Dissociative Anxiety: What It Is and How to Deal With It

If you have ever felt like you were living in two worlds, or if you have ever felt like you were disconnected from your body or your surroundings, then you may be experiencing dissociative anxiety. This is a type of anxiety disorder that can be very debilitating and can make it difficult to go about your daily life. In this blog post, we will discuss what dissociative anxiety is, the symptoms associated with it, and also how to deal with it.

Defining Dissociative  Anxiety

Dissociative anxiety is a form of anxiety characterized by a sense of disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings. It can cause a person to feel disconnected from their own body, as well as their thoughts and emotions. People with dissociative anxiety may also experience depersonalization, which is a feeling of being detached from oneself. Dissociative anxiety can be very distressing and can make it difficult to function in everyday life.

It is important to note that dissociative anxiety is different from other types of anxiety, such as social anxiety or panic disorder. Dissociative anxiety is more specifically characterized by a sense of disconnection, whereas other types of anxiety may be more focused on the fear of specific situations or objects.

Symptoms of Dissociative Anxiety

Dissociative anxiety can present itself in many different ways. Some common symptoms include:

  • Feeling like you are living in two worlds or that you are disconnected from your surroundings
  • Emotional or physical numbing
  • Constantly losing track of time
  • A sense of detachment from your own body or your thoughts and emotions
  • Depersonalization, or a feeling of being detached from yourself
  • Intense fear or panic
  • Disruption in thought process
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Avoidance of certain situations or places that trigger your anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle tension or pain

Dissociative anxiety can be very debilitating and can make it difficult to go about your daily life. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional. They will be able to assess whether or not you are suffering from dissociative anxiety and provide you with the necessary treatment.

Causes

The exact cause of dissociative anxiety is not known. However, some factors may contribute to its development, such as:

Trauma: Dissociative anxiety is often triggered by a traumatic event, such as a car accident or a natural disaster. This can lead to a feeling of disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings. Some instances include assault, war, accident, etc.

Stress: Stressful life events, such as the death of a loved one or divorce, can also trigger dissociative anxiety.

Genetics: If you have a family member who suffers from an anxiety disorder, you may also be more likely to develop one yourself.

Related Conditions

Dissociative anxiety is often co-morbid with other conditions, such as:

Depression

People with dissociative anxiety often suffer from depression. This is because the sense of disconnection and isolation that comes with dissociative anxiety can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair.

PTSD

Dissociative anxiety is often a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event. People with PTSD may feel disconnected from their surroundings and may also have difficulty functioning in everyday life.

OCD

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is another condition that is often comorbid with dissociative anxiety. OCD is characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behaviors (compulsions). People with OCD may feel the need to wash their hands repeatedly or check that the door is locked multiple times. This can lead to a feeling of disconnection from oneself or one’s surroundings.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that can cause delusions, hallucinations, and disorganized thinking. People with schizophrenia may feel disconnected from reality and may also have difficulty functioning in everyday life. Disassociation is a common symptom of schizophrenia and can further lead to dissociative anxiety.

Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is characterized by extreme changes in mood. People with bipolar disorder may experience periods of mania, where they feel excessively happy and energized, followed by periods of depression, where they feel extremely sad and hopeless. Dissociation in anxiety is often a symptom of bipolar disorder.

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a rare condition that characterizes by the presence of two or more distinct identities or personalities. People with DID may feel like they are living in two different worlds or that they are two different people. They may have difficulty functioning in everyday life and may further require treatment from a mental health professional.

Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a mental illness that is characterized by impulsivity, instability, and extreme emotions. People with BPD may experience dissociative anxiety as a result of their unstable moods and emotions.

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder that is characterized by recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. This disorder causes panic attacks, which are sudden periods of intense fear or anxiety that can come on without warning. People with panic disorder may also experience dissociative anxiety.

Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative amnesia is a condition in which a person experiences an inability to remember certain information. This may be due to psychological trauma or stress. Dissociative amnesia is often co-morbid with dissociative anxiety. It also shares many symptoms with dissociative anxiety, such as emotional numbing and detachment from your surroundings.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of other related to any of these conditions, it is important to contact a mental health professional. They will assess you on the basis of your symptoms, run psychological/physical exams, and further provide an official diagnosis. The treatment plan of action is also developed on this basis.

Treating Dissociative Anxiety

There are many different ways to treat dissociative anxiety. Some common treatments include:

Therapy

There are various types and techniques of therapies that help in managing the symptoms of dissociative anxiety and make the clients feel understood and safe. Some of the most common therapeutic interventions include:

  • Psychotherapy

This is a type of therapy that can help you to understand and work through your dissociative anxiety. It can also help you to learn coping mechanisms to deal with your anxiety. It works by talking about your thoughts and feelings in a safe and supportive environment.

