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Conversion Disorder


Conversion disorder is a condition that causes you to have symptoms of nerve problems you cannot control. It may also be called functional neurologic symptom disorder. The nerve problems are not caused by a medical condition. A stressful or traumatic event usually triggers these problems. Your risk for conversion disorder is higher if you have depression, an anxiety disorder, or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your signs or symptoms come back after treatment.
  • You have new or worsening signs or symptoms.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


You may need any of the following:

  • Antianxiety medicine can help control or prevent anxiety. This medicine is sometimes given as a pill you can take only when you feel anxiety. You may instead be given medicine to take regularly to prevent anxiety.
  • Antidepressants can help improve mood if you have depression.
  • Mood stabilizers can help keep your mood stable. This may help you handle stressful situations more easily.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage conversion disorder:

Signs and symptoms of conversion disorder usually last a short time, and treatment is not needed. The following may help you manage conversion disorder and reduce your symptoms:

  • Therapy can help you work through any anxiety or stress you may be feeling. A therapist will talk with you about anything difficult that is happening now or that happened in the past. You can talk with the therapist about what you did to handle the stress. The therapist may also help you understand how your signs and symptoms are related to how you are feeling. You may be able to learn new ways to handle anxiety or stress. You may have therapy alone or with members of your family. You may learn to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
  • Physical or occupational therapy can help you as you recover. A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help build muscles or improve balance. An occupational therapist can help you learn new ways to do your daily activities until your symptoms are gone.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Conversion Disorder (Aftercare Instructions)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.