Dissociate so much i barely live..

F

Feralchild

I have BPD and PTSD and my life changed rapidly after an assault and break up. I managed as well as I could at first. Doing what had to be done within necessary time frames.. But lately, now that 6 months has past from the "main events." I'm so detatched and broken. It's not as if I cry all the time or obsess or lose my cool. I mostly just do nothing. I lose myself in shows or video games or in my head. Hours go by and when I'm posed to do something, its as if I'm waking up. Not as if I had no memory, or recollection. More like I was in some other world (whatever detatched activity I was engaging in) and I'm trying to come back to my life, like going potty, or making dinner or cleaning up. This doesn't occur to me as depersonalization or derealization (if those are the correct terms).. My counselor says its still dissociation, but why doesnt anyone describe or share these occurances? I cannot find any psych literature on it.

My point is, I get so trapped and lost avoiding literally everything, that facing daily activities is not easy. Slips my mind, time flows on and I realize the day is almost over and ive done nothing I'm supposed to do. I get so lost or trapped I find myself angered or frustrated or wanting to dive further out of reach when others or "things" (chores, duties, errands, expectations) beckon me.

Then when I'm finally all here I just feel terrible. Worthless. Ashamed of my unfortunate behavior that appears as though I'm just being lazy when really, I'm out of touch, from myself and my life. I then rush and struggle to manage everything ive missed or slacked on only to feel so mentally exhausted that I dive right back into the comfortable detachment I've gotten so skilled at. Its like I'm living on auto pilot. I do simple mindless activities for hours to make the day go on, so I can eventually sleep and then do it all over again. No real desires or goals or future. Just basic survival and trying to fill up the time.. I feel confused about why I'm so lost. Why this keeps happening. Why it feels so nice but is so distructive to my life. And Why I cant seem to stop. Its so natural it just happens and then hours later I'm like "oh dang what have I been doing?!"

People talk and I barely hear them, as if I'm there but I'm not. Like the lights are on and nobody's home. Like pink Floyd sang "over the rainbow, I am crazy... Simply gone fishing." The true story of my life these days. I barely ever actually feel anything. Fleeting things on and off. Sometimes I have flashbacks and cry. Then I just get turned off. I feel dull. Lifeless. I also struggle terribly with comorbid agoraphobia, which doesnt seem particularly helpful considering sometimes people try to connect with me and I rather not. I'm a recluse, I am introverted, barely ever leave my house, detest seeing people or talking to them, often all I can think is I dont want to see their faces, or have them see my face and mostly see their faces looking at my face... Silly? Maybe.. Real, definitely. Even if I did want to see people or could combat my agoraphobic fears I'm not good at "people" or communicating or relationships, I'm often brash and innapropriate make morbid jokes etc. I'm considerably feral... Anyone know where I'm coming from? Share my experience? Have advice?
 

joeylittle

Administrator
This does sound like a pretty typical combination of dissociation and depression. Has your therapist talked with you about/asked you about the depression symptoms you're experiencing?
I get so trapped and lost avoiding literally everything, that facing daily activities is not easy. Slips my mind, time flows on and I realize the day is almost over and ive done nothing I'm supposed to do.
Inability to perform activities of daily living - depression.
Low/no motivation or energy to act - depression.
I get so lost or trapped I find myself angered or frustrated or wanting to dive further out of reach when others or "things" (chores, duties, errands, expectations) beckon me.
Overwhelmed and avoidant when facing responsibilities - happens with depression
Then when I'm finally all here I just feel terrible. Worthless. Ashamed of my unfortunate behavior that appears as though I'm just being lazy when really, I'm out of touch, from myself and my life.
Low/no self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness - depression
I then rush and struggle to manage everything ive missed or slacked on only to feel so mentally exhausted that I dive right back into the comfortable detachment I've gotten so skilled at. Its like I'm living on auto pilot. I do simple mindless activities for hours to make the day go on, so I can eventually sleep and then do it all over again.
Comfortable detachment, auto-pilot, mindless - dissociation
No real desires or goals or future. Just basic survival and trying to fill up the time.
Depression
People talk and I barely hear them, as if I'm there but I'm not. Like the lights are on and nobody's home.
This is where depression and dissociation commonly overlap. Some call it "depression fog".
I feel dull. Lifeless.
Anhedonia - the inability to connect with activities you used to enjoy - depression. You describe a lot of anhedonia, in general. It's really one of the big depression indicators.
Even if I did want to see people or could combat my agoraphobic fears I'm not good at "people" or communicating or relationships, I'm often brash and innapropriate make morbid jokes etc. I'm considerably feral.
BPD.

