Is this dissociation or something else?

LeiaFlower

Confident
In therapy, I was present yet not present at the same time. I was present in the sense of hearing my therapist voice as she was talking to me. When she moved I reacted with hypervigilance (getting ready to run). However, I was not present because I could not talk. In my head I kept repeating the same line of children’s song. When she did move it made the intensity of detachment intensify. There was no thought process, just the song on repeat. My eyes moved quickly from one end of the room to the other, yet was out of my control.

It felt like my brain was burning, like heat was flowing from the back of my head to the front.

It started with staring at the pillow and thinking of how my sister had something similar. Then I saw my sister’s face in a flashback screaming in fear.

Before this, I was hearing the repeating song in the back of my thoughts. However, another louder voice kept stating “I don’t want to talk anymore.” Most sessions I’m able to ignore this voice that tells me to stop talking, or I just tell it that it’s more productive to talk. I force myself to talk when parts of myself clearly indicate that they do not want to. I think since the previous session I talked about a trauma memory and ignored further prompts from my system to ground, that my system responded in the recent situation by simply shutting down and stopped me from talking when it did not want to.

This has happened before, where I lost the ability to speak. However, I never understood what this was. My therapist thought I was purposefully ignoring her when I wasn’t. I could not respond. But I don’t know how to explain this because I don’t even know what this even is.
 
In therapy, I was present yet not present at the same time. I was present in the sense of hearing my therapist voice as she was talking to me. When she moved I reacted with hypervigilance (getting ready to run). However, I was not present because I could not talk. In my head I kept repeating the same line of children’s song. When she did move it made the intensity of detachment intensify. There was no thought process, just the song on repeat. My eyes moved quickly from one end of the room to the other, yet was out of my control.

It felt like my brain was burning, like heat was flowing from the back of my head to the front.

It started with staring at the pillow and thinking of how my sister had something similar. Then I saw my sister’s face in a flashback screaming in fear.

Before this, I was hearing the repeating song in the back of my thoughts. However, another louder voice kept stating “I don’t want to talk anymore.” Most sessions I’m able to ignore this voice that tells me to stop talking, or I just tell it that it’s more productive to talk. I force myself to talk when parts of myself clearly indicate that they do not want to. I think since the previous session I talked about a trauma memory and ignored further prompts from my system to ground, that my system responded in the recent situation by simply shutting down and stopped me from talking when it did not want to.

This has happened before, where I lost the ability to speak. However, I never understood what this was. My therapist thought I was purposefully ignoring her when I wasn’t. I could not respond. But I don’t know how to explain this because I don’t even know what this even is.
I'm really sorry to hear that you're going through such a challenging experience during therapy. It sounds like you're experiencing a dissociative state, where you feel disconnected from yourself and your surroundings. This can be a common response to trauma and can manifest in different ways for different people.

It's important to remember that your inability to talk during these episodes is not intentional and not something you have control over. It's a symptom of the dissociation and can be extremely distressing. Have you shared your experiences and thoughts about dissociation with your therapist? It might be helpful to discuss this with her and make sure she understands the impact it has on you.

Dissociation is a complex response, and it may be helpful for both you and your therapist to explore it further. Working together, you can explore grounding techniques and coping strategies that can help you manage dissociation when it happens. Have you tried any grounding techniques in the past? If so, did they provide any relief?

While I can't provide any specific resources, I encourage you to research grounding techniques and discuss them with your therapist. They can be helpful in bringing you back to the present moment and reducing the intensity of dissociation. Additionally, if you haven't already, it may be worth considering discussing your experiences with dissociation with a trauma-informed therapist who specializes in dissociative disorders. They can provide specialized support and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, it's important to take breaks and practice self-care during and after these episodes. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting, so be gentle with yourself. Is there anything you find comforting or soothing during these episodes?
 
I'm really sorry to hear that you're going through such a challenging experience during therapy. It sounds like you're experiencing a dissociative state, where you feel disconnected from yourself and your surroundings. This can be a common response to trauma and can manifest in different ways for different people.

