This Is Mental Clouding
I've been trying for four days now to finish an article on depersonalization, one of five primary ways dissociation manifests. I wanted to address the milder episodes of depersonalization most people experience at one time or another. But I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, and severe depersonalization is part of living with DID. Ironically enough, it's depersonalization itself - specifically, mental clouding - that's preventing me from finishing that article. I've finally decided that if I'm going to continue to try to write in a highly depersonalized state, it makes sense to stop fighting it and simply do my best to describe what I'm experiencing. The article I intended to publish today will have to wait until I can think clearly again.
One of the important differences between depersonalization experiences of normal people exposed to danger or reacting to stress and those of psychiatric outpatients is the matter of "mental clouding." The reports of accident victims' and normal people's reactions to stress show that they were fully alert to their circumstances at the time of their episodes of depersonalization. Psychiatric patients report more experiences of mental clouding. Instead of being sharper mentally, they experience a "dumbing down" when they detach from themselves. - The Stranger in the Mirror, Marlene Steinberg and Maxine Schnall
I'm not mentally sharp right now. I cannot think clearly at all. I have re-read the first paragraph of this post six times now and I'm still not certain what I'm supposed to be writing about, despite the fact that I'm fairly confident I stated the topic of this post clearly in said first paragraph.
Oh Right, Mental Clouding
Mental clouding is something people like me, people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder, experience chronically. I know I'm capable of describing it in a way that makes sense but not right now, evidently. My thoughts are too slippery and I can't seem to follow them to any logical conclusion. Here's what I know: people say things like, "I feel foggy," and "I can't think." Or maybe they don't. I feel like those are things normal people say sometimes and I was going to say, 'See, extrapolate that and you have an idea what severe depersonalization feels like.' But now I can't remember if people really do say those things or not. I also can't remember what extrapolate means and I would look it up but I'm trying to show you what mental clouding is like, not edit the mental clouding into something presentable. Which, quite frankly, I'm not capable of right now anyway.
Am I Making Sense Yet?
I said I was going to describe mental clouding, but I fear all I've done is tell you that mental clouding is preventing me from describing mental clouding. Maybe, hopefully, that makes its own kind of sense. I suppose that's one of the benefits of writing about Dissociative Identity Disorder as someone who has it: DID symptoms interrupt life, and sometimes that's hard to hide. Which may say as much about what living with Dissociative Identity Disorder is like as my clearest, most well-written articles do. Or perhaps that's wishful thinking from a mentally clouded brain.
This took me four hours to write.
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Gray, H. (2011, June 20). This Is Mental Clouding, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, April 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2011/06/this-is-mental-clouding
Author: Holly Gray
Last doctor wanted to merely label me as Psychotic and pump me full of Seroquel which has no positive effect for me and a lot of bad ones and yet go through my day making all my decisions with no help (makes me less lucid and capable rather than the reverse). At least part of me is lucid and makes decisions most of the time, though its a crapshoot as to which one of us it is.
I watched a program about ptsd & it gave me answers because so many of the enterviewees had the same symptoms I was experiencing, clouding being one of them, but they didn't call it that. They said they just stopped writing, reading, etc.
I have fought this for years now, but I can't any longer. It is so disruptive to my life, if you can call it a life. I only hope I can find a therapist who believes me & supports me in managing this.
Right now I am so confused, by all the different diagnosis. Depression, anxiety, ptsd, ADD, bipolar. Can't I just have one? How do you deal with all of this? And they all interplay, especially when I'm stressed or get triggered in some way. I can't concentrate on all that, or even one thing. I'm going to call a couple of therapists today.
Thank you for all your help.
Sorry for my delayed response.
Depersonalization isn't only a symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Like I wrote here in this post, it's something people without DID experience too. So no, experiencing depersonalization doesn't mean one has DID. If you've been experiencing it chronically for over a year, it's certainly something I'd tell a professional about. But it doesn't mean you have DID.
Also, what you've described here, racing thoughts that you can't stick with, is not mental clouding. Mental clouding is an extreme slowing down of cognitive functioning, not a speeding up of it.
Please don't let one article on mental clouding - which it doesn't even sound like is what you're experiencing - scare you. :)
I believe that I've been in this state for weeks now. I cannot seem to think my way through one single sentence. Very frustrating, you know? And as you have already stated, it's chronic.
What you wrote is very helpful. I believe it validates what many of us go through on a regular basis.
Thank you for that.
I'm so so glad to read these comments and know that it was helpful. Thank you all for taking the time to share. I really appreciate it.
I want to write but my mind just can't sieve through all the fog to even process the simple process to write things down.
I also find that with my DID if you loose time afterwards I get a foggy mind, I don't know of anyone else can relate to this.
And it frustrates me when I have almost got what I am trying to process, or say or write and it runs away from me out of my reach.
Its not nice at all.
From what I have read I think she may be a victim of DID in the most severe way and not know it.
If my hunch is right then she may not get a fair trial if she is truly a DID victim because no one recognizes this, at least not willing to discuss this openly in a legal sense and she may get the death penalty if the state procescuting attornies as successful in moving the jury to their thinking and find her guilty.
sad she can not read your articles and ask for help because I dont think she or anyone else recognizes this trait in her.