Background: Dissociative Trance Disorder (DTD), is a complex psychological condition characterized by abrupt trance-like states and altered consciousness, commonly seen in young women throughout various regions of India. Currently, there is a lack of research on the experiences of Indian adolescent girls with DTD and how inaccurate medical information affects their quest for suitable care. This study aims to develop a thorough comprehension of the help-seeking patterns and experiences of adolescent girls with DTD, specifically concerning encountering medical misinformation. By identifying the obstacles, they face and the cultural beliefs that shape their decision-making, this research seeks to guide interventions and initiatives aimed at enhancing care and support for this group.
Method: Six adolescent girls and young women, who sought therapy at a district hospital in Sikkim were recruited for the study. They were interviewed extensively and their interview data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Result: Three super-ordinate themes that emerged were: challenges in seeking diagnosis and treatment; emotional and psychological struggles; support and healing journey.
Conclusion: Misinformation surrounding DTD in India impacts the help-seeking behaviours of adolescent girls, leading to delays in diagnosis and inadequate treatment. Cultural beliefs, reliance on exorcism, and insufficient healthcare professional training contribute to this problem. Awareness campaigns are necessary to correct misconceptions and misinformation and promote accurate understanding among parents, communities, and healthcare providers. Culturally sensitive approaches, accurate information dissemination, and collaboration among stakeholders are crucial for improving care and support for individuals affected by DTD in India. Additionally, it is acknowledged that certain religious beliefs resist empirical evidence, but it is vital to recognize that not all religious beliefs are misinformation solely based on scientific evidence. As we address the impact of cultural beliefs, it is essential to strike a balance between respecting individual faith and promoting evidence-based interventions.
Key Take Away Points
- There is a lack of awareness about DTD among the community as well as PHC centers. Misinformation and cultural beliefs surrounding DTD in Sikkim, India, contribute to delays in accurate diagnosis and treatment, hindering the well-being of affected individuals.
- Adolescent girls with DTD face emotional struggles and negative self-perception, highlighting the urgent need for awareness campaigns and support systems to address the psychological impact of the disorder.
- Pranayama and meditation were found to be an effective therapy in the management of symptoms of DTD among all six participants, suggesting the potential effectiveness of these practices as a therapeutic approach.
- Collaboration among healthcare professionals, parents, community leaders, and policymakers is essential for improving the diagnosis, treatment, and overall support for individuals affected by DTD, ensuring their well-being and quality of life.
FIRST AUTHOR (CORRESPONDING AUTHOR) Devendra Kumar Singh Varshney, Doctoral candidate- Amity Institute of Behavioural and Allied Sciences(AIBAS), Amity University Lucknow Campus, Lucknow, (UP), Pin 226010. INDIA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone no: +91-9005880231 ORC ID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0314-3595 Devendra Kumar Singh Varshney, is a Health Psychology and Intervention doctoral student at AIBAS, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow Campus, India. His primary research focus is on developing interventions for trauma and dissociation symptoms among adolescent girls and women. He possesses degrees in MA (Clinical Psychology), MBA (Finance), and MPhil (Management), and has a rich background of over two decades in leadership roles within corporate and healthcare industries. Additionally, he has been serving as a consultant psychologist and master resource person, providing support to the Department of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine at Singtam District Hospital and the Center of Addiction Medicine (CAM) in Chuwatey, East Sikkim, for the past five years. SECOND AUTHOR Dr. Manju Agrawal, Professor(Psychology) & Dean Student Welfare(DSW), Amity Institute of Behavioural and Allied Sciences(AIBAS), Amity University Lucknow Campus, Lucknow, (UP), Pin 226010. INDIA Email: email@example.com Phone no: +91-9415419716 Dr. Manju Agrawal, Dean of Student Welfare and Professor of Psychology at Amity University, Lucknow Campus, is a Psychotherapist, IMDHA Certified Hypnotherapist, and Mind Coach with 40 years of research, teaching, and industry experience. She is a former member of the Steering Committee of the Planning Commission, WCD, 11th Plan. She represented India twice (in 2003 and 2005) at the UN in New York on development issues. She is bestowed with the LMA "Outstanding Woman Achiever Award", the "ICPD Advancement Award” and the International Association of Lions Clubs “Woman Achiever Award”. Her interests include Positive, Health, and Gender Psychology. She has published two standardized scales, “Positive Life Orientation” and “Students’ Stress Scale.” THIRD AUTHOR Dr. Rakesh Kumar Tripathi, Professor Jr. Grade cum Clinical Psychologist, Department of Geriatric Mental Health (DGMH), King George’s Medical University, Lucknow. (UP), Pin 226003. INDIA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone No. 91+ 9454202905 ORC ID https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3925-9821; Dr. Rakesh Kumar Tripathi currently working as Professor Junior Grade (Additional Professor) cum Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Geriatric Mental Health, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) UP, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India. He has worked in the field of Clinical Psychology for about 20 years. He graduated (Psychology Honors) and post-graduated in Psychology from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi obtained MPhil (Medical & Social Psychology) from Ranchi Institute of Neuropsychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand, India and awarded PhD from King George’s Medical University, Lucknow. He has published more than 50 research papers and author of three books. His interest areas are cognitive functioning, quality of life, personality and geriatric mental health.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests The authors have stated that they have no conflicts of interest concerning the study, its authorship, or the publication of this article. Funding The authors did not receive any monetary assistance for conducting the study, writing the manuscript, or publishing the article. ORCID Devendra Kumar Singh Varshney https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0314-3595
Varshney, Devendra Kumar Singh; Agrawal, Dr. Manju; and Tripathi, Dr. Rakesh Kumar
"Addressing Dissociative Trance Disorder Patients in India: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Adolescent Girls' Help-Seeking and Encounters with Inaccurate Medical Information,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 13:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol13/iss2/4
Responses to this Article:
Aditee Narayan, Medical Misinformation in Sexual Violence (October 2023)