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DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby Shadowlands » Fri Jun 28, 2024 11:29 am

..or Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) as it’s called now.


I’ll put this here incase it helps others as not everyone may read through people’s personal journals. Sorry it’s a bit long but I think important to anyone else who possibly had both.

So I have discovered we do have Functional Neurological Disorder. It also seems the host at the time of the initial attack (which was misdiagnosed twice!) did not know of the others inside let alone how to blend or work together at the front.

Because we did not know we were misdiagnosed and had a condition where distraction would have worked our alters did not understand what was happening when one by chance emerged in middle of night and went straight to the loo without thinking then realised there was a wheelchair by the bed when they came back in the (still dark) bedroom. ..because another alter was getting triggered by the doorbell (when carers arrived) and because there was no memory between alters coming out no connection was made for years!

I’m not sure of the exact point when we achieved one alter being able to stay out long enough in the background without the hosting one being aware of them, or for the background one to realise the hosting one had completely different level of ability …or the point at which at least one alter got any control of when they could intentionally switch out to take over the front, but at some point this happened for at least one to be able to stay out for more controlled amounts of time.

Still without knowing what FND was they probably discovered that when more than one was at the front they had even more ability but as we are an highly covert system and had a good life and didn’t wish to be locked up they couldn’t stay out the entire time.

The theory on FND (in general) is that if you distract the brain it allows the affected limb to act in a normal way eg a leg that drags, shakes or has ‘limb weakness’ when you try to focus on standing up or walking normally may stop doing so if your brain is occupied with something else whilst you are walking.

On many sites dealing with non-plural people they try things like putting someone on a treadmill or telling them to sing as they walk etc. but what if as a plural system …other alters could act as ‘the distraction’?

One is pretending to focus on the action (of standing up to walk into another room for example) who is not the one with actual executive control of the body ..another is distracting the brain while it’s trying to work out why it can’t make the legs shake etc ..whilst a third alter actually just takes control of the body then can walk into the other room ..whilst the brain is still trying to work out what the heck’s going on! :shock: …as we’re then all actively talking to each other whilst doing stuff eg cooking dinner in the kitchen …the part of the brain responsible for the FND remains completely distracted and unable to focus on disrupting the signals!

The system has effectively learned how to ‘bypass’ the FND… however when in the outside world dealing with people who don’t know we’re a system we have to be only a single person..in the past that meant the others alters disappearing from the front ..leaving the host then back at the mercy of the FND mechanism to strike …the outside person is focused on them, they are focused on themself and presenting as expected ..FND kicks back in and wins that round..until the outside people are got rid of ..or appointment over and other alters can return to the front to help.

Creating a situation that looks from the outside (if they could see other alters coming out when home alone) that some alters are less disabled than the body publicly appears to be?

I thought this explanation may help others who have been accused of ‘faking it’ or themselves wonder if they were pretending etc.. or maybe they haven’t reached the stage where they have alters working together and can’t see how they could recover from the FND.

Hope it helps someone!
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Jun 28, 2024 1:01 pm

There are a few informations about this in "the haunted self" if I remember properly. In dissociation, not every alter has access to every abilities of the brain and that can include the ability to walk, talk, read an analog clock, write, read, see...

Apparently FND covers every neuro- and psycho- cause of the symptom because there are many ways to disrupt the neuronal connexions that allow the brain to access specific abilities :O

But apparently FND covers less types of symptoms than can be found in DID? So there is an overlap but not a complete one. It's interesting!

Apparently there is a website by the specialist of FND and it's this one: https://neurosymptoms.org/en/ Sounds so interesting!

Thanks for bringing this up and teaching us about the new terminology!
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby Shadowlands » Fri Jun 28, 2024 2:04 pm

ArbreMonde wrote:There are a few informations about this in "the haunted self" if I remember properly. In dissociation, not every alter has access to every abilities of the brain and that can include the ability to walk, talk, read an analog clock, write, read, see...

