Essay on Dissociative Disorders

1677 Words Apr 6th, 2007 7 Pages
Dissociative Disorders

What are dissociative disorders?

A dissociative disorder is the breakdown of one's perception of his/her surroundings, memory, identity, or consciousness.

There are four main kinds of dissociative disorders:
1. Dissociative amnesia
2. Dissociative fugue
3. Dissociative identity disorder (previously called multiple personality disorder)
4. Depersonalization disorder
What are the main characteristics of each dissociative disorder?
Dissociative amnesia:
A dissociative amnesia may be present when a person is unable to remember important personal information, which is usually associated with a traumatic event in his/her life. The loss of memory creates gaps in this individual's personal history.
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Laboratory tests might be necessary as a part of the physical workup.

How are the various dissociative disorders treated?

The treatment for dissociative amnesia is therapy aimed at helping the client/patient restore lost memories as soon as possible. If a person is not able to recall the memories, hypnosis or a medication called Pentothal (thiopental) can sometimes help to restore the memories. Psychotherapy can help an individual deal with the trauma associated with the recalled memories.

Hypnosis is often used in the treatment of dissociative fugue. Hypnosis can help the client/patient recall his/her true identity and remember the events of the past. Psychotherapy is helpful for the person who has traumatic, past events to resolve.

Treatment for dissociative identity disorder involves long-term psychotherapy that helps the person merge his/her multiple personalities into one. The trauma of the past has to be explored and resolved with proper emotional expression. Hospitalization may be required if behavior becomes bizarre or destructive.

Treatment for depersonalization disorder is very difficult. However, the condition can improve with a thorough therapeutic exploration of the trauma in the individual's past and the expression of the emotions associated with that trauma.

What happens to people with dissociative

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