What Are Dissociative Disorders: Three Types

What are dissociative disorders? Do you have a relative or friend struggling with this mental health condition? Symptoms include problems with behavior, identity, memory, perception, emotion and sense of self.

You may experience physical detachment and memory loss among other disturbing symptoms. For mental health treatment, contact Encore Health Group online today!

What Are Dissociative Disorders?

Dissociative disorders involve losing touch with your surroundings. By itself, this is fairly normal. You have probably experienced daydreaming or losing yourself in a book or show. You may experience a strange disconnect between your thoughts, memories and identity. However, this only happens for a short time, and then, your perception returns to normal.

During a traumatic experience, you might disconnect in order to deal with it. This makes it difficult to remember exactly what happened. It often happens to survivors of accidents or disasters. However, people with dissociative disorders don’t return to normal but continue to have symptoms.

These disorders fall under three types. These include dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder (DID) and depersonalization and derealization disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder

DID was previously called multiple personality disorder. It’s characterized by at least two different and distinct personalities. These identities have unique behaviors, memories and thoughts. The person typically has memory gaps about their everyday life. They may also forget their own personal information or past.

The change between identities is usually stressful. People with this disorder may feel very different when they’re in one of their alternate identities. For example, an adult might feel like a small child, or a woman might feel like a big, muscular guy.

Depersonalization and Derealization Disorder

Patients with this disorder have one or both attributes. Depersonalization makes you feel like you’re outside of your body and watching things happen. Derealization makes you feel as though the world around you isn’t real. You may view people and things in a detached way, like they’re in a book or movie and not really real. Both are typically very stressful for people who have them.

Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative amnesia is different from simply forgetting something. It’s usually connected to a traumatic event. Localized amnesia means you can’t remember a period of time or a specific event. It may also be selective, which means you can’t recall a certain aspect of an event or period of time. More rarely, it’s generalized. This means you forget your entire identity and life history. It is very often connected with childhood trauma and abuse.

Risk Factors

Those who have experienced various types of abuse in childhood are more likely to develop DID versus the rest of the populace. They usually have experienced repetitive and severe trauma at a young age. Roughly 90% of all people with DID in Canada, Europe and the United States have a history of neglect and abuse when they were children. People with this disorder also tend to be at risk for suicide attempts and self-injury. Over 70% of patients with this disorder have made at least one suicide attempt. Depression is also a risk for people with DID.

Treatment For Dissociative Disorders

Treatment for all dissociative disorders generally involves psychotherapy. The goal is to get patients to remember and cope with past trauma. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also a common treatment, along with dialectical behavioral therapy. Mental health treatment in Tennessee can help with dissociative disorders along with many others. Encore Health Group offers services like depression treatment, anxiety treatment, outpatient mental health counseling, medication-assisted therapy and interventional pain management.

At Encore Health Group, we provide our patients with professional help for pain, behavioral issues and mental disorders. Get help with mental health disorders and pain management today.

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