The Functional Neurological Disorder (FND)

The Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) psychology pathway is for individuals who have been given a diagnosis of FND and have been referred by a healthcare professional. 

What is FND?

Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is the name given when someone experiences neurological symptoms (such as leg weakness, numbness, blackouts) which are:

  • Caused by problems in the nervous system (the way signals are sent through the body)
  • Not caused by physical disease or disorder
  • Causing difficulties for the person who is experiencing symptoms
  • No known medical treatment/medicine will stop these symptoms

One way to understand FND is to think about what happens when a computer freezes or stops working. It is usually because there is a problem with the software (the systems that make the computer work). Often, there may be too many tabs open that are impacting on the functioning of the computer. Similarly, when you experience FND symptoms, the hardware of your body (brain, muscles) are not damaged; however, the software of your body is not working well or it may be sending information differently to before.

Why have I been referred to a Psychologist?

There is a relationship between the mind and the body and your symptoms are real. There may be an emotional basis for your symptoms and this can occur due to many factors, such as being overworked, bereavement, physical health difficulties and trauma.

What do we do?

Our pathway offers up to 4 sessions with Clinical Neuropsychology. This will include an assessment, learning about FND and recommendations for further treatment. The aim of these sessions is to create a ‘formulation’ with you. A formulation is an understanding of your difficulties and may involve drawing out a diagram. We hope this will help us to identify individual techniques to help you. There are also options to join group sessions within the Neuropsychology Service and we may discuss with you referrals to mental health services, or self-management of your symptoms.

Where can I find out more about FND?

FND HOPE

FND Action