In the human brain, nearly 100 billion neuron connections work simultaneously to maintain efficiency in physical work, such as walking, talking, and maintaining relationships with others.
If everything works out perfectly for the brain, we will carry out these tasks smoothly and will be able to continue precision. Yet, there is sometimes a flaw in the processing of our working and behavior patterns.
Have you ever got zoned out for a bit in the middle of a conversation? Or got lost in your thoughts for lack of self-awareness? Don’t worry; it is perfectly normal mindlessness.
However, losing a sense of surroundings, feeling separated from your body, or memory loss of a specific time can be symptoms of dissociating. This brain disorder is pretty bad for people who try to remain active and engaged all day.
How to stop dissociating? The simple answer is to see a psychiatrist, but only taking some appointments may not help because brain disorders are complex and require sheer-will power to recover.
What you can do is use small techniques and tricks to reduce the difficulty. There are some science-backed methods to stop dissociating permanently.
What does Dissociate Mean in the Medical Field?
Dissociation is a term used for a particular brain disorder that refers to being disconnected from the present moment, but that is just the simple way to understand this topic.
You may be thinking, what does dissociation look like?
In an elaborated opinion, when someone is disconnected from their present moment, memories, can’t think straight while doing work, or feels depressed to cope with their existing situation can be called a dissociation state.
But, the people who experience dissociating state often may face some inconsistencies in their natural behavior pattern, which can be stated as a dissociative disorder. So, every dissociation should not be taken as a dissociative disorder.
So, dissociation is connected to these crucial points to human senses,
- Personality. (in rare cases)
Scientists say, almost half the people ages (15-60) have experienced natural dissociation once in their lifetime. But, dissociation happens more to the people who face tremendous stress in their daily life, such as stressful works like traffic police, programmers, surgeons, military soldiers, etc. For these individuals, having dissociated events is reasonable.
Barely 2% of normal human beings have what is known as a dissociative disorder. These individuals have unnatural behavior and may develop a weird sense of perception around them.
Why Does Dissociation Happen?
There are several reasons that may cause mind dissociation. Scientists state that people who have experienced traumatic events or have a history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have a higher chance of dissociation.
Not just dissociation, these individuals have a higher chance of other brain disorders and body dissociation.
One of the primary aspects of dissociation is, this problem starts ordinarily for any human. If not checked, these problems ultimately lead to a dissociative disorder. So, it can be compared to a slow-paced brain disorder.
Some other reasons that cause dissociation are,
- Experiencing physical and mental abuse in a past life.
- Stressful environment.
- Panic attacks in certain situations.
- Anxiety or anxiety disorder.
- Natural disastrous circumstances.
- Drug addiction.
- Major vehicle accidents.
- After organ transplant.
- Hypnotic state.
However, the stressful working and living environment is one of the core reasons for typical dissociation.
If any individual experiences the above reasons repeatedly may cause a permanent dissociation problem. It will be hard for them to return to their natural consciousness, remember things from a recent hour, or grow different identities. But, different identities are another part of dissociative disorders.
Some comprehensive statistics show dissociative identity disorder has a chance of only 0.1% to 1% percent in the general population. Moreover, Some research states that some individuals feel like they are in the movies (possibly a dissociation symptom), and 7% of the people may have a chance of having an undiagnosed dissociative disorder.
4 General Types of Dissociation
For different individuals, dissociation can affect them individually, such as some people have lost their memories, while others have lost their sense of perception. One interesting thing is, some people may have all the symptoms at the same time.
Though, dissociation in stressful situations may only leave intense headaches and feeling restlessness; other symptoms can also be a problem for these types of dissociation.
What we are trying to say is, it’s hard to classify a disorder through symptoms. Different symptoms will lead to distinct confusions, and the disorder variety will increase.
1. Dissociative Amnesia
Dissociation is not bad for health all the time. Dissociative amnesia is a healthy dissociation that helps forget and ignore bad memories from past experiences. You may hear the term dissociation as a defense mechanism. Dissociative amnesia works as a defense mechanism for bad memories.
This disorder happens when someone tries to block certain information from their mind, such as memories and dreams, which are often connected to stress, horror, or traumatic events, causing the person incapable of remembering essential information related to his personal and social life.
Moreover, these patients can’t even recall the crucial information, such as names, origin places, and relationships. They may feel uncomfortable beside their own family members.
The reason for forgetting may include places, history, and a person’s own identity. In one of the rare cases of dissociative amnesia, the person will forget multiple memories from his past life or literally all of his memories. To cope with the changes, they may even travel to a different area and embrace an entirely new identity.
