There are not any standard research papers confirming or denying a genetic link. It is likely, that it is genetic for some, but is by no means going to be genetic just because it has in the past or because you now have FND. They know so little about Functional symptoms and what they have thought in the past caused FND (suppressed trauma) wouldn’t necessarily be passed down. New researchers are starting to acknowledge a pattern some families are seeing and looking into more genetic links. Please note genetic or not does not lend any weight on whether or not the illness has a psychological component or not –many mental health illnesses are genetic.
You and your doctor(s) should discuss the best course of action to eliminate those symptoms that are most bothersome or cause the greatest discomfort. An FND diagnosis should not typically take precedence over a diagnosed organic illness. However, there may be instances when addressing the functional symptoms would improve quality of life. An FND diagnosis should not impede treatment for a known illness at any time. Healthcare professionals should always err on the side of medical caution.
Yes, it is not uncommon for patients to have functional symptoms in conjunction with other illness.
It is recommended that patients get out of the “boom and bust” pattern. The goal should be aimed at becoming balanced. Separating your physical, social, and cognitive activities and then micro balancing the time you spend doing activities in each of the day to day activities is a vital part in improving symptoms.
Yes, the sooner a patient can receive treatment the better. Many patients see improved results in movement soon after receiving proper physical/physiotherapy training. The goal is to retrain the brain, and not let atypical movement become a “habitual”or a relearned way to move.
Physical/Physiotherapy specific to FND has been shown to have the greatest results. Also, patients find grounding techniques and meditation to be helpful. This is sometimes achieved through biofeedback. Biofeedback teaches you how to turn down over excited senses, which may be making symptoms worse.
Yes and No
Yes, both are listed as the same illness in the APA diagnostic manual known as the DSM-5 and both are typically used interchangeably with one another.
No, Conversion Disorder [CD] and Functional Neurological Disorder [FND] are theoretically different concepts. CD is the theory that symptoms are the result of suppressed psychological trauma converting to physical symptoms. Studies have found many do not have a history of major emotional traumatic events, or major depression/anxiety. Even if a patient does have mental health issues, now or in their past, there is no quantifiable way to confirm a correlation to symptoms. The change in criterion now makes it easier for physicians to use the CD/FND diagnosis, where in the past they couldn’t when they found their patient did not meet the criterion standard and there was no “converting” of symptoms taking place. Because there is sometimes no identifiable mental health issues, the need to identify one was removed. However, there are some patients who do identify with the Conversion Disorder theory.
We advocate that patients receive respectable and equal care based on their needs.
You have a “boom and bust” activity pattern if you squeeze more activity into a short period of time on the days you feel better, and then require an extended recovery period.
This is a common problem for people with chronic illness. Boom and bust activity patterns tend to result in a “negative spiral” which over time can make you feel more fatigued or increased pain for a given level of activity. Addressing boom and bust is an important part of rehabilitation and involves learning how to manage your activity levels by taking regular short breaks –and having realistic activity expectations.
Support team Notes: Show your support by both encouraging activity and rest periods. Support team members should understand the hazards of the “boom and bust” cycle and recognize current activity expectations are different the pre-FND activity.