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Dissociation is a person's unconscious attempt at self-protection against an overwhelming and traumatic experience, which may result from severe and prolonged maltreatment, sexual abuse, and/or neglect during childhood. The mind separates itself from an event or the environment so it can maintain some degree of order and sense.
Dissociation responses vary by individual. But some common dissociation experiences include:
Dissociation that does not resolve on its own or is causing behavior or mental health problems requires professional counseling. Medicines may also be used as part of treatment.
Last Revised: December 7, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
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