Category Archives: peritraumatic dissociation

Why Is Peritraumatic Dissociation Important?

As they say in The Music Man, “You can talk all you want…but you gotta know the territory.” To really understand what peritraumatic dissociation is all about, you gotta know the territory — namely, peritraumatic dissociation’s historical context and its … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Stress Disorder, depersonalization, derealization, dissociation, dissociative disorders, DSM-IV, peritraumatic dissociation, PTSD, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

OK, What Is Peritraumatic Dissociation — Really?

Some insist that peritraumatic dissociation causes PTSD. Others say absolutely not. In some research, peritraumatic dissociation does predict PTSD; in other research, it doesn’t. One study even reported that those who experienced peritraumatic dissociation were healthier than those who did … Continue reading

Posted in animal defenses, depersonalization, derealization, dissociation, evolution-prepared dissociation, peritraumatic dissociation, PTSD, Tonic immobility, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

When Animal Defenses Encounter a Human Predator: Part IV

Victims of rape and childhood sexual abuse frequently describe dissociation-like experiences which occurred during the assault. Typically, we assume that these are dissociative experiences. But are they? I don’t think we really know. To be blunt about it, we have … Continue reading

Posted in animal defenses, dissociation, evolution, first-person accounts, flashbacks, human predators, peritraumatic dissociation, PTSD, rape, Tonic immobility, trauma, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

Disentangling Animal Defenses From Dissociation: Part III

My unvarnished opinion is that the dissociation literature’s discussions of animal defenses (1) routinely conflate different kinds of immobility (freezing) and (2) fail to appreciate crucial differences between trauma and biological survival. I have been reviewing that literature lately. The … Continue reading

Posted in animal defenses, dissociation, evolution, evolution-prepared dissociation, first-person accounts, intentional/voluntary dissociation, parasympathetic nervous system, peritraumatic dissociation, Tonic immobility, trance, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Disentangling Animal Defenses From Dissociation: Part I

We need to disentangle the phenomena of animal defenses (e.g., freezing, hyperfocus, tonic immobility, etc.) from the phenomena of clinical dissociation (depersonalization, derealization, amnesia, etc.). Animal defenses have been built into us by natural selection; as such, their phenomena are … Continue reading

Posted in animal defenses, dissociation, evolution, evolution-prepared dissociation, first-person accounts, peritraumatic dissociation, Tonic immobility | Tagged , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Persisting Peritraumatic Dissociation Is Different From Evolution-Prepared Dissociation

Evolution-prepared dissociation provides a hyper-clear picture of the dangerous circumstances that evoked it. In contrast, non-evolution-prepared peritraumatic dissociation does precisely the opposite — it distances, obscures, pushes away, avoids, hides, and blocks a clear picture of the dangerous circumstances that … Continue reading

Posted in Acute Stress Disorder, defense, depersonalization, derealization, dissociation, dissociative disorders, evolution, evolution-prepared dissociation, measures of dissociation, peritraumatic dissociation, PTSD, published/presented research, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

The Evolutionary Link Between Trauma and Dissociation

As a clinician who wants to understand dissociation, I keep bumping into two fundamental questions: 1. What is the relationship between trauma and dissociation? 2. What is the relationship between dissociation and PTSD? I ended my last post with a … Continue reading

Posted in defense, dissociation, evolution, evolution-prepared dissociation, first-person accounts, peritraumatic dissociation, PTSD, research ideas, skepticism, structural dissociation, trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments