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chrisdh79 OP t1_ixquozy wrote

From the article: “Dissociating” has become an internet buzzword, but what does it mean and how common is it really? A study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research suggests that this mental disconnect may be very common among people with depressive symptoms.

Dissociation is a word used to describe a mental detachment or separation. It is a popular word on social media now, and it can be used to describe normal forgetfulness, daydreaming, or absent-mindedness. It also has a pathological definition, which can include amnesia, hearing voices, flashbacks, derealization, depersonalization, identity fragmentation and more.

These symptoms can be associated with experiencing trauma or significant stress. Depression, which many people suffer from and can be very difficult to treat, can encompass these pathological dissociative symptoms as well. This study sought to explore the relationships between dissociative symptoms, depression, trauma, and other potential mediating factors.

Hong Wang Fung and colleagues utilized 410 adult participants with self-reported clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms. Participants were recruited online and completed their survey on the web. Measures included questionnaires regarding sociodemographic information, depression symptoms, dissociative symptoms, trauma experiences, interpersonal stress, family support, and perceived benefits of psychiatric medication.


hhunkk t1_ixreavc wrote

Same thing happens with the word anxiety, people confuse impatience, being nervous and such with it. Anxiety is so much worse, it can make you feel things you can not explain.


polaarbear t1_ixriwgv wrote

As an anxious person I always hear Morpheus explaining to Neo why his teeth are bleeding in the real world after he falls off the roof in the Matrix.

"The mind makes it real."

Anxiety can make you hear sounds, feel pain, feel itchy, all sorts of symptoms for ailments and problems that don't exist.


KnightRider1987 t1_ixstz1s wrote

What’s super fun is when you have an anxiety attack with all the clinical signs - heart thundering, dizzy, weird skin sensations, feel like your suffocating - all without being the tiniest bit emotionally bothered by something on a conscious level. During the peak of my life long an anxiety disorder in grad school this would happen because of the constant high level of stress and exhaustion I was experiencing. So it would feel like an average Tuesday except for the part where I felt like I was spinning straight off the face of the world.


AnOnlineHandle t1_ixtgr1d wrote

I could barely breath for a few weeks, got xrays and an asthma sprayer and everything, woke up breathless and panicking.

Then it went away when I finished a big work project, and it became clear that it had all been caused by anxiety. It's wild and not to be underestimated. Every few years I get some random pain which tends to go away after something stressful is finally finished. Some subconscious part of my brain just decides to over-fire and there's not much I can do about it except not stress about the stress response and make it worse. The worst thing is that it makes it harder to finish what is currently causing it.


scarsinsideme t1_ixtgwn2 wrote

I've been going through exactly that! It took me a while to figure out it was coming from anxiety because I didn't feel anxious


Sketch13 t1_ixrunpg wrote

I have health anxiety and it will literally manifest symptoms that testing shows as nothing. It's fucked. Stress and anxiety can cause all sorts of whack mental and physical changes.


JohnnyMojo t1_ixs9564 wrote

Modern testing also fails to properly catch and diagnose a lot of things too. Anxiety and high stress hormones usually go hand in hand and over time, high stress hormones usually promote the development of disease and illness.


Gloriathewitch t1_ixspbka wrote

Also they degrade the immune system as well as a result of that.

a lot of people assume that means they will get the flu more often, but what it actually means is if you're predisposed to something like crohns or lupus, it might activate. Truly terrifying stuff.

Stress is a killer Is a true and real quote


carbonclasssix t1_ixt6m9s wrote

I'm so terrified stress is going to do me in eventually that I'm starting to take meditation really seriously. Even 15 minutes is magical and I haven't found any other way to destress besides exercise. It blows my mind medicine doesn't have more to say about that, my doctor is pretty much like "don't do the stressful things" I'm like ok yeah I'll just quit my job and live off the inheritance I don't have.


manderrx t1_ixthwor wrote

I can tell I'm getting too stressed out when my eczema flares. Same happens with my mom's lupus.

It for sure is, never mind if someone has cardiovascular issues.


TacoTornadoes t1_ixstpqe wrote

I have anxiety and depression and I recently started having issues with vertigo, tremors, and nerve damage. I'm wondering if that could be the case with me. Haven't had much testing done, thanks VA, to know much yet.


skyHawk3613 t1_ixt6zqn wrote

What kind of symptoms will manifest with your health anxiety?


manderrx t1_ixthr94 wrote

I do as well, and it seriously is. Furthermore, the non-stop self-monitoring for any little thing that could possibly be major illness. Mine is based upon my actual pre-existing/chronic conditions, and it always feels like I'm on alert for something to go wrong.

Probably the worst part of anxiety is that always feeling "on" part of it.


Booomerz t1_ixt0x9i wrote

If a person believes a situation to be real it will be real in its consequences. Think of hysterical pregnancy. That’s a Durkheim quote I think…


youreuglyasfu t1_ixutlv5 wrote

Yup. I’m 24 and have already had a colonoscopy and endoscopy because my anxiety has such convincing physical symptoms. They’ve found nothing of concern in both cases, but the feeling is still there. Messed up!


Hmz_786 t1_ixs9edb wrote

Phobias of bugs is a big one


TargetSignificant856 t1_ixrq0jh wrote

The multiverse affects your consciousness in this reality.


