How to Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Dissociative Disorders in Richmond, Virginia


Dissociative disorders are mental illnesses where a person experiences a change in his or her sense of self and a disconnection between memories, perceptions, thoughts, surroundings, and identity. People with dissociative disorders may try to escape reality in ways that are involuntary and unhealthy and that cause problems with performing activities of daily living and maintaining competitive employment.


Dissociative disorders usually develop in response to trauma. They are a coping mechanism of sorts, in that they help keep difficult memories away. For example, we have represented clients who developed dissociative disorders after being the victim of violence.


Dissociative disorders can cause severe changes in a person’s mental state and identity. When dissociative symptoms and related behaviors persist, they can impair a person’s ability to function at work, school, or at home. As a result, keeping a full time job can become difficult if not impossible.


Contact Social Security disability lawyer Corey Pollard if you or a loved one suffers from a dissociative disorder that makes working difficult: 804-251-1620.


We represent disabled adults in Richmond, Petersburg, Hanover, Mechanicsville, Fredericksburg, Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach at every stage of the Social Security disability application process: from filing an application for SSD benefits to appealing a denied disability claim to presenting your case to an administrative law judge at a Social Security disability hearing. And we want to help you and your family obtain disability for dissociative disorders that affect your life and ability to work.


Types of Dissociative Disorders


There are three types of dissociative disorders: dissociative identity disorder; dissociative amnesia; and, depersonalization/derealization disorder.


Dissociative Identity Disorder


Sometimes referred to as multiple personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder is diagnosed when:


  • A person has at least two distinct identities that control his or her behavior;


  • Gaps in recalling personal information, traumatic events, or even daily events;


  • Symptoms that are severe enough to cause frequent distress or to impair functioning at work, home, school, or in social settings.


Many of us experience changes in personality based on the setting: work vs. home, formal settings v. parties, etc. Dissociative identity disorder is much more severe. The changes in personality suffered by people with dissociative identity disorder cause problems with attention, focus, concentration, and interactions with others.


Dissociative Amnesia


People with dissociative amnesia are unable to remember personal information that is normal to know. A person with dissociative amnesia is often confused and may not even be aware of the memory problem. This difficulty with memory can affect a person’s ability to complete job tasks and interact with friends, family members, and coworkers.


There are several types of dissociative amnesia:


  • Localized amnesia: This amnesia prevents people from remembering events that happened during a certain time period.


  • Selective amnesia: This is where a person will block his or her memory of some but not all of the events during a certain period.


  • Generalized amnesia: This is where a person has complete memory loss of their entire life.


  • Continuous amnesia: This is where a person forgets a new event as it occurs.


  • Systematized amnesia: This is where a person is unable to remember certain information related to a specific person.


Enduring extreme mental stress can cause dissociative amnesia. For example, a significant percentage of military members who have been diagnosed with a mental illness from combat have been diagnosed with amnesia.


Depersonalization/derealization disorder


Depersonalization/derealization is diagnosed when a person:


  • Has ongoing episodes of depersonalization, derealization, or both. Depersonalization is defined as having experiences of detachment or being an outside observer of one’s own feelings, body, thoughts, or actions. In other words, you feel as though you’re watching yourself. Derealization is defined as having experiences of detachment from one’s own physical surroundings.


  • During these episodes of depersonalization or detachment, the person can tell what is happening.


  • The symptoms cause significant distress or impairment in activities of daily living or at work.


Common Symptoms of Dissociative Disorders


Common signs and symptoms of dissociative disorders include:


  • Memory loss of people, periods, events, and personal information
  • A sense of being detached from yourself
  • A blurred or warped sense of identity
  • Significant stress
  • Significant problems in relationships, work, or other areas of your life
  • An inability to cope with stress
  • Other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and thoughts of harming yourself.


Treatment for Dissociative Disorders


You should see a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist if you have any of the symptoms discussed above. Those of you with a dissociative disorder have an increased risk of depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, self-mutilation, and other mental health conditions that can impact your life negatively. It’s important that you seek medical attention to help you reduce your symptoms.


Common treatment for dissociative disorders include:


  • Psychotherapy
  • Medications
  • Counseling


Social Security Disability Attorney for Dissociative Disorders


Is a dissociative disorder preventing you or a loved one from working? Are you having trouble getting along with others, maintaining relationships, or functioning independently because of dissociative amnesia or dissociative identity disorder? Then we can help.


Disability attorney Corey Pollard can help you get approved for Social Security disability benefits, including SSDI benefits and Supplemental Security Income. We’ll also point you in the direction of local resources and community organization that can help you treat your dissociative disorder.


Call, text, or email us for a free consultation. We’re here for you and your family. And there is no fee unless you get approved.