[ExI] hysterical blindness / conversion disorders

SR Ballard sen.otaku at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 06:36:56 UTC 2021

I was under the impression that hysterical blindness (which my 92 yo grandpa has had since 16) is not “faking”.  For reference he got caught in a peanut thrasher for 3 days with the blade an inch or so away from his eye, then slipped into a 16 day coma upon his rescue. 

He legitimately believes he cannot see anything out of that eye, and if you do something on that side he says he doesn’t know what you did. But sudden movements on that side startle him.

Has he just been playing pretend for 76 years? (Honest Question)

SR Ballard

> On Apr 24, 2021, at 11:46 PM, Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> On Thu, Apr 22, 2021 at 8:06 PM William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Seen any hysterical paralysis or blindness, Rafal?  Have you learned to tell the lies by their body language or voice?  
> ### I see hysterical paralysis all the time (now it's politically incorrect to use the gender-related term "hysteria", have to say "conversion"). It's often easy pick up some telltale signs on examination, most fakers are dumb and they make a lot of mistakes. And then there is the magnet of truth, the MRI machine that shows the absence of stroke and other lesions. Sometimes there is a question of whether the patient has a migraine aura, which is a stroke mimic but with attentive examination it is often possible to tell aura from faking.
> I don't see psychogenic blindness often. There are a couple neat tricks to tell it apart from organic blindness, like testing for optokinetic nystagmus and visual threat. With the most persistent fakers you can do visual evoked potentials on EEG.
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