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Misconceptions About Conversion Disorder

Misconceptions About Conversion DisorderI see people confused about conversion disorder from diagnosing it to the treatment of it all the time.  It is sad really in this day and age that we only view healing and treatment through a narrow set of lenses.  Unfortunately that is how are medical system operates, but for the patient suffering from conversion disorder, it is nothing short of a nightmare.

While you may agree or disagree with me, I am a person who went through conversion disorder back in 1991.  I am speaking from experience on this topic, not just what I think happens. The doctors were not totally sure how to treat it and in those days, the internet didn’t exist for me to search and query others who had experienced this.  Treatment for me included counseling therapy and physical therapy, plus a lot of time and determination on my part to recover.

So often, I have heard time and time again that physicians and other medical personel think a conversion disorder patient is faking the symptoms and it is all in their head.  I even remember one very bad episode of the pseudo-seizures I went through and being rushed to the hospital by ambulance.  After arriving to the emergecny room, it took me a short time to begin calming down and coming back to current reality.  Of course, no one there knew what was going on and I could hear the doctor basically saying that it was “all in my head”.

Even though I was once again able to walk and move around and take care of myself after many hours of therapy, I still had not healed.  To say I did or even think I did would be an incorrect statement.  Healing does not come because you can take care of yourself or can get around.  Yes, these are monumental moments on the road to recovery.  Just don’t stop there!  Please don’t stop healing – you are only beginning!

While one could easily claim “stress” was the culprit in conversion disorder, that is a very limited and short-sighted view of looking at this disorder.  Our bodies can handle stress if we don’t have tons of baggage hiding out inside of us.  If we ignore that baggage, then at some point our life will become like a stretched out rubber band ready to break at the slightest touch.  If current stress is too great, then it adds an enormous strain on the physical body and if it is not released, it begins to take its toll in many ways.

One of the main things you need to do in order to heal from conversion disorder is you have to begin connecting to life and learning how to let go of stress as well as the baggage you are carrying around inside.  Just learning to handle stress or operating under a misconception that a stress free life is the key to healing, will only take you so far.  You’ve only begun walking up the mountain and while that is a proud moment, let it not be your last.

Truly healing from conversion disorder (or Functional Neurological Disorder as it is now called), requires you to go deep within and connect to those places that may not be comfortable to acknowledge.  They may even be hidden from view at this moment and that is fine, but don’t just stop at getting rid of stress.  Learning to connect and feel every part of  your body is the key to true healing.  In conversion disorder, we numb ourselves to our body and to heal, you have to do just the opposite of that.

One of the steps that I did after I started to recover from conversion disorder was I began learning about relaxation.  It was missing in my life and as I began to learn about it, I started to find my connection to myself.  Fortunately though I didn’t stop there and I didn’t get hung up on this as being the source of healing.  Instead, I used that to keep walking down my path in life and finally connecting with someone who was a pioneer in body based trauma healing.

I no longer worry about having a relapse into conversion disorder because I have truly healed from the inside out.  I know how to take care of my body and my mind and I know how to deal with stress.  In addition, I get regular bodywork sessions with Dr. Paul Canali that helps me continue on the path of healthy living.  Conversion disorder may seem like a death sentence and few really understand it, but you can heal if you begin to really understand what causes conversion disorder.

Please continue to read on this website about my experiences with conversion disorder and and the wealth of information being presented on this topic.

Filed under: Conversion Disorder

2 Responses to "Misconceptions About Conversion Disorder"

  1. Sheila says:

    Thanks Don. Your article really touched home. Sheila

  2. Lynette says:

    I have had CVD for 7 years and I tremble 24/7. I live in Roseville, California where do I start?

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