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Conversion Disorder

AMBULATORY CARE:

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).

Common signs and symptoms of conversion disorder:

  • Numbness or loss of feeling in a body area
  • Blindness or tunnel vision
  • Hearing problems or deafness
  • Not being able to speak
  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Tremors or jerking motions you cannot control
  • Seizures or spells
  • Trouble walking

How conversion disorder is managed:

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.
  • Medicines are sometimes used to help control anxiety or to improve your mood. These medicines are used together with therapy or other treatments.

Follow up with your healthcare provider 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.

Further information

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

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