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Dissociation

SNOMED Terms

  • Alcohol dependence

  • Dissociative disorder

  • Gender identity disorder

  • Identity disorder of childhood

  • No diagnosis on Axis I

  • Person with feared complaint, no diagnosis made

  • Sleep-related dissociative disorder

Goals

  • Integrate the various personalities.

  • Reduce the frequency and duration of dissociative episodes.

  • Resolve the emotional trauma that underlies the dissociative disturbance.

  • Reduce the level of daily distress caused by dissociative disturbances.

  • Regain full memory.
     

Behavioral Definitions

  • The existence of two or more distinct personality states that recurrently take full control of one's behavior.

  • An episode of the sudden inability to remember important personal identification information that is more than just ordinary forgetfulness.

  • Persistent or recurrent experiences of depersonalization; feeling as if detached from or outside of one's mental processes or body during which reality testing remains intact.

  • Persistent or recurrent experiences of depersonalization; feeling as if one is automated or in a dream.

  • Depersonalization sufficiently severe and persistent as to cause marked distress in daily life.

Diagnoses
 

  • Alcohol Dependence

  • Dissociative Identity Disorder

  • Dissociative Amnesia

  • Depersonalization Disorder

  • Dissociative Disorder NOS

  • Diagnosis Deferred

  • No Diagnosis

Effects of Dissociation

Here are some common effects:

Emotional Detachment: This can affect their ability to form meaningful connections with others and may result in difficulties in relationships.

Memory Disturbances: Dissociation can cause disruptions in memory, such as gaps in memory (amnesia) or difficulty recalling important information. 

Depersonalization: Individuals may feel like they are observing themselves from outside their bodies or that their thoughts and actions are not their own. 

Derealization: Individuals may perceive the world as strange, distorted, or dreamlike. 

Difficulty Concentrating: Individuals may have difficulty focusing on tasks, following conversations, or retaining information. 

Impaired Sense of Time: Individuals may have difficulty distinguishing between past, present, and future experiences.

It's essential for individuals experiencing dissociation to seek support from mental health professionals who can provide appropriate assessment, therapy, and support tailored to their needs. Treatment approaches may include psychotherapy, medication, stress management techniques, and support groups. 

How does Dissociation affect your life?

Here are some ways dissociation can affect a person's life:

Emotional Well-being: Dissociation often involves disconnecting from one's emotions or experiencing emotions as distant or unreal. 

Impaired Relationships: Individuals may struggle to connect with others on an emotional level, leading to feelings of isolation, loneliness, or alienation. 

Cognitive Functioning: Individuals may have difficulty focusing on tasks, retaining information, or making decisions.

Sense of Identity: Individuals may experience depersonalization, where they feel detached from their body or sense of self, or derealization, where they perceive the world as unreal or distorted. 

Occupational or Academic Functioning: Individuals may struggle to meet deadlines, complete tasks, or engage effectively with colleagues or classmates. 

Physical Health: Individuals may experience headaches, gastrointestinal issues, or other stress-related health problems. 

Safety Risks: In severe cases, dissociation can pose safety risks, particularly if individuals experience dissociative episodes while driving or operating machinery.

Overall, dissociation can have far-reaching effects on various aspects of an individual's life, impacting their emotional well-being, relationships, functioning, and overall quality of life. 

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