short dream-like loss of consciousness
May 21, 2014 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Are these short dream-like loss of consciousness feelings common?

For most of my life I've been having these short one-minute periods where it feels like I'm either not alive or conscious or I'm not physically wherever I am. It almost feels like the twilight phase of sleep where you're drifting out but are easily awakened. It's a very strong feeling, definitely not a daydream. This happened a lot when I was in my teens but has popped up in my 20s from time to time. It happens whether I have enough sleep or don't and will happen when I'm focused on something or I'm not.

Sorry to be so vague but it's hard to describe. I've read up on on out of body experiences, hypnagogia, sleep paralysis, and can't pinpoint what exactly it is.
posted by daninnj to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Petit mal seizure? Have you talked to your doctor about these episodes? Because you should.
posted by rtha at 2:11 PM on May 21, 2014 [4 favorites]

Are you dehydrated?

Does this happen while you're driving? If so, please don't drive until you talk to your doctor about this and potentially have a brain MRI.
posted by janey47 at 2:11 PM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Are you awake or falling asleep in bed when this happens?

Have you considered that you are disassociating?
posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:12 PM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Depersonalization, perhaps?
posted by alex1965 at 2:14 PM on May 21, 2014 [3 favorites]

Had a relative who experienced something like this; it turned out to be mild seizures, which were detected when he later had a much more serious seizure at work. Definitely speak to someone about having a neuro workup, preferably relatively soon after you've experienced one.
posted by Bardolph at 2:15 PM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by St. Peepsburg at 2:17 PM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sounds to me like depersonalization/disassociating. I used to have awful episodes of this. You're just going a long and all of a sudden you're having an out-of-body experience, like you're watching yourself in a sort of dream world.

Mine was very tied to depression/anxiety issues, and once I sought treatment for that, they subsided largely, though I still get them from time to time (albeit in much more manageable lengths/intensities).
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:21 PM on May 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

Look into absence seizures. These are a different type than the grand or petit mal, and are marked from the outside by lack of response to sensory stimuli. They are related by the rhythms in your brain and EEG to stage 2 sleep. Read up at epilepsy foundation website.
posted by Dashy at 6:55 PM on May 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

The answers of depersonalization or dissociation in this thread are good but please remember that these words are just descriptions of symptoms, not causes. Maybe you're having seizures; maybe it's psychological; maybe it's something else. You should see a doctor.
posted by my favorite orange at 12:09 AM on May 22, 2014 [5 favorites]

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