The good news is I didn't have a stroke

United States
January 20, 2012 6:50am CST
My neuro checks are all normal, so the neurologist feels that this is a conversion disorder due to stress and anxiety. I can deal with that, because I was worried that this might be cancer of a stroke. Cancer still hasn't been ruled out because the MRI is broken.. but considering that everything is okay and it is is just because I am unable to speak, that it is a conversion disorder. It is only my speech that is affected; my ability to write and understand language is normal. Has anyone ever had a conversion disorder. My periods of aphasia that I've had for over a year is also a conversion disorder. I still have times when my head is empty of any words, so that I couldn't speak if I wanted to because I have forgotten how temporarily... it only occurs for a few minutes when I start to get anxious. Telling me to not be anxious isn't helpful, because most of the time I don't even FEEL anxious. I don't FEEL stressed and I still can't talk. Have you ever had a conversion disorder? What was it, and did it ever go away? The neurologist mentioned last night that many doctors feel that fibromyalgia is a conversion disorder which is related to depression. He says it is a cycle of pain that would be relieved with exercise, but the catch 22 is that there is so much pain that people can't exercise to get rid of the pain. We know that Fibro is a problem with the pain nerves, but no one knows what really causes it, but depression seems to be a factor. I mentioned fibro, so that you can see even a common disorder can also be a conversion disorder. So has your doctor ever said you have a conversion disorder?
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7 responses
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
21 Jan 12
well I already knew that that this all comes from stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety does not have to happen at the moment the apraxia or aphasia occurs. Your apraxia and aphasia is from a build up of stress and anxiety. This is from months and months of stress and anxiety and then it hits. Just look at what has happened, problems with K, the aphasia struck, then just recently look at the stress over your bank and the unlawful purchase, and low and behold a couple of days later you have the conversion disorders. You may have been sitting down having a tea and laughing with Kim when it happened and you didn't feel stressed but it was the stress and anxiety over the bank in the background that settled in your body and just came out at the moment in a the form of your conversion disorders.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Jan 12
Now that you mention it, I was able to talk to the bank to report the fraud, but immediately afterwards I was unable to talk. So I was able to do what had to be done to get this solved. The next day I was calm and knew it would get handled, but I was out of my mind with worry the day I found that fraud. (I got my money back too!) Now I got the apraxia and aphasia back in church today and the stuttering. This may be something that I just have to deal with and learn to accept. When I get this way I will have to make it a sign that I need to stop what I'm doing. I was talking to Mommy tonight and it happened... and she said I needed to get off the phone and rest so we hung up. I'm unable to say the words I am typing right now. It is the apraxia... my mouth won't move to say the words. I can think the words I am writing and hear my voice in my head, but I can't make them come out... crazy!!! Pastor said to NOT be self-conscious and to just be me and come to church and get active in church. They accept me whether I can talk or not.
@francesca5 (1344)
20 Jan 12
thats interesting, i have never heard of a conversion disorder before. i find, when i get very stressed through fear or anger, that i feel a sort of tight pain in my chest. most recently when i was angry about something, it was like this knot, and it stretches out into my chest. but i have had it a few times now, so i have given up worrying that its anything serious. the sad thing is it wasn't something that was particularly annoying, it was just the poor person reminded me of something else. so i think i internalised the anger, which caused the knot, rather than shouting at them, but to be honest, given they didn't do anything to deserve being shouted at, i would rather i internalised it than took it out on them, i go out and play the guitar and sing folk songs sometimes, and recently before i went i was really nervous, and i had this terrible cramp like pain in my chest, and for a minute i wondered if it was fatal, but then it past and i felt better, it was strange. the trouble is i think this is one of those health issues where the medical profession is miles behind the rest of us, the people who own the bodies. it doesn't surprise me at all that you have physical stress symptoms, related to psychological issues as i certainly do. and its good news that it wasn't a stroke. i have only recently began to understand what is happening in my head to create the stress symptoms, but i have found with fear, a few cups of chamomile tea, and a bit of meditation helps. with anger thats much harder to get rid of, i find i have to analyse, or ideally talk to someone, about why i am angry, and then just slowly release it. though it tends to go when its ready to go. my theory is that its to do with internalising our emotions, inside our bodies, rather than releasing them. so i suppose understanding our emotions, as seems to always be the case, is the solution.
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20 Jan 12
sorry, i forget the first bit. hello pointlessquestions,
2 people like this
• United States
20 Jan 12
Hi Francesca! What you described is what psychologists call a conversion reaction to anger. There are conversion reactions which are temporary reactions to stress, anxiety and emotions. I have a conversion disorder where it is permanent even when I'm not stressed. I do speak somewhat better if I try talking slow, one word at a time. When I try talking normal it just comes out like gibberish and stuttering.