Has your therapist spoken with you about/diagnosed you with PTSD, or is it something you're looking to, to get an explanation for how you've been feeling differently since the assault and breakup?
 
F

Feralchild

Ive been properly diagnosed with BPD and PTSD. She helps me, but sometimes I'm so dissociated that even when I talk to her nothing real comes out. So I end up not working on anything. I used to be very explosive and outwardly emotional. I started taking zoloft 2 years ago and it cut the edge off greatly. Lately I have been concerned about the anhedonia after doing some extensive reading on the subject, relating to the symptoms. I've read that extended periods on antidepressants such as zoloft can also inhibit anhedonia. Considering asking for welbutrin as a change for antidepressant due to its ability to work on dopamine and serotonin, cut the edge and still stifle comorbid OCD etc.

Anyway, lately shes been a little focused on the pros of my dissociation considering I no longer lose it, and lash out emotionally. She says, although it carries cons, that the pros are something I should value at this point. She believes its been able to help me cope through my trauma in a more healthy way despite my failures and lack of activity. Mainly the best advice she gives is the most frequent and textbook; "being mindful anf grounding activities" I respond with delightful sarcasm that I often mindfully smoke the F out of some cigarettes and mindfully live in the world of apex legends, clapping cheeks and dominating with my epic skills.. Lol
 

Ireusa

Learning
I have BPD and PTSD and my life changed rapidly after an assault and break up. I managed as well as I could at first. Doing what had to be done within necessary time frames.. But lately, now that 6 months has past from the "main events." I'm so detatched and broken. It's not as if I cry all the time or obsess or lose my cool. I mostly just do nothing. I lose myself in shows or video games or in my head. Hours go by and when I'm posed to do something, its as if I'm waking up. Not as if I had no memory, or recollection. More like I was in some other world (whatever detatched activity I was engaging in) and I'm trying to come back to my life, like going potty, or making dinner or cleaning up. This doesn't occur to me as depersonalization or derealization (if those are the correct terms).. My counselor says its still dissociation, but why doesnt anyone describe or share these occurances? I cannot find any psych literature on it.

My point is, I get so trapped and lost avoiding literally everything, that facing daily activities is not easy. Slips my mind, time flows on and I realize the day is almost over and ive done nothing I'm supposed to do. I get so lost or trapped I find myself angered or frustrated or wanting to dive further out of reach when others or "things" (chores, duties, errands, expectations) beckon me.

Then when I'm finally all here I just feel terrible. Worthless. Ashamed of my unfortunate behavior that appears as though I'm just being lazy when really, I'm out of touch, from myself and my life. I then rush and struggle to manage everything ive missed or slacked on only to feel so mentally exhausted that I dive right back into the comfortable detachment I've gotten so skilled at. Its like I'm living on auto pilot. I do simple mindless activities for hours to make the day go on, so I can eventually sleep and then do it all over again. No real desires or goals or future. Just basic survival and trying to fill up the time.. I feel confused about why I'm so lost. Why this keeps happening. Why it feels so nice but is so distructive to my life. And Why I cant seem to stop. Its so natural it just happens and then hours later I'm like "oh dang what have I been doing?!"

People talk and I barely hear them, as if I'm there but I'm not. Like the lights are on and nobody's home. Like pink Floyd sang "over the rainbow, I am crazy... Simply gone fishing." The true story of my life these days. I barely ever actually feel anything. Fleeting things on and off. Sometimes I have flashbacks and cry. Then I just get turned off. I feel dull. Lifeless. I also struggle terribly with comorbid agoraphobia, which doesnt seem particularly helpful considering sometimes people try to connect with me and I rather not. I'm a recluse, I am introverted, barely ever leave my house, detest seeing people or talking to them, often all I can think is I dont want to see their faces, or have them see my face and mostly see their faces looking at my face... Silly? Maybe.. Real, definitely. Even if I did want to see people or could combat my agoraphobic fears I'm not good at "people" or communicating or relationships, I'm often brash and innapropriate make morbid jokes etc. I'm considerably feral... Anyone know where I'm coming from? Share my experience? Have advice?

