Dissociative disorder of motor skills and perceptions is an ailment accompanied by motor disabilities or loss of sensor reactions not caused by somatic or neurological diseases. The clinical evidence does not partly or fully comply with the nature of symptoms of real illnesses.

This disorder mainly belongs to actions aimed at drawing the attention of people around the sick person. 

Hence, the definition of dissociative seizures is related to actual motor, sensory, or cognitive disorders possibly occurring in the aftermath of psychological stresses or the presence of respective dispositions. The dissociations are more frequently developed due to reactions to traumatic events in childhood or adult life. Such incidents could be qualified as harsh long-term treatment in families, sexual and emotional harassment, military conflicts, natural disasters, abduction, accidents, traumatic medical procedures. The sufferers consider this disordered behavior to be a coping mechanism for the traumatic event. It creates an illusion to observe the negative events on someone’s part, like something bad, has happened to the other person. In such a way, they protect themselves against the negative external impacts, news, or feelings. To set the correct diagnosis, the qualified doctor shall consider all patient’s complaints, anamnesis, examination data, and additional test results to exclude the physical pathology or epileptic seizures.

Warning signs of dissociative seizures

The specialized psychological and neurological scientists advocate a theory about dissociative disorder resulted in the transition of the prohibited sensibilities, needs, and desires into the unconscious mind, where they transform into the symptoms of somatic diseases. This transformation contributes to deviating the unpleasant situations, lessening physical and psychological burdens, and receiving proper aid and support whereof the patients hardly express themself. Thus, the patients could impact people’s behavior, arresting the attention to their personality. However, the patient does not realize a tie between neurological and physiological signs because it is transmitted to the unconscious as a conflict does.

The clinical picture of dissociative disorders is quite diversified. The dissociative seizures are demonstrated in strange and untypical movements, including:

  • pretentious manner of walking,
  • paresis and paralysis,
  • tremors of hands and legs,
  • inabilities to keep the body position vertical or to execute target-oriented movements, and 
  • failure to execute elementary motor activities.

The dissociative disorder of perceptions is characteristic of loss of skin sensibilities in particular anatomic areas. The patients could grow deaf and expand a lessened sense of vision and partial blindness.

Both dissociations above are used to begin and finish suddenly. The core reasons for each disorder are as follows:

  • acute stress;
  • personal life problems; 
  • social or psychological conflicts
  • refusal or minimization of problem consequences establishing a connection between troubles and physical symptoms. The patient’s deviant behavior is dedicated to attracting attention. 

The physiology-similar symptoms of the cognitive patients are adverse with the anatomical ones for the healthy organism lifestyle principles. That could be proved only by detailed examination and interview of the patient.

Types of dissociative seizures

Types of dissociative seizures

The ICD defines specific dissociative (cognitive) reactions grouped by dissociative amnesia and dissociative neurological symptom ones. Nevertheless, the main dissociations comprise ten following common disorders diagnosed by the respective specialists:

  • dissociative amnesia, as a single disease, is a disorder when a patient forgets memorable matters of their personal life resulting from stress and traumatic effects. However, an ability for new knowledge perception remains;
  • dissociative fugue is a rare psychological dissociation when an affected person suddenly make a targeted decision to move to an unknown place and then they completely forget all personal information, including the own name;
  • dissociative stupor is a motor abnormality caused by prior psychological trauma;
  • trance and possession abnormalities accompanied by a loss of someone’s personality and defective realization of the appropriate actions;
  • dissociative motor disorders are a typical state when human motor abilities become difficult or unperceptive. However, there are no somatic or neurological diseases that could provoke this state;
  • dissociative convulsions are similar to epileptic seizures, but it is a wrong conclusion because these fake seizures do not anticipate tongue biting or involuntary urination;
  • dissociative anesthesia is a loss of skin perception on a particular area when the other skin areas are constant;
  • mixed dissociative (cognitive) disorders;
  • other dissociations comprising Ganser’s syndrome, dissociative identity disorder, transient dissociative (cognitory) disorders, and so on.

The dissociation sufferer reaches a high risk of health complications and the related psychogenic states, which embody self-injury, suicidal thoughts, sexual dysfunctions, excessive alcohol and banned substance consumption, anxiety, depression, post-trauma stress, insomnia, eating disorders, and non-epileptic reactions.

Dissociative seizures treatment

The treatment methods for dissociations depend on the degrees of severity. The treating physician shall approach a treatment method for a particular patient based on adequate information (patient interview, general tests, specific medical diagnosis techniques).

The mild cases of the dissociation reactions without the motor dysfunctions are just remedied by the support of the relatives who calm the sufferer down, instill their confidence about the satisfactory results, and help to eliminate a stressful situation that leads to the respective disorders. The long illness progress needs to apply the stationary medical procedures and involve the qualified psychological specialists. They provide the patient with clarifications about a tie between stressful circumstances and somatic symptoms.

To reduce painful symptoms quickly, the specialized doctors could use hypnotism therapy or prescribe a low dose of barbiturates following the abreaction principle. In this case, the patient’s memory should imagine a conflict situation. The main idea of such therapy is to make the patient perform self-analysis and the objective behavior assessment. 

Suppose depression or anxiety disorders convoy dissociations, including motor ones; the treating physicians correct the patient’s state using medicaments (tranquilizers, antidepressants). The correct treatment, support, understanding, comfortable psychological environment suppress signs of dissociative ailments in quite the short term.

The long disease progress of various dissociations requires the additional detailed examination of the patient to occur/exclude somatic pathologies. To reach a final exclusion of neurological and somatic pathologies, the patients should be observed for at least six months, even if their state is much better.