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A person experiences the alternating, intermittent, and temporary, loss of different sensory and motor functioning, such as finding himself unable to see or walk. None of these symptoms are caused by an accident, illness or psychological distress immediately preceding them, but seem to appear at random and with no discernible unifying situational characteristic.

What's going on?

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Loss of sensory or motor functioning are possible symptoms of a conversion disorder.

Conversion disorders usually appear during adolescence and are mostly caused by situations of extreme stress (such as the frontline experience of soldiers). Often the disorders enable the patient to avoid specific tasks or responsibilities or recieve the attention of specific persons.

It is important to make sure that the symptoms are not caused by neurological disorders, such as an illness of the central nervous system. Most paralyses and sensory impairments have neurological causes and many are mis-diagnosed as conversion disorders.

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