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Author Topic: Feeling Awful Right Now.
Sans
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Ugh. I'm feeling completely dissociated at the moment. Totally psychologically numb, detached, and apathetic. I tried to make myself feel something, anything. Anything is better than nothing, at least for now.

This can happen several times a day, and, according to my psychiatrist, is attributed to the fact that I suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's extremely difficult to function at all when I'm feeling dissociated in this manner.

I guess I just want to talk to someone. [Frown]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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SansNom: I'm sorry that you posted this when it appears absolutely no one was around. Hopefully, you were able to get hold of another resource or support to get you through the night.

I'm afraid that I'm out of town right now for work so I don't have the ability to have any extended conversations with anyone today, and it looks like other volunteers still aren't around.

If you want someone to talk with ASAP, here are the listings for Befrienders (Canada's branch of the Samaritans, a very helpful phone helpline service): http://www.befrienders.org/helplines/helplines.asp?c2=Canada

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sans
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Hey, Heather. Thanks for replying.

I appreciate the referral to Befrienders. However, I was unable to call them because of the time of night. I live with my mother in an apartment that has poor soundproofing. If I talked on the phone, I would've definitely woken her up. ^^;

BUT, if I happen to feel like this during the day, I will contact them for sure.

I did manage to get through last night in a literal sense. As in, I took a sleeping pill, forced myself to fall asleep, and ignored how I felt. If I actually attempted to help myself experience some sort of emotion, I probably wouldn't have gone to sleep until after midnight.

Every time I feel dissociated, I would try to ignore it. But it's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. For me, it's scarier than any emotion at any intensity. [Frown]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Heather
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Feeling numb, I agree, can be really scary. I remember feeling like that during my early teens and every now and then getting really scared that at some point, I'd just kind of be and stay numb forever.

I do think ignoring this isn't a sound plan: if and when we're dissociating a lot, that really tells us we have some big things we need to deal with.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Sans
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I can totally relate to the fear that I'd stay numb forever, actually. [Frown]

It's just that it feels like I've been frequently dissociated for such a long time. I don't know when and if I'll be able to escape from feeling this way.

Ignoring this, actually, has been the only strategy I've been able to come up with. Nothing else works.

I do attend therapy and sessions with my psychiatrist for the trauma I've suffered in the past, but my therapist focuses primarily on helping me understand, process, and come to terms with the abuse, while my psychiatrist believes that she just hasn't found a medicine that works best for me yet. That is all well and good, but I'm at a loss as to how to deal with this while it's happening.

I'd appreciate any and all advice.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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eryn_smiles
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Unfortunately I don't have any advice, but I do hope that this gets better for you soon, SansNom. Has your therapist ever discussed any specific grounding strategies to try during these situations?

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"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

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Sans
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She did, actually, discuss grounding strategies with me, but those are intended to be used for times when I'm feeling extreme emotional distress, not numbness. [Frown]

Sigh. I really don't know what to do. It happened again today in the middle of an audition for a university music program. [Frown]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Sans
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I'm pretty mad at myself right now, actually, because I become dissociated at the most inopportune times (aside from the audition, it happened last week during a important in-class essay) and there is seemingly nothing I can do in order to get out of it.

I'll be seeing my psychiatrist tomorrow, and she'll probably be starting me on a new medicine that could help (or make it worse). The thing is, I had been on the latest medicine for about half a year and trying different doses besides. It didn't work out. I guess I'm just frustrated that we still haven't found the medicine that works for me, serving to curb my PTSD symptoms and my depression, including the dissociation and constant fatigue, all at once.

Aside from hoping that this new medicine does the trick, I don't know what else to do. I've been trying to cope the best that I can but if things keep going like this.....

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Sans
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Well. I went to see my psychiatrist yesterday and she didn't have any advice for me as to how to deal with numbness as it is happening. She did increase my dosage, saying that it might help, but nothing else.

