Conversion Disorder

April 4, 2006 – 3:34 pm

Conversion disorder is defined as a condition that presents as an alteration or loss of a physical function suggestive of a physical disorder. The presence of the psychological factor usually is not apparent at onset but becomes evident in the history when a cause-effect relationship between an environmental event or stressor and the onset of the symptom is discovered. The symptoms are not intentionally produced but are the result of unintentional motives. This condition is not considered under voluntary control and, after appropriate medical evaluation, cannot be explained by any physical disorder or known pathological mechanism. (from

Did Locke suffer from this psychological disorder? It would certainly make sense seeing that his legs seemed to be in working order after the crash, if he was physically paralyzed it would simply be impossible for him to ever use his legs again. The crash was a psychologically traumatic event that could have been enough to reverse his condition.

If this is the case, what was the original event that caused Locke to develop this Disorder? Could it have been an event that threatened him with severe physical harm? Who knows what caused it, but I think this is the most likely reason for Locke’s inability to use his legs.

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  1. One Response to “Conversion Disorder”

  2. In season 1, there is a scene in a Locke flashback, where Locke is talking on the phone with Helen (the hotline version).

    Accoring to the directors commentary, there is a machine next to Johnathan’s bed (I am not sure what it is called) but it’s purpose is to massage or relax the muscles or something. The directors elluded to the fact that this was something he was using so that he would be stronger for his walkabout in Australia.

    I’m not sure what type of medical device this is or what type of disorders it is used to treat. However, the commentary did hint that it may have a little somethign to do with his abillity to walk days later.

    I don’t think it could have to much to do with it, but maybe the reason Locke can once again walk is unrelated to the mysterious island but something more scientific and sound.

    By Robert Schmitt on Apr 4, 2006

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