What is dissociative disorder? How to recognize and treat?

Dissociative disorder is a mental illness with a wide range of symptoms and a specific cause is still unknown. According to statistics, up to 0.3 – 0.5% of the world’s population suffers from this disease, women account for more than men, children are more at risk than people. old.

Dissociative disorder will often develop in the same way that the body responds to trauma

Dissociative disorder will often develop in the same way that the body responds to trauma

What is dissociative disorder?

Dissociative disorders (hysteria, hysteria, etc.) are a range of mental disorders that involve experiencing disconnects and lack of continuity between memories, thoughts, and environment. , actions and how people identify. Usually, people with this disease tend to want to avoid and hide from reality in unhealthy and involuntary ways. This greatly affects the quality of life and daily activities of themselves and those around them.

Dissociative disorders often develop in the same way that the body responds to trauma, stressful situations, and stress, and helps to get rid of unwanted, bad memories. Depending on the type of dissociative disorder, the symptoms of the disease are also somewhat unique and vary from patient to patient.

Periods of pressure, stress, and fatigue can temporarily make the symptoms of the disease worse and more dangerous, making them more specific and obvious. In addition, dissociative disorders can also occur in a collective manner, that is, the phenomenon occurs simultaneously in the same group, a collective such as a crowd, school, agency, etc.

Features of dissociative disorder

The symptoms of dissociative disorders also appear due to the weakening of the activity in the cerebral cortex, they begin to break free from the control of the subcortical, thereby increasing emotion and increasing suggestibility. That’s why the intense stimulation of the traumatic factor makes the cerebral cortex no longer able to control, thereby falling into an inhibited state. When the cerebral cortex cannot regulate itself, it will cause the subcortical area to increase activity, causing the characteristic symptoms of dissociative disorder.

Besides, the stimuli of psychological trauma are easy to cause collective chain reactions. That’s why when one person in the group shows symptoms of dissociative disorder, the rest are also at risk of getting sick and doing the same. That’s why we get the feeling that the disease is contagious, also known as mass hysteria.

According to experts, dissociative disorders will have a higher risk of onset in children and especially in girls. In addition, this condition often occurs simultaneously in groups or in groups in crowds or schools. The characteristic manifestation of this condition is that one person has the disease and those around them also tend to be contagious.

Symptoms of dissociation disorder will often appear after experiencing psychological trauma, difficult problems, pressure, stress in life, work, study, relationships that the person himself The disease cannot be cured and resolved by itself. Clinically, patients will often present a variety of somatic manifestations along with symptoms of secondary dysfunction in the absence of any underlying physical injury.

Symptoms of Dissociative Disorder

Depending on the type of dissociative disorder, the symptoms of the patient will also be somewhat different. However, it will mainly include:

Dissociative disorder

People with dissociative disorder often feel like they are separated from their body

  • Feeling disconnected from your body and emotions.
  • Loss of memory of certain moments, events, times, people, and even personal information.
  • Inability to cope and handle stressful situations well, pressure from work, study, family, relationships.
  • Perception and way of receiving everything around, including people become unreal.
  • Having a lot of trouble at work, relationships or other areas of daily life.
  • There are other mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, negative thoughts, and suicidal thoughts.

According to research, scientists have identified 3 main dissociative disorders as follows:

  • Psychoanalytic identity disorder: The person may feel that two or more people are present talking and living in their mind. Patients themselves can feel like someone is trying to take possession of their body by many different identities. Each identity can have different characteristics, name, personality, past, voice, gender, behavior. People with this type of dissociative disorder are often accompanied by psychoanalytic forgetfulness or dissociative fugue.
  • Psychoanalytic amnesia: The hallmark symptom of this condition is severe memory loss and no specific cause can be found for this condition. The patient is completely unable to clearly remember or forget all personal information or events that have been experienced, especially times of stress, grief, fatigue. Episodes of memory loss often occur suddenly, even the patient himself cannot predict and they can last minutes, hours, sometimes months, years, but this is the case. very rare.
  • Personification disorder – false perception of reality: The patient will feel like he is observing his own thoughts, actions, and emotions from afar, like enjoying a movie – personality chemical. Patients will feel like they are being cut off from real life, their time can be sped up or slowed down, the world becomes blurry, like it’s not real. They may also face derealization or depersonalization, or even both. The symptoms of the disease can make you feel sad, deeply distressed, sometimes it can be momentary but can persist for years at a time.

Causes of dissociative disorder

According to the sharing and research of scientists, dissociative disorder is the body’s natural response to cope with traumatic situations. These disorders are more likely to appear in children who have experienced sexual abuse, physical or emotional abuse for a long time, or live in a bad family, raised by parents. toxic. In addition, experiences from natural disasters and war can also be factors that increase the risk of dissociative disorder.

