Herbs have magnificent healing powers and can be used to treat many serious yet common ailments and to boost your health.

What is a Conversion Reaction or Conversion Disorder?

Mental Health > What is a Conversion Reaction or Conversion Disorder?

A conversion reaction or conversion disorder is characterized by the loss of a bodily function that is involuntary, but for which there is no biological explanation. This disorder can occur at any age in either gender and in any personality. A patient with this disorder might suddenly become blind, paralyzed or develop an inability to speak for example.

At least one symptom or deficit of sensory or voluntary motor function usually causes physicians to suspect a neurological or general medical condition. However, when thorough investigation does not find a neurological or general medical explanation, a conversion reaction can become the focal point of the patient study.

When some kind of serious conflict or other stressor occurs before the onset of this condition, it is logical to think that some psychological factors might be involved.

Patients who develop this condition are not consciously faking the symptoms. The don’t present with the symptoms for material gain or cultural acceptance. In fact, when a patient presents with such a condition it is serious enough to warrant medical evaluation. It can cause distress that is clinically important or impair social, occupational or personal functioning.

People with a conversion disorder might present with sensory symptoms such as anesthesia, excessive sensitivity to strong stimulation or the loss of sense of pain. Sometimes they present with tingling or crawling sensations. 

Motor symptoms might also be involved and include arms, legs and vocal chords. Disorganized mobility without biological explanation can be an indication as can tremors, tics and involuntary twitches.

Visceral symptoms will include swallowing, burping or violent coughing or vomiting spells.

What Causes a Conversion Disorder

When a conversion disorder is developed, physical symptoms are caused by psychological conflict. The illness was once referred to as hysteria.

A might suffer one episode in a lifetime or several sporadic episodes might occur. When people with a conversion reaction are hospitalized, they usually get better in about two weeks. For some people, the symptoms become chronic.

It can be very difficult for a doctor to make this diagnosis because the person believes that symptoms stem from a physical problem and usually doesn’t want to be seen by a therapist. Doctors must take great care to make sure there is no physical disorder. Before diagnosis of a conversion reaction is made, the doctor might perform many tests to make sure there is no organic cause for the symptoms.

When this condition exists, it is critical that a patient trust the medical care provider. The doctor must be able to reassure the patient and help the patient discover the underlying cause of the symptoms. Psychotherapy can be particularly effective for patients with a conversion reaction.

No treatment methods for this disorder have been effective for every patient, but the patient must feel secure in his or her surroundings in order to begin to work on the deep underlying psychological issues that caused the conversion reaction to begin and in order to prevent future recurrences.

Mental Health > What is a Conversion Reaction or Conversion Disorder?