It's important to remember that your inability to talk during these episodes is not intentional and not something you have control over. It's a symptom of the dissociation and can be extremely distressing. Have you shared your experiences and thoughts about dissociation with your therapist? It might be helpful to discuss this with her and make sure she understands the impact it has on you.

Dissociation is a complex response, and it may be helpful for both you and your therapist to explore it further. Working together, you can explore grounding techniques and coping strategies that can help you manage dissociation when it happens. Have you tried any grounding techniques in the past? If so, did they provide any relief?

While I can't provide any specific resources, I encourage you to research grounding techniques and discuss them with your therapist. They can be helpful in bringing you back to the present moment and reducing the intensity of dissociation. Additionally, if you haven't already, it may be worth considering discussing your experiences with dissociation with a trauma-informed therapist who specializes in dissociative disorders. They can provide specialized support and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Remember, it's important to take breaks and practice self-care during and after these episodes. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting, so be gentle with yourself. Is there anything you find comforting or soothing during these episodes?
I assumed that since I could hear my therapist that I wasn’t dissociating. I think it’s rooted in me comparing my dissociation to another sister, who isn’t aware of anything. I have a dissociation book I recently got that is teaching me grounding techniques. My therapist, when we did the dissociation scale, said I scored low. Though when I did a test a year or so ago I scored extremely high with my EMDR therapist to the point that she recommended that I stop EMDR until I was lower. Both makes me confused on whether I dissociate or do not.
 
I assumed that since I could hear my therapist that I wasn’t dissociating. I think it’s rooted in me comparing my dissociation to another sister, who isn’t aware of anything. I have a dissociation book I recently got that is teaching me grounding techniques. My therapist, when we did the dissociation scale, said I scored low. Though when I did a test a year or so ago I scored extremely high with my EMDR therapist to the point that she recommended that I stop EMDR until I was lower. Both makes me confused on whether I dissociate or do not.
I understand that the confusion around dissociation can be challenging and make it difficult to fully understand your experiences. It's important to keep in mind that dissociation can manifest in different ways and to different degrees for different individuals.

It's positive that you're exploring grounding techniques through the dissociation book you mentioned. These techniques can be helpful in grounding yourself and reducing the intensity of dissociation. Remember to be patient with yourself as you practice these techniques and give yourself permission to take breaks as needed.

The discrepancy in the dissociation scale scores may be due to various factors, such as the specific scale used, your current state during the assessment, or differences in how dissociation was understood and assessed by your therapists. It may be helpful to bring up this confusion with your current therapist and discuss your concerns. They can provide you with more clarity and help you understand how dissociation may be impacting you specifically.

It's also important to understand that dissociation can be fluid and fluctuate over time. Your experiences may differ from one session to another or in different therapeutic settings. It's valuable to explore these experiences in therapy and work closely with your therapist to gain a better understanding of how dissociation affects you.

Remember, you have the right to advocate for yourself and express your concerns to your therapist. They are there to support and guide you through this process. If you feel that you're not getting the clarity you need, you may also consider seeking a second opinion from another trauma-informed therapist who specializes in dissociation.

Keep up your efforts in learning and practicing grounding techniques, and be patient with yourself as you navigate your experience with dissociation. If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to share.
 
I understand that the confusion around dissociation can be challenging and make it difficult to fully understand your experiences. It's important to keep in mind that dissociation can manifest in different ways and to different degrees for different individuals.

It's positive that you're exploring grounding techniques through the dissociation book you mentioned. These techniques can be helpful in grounding yourself and reducing the intensity of dissociation. Remember to be patient with yourself as you practice these techniques and give yourself permission to take breaks as needed.

The discrepancy in the dissociation scale scores may be due to various factors, such as the specific scale used, your current state during the assessment, or differences in how dissociation was understood and assessed by your therapists. It may be helpful to bring up this confusion with your current therapist and discuss your concerns. They can provide you with more clarity and help you understand how dissociation may be impacting you specifically.

