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Blackouts/dissociative episode

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I am newly diagnosed ptsd. I have a question, is it possible to do things you don't remember while suffering a blackout/dissociative episode from ptsd, like sex? How long can these episodes last and has anyone ever filled you in on whether you act normal or not?

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Posted · Report post

I have a question, is it possible to do things you don't remember while suffering a blackout/dissociative episode from ptsd, like sex?

Yes. It is entirely possible. There is a book about sexual healing after sexual assault that is very good, and it has a whole section dedicated to controlling dissociative episodes around sexual encounters and sexual experiences.

 

How long can these episodes last and has anyone ever filled you in on whether you act normal or not?

I'm not entirely sure what you mean, here. If you mean does it get better over time on its own, no. It doesn't. I still dissociate when sex is involved and it's been decades since I was first raped. Or, maybe you mean more about each sexual encounter? In which case it really depends on what we did and how reminiscent it was of someone else doing that or something similar to me. I can be dissociative only during the event itself, or for days afterward. It really depends.

My significant other notices that I have absolutely no memory of anything sexual between us. He notices that I sometimes go limp for a couple of seconds that I will will become either exceedingly passive or extraordinarily aggressive depending on circumstance. I'm not sure if that counts as acting normal or not. It's normal for me...

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Thank you for answering. I'm glad I'm not alone with the sex thing. As far as my question about the dissociative episodes, I was curious that if other people can tell that we are dissociating. Anytime we dissociate not just during sex. Like do we act or react normally? I have only dissociated twice so far (that I know of) once was during sex but another was from a verbal argument.

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Hey, i do not have ptsd, but a dissociative disorder. Yes, you can act normal while dissociating. It has happened to me before at school and such, were people havent noticed. But if someone knows me well and are actively talking to and paying attention me they can pretty much always tell somthing is up, in my experience.

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Posted · Report post

I don't know why I guess I just pictured myself being all zombie looking or something. Lol. So you do hold normal conversations and everything then.

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nope, no zombies!  nobody has ever accused me of dissociating, they just say "hey, are you paying attention to me?" or see me as being in a different "mood" than i was moments prior.  of course i don't hear the "were you paying attention", but something in me does (or rather someone, in my case), and behaves accordingly, such as carrying on a conversation or finishing a post (or doing the dishes).

 

with lots of therapy, this happens less often.  it's the hardest to stop when sex is involved.  like Rosie says, "i" become either way more passive or agressive sometimes, but i don't have a clear memory of what just happened.  if it was WAY strange, my husband would tell me.  he will also stop to see if i'm okay if things seem a little off.  that's very very helpful.

 

i used to worry about what i've been doing that i can't remember, too.  then i realised i've been doing this my whole life anyway, i just didn't know it, and nobody ever saw anything in me worth mentioning.  of course the only thing i seem to master in life is disguise, so i guess that helps heh.

 

i should add that my blackout periods have never been longer than a few hours - i've never lost days and days at a time (that i know of).  my memory can get really really fuzzy for a day or two, but i remember details like where i was and who i was with.  i understand there are different concerns if total memory loss lasts longer than that.  it's the reason i've got "NOS" after my DD label - i'm lucky enough to have some awareness.

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Yea it's all new to me right now so I guess that's why I'm so worried about it. I guess the idea of me not being in control totally freaks me out. I guess I don't trust my subconscious too much. Lol. (I have crazy intrusive thoughts daily as well) I really don't think mine would of lasted too long either.

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When 'out' I've placed rolls of toilet tissue in the oven and didn't know until I preheated the oven and then knew it was me.  I've walked to my car in only my underwear but then came out of it.  This was at 4 am and nobody saw me - I think.  I think just about any activity can be done in a state to include sex. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Do you lose a lot of time Brian803?

Edited by JJH29

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When I was a kid (even as young as 6 or 7) I would often "wake up" places I had no memory of going to. Like once I suddenly became aware that I was in summer school in a classroom I'd never seen before (I thought), but last I remembered it was spring and I was in my regular classroom. Obviously during that time I was going through life, coming and going here and there, but I was either totally "out" or I just "forgot". But no one commented that anything weird had just happened. I was just suddenly sitting at a desk and the teacher was leading the class and no one was paying attention to me, at all. I used to have this kind of thing happen all the time, and it was scary (like, once class was out I was supposed to go to another class - but I had no memory of my schedule, even though I'd obviously been following it for a few weeks).

 

As I got older and away from the people who were doing the extreme abuse I slowly started healing, and though I still have derealization and dissociation if I get under a lot of stress, and I can still get triggered by a few things, I don't have all that anymore like I did when I was a kid.

 

It can get better, if you work at it. I read books, talked to counselors, practiced grounding techniques, found friends I could trust to be safe with, did mindfulness meditation for a few years and learned to let go of so much anxiety and fear, and so on. It all helped.

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