Typical Dissociative Experiences

September 4, 2015

Typical Dissociative Experiences (ala Bernstein and Putnam)


  • Suddenly realizing, when you are driving the car, that you don’t remember what has happened during all or part of the trip.

  • Suddenly realizing, when you are listening to someone talk, that you did not hear part or all of what the person said.

  • Finding yourself in a place and having no idea how you got there.

  • Finding yourself dressed in clothes that you don’t remember putting on.

  • Experiencing a feeling that seemed as if you were standing next to yourself or watching yourself do something and actually seeing yourself as if you were looking at another person.

  • Looking in a mirror and not recognizing yourself.

  • Feeling sometimes that other people, objects, and the world around you are not real.

  • Remembering a past event so vividly that it seems like you are reliving ir in the present.

  • Having the experience of being in a familiar place and finding it strange and unfamiliar.

  • Becoming so absorbed in watching television or a movie that you are unaware of other events happening around you.

  • Becoming so absorbed in a fantasy or daydream that it feels as if it were really happening to you.

  • Talking out loud to yourself when you are alone.

  • Finding that you act so different in a particular situation compared with another that it feels almost as if you were two different people.

  • Feeling sometimes as if you were looking at the world through a fog such that people and objects appear far away or unclear.

Bernstein, E.M. & Putnam, F.W. (1986). “Development, reliability, and validity of a dissociation scale.” Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 174, 727-735. Copyright Williams & Wilkins, 1986.

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