PTSD can cause all of those symptoms. What you were specifically describing is also part of dissociation: absorption. It is not talked about as often as the other dissociation symptoms because unless it is chronic and/or severe, it is something common in the general population.

I am sorry you went through that. Sending love ?
 

Sideways

Sponsor
This does sound like a pretty typical combination of dissociation and depression
This. A major depressive can be difficult to spot if a therapist is writing off avoidant and distracted behaviours and cognition as dissociation.

Dissociation is a typically coping mechanism when we start doing too much. And it sounds like what your brain might be trying to cope with? Is potentially depression.

Have you got some grounding activities that you can bring into a daily routine? Things that are relatively simple, but bring your mind into the present moment of what you're doing with your arms and legs.

Some people find martial arts or yoga are good ones, but if you're depressed that may be a ways away. I make a point of washing the dishes every morning. I find that there's no way of washing the dishes without really concentrating on washing the dishes. So it's a simple task, but it brings me into the moment.

Every time you can do that? In little bursts throughout the day, you're bringing your mind back into a healthy coping, 'being present' mindset, but in short bursts that don't become overwhelming.

ETA It may also be that the zoloft is a bit too effective, or your dose is too high, and you're getting the 'living zombie' experience that some of us have when our meds are too high:)
 
F

Feralchild

That makes sense condering I used to take a lower dose until immediately after the birth of my son 15 months ago, my SO left me in the hospital after a jealous outburst and our baby was in thw NICU with meconium asperation. The day following his abandonment I requested a higher dose to help cope with my trauma and disregulated hormones. My baby and I stayed in the hospital for nearly a month and a half, and I refused to leave him but only for a few hours. The meds seemed helpful.. Sometime later SO and I got together again, I seemed to be doing much better, less impulsive, obsessive, jealous, possessive. But he was abusive, so I was never actually right with him. My efforts went unnoticed, my self esteem dropped, but the meds kept me going. It seemed. Anyway then the assault and break up and all the fun that comes with that happened, things have died down. And as previously mentioned I have recently found myself DOA or AFK (teasing terms I used to morbidly bring comedy into my dull existence). So likely I no longer need the higher dose.

I often tease with her about my amazingly developed avoidance skills.. The grounding and mindfulness, like I mentioned, highly recommended, although not easily achieved when I'm lost and cant be found until i am and then I'm dumbfounded by the fact and struggling to make up for lost time.

Interesting comment about the dishes, I have what I call "dishes anxiety," I had a sickly mother with munchousen and munchousen by proxy, who forced me at a young age to be the main dish handler. Cleaning them after months of filth, hundreds of them, fruit flies by the thousands much like roaches fleeing when you turn on the lights. They covered all the counters, our table and filled the sink. I finally left my mothers house at 16 refusing to be her slave and attention seeking tool... Anyway I recently read an article about dishes, a man said "why do you do the dishes? You do the dishes to do the dishes.." Went on about the mindful greatness that can be achieved in doing them. Sounds spot on, makes sense.. In enjoy the statement do the "dishes to do the dishes," so simple, takes away all the pressure and stress.

My sister always mentioned washing her hands for grounding. I've tried it. Its nice. Also tried a scented bead bracelet, worked and was nice. Used to do hot and cold showers. Now I start a shower, then make it a bath, then finish with a shower. Seems helpful. Regardless, I'm so zombie like and broken nothing seems to actually help for more than a moment. AKA living on auto pilot only to wake up like "oh dang.."
 
F

Feralchild

PTSD can cause all of those symptoms. What you were specifically describing is also part of dissociation: absorption. It is not talked about as often as the other dissociation symptoms because unless it is chronic and/or severe, it is something common in the general population.

I am sorry you went through that. Sending love ?

