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Facets of Personality and Dissociation
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Tags: Multiple Personality Disorder

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In the past, it was believed that in the case of extreme trauma some people would split into alternate personalities - or "alters". The term applied to it was Multiple Personality Disorder. That diagnosis was never empirically proven, and so it evolved into the less dramatic Dissociative Personality Disorder.  Dissociating from ones feelings, and therefore acting differently than you feel, is a state of being that is more identifiable and also more conscious. And while those who dissociate shut down their feelings, they can, at a later point, recognize their behavior without totally losing a core sense of identity.  

While each society's rules can be slightly different, the need to conform to them in order to survive is similar.  Does that make civilized society psychologically unhealthy for human beings?  No, it is, in and of itself, a necessary structure from which the species has evolved and which remains necessary for continued survival and development.  So while not instinctive, natural, or even always emotionally healthy, we must grapple with its existence and adapt to it in ways that embellish not paralyze us.

> What are the alternatives and how do we take charge of these different degrees of dissociation? I believe that the first step is consciousness. Becoming aware of what you do and why you do it.  Becoming aware of how it affects you. Discerning what works for you emotionally and what doesn't. Taking your own emotional temperature, and not shying away from your findings. Suppression has been your first line of defense; awareness becomes your first line of psychological growth. Once we look at ourselves unsparingly, we begin to take care of ourselves in a new manner, a stance that neither depletes nor distances us from others.  A new way of interacting in the world that feels empowering while also appearing attractive to others.

 

We are never going to be perfectly honest creatures; we are never going to not put up a front or a slightly different personality in more challenging situations.  But we can be aware of what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how it is making us more socially and personally effective communicating, building relationships and achieving intimacy.



By Roni Weisberg-Ross LMFT L.M.F.T.
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.

Roni  Weisberg-Ross  LMFT L.M.F.T.

Author: L.M.F.T.

Biography: Psychotherapist specialized in treating adult survivors of childhood abuse trauma and relationship communication issues.

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