Dissociative Disorders

Feeling Dissconnected?

What is Dissociation?

Dissociation is one way the mind copes with too much stress, such as during a traumatic event. The word dissociation can be used in different ways but it usually describes an experience where you feel disconnected in some way from the world around you or from yourself.

If you dissociate for a long time, especially when you are young, you may develop a dissociative disorder. Instead of dissociation being something you experience for a short time it becomes a far more common experience and often the main way you deal with stressful experiences.

When Might I Dissociate?
  • For many people, dissociation is a natural response to trauma that they can’t control. It could be a response to a one-off traumatic event or ongoing trauma and abuse
  • Some people choose to dissociate as a way of calming down or focusing on a task. Or as part of a religious or cultural ritual
  • You might experience dissociation as a symptom of a mental health problem (for example schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder or post traumatic stress disorder) or as a side effect of some drugs, medication, coming off some medication and alcohol
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