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Navigating Dissociation: Tips for Managing Disconnect

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Have you ever heard the term dissociation, but wondered what it meant? In a nutshell, dissociation is a state where a person feels disconnected from their thoughts, feelings, or surroundings. It's like you're in a dream world or watching yourself from the outside.


Dissociation can happen for a variety of reasons, including trauma, stress, anxiety, or even just fatigue. And while it's a natural defense mechanism for the brain, it can also be a little scary or disorienting at times.


So, what does dissociation feel like? Often people describe it as watching their life unfold on a movie screen. Feeling there, but somehow not really there at the same time. Thoughts and emotions are dulled, and surroundings seem distant and unreal.


But here's the thing: dissociation is not always a bad thing. In fact, it can be quite useful in certain situations. For example, if you're in a high-stress or traumatic situation, dissociation can help you cope and protect yourself from the overwhelming emotions.


However, if you find yourself dissociating frequently or for extended periods of time, it may be a sign of a more significant mental health issue, like post-traumatic stress disorder.


So, what can you do if you're experiencing dissociation? Well, first and foremost, be gentle with yourself. Dissociation is a natural response to stress and trauma, and it's not your fault. Here are some tips that might help managing dissociation a little easier:

  1. Grounding techniques: Engaging your senses can help bring you back to the present moment. Try focusing on the sensations in your body, such as the feeling of your feet on the ground or the texture of an object or an ice cube in your hand.

  2. Deep breathing: Slow, intentional breathing can help regulate your nervous system and bring you back to a state of calm. Try breathing in deeply for a count of four, holding for a count of four, and then exhaling slowly for a count of four.

  3. Connect with others: Connecting with loved ones or a support group can help you feel less alone and more grounded in reality.

  4. EMDR Therapy: Consider talking to a therapist or mental health professional about your dissociation. They can help you understand the underlying causes and provide tools to manage it.

If you're experiencing dissociation frequently or for extended periods, it may be a good idea to talk to a mental health professional, specifically one trained in trauma like we are at Infinite Healing & Wellness. A therapist can help you understand why you're dissociating and give you some tools to manage it. Additionally, we can treat the root cause of the dissociation by using EMDR therapy.

Dissociation can be a little weird, but it's also a natural response to stress and trauma. Just remember to be kind to yourself and seek help when you need it.


Interested in learning more about how EMDR can help you? Schedule a free 15 min consult to learn more! With offices in Gilbert & Phoenix Arizona, our therapists are ready to help you achieve your limitless potential.



Gilbert Location: 2563 S. Val Vista Dr. Ste 108. Gilbert, AZ 8529

Phoenix Location: 1440 E. Missouri Ave. C270. Phoenix, AZ 85014

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