PHILADELPHIA — Rochelle Caplan, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses conversion disorder in children and adolescents, comorbid anxiety disorders and depression, diagnostic challenges and treatment.
Conversion disorder is a condition in which psychological stress is displayed in physical ways, according to the Mayo Clinic. “The condition was so named to describe a health problem that starts as a mental or emotional crisis — a scary or stressful incident of some kind — and converts to a physical problem.”
Conversion disorder is most common in adolescents and females, according to Caplan.
“One of the biggest problems in conversion disorder is that it takes quite a while until this diagnosis is made,” Caplan told Healio.com/Psychiatry. “It is important to note this is not what we call a default diagnosis. What I mean by that is by not finding medical reasons for the physical symptoms, one doesn’t make a diagnosis of conversion disorder. in order to make a diagnosis of conversion disorder, there is a specific psychiatric profile that is found in these children.”