Thursday, April 16, 2009


Conversion Disorder is a psychiatric ailment in which a patient experiences physical symptoms which, upon testing, have no physical cause. Conversion Disorder can cause an amazingly variable array of physical symptoms including blindness, pain, numbness, paralysis or fits.

A diagnosis of Conversion Disorder is made after thorough health screening by doctors to exclude physical or neurological causes for the symptoms.

The following diagnostic criteria have been set for Conversion Disorder by the DSM IV:

  • One or more symptoms or deficits are present that affect voluntary motor or sensory function suggestive of a neurologic or other general medical condition.
  • Psychological factors are judged, in the clinician's belief, to be associated with the symptom or deficit because conflicts or other stressors precede the initiation or exacerbation of the symptom or deficit. A diagnosis where the stressor precedes the onset of symptoms by up to 15 years is not unusual.
  • The symptom or deficit is not intentionally produced or feigned (as in factitious disorder or malingering).
  • The symptom or deficit, after appropriate investigation, cannot be explained fully by a general medical condition, the direct effects of a substance, or as a culturally sanctioned behavior or experience.
  • The symptom or deficit causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning or warrants medical evaluation.
  • The symptom or deficit is not limited to pain or sexual dysfunction, does not occur exclusively during the course of somatization disorder, and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.
Conversion disorder is treated by carefully and neutrally explaining the disorder to the patient, psychological or psychoactive treatment of anxiety/depression, and physiotherapy to alleviate symptoms.

I rate this sick a
1 on my "lethality scale" (1-10)
and a 4 on my "disturbing scale" (1-10)

1 comment: