Julie Miller's Mental Health Blog

Dissociation #4

Posted on: March 13, 2010

Now that you may have begun to notice that you dissociate, on occasion or lots, you will be asking, “whatever do I do about it?”

Understood.  Certainly if you find dissociation impacting on your life, you can be certain that treatment will help.  Treatment in the form of psychotherapy, and maybe seeking a psychiatric evaluation for possible medications, are recommended.

Learning how to ground (coming back from dissociation and staying present) is an important task in recovery.  You cannot heal from trauma or other issues without being present.  Grounding skills including any of the following:

1.  Noticing the here and now – where are you?  what day is it?  what time is it?  what year it is?

2.  Feel your feet on the ground, your seat in your chair, your back against the chair, etc.  Be present in this moment.

3.  Notice your body, feel the sensations present.  Notice the sensation of your lungs filling with air, the sensation of saliva in your mouth.

4.  Take a drink of water, notice the sensation of it in your mouth and how it feels as you swallow.

5.  Touch something cold, a cold bottle of water, a piece of ice, etc.  Notice the sensation of cold against your skin.

6.  Try to dig through the bottom of your shoes with your toes, notice the sensation of your toes against the inside of your shoes.

7.  Go to your “safe place,” or “peaceful place,” or “happy place” in your mind and notice how imagining yourself there feels in your body – the sights, sounds, and smells of that place.

8.  Make contact with others – talk to a friend, say what’s really happening for you right now and ask for support.

These are but a few possible skills you could try and practice.  What other ones do you know?  Ideas?  Ask around – if you have friends who also experience dissociation, ask what they do.  Read a book.  Do a search online.  Whatever works for you is what works.  There are no right or wrong answers, only choices.

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