The Hysteria Over Conversion Disorder

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Biology 202
2003 Second Web Paper
On Serendip

The Hysteria Over Conversion Disorder

Neela Thirugnanam

Scientists in fields connected to neurobiology and psychiatry remain mystified about the cause of Conversion Disorder. The disorder is characterized by physical symptoms of a neurological disorder, yet no direct problem can be found in the nervous system or other related systems of the body. This fact alone is not unusual; many diseases and symptoms have unknown origins. Conversion Disorder, however, seems to stem from "trivial" to traumatic psychological events and emotions rather than biological events. The extreme symptoms often disappear as quickly as they appear without the patient consciously controlling or feigning them. Thus, Conversion Disorder serves as a significant example of how blurred the conceived demarcated divisions of mind/body/behavior can be.

Conversion Disorder is diagnosed solely by its physical symptoms seen in patients. Symptoms can be divided up into three groups: sensory, motor and visceral. Sensory symptoms include anesthesia, analgesia, tingling, and blindness. Motor symptoms may consist of disorganized mobility, tremors, tics, or paralysis of any muscle groups including vocal cords. Visceral functions include spells of coughing, vomiting belching, and trouble swallowing (1). Most of these symptoms are strikingly similar to existing neurological disorders that have definitive organic causes. Conversion Disorder, on the other hand, defies the nerve patterns and functions from which the symptoms should follow. CT scans and MRIs of patients with Conversion Disorder exclude the possibility of a lesion in the brain or spinal cord, an electroencephalograph rules out a true seizure disorder, and spinal fluid eliminates the possibility of infections or other causes of neurological symptoms (2). The abnormal behavior shown in Conversion Disorder cannot be accounted for biologically, and this fact has set off even more scientific theories about the many ways in which biology must explain the phenomena.

Optokinetic nystagmus (sub-cortically controlled steady tracking the eye followed by the fixation of the eye on another object) can still be observed in patients with apparent blindness when they are shown a rotating striped drum thus proving their correct operation (2). Numb hands characterize a type of conversion disorder called "glove anesthesia"; the sensitivity stops at the patient's wrists. This clear demarcation does not correlate to any known nerve pattern or function. Also, patients who show paralyzed arms with functioning shoulder muscles that work normally to correct posture of their truck contradicts what we know about how the nervous system is structured (3). These examples demonstrate how the symptoms the patients express belie a properly working nervous system. Knowledge of neurobiology, or lack of it, seems to influence how the symptoms play out in the patients. It has been shown that symptoms become more biologically traceable when the patient knows more about the body's physiological functioning. Learned information stored in the mind is used to determine the physical symptoms unconsciously expressed by the patient. The conscious functions of the mind can work unconsciously through the nervous system to effect behavior.

Treatment of Conversion Disorder primarily involves psychotherapy. Often patients go into spontaneous remission, or they have a complete recovery shortly after visiting a psychiatrist (2). Despite the effective psychological treatment, the patients are often incredulous when told their symptoms are "imaginary" or "mental". Because this is often counterproductive in the doctor-patient relationship, patients are not told that their condition is thought to be psychological; they are first treated as if the symptoms are organic (3). Associating "mental" with "imaginary" in the minds of the doctors indicates a powerful assumption that something that is controlled by the mind and expressed through the body is not "real" and therefore a feigned illness. The mind, with its intimate connection to the nervous system and behavior by way of the larger structure of the brain, is more than a superficial layer of us as humans. It too is a part of the body, and a schism in the mind, whether it initiates from military trauma, sexual abuse, or depression remains a very real source of physical and medical illness.

This discussion of the distinctions of the mind and body are not new. Conversion Disorder was originally called "hysteria," and it has been described by documents hundreds of years old. The ancient Egyptians attributed it to a malpositioned or "wandering" uterus, and the name derives its meaning from this distinctly feminine problem. In the 1560's, the first documented study was done that claimed that "hysteria" was located in the mind rather than the body. Two hundred years later, the French neurologist Charcot hypothesized that hysteria originated from an organic weakness of the nervous system. Sigmund Freud became captivated by this idea and eventually replaced "hysteria" with the term "conversion" because he theorized that the symptoms were "intrapsychic conflicts" manifested (or converted) physically in the patient (3). This progression towards the psychological has been reflectively inverted in recent theory.

