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"scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby BeccaBee » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:22 pm

yes una. that's it. but I have been this way for 15 years or so. sometimes better. sometimes worse. I get by sticking to routines and lots and lots of alarms, notes, and reminders.

now is worse.

are there links or literature references for the fog? how I can understand it and get better? I would like to have continuity. I thought it was an amnesia symptom. but it is a DP?
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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby Una+ » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:52 pm

There are some technical books specifically on DP/DR. But for me the go-to author on this topic is Dr. Marlene Steinberg. Her book Stranger in the Mirror is a good starting point. A lot of the newer psychotherapy books on reducing anxiety, on using CBT, on mindfulness, are helpful too. Any style of body psychotherapy can be especially helpful, as it teaches body awareness and mindfulness.

Body scanning helped me become aware that when I am stressed out my right arm gets cold. Literally cold. The circulation is affected. A body psychotherapist helped me learn some mental techniques to warm the arm back up. And so much more.

If anyone tells you there is no cure, no treatment, just learning to live with it: walk away! That just means they are not someone who can help you. They don't have the knowledge or skills you need.
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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby BeccaBee » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:52 pm

thank you una.

my left arm gets cold and weird sometimes. it feels numb or cold or flappy. like a dead fish.

I have been meaning to do stranger in the mirror. I will pick it up from amazon.
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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby Amythyst » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:48 am

We've been thinking alot lately about memory issues, and did some searches and stuff and a lot of this thread really resonated for us. Scatterbrained really feels like a great way to describe how we feel sometimes.

Going back a few steps first - we were watching some youtube stuff that had nothing to do with DID etc and came across a video about memory loss.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMbSa7KwjYM

This person has some neurological damage and her problems are way worse than ours, but there was also a ton of stuff that she does that we also do, just to get through day to day stuff. And seeing that we have like, similar experiences and mechanisms as someone who's memory loss is severely disabling was kinda shocking.

We bookmarked this thread and that video, but then lol, forgot all about this stuff, till last night.

It was like 8:30pm and I went to write in our journal before going to bed and realized I couldn't remember anything from the whole day. Or like, I remembered 3 things. "Our bike wheel is bent. I did some work. We watched Moana." that was it. Everything else was gone.

I don't think we switched. I looked at my twitter and found more stuff, like reminded myself of other things I'd done. And our to-do list (like an external brain) showed I did some chores and stuff.

Like it feels like sometimes our brain is just so busy with like, maintaining all our different parts and stuff that it just kinda gives up and says ###$ it and a bunch of memoryies get dumped, lol.

Anyways so I rewatched that video and reread this thread. This bit in particular struck me:
Una+ wrote:
BeccaBee wrote:I am focused and clear headed in the moment but I don't track the moments well. my memory is foggy once the moment passes.

Yup, that's a moderate fog: it is like you are in a clear space but there is dense fog all around. Of the dissociative disorders this peculiar experience fits best in depersonalization disorder. It is a very common anxiety symptom.

I had no experience of this fog prior to my crisis several years ago. It took years to clear up but now it is pretty much gone. Except there are times when it is back.

So yeah, like BeccaBee wrote, we usually feel pretty clear and focused in the exact moment. Usually but not always. Sometimes the fog completely surrounds and its hard to think and feel and function at all.

But, even when we are in the clear right now, both the past and the future are foggy. Like in the video, our sense of time is completely wonky. Seconds and minutes and sometimes even hours, are fine. But days and weeks and months and years are meaningless. Sometimes even hours.

Like, someone will ask "how was your weekend?" and I'll be like "Uh, I can't remember. It was a long time ago." and they'll be like "Uh, todays Monday." and it feels like weekend was a long long time ago and is lost in the fog. Or, I'll remember something and think it was just a few weeks ago, and then find out it was years ago.

I also know this isn't recent, this didn't start with our DID crisis. Previous host even blogged about it, said exactly that she can grasp minutes and hours, but not days and weeks. She's the one who started all our coping mechanisms like the daily todo list / external brain thing.

Now, I know we do have a lot of trouble with depersonalization. I think we always have but previous host didn't know what that was so I just go by what she wrote of the experience. But like currently, we recognize some of the symptoms now and then and know its DP.

