Early onset conversion disorder: A case report

Akdemir D., Unal F.

TURK PSIKIYATRI DERGISI, vol.17, no.1, pp.65-71, 2006 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.65-71
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Conversion disorder is defined as the presence of functional impairment in motor, sensory and neurovegetative systems that cannot be fully explained by a general medical condition. In western countries, conversion disorder is rare in children and adolescents. However, clinical studies from our country demonstrated a high frequency of conversion disorder diagnosis in child and adolescent psychiatry clinics. Conversion disorder is more frequently seen in adolescents and young adults compared to children. The likelihood of this disorder in children younger than five years of age is very low. This case report presents an 8 years old patient with conversion disorder diagnosis whose complaints started at three years of age. Her clinical condition had been continuous and resistant to non-psychiatric treatment approaches. Her complaints included inability to stand up and walk, complete bed dependence, presence of jerking type of movements in both legs, contractures as a result of decreased muscle movements and joint use, and presence of curving in her back due to continuous sitting bent to one side. Therapeutic interventions had been successful and the patient completely recovered. In this paper, the clinical presentation of conversion disorder, possible etiological factors and how these factors were handled, concrete treatment strategies and the follow-up of this patient are discussed. In addition, importance of early diagnosis and treatment of conversion disorder in children in our country and requirement of interdisciplinary cooperation in treatment are emphasized.