Thanks for your response, informational and helpful. I appreciate the love sending, seems like i am lacking in that area ❤
 
F

Feralchild

A good example of my extreme detachment and desire to dive as far from my own existance as humanly possible. I "binge played" or like the gaming world calls it "grinded" on Apex starting August 28 2019 until around the first week of January, roughly 6-10 hours per day. Working up to level 450, which non of my other friends who had been playing it the whole previous year only reaching lvl 200. Took a break, now been on lvl 500 for the last 2 months due to lvl cap. Now I can barely bring myself to play or enjoy playing. :/ its lame
 

Friday

Moderator
Disassociation + Depression + Overmedication + PostNatal Hormones = Its kind of a wonder you’re not more zoned out than you are // it’s probably going to be a bit of a challenge to really identify what’s coming from where. What’s a symptom you’re dealing with and what’s a side effect.

Stepping back your meds towards where you felt balanced / before they were upped to deal with an acute issue... is probably a good place to start... but that will also come along with rebound symptoms, as well as other symptoms that have been held back surging forward, being out of practice with the coping mechanisms to deal with them as they come up.

Having an impartial 3rd party to work closely with you during that process? Someone you trust to reality check with? Is going to be huge.

Your T pointing out how much better you are like this / the upsides of how dissociated you are? Could cut one of two ways; either as a fantastic sounding board who isn’t afraid to challenge you / show you both sides of an issue, so that the two of you can really be working with a complete picture :inlove: No better ally than someone like this! ... or ... someone who is invested in “the thorazine shuffle” IE not really caring how your individual experience of life is, so long as you aren’t annoying other people.

<<< I’ve run into both types of therapists dealing with ADHD, because it’s a highly obnoxious disorder. Probably 60% of managing it is “how to avoid annoying people” :p Unlike explosive disorders, there’s very little to no real danger to others, most of the time (although the impulse control issues often make us dangers to ourselves... think BEFORE you leap, think BEFORE you leap, think... oops. Too late. Don’t land badly! Don’t land badly!) So having that partnership where a T is absolutely unafraid to challenge me? Vital! :D Disagreeing with me is often the absolute best kind of support around // someone who validates all my bullshit is NOT someone I want in my life, much less someone I want to pay to be in my life. x1000 adding in trauma, PTSD, cognitive distortions, core beliefs, etc. Someone who works with me? Needs one helluva spine! And often very thick skin. And I? Need to know/trust that. Because otherwise I’m just not going to listen to them / take anything that they have to say, onboard. My trust issues (are legion) make it very very difficult to be influenced by anyone whose motives are suspect.

So if you trust your therapist to be an honest sounding board & impartial third party? Stepping back meds, working very very closely with them, is where I’d personally start.

It may well be that stepping back causes zip zero zilch in dissociative symptom change. Mommy-brain SUCKS (motherf*cking hormones :banghead: ), and lasts about 2 years for most people. But even if the result of the experiment is “no change”? That gives you more tools to use (one of the best ways to counteract mommy-brain is usually to USE it more; speaking in full sentences, learning new things, problem solving, social interaction, etc... helping to jolt the oatmeal between my ears i to somehing resembling an electrical maelstrom again), because you have more information about what’s going on.

Ditto, stepping back on meds? May be the wrong move, and all the dissociation is depression creeping in past the meds you’re on, and upping your dose or adding another may be what brings the vivacity and thrill back into your life. Shazaam! Shrug.There’s a lot of different ways things could go. Which is why having a badass alliance with a great therapist is so vital.
 
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F

Feralchild

Disassociation + Depression + Overmedication + PostNatal Hormones = Its kind of a wonder you’re not more zoned out than you are // it’s probably going to be a bit of a challenge to really identify what’s coming from where. What’s a symptom you’re dealing with and what’s a side effect.

Stepping back your meds towards where you felt balanced / before they were upped to deal with an acute issue... is probably a good place to start... but that will also come along with rebound symptoms, as well as other symptoms that have been held back surging forward, being out of practice with the coping mechanisms to deal with them as they come up.

Having an impartial 3rd party to work closely with you during that process? Someone you trust to reality check with? Is going to be huge.