Darkrush85 t1_ixrtfme wrote

Reality is not a marvel film


[deleted] t1_ixrxrhp wrote



Darkrush85 t1_ixs90sr wrote

There is a lack of evidence of other universes in our reality for one, and two I find it funny you assume I’m religious and the most strawman version of a religious person at that, when the reality is we still have so little understand of our universe, we have made great strides, but to claim evidence of a multiverse is as “real” as evidence of a God because that would require evidence and a complete change in how we perceive time, space and of reality itself.


[deleted] t1_ixsd1jv wrote



BrandoCalrissian1995 t1_ixsln7h wrote

Probably cuz you're in a r/science where it's supposed to be serious discussion and not jokes. And good job falling back on the old "i was just joking bro" excuse. Never fails.


JuniperusRain t1_ixrj4hc wrote

The word anxiety existed long before the clinical concept of an anxiety disorder and it did originally just mean nervousness or a troubled mind, so that casual usage is totally valid.

The first time dissociation was used to refer to a mental state was in the 19th century and it was considered a kind of hysteria. Casual, nonclinical use of the term is very recent.


MultiGeometry t1_ixt6m9b wrote

“It’s not that big a deal/no need to worry”

Yeah. I know. But the anxiety has different plans and I can’t stop it. It’s not logical. It’s not grounded in reality. And that’s why it’s so scary. I agree, most people don’t truly understand what is meant when talking about anxiety.


NoodlerFrom20XX t1_ixtfurz wrote

I’d like to add “oh that was so ADD of me” from neurotypicals who think that having a short attention span or being forgetful means “see I have problems too so your diagnosed disorder that has made your life hell means nothing to me”


O118999881999II97253 t1_ixtha27 wrote

I love your profile icon though


hhunkk t1_ixuhp70 wrote

Ty, made it my self in paint years ago while we were bored in discord with my friends


[deleted] t1_ixs10mr wrote



FantasyThrowaway321 t1_ixt9yr7 wrote

Well said, I’ve been clinically/severely depressed what now appears to be my entire life with ~15 of therapy, many medications, plenty of other attempts/ideas, and even today with my therapist I had a new ‘breakthrough’ or moment or tendril or whatever. It doesn’t stop, and you never know what another is wrestling with even during their greatest perceived successes. ‘It’s complicated’, well said


Catinthemirror t1_ixuk8yx wrote

With the usual caveat of a grain of salt to accompany advice from an internet stranger, have you been tested for the MTHFR genetic issue with methylation of folates? It can result in drug-resistant depression but is in itself treatable with supplements. I only suggest it because "lifelong" depression is a flag; my son and I both have it. Feel free to totally ignore this info.


ZippytheKlown t1_iy3x02s wrote

Yup! I have this and I was prescribed Spravato (esketamine) for major depressive disorder


twelveski t1_ixun323 wrote

What is the best way to test for that?


hepakrese t1_ixyw0i7 wrote

Ask your therapist/doctor about genetic testing to help identify medications or therapies that may be more or less likely to be helpful for you and your issue. The tests may help shed light on how your body processes chemicals in each medication. Some are metabolized quickly or slowly, others not well at all, which affects how well you respond to the medication and at dosages. There are variations for other conditions and medication types.

I've had severe depression many times in my life and tried upward of 20 medications with intolerable side effects. The genetic testing corroborated what I knew: most don't affect me like intended, so just don't. Don't bother prescribing ::gestures broadly:: those ones.

It doesn't tell you what will cure you, but it may help inform decisionmaking during conversations with your care team.


zeroniusrex t1_ixtny0v wrote

Andrew Solomon said in a TED talk that the opposite of depression isn't happiness, but vitality. That stuck with me for how true it feels to me.


[deleted] t1_ixty3wt wrote



indiefatiguable t1_ixurzx1 wrote

I think depression and resilience go hand in hand more than being opposites. It takes an enormous amount of resilience to keep going through the motions of life when everything seems pointless and impossible.


raginghappy t1_ixxpr4w wrote

>It takes an enormous amount of resilience to keep going through the motions of life when everything seems pointless and impossible.

Or fake ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


AceOfShades_ t1_ixt6t24 wrote

I’ve heard a common part of depression being like the default mode network is stuck on, so you’re forced to always be thinking about yourself.

It can make you lose weight, gain weight, sleep too much, sleep too little, it does all sorts of weird stuff to your brain.


Hmz_786 t1_ixs9iuq wrote

Wow, that's a really good way to put it


Head-like-a-carp t1_ixrtsm5 wrote

I read the article and perhaps it is for people with greater knowledge of the terminology . Mentioning that dissociation is a word used to describe mental detachment or separation which covers everything from normal forgetfulness to identity fragmentation does not bring any clarity to me


sprucenoose t1_ixt88aa wrote

Yeah it sounds more like they are going with the ambiguous social media definition rather than anything meaningful for a clinical diagnosis.


RWBreddit t1_ixuj1kb wrote

Dissociative drug experience really brings clarity to what that term means in a clinical description. “Out of body experience” is a phrase often used to describe it. Surreal feeling and as if you’re just observing yourself. Similar to how a lucid dream experience is; reality is fractal and seems non-linear. You know in a sense it’s not normal and you can’t really control it. You are along for the ride.

