Dissociative Disorders and Addiction

Category : Sex Addiction Information

Dissociative Disorders and AddictionSymptoms of dissociative disorders include secondary personalities, multiple personalities, amnesia and detachment. These symptoms often cause people to have little control over their actions, so patients may unknowingly or unwillingly abuse drugs to cope. The problem is that this can create an addiction, and someone who has both a dissociative disorder and drug addiction needs treatment that addresses both problems at the same time. Several dissociative disorders may co-occur alongside an addiction, but professional help can get you clean and well simultaneously.

Types of Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorders are conditions that people involuntarily use to escape reality. They often develop as reactions to severe trauma, so people slip in and out of reality to avoid memories that are too painful to acknowledge. Four types of dissociative disorders are described below:

  • Dissociative identity disorder (DID) – Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, DID frequently develops in response to a traumatic childhood. It is characterized by multiple identities or personalities that will come and go in response to stress levels. Substance abuse and dependence is common among those who suffer from DID, but the nature of this illness may cause people to abuse drugs and be unable to remember it.
  • Dissociative amnesia. Those who suffer from dissociative amnesia experience severe memory loss that has no medical explanation. They may be unable to remember certain events or people, especially childhood memories associated with trauma. Dissociative amnesia can lead to difficulty recalling important personal information. Someone with dissociative amnesia may abuse drugs simply to cope.
  • Dissociative fugue. This disorder involves one or more episodes of amnesia that cause people to lose memory of their past and identity. Sometimes dissociative fugue causes people to create new identities. When people with dissociative fugue develop new identities, they may travel a great distance from home or work and abuse drugs, even if the person’s real identity has no history of drug abuse.
  • Depersonalization disorder. Characterized by symptoms of depersonalization, this disorder causes people to detach from themselves or their environments, so they may feel as if they do not fully occupy their own bodies. As a result, they feel little control over their words and actions while feeling disconnected from their own thoughts and emotions. They may suffer from out of body experiences, all of which can lead to substance abuse.

With professional treatment, many people with dissociative disorders can develop healthy coping skills that facilitate normal living. Psychotherapy, hypnosis and medication can treat dissociative disorder, but substance abuse only complicates mental problems. Those who suffer from a co-occurring dissociative disorder and substance abuse need integrated treatment to address both of their problems at the same time.

Find Treatment for Co-Occurring Dissociative Disorders and Addiction

If you or someone you love suffers from a dissociative disorder and substance abuse, then please allow us to help. Call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to reach our admissions coordinators that can connect you with high quality treatment. Call us now to begin recovery today.