Dissociation is when our brain (and rest of our nervous system) feel overwhelmed and unable to deal with what’s going on in the moment and they pull us away. I have always talked about dissociation as our brain pulling the ripcord on reality because it’s just too much! When it comes to the DSM they call any dissociation DPDR or depersonalization/ derealization disorder.
Now depersonalization is when we feel out of our body like we are watching ourselves from above or in a haze and derealization is when we feel separated from our environment and it can feel like we are in a dream or like everything around us isn’t real. These experiences are really common, it’s estimated that half of all adults have had at least one episode of DPDR! 50%! That’s a lot of people, so know that you are not alone!