What is Functional Neurological Disorder?
Functional Neurological Disorder (FND) results from the brain’s inability to send and receive signals properly. FND is caused by problems with the functioning of the nervous system and can lead to a wide range of symptoms linked to movement and sensory issues, including:
- Tremor and spasms.
- Functional speech symptoms.
- Altered sensations, such as numbness, tingling and pain.
- Loss of vision or double vision.
Episodes of altered awareness
- Seizures, blackouts and fainting.
These symptoms appear similar to disorders like Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Epilepsy, and are often experienced along with other common indicators, such as chronic pain, fatigue, sleep problems, memory symptoms, bowel and bladder symptoms, anxiety and depression.
Returning to work
Going back to work after FND might seem a daunting experience. However, your employer will allow you a phased return to work and make any reasonable adjustments to enable you to do your job.
There are jobs that you might not be able to perform following an FND diagnosis, such as driving or being a surgeon. If you have lost your job or were unable to start one as your condition affected you, considering volunteering in a field you are passionate about is a great way to get back into employment gradually. This way, you will be able to revise your skills and build new ones.
Additionally, there is a wealth of free online courses and training you can do to prepare for returning to work.
To help you further understand your rights and responsibilities at work and in your life, we have put together a list of helpful organisations and charities that can guide you through your experience:
- FND Hope UK – FND Hope UK is part of the first and only global patient-led charity for people with Functional Neurological Disorder. It originated as a grassroots campaign, and today it empowers those affected to live their best possible life.
- FND Action – FND Action became the first charity to be registered in the United Kingdom to support those diagnosed with a Functional Neurological Disorder, including Non-Epileptic Attack Disorder (NEAD). The charity was founded by a group of people who had been diagnosed themselves and wanted to come together to provide help and support to others.
- FND Dimensions – FND Dimensions aims to build a platform for patients with FND to come together, diminish the feeling of isolation and link with others who face similar day to day challenges.
At Careers with Disabilities, we are committed to providing employers and job seekers with information and advice to create and find the right career opportunities for people with disabilities. For further information on neurological disorders, such as neurodevelopmental disorders, you can visit our Disability Advice Hub.