If you’ve purposefully taken chemicals to induce this feeling then you’re more likely to be fortunate enough to enjoy the “trip” without terrifying anxiety and sometimes panic. But if you find yourself having these dissociative experiences organically, with no explanation as to why, you have a problem on your hands. A one-off episode is just life perhaps but repeated episodes likely means you have some moderate to severe mental health disorder(s).


RWBreddit t1_ixujzh5 wrote

Research “ego death” for more insight. It can be quite terrifying and “ego” is another term used socially as a kind if watered-down “full of one’s self”. That is just part of the definition. It is the experience of yourself in your reality. And when that fabric of your reality experience starts to unravel it is intense. A lot of people say you are never the same person again after ego death. Similar, just altered in a way. That is somewhat embraced in drug culture though.


cote112 t1_ixr8oyi wrote

I had a night of derealization in Amsterdam. Didn't know that's what it was until I heard it described on a podcast decades later.


sneckste t1_ixtctxh wrote

I read a books about techniques to handle dissociative states - probably the most helpful book I’ve read in the past 15 years. It’s called Coping with Trauma Related Association. Very practical tips that never came up in 6 years if therapy.


mfza t1_ixti8av wrote

To me it sounds like schizoid is essentially dissociation delux


demar_desol t1_ixs08y3 wrote

At the height of my depression, my dissociation was so intense that it was actually the more severe symptom of the two issues. I didn’t talk, I wasn’t processing any sensory information for hours at a time. It was like I was in a coma. Contrary to common belief, Xanax is not just used for panic. My doc prescribed it three times a day to get me into/started at an IOP. Xanax saved my life, allowing me to actually wake up because my threat level was decreased by the medication, making my brain/body feel safe enough to basically come back online in a safer scenario. I was disappearing for years. I was gone at that point, my amazing doctor make an amazing and seemingly counterintuitive call that really changed the course of my life and got me feeling safe enough to check back in with the world around me.

Dissociation is like living in a fog for all of your senses. It’s a long term issue people struggle with, being that it’s a limbic nervous system response to danger (perceived or real). Just like fight, flight, freeze, fawn- but it can sort of lock you in that state. Just like panic disorder or panic attacks. It’s not just feeling groggy or sleepy or daydreaming. you get stuck in (or often cycle in and out of) your own body. It’s terrifying, but in depression, it really does the job of self preservation to stop the pain. It’s the body trying to help you. It’s responding to a threat. Goes hand in hand with PTSD and cortisol production. So wild. Very happy I don’t struggle with it as much anymore, but it still comes back sometimes when I hit overload.

Read the body keeps the score if you’re interested in learning more about trauma - it’s a great book to get started on if you are dealing with complex trauma and mental health issues of any capacity.


theblacklabradork t1_ixsu51o wrote

I had severe dissociation that started after having a 10mg edible at the end of August (live in a state where recreational THC is legal). That, coupled with my depression (must have been severe) kept me in this state for almost a month. I felt like I was never going to be "myself" again. I actually wanted to be my depressed/'normal' self I was so desperate. I had panic attacks at the idea that this was my new normal, which was so weird because I don't suffer from generalized anxiety. It felt like I was watching myself do things, have conversations, and have a hypersensitive taste/smell where things disgusted me and I had no appetite. Very terrifying 0/10 would not recommend.

Anecdotally as well, I was put on a high dose course of steroids a few years ago for an injury and wasn't weaned... this messed with my cortisol and gave me horrendous panic attacks for the first time in my life. Mid 20s was the first time I experienced anxiety/anxiety attacks. Holy hell that's rough. I can manage my depression for the most part, but anxiety to me is a whole 'nother level.


TerpenesByMS t1_ixsxnnb wrote

Yes, THC isn't for everybody that is for sure - even though CBD helps to hold back the psychosis-like bits. THC seems to act like an amplifier for the subconscious, so if there is something under the surface it comes roaring out. Especially with edibles, where it lasts for a long time. I'm sorry to hear it affected you like that. Likewise for steroids (probably prednisone), there is a direct interference with cortisol there.

How are you with exercise and/or meditation?


theblacklabradork t1_ixsz6zo wrote

Thank you - I realize now that I'm currently not in a good headspace to use mind-altering substances. I may try CBD, but am even hesitant right now to try that.

Consistent exercise actually helped tremendously. About a week after I started a routine, my dissociation started to lift. I remember the last thing to ease back to normal was the hyperosmia. I honestly thought I had a brain tumor, it was so troubling and I was terrified that I was 'stuck' in this third-world view of my life forever.

I can't say I've truly tried meditation aside from guided sleep meditations from time to time - but would absolutely be willing to try them.

Yes, the steroids were prednisone (I should have mentioned)


DisastrousClothes t1_ixtakt0 wrote

How did you get past this/what helped?


theblacklabradork t1_ixtficn wrote

I scoured the internet looking for the answer to your question. The consensus was "it happens, bro - chill out! it'll be over soon..." yet day in day out it dragged on. I really thought at one point it might be a good idea to institutionalize myself but after talking with my partner, she reassured me that I was going to be okay.

I came across a comment on reddit about someone who experienced something similar to me after an edible, and it took them 11 days to get over the dissociation. This gave me hope.

