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Is this normal?

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Is this normal?

Postby Sputnik » Mon Jul 09, 2007 2:01 am

I was just diagnosed with conversion disorder last week, and I'm still in shock. I am 26 years old, and have always been pretty healthy. For about 6 months, I have had trouble opening doors, getting in and out of cars, ect. One month ago I collapsed at work. I was driven to my family doctor, who sent me to the local emergency department. They ordered a battery of tests and sent me home. I stayed home for a two weeks, using a wheelchair to get into work now and then. However, last week I took a turn for the worse and was admitted to another hospital (a teaching hospital in a large city, with a multiple neurologists on staff.) By this time, I was having difficulty holding my head up, talking, and feeding myself. After three days in hospital, I was diagnosed as having conversion disorder. The diagnosing physician was a neurologist whom I saw for a total of seven minutes during my stay. Once I received my diagnosis I was sent home. Physiotherapy has helped, and I am now able to walk a maximum distance of 75 feet, provided I rest for the rest of the day. My family doctor says I will be back camping and kayaking by the end of the summer. I apologize for the long post, but, is this common? So far, my doctors have only done blood tests, CT scans, MRI scan, and an EMG. It just seems so weird - I don't feel depressed, and while my life is kind of stressful right now, it certainly has been worse in the past, and I've seemed to do fine.
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Postby Mic » Sun Sep 02, 2007 6:49 pm

Hi Sputnik,
I don´t know what it was like for the others here, but that pretty much mirrors my experience. The doctors have to rule out stuff like MS and other organic neurological diseases. So you get poked, proded and scanned from head to foot. When they can´t find anything then they start looking at psychogenic causes - e.g. CD. You said in your post that your´re not depressed (I wasn´t either when it started with me - in fact I hadn´t felt better for a long time), but that you´ve been through worse times in the past. I don´t know if there are different forms of CD, but I was told in my case that it was my body´s way of expressing memories of abuse in my childhood, like a bodily flashback. The CD has now virtually disappeared after working through the trauma from back then. It´s definately not easy, but I´ve almost fuly got my life back again plus a little more. :-)
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Just diagnosed with CD

Postby Ugagal » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:45 pm

Hello,

I'm a 37 year old female and I was recently diagnosed with this confusing disorder. Here is what happened....

Approx. 4 weeks ago I began having slight numbness in my left foot and lower leg. I also would have episodes of painful tingling sensations in my left foot that resembled being bitten by ants.
Over the next 2 weeks, I began noticing that I seemed more clumsy than normal. I began frequently tripping over my own feet. Also, my left hand began to tingle and sometimes feel numb.
Finally, one morning at work as I was walking down a flight of stairs, my left foot and leg went completely numb and I took a tumble down the stairs. I was transported to E.R. by ambulance and admited to the hospital for possible stroke. By the following morning, my left arm and hand had weakened to the point where I could not even grasp a cup.

After a normal MRI and ultrasound of cartoid arteries, I was told that I was suffering from CD and was sent home. Needless to say, my family and I are very confused by my diagnosis as I have never been diagnosed with any stress related illness or mental disorder. I'm currently confined to a wheelchair and can only walk short distances with the assistance of a walker.I've had to take a leave of absence from my job as a middle school english teacher. My primary physician has put me on Lexapro 10 mg. daily and has given me some exercises that my husband helps me with each night.

I'm happy to have found this forum as my family and I have been feeling somewhat overwhelmed and alone since my diagnosis.
My physician has never treated anyone with CD and he refers to my problem as being "goofy." He put me on the lexapro yesterday and told me to return for a follow-up visit in one week. Is there anything else we (my family and I) should be doing ?

Thanks in advance for your help,
Amy
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update

Postby Sputnik » Thu Sep 20, 2007 10:26 pm

After having seen several doctors, including 2 neurologists who both diagnosed me with CD, I was referred to a psychiatrist who said that my case was not conversion disorder. They are doing further testing to see what's wrong, however, the current consensus is that a medication I had been taking for over 9 years is causing the problem. The psychiatrist I saw made it very clear that conversion disorders can only be diagnosed and managed by a psychiarist, and that other specialists can only rule out any diseases within thier respective fields. I would reccomend anyone diagnosed with CD to request a referral to a mental healthcare professional, to make sure that the diagnosis is correct.
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Postby nola » Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:05 pm

