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Hello new member here. I'd like to share my problem and have someone direct me to the right forum. My wife has a conversion disorder. She believes she has ALS however the doctors have ruled this out. She has been bed ridden since december22nd 2011. She is 100 percent dependent on me and the rest of our family for all her needs. We have been patient and understanding,however, we know that she does not have any medical condition that explains her current state. We even have a video of her getting up and walking around. Doctors have said conversion disorder. We need help. What should we do?

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Hi, Help, and welcome to the community. It's okay to post here since you are a new member. You might also post about this in General Support, but since you are already here at the moment, it's okay to express yourself here for now.

This situation must be quite distressful for you. I'm sorry you and your family are going through this, help. Caretaking can be an emotionally exhausting job. I hope you have good support at home. Are you able to take time to yourself?

I have some questions. Did any particular event precede this change in your wife's condition? Any past trauma? Is she currently in therapy? If not, this could be a place to begin getting her the help she needs in this. Did the doctor who diagnosed her suggest any type of a treatment?

Take care, help.

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Prior to this condition she had revealed that she was sexually abused as a child by a very close family member. Also, our marriage basically was and is horrible. She insists that she is sick. She Wants to continually see doctor after doctor. She thinks she has ALS or some rare form of MD. She will not admit that she needs help. She has ruined her relationship with our children and as far as the two of us go I will continue to take care of her but or marriage will never be repaired.

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Conversion disorder isn't a popular diagnosis. Many people think it means "faking it". It doesn't; it just means a different illness from the one claimed.

On the flip side, it's really hard to get any other person the help they need with a mental illness. So close to impossible, actually, that I don't suggest you pursue it. She's not a threat to self or others, at this point; she's just really hard to live with.

But that doesn't mean we can't help. Everyone around her also needs some help, coping with the fallout of her illness. It's not going to work to tell her, "But you're not sick." The truth isn't a very useful weapon, in a situation like this one. What I would suggest is that you seek counseling for yourself (and your children, if appropriate) on how to handle living with your wife's illness (whether ALS or mental; either way is a strain on everybody around her.) Perhaps a professional can suggest ways to interact with her that enhance the likelihood of her seeking help for herself. I do hope you find the help you're seeking.

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Prior to this condition she had revealed that she was sexually abused as a child by a very close family member.

The response she is having may well be a means of disassociating that serves to protect her from having to confront the deep pain of her traumatic past. An abusive past can have such a profound effect. It's true that you cannot make her seek out help or to even believe that she needs any.

Ok what kind of professional?

You could see a counselor/therapist/psychologist yourself or you might begin by asking the family doctor who he/she recommends. Having a safe place of support for yourself may be invaluable in dealing with this situation. I also hope you and your family get the help you are seeking.

Take care.

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