Hi everyone! This video is going to be about dissociation and hypnosis. As well as the correlation between the two and how you can use hypnosis to bring about an altered state or frame of mind and to even improve your life. I do have a video about meditation, self-hypnosis, and positive affirmations that may provide more insight into the subject if you are interested. [Meditation & Self-Hypnosis] Anyway, I will also be discussing my personal experience with these as well as how common the two actually are.
What is Dissociation?
Just what is dissociation? It essentially means disconnect. When it comes to people dissociating parts of themselves, it means that they are disconnecting emotions, memories, or anything else form themselves. They are separating a part of themselves from another part. Dissociation could be as simple as being deep in thought, like spacing out, or just thinking deeply.
We all dissociate. Dissociation is not only common, it is something we all do, even if we are not aware of it. But, we all dissociate to various degrees. Most people may just get lost in the thoughts going on in their head. Thinking of events that occurred that day, or what they are going to do the following day. It’s as simple as that. Another example is when reading a book and you become immersed in it, imagining the events happening in your mind. Next thing you know, an hour has passed when it only feels like a few minutes. That is dissociation. Other people, it could be much more severe and be caused by a trigger that makes them dissociate into an altered mental state and they could lose track of hours at a time due to the dissociation being triggered.
Regardless of the severity of the dissociation, we all do it and it’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about unless it is severe enough to cause problems in the person’s life. This is where dissociative disorders come into play, for those that either cannot control their dissociation, or it is caused by a trigger, or that it is not so easy to ‘come out’ of the dissociated state.
However, dissociation, especially when controlled, is not necessarily bad, and is actually a great defense mechanism as well. Let’s say for example, you are out somewhere and you get very nervous due to your surroundings. You may experience dissociation, to escape into your mind per se, to aide you in your fear and anxiety you have from your surroundings. So, you detach yourself from your surroundings to eliminate the anxiety. However, this example is also a negative one due to the fact that it was caused by a trigger, such as public anxiety, and was uncontrollable. If the person had control over it, then it would not be bad at all.
Now, what is interesting is that those that have experienced trauma in their life specifically from childhood, tend to enter into dissociative states much easier. I believe this could be because the more you dissociation, and hypnotize yourself for that matter, the easier it becomes. So, a child abuse victim could have built up the ability to dissociate over time and became a pro at it, subconsciously of course since they may not be able to control their dissociative states.
However, what else is interesting is that there are people who have not experienced trauma that can also enter into deep hypnotic and dissociative states. I think this could be from perhaps another reason for dissociating when growing up, and learning that ability. Or perhaps a difference in brain chemistry making the individual more susceptible to hypnosis and thus dissociation, leading to them becoming highly suggestible and forming dissociative states within themselves.
It’s certainly an interesting phenomenon, but is not uncommon by any means. The severity of such dissociation may be uncommon, such as severe, uncontrollable dissociation caused by a trigger. But for the most part, dissociating is something we all do and we all experience.
From my personal experience, I have experienced various forms of dissociation, from uncontrollable caused by a trigger, to self-induced both with and without a trigger. Now what this all means is that, I in fact had a traumatic childhood and developed PTSD as a result. And, when something in my mind is triggered that makes those traumatic memories return in my mind, it causes me much stress and anxiety and can contribute to dissociation, and the need to escape from those memories, to detach myself from those memories and emotions so I don’t feel bad.
Additionally, I have intentionally dissociated before and know how to, especially since I practice self-hypnosis which I will talk about in just a minute. I use to dissociate much more in the past when I hated myself, to escape and dissociate from my surrounding and go into a world within my mind that was a world of fantasy. But now, since I am happier with myself, there really is no need to escape from these situations. So, I feel as though I kinda lost some of the ability. But, I am still quite hypnotizable.
Another thing to note is the feeling of dissociation. Just like hypnosis, there is no feeling when you are in a dissociative state. The only feeling is afterwards and when the dissociation is actually occurring. What I mean is, I can sometimes feel when the dissociation is about to occur. Primarily when I am coming back to my usual self. It’s hard to pinpoint when I go into an altered state. Like I’m going to switch into a dissociative state or back to myself. The feeling when it is happening is surreal. Everything is distorted and out of place, kinda a little bit off. It’s a very dream-like feeling, like you don’t really know what’s going on.
