Home Disorders  

How to Get Rid of Dissociative Disorders


The essential feature of dissociative disorders is a disruption of the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity or perception of the environment. Disturbance may be sudden or gradual, transient or chronic.

A dissociative disorder is the breakdown of one's perception of his/her surroundings, memory, identity, or consciousness. Dissociative disorders are so-called because they are marked by a dissociation from or interruption of a person's fundamental aspects of waking consciousness (such as one's personal identity, one's personal history, etc.). Dissociative disorders come in many forms, the most famous of which is dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder).

The word dissociation can be traced back to the late nineteenth century and particularly to the work of the French philosopher and psychiatrist, Pierre Janet (1859-1947). As a young man he studied patients with hysteria and was invited by Charcot to continue his work at the Salpetriere in Paris. He used the term 'desagregation psychologique' (subsequently loosely translated into English as dissociation) and undertook many meticulous clinical studies of sensory perception and mental integration, information processing, reactions to trauma, and the role of psychotherapy. He reported his findings in many papers and several books (see van der Kolk and van der Hart 1989). Whilst Janet himself was influenced by wide nineteenth-century interest in hypnosis, suggestibility, and other states of altered consciousness, he was a major influence on Freud and Breuer's early work on hysteria which saw symptoms as resulting from an inability to cope with the emotional consequences of severe trauma (see Shorter 1992 for an historical review). However, with the development of psychoanalysis, interest in the concept of dissociation declined.


Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

Stay Connected with DG


Current Issue

Self Help Leaflets

Take the help of our self help leaflets or booklets.

The DG Magazine

All about living with depression

Most Read on Disorders