Conversion Disorder


Conversion Disorder

By: Daniela Chica

Conversion disorder is characterized by psychological problems that show up as physical symptoms. The disorder occurs after a physical or psychologically stressful event triggers the onset of a physical symptom. Someone who has been in a car crash may feel as if their leg is paralyzed when indeed they have no physical ailments. Although there is no known cause for conversion disorder, researchers believe that the areas of the brain connected to the control of muscles and senses play a role in the progression of the disorder. Some common symptoms of the disorder are:

  • Weakness and paralysis of single or multiple limbs
  • Shaking and/or difficulty walking and swallowing
  • Balance and equilibrium deficits
  • Unresponsiveness for varying periods of time
  • Seizures and/or convulsions

Although conversion disorder is more common in females than males, both sexes experience similar symptoms and risk factors. Some of the risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • Experiencing a stressful event or trauma
  • Having a pre-existing mental health condition such as anxiety or a personality disorder
  • Having a family member that has conversion disorder

If you or someone you know has conversion disorder and needs help, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, visit



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