Hoo boy it’s been a while since I’ve been on here. I’ve been struggling to put into words how I’ve been feeling for the last two or three years in regards to how my brain works? I guess? The closest I can figure, I’ve just been dissociating through life for a while, and I could never quite put into words how that affected everything I do. Eventually I just ended up with the below. It’s sort of an open letter to my teachers I guess, because I feel like my dissociating affects me the most academically, especially as my last year comes to a close, and that’s how I could write about it best. I’m not really sure this belongs on this site, but I’m not sure where else to put it. There’s not really anyone I can talk to about it constructively with(esp. because of the quarantine) Feel free to let me know if it’s not super relevant to post, I’ll take it down :slight_smile:

Most of the time it’s like I’m in a bubble, almost. It’s like my brain removes itself from my body. It’s not exactly like zoning out but my inner voice +thoughts feel extremely surface level, almost, like I can’t really go that deep into my brain.
I think this is why I don’t participate in discussions as much as I should. It’s like my brain wants to stay isolated and in its comfort zone, so the second I raise my hand (effectively trying to become more present and active in my own automomy, I think) my brain freaks out and I get this jolt of anxiety that doesn’t really go away and I almost immediately forget what I was going to say. My theory is that my brain is so deep into it’s need to dissociate that it actively tries to stop me from being present. I think this effects my essays as well, although I’m not quite sure about the specifics of how. It’s truly just as frustrating for me, wanting to write an essay, and trying to think of how and what to write, and then giving up until the last minute. I hate, truly, to use this as an excuse, or any excuse, because it’s not a tangible reason to not write. It’s not even something I’d view as crippling, like severe depression or anxiety. It’s just a wall that my brain puts up, and I want nothing more than to be able to pass it.
It’s frustrating because I spent most of my school career thinking I was lazy, laughing it off as procrastination and just accepting the grades I got. But something tells me that’s not it. I viscerally, truly want to complete assignments (and well!) but there is always something in my mind stopping me. Particularly in English but in other classes as well. It tears me apart to think that teachers think of me as lazy, because at this point I know I’m not, I just don’t know how to fix whatever this is.
It also affects my emotions. I’ve never felt anything deeply, at least that I can remember. I’m never not able to control my anger, because it’s very surface level. The same with happiness, I think. I come across as very in control of my emotions, I feel like, but it’s just that I don’t feel them properly.
I should add that this is educated speculation on my part, based on how I live and some prior knowledge of anxiety and dissociative thinking + disorders.
I’m not certain I was able to convey exactly what I wished to, but it’s the best I can do for now.
As far as I can figure, i have an issue with dissociation, probably due to prolonged anxiety that my brain eventually just decided to nope out of.
(Appologies for how disjointed this is, I sort of just wrote down everything all at once)

Thanks for reading, I’m not quite sure what my reasoning for posting this here is, maybe for advice? Maybe just to vent a bit, but anyhow, I welcome any suggestions or words of advice about this whole deal. I realize it’s not like what’s normally posted here, but I hope it’s at least a bit relevant

*edit: I should note that when I refer to dissociating, I’m not referring to dissociative identity disorder. Perhaps a better word to use tthroughout would have been derealizing.


Hi friend! Thank you for posting. My current partner dissociates semi frequently and i always find it hard to deal with personally because i have no clue what its like and idk how i can comfort or help them. so thank you for further explaining what its like and helping me (and im sure many others) kind of understand it at a surface level.
Im finding it hard to give advice because, well again, idk what its like, or what you go through on the daily. The reason im commenting is because this is VERY similar to what i went through with ADHD. I always WANTED to get homework done, WANTED to do well on assignments and tests. WANTED to engage in class, but i never could. there was always something going on in my mind and it was near impossible to actually DO it. What sucked even more is that if i actually did an assignment, that was only half the battle. Turning it in was a whole different story. The point im trying to make is that you arent lazy. i refused to admit that my ADHD was a “disorder” and that im just not a good student, or as smart as my peers, and that really messed me up. It took me 2 extra years to graduate highschool because i refused to accept what i was diagnosed with 8 years ago. Im hoping someone will comment and give you some good coping techniques to help you focus or maybe snap out of it?
Dont give up. Try to understand whats good for YOU. Dont be ashamed of this and let it control you in a negative way. You know whats good for you. Just do your best! Dont compare yourself to others and dont stress about being behind because of something thats out of your control.


Hey friend,

RamJam’s partner here. I believe that I experience a form of dissociation, though I believe that to be an umbrella term and my experiences fall somewhere under that umbrella.

I know that dissociation is something that most people experience at least once in their lifetime. It used to happen to me at random when I was younger. I would tell my parents about it and would say “it feels like I’m in a dream.” But it came and went, and was never really a hindrance on anything I did.

Last year, it became more common for me. It felt like I was in a haze/fog, especially after having panic attacks (last year I dealt with a lot of trauma/assault stuff). To me, this seemed pretty justified - I was panicking due to trauma, and then my second response after panic was dissociation. I never felt the need to bring this up with my therapist because it wasn’t THE trauma; it was the trauma response. (And to me, it doesn’t suck as bad as having panic attacks. So why talk about it?)

The past two weeks or so I feel like I’ve been dissociating way more than usual. My best guess is that it has to do with me panicking about the Coronavirus, but my brain is dealing with that panicking by dissociating. (Which makes sense, since dissociation is used to protect people from trauma). I feel like I’ve been dissociating most of the time with a few hours of clarity, rather than the other way around. I don’t normally dissociate every day, but lately that’s what’s been happening.

This is mainly what I experience:
-feeling of living in a dream/movie
-feeling like the people and things around me aren’t real
-not feeling like I’m real when I look in the mirror (I know it’s my body and mind, but I feel like a different entity)
-having numb emotions

Normally my dissociation doesn’t/didn’t last long, and I would just wait it out. It’d go away on its own. But when I dissociate for hours, I don’t have the time to just “wait it out.”

Here are some of my techniques:
-taking a bath
-physically talking to someone (this one has been helping a lot recently)
-listening to music, especially if it’s a song I like to sing
-holding, making, or petting something with my hands

I don’t know if any of those things will help you, but there’s no harm in trying.
I really don’t have any other advice, but just know that you aren’t alone.

hold fast <3