Dissociative Disorders: Psychological Factors

The dissociative disorders involve a disturbance in the integration of consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, body representation, motor control, and behavior. Experiences normally connected on a smooth continuum are isolated from one another. This discontinuity results in a variety of dissociative disorders depending on the process affected. When memories are poorly integrated, the resulting disorder is dissociative amnesia. If the amnesia also includes apparently aimless wandering, it is considered a subtype, dissociative fugue. Fragmentation of identity results in dissociative identity disorder (DID). Disordered perception of the body or environment results in depersonalization/derealization disorder and in conjunction with the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) produces its dissociative subtype. Dissociation of elements of consciousness is also involved in acute stress disorder.

Dissociative disorders represent a disturbance ...

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