Regression akin to Dissociation?

OliveJewel

MyPTSD Pro
Do you think regression is the same as, or a form of, dissociation? I was thinking about how when I used to regress a lot in session at the end I had to rub my legs and arms to feel my body and “getting back in” was required to be able to get up and leave.

I’ve been thinking about repressed anger and someone suggested that it’s best to express the anger while in a regressed state in order for it to be fully resolved. He said that doing it from the adult mindset would frustrate the part that needs to get it out.

It’s hard to imagine inviting regression or dissociation as a vehicle for expression. I think I’m talking about two things. Are they the same or similar? And is regression/dissociation/(parts?) important or helpful for releasing old anger? (I added parts because regression seems like parts kind of.)
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
no, i don't believe they are the same. in my own case, dissociation is only one of the psychotic states to which i can regress. dissociation and regression are frequent running buddies, but as different as love and sex.

I’ve been thinking about repressed anger and someone suggested that it’s best to express the anger while in a regressed state in order for it to be fully resolved. He said that doing it from the adult mindset would frustrate the part that needs to get it out.

i agree --conditionally-- with this premise. an awful lot of psycho ticks start out as great strengths which were over-developed to destructive extremes. giving it full, unbridled expression can help in peeling off the over-developed layers in order to free the strength to be what nature intended in her original design. "mindfulness" is the condition i place on the premise. allowing the reflexive reactions to run unchecked is regression. mindfully allowing the reaction to flow and watching where it goes is "channeling."

so opineth the arf. . . gentle support while you sort your own opinions.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I think they are different, sutble difference I suppose?
The regression, there is still a sort of presence in that? Engaging in the present interaction but in that regressed state.
The disassociation is a regressed way of coping, but removes that present interaction?
Not sure that makes sense, but that's how I experience it, I think.

Suppose another way of seeing it, in my view, is that regression is still active and disassociation is passive.

Idk.
 

Friday

Moderator
When my PTSD first kicked into gear, there was no regression… because there was nothing to regress TO. My trauma history was within the past 5 years. I wouldn’t have known what the f*ck anyone was on about. No matter how much I was reliving the past? I was very much the same person, in the same time&places.

15/20+ years later? Yeah. Operating out of the same headspace (pissed off 19yo is my shorthand for it) I had when I was 17-22 is both a warning that I’m getting increasingly symptomatic (even if no other symptoms are yet present), and something that becomes far more prevalent the more symptomatic I get.

It makes sense : My brain is attempting to “live” in 2 totally different timelines. The past is more and more being brought forward, and crowding out the present.

Personally… I’ve found it best NOT to encourage that.

In point of fact, to create as many hard lines as possible, between then & now. The more I do that, the more my brain starts kneejerking to responding to the present like it’s the present, rather than attempting to respond to the present as if it’s the past.

As The more I try and live my life now, according to the rules of the past? Who I was then, what was true then, etc.? The bigger the clusterf*ck is going to get, as worlds collide. Because what was true then, simply is NOT true now, more often than not. And I have to work really hard to untangle the past/present being overlaid on top of each other.

But I can also understand the reasoning behind “closing the loop”. It’s like when a person gets a song stuck in their head it’s usually because there is a piece of the song missing. Go and actually listen to the song? Or sing it? Or in any other way start at the beginning, and go to the end, so the missing piece gets added… and the record skip in your head, as your brain keeps replaying the same bit over and over and over and over… stops. It’s a neurological pattern recognition thing. When brains can’t find the pattern, it either makes shit up (Seeing images in clouds, shapes in static, the phone ringing in white noise) or sets itself on “repeat” attempting to find the missing bit.

There has been some remarkable headway gained in injured vets with combat trauma by taking them back to the theater they were injured in. Essentially closing the loop from when they lost consciousness to woke up in a hospital in a different country/continent, surrounded by totally different people… or, even if awake the whole time, taking them back to where their life suddenly changed, and went 180 degrees different.

