Dissociation comes from dis-association.
Dissociation is a natural way of
coping with acute trauma or stress. Dissociation
means an insufficient integration or a fragmentation
of personal experiences or perceptions,
emotions, sensations, and thoughts, but
without the loss of identity. Stating that
highway trance, daydreaming etc. is also
dissociation is not right, cause one is
still in contact with reality ('reality
Dissociative experiences are often
seen as a result of serious psychological
trauma (f.i. a serious car accident, when
someone is told he/she has a life thereatening
disease, natural disasters, war trauma,
hostages, kidnappings etc).
Dissociative experiences are also seen as
a symptom or phenomenon
in different personality disorders. One
speaks of a dissociative symptoms when it
is seen in other disorders, like schizophrenia,
autism, borderline etc.
Dissociative symptoms can become
a dissociative disorder (pathological),
when it causes severe suffering or limitations
in one's personal life and when it hinders
social and personal daily functioning.
- DID (former Multiple Personality Disorder)
the same as a split personality?
Splitting and dissociation belong to the
same phenomenon. It's an old term and mostly
used in populair media and books.
With DID there are so to speak walls created
between the parts of the personality (splitting
into fragments), together with the traumatic
experiences which are likewise split. This
is not to be confused with splitting as
in schizophrenia, where certain brain structures
do not function in the usual way.
Extreme DID was often misdiagnosed as schizophrenia.
woman mostly turn their aggression inside
and most men outside, it is plausible that
the first group mostly ends up in the psychiatric
system and the second in the criminal system.
Because of that it appears that the disorder
is most frequent in woman, but one can speculate
that it may be equally common among men.
No, you don't have to worry about that.
It is important that young children develop
their fantasy and sometimes an imaginary
playmate is part of that. In fact you should
have something to worry about if your child
doesn't show any kind of fantasy play.
Only if your child shows disturbing behaviour
(regarding an imaginary playmate) like for
instance: not speaking for days, abnormal
fighting and so on should you really be
Yes! Because of the complexity of DID and
the necessity of going slowly and safely
the (psycho)- therapist has to be a mature
person with previous experience of successfully
treating DID or severe psychotrauma. This
is crucial, because the symptoms of DID
are difficult to treat and some of the causes
so deep that they call for a very capable
psychotherapist. This can only be done gradually,
as the patient feels increasingly confident,
safe and able to integrate each new portion
of their personality into a new understanding
and experience of his or her self.
There is a lot of confusion about working
on traumatic experiences in therapy. It's
not necessary to relive the trauma, but
the expression of intense affect concerning
the trauma, which is important to work through
the one hand this has to do with the fragmented
nature of a DID.
On the other hand, war traumas and natural
disasters are a collective trauma, meaning
that more people share (more or less) the
same kind of experiences and they can talk
about it with each other. Besides that these
are often given media and public attention
for it. This is not the case with child
abuse, individual experiences where in most
cases the perpetrators also threaten children
with violence and death if they should speak
out to others. And because they are still
children who depend on the family they live
in, it makes it even harder for them to
tell the outside world.