Chapter 2 – Symptoms of Dissociation

coping book coverHappy Friday! We’re reading Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation, by Suzette Boon, Kathy Steele and Onno Van Der Hart. This week’s chapter is the one that makes people think “fuck, do I have DID?”  

Grab a notepad and as you read, write down any experiences that fit. If you’re a book violator like me, give your alters different colored highlighters and let everybody take a pass through. My book looks like unicorn vomit, yours can too!

Content Overview

Problems with Identity of Sense of Self 

“Dissociative parts of the personality are not actually separate identities of personalities in one body, but rather parts of a single individual that are not yet functioning together in a smooth, coordinated and flexible way.”

Experiencing Too Little: Dissociative Symptoms Involving Apparent Loss of Functions
This section covers topics like amnesia, time distortions, knowledge or skill loss, emotional and physical numbness, depersonalization and derealization. It covers each area in detail and tries to make clear distinctions between “normal” and “dissociative disorder” levels of each symptom, to give you a benchmark.

Experiencing Too Much: Dissociative Symptoms Involving Intrusions 

“Dissociative instructions are those symptoms that occur when one dissociative part intrudes into the experience of another. Intrusions may happen in any arena of experience: memories, thoughts, feelings, perceptions, ideas, wishes, needs, movements or behaviors.”

Topics include flashbacks, hearing voices, etc.

Other Changes in Awareness
This section covers a variety of symptoms that occur in ‘normals’ and those that are also found in other mental disorders. They’re often experienced by those with dissociative disorders, but are not unique to them.

Discussion Starters

It’s been a week since you started the Grounding exercise; how’s it going? It takes about 21 days of regular practice to make a habit stick so keep it up.

Any #meirl moments or feelings you want to share? How are you coping with the feelings? 

Anything you’re glad you suddenly don’t do, and scared that maybe you will? That’s a really common feeling when you read about any health condition, mental or physical.

You can find additional comments on this chapter here.


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