Adult Conversion Disorder-Apollo Hospitals Blog

What is Conversion Disorder?

A “functional neurological symptom” disorder or conversion disorder is a rare mental state in which the subconscious emotional conflict is manifested by a change or loss of physical function. Physical or psychological tests cannot explain these symptoms or signs. This is primarily a neuropathy in the body where the brain is unable to properly send and receive signals, which makes the patient feel unable to use their senses.

Previously, conversion disorder was characterized as a mental disorder, but current research and research has made conversion disorder perceived as a disorder in its own right. Care and treatment of patients with conversion disorders includes areas of both neurology and psychiatry.

What are the symptoms of conversion disorder?

Conversion disorder occurs suddenly and resembles problems related to the nervous system. Some of the symptoms of conversion disorder are:

  • Blindness
  • Loss of speech or smell
  • Unable to control movement
  • paralysis
  • Lack of balance
  • Urinary retention
  • Deafness
  • Seizures
  • Loss of touch and pain
  • Hallucination
  • Chronic pain
  • Shivering and cramping
  • Sleep related problems
  • Memory related issues
  • Migraine and severe headache

When should I see your doctor?

It is best to see a doctor immediately after observing such symptoms. You will need to get help from your family and friends while you see your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist and evaluate you for the correct treatment. It is best to accept questions from your doctor so that your condition can be diagnosed accurately.

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What Causes Conversion Disorder?

Research continues to understand this disorder, but most researchers believe that conversion disorder is the method the brain chooses to deal with emotional stress. Therefore, stress, along with mental illness, causes conversion disorder in adults.

Women are more likely to suffer from conversion disorders than men. Conversion disorder also has a long history of emotional stress and is more likely to occur in people who are unable to talk about their emotions or solve problems.

In essence, conversion disorder can result from both biological and non-biological factors, including:

  1. Learning theory. This refers to a coping mechanism developed in childhood to deal with impossible situations and illnesses.
  2. Biological factors. Specific biological factors such as impaired communication in the cerebral hemisphere and increased cortical arousal. These reduce the ability of the body to detect sensations. Some of the disorders associated with neuropsychology occur as a result of these factors.
  3. Psychoanalytic factors. These factors refer to symptoms that are symbolically associated with emotional or psychological conflict.

How to Diagnose Conversion Disorder in Adults?

There is no specific diagnostic test to confirm conversion disorder, but doctors confirm his diagnosis by denying the possibility of other mental disorders or conditions. The American Psychiatric Association has designed criteria to confirm the presence of conversion disorders. They are:

  • Uncontrollable movement
  • Unexplained symptoms
  • Fully aware that the symptoms are not forged
  • No cause for other mental health problems
  • Stress in the workplace and social environment

Many tests will be done on you to accurately assess your condition. These tests are:

  1. Physical examination and understanding of the patient’s medical history
  2. Computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans provide detailed images of the brain to rule out signs of stroke, tumors, or other illnesses that can cause such symptoms. Offers.
  3. Electroencephalography (EEG) is also recommended for patients to test their brain for evidence of seizures.

How is Conversion Disorder Treated?

The first step in treating a conversion disorder is to correctly identify the conversion disorder. It is important not to stress yourself, knowing that there is nothing wrong with your body. Calming down relieves stress and symptoms. In addition to this, you can talk to your doctor about treatments to make you feel better.

Some of the psychotherapy techniques that your doctor will prescribe are:

  • Physical therapy
  • Regular counseling
  • Hypnosis
  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • Stress management technology
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy for limbs and movements
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

How long will conversion disorder last?

Symptoms of conversion disorder usually do not last very long. They surface and disappear as soon as they surface. This is especially true if the symptoms recur with certain stress stimuli. Symptoms such as blindness and paralysis do not last long. Other minor symptoms, such as tremors in the limbs, may last longer, depending on the patient’s health.


Most patients suffering from conversion disorder get better.

Conversion disorders are not permanent and can improve quickly and significantly in the short term.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

● How can hypnosis help treat conversion disorders?

Hypnosis is one of the treatments used for conversion disorders. Hypnosis is used to relieve and improve the symptoms of conversion disorder in adults. It encourages patients to focus on the image and distracts them from other thoughts. It is advisable to undergo hypnosis with a trained professional.

● Do antidepressants help treat conversion disorders?

Minimal research has confirmed the positive effects of drug therapy in the treatment of conversion disorders. Nevertheless, antidepressants have been shown to succeed if you have it as a psychological condition with depression, insomnia, or other mood disorders.

● If I have a conversion disorder, do I get drug addiction?

Currently, there is no evidence that conversion disorder leads to addiction, which leads to substance abuse. If not treated or diagnosed, patients are at increased risk of taking harmful drugs.

● Is it possible to treat patients with conversion disorder or substance abuse?

Patients may also suffer from substance abuse and conversion disorders, albeit in small numbers. It is highly recommended that such individuals seek immediate medical attention and treat both disorders at the same time.

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