Chapter 8. Dissociative Disorders

DOI: 10.1176/appi.books.9781585624836.894296
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Commonly encountered in people with a variety of psychiatric diagnoses—and in many people without a diagnosis—dissociative symptoms can affect consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, body representation, and behavior. Dissociative experiences are common, affecting perhaps half the population at some point. Although they are common, symptoms can be vaguely experienced and poorly recalled, so they are often overlooked by clinicians. Many or most dissociative episodes are fleeting or do not cause significant distress or dysfunction, and therefore do not warrant a specific DSM-5 diagnosis. Nevertheless, their recognition can be an important contribution not only to the diagnosis but to helping make sense of sometimes confusing symptoms.

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