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Mental Health

Conversion Disorder

08/05/2008

Question:

I have been diagnosed with severe conversion disorder based and PTSD and many other stressors. I have had this for 5 years. I have noticed many different manifestations from this disorder. However, lately I have been real puzzled because I am now having visually strange things happen like seeing many outlines of my hand and when I move my hand, it looks like I am in a room with strobe lights only with out the black and white. Everything is in color. But when I move my hand, all the many outlines of my hand move with it. Also, siezures are taking a more serious form for example, I am not having breathing problems with them. I am haveing moments of amnesia and I think unconsciousness with a more recent episode. Can you shed any light on this. I am also a breast cancer patient but CT scan shows no metastasis. However Yesterday my oncologist sent me to a surgeon because of some new masses.

Answer:

Sorry to learn of your problems. I recommend that you see a very good psychiatrist and a neurologist. An EEG and other testing may prove helpful. I am very skeptical of making a conversion diagnosis- especially in mid-life or in older adults.

Get a second opinion.

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Response by:

Stephen F Pariser, MD Stephen F Pariser, MD
Faculty Emeritus
Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University