Dissociation is a psychological experience where a person feels disconnected from their thoughts, feelings, memories, or sense of identity. It's often described as feeling detached from reality, as if observing one's life from an outside perspective. Dissociation can be a temporary response to stress or trauma, but when it is persistent or recurrent, it can signify a dissociative disorder.
Dissociative disorders include dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder), dissociative amnesia, and depersonalization-derealization disorder. Each disorder has its specific features but all involve some form of dissociation.
Consider seeking professional help if you notice any of the following:
• Experiencing regular episodes of feeling detached or disconnected from yourself.
• Having significant memory lapses such as forgetting personal information or periods of time.
• Experiencing a consistent sense of unreality or feeling as if you're watching yourself from an outsider's perspective.
• Noticing alterations in your identity, including shifts in behavior, beliefs, or preferences that don't feel like your own.
• Finding that these experiences are causing distress or impairing your functioning in any way.
Dissociative disorders are complex, but with professional support, recovery is possible. Treatment often involves psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and aims to enhance coping mechanisms, develop new ways of managing stress, and address any underlying issues, such as trauma.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) can also be particularly effective for individuals whose dissociation is linked to traumatic experiences. In some cases, medication may also be used to manage co-occurring conditions such as depression or anxiety.
If you're experiencing feelings of disconnection or unreality, reach out. Our team of dedicated psychologists are here to help you reconnect with yourself and your world. Why wait to start feeling better? Call us today and take that first step towards reclaiming your life.