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shadow-light 09-08-2012 07:26 PM

Helpful tips for dissociation
I know there is a list of things for flashbacks, and they can help for dissociation, but I thought it could be helpful having a list specifically for dissociation, especially as there have been a lot of dissociation related threads recently. I also found my booklet from a specialist I saw a few years back today so have nicked a lot of these from there lol

I was unsure if the A&B board or MH board was best for this... picked A&B in the end as dissociation is often linked to trauma, but if it's felt to be wrong then I am not adverse to it being moved

Obviously not everyone gets a warning before dissociation happens, and everyone gets it in different ways and to different levels. So I have tried to tailor this to be fairly generic. Also feel feel to add your own to the list :D

  • Touching things and identifying them as you touch them
  • Smelling strong essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus
  • Naming items around you
  • Pick a colour and find and name out loud 5 things of that colour
  • Have someone ask you a simple question that you will defently know the answer to. (this obviously needs organising in advance)
  • Put your feet on the floor. Stamp on it. Is it hard or soft? Notice as much about it as you can
  • Get a notebook or open a text editor on computer and write point-form notes about what you're feeling and what led up to it. In painstaking detail. This not only re-focuses your mind but also can serve as a helpful document to look back on to help understand what triggers your dissociation
  • Close your eyes and mentally project yourself to an imagined protected place. This usually leads to fantasising, which slowly re-engages the brain, calms you down,, and makes you feel more safe – as dissociation often stems from feelings of being unsafe
  • Write a “to-do list”. The more you add to the lists, the more your memory and sense of self will return, along with the ability to focus and to plan. The lists don't have to be 100% achievable; they're just to orient you in time and space.
  • Re-organse some items. Once again this will help you to regain focus. (just be careful to to organise anything that you may need later as it could end up in odd places lol)
  • Do some cleaning. Once again this will help you to regain focus.
  • The body anchoring technique: go through your body and catalogue what each of the senses are interpreting. If you're sitting, what are you sitting on, what does it feel like etc etc. This is a very good way to bring yourself to the present and place yourself in your body. It makes you ultra aware of what is happening around you and ties your brain back to the body

Things to avoid:

  • Taking a sleeping pill and sleeping it off. Often you'll wake up even more dissociated, or will find yourself ODing
  • Actively looking for something to trigger adrenaline and wake you up.
  • Driving or going for a walk or talking to a friend. Usually helpful for anxiety or frustration but not so much for dissociation. Especially the driving/walking as you could end up lost or putting yourself in danger

shadow-light 09-08-2012 08:15 PM

Ooo that sounds like an interesting idea. Will have to remember that

sapphire hearts 10-08-2012 05:18 AM

Thanks guys. Don't have anything to add, but all that has been really helpful :) thank you x

risenfromperdition 12-08-2012 05:18 AM

thanks for this hazel, really helpful

aisatsanaraed 19-09-2012 12:28 AM

helpful info
thank you so much for posting this, and for all the helpful replies <3


Wonderland. 19-09-2012 12:43 AM

Some helpful suggestions there.

I wish I had warnings before I had a dissociative episode, so I could put some of these into practice. I just lose time and it's a complete blank to what I've done unless I find clues or evidence.

I'm sure they'll be of use to other people.

PaleMoon 20-09-2012 03:20 AM

If my body is physically safe, sometimes the best thing is just to let the dissocation be, and not fight it or resist it. I was afraid for a long time that I'd dissociate and never "come back," but I always do, and I have to trust that I always will.

Giving myself permission to dissociate sometimes, and not feel the need to force myself to be present every single second of every day, helps me feel safe and not beat myself up internally.

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