Dissociation is a sense or experience of separation from reality. It occurs on a continuum in response to stress or boredom through to a more severe response to trauma.

 It is a protective mechanism to keep the self from harm but in its most serious form can cause symptoms such as amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, or a sense that the self or the world is unreal- known as depersonalisation or derealisation.

 

(definition from research by Kritchevsky 2004. Coons 1999)

 

Posted in: Glossary