Some signs of dissociation in terms of what it looks, sounds and feels like:
Words don’t match with behaviours and actions. There’s incoherence between brain and body. Its also true that their neurodevelopmental patterns and attachment system is attempting to connect for comfort, however there is a huge layer of safety as their defense system is trying to protect them.
The nervous system has moved past safety state, sympathetic flow, known as fight flight response (orange-red zone) and has entered a dorsal vagal shut down state. The body freezes to cap the amount of mobilised energy and hormonal production (cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline) that is radiating around the body. It can’t keep producing stress energy at a high capacity, so it shuts down to recover and recalibrate, yet never fully bringing you into the green zone and healthy baseline. Shut down is part of the parasympathetic nervous system (blue zone). It’s the most evolved region of the human nervous system that goes back to our primal roots of hunting and gathering.
2) Decision Making
They struggle to make decisions or won’t follow through on things. It creates and informs self-sabotaging behaviours. Also true, the responses are informed by unconscious fears and beliefs, that go back as far as early childhood conditioning, attunement if the nervous system & early attachment development. The “stuckness” and “numbness” is the result of an inner struggle that is going on within the nervous system, neurohormonally and transmitting throughout the neuroceptive pathway, consisting over 7 trillion nerve
3) Somatic Sensations
When shut down, things feel different. There‘a a fog, sense of numbness and feeling of Euphoria. You’re absent, walking on clouds, watching life like on abstract. You’ve memory loss, no sense of time/space. Theres isolation. Theres a desire to connect but physiologically, emotionally and physically the person is unable to.
This is due the nervous system being in an emergency response; human connection isn’t essential. Dissociation disconnects the mind from bodily sensations. What’s happening here: Endorphins are secreting from the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, in the limbic system.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters and chemical messengers in the body. They attach to the brain’s reward centres and opioid receptors and carry signals across the nervous system. They’re a natural pain reliever, beta blocker and numb you out from pain response and highly mobilised stress energy which can cause fatal damage (eg coronary attack)
If you’re experiencing dissociation please be reassured that this is reversible. A somatic therapist like myself can help you to reconnect with your body, regulate your nervous system, and reconnect with the fullness of you life
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