Functional Neurological Disorder
Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) refers to physical symptoms which are caused by problems in the way your brain and body talk to each other. However, there is no damage to your brain or body. FND is not dangerous and it can happen to anyone. The symptoms experienced by people with FND vary from person to person. Some people may experience changes to the way their body moves, fatigue, the way they speak, or have pain. Some people can have Non Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD) which is also a form of FND and refers to people having blackouts or periods where they cannot control their actions or remember what they have said or done.
FND is an understudied and misunderstood condition, although that has changed over the last five to ten years. It can result in high levels of distress and disability and there is unequal access to services. Neuro Rehab Sussex CIC brings together the expertise of clinicians both in the NHS and the private sector to help support holistic rehabilitation and ensure the promotion of wellbeing and self care for people with FND. We are dedicated to helping people living with FND using evidence-based techniques and skills to improve people’s quality of life.
Bespoke rehabilitation depending on the stage of your recovery
Recovery means different things for everyone - we are interested in helping you achieve what recovery means for you. For some people, recovery means complete resolution of their symptoms, for others, they want to get to a place where they can manage their symptoms and still live a good life. We are here to support you to achieve your specific goals.
We can take you through your entire journey from post-diagnosis support to setting up a sustainable self-management programme.
We are here for you, when you need us and you can choose to stop rehab and restart when the time is right for you.
Initial Consultation and Post-Diagnosis Support
Whether you have been discharged from hospital after experiencing an acute onset of FND symptoms or NEAD and don’t quite know what it means, or have been diagnosed with FND, but have a long wait until you can see a specialist service, we can help you when you need it.
For some people, a one-off initial consultation with Vikki or Michelle providing an explanation of the mechanisms of FND can help people understand the condition and put together a plan to limit the impact of symptoms. A key aspect of our work in Neuro Rehab Sussex is developing a shared understanding of what the symptoms mean for you, how they might have developed and what might be maintaining them. With this shared understanding, we draw on your strengths and the resources you have to put together a plan for your recovery.
A 90 minute initial consultation costs £250.
Bespoke rehabilitation and treatment
Our team of physiotherapists can show you how your body is capable of ‘normal’ movement and put together a series of exercises you can practice at home to get your body out of the habit of moving in the FND way.
Vikki can help you get out of patterns of error prone and effortful speech, even at times of pressure and stress.
Our occupational therapists can provide bespoke fatigue management programmes, reduce the reliance on aids you might have and look at returning to the activities you value. This takes time, trust and patience, but together, we can get there.
Our rehab technicians are the heptathletes of the rehab world! They can carry out rehab programmes designed by our therapists to help keep your recovery on track.
Speech and Language, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy sessions cost £85 per 50 minute session
Rehab Technician sessions cost £35 a session
Freeing yourself from your thoughts
Some people might need a bit of time to get their heads around the diagnosis of FND. That’s OK and we are here for you. Our brains learn by gathering new information but our bodies need experience to learn.
Underpinning the experience of FND symptoms is the link between our minds and our bodies. Having a life changing illness is a threat to our identity and when our bodies and minds go into threat mode, we automatically try and keep ourselves safe. How we respond to threat and how we keep ourselves safe is unique to our previous life experiences.
Sessions with Michelle can help you become more aware of your response to your symptoms, what situations might trigger them and help you learn different ways to respond to these triggers. This can take time and commitment, but the increased understanding of yourself and how you respond to threat and illness will be worth it.
Clinical Psychology sessions costs £125 per 50 minute session.
Who do we work with?
Neuro Rehab Sussex is purely a rehabilitation service, we cannot provide diagnosis. We can signpost you to services that can provide a diagnosis.
We will rarely, if ever, work with someone who does not think their condition is FND. This is because we think it is unethical for you to pay for a service where we are trying to ‘convince’ you that the diagnosis is correct. The exception might be if you need some sessions to demonstrate to you that your symptoms are functional in nature to support your acceptance of the diagnosis. However, this will be a time-limited intervention and if you have not changed your opinion on the diagnosis, we will not offer further rehab in our service.
Recommended Books and Websites
FND Hope: Charity dedicated to supporting people with FND, moderated by Prof Mark Edwards.
Neurosymptoms.org: A Patient's Guide to FND. Developed by Prof Jon Stone
The Brain and Mind Clinic: For a diagnosis or confirmation of a diagnosis of FND: Run by Professor Mark Edwards, Consultant Professor of Neurology and Dr Mike Dilley, Consultant Neuropsychiatrist