- It has recently been shown that in surface-stabilized ferroelectric liquid crystal cells with high spontaneous polarization, the polarization charge self-interaction leads to a "V-shaped" optical response to an applied voltage. The presence of ionic free charges in the liquid crystal changes the internal electric field, and therefore also the spatial dependence of the polarization and optic axis orientation. We have numerically solved the nonlinear ion diffusion equation in the electric field due to external voltage, spontaneous polarization, and ions, and calculated the electro-optic response to a triangular applied voltage. When the period of the driving voltage is smaller than the zero-field diffusion time of the ions across the cell, and larger than the ion transit time in the applied field, an inverse hysteresis in the electro-optic response is obtained. At these time scales ions also cause characteristic changes in the shape of the electro-optic response.