How rare is conversion disorder?

Have you ever heard of conversion disorder? It’s a pretty rare psychiatric condition that affects approximately 1 in every 5,000 people.

What is Conversion Disorder Exactly?

In simpler terms, it’s when the mind creates physical symptoms for no discernible medical reason. These symptoms can range from fainting spells to paralysis to blindness and beyond, and they often pop up suddenly without warning or cause.

Wait…So Are You Saying My Doctor Might Have Missed Something?

Well…not exactly. In order for a diagnosis of conversion disorder to be made, all potential physical causes must first be ruled out through rigorous testing like MRI scans or blood workups. And even then, the diagnosis isn’t always clear-cut because there are no definitive markers or tests used solely to diagnose it.

So How Do They Diagnose This Thing Anyway?

Conversion disorder relies heavily on clinical observation and psychological evaluation from healthcare professionals with expertise in this area. The diagnostic criteria as outlined by The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) state that symptoms need to:

  • Be inconsistent with known neurological conditions
  • Exhibit “clinical features” suggesting an “association between psychological stressors”
    • E.g., lack of concern over symptoms / inability to move limbs normally after prolonged immobilization.

While thorough assessments are required—it’s never fun being put under scrutiny—the good news is treatment exists! Let’s move onto discussing how RDs are treated effectively next!

Treatment Options

One exciting fact about conversion disorders many people may not know exist: its amenability towards psychology intervention — yes therapy helps these patients immensely! Therapy interventions utilized by psychologists include various forms such as CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), Psychoanalytic interventions just ‘to name drop’ a few!.

Additionally, techniques derived under physiotherapy could prove beneficial in treating motor symptom presentations of conversion. As with many medical conditions, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating RDs.

We can all share a collective sigh of relief knowing that despite its rarity, successful treatment amongst individuals affected exists!

But Why/How Does This Happen Anyway?

The exact causes behind conversion disorder are still not well understood by modern medicine. However, most experts acknowledge that there is likely some sort of psychological or emotional trigger behind it. This trigger could manifest as the result of anything from trauma to anxiety and beyond.

What researchers do know so far is that certain people may be more predisposed towards developing conversion disorder as compared to others based on genetic factors or personality traits! Interesting stuff isn’t it?

What About the Whole “Hysteria” Thing?

Ah yes—the oft-repeated phrase “hysterical” (Notice my sarcasm meter running pretty high?). Unfortunately, derogatory terms like ‘hysterical’ have historically contributed negatively toward those diagnosed with RDs…womp womp…making them ripe for social stigma attached to such psychiatric illnesses in society.”

It’s easy for immediate acquaintances searching explanations outside the territory—no blame here—but couching it in judgmental terms does no one any favors.

Moreover, using outdated terminology grounds conversation on false premises undoing years-long efforts at debunking beliefs surrounding mental health issues’ underlying cause(s) under criticisms such as ‘lack of grit’, indiscipline—the list goes on…

However offensive such attitudes are healthy skepticism and doubts serve an important role in conversations about contemporary conjectures surrounding illness onset mechanisms & approaches towards diagnoses/treatments; Let’s hope this paper will contribute just a small part towards growth concerning these conversations always needed!


All things considered, having conversion disorder might feel scary given how infrequent diagnosis etc….however research suggests keeping actively engaged while working alongside healthcare professionals prove essential elements during recovery periods!

On a side note, it wouldn’t hurt always to keep updated on mental health issues & terminologies; who knows— that might just give you the edge required in case situations arise wherein providing support/advocacy becomes necessary!

Random Posts