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What is FND?

FND stands for Functional Neurological Disorder and is essentially a problem with the functioning of the nervous system (the messages between the brain and body) that affects sensory and motor processes. The symptoms of FND can present as physical, sensory or cognitive. They are functional in nature rather than related to a currently recognised disease or damage – meaning that the symptoms affecting the body come from a neurological basis. This aspect of FND can make finding effective treatment and support challenging.

It’s important to understand that the symptoms of FND are very real. They are not consciously produced by those affected. Because some of the physical symptoms affect voluntary movement systems, there is a misconception that the deficiencies are controllable by the patient. This is simply not true. The ongoing impact of FND symptoms can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life.

What are the symptoms of FND?

Symptoms can include (though are not limited to):

  • Weakness

  • Numbness

  • Shaking

  • Blackouts

  • Panic

  • Dizziness

  • Paralysis

  • Abnormal Movements

  • Pain

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Tremors

  • Walking Problems

  • Sleep Issues

  • Speech Difficulties

  • Memory Issues

  • Where does this leave you?

    You’ve tried the psychologists, CBT, the vitamins and supplements, the mindfulness apps, and not to mention all the medication you’ve been prescribed….despite the side effects!

    You’re not trying to get attention or waste anyone’s time - but you have been left feeling like a fraud, an attention seeker, a hypochondriac; left wondering whether anyone’s ever going to take you seriously unless you actually lose consciousness or have a clear physical injury!

    It’s got to the point where you’re afraid to ask for help, fearful that you’ll be ignored, dismissed and disbelieved. Every time you ask for help you’re told it’s all your FND, but there’s no real help to reduce the symptoms that it gives you. 

    You’ve had enough, you’ve managed your stress the best you know how, you’ve made lifestyle changes…but your life barely feels like a life anymore, you feel like you’re just surviving. 

    The pain of your symptoms has just got too much and it’s taking its toll on you, and your family. Your loved ones become your carers and you’re lucky if you still have friends visit. You’re exhausted…. all the time!

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    FND is different for everyone, you have very physical symptoms, but there is a misconception that a physical symptom only has a physical cause. 

    It’s likely the medical profession has caused you to doubt yourself, and even traumatised you to the point that any talk of mind/body connection is instantly dismissed by your conscious mind. Yet, the mind body connection is a powerful pathway of communication.

    Just stop for a moment and allow yourself to imagine/remember a wedge of lemon.


    Scratch the zest and breathe in that lemony smell. Feel the juice as you hold it, making your fingers sticky. 


    Now, just pop that lemon in your mouth and bite down. Taste the flavour explode in your mouth, the sharpness, the fresh zesty, acidic taste and the feeling on your tongue.

    Ok, so what’s happening in your mouth?

    Do you have more saliva?

    Did you notice yourself swallowing?

    But you were just reading words and imagining, no actual physical lemon. Yet most people that read this will have had a very physical reaction. That’s not to say that the physical sensations weren’t real, of course they were, but the physical reaction came from a thought, a moment of imagination, signals from your mind.

    Now imagine that those messages and signals came from your subconscious mind. The part of your mind that runs about 90% of your daily patterns and behaviours. The part your conscious mind is unaware of, the part you're unaware of. Of course it doesn’t feel like your mind has anything to do with it, why would it, that’s completely understandable.

    So the question arises - how much of your physical symptoms come from subconscious thoughts/beliefs/traumas or patterns you aren't aware of?

    FND is not a conscious problem.

    When you’re in a place where your illness defies conventional treatment, then maybe it’s time to talk to your subconscious.

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