For days 1-5 I was in denial it was happening on, coincidentally on vacation so I thought I was being simply lighthearted and 'care-free'. I actually drove with my mom two hours out of state and cannot remember a single moment of that drive nor the way back. It was like my brain was on autopilot and thankfully nothing happened to us. In hindsight I should have pushed more for her to drive but she insisted. Dangerous and stupid, imo. I would be at the table having a lighthearted conversation with my parents, laughing at their dumb jokes and just being... happy? But in a definitely-not-myself way. My parents noticed but assumed I was in simply a good mood from being on vacation... Maybe they even thought I was using edibles during that time because of how silly I found things. I felt like the words I was saying weren't mine - I would be thinking one thing and responding the opposite. Same with my body's movements. One minute sitting down at the table, the next working on something in the yard without a care in the world - even (relatively) dangerous stuff like fixing a riding mower without really knowing what my actions were. I'm a mechanically inclined person, but I absolutely was not of sound mind when making the repairs I did and working on things I did. I really could have put myself and my dad in danger with my carelessness during that time period.

Days 6-9 panic day in and out. Worried that i was going crazy, not being sure of what was real or not. Finally realizing something deeply wrong was happening and I was not getting better. Started panic researching online for cures. Nothing seemed to help and I was getting desperate. My dad (back at home) was asking me to help him with the car and wanted to jack up his car but I flat out told him i was NOT comfortable doing that because it was dangerous and I didn't think I was in my right mind... he seemed to understand what I was hinting at and backed off. Panic attacks while walking the dog, didn't want to drive anywhere (took time off work), and felt nauseous at smells of foods I normally love. I really thought at this point it was a brain tumor. I was agitated more than usual, emotional and did a ton of panic crying at random things. My heart would race from fleeting thoughts, even walking the dog. It was like things were becoming aversions but I could at least recognize it.

Days 9-23 I still had mostly time where I wasn't sure if I was really doing things. Pain still seemed not real. I wasn't sure if I brushed my cheek from a rogue hair or scratched my face raw - it's as if touching my face at all never happened and I was unsure. I would ask my partner if I truly did things or if I imagined them. I had to be careful with what I did and take things one at a time.

Day 24 the dissociation started to lessen. By ~day 28 it got substantially better yet I was still sensitive to smells/taste.

Sorry for the long reply, but I'm hoping someone can find this if they ever find themselves in my position. It was truly terrifying feeling like I was trapped in some sort of other dimension, watching my body do and say things that I had little cognitive control of. It was scary, felt dangerous, and made me extremely cautious moving forward with mind-altering substances. I am not a drinker, don't take any drugs aside from THC (which I have since stopped) and was a light user (one a month or so) at relatively low doses with a low tolerance.

What helped me:

  1. exercise. physical activity that I could 'just do' without focusing too much on (walking on the treadmill), lifting light weights without risk of hurting myself, recumbent bicycle, etc

  2. staying hydrated. I drank probably 96 ounces+ of water a day (three of my hydroflasks) to make sure I was well hydrated at all times. I did this religiously

  3. using more fresh ground black pepper on all my food - some people claim that the terpenes can help with paranoia (anecdotal, but again I was desperate)

  4. browsing the internet to try and get my mind to focus on things other than panic (thanks, Reddit)

  5. letting myself feel the emotions I was feeling without fighting them (panic attacks) but also letting myself out loud say "this is temporary, this will pass"

  6. being able to take time off work/responsibilities (honestly I was LUCKY with this happening when it did)

  7. being completely honest with my partner about what was going on/telling my folks that I was dealing with panic attacks. My partner is my rock and has been for ten years - she's the best. My parents are old-school Eastern european immigrants that don't believe in mental health, so the fact that they were *somewhat* understanding, was a miracle. I didn't disclose everything to them, but they understood that I was having a rough time, so they gave me space when I needed it

  8. telling myself it would pass, eventually - and taking deep, calm breaths. I don't meditate per se, but this helped ground me a bit

Honestly this was an awful experience. In hindsight, I should have asked my partner to get me some CBD to try and counteract the effects, but you live and learn. It was a relatively recent time in my life that I am not interested in using edibles for now, but still have nothing against them nor people who can use them. Hope this helps anyone out there.

YOU WILL BE OKAY! I promise!!!


cthuluwamp t1_ixt66r6 wrote

reading your comment I just realized I was starting to disassociate. My first sign is that my hands feel reeeally far away, like i literally couldn't tell you if they were on the desk in front of me or literally an infinite distance away, even looking at them with my eyes where I can see they are right there, I can almost "choose" whether to believe that or not.

It makes me feel like we are in an illusion universe, like I'm plugged into some matrix computer somewhere, my brain could be on one side, my remote controlled hands on the other and I am seeing through the veil by letting my mind go.

If I let myself keep going my day and night would disappear and I'd find myself sitting here in the same spot sometime tomorrow.

This always happens when I am alone.

Weirdest thing is I can totally navigate society, yet I realize just how insane what I just wrote sounds.


Birkeland1992 t1_ixtni2g wrote

Dude I've been doing that all the time lately, where your hands/arms feel far away and everything starts to feel like an illusion. I literally didn't know other people experienced that stuff too. So, is this caused by depression?


cthuluwamp t1_ixwti0m wrote

I have so many problems that I couldn't begin to help you diagnose. Mine's kind of a trauma response which presents as depression. The symptom is depression, the protective technique is disassociation.


