Video Games and Dissociative Disorder

*This is not a real study. I get internet searches landing on this all the time. This isn’t even really deep into my experience with these 2 issues. It was just a blog made in my very early twenties. If you’re here for research: I apologize.*

*I did, however, add a few paragraphs to explain just a teensy bit more some of the more broad symptoms that might occur*

Everyone is a little dissociative. You know how on your drive home from work sometimes you can’t remember a portion of the drive? That’s it. It’s a defense mechanism everyone uses to some degree to keep our brains from freaking out over overload. Some of us use this technique more than we need to. It gets to be in the way of normal functioning and becomes disordered. This can be because of trauma, bad brain chemicals, or other sorts of poor coping skills.
My therapist who had to deal with me back during the breakdown days explained how the whole disorder worked and how it affected me. It’s rather interesting, if you feel like googling. I’m surely no mental health professional; I just wanted to give you that fun informational tidbit.

What I really wanted to talk about was how delving into artificial worlds affects my well-being. It’s no secret among people who know me in real life that I love reading and playing video games. Namely The Sims, Minecraft, and other relatively low-stress types of games. Movies do it to me too. The only problem is that these types of games make me feel kind of funny. I’ve mentioned my tendency to feel “out of it” and reading too much or playing too many games really multiplies its severity.

*edit due to more experience* the point of me bringing this up, my lack of articulation notwithstanding, was to share how “hiding” or “staying inside myself” was always a coping mechanism I’ve been more or less aware of. 

My parents can tell you that even as a very young child I “spaced out” almost alarmingly often. It takes work to get me back. Usually physical pokes or blowing in my face will do the trick. I’m literally glassy eyed and non responsive. I’ve seen videos of me being like this. Usually I have a totally blank, or possibly anxious, look on my face. 

Nowadays sometimes this experience includes flashbacks, too, but primarily it’s blank escape. 
This disconnection is normal. Everyone does it. It’s not a constructive coping skill, however. My “disappearances” usually come at the end of a traumatic experience, something that reminds me of trauma (I have PTSD and I cope with it differently depending on the day), or when whatever my subconscious is doing or saying things that scare me-and I don’t even know what they are. 

There have been countless times (most evenings, actually) where I come home and lose time to this. Whether it’s mindless chores, rants in my head, cycles of self bad mouthing myself, or (most often of all) sitting and looking out the window at nothing. With my mind completely blank. 

It might seem like meditation the way I’m describing it, but I often start to feel “outside myself” when it happens too frequently. 

This can mean making bad decisions cuz it doesn’t feel real. It could mean slacking on all responsibilities because why even bother. I’m busy sitting. It could mean “waking up” after hours of nothingness leading to depression at my ineptitude worthlessness lazy etc….

These are just examples. I get stuck in things and then stuck in my head. And it can be very difficult to overcome, because it’s involuntary and essentially a learned skill. 

Ok, back to the original post:***  –>

Then why do I continue [activites that make me feel this way]? Because games and books are one of my only hobbies that don’t make me feel bad about myself. Yes, I love singing and I love playing the viola and I love physical activity like sports and things but those are likely make me feel inferior at some point. Games and books are safe in that they’re dangerous. I can’t make sense of it in enough to even explain it, apparently. So let’s just stop trying.

Happy Tuesday.

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One thought on “Video Games and Dissociative Disorder

  1. Pingback: Video Games and Dissociation Disorder-A Clarification | Cats and Candy

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