Conversion
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  Conversion



Conversion

    A defense mechanism, operating unconsciously, by which intrapsychic conflicts that would otherwise give rise to anxiety are instead given symbolic external expression. The repressed ideas or impulses, and the psychological defenses against them, are converted into a variety of somatic symptoms. These may include such symptoms as paralysis, pain, or loss of sensory function.

RELATED TERMS
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Mechanism
The arrangement or association of the elements or parts of anything in relation to the effect they generate; the combination of mental processes by which an effect is generated.

Anxiety
A psychological and/or biological response to stress. Feelings of anxiety involve discomforting apprehension or concern, which may include symptoms such as cognitive difficulties, hypersensitivity, dizziness, muscular weakness, breathing difficulties, irregular heart beat, sweating, and sensations of fear. Typically, anxiety is a natural and healthy response to life experiences. However, exaggerated or chronic anxiety often indicates an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can be produced by external stress (exogenous anxiety) or internal stress (endogenous anxiety).

Psychological
Pertaining to mental life as manifested through language and behavior.

Somatic
Pertaining to the cells and structures of the body, and their function.

Paralysis
Inability to move parts of the body.

Pain
An unpleasant sensory or emotional experience primarily associated with tissue damage, or described in terms of tissue damage, or both.



SIMILAR TERMS
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Conventional medicine
"Medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) or D.O. (doctor of osteopathy) degrees and by their allied health professionals, such as physical therapists, psychologists, and registered nurses. Other terms for conventional medicine include allopathy and allopathic medicine; Western medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and regular medicine; and biomedicine."

Conventional Therapy
A system of diabetes management practiced by most people with diabetes; the system consists of one or two insulin injections each day, daily self-monitoring of blood glucose, and a standard program of nutrition and exercise. The main objective in this form of treatment is to avoid very high and very low blood glucose (sugar). Also called: "Standard Therapy." |The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial has shown that intensive therapy, rather than conventional therapy, can reduce the risk of complications.

Conversion symptom
A loss of, or alteration in, voluntary motor or sensory functioning suggesting a neurological or general medical condition. Psychological factors are judged to be associated with the development of the symptom, and the symptom is not fully explained by a neurological or general medical condition or the direct effects of a substance. The symptom is not intentionally produced or feigned and is not culturally sanctioned.

Convulsion
A violent, involuntary muscular contraction.



PREVIOUS AND NEXT TERMS
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Confabulation
Fabrication of stories in response to questions about situations or events that are not recalled.

Confrontation
A communication that deliberately pressures or invites another to self-examine some aspect of behavior in which there is a discrepancy between self-reported and observed behavior.

Constricted affect
Affect type that represents mild reduction in the range and intensity of emotional expression.

Constructional apraxia
An acquired difficulty in drawing two-dimensional objects or forms, or in producing or copying three-dimensional arrangements of forms or shapes.

Contingency reinforcement
In operant or instrumental conditioning, ensuring that desired behavior is followed by positive consequences and that undesired behavior is not rewarded.

Conversion

Coping mechanisms
Ways of adjusting to environmental stress without altering one's goals or purposes; includes both conscious and unconscious mechanisms.

Coprophagia
Eating of filth or feces.

Counterphobia
Deliberately seeking out and exposing onself to, rather than avoiding, the object or situation that is consciously or unconsciously feared.

Countertransference
The therapist's emotional reactions to the patient that are based on the therapist's unconscious needs and conflicts, as distinguished from his or her conscious responses to the patient's behavior. Countertransference may interfere with the therapist's ability to understand the patient and may adversely affect the therapeutic technique. Currently, there is emphasis on the positive aspects of countertransference and its use as a guide to a more empathic understanding of the patient.

Cretinism
A type of mental retardation and bodily malformation caused by severe, uncorrected thyroid deficiency in infancy and early childhood.

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