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Dissociative Disorders 

Dissociation is an involuntary defense mechanism that allows an individual to unconsciously split off painful experiences. Soldiers, accident victims, and children who have been emotionally or physically abused may show signs of dissociation. Symptoms of a dissociative disorder can include gaps in memory, a sense of detachment from one’s body and the environment, and identity confusion and alteration. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is an extreme form of dissociation in which an individual may exhibit multiple personalities, each identity unaware of the others.

Other types of dissociative disorder include:

  • Dissociative amnesia
  • Dissociative fugue
  • Depersonalization disorder

Essential Books on Dissociative Disorders

American Psychiatric Publishing (APPI), a division of the American Psychiatric Association, offers clinical textbooks and manuals for understanding dissociative disorder and treating patients coping with psychological trauma.

Traumatic Dissociation: Neurobiology and TreatmentTraumatic Dissociation: Neurobiology and Treatment offers an advanced introduction to the patterns of personality organization seen in several trauma-related disorders, including acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the dissociative disorders.
Trauma, Memory and DissociationTrauma, Memory and Dissociation presents research on dissociative symptoms arising from exposure to traumatic events, including combat and childhood abuse. The authors also explore the relationship between dissociative disorder and other stress-induced conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder.
Handbook for Assessment of DissociationHandbook for Assessment of Dissociation provides guidelines for mental health professionals, students, and even patients, on the systematic assessment of dissociation and posttraumatic syndromes.

View a complete list of books related to dissociative disorders.