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Author Topic: BEHAVIORS: Dissociation and Dysphoria  (Read 6484 times)
HappyNihilist
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« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2014, 05:05:29 PM »

I actually have episodes of depersonalization/dissociation myself. I don't have a PD or PTSD; mine typically come after a migraine or a panic attack, or when I'm sleep deprived (I have a sleep disorder that f###s with me constantly). My very scientific theory is that it happens when my higher levels of brain functioning need a nap. The length of these episodes varies from 15-20 minutes to days, and the intensity varies, too. Mine are usually fairly mild (by which I mean I'm aware that I'm having an episode, and mostly remember what happened during it), but occasionally I have severe episodes that result in personality changes and amnesia. The one that lasted for 2 weeks (following a TBI) made me want to kill myself.

Usually, though I think it feels neat -- but then, mine isn't trauma or self related, so that probably plays a part in why I don't find these episodes inherently disturbing. I guess I do sort of "check out" when I have one. I've also been known to spend time just slowly waving my hand back and forth in front of my face, because it feels/looks SO WEIRD to me.

But when I'm having a "bad" episode, I am absolutely worthless as a functioning human being. It's hard to explain if you've never been there -- but think of a time when you had bad jet lag, were sleep deprived, had a high fever, had a concussion, anything like that. You probably don't remember any details, but I'm sure you remember how it felt. It suuuuuuucks. And I can only imagine that it sucks far worse when it's a defense mechanism related to trauma and/or a shattered sense of self.

Regardless of the cause, there's really nothing that can bring anyone out of a depersonalized state. Unless it's a mild episode, you're not going to get through or even be remembered afterwards.

My exBPDbf couldn't believe that I had regular episodes of depersonalization without having some sort of trauma in my past (he was convinced I'd been raped or sexually abused as a child and was just not telling him). It really blew his mind that I would candidly talk about them. He said that he had them, too, but he never told me when. I suspected a few times, but I learned very quickly not to talk about anything of that nature because then I was "analyzing him" or finding fault in some way.
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« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2014, 08:47:34 PM »

Dissociation is a phenomenon most people have the capacity to experience.  It is a coping mechanism used to manage stressors .

As a way of coping, dissociation occurs when the brain compartmentalizes traumatic experiences to keep people from feeling too much pain, be it physical, emotional, or both.  When dissociation occurs, you experience a detachment from reality, like ‘spacing out.’  Part of you just isn’t ‘there in the moment.’

I would imagine if a person with BPD is feeling shame or triggered by something they may disassociate in that circumstance.

I found this explanation from a mental health site.  Hope it helps.
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« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2014, 04:15:30 AM »

hi people,

when I am stressed or feeling bad I tend to automutilate but in a "light" version, I do not badly hurt myself, but it's kind of embarrassing anyway.

it has aspects of compulsive behaviour combined with some kind of auto-hypnosis: I put myself in some kind of trance in which I do not feel the pain and I can go on for hours if I do not actively call myself back  

I wonder if there's a link between this "auto-hypnosis" and dissociation ?
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« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2014, 01:22:33 PM »

I wonder if there's a link between this "auto-hypnosis" and dissociation ?

Yes, there is.  Freud studied it, and declared auto-hypnosis as a kind of dissociative state.  More recent studies describe it as a possible coping mechanism for trauma, and/or high stress levels.  

That said, we all dissociate from time to time, in different degrees.  Even runner's high can be a kind of dissociation.  Smiling (click to insert in post)
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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2014, 03:04:45 AM »

aha, then maybe we could say that auto-hypnosis is more like an "active" way to dissociate whilst with a pwBPD, it "overcomes" them...

I wonder if they are aware of being in such a state and if they can call themselves back to reality at a certain point ?
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You called me strong, you called me weak
You took for granted all the times I never let you down
You stumbled in and bumped your head, if not for me then you'd be dead
I picked you up and put you back on solid ground,
and watched the world float to the dark side of the moon...
- 3 Doors Down -
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« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2016, 04:46:25 PM »

I have pictures of my ex-husband (BP) when he is dissociating while standing next to me.  You can actually see on his face that he is just not mentally there.  I cannot imagine what the stressful part of the situation was since we were spending the 4th of July at an amusement park with my family. 

I also remember passing him in the hall of our home when I swear he did not realize I was there.

I do not have BPD, but I dissociate a lot.

Its kind of funny, because when I was taking psychology classes and read about dissocation, I never realized that I did it. It wasn't until I had my kids that I realize just how much I space out. There are a few books in our kids library that I have read several times, but I couldn't tell you the plot. I have watched entire movies that I haven't seen. Often, I will realize that my kids have been talking to me and I didn't realize it, and just last week, I walked by my son at his school, totally not realizing that he was there.

Its totally involuntary. I never realize that I am going into it. I only realize it when it is time to come out of it. It can frustrate my husband very much..

Its my comfort place. I want to go there.

I have noticed that I tend to go there when there is a lot of stimulation. An amusement park could certainly provide that.
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