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Below is some additional information about dissociation disorder. 

The American Psychological Association reports that as much as 1% of the U.S. population may suffer from dissociation disorder. It’s a condition in which the sufferer experiences problems with identity, memory, emotion, behavior, and a confused sense of self.

The condition is usually brought on by severe abuse in early childhood years, usually before seven. This can be sexual, physical, or extreme psychological/verbal abuse.

In effect, the victim of this kind of treatment attempt to cope with overwhelming trauma by fragmenting their sense of self-identity to distance themselves from or even forget the terrible experiences they have been made to endure. For example, they may push down the trauma so severely they will develop a total loss of memory for portions of their lives. A general or all-pervasive amnesia can also result.

But many other outcomes manifest in a person with disassociation disorder.

Psychologists identify three types:

    • Dissociative Identity Disorder
    • Dissociative amnesia
    • Depersonalization Disorder

The latter is also sometimes called a “derealization” disorder.

Note that all human beings experience some form of dissociation as a regular part of daily life and experience. For example, when one is on a long drive, their thoughts may wander. Suddenly, they find themselves arriving at their destination, and they realize they daydreamed through much of the trip.

Becoming deeply absorbed in a compelling book or movie can also make a person “forget themselves” when engaged in those activities. These are normal and healthy forms of dissociation.

Dissociation becomes a problem when it disrupts an individual’s life over the long term and produces negative personality changes. One of the most dramatic examples of a severe dissociative disorder effect is multiple personalities. A person displays different personalities while “forgetting” or losing touch with their authentic self.

Modern psychology has developed several treatment models for dissociative disorder. The most common treatment is psychotherapy. In this case, a psychologist attempts to help the patient integrate the fragmented memories and personality of the subject.

There are no specific medications for treating this condition, although sometimes drugs are used to treat related symptoms, such as depression and anxiety.