Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a bit like having a computer with perfectly fine hardware, but the software has a few glitches. Just as the hardware in a computer refers to physical parts like the hard drive, processor, or RAM, in our bodies, the hardware is the actual structure of the brain. The software, however, is how these parts of the brain communicate and function.
In FND, the brain’s structure (the hardware) is perfectly fine – there’s no damage, no tumors, no structural abnormalities. But the way the brain functions or communicates (the software) is off, causing some wires to get crossed, and resulting in physical symptoms. These symptoms could be anything from problems with movement or balance, to difficulty speaking or even episodes that look like seizures.
The important thing to know about FND is that the symptoms are very real, even if we can’t see anything wrong in a brain scan or other medical tests. It’s not ‘all in the person’s head’ – it’s a genuine medical condition, but one that’s happening on a level we can’t quite see with our current medical technology.