Living with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. With the right tools and strategies, you can manage your symptoms and maintain a fulfilling life. This article provides practical tips for managing daily life with FND.
Coping with Motor Symptoms
Weakness and Tremors
- Use Assistive Devices: Canes, walkers, or braces can help in mobility.
- Adapt Your Environment: Make your living space more accessible.
- Mindful Breathing: Deep breathing exercises can sometimes help control involuntary movements.
Managing Sensory Symptoms
- Use Protective Gear: For numb areas, use protective measures to prevent injury.
- Sensory Adaptations: Use text-to-speech software if you have visual disturbances.
Dealing with Functional Seizures
- Safety First: Create a safe space where you can lie down during a seizure.
- Inform and Educate: Make sure family and friends know how to assist you during an episode.
Cognitive and Emotional Well-being
- Stay Organized: Use planners, apps, or alarms to keep track of tasks and appointments.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Can help in understanding triggers and managing emotional symptoms.
Diet and Nutrition
- Balanced Diet: A balanced diet rich in nutrients can contribute to overall well-being.
- Structured Exercise: Consult a physical therapist for a tailored exercise regimen.
- Mindfulness Techniques: Mindfulness and relaxation exercises can help manage stress, a known trigger for FND symptoms.
Building a Support Network
- Seek Support Groups: Connecting with others who have FND can provide emotional support and practical advice.
- Family and Friends: Educate your close ones about FND so they can offer appropriate support.
- Regular Check-ups: Keep up with regular appointments to adapt your treatment plan as needed.
- Multidisciplinary Care: Consider a team approach involving neurologists, psychologists, and other specialists.
Living with FND requires adaptations and a proactive approach to manage symptoms effectively. By incorporating these tips into your daily life and working closely with healthcare providers, you can pave the way for a better quality of life despite the challenges of FND.
- Nielsen, G., Buszewicz, M., Edwards, M. J., et al. (2017). Treatment of functional neurological disorder: the role of physical and psychological therapies. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 88(6), 486-494.
- Ludwig, L., Pasman, J. A., Nicholson, T., et al. (2018). Stressful life events and maltreatment in conversion (functional neurological) disorder: systematic review and meta-analysis of case-control studies. The Lancet Psychiatry, 5(4), 307-320.