It’s different from ordinary memory loss because dissociative amnesia may not need any collision to trigger.
2. Depersonalization Disorder
We have an acute sense of feeling that we have a body. The people who are depersonalization disordered don’t feel the same way. They feel like they are detached from their bodies and can’t grasp the sensation of a bodily experience.
However, there are some diverse cases of depersonalization that have been recorded. Some people have reported that they feel a different existing sense from their body and don’t identify themselves in the mirror.
Moreover, they feel like their face is unfamiliar from their inner-selves, and their bodies are connected with their inner self in ways that are difficult to explain.
3. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)
Now, we are entering a totally new aspect of understanding this disorder. A simple explanation can be if a particular individual became overwhelmed with sorrow, abuse from childhood, or other traumatic experience, that person may develop 2 or 3 different identities.
They will continue to behave naturally. But, if they shift their made-up personality, their behavior will change accordingly.
Meet Encina, a 30 years old lady who lives in California, is diagnosed with having dissociative identity disorder. Her problem started at 22 years old and continuing. In her first stages of the ailment, she was suffering from typical amnesiac predicaments.
After 2 to 3 years, she noticed different identities were shifting with her real personality. She can switch to these 11 alter egos of her anytime. But, most of the time, Encina changes with a 3-year-old girl named Minnie.
DID diagnosed people can have many talents and skills. However, they may not switch to their original selves permanently. The different personalities may or may not adapt to the changes in their regular life.
These personalities will have complex behaviors, memories, and ways of thinking. Figuring out how to stop dissociating becomes difficult for them.
Moreover, they will not be able to remember simple things yet memorize complex information with ease.
4. Normal Dissociation
This dissociation is not actually a dissociative disorder. It is standard dissociation for all types of general people.
The usual dissociation can occur in people who are living in stressful environments, had mental breakdowns, are going through unfortunate events, lost someone close to them, recovering from an accident, or not appreciating their everyday routine life.
These dissociations can occur sometimes and may disturb that person’s regular activities. Though, natural dissociation will not affect the person forever. Effects may remain a bit longer, and the person will lag in their efficiency for a couple of days.
What Are Some Symptoms of Dissociation?
According to scientists, many people who are going through stressful works will feel dissociated at some point in their lifetime. Dissociation symptoms will not be permanent and are recoverable. Yet, in some cases, the symptoms remain the same as they were in the first time.
How to deal with dissociation? Well, dissociation also triggers other brain illnesses, such as anxiety.
When anxiety happens with dissociation, you may feel disconnected from your body, or you are having the senses around yourself but can’t react or feel them as your own. This state is more likely known as panic attack dissociation.
There can be many dissociation signs and symptoms. But, the most common ones are,
Amnesia or Memory Loss
Dissociative people will not remember their personal stuff from the past. They may even forget the most recent things, such as 2 to 3 days earlier information.
You may feel like you are not connected with your own body and mind. But, sometimes you will feel the world around you co-consciously.
You have the feeling and sensation of your body and mind, yet you feel like you are not connected to the world around you. Moreover, you will distance yourself from others. This state is more likely known as social anxiety dissociation.
Confused Identity State
Dissociative disorder also can make the person confused about their own identities. That person will more likely adopt a totally new identity or mimic someone else’s.
Altered Behavior Patterns
To cope with the new personality, patients will change their behavior significantly. Positive and adverse kinds of changes are possible too.
Incompetence adjusting with sensitive or professional pressure.
Body Movements Incapability
You may feel like you are losing control of your body movements and changes.
Patients often feel like they should suicide. They also behave dangerously and recklessly.
Dissociation symptoms don’t come to you altogether. Instead of experiencing all the signs at once, you may feel some of them at the first stages. This state is called an episode of dissociation symptoms. If you are going through a dissociative disorder, you may undergo these symptoms continuously or for specific episodes.
5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Deter Dissociating
These tips were taken from an experienced psychiatrist who has helped many people in his field years. It was a bit hard for us to actually go to a psychiatrist to ask about this disorder, not to state our own mental problem.
Meet Dr. Paul Poulakos, a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and psychopharmacologist. He is from Georgetown and studied at Mount Sinai Institute. Dr. Paul is now practicing as a staff doctor at NYU Langone Medical Center. He has a great background of working alongside many cases with professional psychiatrists. Some of them include,
- Teaching medical students and resident physicians.
