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stout2 - 1 Michael Lorberg Mr Jehle Expository Writing...

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1 Michael Lorberg Mr . Jehle Expository Writing 101 September 30 , 2007 “Psychological Dissociation: The Ruiner of Self-Knowledge?” Psychological dissociation , or , divided awareness , is defined as the psychological phenomenon in which the mind separates from the body for a period of time determined by the severity of the dissociation . It ranges from the ordinary daydream that lasts a few minutes to , “in heinous circumstances…much longer” (Stout 587 . ) Martha Stout , author of The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness , argues in her book that psychological dissociation is , in fact , not as much of a phenomenon as most might think . Quite contrarily , she argues that it is an all too common everyday occurrence . The spectrum of psychological dissociation can be defined on one end by distraction , the most benign condition that encompasses daydreaming and escape through narratives and various mediums (such as films , books , music , etc . ) , to dissociation on the other end , the most extreme type and a psychological condition in which one’s “self” could leave the corporeal body for upwards of hours at a time , sometimes leaving the victim even wholly oblivious of the fact as the body carries on day to day tasks entirely independently . While distraction is a harmless voluntary process in which one can relax in for a short period of time , dissociation is not . It is
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2 highly unpredictable , and actually quite life threatening . Because the mind is not present during dissociation, incredibly enough, neither is pain, and presumably, any other emotion. I don’t want to do die because I can’t feel anything. I don’t want to end up dead because I can’t feel what’s going in my body, or because I can’t tell the difference between that psychosomatic pain I’m always getting in my chest and some honest-to-God heart attack. (Stout 597.) One of Stout’s patients, elucidated on further below, was saying in of her therapy
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