I would not have suspected this either:
“Dissociative disorders are often said to be rare. But our soon-to-be published analysis of international studies suggest they affect 10-11% of the population at some point in their lives. This makes them nearly as common as mood disorders (such as clinical depression).
So what are dissociative disorders, why is diagnosis controversial and how can people be treated?”
The article goes on to list a number of reasons why they may not be diagnosed, such as people not realizing they even have them due to memory issues, or embarrassment about them, but I also wonder about another possible reason.
I actually also suffered from a dissociative disorder myself, and even after I knew my symptoms, I wouldn’t have thought that was what it was, because the only disorder I had ever heard about before that was DID, commonly known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
I didn’t have multiple personalities, I was always me, but sometimes I would forget who I was and basic things about my life. (Like going home, to work, etc.)
I had never heard about or seen any depictions of that, or read any articles about that, and I certainly had never heard of fugue until after a really bad episode when someone finally suggested it as a diagnosis for me.
In a nutshell, things had to get really, obviously, and publicly bad before I realized that my dissociative symptoms were an actual disorder, because they didn’t look like what I had been told.
This is a prime example of an area where we need to shine more light in dark corners, and educate people on the different levels and symptoms of these disorders. People who don’t know they have a problem are not likely to seek out treatment. They are probably just struggling along assuming it’s just the way it is.
I did that, until I couldn’t. It shouldn’t have taken that long.