It usually doesn’t last long, but when I come back to myself there is a moment of, “What just happened?” I don’t have total memory loss. But, there is a moment that I need for some of the memories to return. Like filling in a puzzle. There may be some gaps there, but you can make out what it is. Just not maybe why or how you did it. Sometimes I will be hit with all the emotions at once which can be overwhelming.
A thing to note, for me at least, is that the entire experience doesn’t feel like a dream, just the dissociation part feels dreamy. Also, when I return to myself, and the memories start to come back, the part that I don’t know why I did what I did or don’t really remember, that feels like it was a dream after coming back to myself. Like I just woke up. That’s something to note. It doesn’t always feel like living in a dream, but at times, it can be quite dream-like and distorted when you don’t really know what is going on.
What is Hypnosis?
What is hypnosis? Many people have heard the term, but are actually very misinformed about what it is. People may picture a magician with a pocket watch turning people into mind slave, and that’s just not what hypnosis is. Hypnosis is essential a method that allows your mind to become immersed deeply in thought, to focus on a particular thing, to enter into your subconscious mind.
As an example I like to use when you are trying to change a habit or something about yourself, imagine a brick wall separating your conscious mind and you subconscious mind. When we try to change something, it’s like taking a hammer to this brick wall. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to gain access to the subconscious. But eventually, we can prevail if we are persistent enough, but the effort to get there is not even worth it when you learn how hypnosis works. Hypnosis is simply put as bypassing this wall entirely. You go right into your subconscious and can change anything about yourself. The amount of time and effort this will take is minuscule compared to if we tried to break down this brick wall with repeated attempts.
Hypnosis is a tool for self-help and is highly effective. However, some people have a harder time with it because they are not as suggestible. Others may be highly suggestible. It is interesting to note that those with dissociative disorders tend to be easier to hypnotize and this makes so much sense when you consider that when you enter a hypnotic state, you are dissociating. It is dissociation. The more you practice hypnosis, they easier it will become to dissociate and enter into a deep hypnotic trance.
Whether you are brand new to hypnosis or an expert, I highly recommend this book, “Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself with Your Eyes Open” by Forbes Robbins Blair. I’ll put a link to the book on Amazon.com in the description for anyone who is interested. This has taught me so much more about hypnosis that I never even knew. I highly recommend it as a self-help tool, especially since I believe hypnosis is one of the best self-help tools out there.
Anyway, some common myths are that hypnosis is dangerous. It is not. Hypnosis is perfectly safe and there is nothing to worry about. You will always ‘wake up’ from a hypnotic state and you can always reverse suggestions that you have been given.
Another myth is that you will not remember anything. This is also untrue. It is subjective depending on how deep you are able to go. I find that if you can go very deep into a trance state, that you may not remember, or remember only fragments, when you ‘return.’ A light level of hypnosis can be highly effective so do not get concerned if you are unable to enter into a deep trance. Allowing is key.
Next, the feeling of hypnosis. There really is no hypnotized feeling. You will not know when you are hypnotized, until perhaps after you ‘wake up’ from it and realize, remember, or see the time that has passed.
Which brings me to some facts about hypnosis. The first is that there is usually always a time distortion. Since hypnosis is dissociation, you may lose time and it could feel like only a few minutes when it was actually an hour. A classic example used for both hypnosis and dissociation, is driving a car home. Let’s say it’s an hour-long ride and the next thing you know, you’re home and it only felt like a few minutes. That’s an example I’ve heard for both dissociation and hypnosis.
Next, just like dissociation, we all enter into hypnotic trances and states. It is exactly the same as dissociation and the feeling after ‘waking up’ from a dissociative / hypnotic state is the same. A sense of time distortion, sometimes not remember what just happened, or having to piece together the puzzle in a sense can happen.
