Dissociative Disorders are "characterized by persistent maladaptive disruptions in the integration of memory, consciousness, or identity." A person with a dissociative disorder may forget details about the past, they may wander away and forget how they got to where they are, or in very extreme cases, multiple personalities may exist.
Trauma is an event that involves actual or threatened death, injury, or abuse. Traumatic stress is the result, leaving the person feeling helpless, frightened, and anxious. Trauma is also a link between dissociative disorders and Traumatic Stress Disorders.
The role of trauma in the development of dissociative disorders shows us that it is a core issue. Without the trauma, there would be no traumatic or dissociative disorders. Dissociative fuge and dissociative amnesia are commonly brought on by a traumatic event. Dissociative fuge is rare disorder characterized by unplanned and sudden travel. The person cannot remember details of their past and experience identity confusion or even assume a new identity.
Dissociative amnesia is a sudden inability to recall important information that exceeds normal forgetfulness. If response to the trauma is sudden and clear, dissociative amnesia and fuge patients usually recover fully, where psychological functions return to normal. If the onset of response to the trauma is gradual and not clear, recovery is less certain.
Depersonalization Disorder is another disorder that is resulted in by a disturbing or traumatic event. It is characterized by a person feeling as if they are detached, or apart from himself or herself.
Trauma also has a role in Dissociative Identity Disorder, aka, multiple personality disorder. Dissociative identity disorder is where 2 or more distinct personalities exist in one person. It is linked to trauma from the past and has a slow and uncertain recovery rate.
Although theory and speculation govern etiological considerations regarding dissociative disorders,