Conversion disorder, also called functional neurological symptom disorder, is a condition in which you show psychological stress by physical methods. The condition was named to describe a health problem that starts as a mental or emotional crisis – a scary or stressful incident of some sort. – And it turns into a physical problem

For example, in violation of the conversion, your leg may become paralyzed after a fall from a horse, even if you were not physically injured. Because conversion disorder signs and symptoms appear without any underlying physical cause, you can not control them.

Signs and symptoms of conversion disorder usually affect your movement or your feelings, such as the ability to walk, swallow, see or hear. Symptoms of conversion disorder can vary in severity and may come and go or be persistent. The result may be better in younger children than in adolescents and adults. According to some experts, most people get better with immediate and proper management.

Conversion disorder


Conversion disorder symptoms

Symptoms of conversion disorder may appear suddenly after a stressful event or injury, whether physical or psychological. Signs and symptoms that affect the motion function may include:

  • Weakness or paralysis
  • Abnormal movement such as tremors or difficulty walking
    Loss of balance
  • Difficulty swallowing or ‘lump in the throat
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Immunity episode


Signs and symptoms that affect the senses may include:

  • Numbness or loss of sensation of touch
  • Speech problems, such as the inability to speak or slurred speech
  • Vision problems such as double vision or blindness
  • Hearing problems or deafness

When to see a doctor

it is best to consult a doctor as soon as you notice signs and symptoms caused by a conversion disorder. If the main reason is that the physical, fast diagnosis and treatment may be necessary. If the diagnosis of conversion disorder, the psychological treatment can improve symptoms and prevent future episodes.


Conversion disorder Causes

Episodes of conversion disorder are almost always caused by a stressful event, emotional conflict, or other mental health disorders such as depression.

The exact cause of conversion disorder is unknown, but a part of the brain that controls your muscles and sensory organs may be involved. This may be a way for the brain to respond immediately to what seems like a threat.


Risk factors for conversion disorder

Conversion disorder risk factors include:

  • Recent significant stress or emotional trauma
  • Women are much more likely to develop conversion disorder
  • With mental health, such as mood or anxiety disorders, dissociative disorders, or specific personality disorders
  • Having a neurological disease that causes similar symptoms, such as epilepsy
  • After a family member with conversion disorder
  • History of physical or sexual abuse and neglect in childhood


Conversion disorder Test and Diagnosis

To be diagnosed with conversion disorder, you must meet the criteria of symptoms in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This guide, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is used by mental health providers to diagnose mental conditions and insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

To be diagnosed with conversion disorder:

  • You must have one or more symptoms that can not control that affect the body’s movement or your feelings, which other medical or neurological conditions can not explain.
  • Your symptoms can be associated with stressful events or trauma, or physical or psychological, although it can not always be the case.
  • All of you do not produce symptoms on purpose or get some benefit from the alleged symptoms.
  • Your symptoms are not fully explained by a general medical condition, drug, or culturally accepted behaviors, such as those experienced in the religious ritual.
  • Your symptoms should cause significant stress or difficulty in social, work, or other settings.
  • Another mental health problem doesn’t better explain your symptoms. In this case, psychological tests must be requested by a specialist in the field of mental health.


There is no standard test to check for conversion disorder. The tests will depend on what signs and symptoms you have – the main aim is to prevent any medical or neurological disease. Tests may include:
  • Simple tests – These tests do not require any special equipment and are quick and painless. For example, the doctor will examine the reflexes to avoid the physical cause of your signs and symptoms.
  • X-rays or other imaging tests can help your doctor confirm that your symptoms are not caused by trauma or neurological or other physical conditions that can cause similar symptoms.
  • EEG scan – EEG can help to eliminate the cause of neurological symptoms attack. This test procedure is painless for the detection of electrical activity in the brain. It is used for testing epilepsy and other brain diseases.

Diagnosis can be difficult because the physician should be excluded from medical conditions from a physical cause.


Conversion disorder can mimic a variety of other health problems, such as:

  • Myasthenia gravis – muscle weakness disorder
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome – a rare disease in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves
  • Neurological disorders – such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Erythematosus
  • Spinal cord injury


Conversion Disorder Treatments and drugs

For many people, the symptoms of conversion disorder are better without treatment, especially after assurances by doctors that a severe underlying problem does not cause their symptoms, and then in the direction of professional mental health.

You can benefit from the treatment, if you have conversion disorder signs and symptoms that linger or keep returning, you have severe symptoms, or have any other mental or physical health condition. Treatment will depend on your particular signs and symptoms and may include:


  • Counseling

Seeing a psychologist or professional counselor can help treat the symptoms of conversion disorder also prevent it from coming back. This can be especially useful if you also have anxiety, depression, or other mental health problems.

  • Physical therapy

Work with a physical therapist can prevent the complications of some of the symptoms of conversion disorder. For example, regular movement of the hands or feet can prevent muscle density and weakness if you have paralysis or loss of mobility.

  • Treatment-related stress and other conditions

Conversion disorder may improve when you treat stress, anxiety, or some other major problem. For example, your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, or other drugs as part of your treatment plan, depending on your health profile.

  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Some reports indicate that people with conversion disorder may benefit from this type of treatment, which includes the exciting activity of the brain by using weak electric currents, which are said to alter the brain’s biochemistry. However, this approach is still at an early stage about its use in managing the conversion disorder.


Preparing for your appointment

You will probably start to see your primary care physician. If your doctor can not determine a diagnosis, You can refer to a neurologist or psychiatrist. In some cases, as a neurologist and psychiatrist, it is necessary to eliminate the underlying neurological condition and verify this conversion disorder or other psychological condition.


What can you do

To prepare for the appointment, make a list:

  • Any symptoms you are having, including any that may not appear to relate to cause your destination
  • Key personal, family, and social information, including any significant stresses or recent life changes
  • All drugs, vitamins, or other supplements you’re taking
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.


Prepare a list of questions ahead of time to make the most of your time together. Some basic questions to ask your doctor include :

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition
  • Are there other possible causes
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatment approach do you recommend?
  • If I need to take medication, what are the main side effects?
  • There is a common alternative to the medicine your purpose?
  • How long do I need treatment?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of recurrence of symptoms?
  • Should I see a specialist? Will my insurance cover it?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can have? What sites do you recommend?

Do not hesitate to ask your doctor questions during the interview.


What can we expect from your doctor

To make the most of your time, be prepared to answer the questions your doctor may ask, for example:

  • What are your symptoms
  • When did you first notice these symptoms?
  • As your symptoms changed over time?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What do you think could be causing your symptoms?
  • Have you recently experienced significant stress or trauma?
  • Have you been diagnosed with any other disease or mental health problems?
  • Do you use alcohol or recreational drugs you? How often?
  • Have any of your relatives been diagnosed with mental health problems?
  • What do you think you can do for yourself in this situation?


Complications conversion disorder

In some cases, especially if not treated quickly enough, conversion disorder symptoms can lead to significant disability, similar to that caused by medical conditions.



Conversion disorder is usually triggered by a reaction to some stress or injury. Relieving stress activities such as meditation and yoga can help reduce this response to the event to encourage the symptoms of conversion disorder. In general, however, the best way to prevent this is to seek and maintain a good quality of life, a stable family environment, social contacts, and work-life balance.

If you have other terms of mental health, make sure you get the right treatment. Treatment may include counseling and medication.