G3.7: Work Burnout is a type of Dissociative Disorder called Depersonalization Disorder.

A more frequent problem than is recognized is a milder form of a dissociative condition called Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder, commonly known as “work burnout,” than the more well-known but rare “Multiple Personality Disorder.” That name has been changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).  Symptoms may include depersonalization and/or derealization without the presence of other psychosis or memory and identity disturbances. It is one of the Dissociative Disorders which also include Dissociative Amnesia  and Dissociative Fugue and Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, in addition to the more severe DID, Dissociative Identity Disorder. The disorders may be underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed even though symptoms consistent the Dissociative Disorders are often reported by people with psychiatric illness who also have a history of having experienced trauma. (G3.30)

  • Read more: Stress and Trauma: Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder. (G3.30)

Techniques that help patients reach a deeply relaxed state can help reach the nonverbal emotions and memories from early childhood that may not have been stored as “words.” Art therapy, journaling or poetry, music and movement and meditation can all help access or nonverbal memories. EMDR therapy incorporates rapid eye movement or hearing a sound that switches from the right to the left side of the brain rapidly. The stimulation in a rhythmic pattern helps reach a relaxed meditative state that is not as deep as hypnosis but might be somewhat similar. The therapist then guides the patient with some questions about a traumatic event or memory in order to try to reframe the issue from an adult’s perspective, in order to help the little child within the patient understand the issue from a more adult perspective. Forgiveness for parents who didn’t know better might be part of reviewing a traumatic childhood from the viewpoint of an adult. Parents may have just been young and foolish once too.

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, EMDR Therapy: Using EMDR to Find Your ‘Safe Place’ in Trauma Recovery. (G3.31)

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./


  • G3.30: Stress and Trauma: Psychotherapy and Pharmacotherapy for Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder, by J.P. Gentile, M. Snyder, P. M. Gillig, Innov Clin Neurosci. 2014 Jul-Aug; 11(7-8): 37–41. (G3.30)
  • G3.31: Using EMDR to Find Your ‘Safe Place’ in Trauma Recovery. By Camille Larsen, Aug.15, 2016, (G3.31.goodtherapy.org)