Friday, December 31, 2004


Most people experience mild forms of dissociation occasionally, particularly when under stress. However, more pronounced and frequent dissociation is a prominent feature of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Dissociation is a mental process in which the main, host identity is no longer fully aware of the contents of consciousness. This is different than sleep and unconsciousness in that a different segment of the consciousness, an alter identity or personality, is awake and conscious during dissociation.

Dissociation can be partial and result in not feeling fully conscious and in control of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Depersonalization, a sense of not being oneself, is a mild form of dissociation.

At other times, dissociation is complete and results in amnesia for events that happened during the dissociative event. This is experienced as a disruption in the continuity of time, resembling the cut from one scene to another that we observe in motion pictures and TV dramas. Episodes where the person is unaware of actions, particularly of movement from one locale to another, are often called Dissociative Fugues, or fugue states.
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