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Lively, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 260
Experience:  Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, 10 years experience working with individuals, couples, & families
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Is there a term for a dissociative disorder that consists of

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Is there a term for a dissociative disorder that consists of having an internal world without having dissociative identity disorder? More specifically the ability to at will go into an auto-hypnotic like state and leave reality in exchange for an internal world for periods of time leaving the body to just sit?

I've never heard of a term for what you're talking about but it sounds like someone with an incredibly high level of hypnotizability or ability to enter altered states of consciousness. If this state is entered by conscious choice, then it is almost more like a state of deep meditation-- which is also a dissociative state and/or altered state of consciousness.

If it is a chosen state, I would suggest that you do more research on meditation and states of deep relaxation/mindfulness rather than searching through the literature on psychological disorders. If it is a state that is entered without conscious choice then it is more like a catatonic state; catatonia can be due to a number of different psychological disorders including deep depression and/or a psychotic disorder.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Well I am friends with 2 multiples who descibe their inner worlds similarly. That is why I have connected it with dissociation. If it is just an altered state of consiousness, what causes that? My mother told me she first noticed me do it at 9 months. She said my eyes glaze over and my body becomes rigid. My mother was neglectful so out of boredom perhaps??? I would go inside and live a more desirable life in there. I could watch a TV show and then duplicte it perfectly inside and become a charicter and make my own changes. It was almost more real than "real life". Unfortunately I spent too much time there and lost so much of my childhood in exchange for the internal world. I could control it to some extent but became addicted to it. Occasionally it scared me because if I stayed too long. my body would almost collapse. My heart would pound and I felt shakey from holding the ridged possition for so long. I was afraid I might die from exaustion. I still needed to go back there. To really live. I do it less now because I have more of a life out here now. But I still need to know what it is. Why have I never heard of anyone else doing this?

You mentioned that your mother was neglectful- did you have other caretakers who were more attentive? Neglect is a very powerful form of abuse and can create symptoms similar to those created by extreme abuse in children. Your dissociation (especially given that it started at 9 months old) sounds like a trauma-reaction more than a conscious choice to enter a meditative state.

Now that you're taking better care of yourself as an adult and are entering this state less often, have you noticed any patterns as to when you go into it? My guess would be that it would be during times of stress. I would suggest that you work with a therapist to understand this a bit better- understand its relationship to your childhood/family, and also understand how to keep it from happening now.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
my childhood was troubled but not to the point of severe abuse. When I do it Im usually happy not stressed. I do if for fun not so much escape. So does this mean there isn't a name for this ability? Have you ever met anyone else who does this? Because so far as far as I can tell I"m alone in this ability and that is my true question here. Are there enough others who do this for there to be a name for it?

I don't know of anyone who shares the same kinds of dissociative experiences as you are describing. This does not mean that no one else exists, just that I have not worked with anyone with this exact condition and so do not know a name for what you're describing.

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