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Hysteria John O’Donovan. History of hysteria Conversion disorder In general neurological type presentation without evidence of a neurological cause. The.

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Presentation on theme: "Hysteria John O’Donovan. History of hysteria Conversion disorder In general neurological type presentation without evidence of a neurological cause. The."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hysteria John O’Donovan

2 History of hysteria Conversion disorder In general neurological type presentation without evidence of a neurological cause. The presentation tends to conform to ideas of the patient about how parts of the body or mind malfunction. (patient’s concept of an illness)

3 History Ancient Greece, part of the Hippocratic Corpus delineating certain disease states including what we would now describe a panic attacks and also epilepsy as secondary to the uterus being misplaced. “hysterix pnix” Came into recent european writings with Cullen. 1600s possession by demons.

4 Posssession? Salem Witchcraft Trials 1697

5 Sydenham from “discourse on hysteria” When the mind is disturbed by some grevious accident, the animal spirits run into disorderly motions; the urine appears sometimes limpid, and in great quantity; the sick person casts off all hope of recovery…. In the head the Apoplexy….., sometimes they are seized with convulsions that very much resemble the epilepsy… and are commonly called the suffocation of the womb; at other times they are miserably tormented with the hysterical clavus in which there is a most vehement pain in the head, which you may cover with your thumb…………

6 Charcot 1880s made the link between paralysis and idea. First noted by Reynolds Freud: the basic concept of repression into the unconsious and the underlying battle between drives and aspects of the minds structures becomes apparent in a physical presentation.

7 WAR American Civil War; “Da Costs syndrome” WW1- shellshock 2 schools of thought “psychological” versus “short sharp shock” The army: “insufficient moral fibre” but yet set up military psychiatry. Strongly urge all trainees to read the history of psychiatry in this period

8 Looking good Sigmund Important to compare primary and secondary gain. Primary gain is the resolution of the subconcious conflict with development of the symptom. Secondary gain is a completely different process, sick role etc, nothing to do with Freudian dynamic theory.

9 Currently ICD-10 Conversion is under dissociative disorders F44 “all tend to remit after a few weeks or months”, really that’s news to me dissociative amnesia 44.1 dissociative fugue 44.2 dissociative stupor 44.3 trance and possession disorders 44.5 dissociative convulsions 44.6 dissociative anaesthesiae and sensory loss 44.7 mixed conversion 44.8 others, includes Ganser’s syndrome multiple personality disorder DSM-4 Classified under “somatoform disorders” Note in ICD-10 F45 is somatoform disorders

10 Common exam theme! Distinction between the following conversion/dissociation, somatization disorder, hypochondriacal disorder and malingering Conversion is classical neurological type presentation, post acute event, psychological trauma Somatisation is multiple physical ailments and presentations Hypochondriacal is concern with one or two serious ailments Malingering is production of symptoms for clear and immediate gain.

11 Ganser’s Syndrome First described in 1898, 3 prisoners in Halle by Sigbert Ganser. Approximate answers Sometimes personal identity loss Regarded often as a variant of malingering as much as dissociative, classed under dissociative. Arguably very rare

12 Conversion disorder Not all that rare Common enough in neurology wards 5-10% of neurology OPD patients, no neurological explanation for symptoms Up to 33% of patient evaluated in specialist centres for treatment refractory epilepsy have non epileptic seizures Younger patients 3:1 female to male as they get older becomes a 1:1 ratio.

13 Conversion disorder basics Sometimes there is a recent precipitant, sometimes there is not. Frequently it can be difficult to decide how much voluntary awareness is present and how much is unconcious There is an overlap with somatisation There is marked cultural variation. There is only very seldom an organic problem when a good physician says that there is not.

14 Dissociative amnesia Loss of autobiographical memory Anterograde memory preserved No focal neurology Note: the memory loss from ECT arguably affects autobiographical memory Kopelman has developed a psychological schedule for autobiographical memory loss Case reports of autobiographical memory loss post epilepsy surgery

15 Dissociative stupor Unresponsive Normal EEG Walking, respiring etc NOT CATATONIC

16 Dissociative anaesthesia or weakness Neurological examination and investigations do not reveal a cause for symptoms. Presentation does not respect neuroanatomy

17 Hoover’s Sign

18 Other signs Give way weakness Vibration sense splitting the midline Wrong pattern of weakness Inconsistent examination Speed the patient up For movement disorders, use entrainment

19 Astasia abasia

20 Psychogenic seizures epilepsy EEG changes Frequently hurt Events occur out of sleep When alone If tonic clonic can bite tongue, sides of cheek, big lacerations Prolactin elevated Lasts a brief time Nearly always responds to treatment, BDZs and IV AED NEAD EEG normal during event Can be hurt in event Rarely out of sleep With a wittness Bites tip of tongue Can last hours Does not respond to treatment, AEDs

21 NEAD Epilepsy History is normally very clear Personality Normal? Frequently will have psychiatric problems but different types of problems, depression. NEAD History is vague, does not describe the seizure well. Strong association with Axis 2 disordes, in particular BPD and childhood abuse Self harm other features of psychiatric illness Teddy Bears

22 Fugue Loss of memory and travel Sometimes associated with alcohol Some with psychosis Some are probably transient global amnesia which is not psychiatric

23 Others Blindness Aphonia-note paradoxical adduction of vocal cords Dissociative identity disorder- hard to believe that it truly exists, it is however in ICD-10.

24 Treatment Be clear about diagnosis in your own mind. Non judgmental. Explanation to patient. Look for depression, TCAs are better. Psychotherapy, different approaches CBT, psychodynamic Specialist in patient treatment units Avoid excess investigations

25 Prognosis? Very few top class studies with sufficient length of follow up. My old boss who had perhaps 30 plus years as a consultant dealing with these patients felt that they frequently represented.

26 Prognosis Good Acute onset Early presentation well developed personality Specialist treatment early Is the natural course for them to get well? Psychologically minded. Poor Long standing problems Personality disorder “secondary gain” Reluctance to understand problem in psychological way.


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