Conversion disorder

It is a psychiatric picture where neurological disorders are mimicked and where in spite of examination and tests no explanation can be found for the symptoms.

For example, the patient has faint attacks resembling epilepsy, but EEG with video recording does not support a diagnosis of epilepsy. In such a case we think of conversion.

Attacks are usually triggered or made worse by stress.

It is generally seen in women but can also occur in men.

The cause of the illness is not known, but our research showed that these patients have difficulties shifting their attention from one thing to another. An external factor that helps to distract attention, helps to end the attacks.

Furthermore, the diagnosis can point at a number of organic illnesses. It can also get confused with certain psychiatric conditions, malingering (consciously imitating an illness) and factitious disorder being the main ones.

There is a 90% likelihood that the condition will disappear by itself. If there is resistance to treatment, then psychotherapy or drug therapy can be used.