Conversion Disorder In Children | What It Is And What You Need To Do Before it Becomes A Problem
Conversion disorder in children is more common than most people think! However, not many parents know about conversion disorder unless their children are experiencing it. We are going to learn about conversion disorder in children and we have some key tips from our expert to help your child through this difficult challenge.
What is Conversion Disorder?
Conversion disorder is a type of disorder that can cause neurological symptoms or challenges that can not be explained by a physical injury, disease or illness. The symptoms can be serious and scary for the patient. They can experience temporary blindness, paralysis, ataxia, the loss of touch, the loss of being able to move extremities, the loss of voice, the loss of smell and so much more. In serious situations, a patient may experience hallucinations or even seizures!
What Causes Conversion Disorder?
It is unknown what causes Conversion Disorder but doctors have linked it with stress. Both physical stress and mental stress can be triggers that cause the symptoms of Conversion Disorder. We find patients with conversion disorder have a lot of of stress in their lives, whether it is a trauma that has happened to them or in their environment.
Some patients who have been diagnosed with Conversion Disorder have been found to have other neurological challenges. Symptoms can last a few weeks or much longer.
How To Help Someone With Conversion Disorder
As parents we can feel helpless when our child is suffering from Conversion Disorder. Conversion Disorder in children can be hard to watch and we want to help. Even with Covid 19 and the stressors it may cause in healthy patients, more and more children are dealing with Conversion Disorder.
We asked Dr. Stephanie Fumi Hancock, to give us some top tips on the best thing parents can do to to be proactive with their kid’s emotional health before Conversion Disorder symptoms can appear. Let’s help our children before it becomes a bigger problem!
5 Top Tips To Help Your Children Stay Mentally Healthy
Here are the top 5 tips from Dr. Stephanie Hancock that will help your child stay mentally healthy.
Teach kids to cope
Parents need to teach their kids how to recognize their stress and deal with it, rather than ignoring it and letting it build. They can teach them basic life skills like breathing techniques, relaxation exercises, how to control their thoughts and replace negative language, the importance of self-care, how not to be bothered by things that don’t matter and more. Even the simple act of talking to your kids and letting them vent can be extremely helpful.
Get kids on a routine
With so many unknowns and the craziness of these times, children do better and experience less stress on a set routine. In other words, they get up at the same time each day and go to bed at the same time. They eat their meals at the same time. They do homework or play at the same time. They have an order to how they start their day and end it. The routine can be broken from time to time, but in general, try to stick with it.
Some screen time is good right now
We’ve all heard the stories of kids spending too much time on their electronic devices, but until kids can be face-to-face with their friends again, allowing them time to chat and play games with their friends online is actually a good thing because children need to socialize. Socialization can also help reduce stress and worry. Parents should still keep this to a reasonable amount of time.
With the weather warming up, it’s a great time to get your kids out of the house. Encourage them to play in the backyard, go for walks, play with their dog outside or whatever it is they enjoy. Being outside in the fresh air is good for their mental health and reduces stress. As a bonus, encourage them to do an activity that gets their heart rate up. This is good for both their mental and physical health. This is great advice for adults, too.
Get professional help
While there are a lot of things parents can do, if your child’s stress gets out of control and starts to become problematic, it’s time to get professional help. There is absolutely no shame in getting help and psychotherapy, medication and alternative treatments can help your children feel better.
About Dr. Hancock
Dr. Stephanie Fumi Hancock, PsychDNP, is the CEO of Pool of Bethesda Psychiatric Health and a bestselling author of 24 self-help books.