Dissociation is a term that covers a broad spectrum of experiences ranging from mild, common moments to more intense, distressing traumatic events.
Everyone you meet has been different at some point in their life.
Dissociation makes it difficult for us to be present and occurs when we feel stressed or overwhelmed. This is a natural response when the brain withdraws when stressed or under perceived threat.
What is segregation?
At a basic level it can be defined as the absence of disconnection or connection.
Mild dissociation can be daydreaming or when your mind wanders or goes blank.
Acute dissociation occurs when an experience is too overwhelming or threatening that we are not able to process.
Usually, disconnection comes about because we don’t have enough emotional support.
Our mind and body share a common language and are connected and working together. Dissociation is a break in how our brain handles information and can lead to fragmentation. It can be in response to a one-off traumatic event or ongoing trauma, neglect or abuse.
We separate our memories from the emotions involved and by blocking out our emotions we block out the memory as well.
It creates a barrier between your awareness and the parts of you that find it too scary to know.
If you are isolated, you may feel disconnected from yourself and the world. It affects your sense of identity and your perception of time. It may feel as if you are looking somewhere outside your body.
feeling detached, numb, lacking emotion
brain fog, floating, forgetfulness, sensory overload
losing touch with what’s going on around you
unsure of the boundaries between yourself and others
It is important to recognize that no two people experience separation the same way.
An example of mild dissociation would be daydreaming or focusing on something so much that everything else is missed which is very normal and healthy. When you watch TV, cook, listen to music or become so absorbed that you didn’t notice someone entering the room, you lose track of time.
The other end of the spectrum is the more acute post-traumatic dissociation that for some was an essential means of survival in childhood and now functioning as an adult.
It is usually the result of psychological, physical or sexual trauma, neglect, substance abuse…
The common link is the way we experience our sensory or emotional inner world.
You may feel disconnected from the present moment when something bad happens. We remember part of an experience but edit out the difficult aspects.
Your mind uses this subconscious avoidance strategy to protect you from the full impact of the upsetting experience.
Triggers remind us of our unhealed trauma and associated emotions like fear and anxiety. Dissociation is a protective response that blocks awareness of sensations in order to avoid triggers. you may not know that separation is associated with a [traumatic] Experience from your past.
Once it helped you deal with difficult situations, but now it is not helping. It’s a survival mechanism… not a survival strategy.
Identifying triggers helps you understand the reasons for the breakup and can give you choices about how to respond over time. When nostalgia is activated, it is as if you are back in childhood, lost in something that has not been digested or integrated.
What felt safe a few minutes ago can suddenly feel scary and insecure.
The first step is to become aware of your feelings. When you shift from feeling okay to feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable, rather than unconsciously pushing these feelings of fear out of your awareness… perhaps you begin to identify with the emotion.
As you notice that your mood has changed, you can begin to figure out what may have been going on before you were activated.
Isolation helped you survive a painful ordeal in childhood but it became a major hindrance in your adult life.
It interferes with developing stable and secure relationships and can compromise your ability to trust, socialize, engage, and provide good self-care.
The more you understand about separation, the more empowered you are. The stark reality is that you are now protected and you no longer need this avoidance mechanism to protect you.
During a somatic session we work with your feelings and your body to create a space of safety to be present in the moment. We work on the physical and subtle awareness levels to help you ground yourself in the present moment. Attending to you as your adult self and supporting you through somatic repair and integration work helps you move from surviving… to living life.
Here are some remedies you’ll want to add to your wellness toolkit.
grounding: Keep your feet on the ground. Feel the support from the earth below.
East, name 5 Things You Can See… Hear… Smell…
to breathe, Deep breaths Exhale longer than you inhale.
look at your hands, Note that those are adult hands.
your voice, Do some thing. Gunjan. sing. Feel the vibrations of your voice in your throat.