Apparently FND covers every neuro- and psycho- cause of the symptom because there are many ways to disrupt the neuronal connexions that allow the brain to access specific abilities :O

But apparently FND covers less types of symptoms than can be found in DID? So there is an overlap but not a complete one. It's interesting!

Apparently there is a website by the specialist of FND and it's this one: https://neurosymptoms.org/en/ Sounds so interesting!

Thanks for bringing this up and teaching us about the new terminology!



Yes I believe even in systems without FND too, different alters can have different abilities. I guess when we presented at hospital we did not have any symptoms of DID so they were looking for a physical cause.

Where did you read about FND covering every neuro and psycho cause of symptoms …but less than DID does? I’m not sure what you mean by this? What is the overlap?

I have seen the neuro symptoms website and been watching the videos. I believe it’s possible our past hosts also found that site and us 3 finding ourselves up front may have been their attempt to come up with a solution to banish all FND symptoms possibly???
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Jun 28, 2024 2:43 pm

[ quote="Shadowlands"]Where did you read about FND covering every neuro and psycho cause of symptoms …but less than DID does? I’m not sure what you mean by this? What is the overlap?[/quote]

I might have misunderstood the infos on the websites due to "lost in translation" about the "very neurological and psychological cause of the symptoms".

The list of symptoms of FND seem to include only motor skills issues. While in DID one can has sensory issues too. So the overlap is on motor skills issues. Or maybe I missed some informations somewhere, that's very much possible.
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby Shadowlands » Fri Jun 28, 2024 7:09 pm

If you go on neurosymptoms.org site on the green banner it says ‘stories’ in the middle …

On that page (even if you don’t read all the stories) it shows what their story is about and mentions… functional seizures (non-epileptic), dissociative attacks, Blackouts, tremors, jerks, dystonia, functional gait disorder, functional movement disorder. Tremor, weakness cognitive symptoms, speech, complex regional pain syndrome, memory problems to name but a few (not all in the same person!)

It’s split into categories so the stories about dissociative type symptoms are at the top under the first heading ‘Functional seizures’. I don’t think any of them have DID though I think they just experienced dissociation like being spaced out etc?

‘Cathy’s Story’ under heading Functional Cognitive Disorder further down is about sensory sensitivity, cognitive issues.

There are some different language options at the top right of the page. I’ve tried googling DID and FND together etc but not found much.


I found one report on pubmed (National Library of Medicine) saying there had been elevated rates of dissociative symptoms and Co-morbid dissociative disorders in people with FND.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9798224/

I’m not sure how you’d know which symptoms were coming from DID and which from FND if a person had both?
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby ArbreMonde » Sat Jun 29, 2024 8:28 am

OK I found some answers. TL;DR: if you can prove you have trauma it's called "conversion disorder" and part of the trauma package; if you can't remember trauma (yet) it's called FND so you can still get help.

Apparently "conversion disorder" and FND are two different things. That's why I got so confused and misunderstood so many things. CD is used when there is a known history of trauma and FND when there is no known history of trauma. Note that because there is no KNOWN history of trauma it does not mean there isn't any trauma whatsoever, it only means that the doctors can now diagnose you with FND instead of saying "it's all in your head bye~" because you don't fill in the full CD criteria.
Conversion Disorder [CD] and Functional Neurological Disorder [FND] are theoretically different concepts. CD is the theory that symptoms are the result of suppressed psychological trauma converting to physical symptoms. Studies have found many do not have a history of major emotional traumatic events, or major depression/anxiety. Even if a patient does have mental health issues, now or in their past, there is no quantifiable way to confirm a correlation to symptoms. The change in criterion now makes it easier for physicians to use the CD/FND diagnosis, where in the past they couldn’t when they found their patient did not meet the criterion standard and there was no “converting” of symptoms taking place. Because there is sometimes no identifiable mental health issues, the need to identify one was removed. However, there are some patients who do identify with the Conversion Disorder theory.

