What is dissociation in people with schizophrenia?

Dissociation is described as disruption or discontinuity in the normal integration of consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, body representation, motor control, or behaviour. Common dissociative experiences include mild forms of absorption, such as daydreaming. Less common and more severe dissociative experiences include amnesia, derealisation, depersonalisation, and fragmentation of identity. Dissociative features may play a role in the pathology of schizophrenia.

What is the evidence for dissociation?

Moderate to high quality evidence found more dissociation in people with schizophrenia than controls without schizophrenia. In those with schizophrenia, there was a medium-sized association between exposure to childhood adversity and more dissociation. There were also medium to strong associations between increased dissociation and increased psychotic symptoms.

Moderate to low quality evidence found less dissociation in people with schizophrenia than in people with dissociative disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder, or conversion disorder.

February 2022

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Last updated at: 5:05 pm, 19th March 2022
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  Dissociation

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