Sister with conversion disorder

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Torri
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/8/2008 5:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
  New to the site. I just wondered if anyone has any experience with conversion disorder or what anyone knows about it. I have some background in psychology, so don't worry about big words.
  My sister has been in a nursing home for 5 years. She is 52 years old. Nothing is being done for the psychological issues. Just kind of vegetating there and claims she is going crazy. Lots of stupid people mistreating her and using the whole "you could get up and walk if you wanted to, you are just trying to get attention." bit. She hasn't walked in about 3 years, losing use of her right hand. Don't really know where to turn for help. The place she is at is no help, only keeping her sitting in a wheel chair with no physical therapy, etc.
Appreciate any help anyone can give me.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/8/2008 6:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Torri, Just for the other members FYI, Conversion disorder is a condition where patients present with neurological symptoms such as numbness, paralysis, or seizures, but where no neurological explanation can be found. It is thought that these problems arise in response to difficulties in the patient's life, and conversion is considered a psychiatric disorder.

Would you mind sharing a bit more about the facility she is in, no psychological services avaiable there, so what are they doing for her and how did she get to this stage?  Is she on meds, any other medical conditions?

She is lucky to have a sister who advocates for her and I understand your concerns re the lack of care she is subjected to in the facility she is in.
 
Welcome to our forum and please keep posting.
 
Hugs
Kitt
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~


nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/8/2008 8:20 PM (GMT -7)   

Torri, Hi, welcome.

That sounds like a pretty nasty state of affairs. I'm glad that you are such a caring sister yo be raising this issue. Can you let us know a little bit more and we might be able to help? Take care.

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/9/2008 5:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Torri,

What an awful situation for your sister! I've never heard of conversion disorder before. It almost sounds like the nursing home hasn't either.

percycat

peacesoul
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2446
   Posted 7/9/2008 6:52 AM (GMT -7)   
how long has she had this condition and what was she like before this?
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places


Torri
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/17/2008 7:16 AM (GMT -7)   
I am sorry to have waited so long to reply.
  Prior to this problem, my sister (I will call her L) was having marital problems and the husband was filing bankruptcy and doing a lot of legal stuff without her input. I believe he was having a nervous breakdown. He was trying to put their house up for sale and planned to move them into an apartment. L is very stubborn and was resisting a move. She had not worked for years and he was supporting the three of them, himself, my sister and my 21 year old nephew. So he apparently figured that since she was not working and contributing financially to the household she had no say, which is his typical MO.  My other 21 year old nephew (a twin) was rebelling and really putting a lot of pressure on them emotionally and financially.   In short, they had a lot of stress before this happened.
  This condition started back in 2002. "L" was taking laundry down the basement stairs when she fell down the stairs (or passed out, don't really know and she doesn't remember), hit the back of her head on the cement, and blacked out. Her 21 year old son was there when it happened and called the squad. She was sent to the hospital and ended up in there for a couple weeks or so. Multiple tests, EEGs, CT, etc were done with no findings. I live 2 states away, so I went up there to see her and she was lying in a bed on a ventilator with a trach tube in, she had stopped breathing numerous times.
  She got off the ventilator, and was sent for "rehabilitation" at this facility.  
  Long story short, she was sent to this nursing home which is just that, a nursing home, not a rehabilitation place for people with her problem. They have a psychiatrist who doesn't seem to want to pursue anything therapeutic wise with her. Now, my sister is very bullheaded and very mistrustful, so she is not going to just start spilling her problems to some stranger without a little bit of effort. They just don't seem to want to push her any. Just tell her that this is not a physical problem. I don't know how they are approaching her, but she is getting the message that this is in her head and is just attention seeking with this problem. Most of my family is very therapy shy ("I am not telling some stranger my personal business")  I have done therapy for various issues for 15 years, so I know there are many different techniques they could try with her to help her open up. But no effort has been made. I mostly talk to her on the phone which gives me a unique way to get her talking since there are no other distractions, no tv, no noisy aids coming and going, etc. I also have a bachelors in psychology, so I am more than willing to let her just vent. But it doesn't do any good if they don't also do something on their end. She just opens things up with me and then has no one to help her with closure. I really don't know if I am doing the right thing letting her open up and vent her frustrations and getting overwhelmed with no help on that end to put the pieces back together.
  She is on a small amount of antidepressants, and some anxiety medication. She has panic attacks but they don't do much to help with that. I don't know all the details, like I said I am 2 states away, but she was on a higher dose of anxiety med. and they just decided to cut it back. She says for no reason. It is almost like they are trying to drive her over the edge or something. I have considered calling the facility myself and talking to their psychiatrist, but don't know if that would be right. Also, I don't know if they care enough to try to work out these issues with her.
  I know I am rambling a lot here, but this has been going on for a long time and I am the only one who seems willing to try to do something to help. My father and other sister seem satisfied, or resigned, to just visit her every week and take her food and dvds and other amenities to make her happier there. This is fine, but she is not being pushed to take some responsibility for herself. Also, if she gets stressed out she has a pseudo seizure and so everyone is walking on eggshells around her. 
  I guess I am basically just looking for anyone who may have ideas about some resources in Ohio for her. There is some disability but not much funds to work with.

percycat
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 7/17/2008 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Torri,

I wish I could offer more support for you.

