Dynamic neurological disorders imply different malfunctions of the nervous system. These are not the same things as some organic diseases that affect the nervous system. Functional neurological disorder means that your body doesn’t receive neuro signals or has trouble receiving signals from your brain. This leads to various symptoms, like overall weakness, movement troubles, etc.
Usually, a patient complains of numbness, pain, gait disturbance, and fainting. But, sometimes it happens that many doctors can’t figure out the root of the problem; this leads to multiple checkouts, various medical testing and visiting different doctors, or even inappropriate medical treatment. Indeed, there are a lot of stories of people struggling with a functional neurological disorder, which was taken for another illness.
The annual statistics show there are 37.2 cases of FND per 100,000 persons. Besides, women and children under 20 are at higher risk. Though many symptoms are typically confused with ordinary fatigues, neurological disorders require a professional cure. In any case, don’t try to treat it on your own, as you require proper medical care from a qualified professional. So, what should you know about functional neurological disorders?
Peculiarities of Dynamic Neurological Disorder
We have given you the basic definition of the FND, but now let’s take a closer look at it. Therefore we will understand how it works and the reason for its occurrence.
Neurology and psychology
This disorder is somehow related to both. When the disease was only slightly discovered, doctors did not recognize it as a separate illness. In fact, patients complaining about common FND symptoms were considered liars or simply struggling from some other disease. Even though FND is traditionally referred to as a disease at the intersection of neurology and psychiatry, the psychological component of these disorders often prevails. At the same time, improvement in mental health is associated with a significant improvement in the condition of patients.
Moreover, some doctors regarded these symptoms as typical displays of psychosomatic disease. Indeed, neurology has a tight bond with psychology; for instance, some neurological disorders can manifest in skin troubles. Another trouble with FND is that patients have normal indicators of MRI. This is another reason why FND wasn’t recognized as a separate illness and was denied by the physicians.
A bond between trauma and FND is observed in a wide range of cases, from 15 to 77%, according to different studies. However, attempts to classify this disorder further based on the type of trauma or type of symptom have been controversial. It is well known that psychological trauma in early childhood is closely linked with dissociation. The development of dissociative disorders explains the role of early traumatic experiences in the development of non-epileptic (dissociative) seizures.
There are not so many functional neurological disorder examples, so the data about the disease is poor. But the causes and symptoms are pretty similar to many other neurological malfunctions, like functional gait disorder.
This disorder’s lack of facts and uncertainty often leads to inappropriate medical treatment. In fact, those who are struggling with functional neurological disorders tend to pay the most considerable sums of money for their treatment compared to other people with movement disorders. So, as we said before, in any case, don’t try to self-medicate. You need a proper medical service that will save your health, time, and money.
For functional disorders, the following groups of drugs are used:
- anticonvulsants (antiepileptic drugs);
- sleeping pills.
Drug treatment aims are to reduce functional disorders, relieve pain, normalize mood, and relieve anxiety and fatigue.
Signals and Causes of Dynamic Neurological Disorder
Ironically, the critical problem of this disorder is that your body gets the wrong signal from your brain, which is essential for you to note. So, what are the standard signals your body sends you to recognize as conversion disorder? And what are the reasons for your body to send them?
- General Weakness/Increased Fatigue
- Pain In The Back, Trunk, Limbs
- Sensitivity Disorders
- Involuntary Movements
- Gait Disturbances
- Speech Disorders/Difficulty Finding Words
- Memory / Concentration Impairment
- Sleep Disturbances
- Visual Impairment
- Swallowing Disorder
- Urinary Disorders/Bowel Problems
- Depressed Mood/Anxiety/Panic/Health Anxiety
As you can see, FND has much in common with a lot of different illnesses, so it is quite easy to confuse it with something else. The symptoms may change from day to day. Moreover, they can occur periodically; therefore, one day, you may struggle from a severe headache, and the next day, everything will be fine. That’s why self-diagnosis doesn’t work.
The mechanisms that cause functional neurological anxiety and depression disorder are poorly studied. Therefore, the list of reasons is not complete. There is an assumption that one of the causes of that might be a bad sense of body control. Also, physicians still proposed several roots of this problem:
- Stress/Constant fatigues. It is known that constant stress results in many surprising body reactions, which at first might not have any roots to occur.
- Other neurological diseases. The chances for you to get FND to grow if you are already struggling from some neurological condition.
- Injuries. A lot of functional neurological disorder stories begin from getting an injury that might be a trigger for the condition.
- Psychological causes. Anxiety attacks and migraines can also result in you getting a neurological disorder.
- Infectious disease. It is not apparent but infectious diseases can affect the nervous system.
All in all, now you have a basic knowledge of these disorders. Like any other illness, it must be appropriately treated by the high-qualified physician. In any case, do not try to diagnose and treat it yourself, as there is a big chance for you to mistake it with any other disease. Follow all the necessary medications your physician prescribed you and take care of yourself!
Is functional neurological disorder a mental illness?
No, it does not apply to mental illnesses. Though, often the occurrence of FND is caused by some psychological troubles (i.e., stress).
Can you recover from a functional neurological disorder?
Yes, you can. Quite a lot of people recover from FND with time. But the key to it is finding the cause of its occurrence and eliminating it.
Is functional neurological disorder a disability?
The functional neurological disorder can be viewed sometimes as a disability as it violates the proper functioning of your body. But it rather depends on the level it affects your body.
How long does functional neurological disorder last?
Concerning the symptoms: they occur periodically and may change with time. For example, some might disappear while the new ones appear. The sooner you treat this, the sooner you recover.