Depression Community
10.5k Members
Avatar universal

Conversion Disorder or something else?

I am going to write a lot of information. A few months ago, I was having on and off stiffness in my right arm while I was at work. There was a time that I had double vision while working. I knew my blood pressure was high (177/122). I have had high blood pressure since I was 17, I am now 20, and I have been to numerous doctors that say they do not know why I have high blood pressure. Because of this I did not see anything out of the "norm", i.e. high blood pressure and blurred vision at times/"seeing stars". When I was driving home, I found it hard to operate my car normally. Turning the wheel was hard and I just felt "off". When I got home, I told my mom what was going on and she took me to the ER. On the way there, my arm was flexed at a right angle and I was unable to get it out of this position. It took about 35 minutes to get to the ER. I walked into the building just fine, but while waiting in line to check in, my other arm also locked up along with my neck. My neck was locked tilted to the right where I was looking at the left. The paralysis went into my jaw. By this time, I was talking as if I had down syndrome and I was not able to figure out words that I wanted to say. I was able to understand EVERYTHING that people were saying, I just could not figure out the words to answer long questions. When the nurse asked me the normal cognitive questions (where are you, who is the president, what is the date, etc.) I answered all of them correctly and in a timely manner, but when the doctor came in, I had to have my mom tell him what was going on. Luckily, I told my mom everything that had happened on the way to the ER just in case I was not able to. When the doctor had me push on him, my left leg would not lift up or push. This would happen all over my body at different times. While waiting on testing, my mom looked at my pupils (she is a nurse) and they were not responding correctly to the light. My left pupil was a 3-4 and my right was a 5-6 (for those medical people out there) and reacted slowly. They did a CT that came back normal and then did an MRI. The MRI shows many lesions and came to the conclusion that I have MS. I was referred to a neurologist who I went to that following week. The neurologist said that it is not MS, that it could be my medicine (low dose birth control and Paxil). She told me to stop taking them, wean off the Paxil (I was currently taking 40mg). I started both medications about 2 months prior to all of this happening. I have been on birth control on and off for 8 years and I have taken different medication for depression when I was a young teenager with no issues. That night I was lying in bed in extreme pain (in my side and lower back on the left side). It was so bad that I was crying. By the time that I got up to get a Kleenex, I was having a hard time walking. I was very slow and weak. I called my mom to tell her what was going on and we ended up going to a different hospital. When I was walking into the hospital I was having drop foot on my right side and it took me a little while to fill out my information. By the time, I got back in the ED, that doctor asked me to walk and saw the problems I was having walking and then my right leg started shaking uncontrollably. They tested my sensitivity on my legs and I had normal feeling on my right leg, but my left leg on top felt different. I could feel the cold on my right leg but not my left. That ER doctor said that I was WAY past a ER doctor from the beginning. He admitted me to the hospital where they did another MRI that morning. They did it of my brain and cervical and theoretic spine. Everything came back normal except the lesions in my brain that they had saw before. I ended up having a panic attack where they administered .5 Xanax, but within less than 30 minutes I started convulsing. I believe that it was a seizure (I have some video of this too). That neurologist in that hospital said that it is definitely not MS (so I have 1 MS diagnosis and 2 not MS). He released me on a B12 deficiency (insert WTF here). When I was in the hospital, the only person who saw my problems walking was the ER doctor. Because of that, we started recording me walking when I have problems. It was so hard to walk. It took everything I had to walk. Fast forward a few weeks, I went to another neurologist and he said it is not MS (1 yes 3 no) and that it is textbook Conversion Disorder. We showed him the videos and he said, "oh yes this is defiantly conversion disorder".  He has ordered me to go to a neurological psychologist in November, keep in mind that I saw him at the beginning of May. I have been taking hydroxyzine pam 25mg twice a day for a few weeks and I have been able to walk. Not being able to walk was off and on before the medication, and so far I have not had problems walking. I have had pain daily, headaches daily, occasional problems breathing (as if my lungs are stuck and can hardly move), when I wake up I am stiff and in pain, I have been still having occasional twitching, and I have had some difficulty with shaking.
What I want to know is if I should agree with this Conversion disorder diagnosis or keep looking for other answers. Is there anyone who has had the same issues? I am new here so if there is a way to post the videos of what has been happening to my profile I will! If I have Conversion Disorder, great, but if it is something more serious, I want to know so I can start treating it now. If you have any questions, PLEASE ask. I am sure I left out something. Thank you everyone!
1 Responses
Avatar universal
Anything traumatic happen to you before this happened?  Anything in childhood that was awful, such as rape or abuse?  Any idea why you've suffered from depression?  Other than that, I'm assuming from your description the MRI analysis that said it was MS came from the radiologist, but the doctors you saw disagreed with the conclusion.  Did they check for stroke?  Did you taper off the Paxil carefully, or come off it abruptly, and I'd ask the same of other meds you say you were on.  But my general comment is, not ever having had or known anyone with conversion disorder, that when 3 different neuros decide it's not MS, that would convince me.  And if you go see a neurological psychologist, I would hope if what you describe doesn't agree with their conception of Conversion Disorder they will tell you.  When I researched Conversion Disorder because your post is so moving, the Mayo Clinic website said it's almost always connected with a traumatic event, but almost always isn't always.  There are almost no nevers or always.  But a second opinion on the Conversion Disorder might not be a bad idea and I'm again hoping they checked you thoroughly for vascular problems.  I am seeing a bright side here -- conversion disorder would be better than dementia from the lesions or MS, right?
Yes I have had some traumatic events in the past, which is why I am open to the diagnosis of CD, but at the same time I still having problems after medication. I was put on the Paxil to help with my anxiety and then I ended up a few months later worse than I have ever been. I am still having pain in my spine that concerns me and at night I wake up and I feel like there is a small earthquake happening, when there isn't. I am trying to get into a clinic/hospital that is connected to Mayo, but it can be a long wait. I did go off the Paxil slowly. I feel like everything else was ruled out too quickly. Within a month I was given the CD diagnosis. The only thing that was looked at was MS and possibly Lyme (which is hard to diagnose).
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.