Dissociative episode…

Just as I got my laptop back. My phone fails. My luck.

I just ate and wasn’t feeling “top notch” and because my phone wasn’t working and the internet was being a bit funny, I laid down to rest.

I lay there and for about a while, I was just resting. I remembered when I spoke and doing things (and being warm 🙂 )

But now, no recollection. I suppose I started to lose touch and usually I feel like I’m about to go into that “half asleep” place where you’re reactant if someone speaks to you or there is a emergency and if you were to be awoken from this half asleep place, you wouldn’t be grumpy like you’d just been woken up.

That’s where I was. Well, it was probably where I was. I can’t really describe it because I don’t remember, which is the hardest part. Anyway, I’m not asleep. I react to stimulus. My dad saying good night to me. My brother talking to me and I speak coherently, so a part of me is still working. I can move, I can talk. If you didn’t know any better you’d think I was just resting.

But I don’t remember it. I also don’t wake like I was asleep.

When you wake from being asleep, you take a while to adjust that you’re awake. With dissociative episode, it’s like you just snap out of it. You’re fully alert and it can shock your system.

I jumped up and I thought: “Dafuq?!” (I have been on the internet way too much). Still recovering from my cough/cold, the jump into the cold and the sudden anxiety from realising what happened. I began to violently cough. I was just sort of panic strucken. I think the main reason I get panicked is because my brain is searching for the memory of what happened but the memory just isn’t there. The problem the arises that my mind tries to over compensate, it will try and put memories in place but the memories don’t fit, they’re the wrong “piece”. So my mind will eventually stop trying to fit the memories in and just leave it blank. To someone who likes being in control, it’s scary.

I have done some previous research on dissociative and will find those just for you:

What is dissociation?

Your sense of reality and who you are depend on your feelings, thoughts, sensations, perceptions and memories. If these become ‘disconnected’ from each other, or don’t register in your conscious mind, your sense of identity, your memories, and the way you see things around you will change. This is what happens during dissociation.

Everyone has periods when disconnections occur naturally and, usually, unconsciously. We often drive a familiar route, and arrive with no memory of the journey or of what we were thinking about. Some people even train themselves to use dissociation to calm themselves, or for cultural or spiritual reasons. Dissociation is also a defence mechanism that can help us survive traumatic experiences.

Are there different forms of dissociation?

There are five types of dissociation, which are listed below. Occasional, mild episodes are part of ordinary, everyday life. Sometimes – at the time of a one-off trauma or the prolonged ‘identity confusion’ of adolescence, for instance – more severe episodes are quite natural.

Amnesia

This is when you can’t remember incidents or experiences that happened at a particular time, or when you can’t remember important personal information.

Depersonalisation

A feeling that your body is unreal, changing or dissolving. It also includes out-of-body experiences, such as seeing yourself as if watching a movie.

Derealisation

The world around you seems unreal. You may see objects changing in shape, size or colour, or you may feel that other people are robots.

The world around me seems unreal and alien, like a mist has descended and everything looks hazy and dreamlike; only I’m awake, so I can’t be dreaming.

– Survivor of derealisation

Identity confusion

Feeling uncertain about who you are. You may feel as if there is a struggle within to define yourself.

Identity alteration

This is when there is a shift in your role or identity that changes your behaviour in ways that others could notice. For instance, you may be very different at work from when you are at home.

What are the different types of dissociative disorder?

Dissociative disorders occur when you have persistent and repeated episodes of dissociation. These usually cause ‘internal chaos’ and may interfere with your work, school, social, or home life. However, some people apparently function well, which hides their distress.

Depersonalisation disorder

You will have strong feelings of detachment from your own body or feel that your body is unreal. You may also experience mild to moderate derealisation and mild identity confusion.

Dissociative amnesia

This is when you can’t remember significant personal information or particular periods of time, which can’t be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. You may also experience mild to moderate depersonalisation, derealisation and identity confusion.

Dissociative fugue

You may travel to a new location during a temporary loss of identity. You may then assume a different identity and a new life. You will experience severe amnesia, with moderate to severe identity confusion and often identity alteration.

Dissociative identity disorder (DID)

The most complex dissociative disorder. It’s also known as multiple personality disorder (MPD). This has led some to see it as a personality disorder, although it is not. The defining feature is severe change in identity. If you experience DID, you may experience the shifts of identity as separate personalities. Each identity may assume control of your behaviour and thoughts at different times. Each has a distinctive pattern of thinking and relating to the world. Severe amnesia means that one identity may have no awareness of what happens when another identity is in control. The amnesia can be one-way or two-way. Identity confusion is usually moderate to severe. It also includes severe depersonalisation and derealisation.

Dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS)

Each of the five types of dissociative response (see above) may occur, but the pattern of mix and severity does not fit any of the other dissociative disorders listed above.

Many mental health problems, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, also have dissociative features.

 What causes dissociative disorders?

Childhood abuse

The causes of dissociative disorders are complex. Studies show that a history of trauma, usually abuse in childhood, is almost always the case for people who have moderate to severe dissociative symptoms. But not all trauma survivors have a dissociative disorder, so the relationship is not one of simple cause and effect.

A fuller understanding comes from looking at your childhood relationship with your parents or guardians. If the relationship was insecure and you were abused, then you were, and are, more likely to use dissociation to protect yourself from the trauma. The combination of an insecure relationship, trauma and dissociation can result in a complex dissociative disorder

Behaviour

Almost everyone coping with dissociative difficulties tries to keep them hidden from others.

What are the effects of a dissociative disorder?

Dissociation can affect perception, thinking, feeling, behaviour, body and memory. So, if you experience a dissociative disorder you may have to cope with many challenges in life. The impact of dissociation varies from person to person and may change over time. How well a person appears to be coping is not a good way of telling how severely affected they are. For instance, few people with DID (see above) will switch rapidly and openly between identities, in the way portrayed on TV and film. Nor is the classic ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ shift of identity common.

The effects of dissociative disorder may include:

  • gaps in memory
  • finding yourself in a strange place without knowing how you got there
  • out-of-body experiences
  • loss of feeling in parts of your body
  • distorted views of your body
  • forgetting important personal information
  • inability to recognise your image in a mirror
  • a sense of detachment from your emotions
  • the impression of watching a movie of yourself
  • feelings of being unreal
  • internal voices and dialogue
  • feeling detached from the world
  • forgetting appointments
  • feeling that a customary environment is unfamiliar
  • a sense that what is happening is unreal
  • forgetting a talent or learned skill
  • a sense that people you know are strangers
  • a perception of objects changing shape, colour or size
  • feeling you don’t know who you are
  • acting like different people, including child-like behaviour
  • being unsure of the boundaries between yourself and others
  • feeling like a stranger to yourself
  • being confused about your sexuality or gender
  • feeling like there are different people inside you
  • referring to yourself as ‘we’
  • being told by others that you have behaved out of character
  • finding items in your possession that you don’t remember buying or receiving
  • writing in different handwriting
  • having knowledge of a subject you don’t recall studying.
  • history of childhood abuse/trauma
  • female
  • age 20-40
  • reporting ‘blank spells’
  • hearing voices and/or believing there are external influences on the body and/or other unusual beliefs (apparently delusional thinking) and/or reports of other people’s thoughts intruding
  • previous diagnosis or suspicion of borderline personality disorder
  • previous unsuccessful treatment
  • self-destructive behaviour
  • no thought disorder.

Okay, so I hope that gives more understanding. Now I don’t have a “dissociative disorder” I just get episodes, probably because there are features of them in bipolar disorder. Which is why I don’t really fit into anyone fully. I think I fit more into depersonalistion than anything. But that comes hand in hand with bipolar disorder.

Since I am not going to sleep, I am going to eat 😛

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10 thoughts on “Dissociative episode…

    • Yeah, that’s what I thought. Some people are lucky (if you can say that) that with bipolar they sleep a lot when depressed and hardly at all when manic.

      I did. Didn’t work. Going to try again as it wasn’t exactly a fair test.

      • Everyone is different, and different things make it more so. They will sort themselves out soon and become more manageable. I know I keep telling you this and I am sure you have doubts… but it will.

        kk, another test and then feedback so the dosage can be changed or the meds. I know, you know that too. I just like to nag. 😉

        • Yeah, people say that. Just doesn’t help me now 😦 😛

          Well, yeah. I gotta go nurse soon because of my ear, so I’ll make another appointment. Upped to 6mg. But if that doesn’t work, then it’ll go to 8mg, then 10mg. But if it doesn’t work at 10mg, that’s it. That’s the highest dose anyone will consent to because it’s the highest ‘factory setting’ dose.

          • yes, be careful with the doses please.

            oh yes, go see the nurse, a crackly ear is terrible. Guess it is evening there now, so a tomorrow thing. Your spray is all finished that you had last time?

            And (eeeps two ands in one comment) I know it is what people say, but all we have are words of encouragement for you. I would love to pull out a magic wand and mumble a spell and have everything all better. (where is Hermione when you need her ;-))

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