Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

I think I have a pyschogenic muscle disorder/conversion disorder

Posted In: Muscle conditions 0 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • May 20, 2014
  • 10:59 PM

Hey everyone,

I guess I'll just come and out say it. A while ago, at a stressful/anxious juncture at my life, I hurt my hamstring. It wasn't a major pull, but I was getting ready to move to a ski town, and I sort of freaked out when I got the injury, thinking it would throw off my plans. And so I proceeded to nurse the injury with far too much care and stress, stress that to be honest was more 'meta' at that point in my life, than it was about the hamstring which I knew wasn't that serious. Nevertheless, I began limping and favoring the leg far too generously and I suppose deliberately, and there's no other way to say it, my mind/body seemed to completely internalize the limp, and now I walk with an unintentional limp!

After I first realized that my right leg felt longer, about two months after the original pull, not knowing at all what the ***l was going on, and not connecting the two, I went to a chiropractor, who told me I had SIJD, which is a potentially serious problem, because my right leg was now a little bit "longer". At that point I completely lost it, and had a nervous breakdown. What started out as a minor hamstring injury now seemed to be something far worse. I began to notice my body sort of jerking and my muscles behaving quite strangely, and I did attribute that to the high anxiety I was definitely experiencing at that point. In fact for a while there I was so out of it that I could barely walk. But I still thought that I had been stricken with something as potentially awful as SIJD, and that jerks and wobblyness were indeed due to high stress but not actually the cause of the now longer right leg.

I went to some PTs and a good chiro, and an orthopaedic doctor who, though they didn't know what was going on exactly, figured strongly it wasn't SIJD or a breakdown in my pelvis. And I finally calmed down a bit.

Only then did it begin to dawn upon me that the reason my right leg was sort of longer, was because of some kind of fear/anxiety/panic induced mind/body/muscle syndrome. Be it conversion disorder or psychogenic dystonia or whatever you might call it.

Let me just say that I am on no medication, and never have been. I do not have any panic or anxiety disorders, and have never had a panic/anxiety attack in my life. although now I'm in a state of semi-perpetual panic, as all of a sudden out of the blue I can't walk properly anymore. As far as my general mental state, I would not consider myself a likely candidate for this sort of thing, and more like everything just came together in a perfect storm, with me being anxious about my future at that point in my life, and then hurting my hamstring and responding too intensely to it, and then full-blown freaking out when I was told I might have SIJD.

The worst I could say about myself is that I was at a rather lonely, sort of scary place in my life at that time, and one thing led to another in this incredible fashion, leaving me where I am today. And that I'm a sensitive guy, if that makes sense, who's not real great under pressure, and has no experience with crisis mgt before. I've never had a panic attack before, but I most definitely have had one since.

I feel like I know in retrospect exactly why this happened, there's no hidden or suppressed trauma, I just responded with far too much stressful concern to this originally minor injury for some reason, and then completely lost my mind for a week or two after things so unbelievably spiraled. And my symptoms absolutely mirrors my original crisis. I sort of committed myself to limping and favoring my leg, and now my subconscious mind has apparently memorized that new way of walking! I can feel my back muscles contracting strangely and differently in order to achieve this effect, and the bottom of my feet seem to act as the trigger to induce my leg to become "longer", as if because I was walking so gingerly for several weeks there, that my mind internalized that as some sort of 'new normal' it's supposed to follow. And while it gets worse when under stress, which I am now in almost perpetually, it gets somewhat better when I feel good, which isn't very often anymore. It's as if I unknowingly taught myself a new way to walk, and now I can't consciously undo it!

So I don't know exactly what this is, but it's not going away, and definitely seems to be/is some kind of anxiety-induced muscular syndrome, whatever category it falls under. And I know exactly the cause and circumstances of why it happened.

Sorry for the long post, but I'd love it if anyone had any insights or thoughts. I'm not sure if this is the right board for this post, but I myself am not sure what to think of it. Thank you for you concern.

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