Herpetic Encephalitis Sequelae Can Be Traumatic: A Case Report
Herpes Simplex Encephalitis often have significant short-term and long-term neurologic and neuropsychiatric morbidities. There is limited information when evaluating patients with post encephalitic sequelae and their increased risk of falls due to motor deficits and therefore, the risk of developing a ‘fear of falling’ manifesting as PTSD. Here we describe a patient with post- encephalitic motor, neurologic and neuropsychiatric sequela who presents with depression and PTSD with panic attacks following multiple falls which posed perceived life-threatening events in a repeated matter. Furthermore, we review the neuroanatomical predispositions of developing PTSD in patients with HSE and the controversy of the definition of ‘trauma’ as per different DSM editions. It is important as physicians to understand that what is pathological about PTSD is defined not by the nature, but by the persistence and severity of its symptoms. We must look at the patient as a whole and evaluate what risk factors can predispose to certain diagnosis and what can be perceived as traumatic to increase detection and provide appropriate treatment. The prompt recognition and treatment have important implications for patient quality of life.