Batmansbutthole t1_ixtemel wrote

Man I’ve been struggling with this feeling lately and couldn’t quite pin down what I was feeling… Or not feeling. I got into a car accident where I broke my back, nose and collarbone. Had a spinal fusion and full body cast. Cancer on top of that. Definitely going to make a therapy appointment so thanks for writing this. Seems so obvious after reading your words, but the mental fog that comes with PTSD can make things so murky.


snake-eyed t1_ixth0j5 wrote

Thanks for your comment. I wonder if my dad might have this. He has some some pretty serious health issues, but five years ago (when he retired) it seems like he just sat down and never got back up. I wonder if this might have something to do with it. I hope you’re doing better now!


DfenselessOldLady t1_ixrlmh1 wrote

It’s a natural defense by your brain to minimize stress during depression and detach from traumatic memory


carlitospig t1_ixriea6 wrote

I once disassociated while driving. It was weird and kinda unsafe, if I’m honest.


amann93 t1_ixromtc wrote

Done this before. It’s like waking up behind the wheel. You start driving, come to in a new place and wonder how you got there. Spooky stuff honestly


Zeebuss t1_ixsckrg wrote

That Isn't dissociation, it's a very normal part of how tedious repetitive actions get wiped from memory.


Gloriathewitch t1_ixspwld wrote

Dissociation can manifest that way too though, the mind kinda says "we don't need this, this is boring and or useless" and erases it.

A lot of people with dissociative disorders also have dissociative amnesia which is a real thing.

Particularly amnesia around trauma or identity in the case of DID


iaintevenmad884 t1_ixtb8kg wrote

I think they’re thinking that the car thing can be classified as dissociation, and it can be a sign of depression and other disorders that cause dissociation, but that specific thing in the car also happens to otherwise mentally well people who are just tired and taking a regular route home. Of course, they presented it poorly


carlitospig t1_ixrpxeg wrote

Think of that feeling + your eyes are just a TV screen + you can’t feel your body.



Anticode t1_ixsxzkm wrote

> your eyes are just a TV screen

Does anyone else feel like this more or less constantly? In the past I've somewhat jokingly described myself as "permanently disassociated" due to the persistent sensation that I'm a mind in a meatsuit. It's not a "weird feeling", it's more like an unshakeable fact of the matter, even intrinsic - and in a very real sense, that is the case (for everyone).

But... There's no sensation of discomfort or dysphoria. I don't feel like there's anything wrong with feeling this way, nor do I have difficulties functioning or interacting with other people. In fact, I'm often told that I'm quite charming and grounded.

The way I've described it in the past is that my conscious 'manual override' switch is stuck pressed down, with absolute awareness of myself and my body being a constant. I am always looking out from behind my eyes and what the body/brain does subconsciously implicitly feels like somebody else's decision.

That is generally known as the neurological reality, with the consciousness (us) merely "taking credit" for everything else that happens, even when we had nothing to do with it or are rationalizing a decision after "we" have made it. Experiments reinforce this truth but it's something I've always felt to be true, even when nobody else wholly shared my experiences.

Does this resonate with anybody?


AThilgers t1_ixt8brv wrote

100% resonates with me.

I had some sort of alcohol induced psychosis I believe, and a lot of what you’re saying is what I experienced. And that was almost 10 years ago. I still have lingering effects from that.


cthuluwamp t1_ixt6smr wrote

I'm just a little guy in my head really. That's where "I" reside. The meat puppet is just what I use to interact with the illusion around me. Sometimes you can "fall back" all the way inside. try not to fall too far, because time doesn't exist there and you'll wake up much older when you choose to revisit the illusion.

I'm not spiritual by any means, but I think yoda said it best "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."


Ngur0032 t1_ixto49t wrote

> I am always looking out from behind my eyes and what the body/brain does subconsciously implicitly feels like somebody else's decision.

this accurately describes the feeling for me so well, it’s scary

i’ve only recently noticed this after going through depression for like a year due to triggering my repressed traumatic memories

it’s like i’m inside a vessel (body) and i feel like i’m just watching myself do things

so weird! i don’t know if this has always been going on and i’ve just only noticed recently

wish i could explore this future myself


deliriousgoomba t1_ixtbehx wrote

I often feel like I've been cursed with a physical form. I just don't feel like a person anymore.


Gloriathewitch t1_ixspot2 wrote

It's scary but I believe your motor functions and muscle memory (ie how to drive) still functions in a safe way, unlike when you are drunk, but time will just seem like it passed in an instant.

It's not that you didn't drive or couldn't, you just kinda auto piloted, but if you say had to suddenly brake or swerve you'd be back in reality quick as lightning.

At least that's my experience with it having had multiple dissociative disorders for 20 years.

You could get through a whole work day just fine, people won't see you as animated or social, though.


theblacklabradork t1_ixsulcs wrote

YES! I drove out of state with my mom before I recognized that I was dissociating and honestly it scared the hell out of me after - like, I have no idea what happened on the drive but we made it safely. I tried asking my mom to drive but she didn't believe me when I tried explaining what I was feeling.

"oh, you're just tired!" -__-


carlitospig t1_ixv301d wrote

I had to actively convince my body to just move my pinky, then my toes, etc. All while driving 40mph knowing that none of my muscles would allow me to use the brake should something impede my path. There was a hard disconnect between ‘me’ and my body - almost like I meditated into being a paraplegic. It was nutty.

