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HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

Our dissociative disorders solicitors operate the no win no fee scheme which is totally without risk. You only pay legal charges if the case is won. There are no upfront charges to pay whatsoever. If you would like to discuss your potential compensation claim with a specialist medical negligence solicitor just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the solicitors helpline. Once you have provided sufficient information you will speak with a dissociative disorders solicitor who will advise you on the prospects of success for your claim and an estimated amount of compensation that may be awarded. Our advice is totally without cost and there is no further obligation to use our legal services. Do yourself justice and give us a call.

Our dissociative disorders solicitors have offices situated in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, and Sydney.

dissociative disorders Overview

There are several types of dissociative disorders. A dissociative disorder involves the disruption of a person's perception of the surroundings, memory, consciousness or identity. There are four types of dissociative disorders, including depersonalization disorder, dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, and dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder).

The characteristics of the various disorders are as follows:

  • Dissociative amnesia is when a person doesn't remember important personal information because of trauma in their life. They lose information about their own personal history.
  • Dissociative fugue involves a person who wanders away from their life and picks up another life in another location. They cannot remember their past and don't know who they are. After the fugue state is over, they often cannot remember what happened while in the fugue state.
  • In dissociative identity disorder, the patient develops two or more distinct identities that have their own characteristics and personality traits. They may have no knowledge of one another or may be completely co-conscious and know what is happening with the other personality. Each personality has a separate name and a separate personal history.
  • Depersonalized disorder involves feeling detached or estranged from your body. The person feels as though they are in a dream or watching themselves on a television screen or movie screen. They are outside of their bodies and feel separated from their lives. There is a distinct feeling of "going crazy" and the individual is readily depressed and anxious.

Dissociative identity disorder has some hereditary component because a person with DID is more than likely to have a first degree relative with the disorder. The disease is more frequently involved with females but men can have it too. It is five times more common in women than in men. It is a disorder usually identified in adulthood but can be diagnosed in adolescents and younger children. When it comes to dissociative fugue, it is usually seen in adulthood. The same is true of dissociative amnesia. Depersonalization disorder is identified in later adolescence and in adults.

Dissociative disorders are not common. There has been an increase in diagnoses of dissociative amnesia in recent years due to increased interest in childhood trauma and in repressed memories. Not everyone believes in the phenomenon of repressed memories.

Dissociative disorders are diagnosed by mental health professionals who are trained to recognize dissociative states. Past history of childhood or adolescent trauma is common, which could be sexual trauma, psychological trauma or physical trauma. There are no lab tests for dissociative disorders but one can take a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory which can rule out other causes of mental illness or can find if there are coexisting disorders. A physical examination can be done to make sure there are no physical illnesses mimicking dissociative disorders.

There is psychological counselling and therapy for dissociative disorders. The therapy is designed to return the individual's memories so they have full memory of their lives. There is often a reintegration of personalities in dissociative identity disorder. Hypnosis or sodium pentothal is used to bring out memories that the person has forgotten or regressed. Psychotherapy is used to help the person cope with past traumas and with current coping mechanisms. When a person recalls a past trauma, there is often a recurrence of the emotions of the trauma which needs to be treated psychologically. Hypnosis is often used in psychological fugue states and in dissociative amnesia. DID needs treatment for a long period of time so the personalities can merge into one personality. Hospitalization may be required for destructive tendencies and other dangerous states. Those with depersonalization need to explore traumatic reasons for their symptoms and to learn how to remain in a present state.

Dissociative amnesia patients often suffer for just a few minutes; however the symptoms can last several years. If the person is removed from the traumatic situation, the amnesia may resolve itself. In dissociative fugue, the person is often treated very quickly once the fugue state is resolved.

Dissociative identity disorder can become a problem in later life unless it is treated thoroughly. It is treated with talk therapy and sometimes medications.

Depersonalization disorder can be very brief and can last just a few seconds. With treatment, the episodes lessen and can go completely away.

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Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our Dissociative Disorder solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don't win then you don't pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and a Dissociative Disorder solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here