Dissociation, while not an indicator of ADHD but the two conditions are inextricably linked because they’re often comorbid. 123 People suffering from dissociative disorders might exhibit symptoms of ADHD and the reverse is true. This article will explain how dissociation works and how it’s connected to ADHD and the best way you can manage the symptoms of dissociation.
What Is Dissociation?
But it’s rarely as drastic as it sounds. For some, it takes as a form the process of depersonalization, or even derealization which is when your automatic defense mechanism kicks in, leading your body to “detach” from the pain or stress that you’re feeling. It could feel as if that you’re in the outside world of your life, observing events as a viewer rather than being the main character.
When someone is faced with trauma, one of the ways to deal with the intense emotional hurt is to make an unintentional psychological break from yourself. If you’re unable to physically get away from the incident or forget about it but you can try to mentally escape the experience.
Your brain is trying to ensure you’re comfortable and secure. But the problem is that you cannot simply disconnect from suffering. You are disconnected from everything. It’s difficult to keep healthy relationships going or keep your focus on school or at work if you do not feel that any of it is part of your life.
It’s possible to feel in a state of numbness or being emotionally unresponsive. You may also feel an unreal feeling that makes you feel as if the environment around you, or you aren’t really real. Sometimes, you’ll notice yourself “checking out” involuntarily or “spacing out” in the process in the middle of something.
Disassociation in ADHD
Disorders of dissociation are frequently associated with the trauma of, but how is it connected to ADHD? The reason for this is due to it being true that both the trauma of childhood and ADHD are closely connected. As a rule, children who suffer trauma may be affected by ADHD-like symptoms.
In contrast, people who have ADHD might be more susceptible to experiencing trauma, either because they are victimized by bullying or abuse due to their ADHD symptoms or due to adverse experiences related to these signs.
When I was a child I was a child with an intense imagination. I often dreamed or wandered throughout the day: classes or family meals, the TV, or playing sports. The number of goals that other teams scored against me in soccer games due to the fact that the way I was distracted by my thoughts is way too numerous to record.
But my ability to concentrate when pressure was on me resulted in me performing well on the tests, and I generally passed my classes. Even the times that other indicators such as my unpredictable behaviour as well as the inability to regulate my emotions were severe enough to prompt my parents to pursue treatment, I was not diagnosed with ADHD because my academic performance wasn’t sufficient as I wasn’t hyperactive.
In my late teens I was struggling to get an income that was steady barely making it through college classesand grappling to overcome lower self-esteem. I also had to deal with traumatizing experiences which resulted from my past impulse-driven choices.
The dissociative symptoms began to become more noticeable in high school. It was different from thinking about things that I had grown in my youth. The regular daydreaming experience was more like storytelling or entertainment but I was me and emotionally involved in my own life.
I was just struggling to keep my attention on it every single day.
Dissociating however felt like a complete disappearance. I explained it to the therapist that I once felt like floating in the air over my body, watching events unfold, and thinking that maybe I should assist that person however, I didn’t feel as if it had anything to have anything to do with me. In my mind, this was my experience. But emotionally, she seemed to be an unknown person.
How to Deal With Dissociative Symptoms
“Checking-out “checking out” might happen at random and you may not know what triggers it at this point, however, you can slowly gain control of the situation and avoid dissociative episodes by gaining experience and treating. Here are six methods I’ve found useful.
Go to Therapy
No matter if you suffer from ADHD or trauma triggered it initially, the therapy will be vital to recovery and managing symptoms. Even if you aren’t able to remember a specific event or incident, dissociative symptoms are typically the result of the brain trying to shield yourself from emotional trauma.
This doesn’t mean that you have unresolved memories. It could be that your dissociation be the result of something that’s not commonly thought of as being traumatic. School difficulties or struggles to find friends, for instance aren’t to be as painful or traumatic as war or witnessing the death of a loved one however the constant anxiety they trigger could cause your brain to switch into the protection mode.
Practice Grounding Exercises
If you feel you’re losing yourself or separating yourself, doing a practice of grounding–where you are able to practice being present and in the moment can aid in bringing you back to you. The only thing you need to do is spending a few minutes to be aware of your senses and the environment around you.
My routine of choice is to break from whatever I’m working on and to name:
- Five things I’m able to see
- Four things I can detect
- 3 things that I can feel
- Two things I can hear
- One item I’m able to taste
To get the best outcomes (in my experience) go for the time to walk outside when you’re doing this to ensure you’re armed with plenty of sensory inputs to utilize. If you’re unable to think of enough stimuli to satisfy a particular sense, simply skip it. It’s usually difficult to identify the taste of something unless I’m drinking or eating something such as. Therefore, I simply loop to the things I can observe and continue until I am more conscious and at ease to my surroundings.
Pet your cat and pay attention to how soft and soft your fur feels. Burn a candle with a scent, and take a few minutes to take a deep breath and enjoy the scent. Take a walk in a park, and walk barefoot across grass. Pay close attention to the sensation of grass under your feet.
Actually, any physical sensation that is positive could be beneficial. After that, try your best to pay attention to the sensation.
Get Some Exercise
I enjoy running whenever I’m in need of a break or let go of some accumulated anxiety. However, even when you don’t wish to work out walking or dancing to your favourite tunes can get you moving, but without feeling like you’re doing anything. Even when you’re at work doing some lunges, or squats could help.
Exercise is a great way to improve your fitness by activating your senses. When I exercise, I feel my muscles working, while I feel my lungs exhaling and exhaling. It helps me reconnect with my body.
Keep a Journal
Dissociation is characterized by memory gaps as well as a weak capacity to connect with your feelings. journaling is a form of exercise that can aid in both of these. It is a good idea to make it a habit to write down your day’s experiences by focusing on your feelings and what you thought about throughout the day.
Schedule Self-Care Activities
Whatever the reason dissociation is your brain’s way to protect you against negative events. If you’re feeling stressed constantly or have a an uneasy relationship to your body, this can cause dissociative symptoms to become more severe.
To prevent that from happening, establish the habit of doing nice healthy, positive things to yourself. The idea of ending your day with a relaxing bath and an e-book or beginning each day with a 10 minute dance time to your favourite playlist will help you develop an improved connection with you.