Dissociative disorders can make you feel disconnected from your persona, previous experiences and behaviours.

Known to cause interruptions in psychological functioning and well-being, living with any degree of dissociative disorder can be very difficult. Studies suggest a large proportion of individuals living with dissociative disorders have experienced traumatic events. Here, dissociation and disconnecting from reality are used as coping mechanisms, helping to block out a traumatic experience or memory.

If you’re currently experiencing dissociative disorders, or know of someone who is, receiving mental health guidance should be prioritised. Long-term experiences of dissociation can result in extreme side effects. With suitable treatment, both the disorder and mental illness can be worked through.

What are dissociative disorders?

Dissociative disorders can be defined as chronic mental health conditions. A degree of dissociation can cause severe psychological side effects, along with influencing the greater risk of developing additional conditions, including depression, multiple personality disorder and anxiety.

When a person develops a dissociative disorder, it is usually a coping mechanism to overcome traumatic experiences, such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse. This is down to an individual’s involuntary decision to dissociate themselves from their reality, which can have devastating effects on their quality of life.

Although those living with dissociative disorders may believe that this coping mechanism is protecting them, great internal harm is occurring. Not only this, the likelihood of developing associated mental health problems is advanced, resulting in great psychological difficulties. In this instance, acknowledging that a mental illness is present and that behaviours are abnormal will be challenging.

Please be reassured that all individuals who have experienced trauma will not develop dissociative disorders. However, as this is a serious mental illness, and it is imperative that the correct diagnosis of dissociative disorders is made. This will result in the correct form and level of treatment, helping to treat the type of dissociative disorder that has developed over time.

Here at Asana Lodge, we complete comprehensive evaluations of all individuals who come to us for support, helping to clearly identify the type of disorder present. Benefiting treatment recommendations and recovery rates, this approach is available through our private treatment clinic.

The symptoms of dissociative disorders

Symptoms of dissociative disorders can vary significantly, both in form and severity. Some individuals can experience mild symptoms, while others will live with chronic side effects, along with further mental health conditions.

Typically speaking, commonly experienced symptoms of dissociative disorders include (but are not limited to):

  • Reduced self-esteem and personal identity.
  • Emotional detachment.
  • Disorientation.
  • Uncertainty about who you are.
  • Feeling like you are an intruder in someone else’s body.
  • Feeling minimal physical pain, or none at all.
  • Gaps in memory.
  • Inability to manage feelings of stress.
  • Engaging in reckless behaviour, or putting yourself in potentially harmful situations.
  • The consistent feeling of disconnect.
  • Unawareness of behaviour or emotions.
  • In extreme cases, you may feel like you have multiple personalities.
  • The development of additional mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, borderline personality disorder and substance use disorders.

It is also important to remember that the type of dissociative disorder can influence the degree of symptoms. Dissociation can occur in many different forms. However, it is important to remember that mild symptoms can advance in the long term. With this in mind, psychological intervention and suitable treatment will be recommended, sooner rather than later.

Dissociative disorders - an double exposure close up image of a woman who internally suffering from dissociative identity disorder.

Types of dissociative disorders

When looking into disorders, there are three predominant degrees, all resulting in different symptoms. It is important to understand the type of dissociative disorder experienced in order to recommend suitable treatment options.

Dissociative amnesia

Dissociative amnesia is a type of disorder where gaps in memory will be experienced. This degree of dissociative disorder is relied upon as a coping mechanism to forget or overshadow a traumatic event. Individuals will experience gaps in their memory to block out personal details or experiences.

It is important to note that many cases of dissociative amnesia will be limited to the singular traumatic event. With this in mind, concern regarding complete memory loss shouldn’t be present. However, through this degree of amnesia, chronic cognitive impairment is possible.

Depersonalisation-derealisation disorder

This degree of dissociative disorders will result in an individual’s involuntary feelings of detachment from part of or their full identity. Depersonalisation is where individuals with a diagnosis will experience out-of-body experiences. Derealisation disorder is where experiences are perceived as fantasy or fake.

Individuals can experience a singular case of this disorder or both strengths. For a medical diagnosis to take place, episodes of either depersonalisation or derealisation must present themselves consistently.

Dissociative identity disorder

Dissociative identity disorder, commonly known as multiple personality disorder, is where multiple identities will be maintained. Here a number of different behaviours, feelings, actions, outlooks and emotions will be experienced, commonly dissociated from the individual’s organic persona.

This degree of dissociative disorders can be very difficult to live with, commonly resulting in one or more of the associated mental health conditions.

Treatment for dissociative disorders

Before considering the treatment for dissociative disorders, evaluations of biological, spiritual, psychological and social impacts will be made. This will help to gauge whether alternative motives or underlying issues are causing abnormal brain activity.

Here at Asana Lodge, we follow this approach, along with brain imaging, to detect the exact cause of dissociative disorders. This will ensure that the right treatment can be recommended.

As a large proportion of dissociative disorders stem from traumatic events, it is imperative that psychiatric support is offered. This will help to treat the disorder, while also benefiting those living with a dual diagnosis.

Each treatment programme will be determined on a case-by-case basis, tailored to the individual and their unique needs. However, typically speaking, common methods used to treat dissociative disorders include support groups, talking therapies, psychotherapy, hypnosis, eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing, and other natural remedies. The most effective yet low-risk treatment options are utilised at our treatment clinic.

Seek Comprehensive Support and Treatment at Asana Lodge

Here at Asana Lodge, we are mental health and psychological recovery specialists. We believe that a large proportion of disorders, addictions or mental health conditions stem from high or low brain activity, carrying abnormalities.

Through this approach, we provide effective observations and analysis to ensure that each client can be treated individually. This will help to improve recovery rates while ensuring that effective treatment options are activated.

Although physical and environmental factors can cause the likes of dissociative disorders, we vouch for initial healing of the mind. By improving brain functionality and health, along with working through a dual diagnosis, the potential for full rehabilitation is greater.

For more information on how we can treat dissociative disorders at Asana Lodge, please get in touch with our expert team. Simply call us on 01908 489 421 or e-mail enquiries@asanalodge.co.uk, and we’ll get in touch with you to discuss treatment options.