Before going ahead and justify why Dissociation is a vital component of survival, it is important to understand fully what dissociation means.
Dissociation as a general noun according to our friend google here is, “The disconnection or separation of something from something else or the state of being disconnected.” Meanwhile I would like to discuss the psychological aspect of it which is also found on our friendly search engine that puts it under the subtitle, Psychiatry, where it is defined as, “separation of normally related mental processes, resulting in one group functioning independently from the rest, leading in extreme cases to disorders such as multiple personality.”
After the definition has been stated from different point of views but stating (In my own words) the general action which is not being connected to something that is previously connected to. I would like to reference a couple of non-fictional books that goes through extreme positions where dissociation has helped save the person who decided to dissociate and go on autopilot mode until the whole unpleasant event is surely gone.
In Victor E Frankl book, Man’s Search for Meaning, where he experiences the unjust life of the holocaust and the extreme psychological situations that a normal person could not comprehend and if they tried they would basically go insane, Frankl explains in the midst of all this chaos he tries to look at his present from his psychiatrist persona where analyzing the situations surrounding him without taking the information personally but rather accepting the events the way they happen as a simple action and reaction mindset has eventually helped him pull through the toughest situation a person could ever go through.
Other example would be from a former Syrian Prisoner named Mustafa Khalifa, where he mentions in the book, The Shell: Memoirs of a Hidden Observer, how he transiently moved from the present, personal view to an observer view which has helped him survive throughout his years of imprisonment by simply covering himself with a blanket and pretending to be the psycho of the place.
There are multiple real life examples that explains such idea but I wanted to discuss the extreme continuously dragging time-laps of torture as an example to explicitly show that it is indeed very helpful.
In conclusion, I just wanted to state that dissociation is very hard for closed ones to recognize, but it is very important to understand that whoever is going through it, had to go through it in order to mentally survive, whether it be from physical or mental trauma.