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Does Dissociation Sometimes Feel Like This?

Discussion in 'Flashbacks & Dissociation' started by daniel, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    Hello everybody,

    I'm sorry for my stupid questions that I asked as of late. Anyway, I just wanted to know if dissociation sometimes feels like you are slipping or like you are losing the ground beneath your feet and are about to float into space. It's a terrible feeling, very scary. I often have this and I always wondered if this was dissociation I mostly have it before an anxiety attack. Thank you all :)
  2. DontGiveUpOnMe

    DontGiveUpOnMe New Member

    You described it almost.....well pretty much exactly how I experience dissociation. EXACTLY. The first time I really dissociated, the FIRST thing I felt was the ground just...rippling ilke water underneath me...and I felt like there was just nothingness and numbness....like I was trapped in a pressured air bubble floating to nowhere. I told my T what happened, she didnt say dissociation....she called it "Depersonalization" I dont know if its the same thing? maybe....

    I hope this reply helped you feel less alone.
  3. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    Thank you DontGiveUpOnMe, I'm sorry you have to deal with this as well, but it's soothing I'm not alone with it :( xo
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  4. Helliepig

    Helliepig VIP Member

    Yep, that sounds like a dissociative thing and it is scary.

    For me it can coexist with depersonalisation where you feel you're not really there or disappearing somehow or the world looks distant. I also sometimes feel like I "come to" suddenly, sometimes with a small sense of shock- even though I wasn't aware I'd been away, - My T says that's a sort of momentary flashback.

    Personally I find there's a whole array of weird feelings and experiences - a sort of dizziness, a fuzzy white out like a badly tuned radio, or a ground swell, as if everything has suddenly has turned weird in a way you just can't put into words. Or as if you feel smaller or compressed somehow.

    The feelings you describe I think are pretty common.
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  5. DontGiveUpOnMe

    DontGiveUpOnMe New Member

    Your very welcome. Its hard to deal with this. Im wondering, If I may ask...do u ever find this happens at times when your not really that triggered? ..Well actually it usually happens ..when im getting stressed out ...Im a college student, and while I was in class today, I raised my hand to talk and when I started talking...suddenly it felt lik I was going away, I got what feels like "mind numbness"..and suddenly ti would feel like I was floatin away for 2 seconds...

    Do u ever get similar experiences?
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  6. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    omg, I am a student as well and I get this too when I'm stressed no particular triggers, I know it sounds weird but when I get this I usually have to swallow and I don't know why but then I'm scared I'm gonna choke on my own swallowing, I feel spaced out like I can't control my own body anymore, maybe these are anxiety symptoms but I also feel there's something wrong with my perception of external objects, it's quite complicated really :lol:
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  7. DontGiveUpOnMe

    DontGiveUpOnMe New Member

    haha omg. Sometimes I get that swallowing thing, I don't get anxiety with it much until I realize something stuck in my throat.. (happens a lot actually.) I've choked somewhat several times, its scary.

    I kinda get what you're saying..I often feel detached though, like I'm walking and my eyes are just detached camera lens 0.o (that probably makes NO sense) but I hope...uh from one student to another. You know you're not alone.
    Abstract likes this.
  8. Steelsoul

    Steelsoul New Member

    Your symptoms are very close to mine as well. I find myself losing a grip on reality and people around me, especially in social situations or while trying to shop for groceries. For me it can range from extreme nausea to my vision being not blurry, but actually fuzzy as if I was watching a channel on television that is out of signal range. All these things are almost always associated with a few moments (10-15 seconds) of me completly losing motor function and freezing in place, or having extreme trouble moving, and "coming back to reality" with my jaw clentched and sore.

    I don't know if I made any sense, but I am new here (first post) and I suppose I just wanted to let you know I too, understand the symptoms you are speaking about.

    <edited to insert line break between paragraphs>
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  9. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    thanks Steelsoul and welcome :).

