We all know what it feels like to zone out. We’re having a casual conversation or going about some tedious task when our mind involuntarily decides to take a few seconds off. When we return back to our full state of consciousness, we don’t have much of a recollection of what was just said or done. Now imagine those few seconds off becoming a good chunk of your whole day.


That’s what a dissociative disorder feels like. Included below are brief descriptions of three dissociative disorders: Dissociative Identity Disorder, Dissociative Amnesia, and Depersonalization/Derealization disorder. For your benefit, we’ve added links to sites that contain more detailed information and/or relevant articles. As we’ve stressed consistently throughout this site, if you think you or someone you know is experiencing a dissociative disorder or any mental illness, seek help immediately.

Three Types:

  1. Dissociative Identity Disorder

    • Characterized by the unintentional swapping of two or more unique personality states. In these different personality states, an individual is susceptible to exhibiting new thoughts, behaviors, and actions when compared to the previous identity exhibited

  2. Dissociative Amnesia

    • The primary symptom associated with this condition is a lapse of memory far more severe than the average memory loss most individuals experience. These lapses of memory don’t have any finite time limit and can last for years

  3. Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder

    • Often described as a true sense of detachment, individuals suffering from this condition often feel as if they are watching themselves from afar. It is essentially a dreamlike state where distinguishing reality and fantasy can be difficult








General Risk Factors:

  1. Traumatic events such as a death of a loved one, sexual/physical abuse, time spent serving in the armed forces, or a natural disaster



  1. Memory loss

  2. A sense of detachment from oneself

  3. Additional mental illnesses

  4. A feeling of having no true identity

  5. Weakening friendships and relationships

  6. Confusion, frustration, anger, sadness, etc.


  1. Psychotherapy

  2. Getting educated on the disorder and working towards limiting the continuous dissociation experienced

  3. There are no medications currently available to treat dissociative disorders, but medicines may be prescribed to treat some of the accompanying conditions



Sources/links we utilized:

Credit: Crash Course Psychology