My Story-including Recovery
I had my first symptoms in the beginning of 2008. It began when I was at work finishing up my lunch break. I went to stand up to go back to work and I could not move my legs. Luckily, I worked with my sister and our boss let her take me to the hospital instead of calling an ambulance. That was the beginning of grueling and torturous 9 months. Before leaving the hospital, I gained movement back but my episodes and symptoms grew progressively worse. Psuedo seizures and psuedo syncope were terms I learned because they became my most common symptoms. I lost my drivers license and spent a year practically in isolation. I had to stay home all day, could not work, could not go anywhere. If I wasn't feeling completely isolated, I felt completely suffocated because at times my symptoms were so bad I couldn't be alone to even use the restroom. At 20 years old people around me were trying to talk me into getting a walker to give me some independce and to aide me so I could simply go into public without constantly falling down. I refused a walker but accepted a cane. My worst episode involved me falling when I was home alone and I fell just so that when I went into another psuedo seizure I was banging my head against a door jamb and wall with my neck kinked. Somehow, I had my cellphone in my hand and did not drop it so I was able to call my husband to get me help. I had so many tests done during those 9 months that I spent in and out of hospitals, yet no one could tell me what was wrong with me. They speculated that maybe I had MS, lupus, and an array of deblitating and chronic diseases and disorders. Finally, I went to see a psychiatrist for the depression that set in as a result of all these months. It was then that I was diagnosed with conversion disorder. I freaked completely when I found out and yet there was a major sense of relief simply from being able to name what was wrong. However, all the stories I found online where of people being wheel chair bound and having this disorder for a lifetime. I looked up the clinical information on this disorder and felt more relief. This could be overcome. It may take time, but it could be done. I merely had to figure out the root traumatic experience and go to a psychologist to help me work through the experience. Many of my symptoms tapered off by simply knowing what was wrongs. However, I continued to go to therapy. Eventually, I got to where I am today. I got my license back, and only occassionally do I feel shaky. Becuase I have learned to recognize my more minor symptoms that are precursors to the major symptoms, I am able to manage it. For example, if I feel shaky or weak I simply tell everyone I am out of commision for a day or two and spend the time getting extra rest. I haven't had a psuedo seizure since the end of October 2008. It's also been awhile since I have had any problems with speech impairment or mobility impairment. I still have my canes though I haven't used them for a few months, but I am much better. I am so thankful for my improvement because right after that big episode, I found out I was pregnant. I am due the end of July and my baby has been healthy and safe the whole time. If anyone is dealing with conversion disorder, I urge you to go to therapy to figure out what your traumatic experience was and deal with it. Most often it's some sexual abuse suffered, usually as a child. Maybe even try hypnotherapy because sometimes our minds block it from memory as a defense mechanism. But if you deal with the issue, you will get better.