Review this weeks Learning Resources on dissociative disorders.
Dissociative disorders are a group of conditions that affect the way people feel, think and behave. They include everything from simple memory lapses to complete personality switches. Many people with dissociative disorders experience loss of control over their thoughts and feelings in at least some situations. Some people think that they have possession or alien control when these symptoms occur. There is no evidence that these symptoms are caused by an outside source or that they are caused by something within the individual; however, there is some evidence that suggests it’s possible for someone with one dissociative disorder to develop another type later on down the road (for example).
The controversy surrounding the dissociative disorders has been present since their initial description. The term “dissociation” was first introduced by Henri F. Ellenberger in his seminal work The Discovery of the Unconscious, which was published in 1970. He used it as an umbrella term for what he called “the fragmentation of consciousness.” In 1972, dissociation was renamed as “dissociative identity disorder,” or DID for short (Schatzberg & Blume 1985). This change occurred because of its potential to be confused with other mental health problems such as schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder (MPD).
In 2004, however, DSM-IV dropped DID from its list of diagnoses because it was considered too broad and vague–a view that continues today despite evidence suggesting otherwise (Bremner 1998). However there has been little research into this area since then due to lack funding but there have been attempts made by some researchers who believe that many different types of dissociative disorders exist outside those listed under DID such as depersonalization disorder (Deykin 2005), derealization syndrome (Langevin 2013)
Dissociation is a coping mechanism. It’s not a symptom of a mental illness, nor does it indicate that you have a personality disorder. Dissociation is simply an emotional response to pain or trauma in your past that may cause you to disconnect from your usual self in order to protect yourself from unbearable pain.
The term “dissociative identity disorder” (DID) was created by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980 and refers specifically to people who experience multiple personalities as well as other symptoms, including memory loss and poor coordination while speaking or performing tasks they normally do well at. DID isn’t considered an actual diagnosis by many doctors because it doesn’t address how these symptoms affect one person’s life–it only identifies whether there may be something wrong with someone’s mind!
Dissociation can be a way of escaping from pain or fear.
People who have been traumatized may experience dissociation as a coping mechanism, especially if they are unable to cope with other ways. They may use dissociation as an avoidance strategy when dealing with situations that are too painful or frightening, or if they feel threatened in some way.
Dissociative symptoms can come and go, but they are typically chronic and affect multiple areas of life, like memory, identity and mood. Dissociative disorders are not easily explained or understood by the general population. They’re often misunderstood as a “character disorder,” as opposed to mental illness.
Dissociative symptoms can be so severe that they cause physical pain (or “painful memories”) in the body; this is known as somatoform dissociation. This can lead to physical health issues such as headaches or digestive problems related to stress-induced anxiety over uncomfortable thoughts about traumatic events from childhood or adolescence that were previously forgotten due to repression–a psychological defense mechanism used by people with DID/MPD/PTSD who want avoid facing trauma again by forgetting about it until adulthood when it resurfaces unexpectedly through flashbacks triggered during therapy sessions where triggers might be present (e.g., being asked questions about abuse).
Most people with dissociative disorders experience loss of control over their thoughts and feelings in at least some situations. This is a normal process, but it can lead to serious problems if you don’t learn how to manage it.
Dissociation is a way for people who have experienced trauma (such as sexual abuse) or other kinds of extreme stressors (like war) to cope with the intense emotions they feel during those experiences. When you dissociate, it means that your mind switches off so that you don’t feel all the emotions that would normally happen when something traumatic happens — and instead just focus on what’s happening at the moment without feeling anything else at all!
This might sound like being crazy or on drugs; however, people who are mentally ill generally don’t have multiple personalities–they usually only have one “true” self instead of many selves inside them (which makes sense because someone who has been abused by someone else wouldn’t want another person taking away parts of themselves). In contrast though…
Some people think that they have possession or alien control when these symptoms occur. They may hear voices, feel that someone else is controlling their actions and thoughts, see things that aren’t there and feel as though a force is holding them down. It can be scary for those who experience these symptoms because they don’t know what’s happening to them or why it happens.
When someone experiences dissociative disorders like this, it’s hard to explain or understand why something like this is happening to them because no one has ever experienced anything like this before and there isn’t any science behind it yet (in other words: there aren’t any studies about how these disorders work). It’s also difficult for people with dissociative disorders themselves because they’re trying so hard not only figure out what exactly caused their episode but also how best treat themselves after an episode occurs so that next time doesn’t happen again!
Dissociation is a normal process. It’s a way of coping with trauma, pain and other overwhelming emotions that can’t be processed in a healthy way. Dissociative disorders are not caused by an outside source, but rather by the individual’s lack of resources to manage their stressors.
It is important to note that dissociation does not mean you’re weak or mentally ill! In fact, many people who experience dissociation have strong personalities overall–they just may need some extra help dealing with certain aspects of their lives (or even the world).
Dissociative disorders are real conditions that require treatment and support from family and friends. Dissociative disorders are not caused by an outside source, such as trauma or abuse. They are also not due to something within the individual, such as their personality traits or upbringing.
Dissociative disorders have a variety of symptoms including:
You may have lots of questions about dissociative disorders, and the controversy surrounding them. But there is no doubt that these conditions exist and that they can be treated. In fact, many people with dissociative disorders have been able to overcome their symptoms through therapy or medication alone. Whatever your opinion on the matter, we hope this article has helped you understand what it means to have one of these conditions and how it affects people in their everyday lives
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