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Does anyone know anything about dissociation?

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by AsphyxiateOnWords, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. I've googled this on various occasions, but I assume you guys are more likely to be of help since I'm sure some of you experience this. My husband has a dissociative disorder. It could be either DID or DDNOS. I can't be certain which one, but I know for a fact that it's one of the two.

    It happened again yesterday. Following a stressful situation, he said he had chest pains and a splitting headache that kept coming and going. I kept asking him what was going on and begged him to talk to me. He told me to stay away and stop talking because he was afraid of how he'd react if I didn't. I backed off. I then noticed he was spacing out, and his mood suddenly went from depressed to somewhat hostile and, for lack of better words, eerily happy. The headaches also stopped.

    If you or someone you know has gone through anything like this, are you aware of any headaches and pains when you/they dissociate? How long does the dissociation last and what does it feel like when it starts to come on? Do you miss chunks of time? For DID, specifically, do the alters have different names and do they know about what other alters have done/experienced?

    Anything else would also be of tremendous help.
    DowntheRabbitHole likes this.
  2. Walker

    Walker Everything Zen Staff Member Safety & Support SF Social Media SF Supporter

    I just saw this and we were talking about something similar elsewhere.
    Saying he's got DID or DDNOS is like saying "he's either got a cold .....or a runny rose, congestion and a cough". DID is the main disorder which branches into other sub types. When those sub types are ruled out then it's specified as NOS ("not otherwise specified"), because maybe they believe the person has something but the symptoms just don't really correlate well enough to shove in a box.

    The person I know with DID doesn't have personalities with names. The times from switch to switch are long but seem to me to be infrequent, meaning not often during a day. This chick seems to go days at a time and then switch back but I don't ASK about it either. She complains of a lot of weird smells like exhaust or gas fumes and shit that aren't there when she's having a lot of issues which then bring on headaches.
  3. I looked up all the dissociative disorders before. From what I understand, there's DID, dissociative fugue, dissociative amnesia, depersonilazation disorder, and DDNOS. Considering there's no other ones, it seems the only two possibilities are DID and DDNOS. But it's not like he'd go get diagnosed to find out which.

    I know that DID used to be MPD. It also seems to me based on certain things I've read that some people see the two as different diagnoses. But I'm not sure 100% what exactly goes on with him when he gets symptoms. It's confusing because sometimes he remembers things and other times he doesn't. And I can't tell for sure if it's a totally different personality sometimes or not when he dissociates (or doesn't). Like I said in my message to you, he seemed to have switched, but I never noticed him switching back before the depression came back. I could be wrong though. He might've and I just didn't notice. I really don't know.
    DowntheRabbitHole likes this.
  4. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    I have dissociated in the past. I often felt like I was watching myself from a birds eye view or that I was spectating what was going on than actually being in it myself. I can't say I have ever had a headache but I did used to feel tired from it. I tended to dissociate if I felt uncomfortable in a situation or anxious about it. I never really remembered what happened in the moment I dissociated.
    DowntheRabbitHole likes this.
  5. Thanks butterfly. So it sounds to me like you had both dissociation and depersonilization then? Did the dissociation stop? Did you find yourself forgetting things and/or missing time?
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  6. Innocent Forever

    Innocent Forever Go as long as you can. And then take another step. Chat Pro SF Supporter

    I've often dissociated, to different degrees... primarily just cutting off. Or knowing I'm stressed by the fact I'm shaking but if you'd ask me I'd say I was calm.
    It's very individual....
    And unless he wants help, all you can do is learn how to handle it.
    It's funny, okay not funny at all, but what you said reminded me of something AH (therapist I skype) has said to me a few times. He's basically told me that he never knows which version of Inno he is going to get, and that he never knows what'll happen during the session. That it's often like a flip switches and he's faced with a very different Inno, and that he's no clue what he's done - if anything - to cause that.
    I think though, that you may be referring to something completely different.
  7. What do you mean by different hun? How would you describe the "other versions of you"?
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  8. Innocent Forever

    Innocent Forever Go as long as you can. And then take another step. Chat Pro SF Supporter

    Different as in, I don't think I'd be diagnosed with a dissociative disorder.
    I cut off yeah, but I never forget what has happened. There are people who cut off and forget what has happened. There are people who switch to different alters. And even within a specific disorder every single person would experience it differently.
    The only point of a diagnosis is to a, help a person understand what is going on, and b, to plan treatment. Diagnoses can be incorrect. So they aren't always helpful. And if there is no view for treatment.... then it's not the point of what diagnosis will apply, it's about understanding what is happening for the specific person.
    Just my tuppence, which I probably shouldn't have offered.

