Archive for the ‘sigmund’ Category

Sigmund has the last word…

In bblonde, sigmund on 12/13/2006 at 1:25 pm

A neurological disorder in which physiological symptoms are discernible without seemingly justifiable reasons is commonly termed a ‘conversion disorder’ and is generally accepted to be subconciously triggered by stressful and/or traumatic events. The critical point here is that the symptoms of conversion disorder, which may include loss of coordination or balance, facial tics, loss of specific senses such as sight or hearing, difficulty swallowing or feeling of a lump in the throat, paralysis of limb, etc… are entirely involuntary. In essence the person is not consciously acting out the consequent physiological effects and often not even aware of the physical symptoms until it is pointed out to them.

The irony is that ‘conversion disorder’ was a term coined by Freud because he thought that people unconsciously converted a psychological distress into a physiological symptom, and has long been looked upon by the medical establishment as a ‘phantom’ disease more appropriately to be categorized under psychosomatic ailments. Although unfortunately it is still more commonly referred to as ‘hysteria’, its unusual features haven’t changed. Sufferers have neurological symptoms ranging from numbness in a limb to paralysis, memory loss and seizures, that cannot be traced to any known medical problem. That is, until now. ..

Now a new study, published in the December issue of medical journal Neurology finds that a part of the brain which normally responds to touch was inactive when the numb body part was stimulated – proof that the symptoms really exist. Omar Ghaffar, a resident in psychiatry at Sunnybrook and the study’s lead author along with Anthony Feinstein of UofT, says the findings are good news for those who have long been told their condition was imaginary and offers brain evidence that “validates” the general Freudian view of the disorder. So next time your significant other complains of tingling sensations or nervous tic, don’t be so quick to assume that they are imagining it, try offering a deep back rub instead 🙂