Psycho-Babble Medication Thread 105805

Shown: posts 1 to 16 of 16. This is the beginning of the thread.

 

Conversion Disorder?

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 9, 2002, at 21:41:50

Due to some recent severe problems with memory, concentration, and vision, I was evaluated by a battery of medical doctors (internist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, endocrinologist, etc.) for possible organic causes of these problems. Neuropsych testing revealed that my working memory is low, but that my overall memory is better than that of 90% of the population. MRI and CAT scans revealed that my brain is in great shape.

So, I'm faced with a diagnosis of severe anxiety, possibly a conversion disorder to explain my symptoms.

My doctor is putting me on Zoloft, having me go to therapy (which I was in), and go back to my regular life.

I'm relieved to have no organic cause for my problems. But how do I combat this problem? I'd really like to feel like my normal self again. Any advice, guys?

 

what is a conversion disorder ? (nm) bookgurl99

Posted by JohnX2 on May 9, 2002, at 22:32:43

In reply to Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 9, 2002, at 21:41:50

 

Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99

Posted by judy1 on May 9, 2002, at 23:19:45

In reply to Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 9, 2002, at 21:41:50

From what I understand, therapy is the recommended way to go with conversion disorder (I'm not aware of any meds that show efficacy)- although I would take a benzo to address the anxiety until the therapy takes effect. Congrats on thoroughly removing any organic causes (especially endocrine), most people aren't as thorough. I wish you the best, I'm sure that having an accurate diagnosis will go a long way to improvement. Take care, Judy

 

Re: what is a conversion disorder ? JohnX2

Posted by judy1 on May 9, 2002, at 23:21:59

In reply to what is a conversion disorder ? (nm) bookgurl99, posted by JohnX2 on May 9, 2002, at 22:32:43

I believe it's the expression through somatic complaints that have a psychological basis. Take care, Judy

 

Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99

Posted by Ritch on May 9, 2002, at 23:42:20

In reply to Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 9, 2002, at 21:41:50

> Due to some recent severe problems with memory, concentration, and vision, I was evaluated by a battery of medical doctors (internist, neurologist, neuropsychologist, endocrinologist, etc.) for possible organic causes of these problems. Neuropsych testing revealed that my working memory is low, but that my overall memory is better than that of 90% of the population. MRI and CAT scans revealed that my brain is in great shape.
>
> So, I'm faced with a diagnosis of severe anxiety, possibly a conversion disorder to explain my symptoms.
>
> My doctor is putting me on Zoloft, having me go to therapy (which I was in), and go back to my regular life.
>
> I'm relieved to have no organic cause for my problems. But how do I combat this problem? I'd really like to feel like my normal self again. Any advice, guys?

Wow, I haven't heard of conversion disorder since my psych class in high school back in the '70's. So, obviously you have a lot of somatization problems related to your mental state. Anxiety can definitely messup your concentration and memory and can cause stomach aches and backaches, etc. Vision problems-I am guessing that is why the conversion disorder thing came up? Could you go into more detail about your vision problems? The question I would be more interested in is-have you suffered some type of trauma recently that could explain this?

Mitch

 

Re: Conversion Disorder?

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 10, 2002, at 10:09:19

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99, posted by judy1 on May 9, 2002, at 23:19:45

>anxiety until the therapy takes effect. Congrats >on thoroughly removing any organic causes
>(especially endocrine), most people aren't as >thorough. I wish you the best, I'm sure that >having an accurate diagnosis will go a long way >to improvement. Take care, Judy

Thanks, actually the downside to this is that I have horrid insurance and now have huge medical bills. My willingness to be thorough came from being convinced that something was horribly wrong with my head!

My neurospychologist told me some interesting stories about what anxiety can do -- he said some people have been blind or paralyzed. And apparently the symptoms occur more on the left side of the body because the right brain is what mounts the defense.

 

Re: Conversion Disorder?

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 10, 2002, at 10:18:33

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99, posted by Ritch on May 9, 2002, at 23:42:20

>Vision problems-I am guessing that is why the conversion disorder thing came up? Could you go into more detail about your vision problems? The question I would be more interested in is-have you suffered some type of trauma recently that could explain this?
>
> Mitch

Mitch --

Yes, I'm stunned myself.