OTOH I don't think we have like, constant high anxiety? It comes and goes, and some parts feel it worse than others.

We also tried that WHODAS scale thing, and got 42% disabled overall. Our scores tho were lopsided cos we have like almost zero mobility or selfcare issues, like we aren't physically limited. But all our other things were lots higher. Like the social, comprehension, communication, etc etc were all in the 60% to 70% kinda range. :?

Anyways... I've forgotten what my point was with this lol. I dunno. I don't think the amnesia / scatterbrainedness is hugely debilitating for us cos we have coping mechanisms. But it seems to be the thing most noticable, cos we just can't remember so much. Big and little things. We forget what day, what month, what season it is like 20 times a day.

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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:48 pm

I was called "scatter brained" for pretty much my whole life until I left home. I couldn't understand what everyone was talking about because as far as I was concerned I was where I was meant to be most of the time, not always with the right stuff but I got through anyway. I lost stuff all the time eg my physical education kit so I if I didn't skip PE I would wear stuff out of the lost property. I lost it when I first started school at 11 and my mother refused to buy another one even though after a year or so I'm pretty sure the one I lost wouldn't have fitted me anyway. I never had pens and stationery so I used to borrow them. The only thing I managed to keep was my calculator because I needed it in exams but even that used to disappear and somehow reappear when I needed it.

Once I left home and after I had my first child I used lists alot. Then I got mocked about having lists for everything and the lists dwindled down. I've started using lists again because I need to re-evaluate my life. I've found in ok if I have a set varied flexible routine, I'm happier. I might be last minute and fly by the seat of my pants but I preferred that to working 9-5 in the same job, in the same place every day.

I find things tend to turn up when I really need them and if I miss something, an appointment for example, it usually works out somehow that I was better doing whatever I was doing instead for whatever reason.

Being constantly called scatter brained is very much a put down in my opinion. Recently my Dad tried to tell people "I make stuff up" He said I hadn't been to university which again was really confusing. Luckily I had the folder still with my work and my grades and even the enrollment date because I did start to doubt myself. When you're told constantly "you're scatter brained. You're clumsy. You remember everything wrong. You're a day dreamer. You make stuff up." It's really harmful.

I've taught my children to respect other people's perspective but honour their own. So if someone's perspective is different from there's it doesn't mean right and wrong. I avoid using labels of any kind. I say "that's good" or "that's bad" rather than "you are" because I had so many labels piled on me as a kid that even when my grandmother said "you're creative" it put too much pressure on me and I abandoned that part of me altogether until I was in my 20's and felt safe to "be" anything.

So I don't find labels like "scatter brained" helpful or constructive. If I call it anything I call it "I fly by the seat of my pants" and that was pretty much because that was what I had to do. My sister is the reverse. Everything had to be in its place, she'd get really upset if something went wrong but she still ended up taking drugs, living a really risky lifestyle and pretty much doing anything to survive. The only difference between me and her really is that she takes alot of money off my parents since she had children and I'd therefore reliant. She lives in denial and has now been diagnosed with "autism with severe anxiety" which says to me that probably she has alot of blocked memories too and has been misdiagnosed too. She's also similar to me in that she could be in a room full of professional business people and socialise well and then be in a room full of criminals and fit in. That's persona's or alters in my opinion. She would be fine with me one day and hate me the next which I used to put down to my mother having such a strong influence over her but it also could be different alters triggered by whatever my mother says - which my mother's favourite thing to do is try to insight jealousy between us. I suppressed jealousy as a child so it tended not to work when my mother tried to insight jealousy of my sister in me but my sister is very susceptible to it. Her labels were "sulker" "sensitive" "can't take a joke" "melodramatic and exagerative" "makes a mountain out of a mole hill" All labels that would discount her feelings. I suppressed my feelings from very early so I was "scatterbrained" They can't attack feelings if you're showing none. My sister took on all her labels well the same as I did. She hasn't really lost them. They're still trying to force my labels on me. Yes I day dream. Yes I struggle to be as organised as other people. Yes my sister expressed her feelings alot more immediately and alot more passionately than me. I take time and make sure I'm expressing myself in a calm manner and have really thought everything through. These things don't make a person better or worse than another. It's how people are.

