8 thoughts on “The Line Between “Spacing Out” and “Dissociation” is Only Degree and Distance

  • November 3, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Great nonthreatening way to differentiate problematic from nonproblematic dissociation. I agree with the W-which was not formed as a child yet psychological survival had to take place. Almost like the W is not about the Will to be present or not present, it is the Will to survive. Unfortunately those having to make that choice don’t have the awareness of that choice.

    • November 4, 2014 at 9:08 am

      Thanks, Phoenix402–Yep. You got it.

  • November 23, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Having been diagnosed with DID a few years ago I read everything I can get my hands on. So little information about DID. Great article,but I almost stopped reading at the W, might be a DID thing but I started getting upset that someone was suggesting I couldn’t make my own choices. At this point in my therapy I am realizing that my core self is still hidden very deep inside and i’ve lived my life as alters. So not having the “will” is confusing for the alters but very true for the core.
    Would love more info on “the core self” its very confusing to live knowing I am not her but she is me.

    • November 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Hi, Beverly–re the issue of Will–what I am saying is that others make choices for us when we are very small, and in situations where we develop dissociation, we usually don’t learn what others learn about making choices. For example, a common statement I hear is “I don’t _have_ any choices!” and “Everybody else chooses _for_ me!” I think when I realized how many choices I–and all of me–had and made daily, it took some of the pressure off. You know, the time I get up, whether or not I brush my teeth, for how long, which clothes I put on, when, the reasons I put this top with those pants, etc. almost ad nauseam. I realized as I got to know a lot of others who were dissociative that mnost of them were kind of in the same boat: unconscious about the choices they did and didn’t make of their own volition. So: I am suggesting that we didn’t have the opportunity or supports to learn about choice (the function of will) and it’s one of the cool things we can begin to own. I hope that’s helpful! Thanks for your comment… more soon.

  • January 26, 2015 at 7:09 am

    I think it was John Watkins who proposed the BASK

    • November 4, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Thanks, I heard it from Bennett Braun–didn’t mean to mis-attribute!

  • January 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm

    I actually have a question. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD, agoraphobia, and major depressive disorder, all from childhood trauma. I have issues with memory and I was wondering if it’s caused from chemical changes in the brain or if I had just been in a disassociate state. I also have epilepsy and use to blame my memory problems on that, before I was diagnosed with the mental health issues. Thanks for reading.

    • November 4, 2016 at 10:02 am

      Sherry, this isn’t something I can answer–I can say this from lived experience (along with an apology for missing the question for ten months). How’s your functioning? If you work on functioning, it no longer matters so much.. I can say many people with dissociative disorders have been previously diagnosed with some form of seizure disorder, and that memory is fragmented by trauma. Have you considered trying the tools that help rewire the brain: yoga, meditation, dancing, drumming? One great tool is the Muse neurosensing headband which shows you what your brain activity was during your meditation session (I use 5 minutes every couple of days). Have you considered changing your story? Sometimes re-framing and re-writing to a position of strength in survival and coping skills helps (do you _want_ to remember the past or do you _need_ to remember the recent now as you heal)?


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