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Dissassociative Disorders and Amnesia

by: Gina

Dissassociative Disorders and Amnesia PSYC 3005 31

Marketplace > Fairleigh Dickinson University > Psychology > PSYC 3005 31 > Dissassociative Disorders and Amnesia
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About this Document

These notes cover the symptoms of DID and the different types of amnesia, as well as providing example case studies of the disorders.
Abnormal Psychology
Donalee Brown
Class Notes
abnormal psych, Psychology




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Gina on Friday October 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 3005 31 at Fairleigh Dickinson University taught by Donalee Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Abnormal Psychology in Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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Date Created: 10/07/16
Somatic Symptoms, Dissociative/Fictitious 10/7/16 12:29 PM Dissociative Personality Disorder  Alana is a licensed clinical therapy  Lyn is shy and has trouble saying her Ls  Connie is a little girl who really likes bugs  Heather is a teenager trying really hard to be adult  Lea was designated to the abuse  All of these personalities exist within the same body  This personality has splintered into many pieces due to severe trauma  This is an example of Dissociative Personality Disorder  This disorder can be described as a split mirror  This is often confused with schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder  Some of the personalities retain memories that others do not  Some of these personalities can be so compartmentalized that the core personality does not know it exists  This disorder effects self identity, memory, and consciousness  These types of disorders are categorized by the person’s memory splitting off, since the person disassociates in these  An example of this disorder in the media is The 3 Faces of Eve Case of DID  The patient had been going to treatment for 2 years  She is the head of a company, and has 2 children  She’s always well dressed at the meetings  She was always very timid  All the women who attended the meetings were survivors of incest  Her parents died, so she went to live with her grandparents o His grandfather constantly sexually abused her throughout her life, starting when she was 8  She felt as though she couldn’t escape the abuse from her grandfather  She married her neighbor, who was friends with her grandfather, who sexually abused her as well  Many abuse survivors suffer from anger issues  The patient struggled with the section on learning how to accept her anger, and she ended up being retraumatized  This caused her personality to fragment  She showed up at the next meeting dressed in all pink (very sexually), riding on a pink Harley  The next meeting she showed up with bags and bags of food for the group  One week she showed up wearing all denim and opened her backpack, which was full of puppies  The fact that the patient was a parent worried the therapists  The patient would lose whole days that she couldn’t remember  This happens because not all of the personalities are aware of the switch  There are people in the psychological field that don’t believe in this disorder  The psychologist is obligated to tell their patient if they have a dissociative personality disorder  Patients are taught coping mechanisms for when they do begin to feel anxious and disassociate, to bring them back to reality  From a physiological perspective, focusing on something else can help their heart rate lower, causing their anxiety to lesson  They have to be taught about what triggers their dissociative disorder, and how to calm down and deal with those triggers  It is encouraged that the same personality attends therapy  In order to be diagnosed with DID, a person must have 2 or more distinct personalities  The personalities, or alters, have distinct emotions, behaviors, and speech patters  The alters can take over whenever, but there is a core personality (this taking over is called Switching)  This disorder is rare, but it usually is diagnosed in children after abuse  3 times more commonly in women than men  The alters can have different types of relationships, these are…  Mutually amnesiac – there is no awareness of the alters to each other  Mutually cognizant – the alters are well aware of each other  One way amnesiac – some alters are aware of some other alters, but they aren’t all aware of each others  Coconscious Alter – they can be a quiet observer, but they may never be seen  Sometimes alters can create an awareness of themselves through indirect means – this can be done through auditory hallucinations, or involuntary writing  These alters have their own vital statistics  They can have different blood pressures  Different prescription needs  Different physiological responses to things  There’s a documented case of an alter having an allergy to orange juice, one of the other alters drank orange juice and the one with the allergy took over and had an allergic reaction  Psychodynamic – dissociative disorders are caused by extreme repression  It is a type of defense mechanism  Repression is forcing oneself to not think about or remember something that makes them anxious  They’re not allowing painful thoughts or impulses to reach the surface  In this case it would be a lifetime of extreme repression  In this case, the abused child would designate the abuse and terrible impulses and memories that come with it to different personalities  Behavioral – dissociative disorders can arise from someone repeatedly not thinking about the abuse as it comes  This would cause them to feel better, they could shut out the abuse  They would become conditioned to dissociate when they experience anxiety because when they do forget, they feel better  For treatment…  The best thing to do is let the person know they have this disorder  The next step is to integrate the personalities, so they can become one person again Case – Localized Amnesia  A young man is brought to an emergency room by a stranger who found him wandering the street  He did not remember who he was or where he was  He did not ingest alcohol, and there was no physical trauma  He stayed in the hospital for a few days, and he woke up one day panicking and remembering who he was (Riker)  He could remember things from before the episode  He asked to be discharged  He was shown to have localized amnesia, during the stay in the hospital  It was later found that on the day of his hospitalization, Riker had killed a pedestrian by accident – he was not to blame o The trauma of accidentally killing someone caused him to lose a space of time, to shield himself from the anxiety and distress  This is the most prominent type of dissociative amnesia  It’s almost as if they’re in a trance  Another type of amnesia is selective amnesia  This is when only certain things are forgotten  The last type is continuous amnesia – this is when the amnesia doesn’t end (quite rare)  These symptoms interfere with their ability to function, but it isn’t encyclopedia Dissociative Fugue  Reverend Borne withdrew some money from the bank  He went to go buy some land – this is the last thing he remembered  His wife worried because the church didn’t treat him well, and was worried they would be displaced o She pressured him into taking all of their money and buying the land  He didn’t return that night, and a missing persons report was put out  In another town, a man showed up paying for things only in cash  The police realized that he was the reverend that was missing  Dissociative fugue is characterized by a flight – the person forgets their personal information and flees to start a new life somewhere else  Usually the person wakes up suddenly, and it never happens again  Stress triggers it, in the reverend’s case he was pressured into buying the land when he really didn’t want to  The treatment for this, as well as the other amnesias, is the help the person cope with whatever caused the repression


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