And lastly, and probably most importantly. Hypnosis is all about the mind, the power of the mind and thought. You have to believe you are being hypnotized, you have to convince yourself and want to be hypnotized. You cannot accept something you disagree with. If you are not willing, then guess what, it’s not going to do anything for you. It’s all about the power of suggestion and believing it, convincing yourself. If, for example, someone is hypnotizing you and says that you cannot open your eyes no matter how hard you try. And, you prove them wrong by opening your eyes. Guess what? You didn’t convince yourself and believe that your eyes cannot open.
I’ve had a few people ask how to become more suggestible so they can benefit from hypnosis. Well, as I stated earlier, some people, like myself, are highly suggestible. Others, not so much. And, the more you utilize the power of suggestion and hypnosis, the easier it becomes. So, if you are not open to suggestion, and you know that you are not, that is the first thing that needs to be changed. Tell yourself that you are suggestible that you can be hypnotized. And after some time, you may just start to believe it and it will get easier. Start off small. Relax yourself and imagine your eyes are glued shut, that you cannot open them no matter how hard you try. The more you try, the harder it becomes to open them. Believe and convince yourself your eyes are actually glued together, and you may just find that, you cannot open your eyes.
It is a lot like acting and role playing, convincing yourself you have these traits and believing them. For example, if you are acting and your character is handicapped and has a specific way of speaking, and you get into character so well, you may just find that you accepted these traits and truly believe you are this person, even though you are just acting in a sense. You convinced yourself and thus you are now this character. Make sense?
By performing hypnosis, you are strengthening the connection between the conscious and subconscious minds, which will aide you in further developing the ability necessary to change things about yourself by the power of thought and suggestion, believing and convincing yourself.
Triggers are extremely important as well. You can create a trigger so when you do something, you enter into a hypnotic state, or it alters something else about you. So, the example I typically use is with anxiety. If you created a trigger that when you scratch your neck, you relax and go into a hypnotic state. Then, when you are out and having a panic attack, scratching your neck will relax you. It is then conditioned. I discussed this much more thoroughly in my reducing anxiety video as well as my habits, phobias, and conditioned response video if you are interested in those. [Reducing Anxiety | Habits & Phobias]
How hypnosis may help those people who dissociate uncontrollably, or are triggered, it’s as simple as learning the boundary of dissociation, what is causing it, what is triggering it, and to get a better grasp of that. If you can self-induce a dissociated state and learn the boundary of how and why it is happening, that may help you get better control of it when it becomes uncontrollable, so it then becomes manageable.
As a bit of personal background, I’ve always been interested in hypnosis. I found it during a time in my life that things were going very bad and in the wrong direction, and I did it all the time to help improve the quality of my life. It turned out that I was quite hypnotizable and suggestible and it worked wonderfully. I’ve been doing it ever since. I started with confidence building with public speaking and I’ve incorporated it into many other aspects of my life as well.
Now, I’ve also done my share of ‘odd’ or ‘unusual’ hypnosis recordings before. What I mean is, like being stuck in place unable to move for a while. Another to make me unable to talk. Others to create triggers to enter into hypnotic states. I have a trigger within myself that allows me to become completely blank and enter into hypnosis very easily. Among many others. I thoroughly enjoy and love hypnosis so much. There are even hypnosis recordings you can find to make you think you are an animal or even a Pokémon.
So, this should show that hypnosis can be quite remarkable when a person is highly suggestible and believes the suggestions. If someone has an alternate personality that is an animal, that’s not necessarily weird or crazy like what many people may think. Rather, it is because they have convinced themselves, even if it was unintentional, that they are a specific animal, created this animal persona that is now an altered state of consciousness that they can bring out if they so desire.
As I said, it is a lot like acting, role playing, playing pretending, but more importantly convincing yourself and believing you are a character or have specific traits. That is how hypnosis works. It’s all in the mind, the power of the mind, the power of suggestion. When you believe something strong enough, you become that which you believe. Hypnosis is very simple and highly effective. It’s not dangerous. Some people are more susceptible to it, but it gets easier the more you do it. You just have to believe and continue with it.
So, I hope this video was informative. Thanks for watching!