Your T pointing out how much better you are like this / the upsides of how dissociated you are? Could cut one of two ways; either as a fantastic sounding board who isn’t afraid to challenge you / show you both sides of an issue, so that the two of you can really be working with a complete picture :inlove: No better ally than someone like this! ... or ... someone who is invested in “the thorazine shuffle” IE not really caring how your individual experience of life is, so long as you aren’t annoying other people.

<<< I’ve run into both types of therapists dealing with ADHD, because it’s a highly obnoxious disorder. Probably 60% of managing it is “how to avoid annoying people” :p Unlike explosive disorders, there’s very little to no real danger to others, most of the time (although the impulse control issues often make us dangers to ourselves... think BEFORE you leap, think BEFORE you leap, think... oops. Too late. Don’t land badly! Don’t land badly!) So having that partnership where a T is absolutely unafraid to challenge me? Vital! :D Disagreeing with me is often the absolute best kind of support around // someone who validates all my bullshit is NOT someone I want in my life, much less someone I want to pay to be in my life. x1000 adding in trauma, PTSD, cognitive distortions, core beliefs, etc. Someone who works with me? Needs one helluva spine! And often very thick skin. And I? Need to know/trust that. Because otherwise I’m just not going to listen to them / take anything that they have to say, onboard. My trust issues (are legion) make it very very difficult to be influenced by anyone whose motives are suspect.

So if you trust your therapist to be an honest sounding board & impartial third party? Stepping back meds, working very very closely with them, is where I’d personally start.

It may well be that stepping back causes zip zero zilch in dissociative symptom change. Mommy-brain SUCKS (motherf*cking hormones :banghead: ), and lasts about 2 years for most people. But even if the result of the experiment is “no change”? That gives you more tools to use (one of the best ways to counteract mommy-brain is usually to USE it more; speaking in full sentences, learning new things, problem solving, social interaction, etc... helping to jolt the oatmeal between my ears i to somehing resembling an electrical maelstrom again), because you have more information about what’s going on.

Ditto, stepping back on meds? May be the wrong move, and all the dissociation is depression creeping in past the meds you’re on, and upping your dose or adding another may be what brings the vivacity and thrill back into your life. Shazaam! Shrug.There’s a lot of different ways things could go. Which is why having a badass alliance with a great therapist is so vital.

I agree. Speaking of ADHD she recently said she believes I have it. I didnt mention in my issues that I take vyvanse for binge eating but thats because I believe at this point its the only thing balancing out the negative from the zoloft. I'm so regular and normal now its weird, no more insomnia or extremes hyperactivity. My appetite is very proper, I no longer over indulge regularly. Ive come to think of this combination as a very similar feeling to when i took abilify. Almost "too normal" AKA dull, zombie like etc. Without the odd twitching sensations that came with abilify. Anyway my therapist is kind of really agreeable and passive. Not too challenging. I just keep using her cause ive seen her for so long. Shes kind of my "only friend." Doc mentioned adding welbutrin to the mix when she heard of my anhedonia. But I will not be taking both zoloft and welbutrin. Self feeling update, against proper med procedure, I have not taken my zoloft for 4 days today, and I already feel much more aware, in the moment, and focused. Brain fog, zero.
 

Rainman8772

MyPTSD Pro
But I will not be taking both zoloft and welbutrin. Self feeling update, against proper med procedure, I have not taken my zoloft for 4 days today, and I already feel much more aware, in the moment, and focused. Brain fog, zero.

Be careful coming off cold turkey like that. It can bite you very hard. I haven’t tried to come off Zoloft like that but others I have and it is a very rough road. Even now with Effexor that I take in the morning just sleeping in a couple hours I wake up with a terrible headache if not taken on time.
 

Deanna

MyPTSD Pro
Even now with Effexor that I take in the morning just sleeping in a couple hours I wake up with a terrible headache if not taken on time.
I take Effexor as well. I don't have any side effects with it, but take more medicine than just Effexor. I get in the state that the OP does but its from staying home too much. ( CoronaV) Not getting outside and my routine interrupted. I've had debilitating depression or days now but hope to get out of it tomorrow. It's kind of self induced with this virus going on. I can't work, etc
Eta- I advise not going cold turkey as well. I've noticed here how many people have a problem with cleaning. My answer is hire a housekeeper!
 
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