This episode is the second in an intermittent series I am calling In A Word. Psychiatry is full of terms that are either poorly defined or used in such broad ways that they are not very helpful by themselves. Trying to come to terms with terms we throw around can help us to understand the conditions we treat better, and hopefully will help us to communicate more precisely and effectively in the future. Dissociation is a word that has frustrated me. I have heard it used to describe everything from daydreaming to a feeling of complete detachment of someone from their own body to having lost a previous identity and adopted a new one. The term is used to describe various aspects of many psychiatric disorders. It is prominently featured in disorders like borderline personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. There is even a controversial diagnosis called Dissociative Identity Disorder.
At the end, I give ChatGPT another go.
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