Dissociation is an experience that is different for everyone but generally involves feelings of disconnect and detachment from your body. The world around you may feel unreal. People experiencing dissociation may have difficulty paying attention and maintaining focus. You may feel like your mind is wandering and you are spacing out. As much as 75% of the population may experience a dissociative episode at some point during their lives. If it becomes a frequent problem, you may need to seek help through a dissociative disorder treatment program.
Compared to men, women are nine times more likely to develop a dissociative disorder, with 3-6 cases per every 1,000 women. If you believe you or a loved one are struggling with a dissociative disorder, you must understand the symptoms first. You also need to find the right dissociative disorder treatment program.
Symptoms of Dissociative Disorder
Dissociative Disorder presents with an array of different symptoms. These can vary in frequency and intensity from person to person. The most common symptoms of a dissociative disorder include:
- Detachment from themselves and their emotions
- Distorted view of self-identity
- Feeling like everything is fake
- Selective amnesia or memory loss
- Stress with relationships and work/home life
- Inability to cope with stress and emotions
- Little to no physical pain
Individuals experiencing dissociative disorder may experience other mental health issues, like depression and anxiety. Suicidal thoughts and behaviors are also common coexisting conditions. To fully understand the symptoms of dissociative disorder, its necessary to delve deeper. Dissociative disorder is a broad blanket term for a more specific range of conditions. There are three primary types of dissociative disorders, each with unique symptoms.
- Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder
- Depersonalization Disorder
- Dissociative Amnesia
Understanding the type of disorder you’re dealing with will help formulate the best dissociative disorder treatment program.
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Multiple Personality Disorder is classified as one where an individual alternates between multiple personalities. They may experience auditory hallucinations. One or more voices could be telling them what they should do or taking control of their mind.
Each voice is its own characterization of the individual. They will often give names and full personalities to these voices and use different props. Each personality will also have its unique way of talking and interacting.
DID can result from prolonged childhood trauma, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Those suffering from DID can experience frequent memory lapses in their everyday life, trauma, and personal identity.
While women are more likely to be diagnosed with DID due to their acute symptoms, men are more likely to deny their symptoms. Instead of amnesia and dissociation, men will more likely resort to intense rage and aggression, leading to improper diagnoses because they won’t face their trauma.
Those experiencing depersonalization disorder feel disconnected from their own lives and experience depersonalization and derealization. Depersonalization involves ongoing feelings of detachment from emotions, actions, thoughts, and sensations. People feel as if they are watching their life as a movie from the outside and not living it.
Derealization makes people feel that things and other people around them aren’t real, and they also want to escape their current reality. People create a fantasy universe where the rules of the real world may not apply to them.
Again, childhood trauma, abuse, or witnessing a traumatic event can lead to depersonalization. Stress, depression, and anxiety can also contribute to this disorder. The symptoms of depersonalization can last for minutes to years at a time. The age of 16 is the most common onset age. Depersonalization episodes can start anywhere from early to mid-childhood. However, less than 20% of people with depersonalization disorder will begin experiencing these episodes beyond age 20.
The main symptom of dissociative amnesia is the inability to remember crucial important information by an individual about themselves. Dissociative amnesia may also surround a particular event. It can be situational due to abuse or military service and cause people to forget critical details. Sometimes, they may even forget information about their own identity and life history.
There is no average age onset or percentage rates of these occurrences. Anyone can experience an amnesiac episode. The onset of an amnesiac episode can come on suddenly. An episode can last for minutes, hours, or days at a time. On rare occasions, episodes can last for months or years. A person can experience multiple bouts of amnesia throughout their life.
Finding the Right Dissociative Disorder Treatment Program
A dissociative disorder treatment program will give you the necessary care to manage your disorder effectively. To begin with, you may benefit from psychotherapy, also called talk therapy. Psychotherapy can help you pinpoint your symptoms and their causes.
If your dissociative disorder results from trauma, you must address the cause. A trained psychologist can guide you through the process and give you the tools to identify your triggers and improve your coping mechanisms.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) focuses on your emotions and thought processes to help you unlearn negative habits for healthier ones. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) enables you to strike a better balance between who you are, the challenges you face, and the benefits of change. Both therapies serve to reroute your thoughts and feelings.
Hypnotherapy can also help with your dissociative disorder treatment. This treatment method involves going into a guided deep state of relaxation. This state increases your concentration and lets you calmly focus on your issues and the therapist’s suggestions to improve.
EMDR, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, is a reasonably new treatment method. You move your eyes a certain way while processing traumatic events, which helps you reprogram your brain. Prescription medications can help manage some of the symptoms.
Find Dissociative Disorder Treatment Programs at Comprehensive Wellness Centers
If you or a loved one suffers from dissociative disorder, it can be scary to navigate alone, but you’re not alone. Comprehensive Wellness Centers in Lantana, FL, is here for you. A dissociative disorder treatment program can help you take your life back. You can find what works best for your needs and your schedule with inpatient and outpatient options.
Our caring and experienced staff are waiting to serve you. Take the first step to get back on the path to a better and healthier you. Contact us today for more information on our admissions process and treatment programs.