Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

For many people, symptoms of conversion disorder get better without treatment, especially after reassurance from the doctor that their symptoms aren't caused by a serious underlying problem, and after referral to a mental health professional.

You may benefit from treatment if you have conversion disorder signs and symptoms that linger or keep coming back, you have severe symptoms, or you have other mental or physical health conditions. Treatment will depend on your particular signs and symptoms and may include:

  • Counseling (psychotherapy). Seeing a psychologist or professional counselor can help treat symptoms of conversion disorder and prevent it from coming back. This can be especially helpful if you also have anxiety, depression or other mental health issues.
  • Physical therapy. Working with a physical therapist may prevent complications of certain symptoms of conversion disorder. For example, regular movement of arms or legs may ward off muscle tightness and weakness if you have paralysis or loss of mobility.
  • Treating related stress and other conditions. Conversion disorder may improve when you get treatment for stress, anxiety or another underlying problem. Your doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medications, antidepressants or other drugs as part of your treatment plan, depending on your individual health profile.
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation. Some reports show that people with conversion disorder may benefit from this type of treatment, which involves exciting brain activity by using weak electrical currents that are said to alter the brain's biochemistry. However, this approach is still in an early stage regarding its use in the management of conversion disorder.
Feb. 27, 2014