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"la belle indifference."
Iris L.
Posted: Monday, October 6, 2014 12:30 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18689

 The Spouse/Partner board posted a thread which brought to mind something from my past.  I wanted to post about it to see if any others have had the same experience.   




Years ago, before I made contact with medical, I could tell I was having difficulties, but it was like I was observing myself from afar.  I saw problems, but I was not disturbed by them.  I even asked myself, why wasn't I more disturbed by these problems?   


Even at that time I thought of it as "la belle indifference." 


Here is the definition: 


la belle indifference--A naive, inappropriate lack of emotion or concern for the perceptions by others of one's disability, usually seen in persons with conversion disorder. 



Conversion disorder is like saying a person's symptoms are psychosomatic.  My symptoms were not psychosomatic.


I often read from care partners that their LO is so upset over their cognitive difficulties and thus is angry or irritable.  In my own experience, this was not the case.  I have had times when I was irritable, but it was not over my cognitive impairments, but other things, mostly people who were giving me a hard time. 


Can anyone relate to this? 


Iris L. 



Paul Hornback
Posted: Monday, October 6, 2014 12:45 PM
Joined: 8/9/2013
Posts: 584

Iris, it was quite interesting to read this bit about "la belle indifference." However, I'm not sure I could identify with it. For the most part, throughout my ordeal I've been pretty even keel and mostly at peace with my condition and how other people perceive me.


Maybe this is an affect caused by my disease. In a way, I hope it continues because I can live contently this way.


God bless, Paul

Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2014 9:00 PM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3608

Are you asking about irritability and lack of it in regard to cognitive problems?


I am not overly concerned about my losses in functioning per se, but concerned about the person who is "in charge" of my welfare not understanding my needs or a growing lack of concern to make up for my increasingly lessened abilities.


When family / friends do not seem to understand the need for guidance I used to be more upset than now. I learned to distance myself from them, maybe some day they will become more supportive. And some have, some have gone further away.


Are you asking if you are not aware enough, that  people around you think you need more help, or less help?


Maybe I just don't quite understand. As Paul said, when he feels safe to be what he is he remains quite calm.


Love the French term but in Western medicine Conversion Disorder is what a woman has when a doctor can not find the problem.