    Today I went shopping as well and I usually get panic attacks in huge wide areas. Before the panic I dissociated, it felt like 'my soul' was floating away, it's such a scary feeling, I get nausea too, I can't explain it properly (sorry for my English), it felt like my spirit was floating towards space, like my mind detached from my body, then I usally have to ground myself, it doesn't always work, oh well :(
    Abstract likes this.
  10. Chrisk89

    Chrisk89 New Member

    I have recently found this forum online, that depersonalization feeling consumes me. I have recently been having anxiety, not just slight but chronic. I get it chronically because I'm constantly thinking about everything. It kills me to see a psychologist but I have. He notices that I'm very self centered, meaning I'm very focused on myself and how I feel. Which is odd because I feel like I'm not in my body and I'm observing my surroundings. I would compare it to being a character in the Sims video game. I do what I think I should do. If someone asks me how I feel, I never know but I can never say I'm good. I grew up in my teens fast because I had a horribly, self abusive, alcoholic father. He literally couldnt function. Thats all I can remember from my childhood. When I went to college, I did find peace or a distraction. After graduating, ive felt like this. It pains me more because I have a girlfriend and I cant show her the love she shows me because I don't know who I am, so I worry, get anxious, and worry some more. Its like I'm punishing myself.
    Abstract likes this.
  11. Girl3

    Girl3 New Member Premium Member

    I have DID - but I also get those wierd sensations like the ground is moving under me. If I lived in San Diego I would just write it off as aftershocks of an earthquake. But I can be standing talking or brushing my teeth and feel exactly as if the ground is giving way. No one else feels them, so I know it's just me.

    I also get the swallowing thing - usually when i am having flashbacks. I cannot swallow - not spit, not water. I can't even make the swallowing motion. My psychiatrist thinks it is due to being orally sodomized when I was little. Some foods will also trigger it - like mashed potato.

    Dissociation, at least as I experience it, is being an entirely different person. Derealization or depersonalization are symptoms associated with a number of disorders, including dissociative identity disorder.
    Nadia likes this.
  12. Srain

    Srain "Please don't tell me not to cry." Premium Member

    This is a fairly good description of what mine are like for me. I usually term them "veils" ..almost like being on an acid trip (for those that have experienced this). Everything tends to begin to look surreal and my the sounds, smells, my feelings - if I have any at the time- become exaggerated or rather caught in time.

    Now that I am aware of what they are, what can trigger them, I am less likely to be fearful or loose control. It helps understanding what is happening, information is key. Sometimes letting them go to see what where they take me is vital and at other times grounding myself out of them is important to be safe.

    Great thread!!
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  13. Chrisk89

    Chrisk89 New Member

    Hi Srain

    Mine is more like a complete detachment. It becomes gradually increased throughout the day. I'll notice myself struggling to listen to someone speaking to me directly. I often find myself looking away or literally not listening because their voice and words seem unreal. I've also noticed I come crashing back to reality with anxiety when I'm faced with a conflict too. The most minor things like not wanting to do something I should do, like go out to dinner, or even eat if I'm hungry! I've lost so much weight, anyone else?

    <Full post quote directly above reply removed.>
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  14. daniel

    daniel Active Member

    Does anybody else have problems when weather gets warmer (is this even a proper sentence ^^) ?
  15. Bachall

    Bachall New Member Premium Member

    I definitely have problems just when the weather first warms up. (Your sentence was perfectly understandable, by the way :) This is probably because the seasonal depression catches up with me just then.

    I have many types of dissociation. Some I developed as a voluntary thing as a kid, but now I can't control. There is a personality who is critical, in my head, and an apologetic, "explaining" kid in there too. Acknowleging either one is highly toxic and highly dissociative. I shut out sensory data I need to operate as a normal person when i let them take over.

    I discovered talking to myself is a big dissociative symptom. That is the voice of one or the other, and eventually i will stop, and simply go entirely into my head. It is so toxic this usually results in severe anxiety, exhaustion, and hypervigilence.

    One of Sam's biggest jobs is to break this spiral.

    The ground waving thing is really disconcerting and unpredictable, and another huge piece of what Sam does. Apparently there is some kind of physical warning, because I have Sam on a mobility type harness and suddenly I will feel him start to pull gently to one side. Absolutely within five minutes he will have to do some full fledged "brace" work.

