Send Your Replies about Conversion Disorder to Mary

Hi Mary.

I have asthma, major GI troubles (35+years) and had unexplained hives From the neck down. The asthma makes sense but the other stuff has no known cause. Or cure. Also phantom pain etc. Good luck and keep writing about what you find out.



Dear Mary:

I've had many of those "conversion or somatoform disorders." In the 1980's, I went through my total inheritance over several years at hospitals and doctors offices to try to explain problems that arose and nothing, NOTHING, was wrong with me. I am probably full of radiation by now!! I ended up almost killing myself before I went to see a therapist at a mental health center. He was my one last chance and by then I was out of money and had to accept care on a sliding fee scale.

Anything from not being able to see, to vaginal problems galore, to related heart problems, to jaw and facial and eating problems, gas and beleching and gastrointestinial and almost any thing medical, you name it, I had it. When I finally did get diagnosed with a real lung disease of Pulmonary Fibrosis, I couldn't believe it and then was really scared. However to this day, I still go the medical route first to be sure it is not physical before I dare reveal any thing else to my therapist who's known me for years and years.

It is almost always related to some form of abuse or ritual abuse I and my personalities suffered from 4-13 years of age and maybe earlier, but I have no memory of it at present and am repeating the same scenario again, seeing a doctor today for vaginal issues! The gastrointestinial issues and throwing up were related to oral sex stuff that had happened to a child part or a teenager and I would actually froth up in my mouth and the krap would come up and out my mouth and I would belch and belch. BUT, I was better as soon as I recognized it and realized it was the different personality, got to know the personality and why the problem was "created" and then accepted it as happening to me.

I am so tired of it all now, I want to quit. Am about ready to until today, ironically, I decided to read your request as I had no idea what conversion disorder meant. I thought it was religous in some way and almost didn't read it. So by your question and people's answers, I have a tiny glimmer of hope coming back to me. So thank you but I am sorry you have to go through all this.

Believe yourself and your body. Body memories are there for a reason! (I'm talking to myself here, too!) Try to relax and realize it (the abuse or events) has/have already happened to you and let the parts of yourself tell the story. It's worked for me in the past. I have no further information, as I am dealing with krap again, as well.




Hi Mary,

Although I don't think asthma qualifies as a Conversion Disorder, for me it was very similar. When I first developed asthma in 1992, I had NO memories of any childhood abuse. I went to soooo many doctors for my asthma---primary care, then pulmonologists, asthma specialists, allergists, ENT's, etc. My asthma got worse and worse. I was on steroids / prednisone for a year straight. I was on nebulizers, I was in & out of the hospital every month. I was on 4 inhalers. NO ONE could help me. Finally, as a last resort, my pulmonologist sent me to a psychotherapist. And, slowly, the MEMORIES began to surface.....of childhood abuse. And then I was diagnosed with D.I.D.
The point is---as I worked through the memories, and worked with my "Parts," the asthma began to slowly improve. It was a trade-off.
The more childhood issues I worked through, the less asthma symptoms I had. It truly was amazing!
I now have integrated all the "Parts," AND I NO LONGER have asthma. My medical doctors cannot explain this. Nor can I. Could Asthma be a Conversion Disorder? I don't know.
But, I do know that the body screams out for help in mysterious ways.
Mary, all I can say is.....I wish you hope, and courage, and strength in your journey towards healing. Listen to your body----it is asking for your help.



