I had never heard of it before, never mind knew anyone who had it!
I was only given a name of a doctor and told to Google his name and take a look at his website. That was it! I felt at a loss, confused and upset.
What do I have?
Why didn’t my Neurology Consultant tell me all about it?
How come there was no leaflet or anything they could give me, to take away and read about the disorder?
All reasonable questions and I will try to give you some answers.
I am a sufferer myself, so anything I put on this site is from my research, my findings, and from my personal experiences of going through the long process of symptoms to diagnosis. Along with the following treatment, and anything else that I can offer to help others looking for the questions I asked myself.
Okay so “What is Functional Movement Disorder”?
Answer – It is a Neurological Movement Disorder, where the brain has become (for better use of a word) “broken”. So the signals are now miss-firing. The Central Nervous System has had a disconnection at some point, so the brain is no longer sending or receiving signals properly anymore to and from the body, for the persons movements.
At some point in your past or more recently, you may have undergone some sort of experience or trauma. A time at which your brain was not able to deal with and process all your feelings, so filed them away in the back of your brain to deal with at a later stage when you were feeling better and more settled. Then your brain decides that now you are okay, it can take that old file out and start to sort out the feelings you were unable to deal with at the time. This then shuts down a part of your brain, so it can repair that old file.
This is where the disconnection happens, when it suddenly disconnects and your movements start to go wrong. They are subtle changes at first, something you may not even pick up on.
A dropped cup, a sudden spasm, a trip and a fall, all easily explained away as a normal movement error. Just a mishap, you turned wrong got dizzy and swayed to one side; you dropped a cup because you didn’t have a tight enough grip. You spasmed but thought it was a hiccup, or you just thought you jumped at a sound but weren’t really sure what made you jump and spasm?
Different things over the years, as you go to the doctors with new things. Spasms, bowel problems, urinary infections, headaches, vision problems, dizziness and tripping up, and over time things all start to add together. Then you begin to realize that something is not quite right, and you need to go chat with your doctor and make them aware of your worries.
They probably cannot tell you, at the end of the day you are just one of many patients that they see every day. They cannot remember every patient’s symptoms, and may not put two and two together just because you have been a few times in the same year.
You could become aware of your problems yourself, and it will probably be up to you to persuade your doctor to look into it. To give you some tests, get you seen by a consultant, and once you’re under a consultant then the real tests can begin.
At last you feel like you are being listened to, hurrah. Thank goodness. By this point you are distressed, and just want someone to help you and tell you what on earth is going on with your body.
Unfortunately as you are probably now aware, this can take years. The reason being, that Functional Movement Disorder can have many over lapping symptoms with other Movement Disorders.
Such as but not limited to:
* Dystonia – http://www.dystonia.org.uk
* Parkinson’s – http://www.parkinsons.org.uk
* Muscular Sclerosis – http://www.mssociety.org.uk
* ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) – http://www.meassociation.org.uk
* Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_fatigue_syndrome
* Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_regional_pain_syndrome
* Tics – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tic
* Chorea – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorea
* Fibromyalgia – http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/conditions/fibromyalgia.aspx
* NEAD (Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder) – https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/diagnosis/non-epileptic-attack-disorder-nead
* NES (Non-Epileptic Seizures) – http://www.epilepsysociety.org.uk/non-epileptic-seizures#.VDWKu2K9KK0
* Gait (walking) problems – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gait_abnormality
* Lymes Disease – http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease
It is a long process of elimination, to eventually get to a potentially correct diagnosis of “Functional Movement Disorder”.