What are Dissociative Disorders? Types, Causes, and Therapies
Problems with memory, identity, emotion, perception, conduct, and sense of self are symptoms of dissociative disorders. Losses of memory or amnesia are two examples of dissociative symptoms, as are the sensation of detachment.
Dissociation refers to a state of being cut off from people, the outside world, or oneself. A persistent mental condition known as dissociative disorders" is characterized by thoughts of being outside of one’s body, being separated from reality, or losing memory (amnesia). True dissociative disorders are experienced by 2% of Americans. When we compare both men and women, women are more likely to be diagnosed with this disorder.
People suffering with dissociative disorders unknowingly and unhealthily abandon reality, making it difficult for them to go about their regular lives. Dissociative disorders typically arise in response to trauma and serve to block out unpleasant memories. Situations that are stressful might increase the symptoms.
Medication and conversation therapy (psychotherapy) may be used to treat dissociative disorders. Even though treating dissociative disorders can be challenging, many people find new coping mechanisms and go on to have happy, fulfilling lives.
Signs and symptoms of dissociative disorders
Signs and symptoms might depend on the type of dissociative disorder a person is having. In general, the symptoms could be:
1: Loss of memory (amnesia) of specific events, persons, places, and personal details
2: A feeling of being emotionally and personally distant
3: A distorted and unreal perception of the people and things around you
4: Don’t have a clear idea of who you are
5: Having a lot of stress or issues at work, in relationships, or in other critical areas of your life and not being able to handle stress well
6: Mental health difficulties include depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts and acts.
7: Suicidal thoughts
Causes of dissociative disorders
Dissociative disorders typically arise as a result of traumatization. Children who have experienced long-term physical, psychological, or emotional abuse or, less frequently, children who live in stressful or unstable homes are most likely to develop the disorders. Dissociative disorders can also develop as a result of the stress of war or natural disasters.
During childhood, a person’s identity is still developing. Therefore, a youngster is better than an
adult at stepping outside of themselves and seeing trauma as though it were occurring to someone else. A youngster who develops the ability to detach in order to survive a traumatic event may use this coping skill to deal with stressful events all throughout their life.
Types of dissociative disorders
Dissociative diseases generally fall into one of three categories:
1: Dissociative identity disorder
2: Depersonalization/derealization disorder
3: Dissociative amnesia
When it comes to dissociative disorders, acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder
(PTSD) are closely related since they both have symptoms like memory loss, depersonalization,
Dissociative identity disorder
Childhood abuse, traumatic experiences, and/or overwhelming experiences are all linked to
dissociative identity disorder. Multiple personality disorder was the prior name for dissociative
identity disorder. Diagnostic criteria include:
1: There are two or more two individual identities that exist. Changes in behavior, memory, and reasoning go hand in hand with separate identities. The person may report the symptoms or others may notice the indications and symptoms.
2: Ongoing memory lapses involving routine activities, private information, or previously painful experiences.
3: Significant distress or issues with social, occupational, or other aspects of functioning are brought on by the symptoms.
Depersonalization/derealisation disorder is characterized by a severe pattern of recurrent or
continuous symptoms of one or both conditions: Depersonalization is the experience of being
detached from one’s body, mind, or self.
Derealisation is when the person is experiencing a sense that he is detached from reality. The
environment around certain people may make them feel as though it is not genuine. The person
is conscious of reality and is aware that their changing experiences are odd. Even though the
person may seem emotionless or unresponsive, the encounter is extremely distressing. Early
infancy can see the onset of symptoms, and the average age of onset is 16.
Not being able to remember details about oneself is a symptom of dissociative amnesia (not normal forgetting). This amnesia typically stems from a painful or demanding incident and could be:
1: Unable to recall a specific incident or time period (most common type)
2: Selective – unable to recall a precise detail of an event or several related events throughout time
3: Full loss of identity and life history in general (rare)
Dissociative amnesia is linked to traumatic experiences as a kid, particularly those involving emotional abuse and neglect. It’s possible for people to be either unaware of or only partially aware of their memory loss. People could sometimes downplay the significance of memory loss related to a certain occasion or period.
Therapies for dissociative disorder
1: Psychiatric medications, including barbiturates.
2: Hypnosis – although this method of treatment for dissociative disorders is regarded as controversial – may help to regain suppressed memories.
3: Psychotherapy, commonly referred to as "talk therapy" or counselling, is typically
required over a long period of time. Psychoanalysis and cognitive therapy are two examples. Consult with top psychologist in India for psychotherapy.
4: Since stress can cause symptoms, stress management is important.
5: Treatment for additional disorders: in general, people with dissociative disorders may often struggle with sadness or anxiety. Antidepressants or anxiety drugs may be used in treatment to try to reduce the characteristics of dissociative disorder.
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