Conversion disorder is a psychological condition that occurs when mental or emotional distress causes physical symptoms without obvious or known organic causes. Patients experience difficulties controlling their physical responses. Their bodies may experience speech impairment, paralysis, or tremors, and any reactions involving senses and motor control.
Conversion disorder, also known as functional neurological symptom disorder, is a relatively rare mental disorder. Statistics indicate about two to five out of 100,000 people experience the symptoms every year.
Causes of Conversion Disorder
Usually, no underlying physical condition, such as an injury, tremors, or paralysis, exists. Instead, the physical symptoms occur due to emotional trauma, depression, or stress. The body responds to something it perceives as a threat.
Symptoms usually affect voluntary motor and sensory function. They may appear and then disappear abruptly, without any physiological cause.
The physical symptoms occur as the body’s defensive way of controlling unresolved stress or emotions that caused the disorder.
- Tremors and abnormal walking
- Seizures or convulsions
- Poor coordination and loss of balance
- Slurred speech
- Feeling of unresponsive
- Double vision or partial loss of sight
- Trouble hearing
- Loss of touch, smell, voice
- Difficulties swallowing
- Feeling fatigued or paralyzed
Some specific principles used to diagnose conversion disorder include:
- The presence of at least one symptom of motor or sensory impairment.
- Symptoms are caused by significant distress.
- Symptoms are not associated with physical disease, neurological condition, or drug addiction.
- The diagnosis of symptoms doesn’t clarify other psychological or physical conditions.
Prevention of Conversation Disorder
The best way to prevent conversion disorder is to know how to control its causes, such as relieving stress and avoiding emotional trauma. Additional preventive methods may include:
- receiving treatment for any emotional or mental disorders such as stress and depression
- ensuring you stay in a peaceful and safe environment
- developing and sustaining positive relationships
- maintaining a good work and life balance
- having a secure and calm family atmosphere
Sometimes, you may find it challenging to prevent some of these measures. However, if you can control any of the above methods, you will find it easy to manage those that seem challenging. If you try solving stress and emotional trauma as possible, you will become effective in preventing conversion disorder.
One crucial point to note is that conversion disorder is not a lasting disorder. If you realize you have severe or persistent symptoms, treatment is essential, depending on individual symptoms.
At times, symptoms may improve even without treatment, and most people usually feel better with time and after receiving encouragement. The most common types of treatment approaches include:
- Physical therapy
- Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation (NIBS) Methods
- Coping strategies
Final Thoughts from the Recover
Typically, conversion disorder doesn’t last long, with some symptoms lasting for less than two days. However, ensure to seek treatment immediately when symptoms show up.
The earlier you begin treatment, the better your results. Obtaining better treatment will eventually prevent the occurrence of symptoms or stop them completely.
If you or a loved one struggle with conversion disorder, seek support from available rehab centers near you. Rehab centers have professional therapists or psychiatrists who can deal with all sorts of mental or emotional disorders. Therefore inquire if they have the treatment options available in their programs.