When seeking treatment for substance use or other mental health problems, there are many factors to consider. You may find yourself asking questions like:

  • “Why am I not able to hold the same perception of reality as my peers?”
  • “Why can not I remember simple, long-term things like my sibling’s looks?”
  • “Why do I feel as though I have multiple people living in my brain?

The reality of dissociative disorders are that they complicate lives on a sliding scale. Recognizing and properly diagnosing these symptoms could be the difference between receiving effective treatment or leaving certain underlying causes untreated.

What Are Dissociative Disorders?

Dissociative disorders are complex mental health conditions that are experienced differently by every person. There are essentially different levels and intensities of these disorders, each affecting different aspects of one’s life. Dissociative disorder is an umbrella term with a range of different conditions falling underneath it. Each person dealing with these different disorders is unique to both the disorder and themselves. There is no right or wrong way to experience these symptoms, and it is important to remember that they can look different in different people.

Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

This specific condition of dissociative personality disorder is called depersonalization and derealization disorder. This disorder can disrupt everyday tasks. It can be normal for someone to go into “autopilot” while driving or listening to a lecture, although most people will be able to regain their full awareness soon after. People struggling with this disorder are not able to snap back into full consciousness and can become stuck in a state of being unaware of their surroundings and thoughts. People who suffer from depersonalization/derealization disorder experience interferences with their reality, making it difficult to complete activities that others may find to be extremely easy.

Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative amnesia is another disorder that falls under the umbrella of dissociative personality disorders. This disorder is the inability to recall personal core memories and details about one’s life. This could mean that someone can not tell someone where they grew up or whether they had pets as a child. It becomes especially difficult for people who struggle with this in stressful situations.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

This disorder may be considered the most extreme of the three. Dissociative identity disorder is the inner battle of creating and embodying multiple personas and personalities belonging to one person. The consistency with this disorder is the uncertainty among which identity will be presented. People with this disorder struggle to live a normal life, as their personality seems to be forever interchanging between their different identities. People struggling with dissociative identity disorder may not be able to recognize themselves in the mirror at times, making it crucial to seek help for their own mental health’s sake.

Importance of Accurate Diagnoses

The severity of these disorders can make it impossible for someone to live a fulfilling life if they are left untreated, especially someone who is also struggling with substance use. Seeking professional medical help can be the key to correctly prescribing a treatment plan. There are a plethora of reasons that may contribute to substance use, and being able to figure out and address those issues can help save lives. It is okay to admit that we need help, and it will be worth it in the end. We do not have to continue to struggle alone or in fear.

Finding the Right Treatment Center

Finding the right treatment center that can either fully support an already diagnosed disorder or one that has the resources to diagnose certain disorders is important to the process of one’s recovery. We must prioritize ourselves and our mental health to heal and progress to succeed in life fully. We need to take the time to listen to our bodies and minds. Indulging in self-care activities like meditation and spending time in nature can open our minds to the possibilities through treatment and recovery.

Researching what treatment is offered by different facilities is a great start on the path to recovery. We can lean into the support of our friends and family while consulting professionals about our mental health. We need to be vocal about what we experience and how our minds react to our surroundings. Being open and vulnerable can feel scary, but going undiagnosed while seeking treatment might counteract our recovery. We are all different in the best ways and help one another see the world from different perspectives. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself so you can receive the help you deserve.

Struggling with a dissociative disorder can feel overwhelming. There are branches to this category of illnesses, such as depersonalization and derealization disorder, dissociative amnesia disorder, and dissociative identity disorder. All three of these disorders can cause great stress for individuals, especially those struggling with substance use. It is important to have these properly diagnosed, as it can help with recovery. Every experience with these disorders is unique and should be treated as so. It is important to find the right treatment center and stay committed to the program. Seek professional help, as well as support from friends and family. No one should have to go through these things alone. It is okay to ask for help and to be vulnerable. We should listen to our bodies and what they need from us. Let’s prioritize our mental health as well as our physical health. We are all deserving of recovery. Call (949) 435-7449.