Dissociative disorders
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Dissociative disorders

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Contributors: Richard L. Barbano MD, PhD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Dissociative disorders are characterized by alterations in consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment where the individual uses involuntary ways to escape (or "dissociate") from reality. Dissociative disorders are classified depending on the predominant symptoms experienced and include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, dissociative identity disorder, and depersonalization disorder. Exact incidence is unknown, with estimates around 2% or even higher, and women more commonly diagnosed. A childhood history of abuse or neglect is common and often overlooked or minimized. Risk factors include physical or emotional abuse, as well as exposure to combat, violence, and natural disasters.

The presenting features all include temporary alterations in the individual's relation to reality, with dissociative amnesia presenting with partial or complete loss of memory for psychologically stressful events; dissociative fugue state presenting with sudden, unexplained travel with inability to recall features of one's past or identity; and dissociative identity disorder presenting with 2 or more distinct personalities (formally multiple personality disorder).

Dissociative amnesia and fugue must be differentiated from transient global amnesia. Dissociative disorders can be transient or recurrent. Treatment includes psychotherapy and medication.


F44.9 – Dissociative and conversion disorder, unspecified

44376007 –  Dissociative disorder


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Last Updated: 03/18/2019
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Dissociative disorders
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Dissociative disorders : Personality changes, Memory loss, False sensory perception
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.