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    What do we mean by dissociation? Often our reality is often shaped by perceptions and beliefs. When these perceptions get a bit disconnected our sense of reality becomes uncertain and even blurred. For example sometimes we may be reading a book and forget what we’ve just read. Other times we may be having a conversation and lose track of what the other person is saying. These are quite normal lapses in concentration that happen to us all but imagine if this was a coping mechanism for something distressing?

    Dissociation can be mild and may come and go from time to time but can become a dissociative disorder if the episodes of dissociation become more regular and intense. Episodes and symptoms of dissociative disorder can be more extreme but can be helped by appropriate and ongoing psychological support.

    Some common symptoms of dissociation include gaps in memory, feeling detached – even from your own body, hearing voices, referring to yourself as ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ and feeling emotionally numb.

    There are many different shades of dissociation and it may differ from person to person, however the common thread is that it is a form of escapism. Experts believe the most common cause of dissociation disorder is abuse and trauma in childhood. For example someone who dissociates may have disconnected from themselves when being abused as a coping mechanism. As an adult feeling vulnerable may lead to the same disconnection. If there were no adults to provide emotional support then the child may have had to become emotionally self-sufficient. If this is at a young age when identities and world views are still forming this can lead to a child developing a range of identities to escape from what is going on.


    This article was written by sentientcounselling