So DID or not if a person has trouble to be as organised as another labeling them is going to make the issue worse. Probably why I avoided being labelled with diagnosis and when they kept changing it I thought "whatever, clearly you just put any old label on any person because you can't even stick to one label" I only recently realised getting a diagnosis of DID might actually be useful in this country because I thought they didn't even accept it as real here until my bf showed me a private clinic. Turns out there's only two clinics in the country but that's two more than I thought there was. Anyway, sorry, I'm rambling. I guess looking at tactics for absent mindedness helps but it doesn't if another alter "wakes up" and thinks "screw the list I'm... Instead"
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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby Amythyst » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:18 pm

Hi Sarandipity, sorry that stuff gives you bad feelings and stuff.

We don't mind the term 'scatterbrained' cos it honestly feels like it really fits us right now. And I don't think we were called that like in the past? But I get how it can be hurtful, there's stuff we were called before that we don't like.

This stuff came up again yesterday, when we were visiting the mother. She asked about our financial situation wrt a few specific things and I had nothing but blank and fog. I told her, its all like written down and we keep good records and stuff, but I didn't like study it before going to see her so I couldn't remember.

And when we were at lunch I said I'd put the bill on our credit card to get points and stuff, then when it came I'd forgotten all about that and went to pay cash, till the mother reminded me. It was like, 2 minutes or something and that's all it took to completely forget that stuff again. :?

I think stress maybe was a factor yesterday tho, cos its always kinda stressful dealing with her and there was stress inside. Plus I could feel Melissa really close to front, cos she was kinda hoping we'd go and get icecreams again lol. We didn't. Sorry Melissa. :wink:

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Re: "scatterbrained" vs switching versus dissociative amnesia

Postby Sarandipity » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:25 pm

Amythyst wrote:Hi Sarandipity, sorry that stuff gives you bad feelings and stuff.

We don't mind the term 'scatterbrained' cos it honestly feels like it really fits us right now. And I don't think we were called that like in the past? But I get how it can be hurtful, there's stuff we were called before that we don't like.

This stuff came up again yesterday, when we were visiting the mother. She asked about our financial situation wrt a few specific things and I had nothing but blank and fog. I told her, its all like written down and we keep good records and stuff, but I didn't like study it before going to see her so I couldn't remember.

And when we were at lunch I said I'd put the bill on our credit card to get points and stuff, then when it came I'd forgotten all about that and went to pay cash, till the mother reminded me. It was like, 2 minutes or something and that's all it took to completely forget that stuff again. :?

I think stress maybe was a factor yesterday tho, cos its always kinda stressful dealing with her and there was stress inside. Plus I could feel Melissa really close to front, cos she was kinda hoping we'd go and get icecreams again lol. We didn't. Sorry Melissa. :wink:

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I can see how it's a non-offensive kind of half heartedly kind way of saying something that could otherwise be a direct put-down.

The way I'd look at that interaction is that something about being with your mother caused a dissociation. Maybe it was the mention of money and having to explain how you were paying. Maybe it was something else in that interaction. But something in that interaction caused a disconnect.

I no-longer veiw these disconnects in a "oh I'm such a scatter-brain" like I used to or another more horrible way of putting it that was said to me often "you'd forget your head if it wasn't screwed on" I did forget my head because it got messed with so much that I easily am triggered and have these disconnects and they cause varying degrees of problems.

So yes, it's ok to look at yourself in a sort of kind way and say "I'm scattered brained" it's a sort of kindness to yourself if it doesn't have the negative impact, of course, but it might also be useful to look at what caused it.

I suppose a counseling type question, that I ask myself often these types of questions, is "how did you feel when your mother asked about your money?" What happened between wanting to use a credit card and wanting to pay cash? I'd be searching the dynamics of the whole thing to work out what happened.

Also I see it like you're being kind to your mother to take the "I'm a scatterbrained person" and I'd also ask myself how much kindness she deserves after I've worked out what caused that disconnect.

I can't remember exactly what I wrote the other day but I know it was more of "this is my personal experience of this word" than anything else. I just have this voice inside me now screaming "I am not scatterbrained, it's a traumatized brain" and I think that probably flooded out.
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