17th March 2023 at 3:24 pm #156418
This has stuck with me, and I have tried to understand how one stops dissociation.
How can you stop yourself from losing consciousness? I have tried so hard to work out how it can be stopped, as surely this is where your conscious brain shuts down and there’s zero awareness of anything, a complete absence and you ‘come to’ somewhere else. Its happened when I’ve been concentrating on trying to do something, which I’ve been terrified of, or when someone’s been going to do something to me which is terrifying, and then there is no memory of anything, its like your self control is completely removed.
There’s an inbetween stage where there’s a vague sensation of moving, but by then control is gone, and I would describe it as loss of all the prefrontal lobe executive functioning. Losing sight, hearing and conscious movement control. Like sleep-walking maybe.
I know this is a very specific therapy type ask, just wonder if anyone has any ideas, or has tried to ‘make a choice’ in that moment of loss of concscious for any that experience this.
17th March 2023 at 7:09 pm #156434
Hi Twisted Sister,
I don’t have much help to offer I’m sorry, but I want to let you know that I’m struggling with this too, you are not alone.
A couple of things that have helped me.
I have noticed a pattern to when I’m about to disaccociate.
It’s usually at the weekend, I’m guessing from the lack of routine.
I’ve found having a detailed plan for the weekend helps me.
I disaccociate worse when I don’t sleep well so I’ve been working on my sleep routine, scented candles, no caffeine from afternoon onwards etc.
I found this has started to improve my sleep slowly.
Getting out in the fresh air and doing exercise, which is what you also recommended to me.
Now I’ve realised the times it happens, I can steer it away from happening.
Fingers crossed, this is the first Friday in a while that it hasn’t happened.
My mum took me and the boys out (detail removed by moderator), and tomorrow we are going to (detail removed by moderator) with friends.
Having these plans seem to keep my brain connected to realness.
When you are disaccociating, light scented candles and watch the flames.
It doesn’t stop the episode, but I found it soothing and calming so it helped me through the episode x
17th March 2023 at 7:56 pm #156435
Yes, I remember you talking about this, and its great how you have managed to keep your feet on the ground, noticing your times. The trouble with my dissociating is that I have zero awareness. I have no freedom of thought, and ‘come to’ having no idea what I’ve done or how long I’ve been absent. The first I know of it is when I’m going,but I’m already going at that point and its just the last thing I hear or remember before it goes blank and I’m unconscious. Its scary not knowing what has happened, like whether I am shouting or where/how I’m moving. I literally have no idea until I come to somewhere else. I couldn’t do anything, nothing, because I am completely unconscious, its just a black, theres no memory of anything. I do have those spells like you are saying, where I’ve gone off on my own thoughts and memories, and sometimes I have to repeatedly try to get focussed back on a task, or whatever I was trying to do, and I definitely have more awareness that its happening/happened. I sound utterly mad I think 🙁
Sadly, my ability to get out now has significantly reduced due to our current situation. I do what and when I can, but its definitely not enough and thats causing noticeable physical deterioration.
Good luck with your ongoing creative ways you’ve come up with for managing yours, and I really appreciate you suggesting them to me.
My nightmare was so bad last night I was screaming in my dream ‘wake up’..I actually had a sense that I was asleep! Its all so bonkers!
17th March 2023 at 8:15 pm #156436
I really feel for you, it is horrific.
The lack of control is frightening.
You are not going mad.
It is your brains way of coping with the trauma you have endured.
Can you have a loop of bird song or relaxing music playing?
Just to see whether that helps at all?
Keep trying, anything and everything.
You will find something that helps, it’s tough when you don’t know exactly what it is that you need.
Your episodes sound truly frightening.
You must be exhausted.
Just remember that this should be temporary, whilst you still feel in danger.
Once you feel safe, your mind and body can begin to heal.
One more small thing, I was wearing a particular perfume one day when I ended up with happy memories.
When I smell that perfume, I instantly feel happy.
When I start to feel an episode, I spray it and it helps me feel better.
17th March 2023 at 8:34 pm #156437
The perfume/smells thing is really strong draw to good memories (well, bad too), but yeah, its one of our strongest oldest senses, and makes sense how powerful it can be. I’m glad to hear you have been so successful with yours.
I am wondering whether its possible to varying degrees depending on the degree of dissociation. Those ones of losing consciousness make me think of how those I know suffering epilepsy have a brief sense of ‘going’ but then they’re gone, and yes, its terrifying not knowing what you do in those times.