As for vision, my left eye has lost range of motion. It now sees 6 diopters of reality left to right instead of 20. I have also had moments of profound spatial disorientation.

I've also had memory problems, headaches, nausea, insomnia, etc., for 8 weeks.

As for trauma:

The only explanation is that I had a bad reaction to Reglan in the ER. (According to my dr., Reglan causes temporary short-term memory problems in some people.) When I was having that problem, I went home to my parents' house to figure it out. Rather than provide the healing environment I needed, they shouted at me for being gay, for not having adequate health insurance, and (at 26) for not being graduated college yet.

Also, in therapy I had recently brought up some childhood abuse that I had forgotten, that my sister had remembered and reminded me of. It was very hard to talk about. So it's possible that my right brain decided that we would just not talk about it.

Anyways, now that I've been reassured that my memory is normal -- in fact, better than normal -- my cognition seems to be better already. I am working hard to restabilize my life (this really threw it for a loop) and get back to normal function.

 

Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99

Posted by judy1 on May 10, 2002, at 12:15:31

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 10, 2002, at 10:18:33

Hi!
I've read that conversion disorder isn't uncommon (double negative?)in clients with childhood abuse issues which is why therapy is the preferred treatment. Just remember it takes a long time and hard work but it will all be worth it. Take care, Judy

 

Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99

Posted by Ritch on May 10, 2002, at 21:47:45

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 10, 2002, at 10:18:33

> >Vision problems-I am guessing that is why the conversion disorder thing came up? Could you go into more detail about your vision problems? The question I would be more interested in is-have you suffered some type of trauma recently that could explain this?
> >
> > Mitch
>
> Mitch --
>
> Yes, I'm stunned myself.
>
> As for vision, my left eye has lost range of motion. It now sees 6 diopters of reality left to right instead of 20. I have also had moments of profound spatial disorientation.
>
> I've also had memory problems, headaches, nausea, insomnia, etc., for 8 weeks.
>
> As for trauma:
>
> The only explanation is that I had a bad reaction to Reglan in the ER. (According to my dr., Reglan causes temporary short-term memory problems in some people.) When I was having that problem, I went home to my parents' house to figure it out. Rather than provide the healing environment I needed, they shouted at me for being gay, for not having adequate health insurance, and (at 26) for not being graduated college yet.
>
> Also, in therapy I had recently brought up some childhood abuse that I had forgotten, that my sister had remembered and reminded me of. It was very hard to talk about. So it's possible that my right brain decided that we would just not talk about it.
>
> Anyways, now that I've been reassured that my memory is normal -- in fact, better than normal -- my cognition seems to be better already. I am working hard to restabilize my life (this really threw it for a loop) and get back to normal function.


This might sound like a broken record (I post this a lot), but have you had an EEG done? "Moments of profound spatial disorientation" can be classic signs of temporal lobe seizure activity. That would be a bad rap to get stuck with a psychological label for something that is due to neuronal instability in your right temporal lobe!

get things checked if ya haven't already..

Mitch

 

Re: Conversion Disorder?

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 11, 2002, at 10:21:10

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99, posted by Ritch on May 10, 2002, at 21:47:45


>
> This might sound like a broken record (I post this a lot), but have you had an EEG done? "Moments of profound spatial disorientation" can be classic signs of temporal lobe seizure activity. That would be a bad rap to get stuck with a psychological label for something that is due to neuronal instability in your right temporal lobe!
>
> get things checked if ya haven't already..
>
> Mitch

Hey,

Yes, I've had an EEG done -- it's the only result that hasn't come back yet.

The thing is, wouldn't an EEG need to catch me in the moment of having a seizure?

The other thing is, apparently some types of seizures are emotional in nature.

Elisa

 

Re: Conversion Disorder?

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 11, 2002, at 10:24:48

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99, posted by Ritch on May 10, 2002, at 21:47:45

Mitch,

Just a thought,

would right temporal lobe seizure activity be consistent with feeling revved up, having trouble sleeping, etc.? That's my other big symptom.

