Explaining Dissociation To a Non Borderline Part 1: What is it?

If you have Dyslimbia/BPD you already know all about dissociation. The goal of this short blog series is to explain dissociation to your friends, as well as understand it better. So the first thing you need to do is explain what dissociation really is.

One of the criteria for dyslimbia is severe dissociation and/or temporary psychosis. Simply put, this means that the dyslimbia patient, when stressed, may go insane for a few minutes or hours. The patient may hallucinate, seeing or hearing things that are not there, or suddenly believe delusional things they know better than to believe normally. This is called psychosis.

Psychosis is somewhat different from dissociation, which literally means the state of being disconnected. In psychology, there are several types of dissociative disorders. Borderline Personality Disorder is not considered a dissociative disorder, but victims of the disease can experience dissociative symptoms. There are five types of dissociation disorders. Three of them are outlined below.

1)      Dissociative Identity Disorder is characterized by the presence of multiple personality states. There must be two or more very distinct “alters” or persons. While in one alter state, one may not remember what they did in another alter state. An example is a girl who feels she has an alter named Rob who is part of her and “takes over” sometimes. Sometimes Borderlines may temporarily feel they have separate selves, or they may have both disorders at the same time.

2)      Depersonalization and Derealization are experiences of being disconnected from the world. Depersonalization is when you feel you are no longer real or no longer connected to the world, while derealization is the sensation that the world is not quite real, dreamlike, or fake. An example is a person feeling as if they are in a dream, or thinking that the world is a simulation. Borderlines may experience these sensations often, especially when under great stress or when very upset.

3)      Dissociative amnesia can mean forgetting about traumatic events, and this is very common. However, people who have chronic dissociative amnesia will forget things all the time in everyday life, including what somewhat was just saying to them seconds ago. An example is a person “zoning out” and totally forgetting what he and his friend had just been talking about. Borderlines may experience this too.

Now that we know a little bit about dissociation, the next blog post will be practical examples of what dissociation feels like, told in the form of personal stories.

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