The Spectrum of Dissociative Effects


The Spectrum of Dissociation touches all of us in some manner, impacting and influencing us, our choices and decisions, activities and behaviors, to a greater degree than most of us realize, and certainly far more than is currently recognized or acknowledged within the mainstream systems and structures that are most affected by the Effects of Dissociation.

 rainbow spectrum


Civilization requires and creates Dissociation


Originally, everything was Oneness, the connectedness of All That Is. Humans lived the tribal hunter/gatherer life, as part of a larger natural order and cycle of life, in tune with sun, moon, seasons, mating, community, etc. Dissociation served its’ original purpose, kept us safe, sane, and able to function sufficiently to enable survival. 


However, as people moved from tribal life into villages, then from towns to cities, individuals had to dissociate the stuff of normal daily life to survive and continue to belong within the framework of the larger group. Living in close proximity to others meant sharing safety, but also other often unbearable things such as body and waste smells, and the noise of neighbors emotional outbursts, arguments, and sexual activity. Nature’s antidote was the common, helpful version of Dissociation – just like when we enter a room with an unbearable stench and within a few minutes we “get used to it”, or when we are sitting at a restaurant table and the noise of nearby tables fades out so we can hear the conversation at our table.


This move to communal living also meant that individual needs naturally began to have less importance as each culture/society created customs, rules and laws to ensure the group’s needs were met. As a result, our Societal rules and norms, past and present, ordinary to extreme, have been shaped and formed with Dissociation woven in at all levels. Dissociation is now built into the foundations of how society functions and dysfunctions, and it is common for dissociation-related issues that arise in our personal lives to be misunderstood, misdiagnosed and mistreated by the people and systems that deal with them. This is particularly evident in the realms of poverty, mental health and criminal justice. Even the larger arenas of governments, systems, institutions, corporations and such have their own versions of Dissociation at work, enabling money, power and profit to matter more than the needs of people, animals, plants, and the environment.


The Dissociative Spectrum is an informative and empowering framework for seeing and interpreting the world


The Dissociative Spectrum gives us a means of recognizing and categorizing the various individual and societal Dissociative influences and impacts that afflict humanity. From the personal to the group and collective level, this information and understanding gives us a powerful tool for positive change.

For example, Trauma-Related Difficulties are Commonly Misdiagnosed as:
  • Addiction-Related Difficulties
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Anxiety and Panic Disorders
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorders
  • Bodily (Somatic) Disorders
  • Criminal Intent/Action
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fetal Alcohol Effect
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mood (Affective) Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Psychopathic/Sociopathic/Evil
  • Schizophrenia

                                      and more….

All of these diagnoses and more can fall within the explanatory framework of the Spectrum of Dissociation. My interpretation of how it all fits together was in large part inspired by a chart in the book “Healing the Divided Self” by Maggie Phillips and Claire Frederick. My version is more broad and all-encompassing in scope than theirs. I have adapted their chart accordingly, adding some of the disorders that I am convinced belong on the spectrum, but which have not yet been acknowledged (and may have even been intentionally repressed!) by the traditional systems, and academic institutions and professions, such as psychiatric, mental health, “big pharma”, criminal justice, financial and corporate, etc.

My interpretation of the Spectrum of Dissociation looks like this:



The Effects of Dissociation are the Effects of the Trauma that caused the dissociation. I think of these effects as the Many Faces of Trauma and Dissociation:


Understanding Dissociation and the Dissociative Spectrum Produces Many Benefits!

As becomes obvious when we learn even just a little about it, Dissociation is commonly at the root of our individual and societal ills, and as such, is of great importance to all of us.

Applying understanding of Dissociation and the Dissociative Spectrum and allowing it to permeate through all areas of our lives and societal systems and structures cannot help but benefit every one of us, as well as all other life on earth and even the planet itself.

All we need do is allow it to take root, grow, and spread through our lives and world!