Elisa

 

Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99

Posted by judy1 on May 11, 2002, at 12:29:22

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 11, 2002, at 10:21:10

When I went to an epileptologist he said normal EEGs don't always show seizure activity and wanted me in the hospital for up to a week to be monitored visually and hooked up too. His working dx were bipolar, panic, complex partial epilepsy, epileptic status and fugue state. I've had gran mal seizures as a result of car accidents and I'm diagnosed with panic and bipolar disorders which are all types of neuronal(right word?) misfiring. So, in my case the diagnosis isn't what's important- the treatment is- AED's which are useful in mood disorders in addition to epilepsy. Personally I would rather have a psych diagnosis than epilepsy because you wouldn't believe the hoops I have to jump through to keep my driver's license after my last seizure- which all drs/hospitals have to report because of state law. Take care, Judy

 

Re: Conversion Disorder?

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 11, 2002, at 14:07:20

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99, posted by judy1 on May 11, 2002, at 12:29:22

> So, in my case the diagnosis isn't what's important- the treatment is- AED's which are useful in mood disorders in addition to epilepsy.

This is interesting to me because I was hit by a car two years ago, with no damage apparent at the time. Also, in the two months before I started having memory problems, I also had some panic-type symptoms -- like a brainstorm. Would an MRI show the type of damage that would cause a seizure?

Also, you say the treatment is an AED. What's an AED? an anti-eliptic drug? How useful are they in controlling these types of symptoms?

And, since my attention span has dropped -- can they help bring it back at all?

Thanks, Judy. :D

 

Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99

Posted by Ritch on May 11, 2002, at 14:55:43

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder?, posted by bookgurl99 on May 11, 2002, at 10:24:48

> Mitch,
>
> Just a thought,
>
> would right temporal lobe seizure activity be consistent with feeling revved up, having trouble sleeping, etc.? That's my other big symptom.
>
> Elisa


Elisa,

Temporal lobe epilepsy is notorious for causing spatial distortions, smelling things that aren't there, hearing things that aren't there, etc. Some people also report panic like symptoms and dreamy unreal periods of detachment from reality. Some folks with TLE also have bouts of rage and euphoria as well. I haven't heard much about sleeplessness, however. You said you were seeing a neuropsychologist? Have you ever been on psychiatric medications before? It just sounds a lot like a neurological problem to me, anyways. I have had somatic (physical) problems associated with extreme stress and depression, but they usually go away when the depression lifts or the stress level decreases. If they can't "find" anything "wrong" I suppose it could be a conversion disorder. It just sounds a little hokey, to me though-maybe it is just because you don't hear about it. I would definitely get a 2nd opinion from another psychiatrist and continue to investigate the possible seizure activity. Your symptoms (other than the vision thing) sound a lot like generalized anxiety disorder.

Mitch

 

You know Ritch has a good point....

Posted by judy1 on May 12, 2002, at 3:32:47

In reply to Re: Conversion Disorder? bookgurl99, posted by Ritch on May 11, 2002, at 14:55:43

You sound like you have a great deal of anxiety, and until you are comfortable with a dx I still think a benzo would help (and they have anti-epilepsy qualities- klonopin in particular). As far as memory, again anxiety can have a huge effect on it, but memory problems as a result of head injury aren't usually improved by meds or therapy. Take care, Judy

 

Re: anxiety sucks

Posted by bookgurl99 on May 13, 2002, at 12:34:21

In reply to You know Ritch has a good point...., posted by judy1 on May 12, 2002, at 3:32:47

> You sound like you have a great deal of anxiety

True -- all of my symptoms could be caused by varoius forms of extreme anxiety. There was a legitimate trauma to set it off, and I guess it's kind of fed on itself.

I'm starting to take Zoloft in an effort to fight it off, in addition to the therapy I've been in for awhile. I've taken a little Ativan(Lorazepam) to help sleep at night. So I'll just have to see where things go from here.

As for conversion disorder, dx, the psych said he wouldn't call it conversion disorder. Just 'anxiety.'

Thanks for your help --

Elisa


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