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@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Jan 12
franesca what you descried I have had and the doctor called it ] panic attacks and gave me the key to them which I learned and never have had another one. pain in the chest inability to breathe and feeling you might pass out. I chose not to let stress rule me not to react to it at all.I faced my fear and it left.so mine were temporary
• United States
20 Jan 12
Thank goodness it wasn't a stroke, that must be a relief to you and your family. I've never had a conversion disorders before but I learned about them in psychology. In some cases, people would actually go blind from stress, anxiety, etc. when they're examined by a doctor, there is no medical problem with the eyes and the person should still be able to see but their brain has caused them to temporarily go blind. It can be strange yet fascinating to see how the body reacts in situations and it's weird to think that those things happen when theres no medical problem. I don't remember how conversion disorders are treated, but I'm sure it probably involves some sort of medication and visits with a psychologist to learn how to manage stress and relaxation techniques. Anyways, I'm glad you didn't have a stroke and I hope you're able to overcome the conversion disorder. Keep us updated!!
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 12
Hi CourtKnee, I’m so relieved that it’s not a stroke. I was so scared that it was either a stroke or cancer in the brain. I don’t understand how conversions occur, but the brain is a powerful mechanism. I know that I don’t react to stress like everyone else. I don’t outwardly know I’m anxious until I start crying. When it gets to the point where I’m crying, I either won’t have words in my head, and can’t speak, or the muscles of my mouth and tongue won’t work and I can’t talk, and now this stuttering is all the time… but gets worse when I am worked up. I can be on a discussion that reminds me of my past and I will start crying, and I’ll be not able to talk. My family doctor is very caring, and she knows I am very articulate when I talk to her, so she knew that this was not normal for me. Maybe she will suggest cognitive behavioral therapy… or maybe just an antidepressant… I just need to get over this. I miss not being able to work, but since it stresses me out, I need to give myself a break. I work as a ghostwriter, but haven’t been able to for a long time now.
• United States
20 Jan 12
That's quite a predicament :( It makes the situation harder when you don't know you're anxious or stressed until the last minute, which makes it harder for you to realize and fix. At least you have one hurdle crossed..knowing it's not cancer or a stroke. I'm sure your doctor will be able to recommend the right thing for you to do next. Just keep in mind that the best way to get treated will involve both therapy and possibly a light medication. Medication alone won't solve the problem. Cognitive-behavriol therapy will get straight to the source of the problem and help you understand it, teach you relaxation techniques for when you feel anxiety coming on, and you'll eventually be able to control it. The medication will only suppress the symptoms and although it'll make you feel better, you'll have to rely on it to keep everything in check whereas a combination of both will teach you how to fix and deal with the conversion and the meds will make the symptoms go away. Maybe after you take it easy for a while you'll be able to work again. It must be hard not working but you don't want to work and then have it damage your health due to stress and anxiety. With time, you'll be able to get back into it again :)
@Kalyni2011 (3503)
• India
24 Jan 12
Just now i have responded to your previous discussion, glad to know you had no stroke!!!But your inability to speak clearly needs detailed investigation, there has to be a reason behind it.. I never had conversion disorder lol thanks for sharing.. Happy posting, cheers. Kalyani
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jan 12
I hope I don't have to live with it forever. I'm not going to let my insecurities about it stop me from living my life and having fun.
@MaryLynn321 (2680)
• United States
24 Jan 12
I have never had that problem and I feel bad that you have to go through it. I know what you mean, when you say you don't feel anxiety. I can totally relate to that. I did not know that depression can cause fibromyalgia. I guess it makes sense to me. I know several people who have it. I have some issues and the doctor was wondering if that might be one of them. But, we haven't looked into it any further till next years appointment. I am so glad that you neuro checks were all normal.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jan 12
I have some points that are painful but my doc said that I don't have fibro. Exercise is the treatment that will make the pain go away but most people are inactive due to pain and depression which feeds the cycle of painful nerve endings. I still get my speech problems each day at times. I don't even know I'm anxious.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Jan 12
pointlessquestions I am so glad it was not a stroke.I have never had a conversion disorder that I know of.my speech is fine but I am shy so often people say I speak too low. If the doctors can help you that will be wonderful.you are so articulate and intelligent on paper its a shame you have this problem and my throat hurt watching your video for you as your expression made me want to cry for you. stress is so often to blame for much of our troubles. if I let myself stress out as a diabetic my blood sugar goes sky high. I have had times when I had something I wanted to say that I thought got me interested in conversion disorder and I shall have to read up on\it.I do hope now your doctors can really help you. I will send a lot more prayers for you to regain your normal speech winging your way,. You are too nice a person so have to suffer like this. good luck and God bless. Over a year ago did some really traumatic ev ent happen to you before you got aphasia? it might have a bearing. all my love and best wishes hugs from hatley
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@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
20 Jan 12
Hi PointlessQuestions, So happy to learn that you didn't have a stroke. I have never heard of conversion disorder and so can't make any comment there. I hope that you will be feeling better soon. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Jan 12
Hi Pose! It is frustrating, to say the least. I try to talk and it comes out gibberish mixed with stuttering. I found that if I try to slow down my pace between each word the gibberish is not as bad and the stuttering isn't quite so bad. I still get frustrated when people dont understand what I said and then I have to start over. It's exhausting. All of my other faculties are intact. It's just my altered speech pattern that is the problem. No one knows what causes conversion disorders, but they are driven by stress, anxiety and depression. The doc compared my conversion disorder to fibromyalgia. He said it is a cycle driven by pain and the pain drives the depression. He said the only difference is that mine is speech pattern instead of pain.