Personality, sexual adjustment, and brain lesions in patients with conversion symptoms

Am J Psychiatry. 1979 Feb;136(2):179-82. doi: 10.1176/ajp.136.2.179.


To clarify the interrelationships of conversion symptoms, hysterical personality, sexual adjustment, and cerebral organic disorders the authors studied 89 patients with classic motor conversion symptoms (group L) and compared a subgroup of 24 of these patients (group H) with 24 matched control patients (group C). They found hysterical personality in 19% of group L, 21% of group H, and none of group C and passive-immature-dependent personality in 19% of group L, 21% of group H, and none of group C. Forty-eight percent of group L, 50% of group H, and 58% of group C had some cerebral disorder. Patients with conversion symptoms who also had hysterical and passive-immature-dependent personalities were especially likely to have sexual abnormalities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain Diseases / complications
  • Brain Diseases / psychology*
  • Compulsive Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Conversion Disorder / psychology*
  • Female
  • Histrionic Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / psychology*