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Re: What's Dissociation?

Posted by Daisym on October 13, 2006, at 22:56:20

In reply to What's Dissociation?, posted by Lindenblüte on October 13, 2006, at 19:41:50

*Floating or out-of-body experiences:
-You may feel as though you are hovering over your body or outside of yourself. You may
have the experience of watching yourself from a distance, or of standing on the sidelines
commenting on or even criticizing your own performance.

This is what dissociation means to me when I use it. I do it when the subject gets too hard for me to think about. I "leave" and go outside the window or up to the ceiling. You have to know me pretty well to notice though.

In my studies, dissociation is a way that the psyche protects itself from things that are too overwhelming. What is overwhelming differs from person to person. Depersonalization is a disorder, usually stemming from prolonged overwhelm and the fear that reconnection will mean retraumatization. It is a continuum of severity.

I might depersonalize a situation or event when I'm talking about it. I often detach from my emotions. But I don't see this the same as dissociation. When I'm dissociating, I can't form full sentences or attend. When I depersonalize, I actually can use my intellect to analyze stuff, I just don't "feel" it. And I now reconize when I'm dissociating. I still need some help realizing the depersonalization. I think because depersonalizing feels safer and more familiar to me.

Last comment: My therapist says falling into either protective mode (note, not a "defense")
tells us something and we need to respect that my psyche is taking care of itself. So while we don't typically just abandon a topic, we will slow down and begin to wonder what it is that is making it so hard. Or we will breathe together to get me back in my body.

Good thread.




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