Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders (DD) are mental conditions characterized by disturbances or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity, or perception. Typically, dissociative disorders occur as a coping mechanism for the brain to deal with a situation too upsetting for the conscious mind to process. Dissociative disorders are thought to be primarily caused by trauma or abuse, causing the individual to escape reality in involuntary and pathological ways. They can also be caused by things like stress or substance abuse. There are three main types of dissociative disorders: 1. dissociative amnesia and/or fugue: selective amnesia of a specific time, person or event. 2. Dissociative identity disorder: an indistinct or distorted sense of identity. 3. Depersonalization disorder: a feeling of being detached from yourself. If you think you may be suffering from a dissociative disorder, reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today.

Meet the specialists

I have experience with, and passion for working with people who struggle with dissociation, whether that be in the form of dissociative amnesia, depersonalization / derealization, or Dissociative Identity Disorder.

— Kristen Henshaw, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX

It's natural and adaptive to avoid pain, but if we deal with it separately for too long we can lose touch with who we are. What was once a highly adaptive, life -saving strategy becomes a secret prison of shame and doubt. It's easy to get lost in the many faces that were created to survive. I see you and look forward to being a safe place for you to find peace, clarity and wholeness.

— Kerry Ogden, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

The thing about dissociative disorders is that they hide, so it is likely that you may come to see me for depression or anxiety, and when we meet, you might have been previously diagnosed and treated for all kinds of disorders. It's okay, we will figure it out. It takes a lot of time and perseverance, but the worst is behind you.

— Chelle Epstein, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Miami, FL

If you have experienced intense life events, you may be familiar with experiences like chronic forgetfulness, regularly "zoning out," feeling out of place in your body, or feeling emotions that seem to come out of nowhere. These may be related to dissociation, a symptom that I believe many therapist fail to screen for when treating clients. Some clients who have been in therapy for years with little to no improvement may be stuck behind dissociative symptoms.

— Summer Dowd-Lukesh, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Fontana, CA