Dissociative disorder  

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Dissociative disorders are defined as conditions that involve disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity and/or perception. See also dissociation. People with dissociative disorders are able to escape from reality involuntarily. Typically the development of these orders are the reaction to some sort of trauma, used as a coping mechanism to avoid thinking about difficult memories. Treatment may be difficult, but many people are able to learn new ways of coping and living healthy lives. The five dissociative disorders listed in the DSM IV are as follows:

  • Depersonalization disorder (DSM-IV Codes 300.6): periods of detachment from self or surrounding which may be experienced as "unreal" (lacking in control of or "outside of" self) while retaining awareness that this is only a feeling and not a reality.
  • Dissociative amnesia (DSM-IV Codes 300.12) (formerly Psychogenic Amnesia): noticeable impairment of recall resulting from emotional trauma
  • Dissociative fugue (DSM-IV Codes 300.13) (formerly Psychogenic Fugue): physical desertion of familiar surroundings and experience of impaired recall of the past. This may lead to confusion about actual identity and the assumption of a new identity.
  • Dissociative identity disorder (DSM-IV Codes 300.14) (formerly Multiple Personality Disorder): the alternation of two or more distinct personality states with impaired recall, among personality states, of important information.
  • Dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DSM-IV Codes 300.15): which can be used for forms of pathological dissociation not covered by any of the specified dissociative disorders.

The ICD-10 classifies conversion disorder as a dissociative disorder while the DSM-IV classifies it as a somatoform disorder.

See also

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