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What is “Dissociation”?

The term "dissociation" describes a condition in which a person gets separated from what is going on around them, including bodily and emotional feelings. They get the impression that reality is happening all around them but that they are not a part of it. These sentiments can sometimes emerge in reaction to trauma, stress, conflict, or even boredom as a strategy of dealing with unwanted sensations or feelings. At the milder end of the range, we've probably all felt a bit disconnected from our environment, at least for a time.

Problems might arise when someone invests a significant amount of time in a dissociated state, or when the issue becomes so severe that they acquire a dissociative disorder. In this condition, people may begin to lose their identity, have memory issues, or have difficulty recognizing what is genuine and what is not. Even while essential things are occurring all around them, people may feel as if they are viewing themselves "from outside" or become engrossed in imagining themselves somewhere else. They may act rashly without actually dealing with reality. All of this might make it difficult to form and sustain meaningful relationships, work, and interact with people.

We don't always realize why some individuals dissociate, but it is frequently related to a prior trauma and is a technique of suppressing intense, unwanted feelings.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

When the condition is severe, it is referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). People with this disorder are frequently misunderstood, in part because the disease was previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder and has frequently been presented in films and literature in a sensationalist and very misleading manner. DID is difficult to diagnose, although it is widely accepted that it exists when a person has at least two separate personality states. While no one knows for certain why some people acquire DID, there is a substantial statistical association with childhood trauma - either physical or sexual. Sufferers frequently have a variety of additional issues, such as sadness and anxiety. Because real DID is uncommon and difficult to identify, most psychologists and psychiatrists would tread cautiously before presenting it as a diagnostic.

Treating Dissociation

Medication can assist some people in the short term, but psychotherapy is the most effective technique to address dissociation for the majority of people. If you have had similar experiences to those mentioned above, we can help you uncover and manage the unpleasant emotions that are behind your dissociation, as well as figure out what adjustments you need to make in your life.


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