- Was presented at the national conference.
- Has worked with self-imposed imaginary disorders claiming patients.
Dr. Paul believes in overcoming any challenges in his working field and helping his patients through innovative treatments, efficient methods, employing medication administration and psychotherapy.
1. Practice Self-Soothing Techniques for Dissociation Treatment
When the brain tries to cope with a frightful or stressful event, it activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute strain response that serves as an outcome of that moment, whether the person can fight with it or choose to flee and save his life. This behavior is called the fight-or-flight response of the nervous system.
People with dissociation disorder will face trouble making a choice because dissociation triggers the fight-or-flight response even in uneventful situations.
So, to cope with the changes, it’s best to learn some self-soothing techniques. This way, you can efficiently reduce the impact of the responses while it triggers. These self-soothing techniques will work as a signal to your brain that you are safe.
Moreover, you will be productive while depressed and calm your mind before starting a task.
Some self-soothing techniques are,
- Breathing practices can calm the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
- Positive talking to yourself can help.
- Try to drink something cold or hot. The taste, temperate, and smell will help you to shift focus from the unwanted feelings.
- Showers and bauble baths can help to calm your body senses.
- Visualize amazing pictures, such as flowing water-falls, peaceful ocean, divine light piercing wall of darkness, and natural beauty.
- You can practice yoga and other physical exercises every day.
2. A Collective Dissociation Reducer Method
Dissociation in public places can be a bit embarrassing. The main problem comes when you are trying to tell your dilemma without cooperating. So, this method should help you to cope with the changes in crowded places.
The method is simple, analyze your room and all the elements in that room. Now, focus your attention on the spaces of that room using your senses. Now, work your five senses like this,
- Count 5 watchable things
- Count 4 touchable things.
- Count 3 hearable things.
- Count 2 smellable things.
- Count 1 tastable thing.
You can start from the bottom-to-top or top-to-bottom of your wish. The purpose of this method is to get back in yourself safely. However, don’t be fast while performing the task. This method can also help to change the state of mind.
3. Prioritize Grounding Movements
Body movement is pretty crucial for dissociative people. These movements will help the body to cope with change and return safely to the original form. However, staying grounded will require the person to be present in their bodies.
You can try restorative yoga as a grounded technique. This movement will form a slow, simple, and effective pace to stretch out.
Moreover, you can focus on your breathing and stretch your crucial muscles. Signs of dissociation in adults show up when they are living alone and unsocialized. You can start yoga with a group or do it with someone else.
Besides yoga, you can try some other grounded methods,
- Cold stuff can break the zen mode while in a dissociation state. So, get in contact with ice or cold water.
- Strong smells can do the same trick. You can use lavender, tea tree, or peppermint oil for the task. Hold them right under your nose to effectively complete your session.
- You can carry a totem, a small object that you can touch whenever you feel uncanny. Yep, you guessed it right, Inception movie reference.
- Slow walking can also be an excellent countermeasure for the dissociation state.
- Eat something and try to describe the taste yourself.
4. Increase Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is a very crucial skill that can help to recover and avoid unnecessary bad events. Being self-aware will always help you to know yourself and point out your mistakes. You can read books on self-awareness to learn more.
Moreover, self-awareness will slightly reduce the chances of dissociation dramatically.
5. Modify Your House Accordingly
Hacking your house with the necessary equipment will help you to avoid severe accidents. You can make your house a digital home by adding many sensory and visualizing items to keep track of your movements.
Moreover, simple things, such as creating a shortcut for the table lamp switch, keeping the essential oils in required places, or simply putting the blanket in the required spot. These small changes will affect your overall lifestyle of the dissociation state.
What you can do is use different spots or a box for safekeeping. The key is to ensure that they engage the senses.
Summing up on How to Stop Dissociating
Having a dissociation period is typical, and once in a while, everyone will go through this state.
When a dissociation episode starts, it’s best for you to cope with the changes and seek help from others. If things turned out too bad, take an appointment with a psychiatrist. He will help you go through the changes providing crucial medications. Sometimes self-parenting can also help to go through the changes.
However, dissociation can also help you sometimes by reliving you from bad memories that may be severe for your current conditions. So, don’t always take it as a bad thing, but try to take it as a reasonable essential living element. Sometimes some bad memories are hard to erase.
How was your most recent dissociation experience? Tell us in the comments.
If you have any questions regarding how to stop dissociating, then let us know. Our experts will surely answer all your nitty-gritty quarries with pleasure. Have a nice day!