Dissociative Disorders Category
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FAQ's on Dissociative Disorders
The following is information on Dissociative Disorders, from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISST-D):
What is dissociation?
Dissociation is a word that is used to describe the disconnection or lack of connection between things usually associated with each other. Dissociated experiences are not integrated into the usual sense of self, resulting in discontinuities in conscious awareness (Anderson & Alexander, 1996; Frey, 2001; International Society for the Study of Dissociation, 2002; Maldonado, Butler, & Spiegel, 2002; Pascuzzi & Weber, 1997; Rauschenberger & Lynn, 1995; Simeon et al., 2001; Spiegel & Cardeña, 1991; Steinberg et al., 1990, 1993). In severe forms of dissociation, disconnection occurs in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception. For example, someone may think about an event that was tremendously upsetting yet have no feelings about it...
I am pleased that an article which I was interviewed for has been published in Young Minds Magazine a leading publication in the UK focusing on the mental health of children and young people.
The article seeks to raise the profile of Dissociative Disorders and the the link to other conditions (attachment and trauma disorders).
Many of the elements relating to my contribution to the article came from a recent peer reviewed Journal publication which I explore effective treatments for those who have experienced what I describe as inter-relational trauma and the subsequent need to utilise what I term as the 'accomdation complex' to survive such situations of fear which have no escape.
When we think of children who have been sexually abused, we think of fear, anger and violence. Most sexual abuse survivors talk of the terror and disassociation surrounding the abuse. Many still feel that way as adults and don’t enjoy sex now, even in a loving relationship. But there are those who have a more complicated story to tell. These survivors may have hated their abusers but experience an unspeakable shame over the fact that their bodies responded sexually to the abuse. They cannot live with the knowledge that they were sexually stimulated even as they were being raped. Now they are not only healing from the abuse but from the additional belief that they were partially responsible for the abuse - and that they may even have deserved it.
While adult survivors can intellectually understand that as children they were victims of their abuse, they don’t always feel that way. And they certainly can’t accept that fact if they responded sexually. Many of them can&rs...
"Therapists who work with adults abused as children have one overriding goal, that is to repair the client's self-image. Once the client's self image is repaired, he or she is on the road to full recovery."
Eliana Gil - Treatment of Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse
If you think it happened, it probably did.
Many times clients are ambivalent about the therapeutic process. Why treat abuse? It’s so painful; I just have to block better. If you could block it better you wouldn’t be here in the first place. The primary reason to treat your abuse is because in addition to limiting and impairing your own life, if you don't deal with your abuse, you may very well repeat it with your own or other children.
At the same time that we begin to treat the trauma we need to help clients understand what happened to them psychologically when they were abused.
Their boundaries were violated.
Their sense of control in the world was undermined
It was confirmed to them that they were pow...
These are the terms for two different, although similar enough, experiences of being “checked out” or dissociated.
Depersonalization is kind of like feeling like a robot. Internally, someone who struggles with depersonalization may be emotionally and/or physically numb.
Derealization is when the world around you is like a movie, or maybe it seems as if someone put the rest of the world behind a pane of glass. If this is your issue you may notice changes in your vision and/or hearing.
People with Dissociative Identity Disorder will have at least one of these experiences, but they also experience severe fragmentation of the self.
Dissociative Identity Disorder [DID] is the psychiatric/psychological term for the experience of having a highly fragmented and compartmentalized sense of identity along with ‘losing time’, forgetting signficant chunks of one’s life. In the past this experience has been called Multiple Personality Disorder.
These experiences occur on a spectrum and very few people with Dissociative Identity Disorder look or act “crazy” most of the time. Many hold down professional jobs, go to school, have families and are indistinguishable from people who have a much more cohesive sense of identity. In fact, one of the unnerving aspects of living with Dissociative Identity Disorder is that it is not uncommon for someone to go through much of their life without being aware of having this experience. Since one of the components of this experience is to be unaware of gaps in time and switches in identity, unless these things happen in ways that cause others to notice or creat...
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