repeated threats are trauma particularly in childhood
This is when dissociation becomes problematic. The greatest impact on a child’s likelihood of developing chronic dissociation isn’t just the level of abuse endured. Childhood trauma does not automatically lead to a dissociative disorder, the greatest resilience factor is a secure attachment pattern.
Chronic or problematic dissociation develops when there are repeated threats of trauma, especially when it starts at a young age and when there is inadequate support and soothing from an attachment figure usually a parent or primary caregiver who is persistently unpredictable and frightening. This can lead to a disorganised attachment pattern.
The infant can be caught in a dilemma of ‘fear without solution’
(Main and Hesse, 1990)
When the child goes to the caregiver for protection, their fear is actually increased, and the childs needs are not met.
Chronic dissociation becomes a survival mechanism in response to repeated severe abuse during childhood. If the child uses this over and over it becomes the childs main coping strategy.
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