Understanding dissociative disorders
Posted Wednesday 15 February 2012
We recently published our updated information on dissociative disorders. Inger from our Information team blogs about what dissociation is and some of the myths surrounding it.
Imagine driving to a place you have never been to. Then when you get there, you find that you have no idea why you went there or what you are supposed to be doing. This is what can happen to someone with severe dissociative disorder.
Fortunately most people with dissociative disorder will not experience symptoms as severe as this. And very few are likely to experience multiple personality disorder, perhaps its most well-known form.
The Guardian published an article last year about an artist called Kim Noble, who switches between more than 100 different personalities. Kim told the paper:
I don't ever know if I am coming or going. I could switch at a door, like at the doctor's surgery, and think, 'Have I just been in?'
In film, books and on TV, people with these disorders are often portrayed as mad and a danger to other people. The fact is that people with dissociative disorder are unlikely to harm anyone; except perhaps themselves.
Often those affected find it difficult to tell other people what they are going through. Few medical professionals have training in identifying the disorder, so many may have it without knowing it.
A large number of people who are diagnosed with dissociative disorder have experienced trauma and abuse. But not all who’ve experienced abuse will have a dissociative disorder, so it’s not a simple case of cause and effect.
If you want to know more about its different forms, effects and much more, read the new page and let us know what you think.
Inger Hatloy, Information Officer
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