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Dissociative Disorders: Lifespan Perspectives

Dissociation, or an experience of fragmented consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, or behavior, can arise at any age in normative and clinical populations. Although some effective treatments have been identified, the presentation and effects of dissociative phenomena often vary throughout the lifespan, posing challenges for the identification and treatment of these symptoms.

Childhood

Before the age of 2 years, a child is highly dependent on caregivers and limited in coping and self-regulating abilities. As a result, infants are often easily overwhelmed by high levels of stress and generally respond to trauma with abnormal sleeping and eating behaviors. As the child progresses through infancy and toddlerhood (approximately ages 1–3 years), his or her primary developmental tasks are to establish secure attachments with caregivers and develop a basic sense ...

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