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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The terror of dissociation.

One of the scariest things I experienced after the suicide of my son Emile was dissociation. At the time I didn't know what it was and I thought there was something very wrong with me. I had this weird feeling that I was disconnected from myself. I was disoriented and walked into door frames, walls and furniture. It felt like my body was an entity on its own and my mind was hanging somewhere above just following myself. This weird state of emotion caused me to have acute anxiety attacks.
I was convinced I was in the grip of insanity and hanging on by a thread. I was sure if I let go I was going to be lost into space and would never return. One day I looked into the mirror and I didn't know the person looking back at me. It was not that I changed in any way, I just didn't know the person staring back at me. There is no better way to describe this, I was not familiar with that person but felt completely disconnected from myself. It felt I could talk to her and she would answer me back. I was absolutely terrified of this and knew I had to get help.

I read countless books and one of them gave the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I recognized the signs as the same I was experiencing. I knew I had to get help and started calling clinics and hospitals for a trauma counselor. Thank goodness I found one and she helped me to center myself again. The shock of seeing Emile dead under the tree was too much for me and caused my mind to rebel against the images that plagued me. I thought I was losing control of myself and that I was going to land up in a mental institution. This was the most horrific feeling I went through.

All kinds of trauma can cause this disorder and the shock can hit you so hard that you lose yourself in it at some stage. To have a traumatic experience can be so enormous that your mind can refuse to accept it. If you have been through something difficult and you have any of these symptoms then I suggest you seek professional help.
Some of the symptoms of PTSD include the following,
Having a difficult time falling or staying asleep; Feeling more irritable or having outbursts of anger; If you have difficulty concentrating and/or remembering things; Feeling constantly "on guard" or like danger is lurking around every corner; Being "jumpy" or easily startled. I had all of them as well as the dissociation.