It makes me very wary of therapists, who don’t help with this, or aid understanding.
It is, yes, all about the being and feeling safe. I just don’t think this will ever stop, if I have no control over it how will it ever stop. I guess it won’t.
17th March 2023 at 8:35 pm #156438
Also, in answer to your title, no I don’t think there is a choice.
Your brain does it without your consent.
The only thing we can do is damage limitation.
I’ve been working on improving my mental health and physical health.
I’ve started seeing a small improvement x
17th March 2023 at 8:39 pm #156439
It will stop, this is not forever.
Can you seek out a therapist trained in disaccociation?
You are right, it’s similar to epilepsy what you are experiencing.
There is no control, and no forewarning.
Have you spoken to a doctor about it?
It sounds as severe as it can get xx
17th March 2023 at 8:52 pm #156440
I have found it very concerning that everyone that I have mentioned it to so far, or has witnessed it themselves has given me zero in response. Just nothing and I’ve been too scared to ask. Which considering they were supposed women’s support services kinda drove home the message that they were nothing and I must ignore them and my added fear about not knowing what was happening, that somehow I was also doing my reaction to them wrong. 🙁
17th March 2023 at 9:05 pm #156441
It is an uncommon illness.
I hadn’t heard of it until I googled my symptoms.
They might not realise what it is you are suffering with.
Even my therapist wasn’t sure about it.
You might need to find someone trained in this specifically to get any support.
A lot of authorities, they haven’t had the training and don’t have the time.
Everything is rushed.
You need someone different, that isn’t up against results and deadlines.
17th March 2023 at 11:21 pm #156445
I was going to suggest speaking with your GP, they should know about it and be able to refer if all you’ve had so far is Dr Goggle, but then again, its perhaps more a psychologist/psychiatrist thing and a GP wouldn’t be able to advise.
IDK, you would think that those that are supposed to support in DA would have come across this quite commonly, no? Be experienced in supporting women that have these things. Maybe I just had bad ones.
Sorry you have this, and good for you tackling it the way you are.
18th March 2023 at 6:54 am #156449
My therapist advised me to go to the doctors, to make sure that it wasn’t anything else causing my symptoms.
Fingers crossed my episodes are reducing.
Yours sound really severe.
Have you been to a doctor about your symptoms?
They might be able to recommend something.
I’ve been put on a waiting list for trauma therapy, I’m hoping that would help me along.
I think my disassociation was caused by the snow, both occasions it snowed, recently and last year, it was the worst it had ever been.
Last weekend (when it snowed) I was also on the cusp of important realisations clicking.
Yesterday, everything clicked in my head.
My ex is a n**********c. I wasn’t sure at first, but everything has slotted together in my head.
I’ve been looking a lot on quora about n*********s and it’s helped me understand why ex did those things.
Also, this week on the freedom programme via zoom, they talked about the 8 steps to homicide.
I hadn’t realised that they manufacture their rage, that they wind themselves up so that they can assault you etc.. it was never us making them angry.
My friend likened it to boxers, they have to psych themselves up, insult each other to get pumped up to fight.
After this weeks zoom call, it’s finally clicked that ex didn’t believe any of his claims of me cheating on him.
He said it to give himself validation for his actions.
Even after everything he had done, I still felt sorry for him, because I thought he was that insecure to constantly worry I was having affairs.
Now I realise it was just a tactic to control me and allow himself to work himself up when he wanted to over imaginary affairs.
Now this has all clicked in my head, I feel more grounded and confident.
I think perhaps my brain has been stressed out in the in-between stage of clarity.
18th March 2023 at 11:54 am #156466
I remember that shocking realisation too, that the rage is manufactured, and a lot of what you realise can really blow your mind, and takes a while to wrap your head around, but once you know it you can’t unknow it.
You are doing so well in facing and understanding it. Thank you for sharing your experience, its really touched me.
Thank you, ts
19th March 2023 at 11:11 pm #156542DarknessallaroundParticipant
Hi Twisted Sister
The best thing you can do is to find a good trauma therapist who can help you with grounding techniques and then work through the trauma with you. Someone who specialises in EMDR or Brainspotting would be a good place to start.
There are therapists in the NHS who are trained in these techniques, but the waiting list is normally extremely long. If you can afford to see someone privately, that might be a quicker option. Some do sliding scale if cost is a barrier.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.