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Does my mother have Conversion Disorder?



New member
Apr 10, 2009
Hi there, I have never heard of this disorder until now. It interests me because it sounds a lot like my mother.

About 7 years ago, my mother was diagnosed with a tumour in her brain. I don't remember if it was cancerous or not (I was pretty young at the time, about 13 or 14 maybe), but somehow the tumour shrunk at each subsequent scan and eventually disappeared, leaving her doctors completely baffled.

Anyway, since then, she's been having a lot of strange symptoms. The ones she has mention to me include :

muscle twitching in arms and legs
legs occasionally "dragging" when she is trying to walk
pins and needles, tingling and numbness in hands and arms

There may be others she hasn't mentioned to me.

Everyone assumed that the symptoms were related to the tumour. However she has been to the doctors and hospital, had a lot of blood tests, MRIs and everything else and they can't find out what's wrong with her. MS, epilepsy and some other rare condition she asked them to investigate, have been ruled out. Put simply, they have told her they don't know what's wrong, and to live with her symptoms.

But after looking through this forum and some other web stuff about this disorder, I'm wondering if she could have it? She has a history of depression (untreated) and since CD seems to be triggered by a stressful event, I'd say being diagnosed with a possibly cancerous brain tumour would be extremely stressful.


Active member
Founding Member
Mar 25, 2008
Possible Conversion disorder

HI there and :welcome:

Firstly I am not a doctor and cannot really advise you on the "If's" and "why's" or even the possiblilty of your Mother's problems, but I can try to help in the explanations maybe.

The symptom list you jotted down could be related, basically conversion disorder is showing signs and symptoms of a neurological illness without the clinical evidence, I for one have had all the symptoms on the list you mention.

It is different for everyone though and it could still be worth seeing her GP to be certain other conditions have been ruled out first, I am currently still stuck in limboland between conversion disorder or MS as the docs cannot fully rule out MS or complex MS with CD thrown in to the bargain in my case.

The diagnosis is generally made via your neuro and then a neuro psychiatrist and only once ALL neurological conditions have been ruled out and no better explanation for the symptoms can be found would CD be considered a possibility. From there an assessmnet would be the first line and then talking therapy and CBT may be useful.

I can say it is a very real condition to the sufferer and all symptoms are produced by the brain and are and can be scary for family too. My own family have said that they treat it as any other illness and take the good days with the bad. They are also in your difficult position and do struggle to understand it, all i can add is that the person suffering CD is not able or in control of what is happening and I am assuming like me your Mother is just as frustrated and confused about why this happens, the docs don't really have the answers either.

I am around if you feel i can possibly help further then please drop me an email.

I wish you both the very best and hope there is a relief and diagnosis for you all soon.

Take good care and kind regards

Mollycat :hug:

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