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Collapse and the sounds of people

Thread starter #1
I'm not really sure where to put this but I hope someone can relate.

At times my body just loses all stamina, my arms fall by my side and I get kind of spacy. I don't really know what to call it, sometimes my eyes shut other times they are open, it's like half passing out.

I also have a problem with hearing people. This isn't an outside voice, I know it's my brain and it's inside. I can't control then. It's like hearing people in another room but it's familiar enough that I know who it is and then other days it's actual words and usually people I know with accents or people from TV. I kind of think of it as memories that are being played out of context. It's horribly distracting and exhausting but no-one I speak to seems to understand.

Does anyone else have these experiences and if so, how do you cope?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
#2
At times my body just loses all stamina, my arms fall by my side and I get kind of spacy. I don't really know what to call it, sometimes my eyes shut other times they are open, it's like half passing out.
This happens to me sometimes, primarily in therapy when doing trauma processing - or, at home, in the 24 hours or so after a processing session. My therapist has said it's dissociation, and he's big on me working at getting myself out of it as soon as it happens. I'm getting better at that.

Part of managing it (I think) is understanding what brings it on...do you have any sense of what precedes this event, for you?
 
#3
At times my body just loses all stamina, my arms fall by my side and I get kind of spacy. I don't really know what to call it, sometimes my eyes shut other times they are open, it's like half passing out.
During my worst, I would pass out. For up to several days, although I’d usually wake up enough to pee/drink water before I’d fall down, again. In the space of a few seconds, it was like a head rush, & then my legs would collapse underneath me, and if I didn’t pass out I would lay boneless for hours wherever I fell / I tried to make sure I was near a bed or somewhere mostly private... the first time I just thought I was sleepy. But it kept happening. Every other Monday. For years. I tried challenging it by being out in public, etc., but it would still happen. It took me roughly 3 or 4 days to break out of it once I started to really work on waking myself up. When I didn’t it took 5-6 days up to a couple of weeks.

Ditto, was told it was disassociation correlated to severe stress. Every other Monday is when I would drop my son off at his father’s. I had a few hours, max, and then my legs would go out from under me & I’d lose most of the next week.
I kind of think of it as memories that are being played out of context. It's horribly distracting and exhausting but no-one I speak to seems to understand.
Also done this one, a lot. When I’m sick it often sounds like a crowded lunch room, or cocktail party. Everything overlaid on top of each other. When I’m upset it’s more like someone is spinning the radio dial, trying to find something. Distinct, but fragmented. I think in pictures, so I’m used to the fluttering montage of thoughts being flipped through, but since I don’t usually think in sounds it gets overwhelming & exhausting trying to pay attention / not pay attention. Add in flashbacks, where I’m reexperiencing the actual sounds? As opposed to intrusive thoughts / memories? (I can write down what I’m hearing during flashbacks, phonetically, and the durn things translate... when I don’t speak the language. My brain has just made that accurate a snapshot. It’s never interesting/vital, either. Not unless you’re interested in what so&so’s sister was doing on Tuesday, or what brand of washing powder housewives like best). It’s just the background noise that was happening at the time. Things I either didn’t even know I was aware of, or was basically ignoring. Yep. People are talking around the campfire, as I walk from place to place. The commercials playing on the neighbors television. That my brain recorded those conversations & background noises? Trippy, but not very useful. Sometimes I think my brain is as sick of holding onto this information as I am. HERE! You take it! NO! Yoooooou take it! Take it! No! Take it noooooow. No. Go away. :inpain:

^^^^
One of the things that ties these 2 things together? I’ve found when my head is stuck in the past it is VERY difficult for me to form new memories, even if I’m perfectly lucid in the moment... or... Very difficult for me to interact with the present. I end up wih the whole 1,000 yard stare, thing. Lights on, no one home. Just staring off into the horizon -or infinity- for hooooooooours. Blink and morning has shifted to late afternoon. Afternoon to midnight. All without my really being aware of time passing. Again, it’s a type of disassociation.
 
Thread starter #4
Thank you both for sharing your experiences.

The dissociation has happened in therapy but it's not really over anything particularly difficult to deal with. Once it was because I was remembering lying on the bed naked after my (ex)boyfriend ripped the duvet off of me because I wasn't up when he wanted me to be. Recently it happened when I was writing about our sex life (and some stuff before that) and recalling when he stopped me leaving the house by locking us in when I was crying (I mostly think this was to protect me). It just feels like a really dramatic response to something quite small.

I also have a pretty strong freeze response but I understand that, I'm hypervigilant so a loud noise might make me completely paralyzed in fear and eventually I can move and speak again.

I'm sorry to hear you have all these sounds too. It really is distracting especially if I'm already exhausted. My memory is also really poor, it's quite embarrassing when people you've been interacting with have more knowledge than you.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
#5
It just feels like a really dramatic response to something quite small.
I wouldn't get too hung up in whether the event triggering the dissociation was small or big...although I totally understand that impulse, because I do that as well. Think of it this way: all these small memories are tangled up into one big knot that is the trauma event - and so, they are all capable of setting off any number of symptoms, only one of which is dissociation.

Try and not judge yourself for having symptoms...it's part of the process. All you can do is manage the symptom when it comes. Ultimately, that will help untangle the knot.
 
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