Autopilot is wholly different. Autopilot is a ‘oh hey, we are there!’ of amnesia. I 100% drove, I just don’t remember the miles.


muffinmamamojo t1_ixstkqv wrote

I’ve done this before too when I was in the height of my postpartum depression. I didn’t even realize that I had passed my exit on the highway until I was two exits passed mine. I tried to tell my father, who used to be a doctor, about it because it was terrifying and I was concerned; he told me that I shouldn’t tell anyone that that had happened. Because,to him, you’re batshit crazy if you do that.

Funny how he ended up causing me the most trauma that only led me to disassociate MORE. I can barely get through a therapy session because I will disappear mentally. It’s sad.


Rina_B t1_ixtaw3q wrote

I worked at an amusement park as a ride operator for 3 years. I was eventually transferred to the food department because I had a disassociation episode while at work. No one had any idea what was happening. The tested my blood sugar, took my pulse and temperature, and finally I was sent away in an ambulance. Took cat scan, blood test, and couldn’t find anything. Decided it was anxiety and sent me on home.

The company decided it was unsafe for me to safely operate ride vehicles, and transferred me to a less dangerous department.


reisenbime t1_ixsnjn0 wrote

I did this so hard once I felt fear for the first time in years, as if I was going to faint and crash any time. Had to turn on full blast cold air and stop every kilometer or so. Probably the worst thing I have ever felt.


[deleted] t1_ixqvsgf wrote



reisenbime t1_ixsnc6l wrote

I'm not even here half of the time.


DanYHKim t1_ixsd4dc wrote

How else are we supposed to get anything done?

I used to go to counseling while I was working. I'd take an hour off and go, and then come back. I couldn't really 'get into it' during the sessions, some I needed to be functional right after. I also couldn't really let issues that we dealt with during session hang over me during work, so I had to be distanced from my feelings.

It made progress difficult, but a man's gotta eat you know?


sagarp t1_ixtu0ji wrote

A good therapist will set aside time at the end of your session to return you back to the world safely. Calming exercises and “packaging up” the feelings until you can safely process again later. Look for a trauma based therapist.


n3w4cc01_1nt t1_ixs4xba wrote

also depressed groups can suffer from folie a deux or shared delusions (qanon for example) which feed into each others bad behavior.


VoidsIncision t1_ixsgjvm wrote

I have moderate recurrent major depression as well as OCD (not specified). Both increase dissociation, and chronic / severe PTSD dissociative subtype with dissociation ranging from the low end of thought absorption and zone outs, the moderate end of depersonalization and derealization emotional numbing and detachment, and the severe end of fragmented self states / identity fragmentation (doesn’t rise to full on “system” of personalities but feels like being a different person or being possessed for a lack of a better word)


ledow t1_ixrm0jh wrote

I'd comment on this but... meh... who cares...


queensnuggles t1_ixscc1j wrote

All I do is stare out windows and think


linderlady t1_ixsfjx1 wrote

All I do is smoke, and try not to think. I feel like I have Alzheimer's. I thought it was post Covid brain fog, then I thought it was CPTSD, now I'm wondering if it's depression all along. I have memory loss, aphasia, fatigue, and extreme apathy to the point of pre- agoraphobia. I can't remember my childhood, or exactly how I met my S.O. You are not alone.


Rinas-the-name t1_ixsq634 wrote

That really could be a type of brain fog (I have multiple brain fog causing… things - word is gone). I just read that it is an inflammatory response that gets stuck “on”, and it prevents us from accessing memories, but they are still there. I hope so. I feel like my brain just drops stuff all the time, and I can’t remember if I did something today or yesterday or did I just think about doing it. Every time I need a specific word I can’t remember it, I know I know it, I just can’t make it come to me. Drives me crazy. It feels like slow insanity, I think a lot, but not useful stuff.
Like a hamster on a wheel, going nowhere.


Kaelaface t1_ixswn79 wrote

Have you had any luck running down a cause? I e wondered if I have early onset dementia because of what you just described.


allegate t1_ixtbojc wrote

I did, and had the man woman television test that TFG was so proud of. Said everything but for my short term memory was fine, but that the STM was effed. That was only a little while ago though so we haven’t moved to treatment options. ADHD was ruled out, as was autism. Trying sleep apnea next as a maybe.


queensnuggles t1_ixucku6 wrote

There are several threads related to CPTSD and trauma responses fight/flight/freeze/fawn. I find them all very helpful. I believe trauma is the cause of our issues. Adverse childhood experiences, acute shock traumas, abuse, neglect, benign neglect, chronic stress…etc.

Books like “no bad parts” Richard Schwartz, “the body keeps the score” Bessel Van Der Kolk, “healing developmental trauma” Lawrence Heller, and another book by Peter Walker I can’t remember. All of these authors know what’s up. This is the future of mental health.


Rinas-the-name t1_ixwamhi wrote

Sorry I’m slow. I have had Fibromyalgia and ME (formerly chronic fatigue syndrome) for my entire adult life. I have an intractable migraine, but that is now 5 years old (migraine causes similar brain problems).

I caught Covid for the first time in June. So the worst of it seems to be post viral syndrome for me, Covid must have really pissed of my immune system.

Scientists are actively studying brain fog now that so many people have it. That means lots of money for research, and a higher chance for treatment. I don’t know how we are supposed to survive until then though. If you’ve had Covid it’s more likely that you just have brain fog, which should be far more treatable.


Kaelaface t1_ixx32s5 wrote

Oh that all sounds terrible. I’m really sorry you’re going through all of that. I haven’t had COVID to my knowledge. I hope that the new focus brings some breakthroughs for you.


Rinas-the-name t1_ixy6oqw wrote

Post viral syndromes have existed forever, some of us just have paranoid immune systems. Just about any virus could cause it, or exacerbate it. Things like RSV, the flu, and mono in particular. Perhaps chicken pox for those of us who were pre-vaccine kids. I caught some virus or another a couple times per school year, who knows which one broke the camel’s back.

If we actually had to survive in the wild then the tendency to develop post viral syndromes would have been wiped out quick.
Idiocracy may actually be infectious.


whachucallme t1_ixtd2eb wrote

Word for word, you took them out of head and placed them here. You are not alone. How can we continue to live this way?


linderlady t1_ixunice wrote

In the words of Jerry- "We will survive, we will get by..."


The-Fanta-Menace t1_ixunn90 wrote

I relate to this so much, i thought I was just getting old. Maybe it’s just good ole depression, my worst friend ever.


linderlady t1_ixxltlh wrote

Hello darkness my old friend... seriously though, this time of year is the worst. Hang in there friends.


Middle_Wishbone_515 t1_ixrvgm2 wrote

hard not to move to a fugue state of mind after the shite storm of the past 5 years, i know change happens exponentially but jeez stop the spinning already!


cthuluwamp t1_ixt73e0 wrote

the funny thing for me is that it feels like the world is just starting to catch up in the past 5 years to where I have always been mentally "geeze it's so hard being stuck inside by yourself, not seeing anyone, social media becoming your life, and havuing a hard time having conversations when you do meet up again."


Possumsurprise t1_ixsdp78 wrote

I’ve always conceptualized dissociation (not in terms of identity as that’s obviously a more severe and post traumatic etiology) as simply parallel to anxiety or panic in my understanding and thus not really ever understood why depersonalization disorder is not more commonly diagnosed especially as concurrent to anxiety disorders or another affective disorder like depression here. Then again there aren’t even diagnostically separate parallel working concepts that handle irritability (unless you want to count the rather narrow relatively speaking IED) and apathy as separate from depression/anxiety or unipolar mania being restored as a diagnosis so I dunno why I would expect anything that makes sense from the current framework and way of defining psychopathological symptom domains.


-flameohotman- t1_ixtftim wrote

It's because the diagnostic guidelines of the DSM and ICD specifically require that for someone to be diagnosed with DPDR, the depersonalization and/or derealization must not caused by another psychiatric disorder, drugs, etc. If the experience of dissociation is comorbid with something else, then it's just a symptom of that other thing (e.g., depression or anxiety). It's probably pretty rare for someone to have a dissociative disorder with no underlying cause.


Possumsurprise t1_ixtnfe2 wrote

I mean, you can argue x causes y for a lot of comorbidities in psychiatry and you may not be wrong. I don't think it limits the utility of the diagnosis. I also have a hunch the poor awareness and understanding of dissociative disorders and dissociation itself really is probably a strong reason it seems like it is only existing as a comorbid type of psychopathology to others like depressive episodes. Someone suffering from chronic dissociation as the main and only substantial issue may just never present to psychiatric care due to the still somewhat vague nature of how dissociation is described and how recent of an entry the word is in casual use. People can piece together more what anxiety or depression are and are more likely to end up in treatment for them because its often routinely screened for, they're not recent entries into common use in the english language so people have more of a name to put to their feelings, and they've been extensively defined over and over due to their prominence.

On the flipside, something like dissociation is probably going unnamed in many suffering from it even to the point of having psychosocial impairment to some degree, and in other cases is probably, due to difficulty in naming and describing it especially amongst middle aged and elderly segments of the population for whom its a pretty foreign concept. I think more bipolar individuals would get a hunch regarding manic episodes if those were, similarly but less so, something the general public knew how to describe. If mania didn't commonly co-occur with depressive episodes as in BD then I would wager most people with some degree of mania would never even present to psychiatrists for diagnosis for this reason, and I think that may be the case with dissociative conditions.


bulbous_plant t1_ixul55t wrote

The DSM does a poor jump regarding DP/DR. It’s severely under diagnosed, and more often just labelled as an additional symptom of anxiety, which, in many ways it is. It’s often the source of anxiety for those with DP/DR, where the fear of the DP/DR experience (“I’m losing my mind”, “my whole life is the matrix”, “what if I’m dead” etc.) generates anxiety, pushing the brain even more into survival mode, leading to more DP/DR. In contrast, those who don’t perceive the experience as threatening tend to find a DP/DR experience diminished quickly. To me, this is the soul reason why 90% of the population will have one transient experience of DP and DR in their life, but only a small fraction develop the chronic type.


surkacirvive t1_ixsmkod wrote

Dissociation severity can happen across a spectrum, so a lot of the casual usage is still clinically accurate


sir_duckingtale t1_ixtfbln wrote


We use this stuff to survive!!

You wanna experience reality how it is?!!

Be my guest.


ColoringBookArtist t1_ixt8fv1 wrote

I can tell you that this symptom has helped my career. Others panic. I don't react fearfully, I just get it done.

Blessing and a curse. Easily. Meds don't help. I just do what I gotta do. Then I come home and drink, heavily, and do it all over again.