This is a type of therapy that works by helping you to change the way you think and feel about your dissociative anxiety. It can help you to understand your thoughts as well as emotions, and how they affect your behavior. It can also help you to learn new coping mechanisms to deal with your anxiety.

  •  Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

This therapy approach works by teaching you how to deal with your dissociative anxiety in a more productive way. It helps you to identify and change negative thinking patterns, and to develop healthy coping mechanisms.

This is a type of therapy that works by helping you to confront your fears and anxieties. It can help you to slowly and gradually expose yourself to the things that trigger your anxiety. This may be done in a safe and controlled environment, such as in a therapist’s office.

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

This is a type of therapy that uses eye movements and other techniques to help you process and heal from trauma. It can be very helpful in treating dissociative anxiety. This procedure works by helping you to access and also process your memories safely and healthily.

There is no right or wrong approach to seeking therapy for anxiety disorders. The most suitable technique depends on a lot of factors and individual prefepreferenceswell as what works best for a particular person.

Medication

Many different types of medication can be helpful in treating dissociative anxiety. Some common medications include:

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)

This type of medication works by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that helps to regulate mood. SSRIs are often used to treat depression, but they can also be effective in treating anxiety.

  • Anti-anxiety medications

These medications work by helping to reduce the symptoms of anxiety, such as racing heart, sweating, and trembling. They are the most effective in combination with therapy.

  • Benzodiazepines

This type of medication works by reducing anxiety and inducing relaxation. Benzodiazepines can help treat short-term anxiety.

These medications work by helping to reduce delusions, hallucinations, and other symptoms of psychosis. They can also help to reduce anxiety.

  • Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)

This type of medication works by affecting the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. TCAs are often used to treat depression, but they can also be effective in treating anxiety.

  • Beta-Blockers

This type of medication works by blocking the effects of adrenaline. Beta-blockers can be helpful in treating anxiety that is caused by stress. They are often used to treat heart conditions, but they can also be effective in treating anxiety.

NOTE: It is important to know that psychiatric medication needs a valid prescription. It is important to contact a licensed professional for getting it and also to monitor the side effects as well as benefits of the medication on your body.

Coping Strategies

There are many different coping strategies that you can use to deal with your dissociative anxiety. Some common coping strategies include:

This is a simple but effective way to calm your body and mind. Deep breathing exercises can help to slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure. They can also help to reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Progressive muscle relaxation

This is a technique that involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body. Progressive muscle relaxation can further help to reduce tension and stress. It can also help to improve sleep quality.

This is a type of meditation that involves focusing on the present moment. Mindfulness meditation can further help you to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and how they affect your body. It can also help you to learn how to control your reactions to anxiety-inducing situations.

  • Grounding technique

This is a technique that can help you to stay present at the moment and focus on your surroundings. Grounding techniques can also help to reduce anxiety and also prevent dissociation. Some examples include:

-Focusing on your breath

-Listening to the sounds around you

-Feeling the texture of objects around you

-Tasting something nearby

  • Journaling

This is a great way to express your thoughts and feelings about your dissociative anxiety. Journaling can help you to understand your anxiety, and how it affects your life. It can also help you to find new ways to cope with your anxiety.

  • Visualization

This is a technique that involves picturing yourself in a calm and relaxing place. Visualization can help to reduce stress and anxiety. It can also help you to learn how to control your reactions to anxiety-inducing situations.

  • Exercise

Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and also improve mental health. Physical activity can also help to increase endorphins, which are chemicals that have mood-boosting effects. Exercise can also help to improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety.

  • Getting enough sleep

Sleep plays an important role in overall health. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce stress as well as anxiety. It can also improve mood and cognitive function.

  • Eating a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Consuming foods that are high in antioxidants, omega-three fatty acids, as well as fiber can help to improve your mental health.

  • Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake

Alcohol and caffeine can aggravate anxiety symptoms. Reducing your intake of these substances can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Moreover. it also provides for a better overall health and well-being.

If you suffer from dissociative anxiety, know that you are not alone. This disorder is relatively unknown and misunderstood. But with proper treatment, it is possible to manage your symptoms and live a healthy, happy life. Remember, there is no shame in seeking help. You deserve to live a life that is free from anxiety.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dissociative anxiety is a relatively unknown and misunderstood disorder. If you or someone you know suffers from dissociative anxiety, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There are many resources available to assist you in managing your symptoms and living a happier, healthier life. Do not suffer in silence; seek help today!

If you are searching for reliable and pocket-friendly mental health treatment, contact Mantra Care! We have a team of expert mental health professionals from all across the globe providing online therapy for psychological assistance and help. Book a session today and begin your wellness journey today!

A Word From Mantra Care

Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.

At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.

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