Dissociation : Volume 10, No. 2, p. 130-134 : A notion of "dissociogenic stress"
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Dissociative disorders and the related stress can take different forms in different cultures. In Japanese society, the stress responsible for dissociative disorders appears less visible, embedded in a close relationship with others ("relational stress "), compared to more overt traumatic stress such as childhood sexual and physical abuse. It is more reasonable to include covert and apparently non-traumatic stress as a factor contributing to dissociative disorders, rather than to limit our attention to overt and stereotyped forms of trauma, including childhood sexual and physical abuse. Despite their different manifestations, covert stress and overt stress can both cause dissociative pathology in certain conditions. I postulate that these conditions involve the suppression of projection and externalization of negative mental contents. The stress in these conditions may be called "dissociogenic stress." Whether or not an individual develops a dissociative disorder as a result of dissociogenic stress also depends on the individual's constitutionally based dissociative and hypnotic tendencies and other exogenous stresses.