Dissociative Disorders: Biological Factors

In brief, dissociative experiences and dissociative disorders (DDs) involve alterations in one’s sense of self or identity as well as in various dimensions of consciousness, for example, referring to one’s experience of the passage of time, verbal internal thought (e.g., hearing voices), one’s sense of one’s body (e.g., as in out-of-body experiences), and of emotional states (e.g., as in emotional suppression or feeling emotionally numb). This entry overviews the results of autonomic responses, neuroendocrinology, neurochemical systems, neuroimaging, and pharamacological treatment, as well as genetic research concerning the bases of DDs focusing particularly on research concerning depersonalization disorder and dissociative identity disorder (DID). It should be noted that DDs frequently have repetitive exposure to traumatic life events (e.g., abuse, neglect) as a strong etiological factor. Less ...

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