Here's the Thing

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Dissociative Thoughts

I have been spending a lot of time thinking. Not that that is anything unusual, or amazing, just that that is part of why I have not been here to post - Strangely enough. I have been thinking and re-thinking over the same thoughts and trying to mesh them in a way that does not sound wrong.

Frankly, I have given up trying. So will post it, however it happens to tumble from my brain and through my finger tips onto the keyboard.

Someone said to me recently that I am 'qualified' in mental health. Not in the 'I have trained and gained some form of Masters' sense, but in the 'certifiable' sense. This, and the recent pledge campaigns of some organisations, got me thinking about mental health and my own stance on it.

I am very very vocal about the fact that I do have 'issues'. I think in some ways this is a good thing - As it means people are less stunned on the occasions where I fall apart and it all goes wrong. I do not have a why or a how though - So am very reticent about giving details on those things and I think that in the long term, people get pissed off with me and want me to just 'get over it'.

I have had that said to my face more than once in my life, so it would not shock me if it was the general opinion of many human beings that I come across in my day to day life.

I have done a lot of reading, a lot of research and have talked to and chatted on forums with many people with large variations of mh issues. I am a supporter on one forum. So know that I am often surrounded by it.

I can not say that means I understand it any more than I did when I first started out though. Mostly, it has given me terminology. A way of defining some of what I feel and think and experience so that I can express it in a unified way. I think this may also piss off the 'get over it' crowd. As they somehow feel, if I really did have these things, they would have been dealt with by now.

Sometimes I wonder if I have made myself the way I am. If my Mother is right when she says I 'take on' the symptoms of what I have read in some 'way of gaining attention'. I wonder if this is the true nature of myself. An attention whore. Then I realise that at my worst, at the times when I am really struggling, my instant reaction is to dissociate, to curl up in a feotal position, often in a fit of tears and hide from the world. Somehow in the hope it will go away and leave me to some semblance of peace.

I have dissociated a lot lately and it has left me feeling tired. I spend a lot of time fighting to bring myself back and stay 'grounded'. It is mostly only mild, but there have been a few times this past week or so when I have 'stepped away' for long enough to feel a distinction.

Dissociation - for those of you that do not know, is like a circuit-breaker in the mind which switches when the mind feels like it can not cope with an overload of stimuli, emotion, or experience. In my case, therefore, it is mostly when I am very stressed or upset, or if I am out in crowded places. Everyone dissociates to some extent - some believe that is part of what day-dreaming is. It is when everything gets that little bit hazy and you can't quite remember what happened during those five minutes. Where the world feels like it is being viewed through a bubble and is that little bit more out of touch.

I only bring it up as I have come to the conclusion this is what has been happening, gradually more and more frequently for me. It took a fair bit of research to reach that conclusion. Mostly because if you look online and google dissociation, you will be pointed towards Dissociative Identity Disorder (once called Multiple Personality Disorder) and PTSD and the suffering of some major trauma or abuse....

The most trauma I ever really had in life was a four and a half day coma at the age of 4 - when I was diagnosed of diabetes. Seconded only by the death of my Grandmother when I was 11.

That is it. Honestly. It is almost impossible to find information that does not somehow suggest there must be some onion ring in your life that needs peeling away at to find. But I digress and know this is something I have mentioned before.

I started Yoga recently. The first class, I think this was one of those times when I dissociated and was most aware of a feeling of vulnerability. In its most child-like state. Fragile and panicked and unsafe. Scared of everything and wanting nothing more than to curl up and protect the self. That is, after all, what the feotal position is for.

I would raise it as an issue or mode of thought with someone from cmht, where it not for the fact that I no longer see anyone from there... I think I am due to see the Psych next in July or something.

Beyond that... Nothing. No-one. So I will write here. To put it down. However fragmented it may seem.


  1. These are some pretty serious thoughts :) But I think you will only gain from thinking about them... and then thinking some more... and then some more. It's brave of you to face your issues head on - good luck in all that you find as you do so!

  2. Thank you for reading and commenting. It means a lot.

    Knowing the way my mind works, I imagine I will think over these things a fair few more times.

    I think too much, apparently. I have a mind that can churn over things, pull them apart, re-assemble them and still have time and interest to do the same again in an attempt to somehow find a better, or different answer or perspective.