Source: https://fndhope.org/faq/is-conversion-d ... -disorder/

The DSM, about FND, states that
Another medical or mental disorder does not better explain the symptom or deficit.

which means that if you have DID it's NOT FND because it's the classical "conversion" disorder therefore it's part of the DID package.

Another manual files it under the "dissociative disorders" umbrella and also makes it a "stand alone" meaning that the diagnosis is used only if you have no other disorder that include said symptoms, meaning that if you have DID it's part of the DID package and you only get the DID diagnosis.
Dissociative neurological symptom disorder is characterised by the presentation of motor, sensory, or cognitive symptoms that imply an involuntary discontinuity in the normal integration of motor, sensory, or cognitive functions and are not consistent with a recognised disease of the nervous system, other mental or behavioural disorder, or other medical condition.

(emphasis mine)

Wikipedia points that there is some controversy about the FND label because traumatic memories can be repressed for a long time which makes it difficult to know if an FND patient is "converting" symptoms (and it's not FND but part of the trauma package) or if the symptoms come "out of the blue" (and it's FND). Still, it's better to have a FND diagnosis (meaning that you are really suffering for real and can get help for that) than to say "you don't remember trauma so I cannot help you k bye".
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby Shadowlands » Sat Jun 29, 2024 11:25 am

Ok I was told FND was the new name for CD and it was like if you had sudden-onset symptoms of like MS or a stroke or Parkinson’s etc but hospital tests for those things came back negative and they did a test called a hoovers reflex or something on you it could indicate if you had FND.

There are videos of stuff like a woman who had been really fit & healthy ..a teacher, regular sports etc suddenly waking up unable to move or walk, one physio person thought to put her a treadmill, they thought he was mad! But as he sped machine up and part of brain that worked the ‘automatic function’ adapted to keep up she found she could run… now there is a ‘Distraction therapy’ they do…. She didn’t have DID or at least they didn’t mention it or say she could only run cos another alter had taken over at that point etc. there is some science behind it because of course our heart and breathing and other organs work without us having to consciously think about them, so it’s possibly something related to that and messages mis-firing?

There’s quite a few videos but I’m guessing maybe none had been diagnosed with DID or were known to have history of trauma before there symptoms started. It does seem to be in their case to do with messages between the brain and the limbs. In some cases it doesn’t work so well and person has permanent disability in others it comes and goes in ‘attacks’ more like a relapsing-remitting condition

We have had several strange occurrences of medical stuff over the years but I do know (GK tells me) whoever was host never told about ‘the others’ if anything medical happened a host would be shoved out front who had no knowledge of the others so they couldn’t tell anyone during times of medical testing or hospitalisation.

So our purely physical symptoms with no obvious cause is possibly why we have an FND diagnosis rather than a CD one? As those ‘attacks’ pre-date the time before any of us understood what DID was.

It would make sense though why one alter may believe they couldn’t walk because the body genuinely had such an attack so they knew their legs felt weak or shook when they tried to stand or walk, but not why ..but maybe another alter coming out first early morning auto got up to go to loo without thinking about it and could walk …but then confused to see wheelchair in the house? (especially if it had been a while since they’d last been out?)..as surely if the legs were actually paralysed by something like MS then it wouldn’t matter who fronted no-one would be able just stand up or walk (at least not without specialised equipment or support..certainly not in the early hours of the morning half asleep!)

The automatically doing things ‘without thinking’ ..ie automatically without conscious thought …or being able to do something when the brain is distracted, seems to be part of the issue and solution with FND.
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby ArbreMonde » Sat Jun 29, 2024 1:24 pm

Shadowlands wrote:our heart and breathing and other organs work without us having to consciously think about them, so it’s possibly something related to that and messages mis-firing?

