Conversion disorder symptoms may appear suddenly after a stressful event or trauma, whether physical or psychological. Signs and symptoms that affect movement function may include:
- Weakness or paralysis
- Abnormal movement, such as tremors or difficulty walking
- Loss of balance
- Difficulty swallowing or "a lump in the throat"
- Seizures or convulsions
- Episode of unresponsiveness
Signs and symptoms that affect the senses may include:
- Numbness or loss of the touch sensation
- Speech problems, such as inability to speak or slurred speech
- Vision problems, such as double vision or blindness
- Hearing problems or deafness
When to see a doctor
It's best to seek medical attention as soon as you notice signs and symptoms that might be caused by conversion disorder. If the underlying cause is something physical, quick diagnosis and treatment may be important. If the diagnosis is conversion disorder, then psychological help may improve the symptoms and prevent future episodes.
Feb. 27, 2014
- Conversion disorder. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Stone J, et al. Conversion disorder in adults: Treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Papadakis MA, et al. Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment. 53rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://accessmedicine.com/popup.aspx?aID=13512&print=yes. Accessed Sept. 14, 2013.
- Feinstein A. Conversion disorder: advances in our understanding. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2011;183:915.
- Alarcon RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 11, 2013.
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