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Dissociative disorder

A complex mental process known as dissociation allows children and adults to cope with a traumatic experience. "Dissociation" can take many forms, such as "blocking out" a painful experience from memory or feeling detached or "not in" one's own body. Repeated dissociation can result in the development of dissociative disorders. The development of dissociative disorders is commonly associated with repeated childhood trauma, such as abuse or neglect. Dissociative disorders change the way a person experiences reality and living. Treatment and therapy depends on the type of disorder and how severe it is.

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Content last updated: September 22, 2009.

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