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Bypassing Shame and Conversion Disorder


We report a case of conversion disorder (partial aphonia) that was successfully treated with speech therapy. During the one year duration of this illness, the patient regained transiently (minutes) her normal speech on a few occasions, independently of concomitant pharmacological interventions. One year after recovery she developed aphonia for the second time, which responded again to speech therapy, although the response rate was slower. Several mechanisms of conversion disorder are reviewed as specifically applied to this case. The possible role of pertinent shame mechanisms in the conversion pathology is discussed.

Corresponding author
Correspondence: Robert G. Bota, MD, Kaiser Permanente, Psychiatry Department, 2055 Kellogg Avenue, Corona, CA 92879; Tel: (951) 898-7010, Fax: (951) 898-7178; E-mail:
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Faculty Disolosures: The authors report no affiliations with or financial interests in any organization that may pose a conflict of interest.
Acknowledgements: To my mentor, Dr. Stuart Munro for scientific review and critical suggestions.
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CNS Spectrums
  • ISSN: 1092-8529
  • EISSN: 2165-6509
  • URL: /core/journals/cns-spectrums
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