August 25, 2013 10:52 PM Subscribe
Disossociating is a frequent problem I experience and I sometimes need to ask friends to help ground me. How can I explain what happens to people with no experience with mental health?
posted by kanata to health & fitness (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I understand it is my issue and I do deal with it as best as I can using techniques I know from therapy. One of the last resort options my therapist suggested is to ask my friends for help. It seems to weird them out and they are always afraid they will make it worse even though I assure them they are doing everything right.
I just can't seem to explain what happened and make them understand. I thought if I could find a way it would make me seem less insane and them more at ease. But I can't find an analogy or description that works for people who are not aware of PTSD and other mental health issues. A lot of these friends also believe that all mental problems can be solved purely with antidepressants and CBT.
What I ask them to do:
Talk to me - that's really it.
Say my name out loud.
Tell me where I am.
Remind me what we did that day together.
Say the date and how old I am.
I do this about every two weeks - more so if I am having sex with the person. I try to only do this as a very last resort but feel I need the option as unless I can get grounded this way I end up having to self harm to be real. I, of course, do not tell my friends that not do it when they are around.
My disossociation takes the form of feeling unreal or like I do not exist or that we are all characters in a book and nothing is real.
I understand that this is outside of most people's experiences so I guess I am looking for ways to explain it better and reassure them. I have lost a friend and a relationship over this because they thought I was too insane when I said I just feel unreal.
Also - am I looking at this wrong and maybe it is a completely unfair thing to ask of a friend?