    The other versions of me? Well, they're all me. I can be silent, can be jumping, can be hyper, can be calm, or anything at all. And yeah I can switch from one to the other really easily. Especially if something gets to be 'too much' or isn't safe enough for me (doesn't mean there's any danger, just if i don't feel safe)
  9. I agree that there's not much of a point wondering about specific diagnoses. I guess its just my natural curiosity cause I've studied it in college. But yeah, mostly I'm trying to understand what's happening to him specifically. I know nobody's experience will be the same, but there will be similarities, and I don't want to miss any signs of anything if I see them. And don't say you shouldn't have offered. You've been very helpful in many ways. And you'll always be one of my favorite people on here <3
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  10. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    Mine was definitely related to anxiety so I would “shut off” to try and escape the situation but I never remembered what happened during those periods. I don’t often suffer with anxiety now so I haven’t had this happen in a long time.
  11. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    I dissociate quite often, even more when anxious. Sometimes it's just zoning out for a while, I'm sort of aware it's happening but but to me it feels like a few seconds but can be an hour or more. I have had times when it's been for two or three days and I have no memory of anything during that time.
    I don't remember ever having a headache before or during but I do sometimes get a buzzing in my ears.
  12. Has anyone told you something you've done that you didn't remember at the time?
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  13. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Yes. I've had doctor's appointments that I have no recollection of. Cooked dinner, left the house etc and don't remember. It's quite scary to have no memory of things you've done.
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  14. TBear

    TBear Antiquities Friend

    I was diagnosed with full blown DID.... 23 parts most with their own names, ages, etc...also experienced all the other dissociative symptoms you mentioned "dissociative fugue, dissociative amnesia, depersonilazation disorder.." Worked in therapy for more that 11 years till fusion of all alters and am now in supportive therapy ... I have to be free of switching for at least 3 years to lose the diagnosis - so I am DID in remission :)

    With that background - I would tell you that you cannot diagnose this on the fly and you need a professional who is experienced in dissociation and trauma to make the diagnosis and to treat. I would recommend the book " The Haunted Self" by Onno van der Hart, Eller Nijenhuis and Kathy Steele . Also the book "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel Van Der Kolk if you want some reliable and accurate information on the subject.
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  15. DowntheRabbitHole

    DowntheRabbitHole SF Supporter

    Diagnosed in 1992 with MPD. Yes, we have pain in our head when we "switch".
    I'm not really comfortable sharing here. PM me if you want to talk more.

    TBear likes this.
  16. Bluetoo

    Bluetoo SF Supporter

    I asked my therapist if she thought I was dissociated or experiencing depersonalization. She said she didn’t believe so based on my discriptipn of a few experiences.
    The biggest experience I had was shortly after discovering my husband cheated on me. We met at an sanon meeting because we were worried he was a sex addict. (I don’t think so anymore) It was very intense going to that place. I sat in the hall waiting for him and then afterwards the head guy talked to both of us. I was so scared.
    After that we met at a local restaurant and I had 2 beers through out the meal of 2 hours. Then drove home separately. On the way home I went into this state of seeing psychedelic lights from the headlights and street lights and brake lights of my husband’s truck. I snapped out of it a little and was like what is happening? Then it came on again and I liked it. I felt like a whole different person, and was ‘wild’ when I got home.
    Later that night I told h that I felt like I did when my girlfriend and I got slipped a roofie while listening to live music at a bar. We tried to get the guy arrested but he worked for some big Corp and the cops blew it off, even after finding his place of work. Somehow I had got a picture of him with his logo on his baseball hat. He even took us to his hotel room and left me alone because I was crying for my husband. My gf wasn’t so lucky.
    So I thought the waiter at the restaurant that night slipped something in my drink. I even called the cops to file a report and they went to the restaurant to look at their surveillance videos. I feel sick about calling them.
    But... in the next few days and months I had a few more episodes and there was no way I was slipped anything. I felt like I was crazy and still kind of do.
    On the other hand, it was actually fun when it happened. It’s not happened again in over a year. Anyone relate to this experience? I told my therapist I felt like it was a fugue state. Pretty weird.
  17. Yellowmellow

    Yellowmellow Well-Known Member

    I used to dissociate with ptsd.
    I think it’s different to what you’re describing, because mine was a reliving the emotions of a traumatic event.
    I remembered and was able to get myself to safety until I felt ok again.