Dissociation is a symptom which commonly occurs in PTSD but is also present in other disorders such as BPD. In fact there are a separate class of disorders called 'Dissociative Disorders' in the DSM-IV mental disorder classification manual.
Dissociation involves the disconnection of a person's emotions from their sense of self. People in a dissociative state often describe feeling “fuzzy”, numb or vague.
It is best seen as a psychological defence. Because PTSD sufferers often feel overwhelmed by the strong anxiety they experience, their minds sometimes try to “switch off” all emotion so that they feel less negative emotion. In other words, in dissociation, it's as if a person “stops feeling” to a greater or lesser extent.
Not surprisingly problems with memory and concentration frequently accompany dissociation.
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