Why Does Childhood Trauma Cause People to Disassociate From Their Bodies?


When you’re going through trauma, it can seem like you’ve completely lost control over your body and mind. While the reasons behind this feeling vary from person to person, in most cases, it boils down to one main issue: dissociation. Dissociation is what happens when you feel as if you are outside of your body watching yourself go through a situation instead of being actually in it; experiencing every emotion and sensation while at the same time being powerless over them; feeling like your life has been taken out of your hands and placed into the hands of others.



There are many different causes of dissociation, and they can be triggered by different things. Dissociation happens when the person detaches from their feelings and thoughts in order to deal with something that’s too difficult for them. It can happen in response to trauma like sexual abuse or physical abuse, but it also happens as a defense mechanism.


One type of dissociation is depersonalization disorder, which is when people feel disconnected from themselves and experience a sense of unreality. This detachment often feels like one is watching oneself from outside of their body. Another type of dissociative disorder is derealization disorder, where people experience the world around them as being detached or unreal.

What is disassociation?

Disassociation is a coping mechanism that allows someone who has experienced trauma in the past to separate themselves from their physical body. It can be triggered by any number of things, but usually experiences with abuse and rape are the most common triggers.


Disassociation happens when a person’s sense of reality or identity becomes so distorted that they actually live as if they were in a dream or fantasy rather than in reality. They may feel numb and detached from their emotions and surroundings, and often find it difficult to form meaningful relationships with other people. They may also have trouble remembering things from the past because they’ve suppressed them.