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 dissociation V/S repression  

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what is the difference between the two defense mechanisms Dissociation and Repression ?
Has it got to do with recent event (Dissociation) and past event (Repression) ?


This is a good question because it reminds me all the whimsical nature of USMLE tests.

Basically all about defense mechanisms is bullshit. If we had to say something useful about it, we could say they are just ways for the mind to cope with trouble. Beyond that, as far as I know, nobody has identified the Brodmann's area in the brain where those defense mechanisms lie. Nobody, to my scant knowledge, has demonstrated any correlation with PET scans of the brain. Nobody, to my little reading, found any mutation in any gene that makes more people prone to use this or the other defense mechanism. There's no animal model nor a drug that enhances any such mechanism. 

However, these so called 'defense mechanisms' and their definitions do help psychiatrists make their language sophisticated. For example, blocking a painful memory (repression) or just taking the good side of it (dissociation) which in essence both are DENIAL, help psychiatrists keep their notes organized. Because they are always trying to find the neuron or the ion channel that controls either one, that's how they can keep submitting grants, writing publications requesting more research on the topic, and we students try to memorize such capricious definitions of something that basically looks like denial. If we fail to get the right score, it's not because such defense mechanisms are baloney, but it's because we are repressing the fact we are poor students and don't deserve to match. 


Thanks Xenopus..! that was pretty detailed ! wink
Basically I was solving a question which said that a patient involved in a fire accident had no memory of the incident when enquired and the answer was Dissociation.It sounded pretty similar to repression but what I make of it is that repression has more to do with past childhood traumatic/otherwise events and dissociation has got to do with a more recent event like an accident.But again,this is what I make of it but was wondering if someone knew the exact difference .

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