Conversion disorder, or formerly known as functional neurological disorder, does not have one known etiology, similar to many disorders (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, etc.). Organic etiologies are one avenue that begs consideration; however, there is a lack of fruitful evidence supporting an organic cause for psychogenic seizures of conversion disorder, which warrants further consideration of other environmental and relational factors. One etiology that has been proposed in regards to conversion disorder with psychogenic seizures is trauma, especially during early childhood. The assessment of conversion disorder with psychogenic seizures has been associated with the presence of trauma in individuals. The representation of trauma has not been accurately represented in the studies assessing this association. Dissociation has also been linked to conversion disorder with psychogenic seizures. Furthermore, trauma-related and dissociative phenomenon have been correlated and suggested as highly comorbid. Future studies will need to look at the differing types of psychological trauma, not specifically sexual, emotional, and physical abuse. The understanding of the relationship between trauma and conversion disorder with psychogenic seizures is an important in order to intervene and modify treatment to help each individual’s unique needs.
Kourtney Schroeder–Davie, FL
Kourtney L. Schroeder is currently working on a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology at Nova Southeastern University. She graduated from the University of Florida, with Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Women’s Studies. Kourtney hold the position of the Associate Editor for Website Content at the Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, where she works on the strategic design of the website and advancement of digital outreach. She is also the program coordinator for the Child and Adolescent Traumatic Stress Program in the Psychology Services Center at Nova Southeastern University. Kourtney's long-term goals include working with children and adolescents as well as their families while focusing on a specialty in trauma.