How to Get Out Of Dissociation And Reconnect With Reality

Last Updated
March 8, 2023
a woman dissociating

How To Stop Dissociating
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How To Get Out Of Dissociation
- Bring your awareness back to the present moment
- Take slow, deep breaths to help calm your body and mind
- Use physical sensations
- Focus your attention on your breath, body sensations, or a specific object
- Engage in gentle physical activities, like stretching or walking
- Use a grounding object
- Reach out for support or talk with a therapist

dissociation symptoms infographic

If you suffer from dissociation, it can be very difficult to feel connected to reality. This disconnection can make life feel overwhelming and confusing, but it doesn't have to be this way.

Fortunately, by taking meaningful steps to break free of the cycle of dissociation and reconnect with reality. In this post, we'll explore proven strategies to help you live more fully in the present moment.

A woman remembering traumatic events

What is dissociation?

Dissociation is a break in the connection between our thoughts, memories and sense of identity. People who experience dissociation may feel detached from their body, like they're watching themselves from outside their own skin.

It's also a unhealthy coping mechanism. But it can be difficult to form meaningful relationships or stay focused on tasks for more than a few minutes at a time. [1]

What causes dissociative disorders?

  • Traumatic memories
  • Physical abuse
  • Stress
  • A mental illness like depression or anxiety
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Lack of sleep [2]

How does dissociation impact your life?

  • Harder to focus
  • Harder to remember things
  • Harder to make decisions
  • You feel isolated, confused, and even ashamed
  • Leads to unresolved trauma, anxiety and depression
  • Cause problems with talking and understanding others
  • Makes it difficult to be close and share feelings with others
  • Makes hard to do things like taking care of yourself, balancing your money and doing chores around the house.
  • Gives you a confusing feeling about your identity, and make it hard to know yourself
  • Can make it more likely for someone to have mental disorders like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Causes stress, tiredness, and make it harder for your body to fight off sickness [3]
A man exhibiting symptoms of dissociation

Types of dissociative disorders

  • Dissociative amnesia – This is when you can't remember important information about yourself, usually as a result of trauma.
  • Depersonalization disorder – This is when you feel detached from your body or like you're watching yourself from outside your body.
  • Dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) – This is when a person has two or more distinct identities that alternate and control their behavior.
  • Psychogenic amnesia – This is when memories are blocked because they're too traumatic or emotionally painful to remember. [4]
A table with four columns detailing various aspects of dissociation symptoms

Dissociation symptoms

  • Memory loss
  • Staring into the distance
  • Identity confusion
  • Loss of sense of self
  • Depersonalization
  • Derealization
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Strained relationships
  • Struggling with stress [5]

How to get out a dissociative state?

Identify your triggers

What situations or activities tend to trigger your dissociative disorder? Once you know what your triggers are, you can try to avoid them or be prepared for them. If you can't avoid them, try to have a plan for how to cope with them ahead of time.

Create structure in your day-to-day life

Having a routine can help you overcome your dissociative disorders give you a sense of stability. Try to stick to regular mealtimes, sleep schedules, and exercise routines as much as possible.

Connect with nature

Spend time outside in nature and take in your surroundings – the sights, smells, and sounds of the world around you. Doing this can help shift your focus away from whatever is causing your dissociation and help you feel present.

Stay connected to your body

When you start to feel like you're dissociating, focus on your breath and the sensations in your body. Try to ground yourself by touching something around you or focusing on a specific object.

Try journaling

Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you make sense of the things that are contributing to your dissociation. It may also be a useful tool for tracking changes in your mental health over time.

Talk to someone you trust

Talking about what's going on can help you feel more connected and less alone. Find someone who will listen without judging you or trying to fix your problems.

Talk to someone who can help

If you’re feeling lost, confused, or disconnected from reality, talking to a trusted friend or family member can help you feel more grounded.

Seek a mental health professional

If dissociation is affecting your everyday life, it's important to seek professional help. A therapist can help treat dissociation in healthy ways.  [6]


Each person's experience may vary slightly, but this article aspires to provide a helping hand on the journey towards getting out of dissociation. Life brings many opportunities - take courage, seek understanding, and make the most out of what comes your way.


u003cstrongu003eHow do I know when to seek professional help for dissociation?u003c/strongu003e

If your experience with dissociation is having a negative impact on your ability to go about daily life, it may be time to seek professional help. Talk to a therapist or psychiatrist if you feel that the level of dissociative symptoms is interfering with your functioning or relationships.

u003cstrongu003eu003cstrongu003eWhat can I do to help myself when I am feeling dissociative?u003c/strongu003eu003c/strongu003e

Practicing mindfulness and relaxation techniques can be helpful in calming the mind and restoring balance. Taking slow, deep breaths can help to restore a sense of connection with the present moment. Exercise, journaling, talking to supportive friends or family members, and seeking out new activities can bring joy.


  1. What is Dissociation and What to do About It?
  3. Evaluating the Impact of Dissociation
  4. Better Health: Dissociation and dissociative disorders
  5. Mayo Clinic: Dissociative disorders
  6. Mind: What self-care can I do when I'm dissociating?

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Jamie Armstrong
I have a passion for writing. I work as a Senior Marketing Manager for Islomania LLC. I have developed a strong interest in writing articles and website management during my time here. I enjoy both article writing, poetry, and story writing. In my role as a marketing manager, whether I’m writing an article, or a story, or improving other writers’ content, I always try to engage my readers and give them something to think about.
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