Symptoms and signs of dissociative disorders depend on the type and severity, but may include:
Feeling disconnected from yourself
Problems with handling intense emotions
Sudden and unexpected shifts in mood - for example, feeling very sad for no reason
Depression or anxiety problems, or both
Feeling as though the world is distorted or not real (called 'derealisation')
Memory problems that aren't linked to physical injury or medical conditions
Other cognitive (thought-related) problems such as concentration problems
Significant memory lapses such as forgetting important personal information
Feeling compelled to behave in a certain way
Identity confusion - for example, behaving in a way that the person would normally find offensive or abhorrent
a range of dissociative disorders
Mental health professionals recognise four main types of dissociative disorder, including:
Dissociative identity disorder
Dissociative amnesia is when a person can't remember the details of a traumatic or stressful event, although they do realise they are experiencing memory loss. This is also known as psychogenic amnesia. This type of amnesia can last from a few days to one or more years. Dissociative amnesia may be linked to other disorders such as an anxiety disorder.
The four categories of dissociative amnesia include:
Localised amnesia - for a time, the person has no memory of the traumatic event at all. For example, following an assault, a person with localised amnesia may not recall any details for a few days.
Selective amnesia - the person has patchy or incomplete memories of the traumatic event.
Generalised amnesia - the person has trouble remembering the details of their entire life.
Systematised amnesia - the person may have a very particular and specific memory loss; for example, they may have no recollection of one relative.