What is conversion disorder?
Conversion disorder is a somatic disorder in which neurological symptoms arise with no physiological or medical explanation. It is believed that it may be a response to mental stress or traumatic life events. As of recently, conversion disorder is now referred to as functional neurological symptom disorder. To the person enduring this disorder, the symptoms are very real and can cause significant distress in their lives.
How common is conversion disorder?
About 7 percent of the American population suffers from conversion disorder.
Who suffers from this type of disorder?
Conversion disorder can manifest as early as late childhood but may develop at any stage of life. Early adulthood seems to be the most common age when this disorder occurs-usually around 30 years old. It also appears to affect women more than men. Many believe this may be related to women being exposed to sexual trauma more often than men, placing them at higher risk of developing this disorder.