Sometimes, most of us get lost or escape reality by watching a good movie or reading an interesting book. Dissociative disorder, however, is a broad term that is used to refer to a kind of mental illness where you escape reality in ways that are unhealthy and involuntary.
The word dissociation means the act of separating or the state of being separated. In psychiatry or psychology, dissociation refers to a mental response that turns your consciousness away from traumatic or painful associations. To put is more simply, dissociation is escaping painful associations of reality by going to another imaginary or real place. This may involve paralysis, shock, loss of speech, numbing or even loss of consciousness.
Dissociative disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by an interruption of or a dissociation from the fundamental aspects of your waking consciousness, such as your personal history or personal identity. This dissociation is believed to be a coping mechanism where you literally dissociate yourself from some kind of experience or situation that is so traumatic that you are not able to integrate it with your conscious self.
As you might imagine, there are different forms of dissociative disorder. The four major dissociative disorders are:
- Dissociative amnesia
- Dissociative fugue
- Depersonalization disorder
- Dissociative identity disorder.
Some form of dissociative disorder may affect anywhere from 2 to 10% of the general population. Estimates are difficult because dissociative disorders are hard to identify and can go for many years without being diagnosed.
There are some signs and symptoms that apply to all four of the major forms of dissociative disorder. Some of these are:
§ A sense of being detached from yourself (depersonalization)
§ A blurred sense of identity
§ Amnesia (memory loss) of certain events, people and time periods
§ Perceiving the things and people around you as unreal and distorted (derealization)
§ Mental health problems that include anxiety and depression.
You or a loved one may have been diagnosed with dissociative disorder. This disorder and/or complications resulting from it may be the reason why you or your loved one is unable to work. Dissociative disorder may be the cause of your disability.
As a result, you may need help. You may need financial assistance.
You or your loved one may intend to apply for the financial help that you need from the Social Security Administration by applying for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits because of the disability caused by dissociative disorder and/or complications resulting from this condition. Have you or your loved one already taken this step and been turned down by the Social Security Administration?
If you or your loved one is thinking about appealing the denial by the Social Security Administration, here is something important to remember. People who are represented by a disability lawyer like the one you will find at Social Security Home are approved more often than people who do not have a disability attorney working for them.