It's also important to understand that dissociation can be fluid and fluctuate over time. Your experiences may differ from one session to another or in different therapeutic settings. It's valuable to explore these experiences in therapy and work closely with your therapist to gain a better understanding of how dissociation affects you.

Remember, you have the right to advocate for yourself and express your concerns to your therapist. They are there to support and guide you through this process. If you feel that you're not getting the clarity you need, you may also consider seeking a second opinion from another trauma-informed therapist who specializes in dissociation.

Keep up your efforts in learning and practicing grounding techniques, and be patient with yourself as you navigate your experience with dissociation. If you have any more questions or concerns, please feel free to share.
Thanks, I am scared that this dissociative episode will lead to my current therapist stating she isn’t qualified working with me. A lot of therapist have stated that either I don’t have significant trauma or that they did not know how to handle the intensity of dissociation from trauma. I am starting to feel safe with this therapist. However, out of nine therapists in three years, none has made it past a year with me. It makes me feel that I am unfixable, that I’m not worth the time and effort to help.
 
Thanks, I am scared that this dissociative episode will lead to my current therapist stating she isn’t qualified working with me. A lot of therapist have stated that either I don’t have significant trauma or that they did not know how to handle the intensity of dissociation from trauma. I am starting to feel safe with this therapist. However, out of nine therapists in three years, none has made it past a year with me. It makes me feel that I am unfixable, that I’m not worth the time and effort to help.
I'm really sorry to hear that you've had difficulty finding a therapist who is a good fit for you and who can provide the support you need. It can be disheartening and frustrating to go through multiple therapist changes, and it's understandable that it would make you feel unfixable or undeserving of help. But I want you to know that these feelings are not a reflection of your worth or value as a person.

Finding the right therapist can take time, and it's a process that requires finding someone who not only has the expertise to work with trauma and dissociation but also someone with whom you feel safe, comfortable, and understood. It's important to remember that therapy is a collaborative relationship, and sometimes it takes a few tries before finding the right fit.

It's positive that you're feeling safe with your current therapist, and it's important to communicate your concerns and fears with her. Openly discussing your worries about her qualifications and your past experiences with other therapists can help build trust and ensure that you're both on the same page. Your therapist can provide reassurance and discuss any additional training or techniques she may have for working with trauma and dissociation.

Remember, healing is a process, and it's not a linear journey. It's not about being "fixed" but rather about learning to cope, heal, and grow. You deserve to find a therapist who can support you on this journey, and it's okay to keep searching until you find that right fit. It can be helpful to seek recommendations from support groups, organizations, or even online forums where you can connect with individuals who have had similar experiences and can provide insights into therapists who are well-versed in trauma and dissociation.

Please know that you are not alone, and there are professionals out there who can provide the support and expertise you need. Keep advocating for yourself, be patient with the therapeutic process, and remember to practice self-care during this time. If you need any further support or have more questions, feel free to reach out.
 
I'm really sorry to hear that you've had difficulty finding a therapist who is a good fit for you and who can provide the support you need. It can be disheartening and frustrating to go through multiple therapist changes, and it's understandable that it would make you feel unfixable or undeserving of help. But I want you to know that these feelings are not a reflection of your worth or value as a person.

Finding the right therapist can take time, and it's a process that requires finding someone who not only has the expertise to work with trauma and dissociation but also someone with whom you feel safe, comfortable, and understood. It's important to remember that therapy is a collaborative relationship, and sometimes it takes a few tries before finding the right fit.

It's positive that you're feeling safe with your current therapist, and it's important to communicate your concerns and fears with her. Openly discussing your worries about her qualifications and your past experiences with other therapists can help build trust and ensure that you're both on the same page. Your therapist can provide reassurance and discuss any additional training or techniques she may have for working with trauma and dissociation.

Remember, healing is a process, and it's not a linear journey. It's not about being "fixed" but rather about learning to cope, heal, and grow. You deserve to find a therapist who can support you on this journey, and it's okay to keep searching until you find that right fit. It can be helpful to seek recommendations from support groups, organizations, or even online forums where you can connect with individuals who have had similar experiences and can provide insights into therapists who are well-versed in trauma and dissociation.

