Dissociative disorders are mental health issues involving a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions, and identity. People battling these disorders involuntarily escape reality and disrupt everyday activities. Dissociative disorder treatment can help a person live a better life with these unfortunate, unhealthy conditions.
Our mental health treatment center at SoCal Empowered offers a wide range of treatment programs, including dissociative disorder treatment. Our professional care team provides customized treatment plans designed to fit your unique needs. We are committed to your long-term success, which includes your physical and emotional lives beyond treatment.
Dissociative disorders typically appear from a reaction to a traumatic or stressful event because it helps store away these problematic memories. These disorders create problems with memory, identity, emotion, perception, behavior, and sense of self.
Dissociative disorder symptoms can disrupt every area of mental functioning. For example, a person can experience a feeling of detachment or outside their body and amnesia. Symptoms range from amnesia to alternate identities depending on the type of dissociative disorder it is. Stress is a risk factor that can worsen these symptoms, making them more apparent.
There are three types of dissociative disorders which are:
Dissociative amnesia refers to memory loss that is more extreme than usual forgetfulness and cannot be explained by a medical condition. This typically involves not remembering a traumatic event or other information about themselves and people in their life. It can also include traveling or wandering away from home or normal day-to-day activities (dissociative fugue). An episode often occurs abruptly and can last minutes to hours, or rarely, months to years.
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is previously known as multiple personality disorder and typically involves dissociative amnesia or dissociative fugue. This complex psychological condition is the existence of two or more distinct identities or personality states. Distinct identities are determined by changes in behavior, thinking, and memory. Likely causes include traumatic or overwhelming events during childhood (usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual, or emotional abuse).
Depersonalization-derealization disorder is a continuing feeling of being detached or outside your body. A person feels like they are observing themselves, their actions, thoughts, and feelings from a distance, like watching a movie (depersonalization). Their surroundings may feel like a dream, foggy, or unreal (derealization). People can experience both depersonalization and derealization, which may last a few moments or come and go over time.
Research shows that the cause of dissociative identity disorder is likely a psychological response to interpersonal and environmental stressors. Often these events happen during early childhood years since emotional neglect and abuse can interfere with personality development. Persistent neglect or emotional abuse with no physical or sexual abuse can still cause dissociation. In fact, studies show when parents are frightening and unpredictable, the children may become dissociative.
Statistics indicate DID affects about 1% of the population. According to the American Psychiatric Association, people with dissociative disorder in the United States, Canada, and Europe, about 90 percent were victims of childhood abuse and neglect. The APA also states that suicide attempts and other self-harming behavior are common among people with DID. Over 70 percent of outpatients with DID have attempted suicide.
Dissociative disorder treatment can improve a person’s ability to function and live a productive life. This treatment is typically successful in tackling major symptoms that get in the way of living a fulfilling life.
Psychotherapy is the main form of dissociative disorder treatment to help gain control of symptoms. Two commonly used types of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy, and dialectical behavioral therapy, with hypnosis also found to be helpful. Therapy may be hard and overwhelming, bringing up past traumatic experiences. The main goal of dissociative disorder treatment is to help combine different elements of identity.
There are no medications that are directly used for the treatment of dissociative disorders. Although, medication can be useful in treating symptoms, like antidepressants to treat symptoms of depression. Despite dissociative disorder treatment being challenging, people learn to cope in new ways in order to live fulfilling lives.
If you or a loved one suffers from a dissociative disorder or other mental issues, seek help as early as possible. At SoCal Empowered in Orange County, our mental health professionals can personalize your path to success and heal your mental health today. We want to help you take control of your symptoms with dissociative disorder treatment so that you can manage your daily life.