Dissociation is a person's unconscious attempt at self-protection
against an overwhelming and traumatic experience, which may result from
severe and prolonged maltreatment, sexual abuse, and/or neglect during
childhood. The mind separates itself from an event or the environment so it can
maintain some degree of order and sense.
Dissociation responses vary by individual. But some common
dissociation experiences include:
Feelings of "standing outside" oneself or
"watching from a distance" during a traumatic event.
significant personality changes and problems with mental
Incomplete or lack of memory of traumatic
Appearing to have no sense of emotion regarding traumatic
Dissociation that does not resolve on its own or is causing
behavior or mental health problems requires professional counseling.
Medicines may also be used as part of treatment.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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