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How do you describe feelings of dissociation?

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How do you describe feelings of dissociation to someone else?

I feel like i'm in a fog, under water or dreaming ( even though I know I'm not).

Sometimes i have no words for it- like i'm beyond zoned out.

How do others experience this? can you put it into words?

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going to poke at the words just to try. note i have no dx specific to dissociation.

like consciousness is removed from awareness of anything other than consciousness.

like being under glass (something Donna Williams describes her experience of herself at times)

everything going on outside is far away, it disappears, it becomes distorted. it might speed up or slow down, get quiet or get loud, the colour might drop out of everything, or the meaning might drop out of everything.

the body becoming invisible or too light; or becoming too heavy. awareness separated from body. body left in space or in reality and the mind going far away.

it might be slightly different to each person?

is dissociation different from disassociation?

when awareness is not associated with the present moment.

just a try.


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Describing mine it's something along the lines of watching someone else steer your body around for you. While you know you're the one making the choices, it's like there's no direct line between the choices and what's done...even though what you decide is what's done.

I think I just confused myself.

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screaming silently

split in 2 (or more)


in pieces

(I'm mixing dissociation and psychotic anxieties here....sorry...but its how I experience it)

dissociation and disassociation are[/] different, but its getting late and I've been at work all day and am rather dissociated....so....try Googling the definitions of them both?

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Guest ~Aurelie~

hi mrs loony

i found this passage in my journal. there are others similar.

i am alone forever alone

in this empty abyss

i am death faking life.

the limbs they waver unsteady

the self searching to fill

what it cannot define.

where is belonging?

nowhere nothingness black.

the earth belongs not to me

it is set with props and i am waiting

passing time for the play to begin.

i hope this helps. i doubt everyone experiences dissociation in the same exact way, and i experience it myself in other ways as well. however the separation from the world and lack of connectedness to self and others i am guessing is a universal symptom of dissociation. but i am no expert.

i am sorry you are going through this. i know how hard it can be.


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I immediately thought of a Curtis Mayfield song, "Here But I'm Gone." That phrase explains it all for me.

The lyrics don't all fit (the song's about being lost in drug addiction) but the chorus says a lot:

How did I get so far gone

Where do I belong

And where in the world did I ever go wrong

If I took the time to replace

What my mind erased

I still feel as if I'm here but I'm gone

...and then I'm back to the world again (another Mayfield song), wondering what just happened, how I drove from point A to point B, a little scared...


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like being in the passenger seat of your body?  (though i've also had a few occasions were i was outside of me watching me.) 

like watching a movie shot through your eyes.

like having things move both too fast for you to control while your mind sifts through sand to catch up.

like you're detached from your spine.

like pain isn't real.

like living a dream.

not as poetic as the people above...


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aurelie- thanks for sharing excerpt of your journal. that made me so sad- its so descriptive. for me that is what deppression feels like.

oops- sorry about the dis disa- it was a question of if there is a difference between dissociation and disassociation- sorry still haven't found out.

folder- the reference to drugs so desribes for me- i used to be terrified that someone was slipping me drugs and thats why i would have these "episodes"

i guess it can feel like being high- only that bad scary discnnected alone high ( which is why i never get high anymore!!) i guess i don't need drugs to get there- my sick brain goes there all on its own.

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I remember having this episode in grad school. It was the beginning of my second semester. I was sitting in a class, unable to read, unable even to comprehend how all the other people in the class were even capable of reading. Then I was up in the air, watching them, watching me in my seat, in and out of my body at the same time. Then I had to get on a train from San Jose to San Francisco and attempt to have a conversation with a classmate. It felt painful and confusing.

Perhaps needless to say, I ended up taking that semester off.


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I remember driving along on the lower level of a freeway looking up at the upper level and not having a clue what it was.  I looked and looked and looked and couldn't figure it out.  This was something I have seen every day.  My T said this is disassociation.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I think dis and disa are the same. Same latin root  - dissociare or something - dis meaning "from" and sociare meaning "join"- something like that. Tommy?

anyway - in a fog, enclosed in a bubble, everything is far away, light drains from everything, color drains from everything, can't focus my eyes, can't think straight, can't hear right, can't make sense of what I see or hear, can't connect to my body, numb, heavy, light, frozen, not real.

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