I earn good money tho, so that works for me.


mfza t1_ixtiirq wrote

Intrigued, what work is it


Trevorblackwell420 t1_ixtdx13 wrote

I lost my grandmother who I loved dearly a few months ago and I didn’t even cry. I’ve imagined her being at my future wedding and all sorts of things and spent countless hours horsing around with her at the farm my grandparents owned and after being depressed for the last two years or so my body couldn’t conjure up a single tear for her passing. It’s not that I didn’t care about her anymore. It just feels like in it’s current state, my brain doesn’t remember how to do emotions anymore. Part of me thinks it shut those systems off as a way of self preservation when I was at my lowest but idk. I’m kinda worried that I’ll be this way from now on and I’ll never get back to my normal self but at least I’m functional now. And while I’m a lot more numb these days, I’ve gained a lot of empathy I think and am able to imagine people’s suffering moreso when I was just a dumb kid. I just wish everyone could know how depressed people felt because it’s not even really a sadness in my experience, it’s just not being able to care really.


RunRevolutionary9019 t1_ixu025d wrote

I feel disassociated often but it seems more health related than emotional. I’m just out of it earlier in the day.


Several_Emphasis_434 t1_ixt5iqb wrote

I have Panic Disorder and Depression. What precedes a panic attack is depersonalization which just sucks.


Sonoel90 t1_ixtzsj1 wrote

In my worst years as a kid and teen, I used to sit in my room staring at the walls without end. I didn't even realise I did. It didn't get boring or anything. My mum used to laugh and make fun of it, which made me just more confused. Didn't all people do that? Why was it strange? I didn't feel bored after all, I just felt... nothing.


SkyScorchingMeteor t1_ixv5f6d wrote

>“Dissociating” has become an internet buzzword...

>... the sample was recruited online and was not a clinical sample. With self-report symptoms, it is difficult to say if all participants would reach diagnostic criteria for depression or dissociative symptoms. ...

Thank you so much, psypost, for being so transparent about the fact that this study is toilet paper.

Now if I can find some actual quality research on actual dissociation caused by actual psychological abuse by parents that would be just dandy.


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AaronfromKY t1_ixs67pm wrote

Anecdotally when I was at my worst feeling, I often would feel like I was inside my head looking out, disembodied from myself. Or have spells where I was just staring off into space existing only in my thoughts, unconnected to the real world.


hideousbeautifulface t1_ixszfsm wrote

I lost two days of time week before last when my depression was at its peak. I didnt even realize it until monday when I was at work and kept looking on my calendar for a meeting I had sworn had occurred the thursday prior. Nope. Monday. I just completely lost tuesday and wednesday laying in bed all day. I wasnt even watching tv or doing something just laying in bed awake.


Zeitgeber907 t1_ixukncc wrote

To the surprise of exactly zero people with depression.


Head-like-a-carp t1_ixw7v8e wrote

I read Michael Collins change your mind not too long ago. In a lot of these psychedelic trips the goal is to experience an ego death according to my understanding of the book. It is letting go of that sense of self that gives us greater freedom. I've certainly taken those substances before but never at a level with the to achieve the goal of ego death. But I intend to


Potatonized t1_ixt8iof wrote

Does having the mentality of "people suck, and so am i" considered dissociative symptoms?


Venomous8409 t1_ixubw8m wrote

People went through alot more in the past and somehow don't have these problems, we are making weaker people its that simple.


WackSparrow t1_ixsced3 wrote

I think what depression does not take into account is the weather. I would love to live in California however that area is more superficial. You catch my drift? The research is still small.


Lootboxboy t1_ixsflei wrote

Extremely common among zoomers.


[deleted] t1_ixr588s wrote



voicebread t1_ixrj1rh wrote

Spoken like someone who has no idea what it like to deal with disassociation. It’s not “time traveling your consciousness,” it’s literally feeling like you’re not real and nothing else around you is, either. Accompanied with a side of dread.


[deleted] t1_ixrphu6 wrote



voicebread t1_ixrq5bo wrote

Having hallucinations intentionally induced by taking psychedelics is not the same thing as experiencing disassociation as a result of anxiety and depression. At all.

Edit: Psychedelics have actually been studied for decades as a treatment for anxiety/depression. One could argue that they actually do the opposite of induce disassociation, they make you feel more connected to your surroundings and self.


[deleted] t1_ixrqr08 wrote



Darkrush85 t1_ixruehm wrote

Maybe actually try reading the actual post instead of going on what some classmate in high school told you.

This reeks of "I read it on social media so it must be true" because it shows such a lack of even basic understanding of how mental health works and how things like anxiety and depression is anything but a choice or something one can even control.


voicebread t1_ixrr37x wrote

Aaaaand clearly you’re tone deaf, too. What you’re describing is not disassociation, and people misunderstanding what dissociation actually is was the entire point of this post.


PM_ME_YOURPRIVATEKEY t1_ixr5ypz wrote

With how detached most of society seems to be from very real, existential issues that we're rapidly approaching, I'd say we've done a pretty good job of mass-inducing a dissociative fugue state already.


Zestyclose-Ad5556 t1_ixra1eo wrote

Not drugs but my gf fully does this. The down side is nothing is actually different when she comes back


show-me-how-its-done t1_ixrl53r wrote

You're in luck, there's now a ketamine spray that probably does just this with enough squirts!!