Let’s understand Dissociative Identity Disorder.
What is Dissociation?
Dissociation is a subconscious coping method that protects the mind from unwanted emotions by severing a connection to the individual’s thoughts, feelings, and memory. The mind can dissociate for safety when the individual has encountered trauma that has become programmed into the subconscious mind.
There does not have to be a logical conscious reason for this, and it is unique to each individual. In the most severe form of dissociation called Dissociative Identity Disorder the individual loses the ability to feel true emotions such as excitement, joy or sadness.
The process of dissociation operates on a continuum. Mild dissociative experiences are experienced by us all when we daydream or find ourselves experiencing ‘Highway Hypnosis’, where we can drive from A to B without remembering any of the details of our journey.
So, how can we tell if we are a little dissociative or dissociated to the degree that we need help? When we are dissociated to the extent that therapeutic techniques of treatment are not working, then it may be that our subconscious mind is programmed to keep the problem. This is not our fault, we may not even be aware of this automatic programming. Just like the fear that is felt when someone experiences a spider phobia, it is automatically programmed to respond without any conscious thought.
Have you ever considered that what we do is determined by our feelings and our need to feel good. As human beings we all do what makes us feel better and often run away from what is good for us because we may perceive it as a challenge or threat. Many smokers realize that cigarettes are harmful to them but prefer to deny this as an excuse to keep smoking. In other words they continue to smoke because it makes them feel better.
Many people who have stress, anxiety and depression problems don’t do anything about it because to take action would put them out of their comfort zone. Instead, these people prefer to bury any emotional attachment to their problem, so they can remain within their comfort zone. Unfortunately, this does not work if their subconscious mind is programmed to keep the problem.
After a while, when an individual develops a habit of burying emotions, the subconscious becomes programmed to shut down, or dissociate from all emotions automatically when reminded of a past traumatic event or put under some sort of threat.
Dissociation, therefore, is a subconscious protection set to protect us from life traumas, but this coping mechanism serves as a hindrance and blocker by stopping us from healing emotional distress.