Disassociation is a well-recognised result of trauma. While the disassociation may be part of an overall defense mechanism in view of the trauma, still new research (LeBois et al, 2022, as cited in ScienceDaily, 2022) indicates that the presence of disassociation and derealisation may indicate further mental health issues for several months following the trauma.
The overall study AUOROA (Advancement Understanding of RecOvery after traumA)
focused on data from 1,464 patients treated at a variety of emergency departments. 145 of these patients also underwent assessment as they were given an emotional task.
The researchers found a wide variety of issues in those who reported derealisation at a 3-month follow-up. These included:
The findings are important as knowledge of who is more at risk of mental health issues following trauma, may aid in supplying a rapid response and early intervention to those who need it most.
"Therefore, persistent derealization is both an early psychological marker and a biological marker of worse psychiatric outcomes later, and its neural correlates in the brain may serve as potential future targets for treatments to prevent PTSD," said senior author Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD
McLean Hospital. "Feelings of detachment predict worse mental health outcomes after trauma: Patients who experience this symptom may benefit from early interventions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2022. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/06/220622101352.htm>