Functional Neurological Disorder is a Feminist Issue

Caoimhe McLoughlin, Ingrid Hoeritzauer, Caitlin Adams, Selma Aybek, Janet Baker, Harriet A. Ball, Kim D Bullock, Chrissie Burness, Veronica Cabreira, Trudie Chalder, Barbara A. Dworetzky, Sara Finkelstein, Paula Gardiner, Beatrice Garcin, Jeannette Gelauff, Laura Goldstein, Cordelia Gray , Anika Jordbru, Eileen M. Joyce, Anne-Catherine HuysAoife Laffan, Sarah Lidstone, Stefanie Linden, Lea Ludwig, Julie Maggio, Elizabeth Mallam, Sarah McRae, Francesca Morgante, Rachel Newby , Clare Nicholson, Mary O’Neal, Suzanne O'Sullivan, Isabel Pareés, Panayiota Petrochilos, Susannah Pick, Karin Roelofs, Biba R. Stanton, Eileen M. Joyce, Marina AJ Tijssen, Margaret Tuttle, Valerie Voon, Laura McWhirter

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Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) is a common and disabling disorder, often misunderstood by clinicians. Though viewed sceptically by some, FND is a diagnosis that can be made accurately, based on positive clinical signs, with clinical features that have remained stable for over 100 years. Despite some progress in the last decade, people with FND continue to suffer subtle and overt forms of discrimination by clinicians, researchers and the public. There is abundant evidence that disorders perceived as primarily affecting women are neglected in healthcare and medical research, and the course of FND mirrors this neglect. We outline the reasons why FND is a feminist issue, incorporating historical and contemporary clinical, research and social perspectives. We call for parity for FND in medical education, research, and clinical service development; so that people affected by FND can receive the care they need.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 26 Feb 2023


  • Nervous System Diseases
  • female
  • delivery of health care
  • chronic disease
  • dissociative disorders
  • conversion disorder


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