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when you dissociate do you look any different to yourself when you look in the mirror?

hope4us

Policy Enforcement
Thread starter #1
i notice that when i dissociate, i look a little bit different when i see myself in the mirror. i still look like the same person but i just notice slight differences, like sometimes my eyes look glossy, or my face looks a little bit sunk in, or my jaw looks a tad bit more forward. does anyone else look different to themselves when dissociating? if so, what are the slight differences that you notice about yourself in the mirror? is this common with dissociation? do i look different to other people too, or would i be the only one who notices it? do looks really actually change or does it just seem that way because im dissociating?
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
#2
Long time ago, before any therapy or even knowing I had PTSD and dissassoiction, I used to notice when anxious, I resembled my mother...and that was an indication to me I was very anxious. Knowing what u know now and your post tell me perhaps I was in deep dissassoiction then.
 

Ronin

MyPTSD Pro
#3
Yeah, to myself I do, and to others I do too.

The only times it bothers me is if I'm trying to look whatever impression I established with these people, and don't.

Everything else is just a laughing matter.
 

hope4us

Policy Enforcement
Thread starter #4
Long time ago, before any therapy or even knowing I had PTSD and dissassoiction, I used to notice when anxious, I resembled my mother...and that was an indication to me I was very anxious. Knowing what u know now and your post tell me perhaps I was in deep dissassoiction then.
idk i dont feel like i resemble anyone specific, i just notice that i look a tad bit different, maybe you and your mother both had some of the same physical reactions that happened when anxious? do you recall having any other symptoms of dissociation?

Yeah, to myself I do, and to others I do too.

The only times it bothers me is if I'm trying to look whatever impression I established with these people, and don't.

Everything else is just a laughing matter.
do you have any idea what causes a persons appearance to change when they dissociate?
 
#5
No brainer -

If it's not obvious to others, perception change, and will pass when you are grounded again.

If to others?
How you carry yourself, acting out the perception change.

And then a few bits as changed hair color or eye color are I suppose literal biochemistry / hormonal differences flux. Not enough science read up, personally, to explain *that* one.

But no mysteries and shocking turning a monster involved. ;) So no reason for alarm. It's shruggable off even if you *are* obvious to people, like very obvious.

Just makes for hilarious arguments with various customs the photographer *again* botched their job so I don't look very me, is all. ;)
 

grit

MyPTSD Pro
#6
idk i dont feel like i resemble anyone specific, i just notice that i look a tad bit different, maybe you and your mother both had some of the same physical reactions that happened when anxious? do you recall having any other symptoms of dissociation?
I never knew I had dissassoiction until I went to therapy and my walls broke down. I shared that comment to say perhaps those moments I felt I looked liked my mother when I saw my face in mirror were indication of dissassoiction...I have accepted my dissassoiction as part of me since and have been focused only when how and what triggers...I get and accepted whys. My mom is my abuser so to look like her was a real identification with my aggressor.

I have other symptoms but I do not fight them ...I try to learn more and understand. They all include lack of self preservation and unnatural focus and hyper vigilant feelings of others and seeking connection at the expense of myself but because I am telling you I already processed....for now the fear of dissassoiction and going mad if cross over the wall are gone for good....I am more patient to see what I walled off by dissassoiction.

Hope this clarifies my prior comment.
 
#7
People who know me well will sometimes notice that I've got a vacant, glazed over stare when I dissociate. And that's most likely because I'm pretty vacant and glazed over.

A simple case of our facial expressions reflecting our internal experience I reckon.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
#8
i still look like the same person but i just notice slight differences, like sometimes my eyes look glossy, or my face looks a little bit sunk in, or my jaw looks a tad bit more forward. does anyone else look different to themselves when dissociating? if so, what are the slight differences that you notice about yourself in the mirror? is this common with dissociation? do i look different to other people too, or would i be the only one who notices it? do looks really actually change or does it just seem that way because im dissociating?
Ever see someone you'd describe as "out of it?" Remember, dissociation is something everyone does - it's not just a symptom. What you're seeing is your facial muscles slackening, causing elongation of the jaw, which in turn allows for the hollows in the face to become more prominent (ie a sunken-in appearance). The eyes look glassy because they are not sharply focused. People rarely see themselves this way unless they deliberately look into a mirror and do their best to relax everything and adopt a dead-eyed expression. Or, of course, when you catch a glimpse of yourself when you're out of it, aka, dissociating.

You'll look that way to everyone, not just you.
 

Mee

MyPTSD Pro
#9
Yes. My husband noticed it - and later googling it we found the same description he had used- ‘flattened’. It’s like my face flattens. Plus the glazed look and I am unable to hold eye contact - my eyes wander while staying glazed - but the face flattening. I wonder if it’s part of freeze/ fawn ? A sort of playing dead/ bland making of facial features/ expression.
 
#10
Yes when I become the other main person I'm not me anymore. I look different and I feel different. It's a gradient or there are degrees. There seems not to be a dominant one. The therapist disagrees. It's making me struggle to write this. Good question. I don't feel like its disassociating anymore. There are two of us mainly. The one part was very repressed for about 40 years.
 
#11
Yeah... I look younger or older, or I look fatter or skinnier, I have no idea what I look like and it’s really upsetting. Sometimes I look good to myself but sometimes I look like the ugliest grossest white trash to myself. People say I’m pretty but I can’t really understand that cuz if I was pretty why do I look so disgusting? Lol and when I’m in a different personality state I look like I am possessed.

Yes. My husband noticed it - and later googling it we found the same description he had used- ‘flattened’. It’s like my face flattens. Plus the glazed look and I am unable to hold eye contact - my eyes wander while staying glazed - but the face flattening. I wonder if it’s part of freeze/ fawn ? A sort of playing dead/ bland making of facial features/ expression.
Yess same here I get that a lot when I’m panicking inside, my face looks weird and dead and people have commented on it, but that just makes me even more panicky.
 
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