heavy dissociation


New Here
Dissociating pretty badly right now. When it gets like this, my body stiffens up. Moving requires a lot of effort and even rolling over in bed can wear me out. It feels smothering. I want to self-harm, cry, and fall asleep. Just so tired.

My eyes seem to glaze over too. Face goes blank. If anyone is around, I find that I literally cannot look them in the eye, and can only raise my eyes to their chest. The one time I’ve been like this around a friend, I remember he saw that I was unresponsive and somehow got me standing up. As he walked us to a safe place I remember swaying a lot and being unsteady.

When these episodes end, I’m completely worn out. My body may hurt, likely from being so stiff. I usually have to fall asleep for a bit.

Kinda ranting here, because I’m fed up with this tonight, but I’m also kinda curious. When you guys heavily dissociate, do you have a similar experience? What is heavy dissociation like for you?


it has been quite allot of years since i have dissociated to that extent, but i felt nothing whatsoever. the return from that psychic void was at least as exhausting as the root trauma behind the dissociation. insert red hot chili peppers here. "i don't ever wanna feel like i did that day."


New Here
it has been quite allot of years since i have dissociated to that extent, but i felt nothing whatsoever. the return from that psychic void was at least as exhausting as the root trauma behind the dissociation. insert red hot chili peppers here. "i don't ever wanna feel like i did that day."
Yes, it is just as exhausting tbh. I’m very glad to hear you haven’t had a bout like that in years, though.


What is heavy dissociation like for you?
My personal spectrum looks like this

F = Functional
NF = NonFunctional

(F) - Dissociative Fugue / Lost Time… fortunately not for a reeeeeally long time…. I’ve “woken up” in different countries/continents than where I started. This isn’t pure PTSD, but it started after trauma/PTSD, and seems to be linked to 10/10 on my SUDS (subjective units of distresss scale). On the upside? Apparently I appear to be fairly lucid & even highly functional / extremely “me” during these times. I just have zero recollection of them, and at best have to work backwards to piece together where I was & what I was doing during those days/weeks/months.

((I have a similar thing where I “lose” big blocks of time, but am still being totally lucid, normal-me rather than extreme-me; that rather than disassociation seems to be tied to long term memory not working correctly, when I’m eyeballs deep in flashbacks. Journaling, and creating other “cues” let’s me remember most of those times. So the effect looks the same -lost time- but the cause is different as is the solution.))

(NF) - Lost Time (lights on but nobody home, thousand yard stare, etc.). This one is mostly limited to minutes & hours & days. And I’m very stationary / non-functional during these events. Whether I’m not-smoking (with a cigar/cigarette in my hand) and staring out into the distance/infinity, or laying flat out staring at a wall as if it were the most interesting thing I’d ever seen. The worst event in this type, I was irritated at a “lost” car at night that kept driving past my house, it’s headlights blowing up my room with light. I finally got pissed off enough to get up to go give the driver a piece of my mind (& or directions 😉)… when I realised I was wrong. It wasn’t their headlights filling my room with light. It was the sun. Rising and setting. Daytime & nighttime passing me by in what appeared to be minutes. Whoops! But that’s the worst of them. Usually? Far more typically? It’s just the clock jumping a few minutes/hours, or blink and it’s night/morning.

(NF) - Cannot Brain / Hello Dali. If I don’t jump on top of the type below this, THIS is what happens. I stop being able to parse where I am, or what I’m doing, or why/how/when/who. Everything is just an unrecognizable mishmash of shapes and colours on the softer side of things, or the electric acid kaleidoscope on the wilder side of things. Fairly early on I pushed myself to this point far too regularly, and just sorta had to wait it out wherever the hell I was, until reality re-established itself. It was a WWII vet who caught me out in the middle of one of these episodes, and toddled with me around the grocery store pointing things out and defining them for me, until I was able to come back to myself …that was the key in my learning how to deal with it if I get this far; Definitions & Movement. I owe a great debt of gratitude to that man… as he saw me, recognized what he saw, and sorted shit.

(F) - Caricatures. It’s very surreal / like living in a comic book. Everyone and everything loses their individuality and becomes a representation of “what” they are; construction worker, mommy jogger, car, street, door, etc. There is no possibility of my telling one from another. Colors are brighter, details completely lost. The only thing that snaps me out of this is some kind of danger jumping out/clarifying itself from the wash of background -or- STOPPING and lowering my stress levels immediately. The most similar thing TO this are sports & crisis moments as the only thing that’s “real” is the thing you’re doing, as the world falls away into a blur of unimportance. Whether it’s running a ball down a field, or running a rifle. But in this case? There’s nothing “important” to be focusing, on, so it’s living in the comic book blur of unimportant things. A very useful adrenaline response, in the wrong time/place, being incrediably UN-useful.

(NF) - Boneless. Sleep. Now. This one I just shut down so hard and fast, my legs will go out from under me.

(F) - Brain Fog & Distance. I can’t think (very well). I can’t move (very well). I can’t interact with others (very well). The closest this feels like is being VERY sick.

And that’s my heavy end of my own personal spectrum. Once we get more middling & disassociationLite there’s no more nonFunctional, but it still messes with my functionality an awful lot, or to varying degrees.


Sorry you are going through that.

Different things for me too ,depending on what has happened/is happening.

I also want to just sleep. Essentially: not exist. Sleep. Not move. Not be. Not feel.
Sometimes that's being frozen and wanting to sink into the ground and disappear. Previously, I think that's where drink and drugs came in. But now: it's not moving and trying to sleep it away.

Can be short lived.
Or if it's longer then it's tough because: work and life.

It's hard to come out of it.
I don't know what works with that really. Other than letting it run it course. Or trying to be safe in the present.

Hope you're doing ok.


I'm so sorry you're going thru that right now. I've been there several times recently. One time the only thing that worked for me was what seemed like endless grounding technique after another. And rest. Self care. I hope you feel better soon. I'm happy to say that it can get better. But when I was there on the bed sick of being in bed so frustrated with myself because I want to do things. And start to question if I'm lazy or something. No. You need rest. Care. Love. And you deserve all of those things. Even if you don't feel like it. And on that subject. For everybody reading this: you're beautiful even when you don't feel like it. Happy New Year!
Last edited: