Dissociative and conversion disorders digital illustration

Dissociative and conversion disorders Save

ICD-10 code: F44

Chapter: Mental and behavioural disorders

Dissociative and Conversion Disorders: Understanding the Differences

Dissociative and conversion disorders are two conditions that can be difficult to differentiate, as they share some similar symptoms. However, understanding the differences between these disorders can help individuals receive appropriate treatment for their specific condition.

Dissociative Disorder

Dissociative disorder is a condition in which individuals experience a disconnection from their thoughts, feelings, memories, or sense of identity. This condition can manifest in several forms, including dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, and depersonalization disorder.

Individuals with dissociative disorder may experience memory loss, feel detached from their surroundings, or have a sense of being outside their body. They may also have difficulty with concentration, experience mood swings, and have anxiety or depression.

Conversion Disorder

Conversion disorder, also known as functional neurological symptom disorder, is a condition in which individuals experience physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical condition. These symptoms can include weakness or paralysis, seizures, blindness, or difficulty swallowing.

Individuals with conversion disorder may also experience psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or stress. These symptoms can be triggered by a stressful event, such as a traumatic experience or a major life change.

Understanding the Differences

While dissociative and conversion disorders share some similarities, there are several key differences between these conditions. Dissociative disorders are primarily characterized by a disconnection from one's thoughts, feelings, or sense of identity, while conversion disorder is primarily characterized by physical symptoms that cannot be explained by a medical condition.

Additionally, dissociative disorders are often associated with trauma or abuse, while conversion disorder is often associated with psychological stressors. Treatment for these conditions may also differ, with dissociative disorders typically treated with therapy and medications, while conversion disorder may be treated with physical therapy or counseling.

  1. Seek Help
  2. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of dissociative or conversion disorder, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. A therapist or psychologist can help diagnose the specific condition and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to the individual's needs.

  3. Be Patient
  4. Treatment for dissociative and conversion disorders can take time, and it is important to be patient and consistent in attending therapy sessions and taking medications as prescribed. With the right treatment, individuals with these conditions can learn to manage their symptoms and improve their overall quality of life.

  5. Stay Positive
  6. Living with dissociative or conversion disorder can be challenging, but it is important to stay positive and focus on the progress made in treatment. With the right support and resources, individuals with these conditions can lead happy and fulfilling lives.