“Dissociation, the Hidden Mental Illness”

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“Dissociation, the Hidden  Mental Illness”

I used to feel like I was floating above my body, as if I was watching someone play my part in a movie.

I was disconnected with the people around me, like I came from another world. At times, I felt like I might float away into the sky, lifted up by a breeze or a change in season.

At times, I felt like I might float away into the sky, lifted up by a breeze or a change in season.

 Dissociation is defined as a break in how the mind processes sensory information. In other words, it’s a distortion in how we experience the world around us and even the world inside us.

  I was terrified of “falling into the sky.”  In my mind’s eye, my belly button felt like it was way too high up and I saw a distorted face in the mirror. 

I’d sometimes go blank, and get this glazed over look in my eyes.

I thought these were random symptoms, but it turns out, I was suffering from dissociation.


Dissociation can vary from mild to extreme. Mild cases include day dreaming or getting lost in a good book or movie.

Extreme cases occur during or following a traumatic event and can be debilitating.

 There’s many different ways we can dissociate.

What do we dissociate from?

We can dissociate from our…

  • bodies
  • emotions
  • thoughts
  • experiences

 Some symptoms include feeling separated from reality like you’re a different person, or difficulty recalling past experiences.

There’s three types of dissociative disorders.

  • dissociative identity disorder
  • dissociative amnesia
  • depersonalization/derealization disorder.

Dissociative Identity Disorder: D-I-D

When a person displays two or more distinct personalities, it’s called dissociative identity disorder.

This used to be called multiple personality disorder and it’s more common than you think, affecting around 1% of the population.

A person with DID might find themselves acting reckless, speeding, drinking too much, or stealing yet she feels completely out of control while doing those things.

It’s her body acting out, however she’s only along for the ride.

Dissociative Amnesia

 Dissociative amnesia is different from other amnesias because it’s characterized by gaps in memories related to a traumatic time in life.

 For those suffering from dissociative amnesia, a certified hypnotherapist can be invaluable in helping the individual to recover the lost memories. 

Derealization

Derealization is a feeling like things aren’t quite right.

Time and space can get mixed up. It’s like you’re on a very mild acid trip, sort of an Alice and Wonderland type situation.

 It can cause anxiety because it makes us feel distanced from our surroundings and emotionally numb to the people around us. 

Depersonalization

 This is when we become disconnected from ourselves, like we aren’t real.

Symptoms include lack of connection with thoughts, numbness in body parts, and feeling out of control regarding speech, thoughts, and actions.

I hope that after reading this article, you’re a little more informed about dissociative disorders and if you’re suffering from any of these symptoms, we want to let you know you’re not alone.

Also, if someone you know is suffering from dissociation, please share this article. 

It’s our mission to inform women about the effects of abuse and to offer guidance about how to recover.

 I’ve suffered from everything we’ve talked about here, and God showed me how to heal.

Until next time, THINK, FEEL, ACT, HEAL.

 Much Love, many Blessings, Jesus is Lord. ✝️

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References

American Psychiatric Association (ND). Dissociative Disorders. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depersonalization-derealization-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20352911?p=1

Bhandari, Smitha (January 22nd, 2020). Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder

Klanecky, A., McChargue, D. E., & Bruggeman, L. (2012). Desire to Dissociate: Implications for   Problematic Drinking in College Students with Childhood or Adolescent Sexual Abuse Exposure. The American Journal on Addictions, 21(3), 250–256. https://doi-org.lopes.idm.oclc.org/10.1111/j.1521-0391.2012.00228.x

Leong, Stephanie. Waits, Wendi. Diebold, Carroll (Jan 2006). Dissociative Amnesia and DSM-IV)_TR Cluster C Personality Traits. Psychiatry (Edgemont). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2990548/

Mayo Clinic (May 26th, 2021). Depersonalization-derealization Disorder. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depersonalization-derealization-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20352911?p=1Raypole, Crystal (February 1st, 2019). Understanding Depersonalization and Derealization Disorder. Healthline.

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