One of the possible symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder is “transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.” (You can click here to read the full list of possible symptoms/criteria.)
- Depersonalization: I’ve experienced depersonalization ever since I was a young child. It’s the strange feeling that you are not in your body. For example, I noticed it today when chopping vegetables. I became aware of my body and what I was doing, but I felt disconnected. I used some grounding techniques, such as noticing and naming what was around me. I also repeated: “I am standing in the kitchen chopping vegetables.”
- Derealization: I’ve also experienced derealization since I was a child, and this was also a part of my experience today. With derealization, things around you feel unreal. I liken it to how I feel when I am in the midst of a severe anxiety attack or sometimes what it feels like when you have a lucid dream (when you become aware that you are dreaming in the sleep state). It almost feels as if I am in a movie. Things feel completely unreal. It can be quite frightening. The grounding exercises helped with this aspect as well.
- Losing Time: You know that feeling when you’ve driven home and you forget lots of parts of the trip? You’ve basically coasted home on autopilot. You might think, “I don’t even remember how I got here!” Losing time, or dissociative amnesia, is like that. I fortunately did not experience this today.
When I thought back on my day, though, I realized that I had some accumulated stress, including having been in several crowded stores, and having my bags searched at one of them, as they suspected that I had attempted to take something. I felt so embarrassed — like all eyes were on me — and many of them were. Perhaps these incidents were the precursors form my dissociative episode.
What did you experience during your episode(s)?
Thanks for reading.