Increasingly, Conversion Disorder is being thought of and researched biologically rather than psychologically. Technology has supplied methods of testing elements of the nervous system, and yet no definitive causes have been identified. It has only recently become common thought that Conversion Disorder arises from some sort of collaboration between the mind and the nervous system (3). This distinction between the "mind" and the "nervous system " (and the revelatory idea that they are indeed related) demonstrates a crucial partition that most scientists seem to make between the two. In my view, the mind is the cognitive function of a larger concept, which can be called, as we do in class, "the brain". The brain encompasses both the biological stratum of the nervous system as well as the cognitive stratum of the mind. As debates over Conversion Disorder show, they are interrelated. The nervous system does not only determine the mind, but it too can be influenced by the mind. To attempt to divide them for study may be useful, but their ultimate relationship should not be permanently separated. Parobek describes the state of Conversion Disorder as a "Tower of Babel that obscures accurate identification and nomenclature" (3). This is true in that, like the myth, the relationship between the two elements of the brain create a confusing cacophony of precise causation because that is its inherent structure. Nomenclature is a system of understanding and representing, and if the construction of the Tower of Babel and Conversion Disorder cannot be contained within one language or one scientific discipline, then perhaps the nomenclature and the building of scientific research needs to broadened to include more "multi-lingiustic" elements. The total functioning of the nervous system and the mind meets, exists, and functions together in what is more appropriately called "the brain," and the brain, as a whole, determines behavior.

To understand Conversion Disorder completely will probably require a more multi-discipline approach instead of trying to locate its cause and process on a purely biologic level. When trying to pinpoint whether a patient's symptoms hail from "real" or malingering sources, the observed difficulty lies in the seeming dichotomy between mind and body. This dichotomy however remains a created one for the benefit of our own understanding. Yet, in the case of Conversion Disorder, delineated scientific thinking seems to have prevented our understanding rather than facilitating it; by inspecting the trees, we are missing the forest.

 

References

1)PsychNet-UK

2)Emedicine: Instant access to the minds of medicine., Dufel, Susan M.D. "Conversion Disorder".

3)Parobek, Virginia M."Distinguishing conversion disorder from neurologic impairment".Journal of Neuroscience Nursing. 04/97. Volume 29. Number 2. p. 128.
Infotrack: Expanded Academic
, scroll down to E-journals, select Science Direct and search for title

 

 

Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment below)

11/04/2005, from a Reader on the Web

` I was just wandering the internet and I saw this page on conversion disorder. I've had that for a couple years as a result of being traumatized by torture. ` I knew that people could become blind from something horrible happening in their lives, and I figured that the sense of touch could be affected as well. ` I have fairly bad numbness all over my body wherever any part of me touches anything - the fronts of my fingertips, the bottoms of my feet, the upper parts of my ears (where my hair is), my eyeballs, the part of my tongue that presses against the roof of my mouth, etc, which is a pretty irritating handicap. Thankfully, my neurologist was unable to find anything. ` I must say it's a relief that I finally know what this... THING is called, though I understand why my psychiatrist didn't tell me what it's caused by - nobody knows! All I know is that I feel a cold numbness wherever any part of my body presses up against anything at all. ` It's very weird and annoying, lemme tell ya, and I hate it so much. I can't walk very easily with shoes on, I fall down a lot, I have trouble picking things up, tasting and smelling things, feeling textures, not to mention I'm completely uninterested in certain... activities. ` Luckily, from what I see on the page, I suppose I can expect this will lift one of these days - or at least over a series of days, perhaps. That makes me feel better about this, as it's only been getting worse after a couple of brief periods in the beginning when it nearly seemed to wear off. ` My doctor says I can acheive this through not being afraid to touch things. Sounds simple, but... it's not very easy, in my situation. ` Mental numbness... neurological inability to recognize anything in the world except for faces... or being able to recognize faces but not other things... It's really crazy how many bizarre disorders human brains can undergo, isn't it? S E E Quine

