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How to cure Conversion Disorder

By February 1, 2011 - 6:39pm
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My 11 year old daughter has been diagnosed with conversion disorder, she was diagnosed in July 2008. She had many
of the symptoms of conversion disorder, the not walking, not eating, not
socializing, etc. The biggest symptom that she had and this symptom is the only
she still has is blindness. All her other symptoms went away by September 2008,
all of them except the vision loss. She did not have any traumatic happen at
this time, well she was having a tough time at her summer camp and we went to

the beach to spend the week with my in-laws. She had gotten ill, and my mother
in law and I had gotten into a arguement and just a couple hours later the
symptoms began. We had a long summer in and out of the hospital with
psychosomatic seizures and the other symptoms mentioned above. I was told that
we "loved her to much" and I did not allow her to have any feelings other than
being happy, so she supressed all her negative feelings and they are manifested
in her symptoms. She saw a therapist for quite a long time, then we started
seeing a hypnosis doctor a hour and half away once a week for 9 months. There was not much progess, so we stopped going. Not sure what else to do. Some people have suggested EFT.... I can not seem to find anyone on the internet who was diagnosed with conversion disorder who is blind. I have no idea how long this will last or if it will last forever! Anyone have any suggestions? Thank!

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EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I don't know if this is relevant to your situation, but I am 16 years old and was diagnosed with conversion disorder in early February of 2014. It took nearly two years to get a somewhat firm diagnosis of what I actually have, but after my older sister who is now 19 was diagnosed and I showed the same symptoms to the tee, the doctors just decided to give me the same diagnosis. The symptoms that the both of us showed were muscle seizures(originally misdiagnosed as dystonia), paralysis of the hands and feet, and massive headaches. Along with CD, the two of us both have a hereditary benign hypermobility joint disorder(Elers Danlos type3), as well as a pain amplification disorder which is pretty self explanatory, and I have sensory disorder. Both of our diagnoses took a very long time to be administered because we went to doctors who either did not understand what was going on due to the rare knowledge of this disorder, or in most cases, they simply didn't believe there was anything wrong with us, claiming that we were two completely normal teenage girls. This went on for nearly five years with my sister and two with me until wee finally found doctors who would listen and knew what was going on at children's medical center. After months of counseling for both of us, we learned to control our stress levels and pain levels, making it less likely for the symptoms to flare up again. In the past 20 months, I have had to use a wheelchair twice (8 months in total) and spent almost six months without use of my hands. It is now November and I lost use of my left hand for a third time last night. Praying to get better and using all skills I have at my disposal.

November 16, 2015 - 1:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi there. I'm 15 years old and have been diagnosed with conversion disorder for about a year now. Conversion disorder is very tricky to diagnose and treat, because there is so little known about it. I live in Australia and have been admitted to hospital where I met a few people that were around my age who also have CD, and we were lucky enough to have a doctor who is doing some serious research and awareness work. Luckily I myself have not had any impolite doctors, however one of the other teens I met in hospital had a horrible experience with other doctors, her mother had been told that it was all her fault that her daughter has this disorder. I myself suffer from nonepileptic seizures, paralysis, and muscle spasms as well as the inability to breath for about 30 seconds various times during the day, and, although it isn't blindness as per say, my eyes do not open until around midday, and resist any forceful opening.

I hope you daughter gets better soon, and good luck with everything

July 25, 2014 - 8:58am
EmpowHER Guest

Thanks for your comments about the Mayo clinic. I'm the one who wrote recently about my 17-year old daughter. We just got back from Johns Hopkins, and the neuro-opthalmologist said that her vision problem is definitely NOT psychological/subconcious or faking. She does have some kind of damage to her brain that is prohibiting it from processing what her eyes see. Her eyes themselves are fine, but she tests poorly(but the same every time,) on her visual fields--this is why they say it is not conversion disorder, but damage in her brain. They say only time will possibly fix it. We are organizing to go to Mayo next, can't give up yet. (She's been blind for almost three months now, with minimal improvement.) Let me just add that neuro-opthalmologists, specifically Dr. Pelak in Denver, make me crazy. For someone who's supposed to be so smart, they seem to be seriously lacking in both social skills and actual common sense.
I'm Luna.

July 18, 2014 - 3:03pm
EmpowHER Guest

My daughter too has conversion disorder and lost her long term memory on October 29th. We took her to the Mayo in Rochester, she went through two weeks of extensive testing to rule everything out (she fell at a high school XC meet on September 14, 2013 and landed very hard on her right hip...the true diagnosis was not revealed until December 6....all orthopedics used the original MRI...sadly three orthopedics missed the true injury, finally the fourth ortho seen it point blank on MRI and changed the physical therapy regime and within a month, she was walking normal again), anyway, after two weeks of testing at the Mayo, she was diagnosed with CD and did one week of in-patient to wean her off all the meds she had been put on. Then all three of us (she, my husband and I), attended a three week out-patient program (for various things like POTS and CD) through the Mayo...while the adolescents attended various classes (i.e. coping skills, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc.), the parents attended classes too, whereby we learned how to parent and how to react to chronic pain syndrome, etc. Although she is home now, and still experiences a lot of anxiety, she deals with it through deep breathing, etc., she still has not regained her long term memory. The Mayo said it could take six months to a year for her brain to completely rewire. There was a 16 year old in the program that experienced the blindness, and when she left the Mayo she was no longer experiencing it. There were a few that when admitted, could not walk and were in wheelchairs, after the three week program, they were walking again. I highly recommend the Mayo Clinic! They helped bring our daughter out of her shell and taught her how to deal with her CD. Although everyday I pray that her long term memory will just simply come back, going through the program, really helped me to understand her condition so much better and how to parent differently with her condition. We have our ups and downs with her loss of memory, but at least we all have hope that one day it will come back.

June 23, 2014 - 5:07am
EmpowHER Guest

Hello, I'm interested to know if your daughter is still blind. Also, I'd like to know if she lost her sight in both eyes or just one, and how did it progress? (Did it happen all at once, or slowly? Was it painful or not? )

Our daugher, 17, has been diagnosed with conversion disorder by the Emergency room, but we actually think she was chronically exposed to a toxin over many months. It took several ophthalmologists to find one who would listen to this possibility. We are still waiting on firm answers though.

June 2, 2014 - 2:42pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I'm not sure if this is still active but I just stumbled across this. I was diagnosed at the end of 2008 with conversion disorder myself. I mostly had the seizures and weakness. At times I did black out and go blind briefly. I spent a lot of years well recovered and it seems like my symptoms are returning with slight memory loss first because I'm under a lot of stress. (This tells me it's time to action caring for myself so I don't go full blown with symptoms again). Conversion disorder most often presents itself in people who have been through some sort of sexual abuse, though not immediately. The sexual abuse is the underlying trauma and all the other everyday stuff piles on top and ends up being the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. I highly recommend therapy as that was the most effective tool for me.

March 20, 2014 - 11:51am
EmpowHER Guest

My son has disorder wioth paralysis he is 13, he had the blindness for one night. Did get a bit of relief from hypnotherapy. However the bad news is the longer he has it the worse the prognosis! As means he could have it well into middle age as he has had it 3 years.

March 1, 2014 - 4:39am
EmpowHER Guest

Having been through the medical sawmill for the past 4 years with a family member who has been placed in the medicals worlds "conversion disorder bucket" which is pretty much anything neurological that does not show up on a MRI. My daughter has severe migraines that trigger blackouts and from time to time she will have neurological impacts after these blackouts , such as loss of color vision, loss of sense of touch, loss of speech motor skills. In my book it just boils down to medical science not really having any true understanding of the neuro chemical processes of the brain. It's not their fault. We are just not technologically ther yet. You can't see the flu with a X-ray and you can't necessarily see what's going on in the brain with a MRI. Just like a hundred years ago all cancers were the "consumption" , now days we have the medical understanding that ther are hundreds of different cancers with thousands of different causes. I have faith that medical science will also understand the neurological cause and effect that is lumped under the catch all of "conversion disorder". I know this post does nothing to answer your original questions, just more of a rant/support post to let you know you are not alone. There are also some doctors that leave the impression that is a "in your head issue" rather than just admitting they don't know. They are in the mode of wait and see or go to therapy with no real inclination of if a issue is helped by therapy or would have cleared up on its own. I will put away my soap box now.

July 9, 2012 - 12:31pm

Hello Anonymous,

Conversion disorder is a condition in which a person has blindness, paralysis, or other nervous system (neurologic) symptoms that cannot be explained by medical evaluation. Symptoms usually begin suddenly after a stressful experience.

Psychotherapy and stress management training may help reduce symptoms. Physical or occupational therapy can help until the symptoms disappear.

I am sorry to hear that you have been suffering with this disorder for so long.


July 3, 2012 - 4:57pm

Thanks for answering so quickly. It is true all conversion disorder articles list blindness as a symptom, but I have yet to find anyone who actually suffered with that symptom. I have not looked at the support group and will check that out. I have viewed all the others and have even posted on MedHelp.... Thanks again for the quick response!

February 1, 2011 - 7:18pm
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