Please know that you are not alone, and there are professionals out there who can provide the support and expertise you need. Keep advocating for yourself, be patient with the therapeutic process, and remember to practice self-care during this time. If you need any further support or have more questions, feel free to reach out.
I talked with my therapist and explained how I was feeling the previous session. Instead of referring me out she gave me a lot of grounding skills to work on independently. She also updated my treatment plan and stated she wanted us working in session on more somatic grounding strategies in various spots around the main office. It definitely made my parts feel more safe as she was understanding and empathetic to what happened last session. Though in the back of my mind I still think I’m eventually going to be referred out as almost all of my therapists lasted either under a year old or a little bit over.

She also mentioned how it appeared that I was in a catatonic state. I tried researching catatonia and dissociation but didn’t really come up with much. However, the repetitive movements I was happened before going mute. I did have repetitive thoughts but I’m not for sure. I don’t fully understand catatonia. Do you understand how catatonia will relate to anything?
 
I talked with my therapist and explained how I was feeling the previous session. Instead of referring me out she gave me a lot of grounding skills to work on independently. She also updated my treatment plan and stated she wanted us working in session on more somatic grounding strategies in various spots around the main office. It definitely made my parts feel more safe as she was understanding and empathetic to what happened last session. Though in the back of my mind I still think I’m eventually going to be referred out as almost all of my therapists lasted either under a year old or a little bit over.

She also mentioned how it appeared that I was in a catatonic state. I tried researching catatonia and dissociation but didn’t really come up with much. However, the repetitive movements I was happened before going mute. I did have repetitive thoughts but I’m not for sure. I don’t fully understand catatonia. Do you understand how catatonia will relate to anything?
It's positive to hear that your therapist responded to your concerns in a supportive and understanding way. It sounds like she is committed to working with you and helping you develop grounding skills to manage dissociation. It's important to feel safe and supported in therapy, so this is a positive step forward.

Regarding your therapist's mention of catatonia, it's important to clarify that I am not able to provide a diagnosis or specific interpretation of your experiences. However, I can provide some general information about catatonia and its relationship to dissociation.

Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by motor disturbances, including immobility or excessive and purposeless movements. It can be associated with various psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other medical conditions. Catatonia can sometimes involve a decreased level of responsiveness or mutism, which may resemble the experience of being in a catatonic state.

It's important to remember that dissociation and catatonia are distinct phenomena, and they can coexist or present in different ways within an individual. Catatonia is generally considered to be a more severe manifestation, characterized by a broader range of symptoms beyond dissociation alone.

To fully understand your experiences and any potential relationship to catatonia or dissociation, it would be beneficial to discuss these concerns with your therapist. She can provide you with more specific insights based on her expertise and your ongoing therapy relationship. Together, you can further explore the connection between your experiences and develop strategies to address them.

Remember, as I mentioned previously, healing is a complex and individual journey. It's important to have open communication with your therapist and work collaboratively to address your concerns and experiences. If you have any further questions or need additional support, please feel free to reach out.
 
It's positive to hear that your therapist responded to your concerns in a supportive and understanding way. It sounds like she is committed to working with you and helping you develop grounding skills to manage dissociation. It's important to feel safe and supported in therapy, so this is a positive step forward.

Regarding your therapist's mention of catatonia, it's important to clarify that I am not able to provide a diagnosis or specific interpretation of your experiences. However, I can provide some general information about catatonia and its relationship to dissociation.

Catatonia is a neuropsychiatric syndrome characterized by motor disturbances, including immobility or excessive and purposeless movements. It can be associated with various psychiatric conditions, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or other medical conditions. Catatonia can sometimes involve a decreased level of responsiveness or mutism, which may resemble the experience of being in a catatonic state.

It's important to remember that dissociation and catatonia are distinct phenomena, and they can coexist or present in different ways within an individual. Catatonia is generally considered to be a more severe manifestation, characterized by a broader range of symptoms beyond dissociation alone.

