Category Archives: Advice

Conversion Disorder, Somatic Symptoms and Related Disorders

I was diagnosed with Conversion Disorder a few years ago. It was something I didn’t want to accept. I’ve come to terms with it lately but still wonder if it’s the correct diagnosis. I did see two Doctors who both diagnosed me with Conversion Disorder. They didn’t know at the time that I had Celiac Disease. I didn’t know either. Some of my symptoms are the same as seen in some Celiac sufferers. So I’m back to square one. I’m posting some of what I hope are helpful steps for people like me. It’s important to advocate for yourself no matter what.

1. A person with Conversion Disorder has Neurological symptoms that aren’t related to any known neurological condition. This is according to the American Psychiatric Association.

2. Symptoms- Uncontrolled motions, speech difficulties, paralysis, loss of vision/hearing, and weakness.

3. Diagnosing- Doctors must rule out other neurological diseases and make sure the symptoms are not being intentionally faked.

4. Diagnosis of women outnumbers men by more than 2:1.

SUGGESTIONS

1. Trust your intuition. If you can’t find a conflicting anxiety that you’ve “repressed” (which is unlikely) then press for more testing.

2. Keep a journal of your signs and symptoms.

3. Some will think you’re a “hypochondriac”. YOU ARE NOT! You’re responsible for your own health and have to be proactive.

4. True Conversion Disorder is actually rare and often accompanied by other mental illness and extreme emotional trauma earlier in life.

DOCTORS

1. Ask questions! There is no reason why all your reasonable questions should not be answered.

2. Don’t talk about how stressed you are and try not to let the conversation wander off in the area of “feelings” or “relationships”. Be honest but focused.

3. Your aim is an accurate diagnosis not assumptions or judgment.

4. Be aware that patients who raise reasonable and justified complaints and questions can find that they encounter resistance from doctors and Insurance companies.

5. If your doctor isn’t listening find another one who will! Get a second or even third opinion.

I personally have come across most of these issues and I hope this will be helpful to people like me. It’s been a difficult journey and it isn’t over yet. I’m still searching for answers as my health gets worse. So if this can help one person I’ll be happy.

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