5 Sub-Types of Dissociation You Likely Haven’t Heard of Before

One woman described her experience with dissociation on The Mighty. Here is an excerpt from her story:

“I don’t look any different than anyone else. Yet, a shell has formed between me and you…I am closed in and safe, but it’s lonely and disconnected…Inside, my thoughts get bigger, louder and make less sense…. I feel scared now. That I’ve gone too far. Will I be able to claw my way back?”

Dissociation is a term often used to describe feelings of disconnection from oneself, others, and/or surroundings. Many people who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, schizophrenia, and other related illnesses may experience dissociation, which can greatly interfere with daily living. Oftentimes, it’s difficult for those who experience dissociation to ground themselves. By understanding the diverse types of experiences with dissociation, hopefully you or a loved one can seek out appropriate resources and forms of support.

  • Depersonalization – often referred to as an “out of body” experience, individuals may not recognize themselves in the mirror or may simply not feel connected to their body.
  • Derealization – sense of the world not being real, almost as if one was “watching a movie”
  • Dissociative amnesia – inability to recall personal information; this is much more severe than typical forgetfulness
  • Dissociative fugue – similar to dissociative amnesia, this type involves an inability to recall some or all of one’s past, but also unexpected travel away from home or one’s typical place of work
  • Identify confusion and identity alteration – confusion is often connected to one’s sense of self; alteration typically involves switching from one aspect of oneself to another as if they were completely disconnected

Dr. Kathleen Young, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treatment for trauma, states that education and awareness are the first steps towards recovery. Once you are aware of what you’re experiencing, you can begin taking control over your life by seeking out help and finding ways to ground yourself. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about your options for treatment. Recovery is possible.

Stop the cycle of merry-go-round treatment and find the solution you’re looking for in trauma treatment. Through effective residential treatment, Khiron House helps you find the path you need toward health and wellness in recovery. For information, call us today. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours). USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).