There is a dissociative continuum that may develop when confrontation with overwhelming experience from which actual escape is not possible, such as childhood abuse, torture, as well as war trauma challenges the nervous system to find an escape from the external environment as well as the internal distress and arousal when no escape is possible. States of repeated severe hyper and/or hypo arousal of the nervous system, depersonalization and derealization provide striking examples of how consciousness can be altered to accommodate overwhelming experience that allows the individual to continue functioning under terrifying conditions.


  • Dissociative amnesia: subconscious repression of unpleasant, unwanted or psychologically dangerous memories
  • Depersonalisation: feelings of disconnection from your body or thoughts
  • Derealisation: feelings of disconnection from your surroundings. 


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