Author Topic: Dissociated  (Read 804 times)

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Offline adrian

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Dissociated
« on: November 28, 2014, 12:00:14 pm »
AAAARGH! So something my therapist said today sent me into the worst dissociative episode ever. I "lost" only about 10 minutes, so it could probably have been worse, but I don't think I ever lost control that completely before. I was pretty shaken the rest of the day.

Does anyone else deal with this? What do you do to pull yourself out of it?

Offline Alexi

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2014, 03:36:49 pm »
I find it helps to do simple things and take time in doing them. Your body is going to be mentally and physically overloaded so it's really important not to stress it further. Doing things such as making a cup of coffee or treating yourself to a favorite treat might help ease it slowly. Does music help calm you? What are some hobbies you like to do?

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2014, 03:58:57 pm »
My former male self always found the dissociation periods to be rather enjoyable...at least he wasn't in pain. It took me a few months learn how to come back when requested. Now it's just a chronic low-intensity derealization...because my body is at last mine.

I was taught to focus on something nearby, like a desk or a chair...something I could touch, feel, sense...and starting with that touch, tell myself/selves that "we are here, we are real, this is 2014...", and anything else that I/we felt was necessary to accomplish the goal of "being" back in the the*apist's office. I had to remind myselves that he (the the*apist) meant no harm, he wasn't going to touch us, we are safe here...and most of the time that reassurance allowed the defense of dissociation to minimize.

That is fundamentally what dissociation is...a defense against overwhelming sensory or emotional input.

Hope this helps...*hugs* if safe.
...I think for most of us it is a futile effort to try and put this genie back in the bottle once she has tasted freedom...

--read in a Tessa James post 1/16/2017

Offline adrian

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 02:01:05 am »
Thank you for sharing your experiences with me, this helps :).

I find it helps to do simple things and take time in doing them. Your body is going to be mentally and physically overloaded so it's really important not to stress it further. Doing things such as making a cup of coffee or treating yourself to a favorite treat might help ease it slowly. Does music help calm you? What are some hobbies you like to do?

This is very good advice, thank you. Right in the middle of it I literally cannot move or speak (because I think I regress to a really young age), but I definitely need a better routine for what do I do with myself once I'm "functioning" again. I believe this is something that made things worse for me on Friday -- I had to rush straight off to work.

I think listening to audio books is something that could help. I'm obsessed with my Harry Potter audio books

My former male self always found the dissociation periods to be rather enjoyable...at least he wasn't in pain. It took me a few months learn how to come back when requested. Now it's just a chronic low-intensity derealization...because my body is at last mine.

I was taught to focus on something nearby, like a desk or a chair...something I could touch, feel, sense...and starting with that touch, tell myself/selves that "we are here, we are real, this is 2014...", and anything else that I/we felt was necessary to accomplish the goal of "being" back in the the*apist's office. I had to remind myselves that he (the the*apist) meant no harm, he wasn't going to touch us, we are safe here...and most of the time that reassurance allowed the defense of dissociation to minimize.

That is fundamentally what dissociation is...a defense against overwhelming sensory or emotional input.

Hope this helps...*hugs* if safe.
Thank you. Yes, it does. I hope I'll get the hang of bringing myself out of these states more quickly. My t managed eventually, by asking me to sit up (which took forever), look up, and finally look at him.

I'm worried by how difficult it's going to be to work on the issue we were about to discuss if I slip off into white noise all the time.


Offline Ms Grace

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 02:56:46 am »
Did it happen during or after your session? Hope you talk about it with your therapist regardless. Seems it would be good to find out what the triggers are, ways to avoid it happening again or better emotional defences to deal with it.
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Offline adrian

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 03:11:03 am »
It was during session -- it has happened before, but the severity really shook me this time. My t won't let me off the hook this time, so we'll work on preventing this from happening, or at least enabling me to snap myself out of it.

As scary as it was to feel so powerless, in a way I'm glad it happened -- it means we are onto something. I think that wasn't as clear to me before (or to my t). And I suspect the issue we're onto is something standing between me and the decision to transition (or not).

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 10:21:36 am »
T would almost always knock me out for a day or two...which meant I'd call out of work the day after. I was able to get assigned the day after T as one of my "weekend" days so I wouldn't miss so much work.

If you're in the US, you may want to look into getting approved for FMLA, since this may be a long-term recovery process.

It does get better! Trust the process!

:)

ETA: You don't have to say, but are you in T because of trans-related issues? Or a past history of abuse? You mentioned regressing to a really young age...and normally when one "loses time" and changes identity, one is describing dissociative identity disorder...
...I think for most of us it is a futile effort to try and put this genie back in the bottle once she has tasted freedom...

--read in a Tessa James post 1/16/2017

Offline adrian

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2014, 10:32:38 am »
Thanks, Beth :) I'm not in the US. I tend to distract myself with work a lot :D

Offline adrian

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2014, 10:37:13 am »
ETA: You don't have to say, but are you in T because of trans-related issues? Or a past history of abuse? You mentioned regressing to a really young age...and normally when one "loses time" and changes identity, one is describing dissociative identity disorder...
I am there for trans-related stuff, but I didn't yet know that when I started . It was one of the things about me that I repressed really well.

As a newborn I had to go through some medical stuff which must have been very traumatic because it involved my mother "hurting" me (not in the sense of abuse but to treat the condition I had). I think that's where I'm regressing to.

Edit: maybe regression isn't the correct term though? I don't have DID. What I'm going through isn't nearly that serious. I'm still "there" but everything around me is like background noise.

Offline Beth Andrea

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2014, 11:24:30 am »
When I/we started therapy, it was just because I was curious about why I couldn't make friends. I went in and literally asked the the*apist for "tips and tricks" on making friends, and to give feedback on my appearance and behavior(s).

At the end of the first session--which was just the usual "icebreaker" stuff--I asked her about something I'd noticed about myself for decades...my vision would go "flat", like on a TV screen. My eyes are great, but depth was no there. I then mentioned that soon after losing depth perception, it seemed as if my arms and legs would be someone else's; definitely not mine (like if someone was standing behind me and putting their arms in front of me, so it looked like they were mine, but they weren't). Eventually my entire body would disconnect from my mind.

That made her sit up and take serious notice...I really and truly did not know the journey I was starting. (DID wasn't mentioned until almost a year into therapy).

Good luck with yours!
...I think for most of us it is a futile effort to try and put this genie back in the bottle once she has tasted freedom...

--read in a Tessa James post 1/16/2017

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