What is conversion disorder?

It has not been long since there has been more serious attention paid to conversion as a psychological disorder. A condition that is not always recognized or is even dismissed as posturing, attracting attention, etc. A little more attention for this disorder, even if only to encourage those who suffer from it, would not do any harm.

What is it?

Conversion is Latin for conversion. Conversion disorder is a psychological condition caused by stress, anger or anxiety. This emotion cannot be processed by the person in question and the body takes over, as it were, by switching off certain parts. In fact, to protect. After all, if you switch off parts, the stress, anger or fear can no longer be felt by the person. The psychological problems are converted into a physical complaint.

How does it manifest itself?

There have been various expressions from appearing very stoic, even disinterested, to fainting. The body ensures that you see or hear less, you notice less, the senses are partly switched off and you can temporarily lose your speech. But it is also possible that the limbs become temporarily paralyzed or that you experience a convulsion. Sometimes the complaints disappear quickly and sometimes it takes longer. Eventually the body always returns to normal.

Fake for real?

It is a not so obvious condition and the symptoms can be traced back to various syndromes. But it won’t be the first time that it is seen as attracting attention. Which will only frustrate the person in question even more. It is evident that this frustration may lead to more frequent failures.

Diagnosis and cure

You can also fake some of the above aspects (doing this is another disorder in itself), so some tests must first be applied to make a correct diagnosis.
A psychologist will need to be involved for the healing process. The reason why you cannot handle your stress, anger or anxiety often has another deeper cause. The psychologist will try to find out what the cause is in conversation. As soon as this healing process starts, the expressions will also decrease.

Setting and monitoring boundaries

But often the person in question is a man/woman who cannot set his/her boundaries properly. People who keep going and don’t slow down (possibly because they say yes to more things than is good for them). In the form of therapy that imposes a consistent daily rhythm on you, but also sets fixed times for certain activities, you get into a rhythm in which you start to feel/experience what is feasible and what is not. Slowly the boundary becomes clear and you learn to guard it.


Of course, there is always a group that feigns something for attention, but if it is so bad that people drop out, it may be a bit more nuanced. Failure in the sense of fainting or limbs that do not work for a moment, means that it usually goes a little further than feigning. Being taken seriously by your GP is a start to putting you on the right track if conversion plays a role. In addition, it is important not to take no for an answer.

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