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Mental Health Center

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Mental Health and Depersonalization Disorder

How Is Depersonalization Disorder Treated?

Most people with depersonalization disorder who seek treatment are concerned about symptoms such as depression or anxiety, rather than the disorder itself. In many cases, the symptoms will go away over time. Treatment usually is needed only when the disorder is lasting or recurrent, or if the symptoms are particularly distressing to the person.

The goal of treatment, when needed, is to address all stresses associated with the onset of the disorder. The best treatment approach depends on the individual and the severity of his or her symptoms, but most likely will include some combination of the following treatment methods:

  • Psychotherapy: This kind of therapy for mental and emotional disorders uses psychological techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into problems.
  • Cognitive therapy: This type of therapy focuses on changing dysfunctional thinking patterns.
  • Medication: There is no medication to treat the dissociative disorders themselves. However, a person with a dissociative disorder who also suffers from depression or anxiety might benefit from treatment with a medication such as an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug. Antipsychotic medications are also sometimes used to help with disordered thinking and perception related to depersonalization.
  • Family therapy: This kind of therapy helps to educate the family about the disorder and its causes, as well as to help family members recognize symptoms of a recurrence.
  • Creative therapies (art therapy, music therapy): These therapies allow the patient to explore and express his or her thoughts and feelings in a safe and creative way.
  • Clinical hypnosis: This is a treatment technique that uses intense relaxation, concentration, and focused attention to achieve an altered state of consciousness or awareness, allowing people to explore thoughts, feelings, and memories they might have hidden from their conscious minds.

What Is the Outlook for People With Depersonalization Disorder?

Complete recovery from depersonalization disorder is possible for many patients. The symptoms associated with this disorder often go away on their own or after treatment that help the person deal with the stress or trauma that triggered the symptoms. However, without treatment, additional episodes of depersonalization can occur.

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