Well this sounds about right to me. I didnt think I was particularly stressed or depressed, I was at uni, things were good with my boyfriend. Ive not been abused in any way by my family, but I didnt have a good relationship with my dad. My boyfriend was playing a gig one time and I was sitting there watching and then I realised I couldnt move. I couldnt feel my legs but my feet were all clenched. My friends were laughing at me cos they thought I was drunk when my boyfriend had to carry me to their van. I went into hospital and I stayed there for about 3 weeks, while they did blood tests, MRIs, urine tests, lumbar punctures, ECGs etc. The doctor I saw totally thought I was faking, even though they is no way I can clench my feet like that intentionally. It happened again about a month later and during this stay in hospital, they sent a psychiatrist to see me. I got really angry and thought they were saying I was crazy. But I was eventually referred to a neuro-psychologist and a movement specialist and they diagnosed CD and dystonia (muscle spasms). But before that they tried different drugs as they thought I may have had Dopamine Responsive Dystonia so I was on L- Dopa for a while but it didnt help. I was also on a few muscle relaxants and stuff but now Im just on pain killers. It took a while to actually understand what it was and I was quite scared when I read about it. I have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and he says it happens to me because I bottle everything up, and its my body's way of protecting me, kinda like animals that play dead. Thats why I lose my memory and stuff, because my body doesnt want me to remember whats happening. There isnt always a trigger for my episodes, but its usually when Im sad. It really does help asking others on here about their experiences so hopefully things will become easier for you x
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Re: Is this normal?

Postby somebody » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:46 pm

Sputnik wrote:I was just diagnosed with conversion disorder last week, and I'm still in shock. I am 26 years old, and have always been pretty healthy. For about 6 months, I have had trouble opening doors, getting in and out of cars, ect. One month ago I collapsed at work. I was driven to my family doctor, who sent me to the local emergency department. They ordered a battery of tests and sent me home. I stayed home for a two weeks, using a wheelchair to get into work now and then. However, last week I took a turn for the worse and was admitted to another hospital (a teaching hospital in a large city, with a multiple neurologists on staff.) By this time, I was having difficulty holding my head up, talking, and feeding myself. After three days in hospital, I was diagnosed as having conversion disorder. The diagnosing physician was a neurologist whom I saw for a total of seven minutes during my stay. Once I received my diagnosis I was sent home. Physiotherapy has helped, and I am now able to walk a maximum distance of 75 feet, provided I rest for the rest of the day. My family doctor says I will be back camping and kayaking by the end of the summer. I apologize for the long post, but, is this common? So far, my doctors have only done blood tests, CT scans, MRI scan, and an EMG. It just seems so weird - I don't feel depressed, and while my life is kind of stressful right now, it certainly has been worse in the past, and I've seemed to do fine.



Not common, but good news are that you will indeed be back "camping and kayaking", probably only in a matter of a few months.

You were prompt to receive treatment and your symptoms are very severe, which for conversion disorder means full recovery:)
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Re: Is this normal?

Postby nola » Sat Nov 03, 2007 7:32 pm

[quote="somebody]

Not common, but good news are that you will indeed be back "camping and kayaking", probably only in a matter of a few months.

You were prompt to receive treatment and your symptoms are very severe, which for conversion disorder means full recovery:)[/quote]

Dont you think that is a bit misleading? You shouldnt go round saying saying 'You will be better in a few months', Anyone with CD knows how unpredictable it is, so you can never be sure how recovery will go. I know you are probably just trying to be reassuring, but maybe you shouldnt get peoples hopes up like that. Sputnik may well be better in a few months, but if they arent, they will be wondering why, cos you said they would be ok. A little re-wording may be order....
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Re: Is this normal?

Postby c1asia » Sat May 05, 2012 8:16 pm

I was diagnosed with conversion disorder a few months ago. I have various symptoms which are all a bit of a pain as they occur everyday around the same time. Like you I didn't feel depressed or mentally unwell and I had no history of mental health problems. I became ill during a summer vacation, where nothing traumatising had occurred. When I returned I was taken into hospital several times and tests showed there were no 'organic' causes. Essentially, although I thought I was fine, other than everyday stress from work, something which happened along time ago was unconsciously bothering me. As it has been explained to me conversion disorder occurs due to severe stress or trauma being suppressed and therefore lives unconsciously. We cannot access our unconscious and so this stress comes out in symptoms such as that of a conversion disorder. For me, this was an event with a past friend which I believed I had dealt with. There was no existing stress which I felt towards the event and it didn't make me act in any weird ways. Conversion Disorders are basically complicated, it may be something which happened a long time ago and you may not be aware of it on a day to day basis. It may not even be a horrendous event, but more of a 'difficult time'. The best thing to do is to go with what the doctors are saying, if you don't agree with what they're saying then say, but make sure you talk to them. Psychotherapy and other treatments do work. I've not started my psychotherapy, but have been talking to a temporary therapist and to be honest I do feel slightly better even over the period of a few months, things that I didn't realise were bothering me have been spoken about and it gives you a chance to vent. At the beginning I was a complete skeptic, and it might be weird to be told that you have something like a conversion disorder but it doesn't mean you crazy.
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