I do know that some doctors and facilities have forms that the patient can sign to allow others to be told about their health conditions. I just filled some out myself as a new patient at one office. I could check a box that said, "no, do not discuss my records with anyone" -- I think that even rules out next of kin and such - or one that said it was okay. I was allowed to choose the names of those on the "okay" list. Maybe you and your sister could discuss whether she wants you more involved in her health care and whether that's appropriate for you.

Regarding your concerns about encouraging your sister to open up without closure on her end, remember that that is her choice too. It doesn't sound to me like you're tricking or manipulating her into doing it. While it may not be as healthy as you'd like, it seems that she must be getting something out of it, else she'd choose not to talk with you about it, just as she refuses with her therapists. Try not to beat yourself up, and instead recognize that your sister seems to be getting something she needs from your conversations.

percycat

FitzyK23
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 7/17/2008 12:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm really glad you posted this but sorry I can't be of more help. We thought my 95 year old grandmother had a stroke but it was really seizure. It was after a very traumatic fight with her daughter (my aunt). I suspect they were also verbally abusing her. (Its sick, I know). She is now thriving in assisted living. But, when the docs said her seizure was caused my her emotional distress I didn't believe that was possible. I guess it is!
 
In answering that I figured out my advice.  Can you get her moved to a rehab facility?


26 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/17/2008 1:28 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello and I am very sorry to hear of the truama your sister has gone through.  she obviously had some major issues if she has a trach and is in a nursing home so I guess my best advice would be to talk with her social worker about what kind of mental health treatment she may be entitled to.

As far as providing any info we are not professionals but we sure are good at supporting so keep posting at least for your own anxiety re your sister.

Gentle Hugs

Kitt

 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Torri
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/17/2008 6:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the input. As you can tell by the last lengthy post, it is a very anxious time. Lots of stuff is bottled over the 6 years this has been going on. I really don't know how my other sister and father deal with it, I guess by taking her food and dvd's and trying to push down most of the feelings related to this. I have never been too good at that. eyes

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/17/2008 7:46 PM (GMT -7)   

Torri,

Sometimes it is a huge relief to be able to just come here and post your feelings with others who understand, that alone can lift your spirirts.

Hugs to you sweetie.
Kitt



 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

Post Edited (stkitt) : 7/18/2008 7:28:36 AM (GMT-6)


jujub
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10392
   Posted 7/17/2008 8:30 PM (GMT -7)   
Torri, I'm somewhat familiar with conversion disorder, but I've never seen it cause someone to stop breathing. Are they really sure there isn't a neurological problem? If possible, it would be good for her to have some current neuropsychological testing, which could be done in a real rehabilitatio facility. The problem, I'm sure, would be getting insurance coverage.

A nursing home is not an appropriate placement for someone with a conversion disorder, or for someone with a neurological disorder that has potential for rehabilitation. They're there to provide physical care and support, and generally not staffed or equipped to do anything more than the most basic rehab. I hope you and your family will be able to find a way to have her re-evaluated to determine what the problem really is and how to approach it.

If she really does have a conversion disorder, it would seem a psychiatric facility would serve her better than a nursing home.
Judy
 
Moderate to severe left-sided UC (21 cm) diagnosed 2001.
Avascular necrosis in both shoulders is my "forever" gift from steroid therapy.
Colazal,  Remicade, Nature's Way Primadophilus Reuteri. In remission since April, 2006.
 
Co-Moderator UC Forum
Please remember to consult your health care provider when making health-related decisions.


Torri
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 7/17/2008 10:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I do not know the details about the trach. But I do know when I visited her when the fall happened, she was having EEG's and other tests done right and left. I think they ran out of ideas what could be the problem and made the conversion disorder diagnosis. They ran a lot of neurological tests. A physical therapist told her once that she had known someone who had hit some area in the back of their head and it caused problems with the motor nerves.
  A psychoneurological series of tests sounds like a good idea. I do not know how much they have evaluated her in those regards. I will keep googling and see what kind of rehabs. I can find. Thanks so much for sharing this burden.
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2008 6:35 AM (GMT -7)   

Torri,
Great advice from Judilyn ! I knew one of the members would have some input that would help you. 

I will keep you and your sister in my prayers and your sister is very fortunate to have a caring sibling to work so hard at trying to help her. You are a wonderful sister.

Gentle Hugs
Kitt

 


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


behindtheseeyes00987
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 191
   Posted 7/19/2008 1:15 PM (GMT -7)   
why do you say you have background in psychology, so dont worry about big words??

I'd like to learn more about this condition
-Depressed-
-Anxiety Attacks-
-Daily Migraine Headaches-
-Chronic Pain-
Daily Amitriptyline
 
"Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars."
 
 

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, December 08, 2016 7:32 AM (GMT -7)
There are a total of 2,734,624 posts in 301,227 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 151346 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, heelm007.
307 Guest(s), 14 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
JayMot, Psilociraptor, Butterflake, JNF, Paul's Brother, Tickled6, pmm73, blksteeda, Ed Ski, Traveler, pitmom, Momtogigiandquinn, Snarf, iPoop


Follow HealingWell.com on Facebook  Follow HealingWell.com on Twitter  Follow HealingWell.com on Pinterest
Advertisement
Advertisement

©1996-2016 HealingWell.com LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer