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Conversion Disorders

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Question: Can anyone explain how hysterical blindness / conversion disorder works? I was wondering if someone could explain to me how hysterical blindness, also referred to as conversion disorder, works, specifically in terms of blindness? From what I gather the condition is largely mental, but I don't understand how the mental issue can create blindness.

Answer: conversion disorder is poorly understood, so it makes it difficult to answer your question. what we know about conversion disorder is that very stressful events (ie life threatening occurrences, sexual/physical/mental abuse) can be so severe that the mind does not know how to process them. Often, the event is so severe that the mind blocks it from the person's memory so it cannot be relived. When this happens, the mind will express the conflict as a physical symptoms (weakness, problems speaking, seeing, hearing, even seizures). doctors often diagnosis conversion disorder when a person's problem (weakness, blindness, etc) does not fit anatomically or they fail certain exam techniques (ie the "blind" person cannot stop the blink reflex when an object approaches because the connections are still present in the brain).

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