Dissociation: the facts

Last week has been a rollercoaster ride for everyone. And a couple of ambulance ones for me. I’ve dissociated the last Thursday and Friday nights. As if coming “free” of these times of dissociation and feeling totally out of it wasn’t enough, it’s working out my last steps for clues about what’s happened.

TW for the next little while…

The first night I found what I was looking for fairly easyily- empty sheets of meds. Which I didn’t think was too much, I just wanted some peace. If that means I have to die to get it, so be it, but I’m trying my best for Mum, Dad, Brad, Amy and Calvin. They are always there for me but most of the time I feel it difficult to ask for help, though I am getting better at recognizing that which is a step forward Anyway I ended up ringing a friend who works at the hospital because I didn’t want to wake my parents. I’m glad my friend was on duty because it made things so much easier. She checked to see if it was okay with one of the doctors and they said I needed to be there asap and after I got out of the ambulance everything had been set up. I had to be hooked up to heart monitors which always sends flight systems thrpugh my head and I just wanted to leave. I found like 16 sticky dots over all me when I got home and showered. Earlier that night in resus the doctor explained to me the fact that there was a like 60% chance of intubation and them having to do that etc, but I was one of the 40% lucky ones. It’s happened to a couple of times over the years. There was a scary experience of not knowing what was going on, and the nurses were shaking me and calling my name and sticking torches in my eyes. I must have been really out of it as I thought “is this the afterlife?”

And Friday night it really was the worst. I tried to remember where I’d been and eventually I found more sheets of my antipsychotic (the same as the night before) but this time I knew the sheets were definitely full. I don’t know how I got them but I did and the voice and my crusade for peace must make some sort of sense, to take away my ability to think properly. Logical Domi is gone. Apparently my brother came to see me and I was too out of this to remember in the morning.

Dissociation is more common than you might think, and often causes a lot of pain and sometimes even death. Because, it’s not “you” that’s doing these things, but the unlogical side of you who can’t control your actions. It’s often that it is distressing when you’re about to go into a dissociated state (which I am slowly learning what I feel when this happens and try to ask for help) and coming out is worse, because you often have people around you and you don’t recognize them for a little while. Which is so so scary- family/friends trying to console you but not knowing who you are. It is horrible for everyone involved.

I found this artwork awhile ago now (pinterest, tumblr maybe?) and I think it represents PSTD so well. (I’m not sure who made it.)

Most of my episodes happen when I’m in my pjs and if I’m in a public place it’s very embarrassing. But last time it happened I got a genuine “I really like your outfit” which when you look back, is really funny.

Here I took some information from a website that has closed down now apparently. I think most of it pretty relevant.

1: Disclaimer: One of your greatest tools in helping someone through a dissociative episode is your knowledge of them. Some of these things will not work for everyone, and some people may react negatively to some of these (esp. being touched). It’s good to ask people what they would prefer when they’re experiencing a dissociative episode.

2: Tactile Stuff
– Give them something to hold or touch: Stuffed animal, blanket, worry stone, a pet, ect. (Especially something calming and/or stimulating)

– Give them something to drink or eat

– Touch their arm or hand

– Give them a hug

3: Things You Can Say (Note: Do not yell at them, but speak clearly and simply)

– Say their name

– Tell them the date or where they are

– Just talk to them (especially topics that are calming and/or stimulating)

4: Get them Involved!

– Take them on a walk

– Play a game with them

– Give them something to focus on: Book, tactile stuff, tv, ect.

5: If there is a trigger to the dissociative episode, you can remove the trigger (if possible).

Some people may be helped by leaving the situation and going someplace calm.

Some people would prefer to be left alone to come out of it by themselves.

For me, what I do to try and stop things becoming really bad is music, definitely but also sometimes movies/TV shows, playing with my Switch, playing with Calvin (these photos are extremely cute- warning!) updating my diary or writing a letter, painting my nails or doing face marks, spending time with friends, but most of all a hug, preferably from Mum but a hug from anyone before you get to that critical stage helps me, as long as, due to my ptsd, I’m aware you’re going to touch me. I’m usually okay with that, once you’ve let it be known.

Nighttime is especially bad for me and I’m often hiding in my room trying to ease some of my pressure before anything bad happens. Using many of the above mentioned distractions. Speaking of that, my meds are still in their locked safe, but now Mum and Dad lock their door too. It’s because they love me, I know… but it hurts a little that I’m so “sneaky” or whatever.

With dissociation and PTSD and any mental illness, it’s like you’re a prisoner.       A prisoner of your own mind.

Once again this week had been so incredibly hard, not just for me, but to watch Mum going through what she’s going through hurts so much. I try to keep the crying to either in the shower or if I know Mum and Dad are having a rest. Can you run out of tears?? I’m going to find out.

Oh! This week I started yoga again- with a friend for the first time ever, and after months without it I was so eager to go. My aim is three classes a week if that’s doable, I’m starting with baby steps.


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