The following guide is for informational purposes only and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice.
What are Dissociative Disorders?
Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions and identity. Dissociative disorders usually develop as a reaction to trauma and help keep difficult memories at bay.
Types of Dissociative Disorders
The main symptom is memory loss that's more severe than normal forgetfulness and that can't be explained by a medical condition. There are three types:
Dissociative Identity Disorder
(Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dissociative-disorders/symptoms-causes/syc-20355215; Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/dissociative-amnesia#types; WebMD, https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder; Cleveland Clinic, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9791-depersonalizationderealization-disorder; Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depersonalization-derealization-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20352911)
Psychotherapy is the primary treatment for dissociative disorders. This form of therapy, also known as talk therapy, counseling or psychosocial therapy, involves talking about your disorder and related issues with a mental health professional.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
It’s based on the idea that negative actions or feelings are the results of current distorted beliefs or thoughts, not unconscious forces from the past. CBT is a blend of
Dialectical-Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT focuses on teaching coping skills to combat destructive urges, regulate emotions and improve relationships while adding validation. Involving individual and group work, DBT encourages practicing mindfulness techniques such as meditation, regulated breathing and self-soothing.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. It combines the CBT techniques of re-learning thought patterns with visual stimulation exercises to access traumatic memories and replace the associated negative beliefs with positive ones.
(Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dissociative-disorders/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355221; NAMI, https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Dissociative-Disorders/Treatment)
For a comprehensive list of McFarlin books about dissociative disorders consult our library catalog. Some ebooks may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.
For a comprehensive list of McFarlin databases consult our A-Z Database List. Databases may require you sign into the library system before viewing; you will be automatically prompted if a login is necessary.
You may want to get help for a dissociative disorder if it lasts for a long period of time or begins to interfere with your ability to function, such as eat, study, and have fun. TU has counselors who would love to help you.
This site provides information about and contact information for TU's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
If you are having a mental health crisis, the following sites provide help: