Life is but a dream...
July 18, 2010 12:35 PM Subscribe
Throughout my childhood, I had persistent feelings of being "in a dream," as well as frequent, rather jarring feelings of "is this real"? Is this phenomenon common? Is there a name for it?
posted by wholebroad to health & fitness (31 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Throughout my childhood (ie, from as early as I can remember through around age 12 or 13), I frequently had the sensation that I was not really "living" my life, but rather, dreaming it. This manifested itself in two ways, one general and sort of intellectual, one very specific and almost physical in its immediacy:
The general: I was a pretty spacey, dreamy kid who lived inside my own head. I would frequently wonder if my life was real or if I was dreaming the whole thing.
The specific: every once in a while, I would have a very sudden, jarring feeling of "wait, is this real?" I would suddenly look at whatever situation I was in as if I were an outsider, and would get disoriented very briefly. I would also sometimes (maybe 1 out of every 3 times this happened) feel of painful stab of an emotion I've never been able to describe, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of wistfulness, homesickness and sadness. This feeling, while briefly unpleasant, never lasted more than a few seconds and didn't really interfere with my life.
These feelings started to get rarer and rarer as I got older, and I don't recall ever feeling this way after the age of 13, although I remain somewhat spacey and still spend a lot of time in my own head. :)
Maybe relevant: I have ADHD, inattentive type, though I was not diagnosed as a child. No serious childhood drama (ie, no abuse, death, divorce, etc).
This never really bothered me, and still doesn't but I've recently been thinking about this and wondering if it's common, and if there's a name/reason for it.