Psychosocial trauma was associated with developing conversion disorder (also known as functional neurological disorder) before Freud, though why a particular symptom should arise is unknown. We aimed to determine if there was a relationship between trauma type and symptom.
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of patients attending Australia’s first functional neurology clinic, including referral, clinic letters and a clinic questionnaire.
There were 106 females, 43 males and five transgender patients. Sensory (51%), motor (47%) and seizures (39%) were the commonest functional symptoms. Most patients (92%) reported stressors associated with symptom onset. Multiple trauma/symptom type associations were found: patients with in-law problems experienced more cognitive symptoms ( = .036), for example, while expressive speech problems more commonly followed relationship difficulties ( = .021).
Associations were found between type of traumatic events and type of symptoms in conversion disorder. This will require verification in a larger sample.