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Regular version of the site

Book chapter

Conversion disorders

P. 277-285.
Yakobov E., Jurcik, T., Sullivan M.

Conversion disorder is defined by one or more physical symptoms that are not under voluntary control and are not thought to be caused by neurological or medical conditions. The key feature of this disorder is thus the incongruence between presented symptomology and medical conceptualizations of organic diseases. The most commonly observed conversion symptoms include blindness, psychogenic non-epileptic seizures, paralyses, unresponsiveness, anesthesia, aphonia, and abnormal gait. There is no unified model for conversion disorder and its conceptualization relies on psychological, social, and biological factors. The onset of the symptoms is sudden, and is often preceded by either psychological or physical trauma. The diagnosis of conversion disorder is often problematic. Since the presenting symptoms of this psychiatric disorder are neurological, a full diagnosis often requires collaboration between a psychiatrist and a neurologist. Once the diagnosis has been made several treatment options may be considered. While there are no specific pharmacological or psychological treatments for conversion disorder, case reports suggest that a multidisciplinary approach in rehabilitation settings with an emphasis on maximizing physical function appear to be most beneficial.

In book

Springer Publishing Company, 2016.