A Case of Astasia-Abasia as Early Onset Conversion Disorder Triggered by Psychosocial Stress Factors

Gülen GÜLER AKSU, Ozan KAYAR, Muhammet Emin TAN, Meryem Özlem KÜTÜK, Gülçin BOZLU, Fevziye TOROS
2022 33(1): 65-68
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Conversion disorder is defined as the loss or change of motor,
sensory, and autonomic nervous system-related functions that cannot
be explained completely with organic causes. The etiology of the
disease may be explained by psychoanalytic theory, learning theory,
sociocultural factors, and some traumatic life events besides genetic and
neurobiological factors. The onset is usually between late childhood and
early adulthood. The disorder occurs after a high rate of psychosocial
stressors and the symptoms can vary. While astasia, as one of the possible
complaints in conversion disorder, is defined as not being able to stand
due to loss of motor power or sensory loss; abasia is identified as patients
having no apparent motor problem but not being able to walk properly.
Both conditions can be of organic as well as the psychogenic origin. In
this paper, the clinical signs of a seven-year-old boy who was admitted
to emergency service of Mersin University Faculty of Medicine with
the complaints of astasia and abasia but was found to have conversion
disorder is presented. The results of the medical examinations and the
possible psychosocial stress factors behind these symptoms, as well as the
treatment process of the case, were shared. With this report, we is aimed
to draw attention to the importance of early diagnosis of the disorder,
the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach in the treatment process,
and the handling of psychosocial factors leading to somatic symptoms.