 

Additional comments made prior to 2007
I have a friend who has been diagnosed with Conversion Disorder. What is the best way to deal with her mental/physical problems, without feeding her manipulation for attention? ... Dixie, 19 June 2006

 

 

I was diagnosed with conversion disorder back in 2000. When the doctor stated to me that I had the ability to shut down my body with my mind, I did not want to believe him. The problem I had with this disease/disorder made it more difficult to pin point as to why or how I contracted this condition. It was hard to explain to people with it being closely related to symptoms of Multiple Sclorosis. It wasn't until 2003 after going from job to job and not understanding why I had such a difficult time in keeping a job that I was told this condition was effecting me through stress. I had positions that were highly stressful. I found out that it was true disability that qualifies me for social security. My very first episode occurred when I was in high school. It was right before a major music concert that I was required to participate in for a grade. My mother and my grandmother were still alive and they were called to my school. It was the most difficult thing I ever went through. I could not move my body. I felt as if I was frozen in time. I could hear and still see what was going on around me but I could not respond. My mother was a nurse and the only explaination she could come up with, was that I wanted some attention. I started to believe for a long time that I was going crazy and losing my mind. No one wanted to believe that something was wrong with me. Now that I am 34 years old and going on 35 I must keep my stress level under control or I will go into severe spells of loss of voice, I feel that I am going blind, but when I go to the eye doctor he tells me that I have not changed my eye sight except by a small degree. I pray that some day soon they will come up with a reason why the body does this. When I turn 50 or I am in a nursing home no one will understand why it is I go through what I go through. Thanks for the clear information that helps to explain in clear depth what is going on with me. Now I am able to refer others to this information so they to can understand me. My right hand is not fully functioning, so I will bid you a good night and god bless ... S. Bronson, 28 August 2006

 

 

I have been diagnosed with conversion disorder,after going to 6 Doctors. I thought I was going crazy for awhile but this is really a type of sickness.I've been in a wheelchair since May of 2006.It really gets frustrating,I thought Iwas the only one with this problem.I have something like seizures, sometimes they don't stop and whenthey do I'm very disoriented.I had to get a cather put in because I can no longer go to the bathroom by myself.Is there some type of group for people with this disorder.Please let me know how you get through this ... Renee Wright, 6 March 2007

Comments

Serendip Visitor's picture

PLEASE STOP putting in this

PLEASE STOP putting in this advertisement in every 5 comments!! It's not working when it seems you're trying to sell people a book. And listen to what people are saying. Not all the patients with these symptoms gets anything out of therapy. Therapy is not THE answer to everything so please stop being fanatic about it. This is a forum of discussion. Please.

Mea's picture

Shaking, Studdering, etc...

I got the wonderful news myself today...I did not take it well. I wanted to punch the doctor out to be honest with you! lol
I have suffered from a lot of illness of several different sorts. I have gotten at least a dozen "half-diagnosis" from doctors. Everything from MS, to Seizures, Scar tissue on the brain, Narcolepsy, Cataplexy, Chronic Fatigue/Fybro, etc.
I currently suffer from what appears to be psychogenic seizures. They are in fact real just as the ailments we develop are, just not of epileptic nature. I have dealt with hand tremours, memory loss, blurred vision, weakness or muscle loss in legs, crippling of the legs, seeing things that aren't there...no not like the scary halucinations more like a narcoleptic episode where when you open your eyes in the dark you see forms or movement. I have had a lot of pain, illness and misery. I have had an extremely hard time keeping a job or relationship, had issues with my children for always being sick ( my teenager is sick of it)...etc etc etc. I dont know what to believe at this point. there is the part of me who thinks they are just passing the buck around because they don't want to deal with what they can't figure out. the way my doctor told me wasn't nicely done either. He was almost rude about it. I felt like I was being cross examined in a court room. I was left speechless. I am going back tomorrow for him to give me the explanation I feel I deserve.
I have to admit that there are a lot of things that I can feel I can relate to with conversion disorder, somatization and related diseases. Meanwhile I am sitting here with a pinched nerve in my neck and shoulder and extreme head pain. I still am unsure what to believe.

