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Does Anyone Experience Blackouts Or ' Gapping Out ' That Is Not Triggered By Intoxication Or Rage?

Discussion in 'Symptoms & Other Disorders' started by TaeTM, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. TaeTM

    TaeTM New Member

    I'm newly diagnosed as CPTSD..

    Today I put full, hot coffee pot in the cupboard at my bfs Dads house and left it there after pouring a coffee.
    I once caught myself waiting for a light to turn green to walk across the street, and then suddenly it was yellow..
    Stuff like this happens too often, and I'm going to get my G1 soon and wonder if I should even be driving :confused:


    I do blackout as well as go into rage while intoxicated, which I understand.. but also simply blackout during the day outa no where, seems to be untriggered.. sometimes I notice it when I 'come to', sometimes I dont notice but others do. I also have bad memory problems.
    Is this blacking out??

  2. kers

    kers VIP Member

    What you are describing may be dissociation. On the front page, search the articles for that term and you will find more information. This happens to many people with PTSD, so as unsettling as it is, you are not alone.
    BloomInWinter likes this.
  3. Darkness Shines

    Darkness Shines New Member

    Yeah, that sounds like very, very typical disassociation. Extremely common in CPTSD. If it's happening a lot and for no reason you probably should think hard about whether it's safe for you to be driving.
    BloomInWinter likes this.
  4. snugglepuss

    snugglepuss New Member

    I had more dissociation happening before. Lately, in the past couple years, it has got better. It is very dependant though on my general stress level.

    I caught myself the other day putting the milk into the cupboard. Don't know what that was all about.

    There are times when I just gap out. I don't remember the details of getting from point A to point B, or I don't remember part of my class.

    All people dissociate to some degree or another. When we daydream, that is a slight form of dissociation. People with PTSD seem to do it to a deeper level, and more frequently. It is a coping mechanism our brains seem to have built in to help us deal with situations which are extremely frightening, scary, stressful, emotional, etc.

    When I was little, my mum's BF was very violent. He would come over and threaten to kill us, or he would beat the shit out of my mum to the point he would leave her laying face down, beaten until she was unconscious. I have very clear memories from a lot of that time where I can see what is going on in the memory, but I can also see myself IN the "scene", watching myself and watching what is unfolding.

    I have found a lot of great information and resources at this site:
    http://www.sidran.org/sub.cfm?contentID=75&sectionid=4

    This particular link will take you directly to a section about DID, or dissociative identity disorder. It used to be referred to as multiple personality disorder. I am not linking you there to scare you, but to maybe offer some answers, and so you can scan the resources and articles they have there.

    When I first learned about dissociation, and became more aware of the frequency it happened to me, I was pretty freaked out. Learning more about it though, and learning some different coping skills have helped me deal with stressful situations and triggers in a different way. I guess my brain recognizes that it doesn't have to switch off all the time to keep me safe.
    Marie E. and BloomInWinter like this.
  5. BloomInWinter

    BloomInWinter Meeting My True Self Staff Member Premium Member

    I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said well. I too have episodes like this and thankfully as I'm learning coping skills it's getting better and I'm beginning to have fewer episodes.

    Learning to manage my general anxiety really helps with this symptom, but it takes real time to learn these skills. Practice, practice, practice.

    I do think this sounds like disassociation.

    It takes courage and constant effort. Every trigger that I've stopped running from, turn towards, and chased down has resulted in less reactivity in that small area of my life.

    You lived through that stuff. It's all just facing it now. Easier said than done. :>

    I'm rooting for you!
    Marie E. and snugglepuss like this.
  6. JustEB

    JustEB New Member

    I also have CPTSD and I also suffer from black outs but my therapist calls mine fuge states. He says that its my way of protecting myself when I feel threatened but there are times when I have no idea what would trigger these things. Now that I'm aware of them (because I wasn't always aware of them till someone finally told me) I work very hard to stay grounded. I still have times when I get into the shower and the next thing I know I'm standing under a very cold stream of water and I hadn't even showered completely. It was very scary and terrifying at first but I found that there are ways to work through it. I wish you all the best...good luck!!
    BloomInWinter and Marie E. like this.
  7. Lucycat

    Lucycat I Love Pecan Pie :) Premium Member

    Haven't done this for a while, but VERY stressed at the moment, and this afternoon I completely lost an hour and as a result missed a ferry!!

    Have got to try harder tomorrow.
  8. Trinomial

    Trinomial New Member

    I just wanted to add, that although dissociation is common among cptsd and ptsd; running on auto-pilot is common to people who don't suffer.

    A person might be on auto-pilot while driving their car home from work, miss their turn to get into the neighborhood, and not even realize it until a couple of moments later.

    We tend to get caught up in our own thoughts when we are doing routine things and so we aren't actually paying attention to what we do--so of course you aren't going to remember something if you weren't paying attention to it to begin with. :)

    It's just something to keep in mind. I've seen too many people get newly diagnosed with something and then assume that anything they find odd must be because of their disorder. So, yes, you might be dissociating, but you also might be experiencing something completely normal.
  9. Lucycat

    Lucycat I Love Pecan Pie :) Premium Member

    Trinomial I hear what you are saying. I am struggling to differentiate between the normal and the abnormal! I definitaly dissociate but I am not sure how much. As you say a degree is normal 'autopilot' behaviour, however my husband is getting quite good at recognising it so that helps.

    I am trying to find out more about it. It really is a fascinating subject but rather hard to bring up in polite conversation.
  10. anthony

    anthony MyPTSD Admin Staff Member Premium Member

    Moved from complex trauma forum, as this is about symptoms, not about complex trauma.

    Please ensure you read the sticky within the complex trauma forum before posting within it.

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