I apologize for bringing up a topic that appears to have died over a year ago but I felt as if I should add my two cents.
I came across this thread while researching if there was any direct corrolation between the mechanism responsible for sleep paralysis (not so much the
disorder but the normal function of the brain intentionally paralyzing the motor functions during REM sleep to prevent one from running, jumping or
punching their way out of their bed).
The truth is Conversion Disorder is very much real. I should know. I have it.
Although it is viewed as a psychological disorder there are various physiological signs that can be shown beyond the symptoms. In Motor Conversion
Disorder, FMRI's have shown that the part of the brain that normally shows activity when moving a limb actually shows little or no activity when one
attempts to move a limb that is paralyzed due to conversion disorder.
The biggest frustration is having more knowledge of the disorder than most doctors I have spoken to and, in numerous cases, actually having to explain
the disorder to them.
Unfortunately, because of the lack of knowledge of the disorder and the fact that it is fairly rare, there is a lack of real research, an abundance of
assumptions, a great deal of ignorance on the subject within the medical community, and basically a whole lot of guess work in white coats.
One item that is commonly listed is that it is much more likely to occur with someone of lower than average intelligence and a high level of ignorance
in modern medicine. This is not the case with me because I have a college degree, a fairly decent understanding of modern medicine and have several
independent IQ tests listing my results in the mid 140s.
Another common assumption is that the disorder is short-term and will tend to go away after the assumed trigger has passed. This is, again, not the
case with my particular experience with the disorder because over the past 5 years I have had 14 occurances or "reactions" with no identifiable
trigger and no real connections between occurances and the length of time of each reaction has ranged from the first one being 2 and a half weeks to
the 13th one lasting a full calander year. I am currently in my 14th one and rapidly approaching the 9 month mark.
One possible reason this is under reported: the disorder is linked to recreational (and illegal) drug use?
This is highly inaccurate. This disorder has nothing to do with recreational drug use in any way. What the disorder is most commonly linked with is a
stressor to the subcontious part of the brain or in some cases a trauma of some sort. One particular conversion reaction that has been given the most
exposure is "Hysterical Blindess". They even made a movie about it with Uma Thurman, though the way it was portrayed was grossly inaccurate.
I guess the whole point I am trying to make is that the disorder is real and in my opinion should be taught to med students, exposed to current
doctors and researched far more than it is.