Dissociative disorders

Dissociative disorders

Dissociative disorders are defined a conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity and/or perception. The hypothesis is that symptoms can result, to the extent of interfering with a person's general functioning, when one or more of these functions is disrupted.

The four dissociative disorders listed in the DSM IV TR are as follows:

  • Depersonalization disorder (DSM-IV Codes 300.6) - periods of detachment from self or surrounding which may be experienced as "unreal" (lacking in control of or "outside of" self) while retaining awareness that this is only a feeling and not a reality.
  • Dissociative amnesia (DSM-IV Codes 300.12) - noticeable impairment of recall resulting from emotional trauma
  • Dissociative fugue (DSM-IV Codes 300.13) - physical desertion of familiar surroundings and experience of impaired recall of the past. This may lead to confusion about actual identity and the assumption of a new identity.
  • Dissociative identity disorder (DSM-IV Codes 300.14)'' - the alternation of two or more distinct personality states with impaired recall, among personality states, of important information.

In addition, there's the diagnosis of dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DSM-IV Codes 300.15) which can be used for forms of pathological dissociation not covered by any of the specified dissociative disorders.

In a 2007 study, only 28.7% of the dissociative participants had received psychiatric treatment previously.

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