    Before Sam, I would have weird, stupid, and crippling accidents twice a year. Walking on perfectly flat ground.

    I have the fog or veil type dissociative events too. I am wigging out in a social situation and just cannot focus on the person speaking. It is like all my senses have gotten stuck focusing on the middle distance, at nothing in midair. I used to go find the bathroom and hide, or wash my hands a few million times, or come back and hide in a dark corner and give in to the nothing. Now I just say Sam needs to go out. Again, he is usually pawing at me anyway.

    I developed a new type with some flasbacks, complete memory loss for long periods, like hours. I was having very tiny fugue sort of things last year, where I would get lost in a store, forget how I got somewhere, etc. But I also don't do anything during the longer ones.

    I have had the dissociative symptoms my entire life. My doctore thinks this might be only made worse by the PTSD, since it never progressed to classic DID.
    Abstract likes this.
  16. maddog

    maddog VIP Member

    Hi Bachall.

    Your discussion of Sam's role and function caught my attention. I have a guide dog, so her primary purpose isn't as a therapy support dog, but in reality she fulfils this function every bit as much as she fulfils her guiding function. I often find that due to extreme fatigue/lack of sleep, partial dissociative states, impending panic/anxiety or any of a number of other factors, I often feel extremely disorientated, lightheaded and generally unable to navigate my way through the world with confidence. So not only do I rely on my dog to perform her usual guide work, but also to just help me keep walking in a straight line and to keep from getting lost out of sheer disorientation.

    I also had to smile at your "Sam needs to go out" escape strategy. I use this one all the time in social situations, and poor Del often has to go outside more often than you would believe!!

    I'm glad Sam is such a multi-purpose aid for you - Del is the same for me, and going out without her now would be very daunting and difficult for me.

    Maddog
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  17. Jen93

    Jen93 VIP Member

    I explained this to my therapist as "snapshots"- like those cameras that would take a second to open then shut to develop- and it continued the open and shutting for thirty times- then by the end, you don't know where you are, who everybody around you is, and what is supposed to be happening at the moment. The first time I dissociated, I had the snapshots, but I also felt the ground beneath my feet was crumbling and swallowing me up into the past.

    My friends have to say "it's okay," and even reintroduce themselves... Well, one of them knew to-she has PTSD too. The other four or five I've dissociated around I'm too embarrassed to say that I don't know who they are and that they're a stranger. It's made worse by the fact that I dissociate at school in class sizes of like fifty people.

    I also dissociate on the phone and email. With that, it's like I'm in a grey box, where there's nothing but my Iphone or my computer, and me. The twelve or thirteen year old me, saying weird things like "Maybe I am horrible after all! Maybe I did want to kill her! Mwahahahahaha!" It's like... Like a Mr. Hyde version of myself that scares me, cause that's not really how I feel. If anybody could give me some info on why my "Mr.Hyde" version comes out, it'd be a lot less horrifying for me when I go back to my email or cell phone later in the day and realize what I wrote probably scared the hell out of the recipient (and me).
  18. Heidi07

    Heidi07 New Member

    I am sooo glad that I just read this thread. I thought I was completely losing the plot. This is exactly what it feels like to me. I was walking my dog the other day and it felt like the ground was moving and suddenly I was "not quite there" anymore. I have had the same problems in conversations. I stare at the person talking to me and suddenly I am "just gone". They look at me, call my name and ask if I heard what they just said. Of course, I did not hear a word. I did not mention this out of fear to my therapist. I am glad that I am not the only one experiencing this. Have not found out how to stop this yet but will try to work on it.
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  19. katimae

    katimae New Member

    I've dissociated since I was a child. The first time I described it to my mom as feeling "spacey." We were looking for a dress for me for some big deal something and we were in a some store FILLED w/ round racks of dresses. She found me under one. I was adopted as a baby but as an infant passed around a few times before going to my family and more and more is now being discovered on how traumatic that is thus probably the reason I did start so young.

