stout2 - 1 Michael Lorberg Mr. Jehle Expository Writing 101...

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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 sessions that her dissociation is apparently so severe she cannot even tell when her body is
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This note was uploaded on 04/03/2008 for the course EXPOS 101 taught by Professor Frank during the Fall '07 term at Rutgers.

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stout2 - 1 Michael Lorberg Mr. Jehle Expository Writing 101...

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