Dissociative disorders typically manifest as a result of being subjected to trauma over a long period, particularly in children who are exposed to long-term abuse. These disorders involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between thoughts, memories, surroundings, actions, and identity. Symptoms can range from amnesia to alternate identities and triggers can exacerbate symptoms.
Dissociative disorder therapy includes several approaches such as psychotherapy and medication. Therapy helps people safely remember and process traumatic experiences, and, in the case of dissociative identity disorder, merge multiple identities into a functional individual. Treatment is vital for individuals to go on and lead productive lives and maintain healthy relationships. Dissociative episodes are treated with a variety of psychotherapies in an effort to reduce symptom recurrence and enhance coping mechanisms.