    I now dissosociate in 2 different ways. (I'm 43.) This began after my most recent and also most severe trauma (I have 4 years of traumatic amnesia from it.) (It is funny because I always dissociate describing what it is like to people, so here I go...) In the new way I still feel removed from my head and limbs. And my voice does not come from within myself. But now I see everything very crisp and clear. Sometimes I see things in 2 dimentional form. and sometimes it's very sharp edged 3-D - like things are layered in front of each other - is that 3-D? or is that still a form of 2-D? Because everything is still flat but there is depth because things are in front or behind. ok I've probably lost everyone now. But my ears also get highly sensitive. It's almost like I am removed from the scene but now I am also acutely aware of things too. Very, very different than the other way where I am just kinda zoned out like completely out and can't get back to my body or reality. (maybe that new thing is something other than dissociating.)

    However, I met a new friend who has Borderline and is dissociated most of the time; I was severely startled once when I was with him and I totally and completely zapped out. He taught me a great trick to come back. He had me start counting in foreign languages up as far as i knew and then back down again. I guess it was because I had to concentrate so hard on the counting backwards or something it brought me back -took a while and he had to stand right in front of me but this was one of my most severe, um, experiences too. Usually I come back quickly but I do this by myself now when I need to and it has always worked. And I only know some basic Spanish and German.
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  20. Shellbell

    Shellbell VIP Member

    I'm still new to all this and finding the dissociation part confusing.

    I was in a severely abusive relationship with threats made to end my life and my family's if I didn't 'co-operate'. At one point had a gun put to my head and the trigger pulled - I believed I was going to die. Then after that I thought at some point I would die. I remember thinking that I had to do what he wanted or I would not survive. After that, I have virtually no memory of what happened (3 years), until I escaped.

    Not sure if this was a dissociative state and I have dissociation amnesia, or it's something else?

    At times of anxiety and stress I have 'left my body' and it's like I know what's happening, but I'm not there. Like it's happening to someone else, but I am still in control - like able to walk.

    Not sure if this is dissociation? I'm guessing this is.

    It's pretty confusing.
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  21. Smushroom

    Smushroom Not all those who wander are lost Premium Member

    Apparently I 'chronically' dissociate. I still haven't got my head around it either Shellbell. I can't pick up easily when I am dissociating, and I keep trying to explain all of these feelings to my T and she says 'Yep, thats dissociation' Where do you learn this type of thing?

    I have just recently been having some 'episodes' which I think could be dissociation, but again, It's hard to point out what is and what isn't, when you really don't have a good grip on reality as it is.

    What has been happening, is I feel like I have lost a few days at a time. I will 'wake up' or 'come back' and I will be sitting in a park, or sitting at my computer at work, but not really remembering how I got there, not really remembering anything at all for the few days prior.... I don't understand...
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  22. kers

    kers VIP Member

    This is an awesome trick! Thanks for sharing it.

    I am chronically dissociated, too. I go in and out of a checked out state all day long, a lot of times as a reaction to strong feelings (in myself or in someone around me). I can use the grounding exercises I've learned in therapy pretty independently now so I don't get as panicked as I once did by realizing I'm dissociating.
    Abstract likes this.
  23. SilentWords

    SilentWords New Member

    At Wikipedia, the definition of dissociation sheds a lot of light on it & highlights other conditions. Thought this would be of some help to everyone.

    As for me I have that strange vision, shake, and yeah that surreal unreal sense, totally whacked.
    Abstract likes this.
  24. davedoes

    davedoes New Member

    For me it feels like I'm on a very small island in the middle of the ocean and what is actually happening around me is on a coastline very far in the distance sometimes not visible (if that makes sense).

    Usually I get anxiety before this happens, my hands start shaking and I feel like I might have a flashback but I usually dissociate like this before it happens. I don't really mind it when compared to getting flashbacks those are terrifying.
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  25. Pencil

    Pencil VIP Member

    I have lived the past ten years of my life 'on a raft'. I don't quite know how it ties in with how you experience dissociation. ..
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