In fact, each person’s personal imprint will be formed and nurtured during childhood. Because of this, children will be more likely to step out of themselves and see and observe trauma than adults. They will feel like everything is happening to someone other than themselves.

To date, there has not been any research or scientific evidence that specifically identifies dissociative disorders caused by damage to the inside of the brain. It is also for that reason that this disease is also called functional disease, the main cause can come from mental trauma.

Dissociative disorder

Dissociative disorder is an illness associated with mental trauma

Traumatic trauma will often be intense and powerful emotions such as extreme anger, extreme fear, disappointment or severe depression, etc. The trauma will be very noticeable in the debilitating mental illness as well. because it is strong and acute. They will often begin shortly after the traumatic event or shortly after. However, there are also some cases where mental trauma is difficult to find, especially in patients with long-term relapses.

Some favorable factors:

  • Harmful environmental factors: These are factors that have the ability to weaken nerves, causing the activity of the cerebral cortex to be significantly reduced. Such as poisoning, infection, malnutrition, traumatic brain injury, exhaustion, etc.
  • Weak personality: According to experts, dissociative disorder will often start in people with inappropriate living or education situations. Subjects with weak, negative personalities, such as lack of self-control, lack of ability to control emotions and self-control, like to show off, tend to want to be pampered, endurance with difficulties , poor tension, unstable ideals.

Unpredictable consequences of dissociative disorder

The effects of dissociative disorders cannot be underestimated because patients are more likely to develop a range of related disorders that negatively impact daily life. Some possible consequences for patients with dissociative disorders include:

Dissociative disorder

Dissociative disorders, if not treated early, increase the likelihood of developing other mental health problems

  • Having negative thoughts, self-harm, or suicidal thoughts.
  • Depression, anxiety disorder
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Personality disorder
  • Eating disorder
  • Sleep disturbance, usually insomnia, frequent nightmares, sleepwalking.
  • Drug use disorder, alcoholism.
  • Post-traumatic stress
  • Encountered many difficulties and obstacles in personal, work, and family relationships.
  • Appearance of physical symptoms such as seizures, dizziness.

Dissociative disorders can cause many serious consequences affecting the life and health of patients. Therefore, as soon as you notice the warning signs of the disease, you need to be more proactive in examining and treating at reputable specialist facilities.

Diagnosis of dissociative disorder

The diagnosis of dissociative disorder should be done directly with experienced specialists to avoid making false conclusions that are easily confused with other mental disorders. Diagnosis will include:

  • Physical examination: A mental health practitioner will conduct a general physical examination, ask in-depth questions, and assess the symptoms the person is experiencing. At the same time, the specialist will also take a personal history. A few tests will then be ordered to properly rule out physical health problems, such as brain disease, sleep deprivation, head trauma that can also cause typical symptoms such as: loss of memory, a sense of detachment from reality.
  • Psychiatric exam: Your doctor will begin by asking some in-depth questions to learn about your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Discuss their symptoms with the patient and possibly have them run a multiple-choice test.

How to treat dissociative disorder effectively?

After receiving accurate diagnosis results from specialists, the patient will be discussed more carefully about the treatment method as well as the regimen to follow. Usually, each different disorder will have a different treatment, and the recovery time of the patient is also different. However, it is often preferred to apply psychotherapy in combination with some supportive drugs to help patients both control dangerous symptoms and completely solve the cause of the disease.

1. Psychotherapy

Currently, psychotherapy is considered the mainstay of treatment for cases of dissociative disorder. Psychologists will talk directly with patients to help them better understand their own health condition and find the root cause of abnormal symptoms. From there, they will know how to deal with and overcome traumatic and stressful issues in the healthiest and most positive way.

After psychotherapy, patients with dissociative disorder will gradually become more stable mentally, memory will gradually recover and integrate better with real life. At the same time, in order to limit future recurrence, psychologists also guide patients on how to control emotions, adjust and handle difficult and stressful situations that occur in daily life. day.

2. Use of drug treatment

Although there are still no medications that are specifically approved for the treatment of dissociative disorders, doctors can still prescribe supportive medications to help patients control symptoms. usually his. Usually, antidepressant, anti-anxiety, and antipsychotic drugs are preferred for severe illness, dissociative symptoms that affect the patient’s health and quality of life. .

However, when prescribed to use the drug, you need to be really careful and strictly follow the instructions of the doctor. Also because most of these drugs have the potential to cause some side effects, especially in the new period of use, the body cannot adapt well. If during the course of taking the drug appear strange symptoms, the patient should also promptly notify the specialist for support and appropriate treatment instructions.

Dissociative disorders can be recovered quickly if detected early and properly applied with the right interventions. Hopefully, through the information of the above article, readers will understand more about this disease and be more proactive in examining and treating if abnormal symptoms are detected.

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