Beisler's picture

Mother suffering from conversion disorder

My mother was recently found passed out on her living room floor after numerous testing the doctors cannot find any medical causes to her condition. She has been hospitalized for a week now with these passing out spells and spikes in her blood pressure. The doctors are telling us that she may be suffering from a pyschological disorder. Does anyone know if conversion disorder make you actually pass out.

Anonymous's picture

Yes, I know someone. That

Yes, I know someone. That would faint blood pressure would actually go down. If doctor did a series of test and could not find anything my friend. This is most likely to be psychological.

Unforgiving's picture

Conversion Disorder

My daughter was diagnosed with conversion disorder a year ago. She would have up to 3 episodes in one day. She was hospitalized at Primary Children's Hospital for 3 days when she was diagnosed. We got her right in to counseling and her therapist gave some great tips about how to get out of an episode quicker and overcome the weakness faster. When she would have an episode she would tighten all her muscles as best as she could being that she was completely paralyzed and this focus would help her get out of it faster and not be as weak for so long. I had a 6-year stalker which stressed everyone out but she understood better than the other kids what was going on so she was affected more. We moved away after taking the guy to court and winning a stalking injunction and her episodes went away. She had one small episode a few months later but it was short and didn't affect her. It's been over a year since we moved away from the stalker, have not seen a sign of him but she is having episodes on a very regular basis and has missed a lot of school. She's been using a wheelchair for a week now because her legs are so weak she can't use them. Whenever she feels like she wants to walk to use her legs it stresses her body out and she has another episode which puts her back into the chair. She has become EXTREMELY depressed and embarrassed and does not want to return to 6th grade because of the embarrassment. Just thinking about going back to school makes her have another episode...this is a girl who has LOVED school from the very beginning and is a straight A student. Oh gosh what I would give to have this taken from her!!! Not for my sake but for hers. It is breaking my mommy heart. I curse the man who stalked me and did this to her! I want to forgive but it's hard right now.

Tammy's picture

Conversion Disorder.

Three years ago (about a week before my 33rd birthday) the left side of my face went completely numb, this lasted about two weeks. My DR told me I had bellspaulsey and that the numbness would go away. Once the numbness went away I figured I was done with this bizzare little episode but about a week later it (the numbness) came back just like before. My DR got me into a Neuro the next day. The neuro ordered an MRI and found a small spot on the left side of my brainstem. Over time the spot faided and so did the numbness, but I started to experience other symptoms that made me long to only have the numbness back. Severe nerve pain throughout my body, intense muscle spasms in my arms and legs, weakness in my arms and legs and short term memory loss (which was probably caused by the handfulls of narcotic pain killers I was consuming). Anyway, after about 6 months I was able to taper off the narcotic pain killers and was put on antiseizure medication for the nerve pain. After trying 4 different antiseizure meds they finally found one that worked without all the horrible side affects. For the last couple years all seemed to be fine, I still have bad nerve pain if I don't take my meds as directed but the intensity is far less. Then last summer in mid July I started having seizures, my body would contort as if I were posessed and while seizing I would mutter obsenities at those around me. After a couple months we moved into a new house and the seizures seemed to become less frequest and FAR less violent...no more cursing! I do still have almost daily seizures but they are far less violent and I can feel them comming, so I just go lay down for a bit untill they are over. I did all sorts of testing including more MRI's, a spinal tap (which was inconclusive...and no I'm not willing to do it again)! Another test included a week in the hospital to have my seizures monitored my closed circuit television, after wasting my time in a hospital bed away from my family for a week the diagnosis was "conversion disorder". I was FURIOUS that I had just wasted all this time, literaly been through the depths of hell with all the pain and other crazy symptoms and now this Neuro was telling me that it's all "in my mind" ... conversion disorder! After unleashing my fury on my neuro for about 5 minutes he concluded that I should seek help from a mental health professional, I thought he was just responding to the verbal lashing that I had just given him but he was quite serious and sincere. So now after almost 3 and a half years of dealing with symptoms that mocked Multiple Sclerosis including a "spot" on my brainstem and an inconclusive spinal tap I am left with the decision to either seek treatment and be labeled crazy or be told that my neuro was wrong...(which at this point would just make me laugh since nothing surprises me anymore)! I would love to hear back from anyone who has been through treatment for conversion disorder. I would love to hear your story and how treatment may or may not have helped you! Also, if any physicians or Neuros out there happen to read this and have any ideas I welcome your comments or suggestions. Thank You!

