Sarah Morton Counselling
Sarah Morton
North London, Counsellor, Golders Green

Golders Green, North West London

MBACP (Accred) counsellor/psychotherapist 

I am an accredited counsellor/psychotherapist 
MBACP (Accred) and a counselling supervisor.
As a member of the BACP, I abide by its ethical framework and I am on the BACP Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists.
07505 321 449
What is dissociation?

The way we perceive the world around us is what determines our reality. Our thoughts, feelings and memories all contribute to help us know who we are and what is real. When these perceptions disconnect, our sense of reality and identity becomes blurred.

If you are experiencing dissociation, you may look at yourself as if you are a stranger - unsure of who the person looking back at you in the mirror is, or indeed what is real. There are several mental health problems that can cause dissociative symptoms including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and borderline personality disorder.

For some people though, dissociation is a form of extreme escapism. Escaping reality in a way that is involuntary and potentially unhealthy, someone with a dissociative disorder may create alternative identities or suffer from amnesia.

Symptoms of dissociation

The effects of dissociation and dissociative disorders can be difficult to pinpoint and differ from person to person. It can affect the way you think, feel and behave - so it is important to tell someone as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below.
The following symptoms are examples of what you may experience:

  • feeling detached from your body
  • experiencing gaps in your memory
  • forgetting important information about yourself
  • feeling as if there is more than one person inside of you
  • hearing voices
  • feeling as if the world around you isn't real
  • referring to yourself as 'we' rather than 'I'
  • having out-of-body experiences
  • other people telling you that you have behaved out of character
  • feeling detached from your emotions
  • feeling numb or devoid of emotion.

It can be very difficult to diagnose dissociation and dissociative disorders as many of the symptoms can be linked to other mental health issues. The very nature of the condition can also make the sufferer confused and reluctant to seek help, which may explain the low diagnosis rates. If you think you, or someone close to you, may be experiencing dissociative symptoms it is important to speak to your GP who can refer you to a mental health specialist with experience in dissociation.