What are the treatment options for conversion disorder?
It is important that an accurate diagnosis is made for conversion disorder as the type of symptoms presenting dictates the type of treatment used. Treatment usually involves a multidisciplinary approach to address all symptoms experienced by the patient. It is usually recommended that the person’s internist and psychiatrist work together to develop the best treatment plan for optimal mental and physical health.
- Physical treatment focuses on the improvement of neurological symptoms. Some options include:
- Stress reduction- there are various options available for this, including regular exercise, breathing exercise, and muscular stretching.
- Physical or occupational therapy- addresses abnormalities with the movement of limbs, balance disturbances, or weakness. The goal of this treatment is to prevent future complications.
- Speech therapy- is geared at correcting any speech limitations and returning to normal function.
- Distraction techniques- some successful options for distraction include listening to music, talking to friends and family, or attempting to purposely alter the function of some body movements.
- Psychotherapy can help manage feelings about the illness that may trigger symptoms.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most common type of psychotherapy and can be used to manage stress- a believed cause of the disorder. Coping skills are also designed to manage the pain and neurological symptoms.
- Hypnosis is another option used by trained professionals to help improve motor functions such as speech abnormalities.
Any other underlying mental health disorder must also be addressed and properly treated to ensure effective treatment for conversion disorder.
How does education play a role in the treatment of conversion disorder?
Sometimes education can effectively treat this disorder. If a patient is reassured that their symptoms are not due to a serious medical condition, this may give them the confidence needed to heal. This usually happens with the support of family and loved ones.
What medications are used for conversion disorder?
Currently, there are no medications approved for the treatment of conversion disorder. Sometimes medications like antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be helpful but only if treating underlying medical conditions such as depression or anxiety.
Can conversion disorder be prevented?
Unfortunately, there are currently no preventable measures in place for conversion disorder.
When should medical attention be sought out?
Are you suffering from unexplainable neurological pain and symptoms that negatively impact your life and prevent you from functioning as you had previously? Then you may be experiencing conversion disorder and need to speak to a healthcare provider.
Fortunately, this is a very treatable mental illness. Our licensed mental healthcare providers at TeleMed2U may be able to help you and your internist come up with an effective treatment plan.