Dissociation Of The Extreme Kind (Neurotic Or Psychotic)


Asked by Kelly Cash

Dissociation Of The Extreme Kind (Neurotic Or Psychotic)

What is the difference between PTSD Anxiety Dissociation (neurotic break) and a BiPolar Manic Episode (psychotic break)? If one has both in the same episode does that make the person Borderline?


Hi Kelly,

I'll answer your questions, but I first want to say that if you are experiencing a lot of distress, please seek help as soon as possible. If you think your distress is life threatening or a serious emergency, then you can always call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Otherwise, you can seek help by calling a Psychologist (you can search here), or asking your Primary Care Physician for advice or a referral.

A Manic Episode is part of Bipolar Disorder, which is a mood disorder marked by swings between depression and euphoria. Some people experience some psychotic symptoms during a manic phase, but not all people do.

PTSD, in contrast, is an anxiety disorder that results from experiencing a trauma. The symptoms of PTSD are a normal human reaction to an unspeakable, horrible human experience. Dissociation may occur while a trauma is occuring, or in reaction to the symptoms of PTSD.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is used to describe a person who has a long-term history of instability in relationships, moods, and self image. People who suffer from BPD are generally impulsive too, especially when they are younger (20's-30's).

Bipolar and PTSD do not cause BPD. It is possible for a person to have one, two, or all three of these conditions, but they do not cause one another.


Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.

The Stress Masters

Answered by Jennifer L. Fee, Psy.D.