DISSOCIATION is a mental process of disconnecting from one’s thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity.

Previously seen as a sign of mental illness, DISSOCIATION is now understood as a normal and universal part of the STRESS RESPONSE.

DISSOCIATION can be as simple as “spacing out” when tired, bored or overwhelmed – or can include DEPERSONALIZATION (feeling odd changes of one’s experience of self – feeling detached or disconnected from one’s body) or DEREALIZATION (when the world feels unreal or distant).


Lanius R, Vermetten E, Pain C.  The Impact of Early Life Trauma on Health and Disease Cambridge Press, 2010.