Teen Dissociative Disorder

Teen Dissociative Disorder is the lasting imprint on a teen’s mind that occurs due to a trauma. The trauma could include sexual abuse, watching someone die, persistent bullying, natural calamity, or violence.

Its etymology is not very concise but psychiatrists attribute teen dissociative disorder to several incidences happening in the child’s life. Young children with this disorder have usually faced sexual abuse or physical atrocities where they were powerless to effectively defend themselves. This dissociation affects their memory too to the effect that via the dissociative disorder, the memory of the trauma is dulled enabling a child to temporarily forget their struggles. However, the dissociative disorder restricts a child’s normal functioning and healthy social interaction.

Dissociation Types

Dissociations are categorized into few different categories as per their typical symptoms. These categorizations help for diagnosis, prognosis and accurate treatment.

Normal Dissociation: This type of dissociation appears normal, hence less challenging. A teen might forget everything and get absorbed in just about anything that draws their interest such as – drawing artwork, reading, or even doodling. They may seem to be lost in fantasy, and may not be able to differentiate between reality and fantasy.

Mild Dissociation: This dissociation happens when the teen is found staring nowhere, totally unfocused. When this phenomenon is noticed regularly, it could be alarming. This lack of focus will affect the teen’s learning abilities in school.

Depersonalization Dissociation: This is an advanced stage of dissociation, mostly post-sexual abuse, when the teen does not have any touch sensation in his/her body. The numbness in their bodies is noticed when the other senses such as sight, hearing and taste are also missing.

De-realization Dissociation: This type of dissociation happens when a child is lost and cuts off from reality, where everything around them seems unreal. This is often like the immediate post-incidence trauma that a child feels.

Intense Dissociation: Teens often feel intense dissociation when the trauma of their past haunts them. This type of dissociation helps the child to function normally at home and in school. However, while they may be functioning, somewhere their real identity is lost in the process.

Symptoms of Teen Dissociative Disorder

There are few symptoms that are typical to this disorder.

They may include:

  • Varied calm moments together with moments of aggression
  • Erratic mood and behavioral changes
  • Unexplained loss of time
  • Unfocused stare / spaced out moments
  • Unexplained physical bodily changes
  • Forgetfulness
  • Substance abuse
  • Body aches, stomachaches, headaches
  • Shortness of breath

Treatment for Teen Dissociative Disorder

Teen dissociative disorder is mainly triggered by a trauma. To this effect, the most common treatment includes trauma therapy to uncover the underlying trauma at the root of the disorder. Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) help in reducing the symptoms of this disorder.

Treatment at Hillcrest

Hillcrest Adolescent Treatment Center (Hillcrest) is a tranquil, rehabilitation oasis expertly designed to treat adolescents struggling with teen dissociative disorder. The magnificent residential facility is based in the tropical foothills of Agoura Hills, California. Rustic, yet elegant, it is uniquely situated and designed to provide and nurture healing on all levels, while focusing on the key principles of mind-body health.

Clients participate in 3-5 weekly individual therapy sessions. Evidence-based clinical therapies are complemented by holistic and creative therapies to provide a well-rounded rehabilitation experience that is bespoke and successful.

Clients are encouraged to express their thoughts and feelings through daily journaling, and embrace new options, experiences and open-minded views, all the while guided by committed and stellar mental healthcare professionals, therapists and counselors. Due to the quality staff on board, Hillcrest clients are able to establish strong positive rapport and connections to expedite healing and cement comfortable communication and respect. These healthy relationships allow for ongoing progression and recovery both during and post treatment.

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