Conversion Disorder

  • Conversion disorder (functional neurological symptom disorder)
  • Common Symptoms
  • Weakness and/or paralysis
  • Non-epileptic seizures
  • Movement disorders
  • Speech or visual impairment
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Sensory disturbances
  • Cognitive symptoms
  • Symptoms of altered neurological function - voluntary motor or sensory
  • Often precipitated by psychological stressor
  • Not feigned or intentionally produced (as in factitious disorder or malingering)
  • Findings incompatible with recognized neurological conditions
  • Symptoms cause significant social or occupational impairment

Comparison of Somatic Disorders

Somatic symptom disorder Excessive anxiety & preoccupation with > 1 unexplained symptoms
Illness anxiety disorder Fear of having a serious illness despite few or no symptoms and consistently negative investigations
Conversion disorder Neurologic symptom incompatible with any known neurologic disease; often acute onset associated with stress
Factitious disorder Intentional falsification or inducement of symptoms with goal to assume sick role
Malingering Falsification or exaggeration of symptoms to obtain external incentives (secondary gain)
  • Education & self-help techniques - first-line
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy - second-line
  • Physical therapy for motor symptoms