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Can J Psychiatry. 2004 Mar;49(3):172-8.

Somatization and conversion disorder.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.


Somatization is the psychological mechanism whereby psychological distress is expressed in the form of physical symptoms. The psychological distress in somatization is most commonly caused by a mood disorder that threatens mental stability. Conversion disorder occurs when the somatic presentation involves any aspect of the central nervous system over which voluntary control is exercised. Conversion reactions represent fixed ideas about neurologic malfunction that are consciously enacted, resulting in psychogenic neurologic deficits. Treatment is complex and lengthy; it includes recovery of neurologic function aided by narcoanalysis and identification and treatment of the primary psychiatric disorder, usually a mood disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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