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Dissociative Disorder: What it is, symptoms and treatment

Dissociative identity disorder is a psychological disorder in which a person experiences changes in consciousness, memory, identity, emotions, environmental perception, movement control, and behavior that may occur due to traumatic or stressful events.

Thus, a person with dissociative identity may experience various types of signs and symptoms of psychological origin, occurring in isolation or in combination, without a physical illness to substantiate them, such as temporary amnesia, loss of consciousness, and confusion, for example.

It is important that a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder be made by a psychologist or psychiatrist so that treatment can be initiated to alleviate symptoms, with psychotherapy and taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications usually recommended.

Dissociative Disorder: what it is, symptoms and treatment

Basic Symptoms

Symptoms of dissociative disorder may be triggered or exacerbated by traumatic or stressful events, usually occurring suddenly. Episodes may occur sporadically or become more frequent, depending on the case, the main symptoms are:

  • Temporary amnesia, of specific events or period in the past, is called dissociative amnesia;
  • Slowing of movements and reflexes or inability to move, similar to fainting or a state of catatonia
  • Loss of cognitive awareness The main symptoms are: ; sensation of self or one’s whereabouts;
  • Movements similar to those of an epileptic seizure;
  • A tingling sensation or loss of sensation in one or more areas of the body, such as the mouth, tongue, hands, arms or legs;
  • A state of extreme confusion;

Dissociative disorder usually occurs or worsens after a traumatic or stressful event and usually manifests suddenly. Episodes may occur sporadically or more frequently, depending on each case, and are more common in women than in men.

It is important that if there are signs and symptoms that may indicate a dissociative disorder, a consultation with a psychiatrist be conducted to make a proper diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment.

How it is diagnosed

A diagnosis of dissociative disorder is made by a psychiatrist who evaluates the symptoms presented in crises and the presence of psychological conflicts that may provoke or exacerbate the disorder.

Other disorders such as anxiety, depression, somatization, schizophrenia, or other disorders that worsen or resemble dissociative disorder will also be evaluated. What are the most common mental health disorders and how to identify them?.

How treatment is given

The treatment of dissociative disorder is through psychotherapy using conversion therapy techniques, which aim to alleviate the person’s symptoms through specialized dialogue with those who have experienced the traumatic event.

In addition to psychotherapy, medications prescribed by a psychiatrist, such as antipsychotics or anxiolytics, may be prescribed to reduce symptoms of anxiety and impaired consciousness.