It's a bit different because the inner organs (heart, lungs...) work through a specific part of the brain dedicated to that, but moving consciously is another part of the brain. But there is a "mis firing" of the message or a miscommunication somewhere between the neurones.

Dissociation is a self-protection mecanism of the brain, basically it's the brain's fuse. Any type of stressor can disconnect the fuse temporarily or for longer periods of time, depending on the situation. In DID people it has never really connected and we need to learn to connext the fuse. In non-traumatized people, the fuse disconnects temprarily when they get stressed or bored, and re-connects automatically when the stress gets down or boredom passes. This "fuse" is also responsible for the depersonnalization, derealization, amnesia... symptoms. They are just different "fuses" causing different symptoms. In DID, all of them need to be fixed. That's why DID therapy can be exhausting sometimes: the brain learns to keep the fuses connected properly and it's energy-consuming at first. Gets better and easier with time :)


Shadowlands wrote:There’s quite a few videos but I’m guessing maybe none had been diagnosed with DID or were known to have history of trauma before there symptoms started.

There are lot of things that can explain having "conversion without trauma":
-amnesia keeps the person from remembering they have trauma
-the person minimizes the traumatic effects of the event/s
-the person does not know that mundane things can cause dissociation and trauma such as, having a traumatized (= "afraid and frightening") caretaker, going through culturally-approved emotional neglect, being often at the hospital (it can be terrifying for young kids), developping a disorganized attachment, etc.
-the person does not have past trauma but the overall level of stress of everyday life is enough to set the brain into "conversion" mode (e.g. burnout)
-not exhaustive of course, I only know so much


Shadowlands wrote:So our purely physical symptoms with no obvious cause is possibly why we have an FND diagnosis rather than a CD one? As those ‘attacks’ pre-date the time before any of us understood what DID was.

It's the logical explanation IMO. The doctors could not tell it was CD because you could not tell the doctors how traumatized and dissociated you were. So they gave you the "have the symptoms and need treatment" diagnosis so you could at the very least be taken serously by therapists.


Shadowlands wrote:surely if the legs were actually paralysed by something like MS then it wouldn’t matter who fronted no-one would be able just stand up or walk

Yep, when the physical body has an issue, all the alters have this issue. When it's the brain that has a hiccup in the "fuses" some alters can be impared while others have full access to the ability. The "fuse hiccup" can also be temporary and tied to specific levels of stress: any alter with high enough stress gets wobbly legs, some alters have a base stress level higher than others, and distractions during therapy help lower the stress level and regain full access to the legs.

At least the stress level thing is how it works for me. I know that when I am stressed, tired, overwhelmed... there is no use trying to do certain things because the "brain fuses" will be disconnected, I need to calm down, take a nap, ground myself... first to help the "brain fuses" connect back again.
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby Shadowlands » Sun Jun 30, 2024 7:51 am

But regardless of where it was CD or FND ..distraction could still work to solve basically the same issue?

Just maybe if it’s classed as CD because person has DID then other alters working in background could be enough to distract the brain? 9especially if they were being deliberate about it?

As opposed to a non-plural person only having physical tricks as a means to distract the brain? Eg such as singing while you were walking, or tapping opposite leg as walking etc

Maybe it’s something more akin to a person who has a stammer whilst talking but can sing without any problems? Did see a program once where a war veteran couldn’t speak unless they answered in a sing-song style voice and sang the answers, though it was a long time ago so can’t remember what their condition was specifically called.
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Re: DID with Conversion Disorder

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Jun 30, 2024 11:52 am

In every case: anything that lowers the stress level (e.g. distraction) allows for the "brain fuse" to "reconnect".

Remember that a label is exactly that: a label. The same thing can be labelled differently in different contexts and still be the same thing.

An english speaker can label it "sunflower" a french speaker can label it "tournesol" and it's still the same flower with the same watering and sunlight needs ;)

Same with FND and CD : different labels in different contexts, similar issue, similar treatment.
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