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How does affect dysregulation influence dissociation?

One of the core problems for the person with a dissociative disorder is affect dysregulation, or difficulty tolerating and regulating intense emotional experiences. This problem results in part from having had little opportunity to learn to soothe oneself or modulate feelings, due to growing up in an abusive or neglectful family, where parents did not teach these skills. Problems in affect regulation are compounded by the sudden intrusion of traumatic memories and the overwhelming emotions accompanying them (Metcalfe & Jacobs, 1996; Rauch, van der Kolk, Fisler, Alpert, Orr et al., 1996).

The inability to manage intense feelings may trigger a change in self-state from one prevailing mood to another. Depersonalization, derealization, amnesia and identity confusion can all be thought of as efforts at self-regulation when affect regulation fails. Each psychological adaptation changes the ability of the person to tolerate a particular emotion, such as feeling threatened. As a last alternative for an overwhelmed mind to escape from fear when there is no escape, a person may unconsciously adapt by believing, incorrectly, that they are somebody else. Becoming aware of this kind of fear is terrifying. Therein lies one of the central problems in treatment for a person with a dissociative disorder: "How do I learn to approach things I fear when to understand that I am afraid is itself frightening?" Skillful clinical approaches are required to help build confidence in a person's ability to tolerate their feelings, learn, and grow as a person.

Source: http://www.isst-d.or...issociation.htm
 
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