Anonymous's picture

If you are unsure get a second opinion

I have not been diagnosed with conversion disorder. I have been diagnosed with ME/CFS. My symptoms have fluctuated over the years and it took sometime to notice that they are related to levels of activity and sensory stimulation plus being upright.

Since you said you were better lying down I suggest you look at Dysautonomia, orthostatic intolerance and maybe ME.

You may have conversion disorder but it pays to have everything else checked and trust your instincts.

Some of the conversion disorder seem readily apparent. Yours does not. I continue
to be frustrated by the lack of understanding of my condition but I do have a good GP who will refer me to relevant people when we can find them.

Good luck to you....

Anonymous's picture

Not crazy....

You said that you are left with the decision between be labeled crazy or being rejected by a neurologist. I wanted to tell you that this is not the true choice in front of you. Conversion disorder is not craziness. It may not have an "organic" or "biological" cause, but it is a real disease, just like MS or anything else like that. To dismiss your disease is to reject treatment, which can truly help you.
It is true that neurologists can do nothing else for you. The role of a neurologist in your disease is to make sure that you do not have epilepsy, MS, stroke, hemorrhage, AVM, tumor, etc. They can do nothing further for you. They cannot give you the supportive therapy, compassion, and medicatal treatment that you need. I think that at this point, the management of your disease is in the hands of a trained Cognitive Behavioral Therapist and a psychiatrist. You will need to work very hard at CBT and be open to the immense capacity of the mind to influence the body. This is the only way that your seizures will resolve and you will be able to function wholly. Your true options are in your own mind: denial and rejection of this devastating and stigmatized disease, or acceptance of the control that your mind has over your body and treatment with CBT and psychiatry.

By the way, I am a medical student doing my neurology/psychiatry rotation. We are not taught that conversion disorder is just people making things up and trying to get attention. We are not taught to stigmatize these patients. We are taught that it is a real disease, just like Somatization Disorder, Pain Disorder, and Hypochondriasis, and just like all of the organic disorders that your neurologists have tested you for. You can overcome this. Or you can reject this.

Anonymous's picture

conversion disorder

In 1989 I had a "stroke" at the age of 46. Again this year 2008 I had the same type of "stroke". I had am MRI. The neurologist came to see me. He told me that according to all his findings I had not had a stroke, nor at anytime in my life had I had a stroke. That my brain looked like that of a 30 year old. I am now 65 years old. He also mention "Conversion Disorder" and said that at my age the true cause of my stress or stressors may be difficult to uncover. He told me that the ball was in my court and I would be the one to decide what I should do. Well, I chose Physotherapy. I am now regularly seeing a psychotherapist. At first I thought I must be mentally insane to produce the signs and symptoms of a "stroke" and not actually have one. I did not consciously desire to be ill. But I am looking at stress in a much different light. I have all my life supressed much of my emotions and true feelings. Feeling that I did not have the right or to be selfish enought to verbally or physically express myself. Who cared how I really felt. Everyone else has enought problems of their own to be burdened with mine. So here I am. Making an effort to find out just who I am and what makes me tick and why is it that I am now included in the diagnosis of Conversion Disorder.

Jan's picture

REASSURING TO HEAR OF OTHERS WITH THE SAME

I'm so glad to have found this website where other people are speaking of problems that sound similar to mine. For 8 months, I have had total absense of 'correct' sensation throughout my body. It feels as though I have undergone an anaesthetic but never quite 'woken up' again. I have difficulty sensing textures and my face is entirely 'asleep'. Same with my skin all over generally. But most noticable on my face and scalp. I can move fine so far but I have lost my sense of smell and taste and cannot feel the roof of my mouth, etc. Sometimes I have pain in my head and behind my face as though nerves are attempting to work but aren't working properly? It feels as though the inside of my head has 'shut down'. I cannot sense inner sensations such as tiredness of limbs, manipulation of muscles, tingling sensations, etc (like when having a massage). It is though I am 'dead' to those sensations. The worst thing is attempting to explain it to outsiders - it sounds so weird that it's virtually impossible to try and make people aware of what you mean and what you are feeling (or rather not feeling!) When it first happened, it was so very frightening! I didn't have a clue what was happening to me and every day I fear something else is going to happen and it will worsen. I have been to doctors, had a brain scan, etc, etc. And nothing physical has been found. I have seen a psychologist and a psychiatrist and even they are puzzled and don't seem to be able to provide me with any firm or definite answers (other than working on a theory that it could be some kind of conversion disorder). However, I must admit that even they aren't certain of this. This only fuels my worry over what has happened because I end up thinking to myself "Who on earth is going to help me?" "What am I supposed to do to try and make it come right again?" It's all so scary. It's not like there's a special pill you can take that will make it all come right again or help to lessen the symptoms. So, what are you supposed to do? I feel so alone and worried by what has happened to me and even though I don't know any of you guys in person, I must say it is something of a relief and comfort to hear about you and realise I am not alone. Thanks, guys. And best of luck to all of you!

Frank's picture

hello

Was very glad to stumble upon this message board and more specifically your post. I have almost the exact same symptoms that you do. While I wish you wouldnt have had to go through this, its nice to know Im not alone. I wonder how you are doing with it now.

Anonymous's picture

I think i have conversion disorder

Hi I am thinking that i have conversion disorder. I am 28 years old and started experiencing syptoms when i was 23. I was and still am in a very stressful relationship in which i underwent extreme emotional abuse and inconsistancy, something i was not used to. I also had a very stressful job that demanded alot out of me and i think i just burnt out. In my case i am unable to walk. My left foot will not rise and turns inward when i walk, so doctors assumed i had foot drop but as it turned out everything was fine including my mri's and ekgs. I have even been to several physical therapist which do not find anything wrong and to be see me as a waste of time. A doctor from johns hopkins was the one that told me i was severely stressed and my husband is some of the cause and he told me to get psychiatric help because my stress is manifesting in physical form. I have not done so but think i will in the near future. I am unable to do what i used to.. i used to be so active and now i am overweight, depressed and frustrated cuz i am unable to walk properly. I want to leave my husband because he now is the main stressor in my life but i do not want my kids to be without their father. If anyone is experiencing this or has any advice please contact me

Tobi's picture

Conversion Disorder

Hi. I haven't actually been diagnosed with conversion disorder, more somatization disorder. I am being treated for anxiety for last 6 years and am on Xanax 2mg per day and Mirtazapine, an anti-depressent. I started getting some weired symptoms about six months ago. I had 3 episodes of distorted vision which lasted just a few minutes, electric shock sensations up the side of my head, I have a numb left hand but can work it perfectly and can feel everything!! I sometimes feel that my legs dont want to work but they do. Recently I have found "fine details" with my left hand a little funny but can still do them. Its all a mystery. I also get quite a bit of chest tightness which has been checked by masses of EKG's recently. I'm hoping my symptoms will not progress any further as I am pretty normal physically at the moment. I do worry a lot and have separation anxiety disorder caused by something in my childhood. I am trying to work through things with a CBT therapist but it is very hard when you think you are doing fine for a while, and then you get another setback, usually caused by something I cannot deal with emotionally. It is a frightening condition. I sometimes am afraid to open my eyes or move in the morning when I wake up in case there is something else wrong !!!. I dont know who I am sending this to but hopefully someone will read my comments.