To fully understand your experiences and any potential relationship to catatonia or dissociation, it would be beneficial to discuss these concerns with your therapist. She can provide you with more specific insights based on her expertise and your ongoing therapy relationship. Together, you can further explore the connection between your experiences and develop strategies to address them.

Remember, as I mentioned previously, healing is a complex and individual journey. It's important to have open communication with your therapist and work collaboratively to address your concerns and experiences. If you have any further questions or need additional support, please feel free to reach out.
Do you know if there are tests for this? Or any test to diagnose a specific form of dissociation. In the past I was diagnosed with derealization.
 
Do you know if there are tests for this? Or any test to diagnose a specific form of dissociation. In the past I was diagnosed with derealization.
There is no specific test to diagnose dissociation or specific forms of dissociation. Dissociation is typically diagnosed based on a clinical evaluation and assessment conducted by a qualified mental health professional. They will consider your reported experiences, symptoms, and any relevant history to determine if dissociation is present.

In clinical practice, standardized measures and questionnaires may be used as part of the assessment process to aid in the diagnosis of dissociation and its specific symptoms. These assessments can help provide additional information and assist in understanding the severity and impact of dissociative symptoms. However, it's important to note that these measures are not diagnostic tools on their own and should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive clinical evaluation.

If you have previously been diagnosed with derealization, that is a specific form of dissociation that involves feeling a sense of detachment or unreality from one's surroundings. It may be worth discussing this history with your current therapist and exploring the specifics of your experiences and symptoms.

Remember, a diagnosis is a clinical judgment made by a qualified professional based on a comprehensive evaluation. It's important to work closely with your therapist and provide them with as much detailed information as possible about your experiences, thoughts, and emotions to aid in the assessment process.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to share.
 
There is no specific test to diagnose dissociation or specific forms of dissociation. Dissociation is typically diagnosed based on a clinical evaluation and assessment conducted by a qualified mental health professional. They will consider your reported experiences, symptoms, and any relevant history to determine if dissociation is present.

In clinical practice, standardized measures and questionnaires may be used as part of the assessment process to aid in the diagnosis of dissociation and its specific symptoms. These assessments can help provide additional information and assist in understanding the severity and impact of dissociative symptoms. However, it's important to note that these measures are not diagnostic tools on their own and should be used in conjunction with a comprehensive clinical evaluation.

If you have previously been diagnosed with derealization, that is a specific form of dissociation that involves feeling a sense of detachment or unreality from one's surroundings. It may be worth discussing this history with your current therapist and exploring the specifics of your experiences and symptoms.

Remember, a diagnosis is a clinical judgment made by a qualified professional based on a comprehensive evaluation. It's important to work closely with your therapist and provide them with as much detailed information as possible about your experiences, thoughts, and emotions to aid in the assessment process.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to share.
What is a comprehensive clinical evaluation? Would an individual therapist provide this? Or would I need to go somewhere to get this done
 
What is a comprehensive clinical evaluation? Would an individual therapist provide this? Or would I need to go somewhere to get this done
A comprehensive clinical evaluation is a thorough assessment conducted by a qualified mental health professional to gather information about various aspects of your mental health, including your presenting concerns, symptoms, personal history, and current functioning. The evaluation typically involves an in-depth interview where the therapist will ask you questions about your experiences and symptoms, as well as any relevant factors that may contribute to your mental health concerns.

This type of evaluation can be conducted by an individual therapist in private practice or in a clinical setting. However, depending on your specific needs and circumstances, there may be instances where you could benefit from a more specialized evaluation conducted by a multidisciplinary team. This team may consist of mental health professionals with expertise in trauma and dissociation, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, or specialized trauma therapists.

It would be helpful to discuss your concerns and the nature of your symptoms with your current therapist. They can determine whether they are able to provide a comprehensive evaluation or if it would be beneficial for you to seek a referral for a specialized assessment from a different mental health professional or clinic.

Remember, the goal of the clinical evaluation is to gain a comprehensive understanding of your experiences and develop an appropriate treatment plan. It's important to be open and honest during the evaluation and share any relevant information that can help the therapist in this process.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to let me know.
 
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