Somatization Vs. Conversion

  1. Could someone please tell me the difference between somatization disorder and conversion disorder? They seem to be the same thing, to my understanding it is that the pt experiences symptoms without actually having the physiologic condition, is this correct? If it is how is one disorder different from the other?
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    About jennfinn

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 15; Likes: 4
    mom/student; from US


  3. by   Thunderwolf
    It is easy to get lost in the semantics of somatization (sic).

    Conversion disorder presents one or more symptoms affecting voluntary motor/sensory function that suggests a neurological or other medical condition...sudden blindness, sudden inability to walk, seizure, et cetera. The complaint or symptom is fairly well localized.

    Somatization disorder is somewhat similar but much more broader with much more generalized somatic complaints encompassing many different body areas. Often, there is a long history of these multiple complaints.

    In either disorder, no medical condition can explain the symptom(s) and the person suffers from distress and impairment because of such.
    Last edit by Thunderwolf on Jul 25, '09
  4. by   mikayla0813
    Conversion disorder is classified as a somatoform disorder. It is, however, much less common than the classic somatization disorder. Also important to note is that conversion disorder is almost always preceded by a traumatic, anxiety producing event. Somatization, as mentioned above, is a chronic condition. Another difference: Persons who suffer from conversion disorder are said to be dissociative, while those suffering from somatization are not.