Abnormal Psych Test 2 Study Guide; Chapters 6, 7, 8, 10, 11
CHAPTER 6: DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS AND SOMATOFORM DISORDERS
the onset of both types of these disorders is hypothesized to be related to some stressful experience, yet
symptoms do not involve direct expressions of anxiety.
disorders in which the normal integration of consciousness, memory, or self-
identity is suddenly and temporarily altered; include dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, dissociative
identity disorder (multiple personality), and depersonalization disorder.
These are all presumed to be
caused by a common mechanism;
a process whereby a group of mental processes is split off from the
mainstream of consciousness, or behavior loses its relationship with the rest of the
personality, thus it involves the failure of consciousness to perform its usual task of
integrating our cognitions, emotions, motivations, and other aspects of experience in our
with these types of disorders may be unable to recall important personal events,
temporarily forget identity, or may wander far from usual surroundings, psychodynamic
and behavioral theorists consider pathological dissociation to be an avoidance mechanism
to protect the person from consciously experiencing stressful events
1) Dissociative amnesia:
a dissociative disorder in which the person suddenly becomes unable to recall
important personal info to an extent that can’t be explained by ordinary forgetfulness, usually info about a
Info is not permanently lost, the amnesia may last a few hours or years
Explicit memory –
memory involving the conscious recall of experiences;
the area of
deficits typically seen in dissociative amnesia.
(describing a bike you had as a child)
Implicit memory –
memory that underlies behavior but is based on experiences that
can’t be consciously recalled; typically not compromised in cases of dissociative
(how to ride the bike underlies the behavior of actually riding one)
2) Dissociative fugue (flee):
disorder in which the person experiences total amnesia, moves, and
establishes a new identity.
Can occur after person experiences intense trauma, however it is rare, usually
longer periods for which there is no memory than
3) Depersonalization disorder:
a dissociative disorder in which the individual feels unreal and
estranged from the self and surroundings enough to disrupt functioning.
People with this disorder may
feel that their extremities have changed in size or that they are watching themselves from a distance.
Unlike the other dissociative disorders it involves no disturbance of memory.
Usually begin in
adolescence and have a chronic course- for diagnosis it is necessary that the depersonalization cannot be
explained by another disorder
4) Dissociative identity disorder (DID) –
a rare dissociative disorder (formerly called multiple
personality disorder, or MPD) in which 2 or more fairly distinct and separate personalities are present