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AnaWhitney
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Default Feb 03, 2024 at 05:55 PM
  #1
Can we talk dissociation pretty please?
I will spare you the life story but I am currently freaking out due to my usual fears of being a big liar / faker and I really really need the validation I will possibly get from you guys in order to be able to engage in therapy

So what does dissociation feel like to you in session? Do you
1) completely check out and go blank, like you forgot your body is still there and that your T can still see it because you got so uncomfortable that your mind left and you stay like that until your T tells you that youíre Ďgoneí ?
Or
2) Can you talk and act sort of normally but you are extremely spacey and not really taking anything in? Kind of hearing things are being said but not processing it at all and having to ask for things to be repeated ?

My T calls what she is observing when 1) happens, dissociation (but I have my doubts) and has said that 2) is my brain protecting me (without calling it dissociation)

Please share if you experience anything similar to either or if you experience it differently. Thank you so much ❤️
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Default Feb 03, 2024 at 07:10 PM
  #2
Hi Ana,

I commend you for making this post.
The second option you describe resonates with me, even though my therapist hasn't labelled it.
It's a kind of survival mode, I think...that might be related to the freeze response.

Hope that helps, and thank you.
You really helped me.

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Default Feb 03, 2024 at 07:45 PM
  #3
For me it's like #2. I also get nauseous. That's usually my first sign. I also look down and can't make eye contact. And I usually stop talking. I can hear her talking but it's like she's far away from me. And I can respond. The worst I've had it (not in therapy), I couldn't do or say anything. I was completely aware of everything, but I was literally frozen.

And yes, L labels it as dissociation. She says there are stages and can be different for different people.

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Default Feb 04, 2024 at 03:32 AM
  #4
For me it was smiling and making light of something profound I was talking about that I'd been through..
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Default Feb 04, 2024 at 05:43 AM
  #5
Depends on the type of dissociation. Depersonalization feels like Iím disconnected from myself and nothing is really coming in/out. I might talk but itís just ďfrom the neck upĒ there is no presence of emotions. I walk out wondering what we even talked about.

I also experience hypnotizability and then I donít talk or listen and itís a total waste of time unless my y successfully grounds me out of that state.

If Iíve switched usually in therapy my hyperthymic part comes out and she thinks Iím manic when really itís just her temperament. Sometimes the part that holds the shame comes out and thereís a lot of crying and ďitís not your faultĒs. It doesnít get through.

Weíre doing DBT for half the session to reduce dissociation and trying to learn about the system with hopes that weíll be less shattered the other half of the session now. Made a lot of progress since getting an accurate dx.

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Default Feb 04, 2024 at 12:12 PM
  #6
It depends. It can feel like not hearing properly, although I understand all the words. If I have my eyes open, sometimes I don't recognize parts of my own body or surroundings. I might also see my T differently. Other times itt's more that I can't concentrate, can't focus on any one particular thing. Usually my voice gets more "flat". When I have my eyes closed, sometimes it feels like falling into a neverending hole. I feel detached from my emotions and surroundings, but I can follow instructions usually, like sitting upright, opening my eyes...
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Default Feb 05, 2024 at 08:46 AM
  #7
Thank you for the replies and for sharing your experiences.
Yeah thatís what I was afraid of. Everything that can be read online makes it sound like 2. So what the heck is happening when I experience 1Ö.
T has been asking questions about it and it makes me panic that itís not relatable to anyone
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Default Feb 07, 2024 at 06:57 AM
  #8
Hi Ana,

I'm sorry you feel anxious when your T asks questions about your experience.
I have a sense that she's just trying to understand what you're experiencing more, because she's not in your body.

It seems to me that 'depersonalisation' might capture what you're experiencing better, if you don't feel 'real' when it is happening.

Our providers ask questions to understand mostly, rather than to cause distress.

I hope you can figure this out in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

Take care,

Lost

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'You have all the grace you need for today, and today is all that matters.' - Steve Austin
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Default Feb 07, 2024 at 03:30 PM
  #9
Thank you, Lost! Yes itís such a me thing to panic and think that providers think Iím lying if they ask a question. I will have to work on this
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Default Feb 08, 2024 at 06:15 PM
  #10
It's like going into freeze mode. Can't speak, can't move. Barely aware of my surroundings or of being spoken to. On returning to the present, I don't remember anything that takes place during those episodes.
It's a scary situation to be in, but you only realise it afterwards because of how vulnerable you are when it's happening.

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Default Feb 11, 2024 at 09:41 PM
  #11
I have DID . So I am dissociated most of the time. Thankfully I have a therapist who specializes in DID so its no big deal.
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Default Feb 17, 2024 at 10:48 AM
  #12
I don't even know what I "have" (cPTSD w/dissociative amnesia? DID? BPD? been dx'd with all at some point or another and I'm seeing someone new soon so we'll see) but I feel like it's important to make sure your therapist can recognize your dissociation symptoms. It might be useful for him or her to write down a summary of the session for you (that's what I'm going to ask when I restart therapy because treatment is a necessary trigger for me).

But yesterday for example I looked at the clock and it was 8:30PM and we were talking about world languages, and then all of a sudden I was confused and they were discussing God and Jesus and it was 9:20ish.

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