WTF even is a Dissociative Episode??

When I’m really stressed, I experience what are called Dissociative Episodes (AKA Dissociation).

If you dissociate, you may feel disconnected from yourself and the world around you. For example, you may feel detached from your body or feel as though the world around you is unreal.
Dissociation is one way the mind copes with too much stress, such as during a traumatic event. Experiences of dissociation can last for a relatively short time (hours or days) or for much longer (weeks or months).
You might experience dissociation as a symptom of a mental health problem, for example post-traumatic stress disorderdepressionanxietyschizophreniabipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder.

Feeling like you’re looking at yourself from the outside
You might:
feel as though you are watching yourself in a film or looking at yourself from the outside
feel as if you are just observing your emotions
feel disconnected from parts of your body or your emotions
feel as if you are floating away feel unsure of the boundaries between yourself and other people.
A doctor or psychiatrist might call these experiences depersonalisation.


I have dissociated quite a few times in my life when I have been really stressed, upset, or overwhelmed.
9 times out of 10, I self-harm.
I never self-harm unless I am in a dissociative state.

It’s really scary, to see yourself from outside your body, or to feel like you’re trapped in your body, acting like a robot, and your personality has all gone – it just doesn’t exist.
You don’t exist.

If I’m not at home, and end up dissociating, I feel like a robot. I will perform everything as if I have rehearsed it. I take extra care with my words and my actions, like I am programmed to do it, and I just need to keep on going through the motions.
Even if I’m out, I usually end up hurting myself, even if it’s just scratching myself with my nails.

I guess I’m hoping it will ‘wake me up’ and reconnect me with reality.
Snap me out of it.

If I’m at home, things can get really gnarly. I still feel like a robot, like I’m not really there, and I feel so unlike myself that that’s when I tend to go to the knife drawer.

This is exactly what happened on Day 29 of my admission. Except I didn’t have a knife drawer, I had a pen pot with a biro in it.
The post is here…

When I look back on my dissociative episodes afterwards, they feel like a dream, or like a drunken memory – surrounded by that fuzzy haze. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what happened, when, and why. And it’s almost impossible to remember my thought processes.

Basically, it’s hella scary.
When people use the phrase ‘lost your mind’, that’s literally what dissociation is.
You lose yourself.

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