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Conversion/Somatization Disorder

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Old 02-07-2011, 11:01 PM   #1
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Conversion/Somatization Disorder

I've diagnosed with conversion/somatization disorder of some kind.

At least 90% of my doctors believe so, as 10%(more less) still think I might have some sort of idiopathic Polyneuropathy.

In brief, my case started in the mid of HUGE stress last year, January to be precise.

Symptoms started as a TIA kind of episode, weakness, dizziness, then evolved to numbness and tingling, and later to pain(pins and needles), hypersensitivity, combined with some weird stuff like feeling my feet wet when they're not.

Finally I also got widespread fasciculations(muscle twitching), muscle spasms(sometimes painful sometimes not) and this whole array of symptoms have come to stay, even as I do have some one or two weeks of almost complete remission, but then it all starts again. I might add that I've also felt some mild overall improvement or I've get used to my symptoms, I don't know.

I've been given a bunch of different treatments and medications(all new to me) from SSRI's which almost drove me nuts, to B-vitamins, Lyrica, Gabapentin, and on top of it all Clonazepam because this condition caused(or was caused by I don't know) some severe episodes of anxiety and panic.

The 10% of my doctor's who still believe it might be something physical, had establish a possible relationship with the increase of my allergic symptoms with an increase in the neuropathic issues. Thing is my allergic stuff is perennial.

But the other 90% have inclined towards the Somatization Disorder because after extensive tests that I've got like an EMG, two NCV's, a brain MRI, extensive blood work, and several neurologist appointments there was not clear evidence of a probable physical cause for all this stuff.

I also have irritable bowel issues, and some other symptoms that match a probable somatization disorder diagnose.

This is why I wanted to see if somebody knows about this mental disorders or has been diagnosed with this conditions, because I have some questions if you may answer them.

1. Can this mental disorders cause not only my symptoms, but an abnormal EMG reading?

My first EMG/NCV showed residual stuff from some previous episode even as I've never ever felt something like this. A second NCV came clean tough, even as I'm still dealing with this issues.

2. Are this disorders consistent with the sudden start of my symptoms and also with the "up and down" pattern I've experienced?

I can have one or two great weeks, sometimes almost asymptomatic, and then once again a "crisis" or relapse and so on.

I just want to figure out if there's still something to look for as the cause of my issues or I just have to concentrate on dealing with this mental disorders to finally recover or get some permanent relief from my symptoms.

Thank you very much.

Last edited by stargrave; 02-07-2011 at 11:07 PM.

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #2
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Re: Conversion/Somatization Disorder

Wow. True conversion disorder is quite rare, so make sure you find a doctor who really knows what he/she is doing. I would suggest going to one of the teaching hospitals in Mexico City if you can. This would be something that I would normally recommend going to Mayo Clinic, which is in the north central US and you probably can't do that. I don't know the specific tests you had and so don't know the answer to your first question. I think the answer to your second questions is YES. GOOD LUCK. IT sounds like you have a long road ahead of you and I wish you the best.

Old 02-20-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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Re: Conversion/Somatization Disorder

Hey Toon, thanks for the reply.

I might have get the conversion issue because they mentioned once, but now it is more labeled as a somatization disorder that I believe it's like the previous step.

Nevertheless reading about conversion disorder's symptoms, I actually was reading my own case almost by the letter.

I've been studied mostly by neurologists, because it began as a neuropathy case, so I've been tested with pretty much every blood test there is, a contrasted MRI, EMG/NCV, without really finding anything relevant.

Because of this, and also because an "odd" symptom presentation, for neuropathy that is, with more widespread than localized symptoms, the "come an go" presentation, also not common in neuropathy, at least not without some progressive issues, and my constant anxiety with some panic attacks here and there, led the doctors to came up with this diagnosis.

Certainly there's no Mayo Clinic equivalent in here, and truth is that right now I can't go there to get a integral evaluation.

I'm still under long term evaluation by the neurologist, they haven't discharged me completely yet, so I'm still in "transition" to the psychological area, but here this can take months, and because there is not a multidisciplinary/specialized institution like Mayo Clinic, I have to search for the best specialists in each area, place by place.

I've never heard of conversion disorder before, and I've never thought that the mind was capable of affecting the body up to this level, with real measurable symptoms.

Anyway, sharing my case with people in here that might have been through something similar, always gives me more insight and better comprehension of what is happening to me.

Thanks again for the reply and the best of luck to you too.

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