I have been having a hard time explaining disassociation to my friends and family. It doesn’t make sense but when I read it it makes so much sense of my years where I floated in a detached state of going through life when we lived in the most beautiful place on earth with amazing friends, yet I drifted through trying to place the right emotional reaction to the cues given, oblivious and uncaring of the world around me. My chunks of memory loss from younger years where I cannot access a single memory, try as I might there is an unexplainable blank in the years. I don’t believe I manifest all aspects of depersonalization, every BPD sufferer varies, and some are mild and others don’t arise unless faced with severe trauma or stress. But it is illogical, I can’t explain to anyone, and I try not to because they would think I was nuts, becoming two people and watching myself across the room like a ghost of myself. It has only happened twice in all my years (though I may not remember younger days) and both times they caused tremendous shame and I was told it was not a fault but part of my illness, like hair falling out from chemotherapy, that I disassociated to stop the shame and stress. When I found out I could come out of the fog of detachment, it was a hallelujah moment, I did it, I can feel again. One day I hope the memories will come back (or not). That becoming 2 will no longer happen, that the situation will be controlled by training and the ghost of Vida past will not need to rise. That I can be free of all of this! I have so much hope this year, I’ve made large leaps before and I foresee this as another jumping point for more healing and growing. I am in my 40s, the doctors have always said, it will begin to soften as you get older. Never thought there would be an upside to age. 🙂
Dissociation and Borderline Personality Disorder
Dissociation occurs when an individual feels that he/she has lost touch with reality. This can be extremely frightening for those affected. It is recognised to be a very common factor in terms of those suffering from BPD.
While much still remains unknown about this symptom, many health professionals working in the mental health field believe that a person may experience dissociation as a means of coping with extreme stress or trauma. An example of disassociation is when a rape victim denies what has happened as an subconscious means of protecting the mind.
What is Dissociative Fugue?
Those affected with dissociative fugue will disconnect from the past and typically fail to remember large periods of time that are associated with certain past experiences. The condition is not easily identifiable, as the individual will appear perfectly normal to others, providing the other person doesn’t have knowledge about the affected individual’s past.
Many sufferers will travel around and adopt a new form of self, thereby causing much distress to those left behind at home.
What is Dissociative Identity Disorder?
This condition was previously known as multiple personality disorder and involves the individual adopting at least two totally different personalities. Some health professionals have worked with those who adopt as many as fifteen different personalities.
Each individual personality may be used to cope with different forms of stress and will typically involve changes in vocabulary, accent, posture and it may even involve other significant changes, like a switch from being left-handed to right-handed.
What is Dissociative Amnesia?
Dissociative amnesia usually impacts those who have experienced significant trauma or abuse and involves the individual forgetting whole chunks of the past.
In psychotherapy, sufferers may also actively attempt, for example, to stop the therapist from realising that painful memories have been blocked out.
What is Depersonalisation Disorder?
This condition will make the sufferer actually feel as if they are watching a film of their life and as if they are completely on the outside and disconnected. Those affected by depersonalisation have described this disorder in therapy as feeling in an almost dream-like state.
Depersonalization disorder (DPD) is a dissociative disorder (ICD-10 classifies the disorder as an anxiety disorder) in which the sufferer is affected by persistent or recurrent feelings of depersonalization and/or derealization. Common descriptions of symptoms are: feeling disconnected from one’s physicality; feeling as though one is not completely occupying the body; not feeling in control of one’s speech or physical movements; feeling detached from one’s own thoughts or emotions; a sense of automation, going through the motions of life but not experiencing it or participating in it; loss of conviction with one’s identity; feeling a disconnection from one’s body; inability to accept ones reflection as one’s own; difficulty relating oneself to reality and the environment; feeling as though one is in a dream; and out-of-body experiences‘.