Go home if you're scared my evil personality will come out.
People with dissociative disorders encounter several problems that interfere with being present.
When you’re under stress or perhaps faced with a stressful or difficult situation, you might have different ways to retreat from the present/zone out from the situation. Even though the retreat may feel better in the moment, in the long run it will make you dissociate more often, which isn’t a good thing.
There may be times where you feel spacey, foggy, or fuzzy. You may lose a firm connection with the present without even being aware of it, and only afterwards realise you were zoning out. Perhaps you became distracted by negative images, feelings, or thoughts from the past, or worries of the future. There may be times where you are aware of yourself, watching your actions, but not being in control of them. It may feel as if you’re present but not present simultaneously. In addition, some people with dissociative disorders lose time easily, “blanking out” for periods of time.
You can begin to learn to stop yourself from zoning out and eventually dissociate less frequently by learning to stay present. Remember to gauge if the following exercise is helpful or not to you, you can modify it if needed, and practice it daily and whenever you feel yourself zoning out.
- Notice three objects that you see in the room and pay close attention to their details (Shape, colour, texture, size, etc.). Make sure you do not rush this part of the exercise. Let your eyes linger over each object. Name three characteristics of the object to yourself, out loud or in your head. For example, “This (Object) is blue, it is big, it is round.”
- Notice three sounds that you hear in the present (Inside or outside of the room.). Listen to their quality. Are they loud or soft, constant or intermittent, pleasant or unpleasant? Again, name three characteristics to yourself, for example, “It is loud, grating, and definitely unpleasant.”.
- Now touch three objects close to you and describe to yourself how they feel, for example, rough, smooth, cold, warm, hard or soft, and so forth.
- Return to the three objects that you have chosen to observe with your eyes at the start of this exercise. As you notice them, concentrate on the fact that you are here and now with these objects in the present, in this room. Next, notice the sounds and concentrate on the fact that you are here in this room with those sounds. Finally, do the same with the objects you have touched. You can expand this exercise by simply repeating it or changing the numbers, for example, three to five.