Conversion Disorder (Conversion Reaction)

You are showing signs of conversion disorder. This happens when stress or conflict triggers physical symptoms. It may in some ways look like a neurological disorder, but is not. Symptoms include:

  • Not being able to move or feel parts of your body

  • Not being able to stand or walk normally

  • Movement of your body that feels out of your control

  • Loss of normal speech, sight, or hearing

  • Trouble urinating or swallowing

  • Tremors (shaking) or non-epileptic seizures (convulsions). You may hear these called pseudoseizures.

In the ER, you will probably have some tests done to make sure there are not other causes of your symptoms. You may also be given medicines to help relax you. The main treatment for conversion disorder is counseling. This can be arranged through your doctor. Our staff may also give you referrals to someone you can talk to.

Home care

If you have been given medicine, take it as you have been told to by the doctor or hospital staff.

Tell each of your healthcare providers about all of the prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take. Certain supplements interact with medicines and may result in dangerous side effects. Ask your pharmacist when you have questions about medicine interactions.

Symptoms of conversion disorder most often improve over a period of a few weeks without specific medicine. The main treatment for conversion disorder is psychotherapy or counseling. This can include individual and group therapy. Medicine may be used to treat anxiety or depression. Other treatments that might help include physical therapy, hypnosis, and relaxation.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

If X-rays or a CT scan were done, and a radiologist had not seen them while you were there, they will be reviewed, and you will be notified if there is a change in the reading, especially if it affects treatment.

Call 911

Call 911 if any of these occur:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Very confused

  • Very drowsy or trouble awakening

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Rapid heart rate

  • Seizure

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Worsening of your symptoms or symptoms not improving over time

  • New symptoms

  • Desire to harm yourself or others

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