Svetlana 12th Nov 2012
Unfortunately, I have to add my situation to Justin’s. I am thankful to Dr. Stone for this website - it gave me the much needed confidence that IF I have a functional disorder, my physical problems are still real and not in my head. But, after having read all the explanations and patients’ stories on this website or elsewhere – I can not relate my own illness to any of them. Nor can I relate to any known organic disease – my problem is that not only my tests are negative but my symptoms do not look like anything commonly seen in both organic disease and functional disorders. As a result, nobody wants to deal with me - neurologists see all unusual as a sign of psychogenic, psychiatrists do not see any psychiatric problems and hence are not interested, even a specialist in functional disorders could not offer any help because my case is “too complicated”. Wherever I go, I do not move an inch toward at least explanation of my problems, to say nothing of treatment. I feel like an alien on Earth.
Justin 11th Nov 2012
Thanks for this website; although, in my case, it's lead to me being LESS inclined to accept my Neurologists diagnosis of a probable functional disorder. As you mention, it seems to be that after making the diagnosis, he doesn't feel there is any more he can do - the problem is that the senior Psychiatrist my GP referred me to is equally emphatic that my core problems are of an 'organic' nature. In fact that's the second Psych to say as much, and the second Neuro to disagree...
EDITOR: Justin raises a common problem faced by patients who get caught between health professionals who disagree with each other. Leaving aside Justin's case, much can be solved in this area if doctors developed mutual understanding that functional symptoms are not a diagnosis of exclusion, they should be diagnosed on the basis of positive physical signs (eg Hoover's sign) and not just because the symptoms are 'bizarre' or because of the patient may have had a recent stressful life event. Both neurologists and psychiatrists sometimes fail to appreciate this.
Sue 7th Nov 2012
What a find! I'm an Occupational Therapist working in a generic post in mental health. We cover a bit of neuro in our training and I have always been fascinated by the links to mental/physical illness. I am studying (and using) Compassion Focused Therapy and plan to try this with a patient with dissociative and functional neuro symptoms. This website will be very useful to use alongside CFT. I like the way it is written, (with humour!) so it accessible to professionals and patients alike. It has certainly informed me and will enhance my practice. Thank you!
Debbie 1st Nov 2012
My daughter started suffering epileptic attacks at the age of 6 after being born 10wks premature. She is now nearly 20yrs old and for the past 14yrs has taken tablets with the hope that her siezures will stop. In November 2011 she had videotelemetry for the first time caputuring 64 siezures in just 5 days. We were told by her consultant that her siezures were of both electrical and non electrical. I wish that we could of found this out much earlier in her life as i feel things could have been much better for her now. She has failed all throughout her school years, never having friends and struggling terribly with her learning. Her low mood, poor memory, concentration and constant tiredness has been perceived as her to be uncoperative. Shes never been able to sit any exams for absolute fear washes over her resulting in getting out of the room in any way she can, irrespective of whoever is standing in her way. We are now where we are today and she is at college doing maths, english, ict and and cooking once a week with some support on medical grounds. I have all sorts of emotions going round my head since this new diagnosis as i feel she has been pumped full of unescessary drugs for 14 yrs and greatly misunderstood. Thankyou for taking the time to write your information on this site as iv'e found it such a help and its given me a greater understanding into her siezures. When you talk of the early warning signs we can now relate her moody, snappy, almost argumentitive manner as a sign that one of these siezures are on their way a couple of hours after. Her last siezure was 31st October 2012 lasting from 6pm - 10.30pm with her being sick for the last time 2.30am. I video'd some of the siezure to show her consultant. This was her 160th siezure in 11 months.
Rachael (UK) 18th October 2012
Thankyou is all I can say....i have spent most of this afternoon reading every piece of information on this site after being given the address by my neurologist today.....i cried and cried...it was like finally someone knows what its like to be me. That its not all in my head that there are reasons as to why certain things dont function for me, why i have certain disabilities. Of course i can not say for certain if functional/dissociative sysmptoms are the cause of my problems as i am awaiting to see a Neuropsychologist/psychiatrist to 'confirm' my neurologists suspisions. This site and the information in it has been invaluable in giving me an understanding that although no clear neurological disorder has been diagnosed (awaiting brain scan), that there may be a reason as to why my body is behaving in this way...thankyou
Rachael 13th October 2012
Our daughter had an onset of "Pain Amplification Syndrome" or Functional Nervous Disorder, with toes-to-scalp chronic pain and gait disfunction, when she was 14; three weeks after falling on her head and shoulder and braking her collar bone during a dance rehearsal. She was correctly diagnosed by the chief of rheumatology at Children's Hospital in the USA, and she has been in two therapeutic hospital programs for a total of 6 weeks. Now 18 months later she is in a wheelchair to get around her large school. We know the wheelchair is both a hindrance to physical recovery, and an important aide to her independence as a happy, busy student. She has seen multiple pediatric neurologists and a psychiatrist, and has tried biofeedback, hypnosis, talk therapy, myofacial massage, physical therapy, pool therapy, accupuncture, etc. - all with no measurable effects. She experiences chronic back pain, numbness and tingling below the waist, slow stiff gait and sudden knee buckling. She says the pain feels like it is in her bones, muscles and skin. Her ribs can hurt so much that deep breaths are very painful. Sometimes after exercise, her legs and toes jerk and tremor for hours, and refuse to hold her upright. She must be particularly careful on stairs (she goes up and down seated) and in the shower (she uses a special seat). She takes a neuropathic painkiller which has helped quite a lot with the chronic pain and tenderness in her arms and shoulders. She is not depressed or anxious, and is an honors student with many good friends. When doctors suggested last year that her symptoms would go away with the correct psychiatric treatment, she was offended and desperate for months, and we looked for other answers. She now accepts that she may get better with appropriate levels of aerobic exercise, but that she will have to be very patient and persevere through the pain and other symptoms, perhaps for many years. We are seeing a new neurologist next week; I will direct him to your website, which is very informative and seems to describe her condition exactly. Thank you!
Sally 10th October 2012
I am so glad that I have been alerted to the existence of this guide. If only I had known about it a few years ago when my symptoms first struck. I feel so reassured. Thank you
Kerry Ann 30th September 2012
hi iv wrote a few times, i just thought id send an update. since we last emailed i have gotten worse. it has now went to the left side of my nervous system. however i am undergoing hypnosis which is going very well indeed!I know some people think of hypnosis and laugh but its nothing like on tv. when my symptoms are at there worst now i get paralized from the neck down my laft side face stll droops and my speech is still effected. but I am positive i will overcome this. yes there could be flare ups in the future but i have two amazing guys who help me with the hypnosis.
Ruth 27th September 2012
I learnt today that I have Functional Weakness I feel that a weight has gone off my shoulders...the neurologist who confirmed the diagnoses today told me that it was a complex issue which could easily be more understood on reading the information on this brilliant site. I was initially told that I had had a stroke then it was thought a kinked artery - its such a relief to know that it is not my imagination that makes me walk to the right,, fall down, feel that I am chocking, blurred vision, stammer and forgetting my words mid sentence.....its been a long haul reaching this diagnosis but such a relief.