Dissociation as a defence mechanism

Finally, dissociation has been described as a defence mechanism that protects the individual from potentially overwhelming pain or anxiety. In many respects, this account of dissociation is indistinguishable from the Freudian concept of repression (Erdelyi, 1985). This sense of the dissociation concept is typically used to describe the psychological function served by the creation of a dissociated state of consciousness, or the dissociation of mental modules or systems from one another (Cardena, 1994). By this view, exposure to a traumatic situation may trigger the compartmentalization of memories, which preserves psychological integrity by preventing the distressing material from entering consciousness after the event. Alternatively, such traumatic exposure may spontaneously elicit a depersonalized state that prevents extreme emotion from inhibiting an appropriate behavioural response. As such, this definition of dissociation may relate to either of the definitions described previously. In both cases, dissociation of this sort could either be an acute response to an isolated traumatic event or a trait-like characteristic acquired as a result of repeated exposure to trauma.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Free Yourself from Panic Attacks

Free Yourself from Panic Attacks

With all the stresses and strains of modern living, panic attacks are become a common problem for many people. Panic attacks occur when the pressure we are living under starts to creep up and overwhelm us. Often it's a result of running on the treadmill of life and forgetting to watch the signs and symptoms of the effects of excessive stress on our bodies. Thankfully panic attacks are very treatable. Often it is just a matter of learning to recognize the symptoms and learn simple but effective techniques that help you release yourself from the crippling effects a panic attack can bring.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment