Conversion Disorder in Physicians!

I don’t know if you’ve been keeping tabs on the story from New York about the 12 girls who attended LeRoy High who all came down with what appeared like Tourette’s Syndrome.  The girls began stuttering, they were making movements that were apparently disordered and unintentional and they were feeling stressed by the whole thing.

When I  read about it I remember feeling worried about the story that the officials couldn’t divulge the girls personal information.  What was that about?  When a dozen young women fall ill from one school it seems like a big deal, and the information on what went on shouldn’t be available only on a “need to know basis”.  It’s downright worrisome!

Well, it seems like their doctors have determined that the girls got sick from worrying!  Anxiety, or stress caused something called “conversion disorder” which is a fancy term for hysteria.

Hmmm.  The idea is that since they were all friends, when one came down with something they were all liable to develop the same odd symptoms- rather than there being an actual clinical reason for them to have developed a problem.

When I found a blog talking about the incident I noticed that some regular folks were discussing something called “PANDAS”, which refers to a pediatric illness that is sort of an autoimmune disorder after strep throat.  It isn’t a virus, it’s the body fighting off  the virus and unfortunately it also attacks the brain!

Notice I said it was a pediatric illness, but it can affect older teens and even adults.  It just isn’t going to be referred to as PANDAS anymore!

Patients may not have had strep throat recently, as a matter of fact, they might have only been exposed to someone who has had it, because that would stimulate the attack in their bodies without them having actually succumbed to the illness again.  It’s like being allergic to something, the first time you are okay, the second time you might get hives and the third time you are worrying about  anaphylactic shock!

But don’t you worry, because if you worry then you too might wind up developing strange tic like symptoms!




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