Anonymous's picture

Medication

Just thought I'd say that you may have probs with your medications (as in side effects). Also I would check to see if you are influenced by anything external - temperature, humidity etc. Also if you have any patterns that may relate to things like menstrual cycle.

Are you better lying down or standing up.

Stress can exacerbate many things.

Anonymous's picture

conversion disorder.....i think

Hi. I have not experienced the symptoms that you have but i feel i might have conversion disorder as well and yes it is very scary and i have had some doctors say that i am a mystery. But after doing research on the net i am starting to diagnois myself and out of everything i have seen conversion disorder seems to be closely related to what i am going through. In my case my left foot is unable to raise when i walk so alot of things had to change in my life. WOrking became difficult everyday household activities not to mention outdoor activities and i used to be very active and outgoing. Now i am somewhat of a hermit going out only when i have to. I am very frightened like yourself and just looking for how to cure myself of this. I am seeing that it is related to personality disorders as well. My PCP said i am suffering from depression and last year i had a panic attack that came out of nowhere. I dont know what to do or what is going on with me. SO what have you been doing now are u still seeing doctors what are u doing to try to deal with your anxiety. I am looking into natural herbs i have high blood pressure now due to stress so i have to watch what i take but i want to try passionflower a herb that is supposed help calm look it up and see if it interests you. Please feel free to contact me look forward to hearing from u

Anonymous's picture

Conversion Disorder...i think

Hi, I just recently came across this message board. I posted last year and did not kno anyone responded back. But I am now 29 and still have EXACT same symptoms even though I attend therapy sessions weekly. We have not gotten into too much "heavy" stuff yet because we are still on the subject of my now EX husband! But I'm still stressed due to the new changes my seperation has brought...I too have been looking into herbal remedies such as passionflower! Have not tried any yet. Have you? I'm just still frustrated that nothing has changed neither gotten better or worse with my foot. Still hard to walk and I still use a leg brace. How are things for you?

consuelo cardenas's picture

conversion disorder

I was just diagnosed with conversation disorder. I have very luittle control of myslf , my speech, I need help. I am working on a undergraduate degree, I can not finish school

Anonymous's picture

Conversion Disrorder

Our son, aged 9, has been diagnosed with a Conversion Disorder. His symptoms began when he was 6 and had been in remission until recently (Nov. 2007) and have been getting progressively worse. He has all the classis symptoms of a Conversion Disorder but none of the causes. We are not convinced that it's totally psychological, though his symptoms do get worse when he's anxious. He's currently hospitalized, on a MedPsyc floor and they're telling us he's anxious and depressed. He wasn't anxious or depressed until these symptoms resurfaced in November, and he's never been an anxious or depressed child (our family and friends can attest to that fact). We've requested an MRI (SPECT) and we're going to request additional blood work. Is there anything we may be missing? Anything anyone can suggest?

Anonymous's picture

diagnosis

I do have to say that I am happy to hear that someone out there is actually thinking in broader terms of Conversion Disorder. I was diagnosed about ten years ago, but my symptoms started at the age of thirty. I am now forty eight. Which if I am correct in my research, I would be classed a chronic. After all these years I have developed peroneal nerve damage which doesn't faded away after a few days. I have spent four years in a wheelchair (I actually have my own now that insurance paid for). I have spent that many years using a walker or cane. I recently had shoulder surgery and recuop is fine, but the physical therapy is causing some havoc. I had to be taken out in a wheelchair when weight was introduced to the therapy. I will say that in all these eighteen years Christ has been a very calming and energizing. Hope all goes well with your life in the years to come, maybe before too long they will have some good breakthroughs.

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