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How do I know if I need therapy for dissociation?

People who experience dissociation have difficulties remembering things such as personal information, including basics like their name and address. You may also “blank” on events that have happened. You may feel that the stress of everyday life, in relationships and in work, has come to a breaking point. You may feel depressed, anxious, or suicidal. The symptoms tend to disrupt daily functioning, and a therapist can help address them.

Who can diagnose dissociative disorders?

The types of dissociative disorders include: depersonalization-derealization disorder, dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder. A physician should first rule out any possible medical conditions that could cause memory difficulties such as brain injury or lesions. Psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed therapists, psychiatric social workers, counselors, and other qualified mental health professionals can assess for dissociative disorders. This professional will inquire about symptoms and compare them to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, known as the DSM-5.

Can a dissociative disorder go away on its own?

Dissociation after a specific event can sometimes resolve itself within weeks without treatment. However, the symptoms can reappear at another time. Some people try to improve their symptoms through mindfulness practices, eating healthfully, sleeping right, and other self-care approaches. While self-care is necessary for optimal physical and mental health, but therapy is recommended for a full recovery from dissociative disorders.

How do I get someone to try therapy for dissociative disorders?

Care, compassion, and respect are needed when encouraging a person to try therapy. Describe what you are observing without judgment or criticism. Listen carefully and ask your family member or friend open-ended questions in a calm and positive manner. Be prepared for logistical difficulties, such as the individual balking about getting to therapy sessions or their inability to find a therapist.