Whether the conflict is still active, or ended 50 years ago, it appears that the simple act of going back smoothes over a “skip” or scratch in the record… allowing the song (life) to play cleanly / in a faaaar more linear fashion, instead of skipping/repeating/skipping/repeating. <<< It’s not a miracle cure, but astronomically effective… in far more ways & with far more scope than researchers expected. More similar to defragging a hard drive, than lifting the needle past the skip in the record.

“Going back to where it all began” is not a new concept. But it is one with massively different results, for different people.

WHY that is, is not very well understood, if at all understood. The theory I tend to agree wih the most is a combo of how different it is from your normal life (compared to how entwined it is; like same city, same people, same culture/weather, etc.) + how much support/prep is involved. Mostly because the same thing has been tried with mountain climbers & motor vehicle accidents. Mountain climbers returning tend to have fabulous results, whilst drivers tend to shatter.

So I can see there might be some value in acting out the past like it’s in the present.. in an attempt to close the loop.

I can also see it as exponentially dangerous, leading to a smoother path for the past to come forward and crowd out the present.

What would tip the scales in one way or another? IDFK.
 

Bigmess

Learning
I was actually just thinking about this general topic as I just had an encounter with a certain person and against my will completely split and had to go out to the store feeling like there was an invader in my body (it's difficult to describe, it's like an internal body snatcher as ridiculous of an example as that is), I'm typing from the observer point of control. That is hard to tell, technically everyone in me is in fact me and I feel like some sort of pilot but I have no idea who this is that is typing this besides his voice, he seems to just mediate things when lower alter conflicts are happening. According to my core beliefs all identity is dissociation technically but that doesn't get us anywhere to consider anyways since when working with things like this it's not always helpful to have some much larger spiritual perspective on. To try to dissect what is happening live right now, it's like each alter can actually vary in age but they're still separate people with different memory sets, control my body differently, and have different triggers. I feel I'm that child though as a core part of what I could call a core identity (mostly resonates with my biological nature when I am not stressed out and has a full spectrum of expression without being fractured) and each identity is just what fits the most at the time and they don't seem to be aware of each other besides from where I am now that is aware of these 2 but they over power each other at different times but they are self aware. Normal people probably just have one and only one because it functions the best with a wide range of emotions and functions because there was never a reason to make others. When something gets broken through trauma I guess a new one is just made and other splits happen too subconsciously. We are a product of our environments and so is identity, if something is extreme enough in a situation the brain being as complex as it is could develop entirely different identities for dealing with these extremes in environmental variation that operate on switches and then puts them out of conscious control. These splits do not always happen though with trauma, there are plenty who always have a core self and nothing at all (like a dissociative blank slate state) that has everything together but is just extremely messed up. It's probably just down to how biologically different everyone is and what needs to be done, It just goes to show how complex we truly are and how many ways the mind/body responds to extreme situations. I couldn't bring this all together if I tried and could not imagine what it would like being whole so I tend to be a very spiritual person in how govern myself and live my life, there is nothing for me to have faith in but eternity though that's a whole different topic and I rambled enough. I'm trying to find a flow I'm content with through what can't be changed.

When my PTSD first kicked into gear, there was no regression… because there was nothing to regress TO. My trauma history was within the past 5 years. I wouldn’t have known what the f*ck anyone was on about. No matter how much I was reliving the past? I was very much the same person, in the same time&places.

15/20+ years later? Yeah. Operating out of the same headspace (pissed off 19yo is my shorthand for it) I had when I was 17-22 is both a warning that I’m getting increasingly symptomatic (even if no other symptoms are yet present), and something that becomes far more prevalent the more symptomatic I get.

It makes sense : My brain is attempting to “live” in 2 totally different timelines. The past is more and more being brought forward, and crowding out the present.

Personally… I’ve found it best NOT to encourage that.