Hi Mary,

     While my struggles with various physical manifestations of my trauma have been different from yours, I do understand how difficult it is to live with these types of challenges.  Within the mental health community, "Conversion Disorder" is considered to one of the "Somatoform Disorders" which are various physical symptoms with no apparent physical cause and hence, are considered to be "psychiatric" in origin.  When I look at the list of types of "Somatoform Disorders" as listed on the webiste for the American Academy for Family Physicians, I'm astounded by how many of these "disorders" I've experienced, my longest and most difficult struggle being with food intolerance and difficulty the point where I felt I could no longer eat. Another physical manifestation I struggled with for many years which is not listed is Burning Mouth Syndrome, which also made eating difficult for me.  Fortunately, it was when I was struggling most intensely with these challenges that many other aspects of my life were coming undone because of my trauma history and as a result, I entered a psychiatric hospital. 
     Finally convinced that my physical symptoms might have something to do with my trauma, upon leaving the hospital I began therapy with an excellent mind/body talk therapist and also immersed myself in many body-centered healing modalities such as massage therapy, movement therapy, Reiki and Qi Gong.  Little by little, I began to release enormous amounts of stored energy from my body, most often through tears and intense waves of trembling.  As difficult as this was, each time I went through another wave of release, I noticed I was beginning to feel more and more grounded in my body and little by little, many of the bodily manifestations disappeared.  It's been over five years since I began this type of mind/body healing and while I do, on occasion, experience some type of physical challenge related to my trauma, most of my struggles have disappeared and, if I do experience a physical challenge, I'm able to work with it until, most times, it subsides. 
     While I realize that mind/body healing may not be well accepted in many mainstream circles, I, for one, can attest to its validity and to its potential to help us heal.  Keep in mind, this wasn't the direction I was heading in when I began my that time, I still believed I had some rare disease but since I had had nearly every medical test in the book, I had nowhere left to turn but to look inside and try to heal my trauma.  It was only through the wisdom of the "powers that be" that I found the healing modalities that I did, without which, because I could no longer eat, I truly believe I might not be here today.  Because of my own mind/body healing experience, I am now pursuing an MA degree that I'm hoping will help me to assist others who are struggling with issues similar to those I struggled with. 
     There's an interesting entry dated November 29, 2010 on a blog-site called "Mind-Body Thoughts" posted by a young woman who also struggled with "Conversion (Somatoform) Disorder" and who also experienced profound healing through mind/body healing modalities which you might find helpful.  <>
     Certainly, anyone with concerning physical symptoms should see their doctor to determine if there is a physical cause and consider mind/body modalities to be complementary to traditional treatment methods.
     I wish you all the best, Mary, as you work toward resolving some of the difficult physical challenges you're dealing with. 



Hi Mary

I had a conversion disorder that was also very debilitating. It went on for six years, and I got progressively more disabled.

Mine affected my legs and my equilibrium, which made it harder and harder to walk, until I used a cane and sometimes a wheelchair. I was tested for all sorts of ailments to try to get a diagnosis, but all the tests were negative. Turns out, my body was creating "pseudoseizures" and other symptoms that were reminiscent of some of the medical experiments my grandfather had done on me. Now, many years later, my body had decided it was time that I know about what happened. The "me" that grew up into a professional woman, wife and mom didn't know anything about all that had happened in my childhood and the body was now saying it was time to release those memories and heal from them. It was only during the healing process that I met all the other parts inside who had held those memories for so long and protected us from knowing about it all until we could deal with it.

For me and my internal community, the conversion disorder opened the door to the opportunity for healing -- but I had to get very sick before I got to the right neurologist who finally figured it out. Then, with a really good therapist, as the memories began to be released in horrible flashbacks and abreactions, the body symptoms began to go away. We have been in therapy and working hard for nine years now and this body is physically healthier than it had been for a long time - and able to hike again! And my system still uses physical symptoms to communicate with me sometimes if I forget to pay attention to everyone's needs.
So, my advice is to listen to your body. It is trying to tell you something. Find a therapist you trust and let your body lead you on the path to healing.

I hope this is helpful.


Dear Mary,

I do not have a conversion disorder, but it might be helpful for you and others to read more about this troublesome condition. Here is a link from the National Institutes of Mental Health on the topic of conversion disorders. I certainly hope some other MV readers will share their experience and what they have done to manage their symptoms. I am sure it is essential to rule out actual physical causes of symptoms when faced with these problems.
Good luck to you and please keep in touch.