Trauma Related Dissociation

Trauma Related Dissociation

By: Julia Rzadkowska

Dissociation is when you completely disconnect from reality or even your identity. When people dissociate they detach from their thoughts, feelings, memories, behaviors, and physical sensations. Dissociation is a way some people’s bodies respond to a perceived threat or traumatic event such as abuse, or prolonged exposure to a traumatic situation or emotion. Dissociation can be looked at as a mental escape, when physical escape is not possible in a certain situation. Dissociation can affect memory, the sense of one’s identity, the way the world is perceived, along with the connection to the physical body.

At the time of trauma or overwhelming distress dissociation may be helpful. However, dissociation does not always have to occur in the presence of traumatic events. Following trauma, a trigger my cause the person to dissociate. These triggers may be completely nonthreatening to others, however, for some specific reason they cause this person negative emotions and overwhelming feelings, causing dissociation as a defense mechanism.  The body may dissociate often in times when it is not helpful, which can negatively impact someone’s life. This can cause people to have difficulty learning in school, remembering events in their life, or feeling connected in their personal relationships.

This type of problematic dissociative experience can become very confusing and hard to understand for the person. If you believe dissociation is having a negative impact on your life it is important to find someone you are comfortable talking to.

If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for Trauma Related Dissociation, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit  


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