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Dissociation is complicated, as it holds a lot of different connotations. For some, thinking of dissociation immediately leads to thoughts of “dissociative identity disorder.” However, the concept of dissociation encompasses much more than just this one aspect. To a degree, everyone experiences a level of dissociation, and it can be a very useful coping mechanism to allow a person to go about their daily lives. However, it still does carry a few issues with its use, and overreliance on dissociation as a defense technique can hinder one’s ability to address and process their own stresses, anxieties, or trauma. 

We Use Dissociation Often

Dissociation as a whole isn’t inherently a bad thing or a disorder of any kind. Dissociation is simply being able to separate certain aspects of one’s life or thoughts from each other. This can include trying to put one’s personal or familial issues aside while at the workplace or disregarding professional stressors in order to enjoy dinner with the family. The ability to separate stresses can allow each person to focus on particular tasks while less inhibited by their own emotional state. Dissociation as a defense mechanism is quite common and holds its merits when used in moderation. However, for those who suffer from anxiety and trauma, dissociation used regularly can complicate the recovery process, and inhibit one’s ability to face their issues in recovery. 

Dissociation and Confrontation

Dissociation can help a person go through a day while keeping their own emotional state in check, but it also operates by avoiding a confrontation with the source of one’s stress or trauma. Therefore, it never allows a person to truly address the issues that may plague them on a daily basis. Recovery from trauma is a difficult and long journey, but it is necessary to directly address the source of the trauma and work alongside peers and professionals to wholly move through it, rather than continuously put these stresses to the back of one’s mind. The stresses that each person feels, if left unprocessed, can build up and manifest in a number of ways. This can lead to unhealthy coping strategies, such as turning to drugs or alcohol as a result. Dissociation can allow a person to sidestep a problem for a time but does not address it or allow the healing part of recovery to truly begin. 

Learning to balance your own coping strategies and confronting trauma are incredibly difficult tasks. At The Guest House, we create a supportive, judgment-free atmosphere between each person, professional, and peer, in order to allow each person the space they need to explore both their strengths and vulnerabilities through the recovery process. Our holistic approach to recovery aims to help you begin to address all of the different ways in which trauma or addiction may have affected your life. To learn more about how we can help you take your first step in your recovery, call us today at (855) 483-7800.