Am I dissociating?

The question is that simple, well, assuming that dissociation can even be explained simply, I’m not exactly the most knowledged on the topic, and perhaps the issue I’ll describe isn’t even a case of dissociation but something completely else.

So, for a good while now, I cannot fully estimate for how long exactly this has been going on, I can trace this back to my childhood, or I can trace his back to just two or three years ago, but I’ve always had this… very poor sense of identity. I mostly never truly felt like there was a me, yes, I had a personality, yes I had my interests, but outside of those interests, I could barely define myself as a person, and even then, just by using them it felt difficult.

What was easy for me to do, was being a different person, not exactly changing who I am or how I act, but adopting a different identity altogether, I was always the kid who loved to play pretend with his friends, or his siblings. The problem is, that when I was just seven or eight, it was all just child’s play, it was for fun. But today, it feels like I compulsively adopt different identities, mostly ones of the opposite gender (NOTE: these identities make me more comfortable, but I do not experience any gender dysphoria to my knowledge). This happens for a good majority of the day, mostly to myself, but also to some people over the Internet, I don’t want to use my pretend identities to people I know would think of me as some weird idiot for them. Please note that while these identities are made by me, are inspired by other characters, or are actually them, I often lack control of which identity I adopt and when.

As comfortable and pleasant as I find it to adopt a different identity, it’s incredibly uncomforting to suddenly have my brain adopt an identity while around IRL people, because I won’t be able to express it, and my mind often tumbles into the anxiety of being one personality in my head, but having to express who the real me is supposed to be.

I have done some searches and asked closer friends about it, and I was pointed to all sorts of things, Multiple Personality Disorder, dissociation, PTSD, anxiety. And I don’t know if I struggle with either of them, I have no diagnosis of any sort, and I cannot trust myself to go to therapy as my parents aren’t good with mental health at all, and would simply blame the weird identity issues on spending too much time online. Please note, it cannot be PTSD or trauma as I have no memory of any traumatic or triggering events.

I don’t want to self-diagnose, and I’m not trying to ask an Internet forum for a diagnosis, but can the issue I’ve described be considered dissociation? Is this som different problem or none at all?
Any answer helps, thank you.


Thanks for sharing this all with us. I know it’s a very difficult thing sometimes to share the inner workings in your life and in your mind.
When there are many external factors causing stressors on someone’s life, it can become a tough situation to deal with sometimes. Allowing escape from reality to take over in a sense of playfulness can be enjoyable no doubt about it. It can be easy to get caught up in these personas when they end up becoming something that becomes a part of normal daily life where one spends a majority of their time trying to adorn the suit of a character they have either conceived of or have been inspired by. It becomes somewhat of a fixation sometimes because of the active imagination (i do not mean a negative one, but a creative mind) which needs some positive external stimulation or direction for their passions to work through. Many actors and writers can find themselves enthralled within their works. Throughout history you can see many people becoming engaged very deeply with the characters created within their own books and other creative works interacting daily with them in a way that can allow a productive life when they are set up for success, have set personal boundaries, and otherwise approach with a viewpoint that had changed as they have become more comfortable with they’re self (present and past).

It becomes hard when one have been unable to truly define their own self image and it can become a much easier way to express the inner feelings via the known personas of those that others know from daily life and which ones own self feels a comfort within the persona of. The expansive sense of the characterized self, in a sense being the main characters in the stories of life, allows one to explore more than just the perceived limitations of ones own self and that self’s life, even though that person is amazing in their own right.
After a while it truly becomes second nature and one part of ones self being spills into another part of the self being, creating a duality or plurality of the sense of self while not always causing a division of the self.
Redirection of the self to perception as an individual whole being while integrating the positive aspects of the whole self is not always an easy task and discernment of the every day reality versus the persona online can be very difficult when one’s self is so deeply integrated through these personas into multiple aspects of a life in multiple ways. It’s something to work through in life, but the end goal of understanding the own self is an amazing relief when the time does arrive for those who have worked through that and other issues which cause similar feelings.

Sometimes being able to redirect that creative aspect into positive writing and journaling can be a good start to a road of success, but as much as counseling may seem like a bad thing, you should seriously consider getting a counselor and also talking to a doctor about how this makes you feel and how these situations are effecting your every day life as you are expressing concern to us. They are the ones who will be able to put more pieces of the puzzle together and can add more to the conversation with you giving you the answer to the question you ask us.

I know this might not be an answer, more of a perspective, on what you are sharing with us, but i also hope it can be of some use to you to hear my viewpoint.

You are loved, you matter, and you are cared for greatly!


From: Night/in/gale (Discord)

Heyo friend! I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. It must be quite disconcerting to experience things like that. I’m glad to hear that you’re trying to figure out what is going on, and also that you’re not panicking at the different possibilities that you have looked up. I think the best advice I can give is to go see a doctor about it. I’m not sure what country you’re in, but depending on your age and location, you don’t need parental permission to go see a doctor. If that’s not possible, I would still strongly encourage you to try and talk to your parents about it,even if you feel the response will be negative. Them knowing about it is better than keeping it to yourself and suffering alone in silence. And who knows? Maybe they won’t react the way you think they would. The human mind is a complex one, and seeking out professional help is the best way to try and put the pieces of the puzzle together, work through what’s going through your head, maybe what triggered these switches…Whatever you decide to do, I hope it brings you peace of mind and that you are able to work through what’s going on. We’re rooting for you! Best of luck


From: SpiderTrev (Discord)

Hey Danzzyy, I am sorry this is happening. It can be quite scary and stressful wondering why we do things and who we are. Taking on different personas even if they seem to be a negative thing, it sounds like you are exploring who you want to be and who you are right now. I know you said you do not want a professional to help you, however it sounds like this might be hugely important to you and to your journey. Perhaps talk to a doctor and ask them for help and they can keep this confidential too. Just because your parents don’t agree, does not mean they know what you actually need. I hope you find some help and some answers that you are seeking. Good luck with it all and we are here for this. You are strong and amazing for speaking out, thank you for sharing. Here is another wonderful person who has a similar story to you, I hope this also helps you friend : Almost 6 years post MVA


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