Joshua Cole.

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You are here: Home Dissociation Symptoms



There are five main symptoms which indicate dissociation:

1. Amnesia – this can manifest itself as having gaps in your memory or the experience of ‘losing time’.

2. Depersonalisation – this can feel like you are looking at yourself as though from outside. It can also include feeling so detached from your emotions that you can feel like a robot.

3. Derealisation – this is a feeling that your environment is unreal or alien and can include experiencing familiar people as strangers. Often it can feel as though everything appears as through a fog or even the opposite everything including colours appearing much more intense.

4. Identity Confusion – this is confusion about ‘who you are’ and can include confusion about sexual identity.

5. Identity Alteration – this is an observable shift in identity such as changes in behaviour and can include using different names. It is often experienced as a loss of control within or can occur during an amnesiac episode.

A dissociative disorder will only be diagnosed if some or all of the above symptoms are severe and persistent. The method of diagnosis will differ according to which country you live in.

The USA has interview evaluations using the DES (Dissociative Experiences Scale) and the SCID-D (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders) is also available.

There is at the present time little set up in the UK to diagnose dissociative disorders efficiently and many therapists and medical practitioners still believe (wrongly) that they are rare.

The DES is available in the UK but usually only through a psychologist or psychiatrist who specialises in these disorders. Organisations are working to change this and awareness and diagnostic abilities are improving at the moment in the UK, it is more likely that you will be identified as dissociative with no official diagnosis given.

People with dissociative disorders nearly always also have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and a background of abuse and/or neglect so any diagnosis also has to take these factors into account. This also means that the range of symptoms experienced is vast, as it will include PTSD symptoms. Panic attacks and depression are also commonly experienced. Often those with dissociative disorders are misdiagnosed with other conditions leading to ineffective treatment. It has been found that people later diagnosed as DID had several other wrong diagnoses first such as schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder (BPD).





You are here: Home Dissociation Symptoms