Explains what dissociation and dissociative disorders are, including possible causes and how you can access treatment and support. Includes tips for helping yourself, and guidance for friends and family.
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If you think you have a dissociative disorder, ask your GP or psychiatrist to refer you for a full assessment. You may have a meeting with both a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist as part of your assessment.
The person assessing you should have specialist training and a good understanding of dissociative disorders. You can search for therapists who specialise in dissociative disorders on the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) or British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) websites.
The person who assesses you should check whether your experiences of dissociation might be explained by:
Your diagnosis will depend on:
Your mental health professionals might ask you questions about your experience of dissociation, to help them make a diagnosis that fits best with your experience. If this seems to fit the description of another mental health problem better, then you may be given this diagnosis instead.
Not everyone finds it helpful to get a diagnosis. Even if you don't get a specific diagnosis, you can still seek help for your symptoms.
Dissociative disorders can be difficult to diagnose. There are different reasons why you might not get the right diagnosis straight away:
You might experience a dissociative disorder on its own, or alongside another mental health problem. If you do experience another mental health problem, this can make it hard for mental health professionals to understand whether it's appropriate to give you a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder.
There are several reasons for this:
This information was published in March 2019. We will revise it in 2022.
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