Conversion Hysteria

In: Psychology

Submitted By blaine
Words 1290
Pages 6
Background Conversion disorder is one of a group of psychological disorders called somatoform disorders. These disorders are marked by the presence of physical symptoms without there being any physical ailment. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) (2000) “the symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning” (485).
Although conversion disorder is in the category of somatoform disorders, C.V. is marked by a deficiency affecting voluntary motor or sensory functioning. Essentially, conversion disorder is a neurological disorder in which physical symptoms are caused unconsciously by a stressful or traumatic event.
Professor of Psychiatry & Emergency Medicine, Seth Powsner, MD,(2006) states that “although defined as a condition that presents as an alteration or loss of a physical function suggestive of a physical disorder, conversion disorder is presumed to be the expression of an underlying psychological conflict or need.” (p. 1)
Psychological factors are not initially present, but after thorough investigation into the history of the patient, the symptoms are discovered. According to, “the symptom or deficit cannot, after appropriate investigation, be fully explained by a general medical condition, or by the direct effects of a substance, or as a culturally sanctioned behavior or experience.” These symptoms are almost always the result of unintentional motives and are not knowingly produced. Consequently, this condition is considered not under the patient’s control, and is often misdiagnosed because it can’t be explained by any physical disorder.
Diagnostic Criteria
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American…...

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