About Dissociation & Tips to Stay Connected

Dissociation is a psychological process that involves a disruption in one’s normal conscious experience, resulting in a sense of detachment from one’s surroundings, thoughts, feelings, or actions. Dissociation can occur in response to traumatic experiences, but it can also be a symptom of other mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression.

In the context of trauma, dissociation can be a way for the mind to cope with overwhelming or traumatic experiences. When someone is beginning to dissociate, they may feel like they are watching themselves from outside their body or like they are in a dream-like state. They may also experience a sense of numbness or detachment from their emotions, thoughts, or surroundings.

Other common symptoms of dissociation include feeling disconnected from one’s own body, memory lapses or gaps in memory, feeling like time is distorted, and difficulty focusing or concentrating. In severe cases, dissociation can lead to a dissociative disorder, such as dissociative identity disorder, where an individual may have distinct and separate identities or personalities.

It’s important to note that dissociation is a complex phenomenon that can manifest differently in different people. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of dissociation, it’s important to seek professional help from a mental health provider who can offer appropriate treatment and support.

Grounding, grounding, grounding. You have to learn to ground and start becoming aware of your body again. I was dosed on a lot of ketamine and it was a beyond terrifying experience. I experienced hallucinations, disassociation, complete paralysis and didn’t know what was going on. Just the trauma alone from being slipped mind-altering chemicals and how that altered my mind-body connection. Out of all the grounding techniques, it’s the physical ones that I find the most helpful when I get triggered. Identifying your triggers is a huge first step and then finding grounding techniques to stay in your body is the next. You can do this.

Be well on your journey and KNOW it is possible to heal with the right guidance and support.

  1. Start the day with a grounding exercise, such as deep breathing or meditation.
  2. Keep a journal to track your thoughts and feelings, and to document any dissociative episodes.
  3. Take breaks throughout the day to practice mindfulness and connect with your body.
  4. Use calming scents, such as lavender or chamomile, to soothe your senses.
  5. Keep a stress ball or fidget toy on hand to help ground you during times of dissociation.
  6. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine to boost endorphins and improve overall mental health.
  7. Practice self-compassion and positive self-talk, even during times of dissociation.
  8. Connect with supportive friends or loved ones who understand your experiences.
  9. Prioritize rest and relaxation, and allow yourself time to recharge when needed.
  10. Try progressive muscle relaxation techniques to release tension and connect with your body.
  11. Practice deep breathing exercises to help ground you during dissociative episodes.
  12. Create a self-care kit filled with items that bring you comfort, such as soft blankets or soothing music.
  13. Avoid drugs and alcohol, as they can worsen dissociative symptoms.
  14. Make time for creative expression, such as writing, drawing, or playing music.
  15. Connect with nature by spending time outdoors, going for a walk or practicing yoga outside.
  16. Try aromatherapy by using essential oils, such as peppermint or eucalyptus, to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety.
  17. Prioritize healthy eating habits to support overall physical and mental health.
  18. Get plenty of sleep and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down.
  19. Practice self-massage techniques to release tension and connect with your body.
  20. Use visualization techniques to imagine a safe and calming place during times of dissociation.
  21. Connect with a mental health professional who specializes in treating dissociation.
  22. Practice grounding techniques, such as focusing on your surroundings or repeating a comforting phrase, to help bring you back to the present moment.
  23. Set healthy boundaries and communicate your needs with those around you.
  24. Engage in activities that bring you joy and promote relaxation, such as taking a bath or listening to music.
  25. Remember that healing from dissociation takes time, and be patient and gentle with yourself throughout the process.