My name is Abigail and I have an anxiety disorder called Conversion Disorder. you will probably look this up after you read this and think “This can’t be real! She’s totally faking it.” If you’re not, thank you. Whether you believe it or not it is VERY real and VERY scary to both the people around you and yourself.
I am sixteen and I started to show signs when I was fourteen, right after I enter into public school my freshman year. My friends began to notice short spans of time where I would be unresponsive and stare. We thought nothing of it. But when I entered my sophomore year it started getting worse… It would take a LOT more to get me to come out of it (keep in mind that I do not remember those moments, so when I’d come out of it I’d continue on with my conversation while everyone else looks at me blankly). I would tell my parents, but they would just give me a lecture about how, as tempting as it is, it’s not right to do things to get attention. So, I stopped telling them.
Everyday I would be in fear that I would have an “episode,” as my friends and I began calling it. My parents didn’t know of this progression until an incident in gym. I completely collapsed. My parents were called and when they showed up, I could see their disbelief in their faces. They asked teachers what happened and they said, “Oh, it was another on of her things, but worse.” My parents had no idea what they were talking about, so they told them that they thought they knew because it has become a regular thing with all the staff. Yet again… That look of disbelief….
Ok, I know that my parents love me and only want the best for me, but the look they gave was like saying “you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.” And it just made me so angry! I started asking myself “why is it that when something happens to a teenager that gets them out of school, that the only explanation is that they are faking it?” I don’t remember much about after we went home, but I do remember crying with frustration and anger later that night.
I know that you are probably thinking that I’m being a drama queen and feeling sorry for myself (which is what my parents thought), but unless you are a minor with a disorder that just happens to be exactly what a girl tried to pull off, but got caught when they landed a helicopter for her in the school field… You wouldn’t understand the frustration.
Anyways, it got progressively worse. I started being pulled out of school when I would have an episode that looks exactly like a grand mal seizure, but it lasting up to an hour. I went through multiple EEG tests and tons of neurologist appointments, until I was sent to Salt Lake City children’s hospital for a three-day monitored EEG test. That was when we discovered that they were non electro graphic seizures.
And that means that they are seizures, it’s just they don’t cause brain damage. And diagnosed with Conversion Disorder and shoved out the door… So I was lead to believe that that meant I was no longer of any importance… I was simply a nut job… Psycho…