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Understanding Dissociation

The definition of Dissociation is as follows, but as anyone who suffers from any form of this condition knows, there are different variations and states that can diagnosed.

Dissociation is a common defense/reaction to stressful or traumatic situations. Severe isolated traumas or repeated traumas may result in a person developing a dissociative disorder. A dissociative disorder impairs the normal state of awareness and limits or alters one’s sense of identity, memory or consciousness.  – Source – Understanding the Dissociative Disorders


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My particular version is called:  DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED (DDNOS): DDNOS includes dissociative presentations that do not meet the full criteria for any other dissociative disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2000; Steinberg et al., 1993). In clinical practice, this appears to be the most commonly presented dissociative disorder, and may often be better characterized by Major Dissociative Disorder with partially dissociated self states.  – Source – Understanding the Dissociative Disorders

That website offers a nice overview and the color wheel I included in this post, depicts the various signs of someone who has one or more forms of Dissociation.

I exhibit these symptons in particular on a regular or intermittent basis:

1) Amnesia or memory problems involving difficulty recalling personal information

2) Depersonalization or a sense of detachment of disconnection from one’s self. A common feeling associated with depersonalization is feeling like a stranger to one’s self.

3) Derealization or a sense of disconnection from familiar people or one’s surroundings

4) Identity confusion or inner struggle about one’s sense of self/identity.

As I’ve mentioned in my entries here on SMP, I had no idea what Dissociation even was until I started seeing a therapist and we began diving in my current life and my past. Then when you add in PTSD and Anxiety on top of this, which is not uncommon that all 3 go hand in hand, you can see how daily life can be a struggle at times.