Dissociation: Who am I?

While I enjoyed the very detailed and all-encompassing article “Dissociation in Trauma: A New Definition and Comparison with Previous Formulations” by Nijenhuis and Van der Hart, I can’t help but feel that if I use parts of this article to draw parallels to a less dramatic phenomena, culture shock, it would be antithetical to the overall message of this article: that we need a new and specific definition of dissociation and that we need to stop muddling symptoms and disorders.  In other words, our classification itself has become a bit disordered.  Still, I think that the authors’ take on personality and identity will be helpful in describing why a person may not ‘feel like themselves’ when finding themselves in a new cultural context.  To this end, yes, personality does seem to be a biopsychosocial system  that influences an individual’s everyday mental and behavioral actions.  Inherent in this discussion of personality is perception and emotion, which I might be able to link back to Lazarus’ understanding of appraisal.  I’m not yet sure if this perspective is helpful to my take on culture shock or whether it is an unnecessary complication to my understanding of the phenomenon.

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