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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is conversion disorder?
Conversion disorder is a condition in which a person has physical symptoms, but no physical cause for them.
What are the symptoms of conversion disorder?
People with conversion disorder display one or more symptoms of loss of sensory or motor (movement) functions. These can include: blindness or other vision difficulties (double vision, tunnel vision); deafness or other hearing difficulties; …
What factors can trigger conversion disorder?
Conversion disorder is frequently triggered by a recent stressful event.
What causes conversion disorder?
It is not known what exactly causes conversion disorder. The symptoms are often triggered by a stressful event; it may be that conversion disorder is a way for the brain to cope with stress by 'channeling' the emotional stress into physical manifestation.
Who gets conversion disorder?
Anyone can get the disorder, but it is more common in females. It is often found together with other mental health conditions, such as depression, and/or difficult life experiences such as abuse, neglect, or poverty, particularly during childhood.
How is conversion disorder diagnosed?
Conversion disorder is diagnosed by ruling out physical reasons for the symptoms and observing the presence of risk factors for the disorder.
How is conversion disorder treated?
Treatment of conversion disorder is through psychotherapy (cognitive behavior therapy), often in combination with physical therapy and stress management techniques.
Will conversion disorder clear on its own?
In some cases, conversion disorder will not resolve on its own and requires treatment. However, in most cases, conversion disorder will eventually clear on its own, but treatment is advised, to shorten the duration of the symptoms.
Will conversion disorder keep coming back?
In about 20-25% of people, episodes of conversion disorder can recur within a year.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 09 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.1 out of 5
Votes: 1232 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Conversion disorder