In point of fact, to create as many hard lines as possible, between then & now. The more I do that, the more my brain starts kneejerking to responding to the present like it’s the present, rather than attempting to respond to the present as if it’s the past.

As The more I try and live my life now, according to the rules of the past? Who I was then, what was true then, etc.? The bigger the clusterf*ck is going to get, as worlds collide. Because what was true then, simply is NOT true now, more often than not. And I have to work really hard to untangle the past/present being overlaid on top of each other.

But I can also understand the reasoning behind “closing the loop”. It’s like when a person gets a song stuck in their head it’s usually because there is a piece of the song missing. Go and actually listen to the song? Or sing it? Or in any other way start at the beginning, and go to the end, so the missing piece gets added… and the record skip in your head, as your brain keeps replaying the same bit over and over and over and over… stops. It’s a neurological pattern recognition thing. When brains can’t find the pattern, it either makes shit up (Seeing images in clouds, shapes in static, the phone ringing in white noise) or sets itself on “repeat” attempting to find the missing bit.

There has been some remarkable headway gained in injured vets with combat trauma by taking them back to the theater they were injured in. Essentially closing the loop from when they lost consciousness to woke up in a hospital in a different country/continent, surrounded by totally different people… or, even if awake the whole time, taking them back to where their life suddenly changed, and went 180 degrees different.

Whether the conflict is still active, or ended 50 years ago, it appears that the simple act of going back smoothes over a “skip” or scratch in the record… allowing the song (life) to play cleanly / in a faaaar more linear fashion, instead of skipping/repeating/skipping/repeating. <<< It’s not a miracle cure, but astronomically effective… in far more ways & with far more scope than researchers expected. More similar to defragging a hard drive, than lifting the needle past the skip in the record.

“Going back to where it all began” is not a new concept. But it is one with massively different results, for different people.

WHY that is, is not very well understood, if at all understood. The theory I tend to agree wih the most is a combo of how different it is from your normal life (compared to how entwined it is; like same city, same people, same culture/weather, etc.) + how much support/prep is involved. Mostly because the same thing has been tried with mountain climbers & motor vehicle accidents. Mountain climbers returning tend to have fabulous results, whilst drivers tend to shatter.

So I can see there might be some value in acting out the past like it’s in the present.. in an attempt to close the loop.

I can also see it as exponentially dangerous, leading to a smoother path for the past to come forward and crowd out the present.

What would tip the scales in one way or another? IDFK.

I actually practice this a lot with locations as one of the main themes of my issues are trauma infecting entire locations in my mind. I will sometimes go different places and do different things in a different state of being to try to do just that. This doesn't mean I need to permanently integrate this things back into my life but to do so to clear an association and bring it to light in a different context so it has somewhere else to go. I've gotten over many small association based parts of my trauma by doing this. Though you are right, there is a lot more to this because there is some things I simply can't touch without the dread and flashbacks coming back and ruining my life until it gets out of that trance. Exposure therapy doesn't always work but on the conditions in which it can, that's a big mystery. Locations likely are easier because they contain so many elements to form new associative roots through especially if you revisit that place and do so multiple times in a completely different state of being.
 

KayW

Learning
It’s hard to imagine inviting regression or dissociation as a vehicle for expression. I think I’m talking about two things. Are they the same or similar? And is regression/dissociation/(parts?) important or helpful for releasing old anger? (I added parts because regression seems like parts kind of.)
I think regression can be two different things.

I experienced regression during an adult traumatic experience and I believe that was due to me being in a dissociative state. Not that I tried, but I dont believe I could have brought myself out of that state in that moment.

But I also regress during or just after therapy and I think this is more like me allowing my child self a chance to feel what she actually felt and not have to repress it, and its a channce for my adult self to feel acceptance and empathy for her and thats quite therapeutic. I also think Im allowing myself to regress in that moment and I would be able to snap out of it if needed.
 
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