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05/06/2010 02:36 PM

Spacing Out

phantomgirl

There seems to be a million little things that I have been doing all my life, that through the years since my diagnosis I've picked via research and communicating with friends on this site are actually a part of my Bipolar.

Now there's something new... I never really realised I did this, until back in 2008 when I had a major relapse (the doc put me on generic meds that made me sicker...long story) a friend that happened to sit next to me at work informed me that during that time I would stare at the telephone for ten minutes without moving. I have no recollection of this.

Obviously depending on my mood it gets more or less intense, but it still happens a lot.

Is this a part of Bipolar, is it something else...what are you guys' experience? According to this site I just found it can be a symptom of Bipolar:

Quote:

Dissociation - It's almost as if the Bipolar goes to another world, if you would. "Spacing out" some call it. Getting lost in the middle of conversationstions. Getting lost period. And some do it in response to others getting angry at them in a defense mode, uncontrollably. However, usually, it happens when the Bipolar least expects it and he/she has no idea what has taken place while he/she has mentally been away. By defination, dissociation is a psychological defense mechanism in which specific, anxiety-provoking thoughts, emotions, or physical sensations are separated from the rest of the psyche. The act of separating or state of being separated. A defense mechanism in which a group of mental processes are segregated from the rest of a person's mental activity in order to avoid emotional distress, as in the dissociative disorders or in which an idea or object is segregated from its emotional significance, in the first sense it is roughly equivalent to splitting, in the second, to isolation. A defect of mental integration in which one or more groups of mental processes become separated off from normal consciousness and, thus separated, function as a unitary whole.

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05/06/2010 02:46 PM
lizzytizzy
lizzytizzy  
Posts: 197
Member

this happens to me on a daily basis. i hate it and it worries me. ive been feeling myself get more and more lost. it almost feels like im getting more and more dumb. like i can feel the dumb washing over my brain. i have horrible memory problems, forget what im saying mid sentence, forget why i walked into a room, etc. the worst part is that i have no insurance and dont qualify for state aid- so even if i wanted to, i cant go to a doc. and yeah, this does mean im unmedicated. im lost almost all of the time. you are not alone. im sorry you experience this. me too!

05/06/2010 02:51 PM
Joy75
Joy75  
Posts: 16593
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I sit and stare at times. I call it zoning out when people say something. It's just part of my day I guess. I catch myself and come back to the real world. I guess at times I don't even realize I'm doing it. People say "hello, earth to Joy". I never thought about it until you posted this, thanks. Hugs to you

05/06/2010 02:51 PM
DonnaLynne

I say i'm in a zone,,,,,,,,and just go with it. Why fight it,,,,it's a grogginess i just do,,,,,,and laugh at myself for putting the milk in the cabinet, the sugar in the fridge,,,,,,,etc etc etc, all day long,,,,,,,,i laugh at myself, the brain is saying, nope, out of commission today, and i say, boy are you ever!!!!!!

05/06/2010 02:52 PM
phantomgirl

Yeah, the memory thing too! I used to have a very good memory. And I still remember some things, but sometimes my brain just feels stupid. Like I forget things I'm supposed to know.

The other day I wanted to print off my name from the PC at work so I could stick it on a book or something. I sat staring at my own name for five minutes because it didn't look right and I wasn't sure if I spelled it right. My own name!

And the worst part is I don't know if it's my brain or the meds making me stupid.


05/06/2010 04:11 PM
puzzlinZin
puzzlinZin  
Posts: 731
Member

I totally zone out sometimes, but I think it's different than when I dissociate. I zone out when I'm not otherwise mentally stimulated or when I'm thinking about something. If in a conversation and something triggers a thought which goes on a tangent ... next thing I know we're two subjects down the road of the conversation and I'm asking the person to back up. I thought it was under control until just recently I realized I'm doing it with my pdoc and tdoc, two places that I thought I took seriously enough to pay attention. Guess not. I actually have that on my agenda for my next pdoc/tdoc appt, whichever comes first. Dissociating usually only happens when I'm challenged emotionally. Like if a boss approaches me in a way that makes me defensive. I tend to argue then not remember the argument. That really sucks. But they aren't entirely separate - there are some memories that make me zone out and dissociate at the same time.

05/06/2010 04:16 PM
phantomgirl

Oh wow...now that you mention it... Fuck. How have I never realised this before? I dissociate in stressful situations too. A lot of times when I'm in the boardroom with my boss and I don't want to be there I find my brain cutting out and having to concentrate uber hard to hear what he's saying and sometimes I'm sure I miss parts of what his saying. It feels like I'm leaving my body and I'm just sort of floating... Now how the hell do you get that under control? Because I've been having that feeling a lot, a lot a lot lately. I always chalk it up to anxiety, but I take medication for anxiety and obviously this is not a healthy thing to do. Am I making a bigger deal out of this than it should be, or should I be worried?

05/06/2010 04:33 PM
Dit
Dit  
Posts: 13722
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I totally relate to that symptom. When i'm feeling really low i sometimes "shut down" and "numb out" and get all spacy. My husband gets nervous whenever i get like that...it used to happen more often but now not very much these days. I have more highs than lows.

Post edited by: Dit, at: 05/06/2010 04:37 PM


05/06/2010 04:37 PM
phantomgirl

Well I've been through an extremely rough time at work, which would explain why it's been happening more frequently. I have to go back to work on Monday after being off for two weeks. And the truth is I'm scared. I never know what to expect from myself, sometimes I'm glad to be back, and sometimes I'm miserable. Given the situation right now - three weeks ago I was really close to quitting but for personal reasons decided to stay. When I start working on Monday I have to go back to looking for another job, and I had a huge scare when I saw what a tremendous affect the decision of taking the other job or staying had on my moods.

Is this dissociation something I should mention to my doctor or is it minor enough that I should just deal with it on my own?


05/08/2010 12:50 AM
Beth13
Beth13  
Posts: 8
Member

I sit and stare and zone out so many times I can't even count. It's so weird because I didn't think about it until you posted this and what I read sounded so familiar. Thanks for making me not feel all alone with this. I have been feeling really dumb lately. I can't remember things, I just sit and stare at things, everything seems so foggy. I'm glad I'm not alone but I wish there was a solution!!! This is hard!
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