Sometimes, a patient suffering from an anxiety disorder and panic attacks may seem very resistant to treatment at first. According to a new study published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, that apparent resistance may be a result of the dissociative behaviour that the patient uses to cope with anxiety and trauma. If psychologist in Singapore can develop ways to target the dissociation first and break down that mental barrier, the path forward to better mental health could be much clearer.

What is Dissociation?

Dissociation is a particular method of defence that the mind engages when faced with stress or trauma. It usually occurs in people who have undergone multiple traumatic episodes. When people dissociate, their awareness of the environment, people, and events around them is altered. They may experience an altered sense of memory, consciousness, or identity.

The Connection Between Anxiety and Dissociation

People who suffer from anxiety or panic disorders tend to be around a 4 or 5 on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to the severity and likelihood of dissociation. These individuals may be able to put themselves into a kind of trance or engage a surreal sense of reality that takes them out of the trauma or stress that they were feeling a moment before.

Symptoms of Dissociation

A person who dissociates may feel as if their body has become much larger or very tiny. They may have tunnel vision, become sensitive to sound and light, or believe that stationary objects are actually moving. They may be driving and suddenly realise that they can’t recall a large portion of the drive, or they may miss large segments of a conversation. These individuals may enter a trance and stare into space for lengthy periods of time, without realising how long they are actually sitting there.

Dealing with Dissociation First

Therapy involves delving into the root causes of certain fears and emotions, unwrapping those anxieties and the reasons behind them. If a patient constantly dissociates during therapy sessions, it shows an unwillingness to be in the moment and to deal with the source of the mental health issues. With the insight granted by this new study on dissociation, psychiatrists in Singapore may be able to develop new techniques for dealing with the dissociative tendency itself. Once they teach the patient how to respond without dissociating, they can move forward with treatment of the anxiety disorder.

Finding a Way Forward

Do you have a loved one that seems to go into strange moods or have odd episodes of staring into space? Perhaps you have experienced the symptoms of dissociation yourself, related to something traumatic or anxiety-inducing. There’s no need to keep struggling with this alone. Contact Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, the place to go for help with mental health in Singapore. Our expert psychiatrists and caring staff will protect your privacy and offer you a safe place to find the help that you need to recover from anxiety, panic, and dissociation.

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