The only effective method of coping that I've been able to come up with is cutting. [Frown]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Redskies
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SansNom, I'm sorry to hear this is tough for you at the moment. I've no idea how a person deals with dissociating during an audition - I guess I can just hope that you knew the music well enough to take you through it? I've not experienced this exact thing myself, so again, I'm not so much use to you, and I hope someone who knows more can chip in soon. Just in the meantime, though, one thing that I know of is, instead of cutting, a person can put an elastic band or hairband around their wrist, and twang it. I just wondered if the feeling of the impact of that might help to bring you out. Something I've read, too, is people suggesting things like reciting your name, where you are, what you're doing, the people you can see, the objects that you can see. But as I said, this isn't an area I'm strong on knowledge for, and I don't want to pretend for a second that it is.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Sans
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Hey, Redskies. Thanks for replying.

I will try the strategies that you listed next time I'm feeling dissociated, and hopefully it will work. At the very least, I will definitely find some sort of substitute for cutting.

And don't worry about not being an expert in this. I have recieved no advice from anyone regarding how to cope, and will try anything.

Unfortunately, during my audition, as a result of the dissociation, I completely blanked out in certain places. I managed to pick up where I left off, but the memory lapse was obvious. [Frown]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Redskies
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SansNom, I'm sorry to hear that about the audition. Dunno if this is appropriate to you right now or not, but in case it is, I'll say - don't give up on your dreams. Sometimes it takes longer for us to reach them than we intended or hoped, particularly if we've experienced very challenging personal circumstances - but don't give up on them. If you want to study music and you believe you're good enough, you can and will get there.

One thing that occurred to me - the times you describe dissociating are times when you're experiencing stress. Unsurprising, because the dissociation is probably a coping skill you learned when you were under unreasonable stress before, that you couldn't escape from. I wonder if any of the people treating you would consider it appropriate to work with you on finding new ways for you to approach and deal with stressful situations, so that your dissociation response might be gradually phased out?

Again, I hope someone else comes along with better knowledge about how to handle the dissociation when it happens.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Sans
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Thanks again for your response. I really appreciate it.

I will definitely bring up the connection that you made between my dissociation and stress to my therapist, because I think that it's very much valid. I'm not sure that all of the instances where I feel numb can be connected to stress, since it happens every day. However, as you stated, dissociation can certainly been a coping skill for me. I will ask my therapist, then, for strategies to deal with situations without having to dissociate.

Today, for example, I was talking to my mother about a nightmare I had last night that was connected with previous abuse suffered at the hands of my stepfather. Later in the day, while I was thinking about the events that occurred in the dream and the ones from real life that I was reminded of, my emotions were numbed and I was unable to feel anything. I'm pretty sure that it has to do with what we've talked about.

I'm still not sure how to approach the fact that I'm dissociated so much from day to day, even without triggers or reminders of the trauma. This continues to bother me.

But, Redskies, I'm grateful for the encouragement regarding the pursuing of my dream. Truly. My piano has been my only reason for living throughout the abuse, when I felt connected and understood by no one, and now, because of my lack of emotional responsiveness, I've been severely discouraged and disillusioned in myself and my ability to make music. I understand, technically, that this is just one of the things where I have to hang in there and not give up, but on most days, when I am completely numb and unable to elicit from myself even the slightest shred of motivation, I just can't see the possibility of me having a future at all. I was feeling that way earlier, actually. Your encouragement put a smile on my face. So, again, thank you.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Sans
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Actually, upon re-reading my post, I would say that the lack of motivation is the most frustrating aspect in all of this.

To me, it's one thing to be completely devoid of emotion. It's another, however, to feel detached enough from life in general to the point of wanting to curl up and cease existing altogether. [Frown]

[ 03-29-2012, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: SansNom ]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Sans
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Eugh. Today. All. Day. Just. Eugh.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Sans
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Today was quite the horrible day.

Starting from morning until about noon, numbness hit me hard. None of the techniques for escaping dissociation worked, despite the fact that I tried them all. I don't remember having been this numb for at least a month.

I was also triggered by a horror film we watched in class. I couldn't get out of the subsequent series of flashbacks I had.

Right now, I'm curled up in my room. Some of the earlier panic has been alleviated, but I'm starting to go numb again. [Frown]

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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