are peevish, impulsive and suspicious, and are easily provoked to anger on the slightest cause.

The disease is generally characterized by short transitory fits of uncontrollable mania followed by complete recovery. The attacks, however, become more frequent. There is a general impairment of the mental faculties, with loss of memory and self- control. At the same time, hallucinations of sight and hearing occur and are followed by delusions of a persecuting nature. They are deprived of all moral sensibility, are given to the lowest forms of vice and sexual excesses, and are sometimes dangerous to themselves as well as to others. In many long- standing cases, there is a progressive dementia or mental deficiency.

True epileptic psychosis is that which is associated with epileptic fits. This may occur before or after the fits, or may replace them, and is known as preepileptic, post-epileptic and masked or psychic phases (psychomotor epilepsy)

Post-Epileptic Mental Ill-health – In this condition, stupor following the epileptic fits is replaced by automatic acts of which the patient has no recollections. The patient is confused, fails to recognize his own relatives, and wanders aimlessly. He is terrified by visual and auditory hallucinations of a religious character and delusions of persecution, and consequently, may commit crimes of a horrible nature, such as thefts, incendiarism, sexual assaults and brutal murders. The patient never attempts to conceal them at the time of perpetration but on regaining consciousness may try to conceal them out of fear.

23. Similar features of Epilepsy have been recorded in the HWV COX Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology (7th Edn) by PC Dikshit. [ STATE OF RAJASTHAN VERSUS SHERA RAM @ VISHNU DUTTA [ALL SC 2011 DECEMBER]