Losing Time: The Insidious Nature of Dissociative Amnesia

Nothing about Dissociative Identity Disorder is quite what the most popular phrases used to describe it imply. “Losing time” is no exception. When we talk about losing time we’re talking about severe dissociative amnesia which, in a milder form, is something I believe everyone experiences. But the phrase “losing time” suggests a highly dramatic, easily recognizable aberration. In my experience, however, dissociative amnesia is startlingly surreptitious. It’s easy to be unaware that you’re losing time at all.


Dissociation is not always the worst case scenario you may mistakenly think it is. It runs along a continuum. Most of us experience mild symptoms of it in our everyday life, like Alice, the travel consultant, who loses all track of time when she becomes engrossed in a good book – a mild form of amnesia.

- The Stranger in the Mirror, by Marlene Steinberg and Maxine Schnall

What Does Losing Time Look Like?

A guest stayed at our home for several days recently. My partner and I were chatting about recent events last night and she referred to the day our guest left … five or six days prior to the one I was sure he departed on. As we discussed the timeline in more detail, it became clear that I’d lost about a week of that particular stretch of time. These dissociative memory problems happen regularly for me and have for as long as I can recall. And prior to my Dissociative Identity Disorder diagnosis, I quite genuinely thought other people were chronically confused. It never occurred to me that I might be losing time in part because it just isn’t the most likely scenario; but also because my concept of dissociative amnesia was rather farcical. I thought losing time looked like coming to in a hotel room far from home with a stranger in my bed. And while I’m sure that can and does happen, I’ve since learned that dissociative amnesia often camouflages itself so well that, until you spot the seams, it doesn’t look like anything at all.

How Do You Know When You’re Losing Time?

If I’d spent my life waking up with strange people in strange places I might’ve known I had Dissociative Identity Disorder much sooner. As it is, I lived with severe dissociative amnesia for almost thirty years before anyone – friends, family, co-workers, therapists, and most notably I myself – spotted anything out of the ordinary. Without external evidence butting up against my perceptions of reality, there’s nothing to clue me in to the fact that I’ve lost time at all. Had my partner not mentioned the date of our guest’s departure, I would never have realized I’d missed those five or six days. Dissociative amnesia is far more insidious than most people realize. And in my experience, the only surefire way to know you’re losing time is if you happen across clear evidence that directly contradicts your memory. Otherwise, it’s remarkably easy to miss what you’re missing.

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50 Responses to Losing Time: The Insidious Nature of Dissociative Amnesia

  1. Lenore says:

    This has been my experience, also. When asked if I was losing time, my answer was always no. I thought dissociative amnesia would have more of an “I don’t know who I am or where I came from” feeling, so I didn’t think it was happening to me. If you would ask me to account for my time, I was sure I could. Then I would find out that I did or said something & I couldn’t remember it. It makes me wonder how much time I actually lose that is never noticed.

    Glad to see you back Holly…missed you!

  2. chariots says:

    I’ve ….. hmm… losing time. Ya – I kinda thought it would be like waking up in another state and not knowing where you were too. But for me – its… well I usually know when I’ve switched, I often feel it happening, feel myself fading or dropping back. Feel the head pain. And after several minutes – or what seems like forever – eventually I may hear another voice coming out of me. At that point I may lose track and not know a lot about what’s happened later. But in general I can usually account for where I’ve been or what I basically did. So did I lose the time? I guess I lost it, in that I wasn’t “there” – but I had some awareness at least.

    But it’s true – I have had it happen many many times where someone says “hey remember this or that?!” And I have no idea what they’re talking about. Yet this person is telling me I said this or did that. So…… hmm….. ya I think I have lost a lot of time really.

  3. Pilgrim says:

    for me a lot of times its a “how did I get into this room?” “what am i doing here?” kind of thing. ALL the time. “Wasn’t I just at ____?” “how long have I been sitting here doing this?/at the store/in the house?” I am perpectually confused.

  4. castorgirl says:

    This line really jumped out at me – “I’ve since learned that dissociative amnesia often camouflages itself so well that, until you spot the seams, it doesn’t look like anything at all.” This is what a majority of my time loss is like. At times I get the “whoa, how did I end up here” thing, but that’s usually associated with rapid, trigger switches.

    There’s also the issue, that because it feels so “normal” and as if no time has been lost, that you really don’t look at it closely. For the last month I’ve been super-functional at work, and that is all I remember. I don’t know what was happening outside of work, but then that didn’t really worry me. If I was pushed, I’d come up with stories about going down to the lake, or reading a book… I’ve got no way of knowing if that is what I was doing, as I have no tangible attachment to the activities. I’m not all that attached to work either, as I have little awareness of what’s been happening from day to day… well even from hour to hour. It’s all about doing what is needed to get through the next moment.

    It feels confusing if you look at it, but there’s no motivation to look. It’s all about protection.

    Take care,

  5. Holly Gray says:

    @chariots I also experience what you described … not being present but still having awareness that time has passed and a general sense of what has happened during that time. I refer to those experiences as time slipping, rather than losing time. For me the difference between the two rests mainly on the fact that with the former I’m aware time has passed and with the latter it’s as if no time has passed at all.

  6. Poser says:

    Interesting how this subject comes up now, as my therapist and I were just discussing it…or was it that recent?!?! My view is that for as along as I can remember, I can watch the beginning of a movie, leave the room, come back at the end of the movie, and still be able to put together what happened in the middle of the movie without having actually watched it. I do this by rapid assessment of what is the current situation. Without realizing it I can look at minor things like dark or light outside, calendar, clock, clothing, placement of objects, where I am, etc to determine what has happened and what is expected of me. Time passing without me in it never seemed an issue until I realized I do this. I mean, doesn’t everyone? Has time actually passed or did I just blink? Time camouflages itself as life.

  7. yakusoku says:

    This is so relieving to me. I have been working with a potential DID diagnosis for about a month. I finally got the courage to ask him when he started considering the possibility, because I get a lot of internal accusations that I am somehow engineering, faking, making it up, lying, etc. So, I thought it would be nice if he noticed it before I did, so I didn’t feel like I had “convinced” him of something untrue. He said he noticed it about 8.5 months ago, about one month in, but when he asked me about losing time, I answered negatively (without a second thought at the moment, assuming he asked everyone that question), so he put it away until more obvious stuff started. I have had a couple of startling experiences since then that are obvious, but looking back, I can see that most of my experiences of “time loss” would not be noticeable to most people.

    When I was doing admin work, I would think about something stressful and suddenly find I had entered 30 minutes worth of time cards in the computer without remembering it. I would have to go back and check them, because I couldn’t believe I had done them, but they were almost always perfect. I assumed it was an “autopilot” thing everyone does. Same with finding myself in rooms without knowing how I got there, huge amounts of highway hypnosis, faking understanding in conversations, because I wasn’t “there” to hear what was being discussed. I call these things being distracted, zoned out, blank outs. The words “time loss” sound like something so obvious, so different than what I’ve experienced. Because he asked and I said no and then started “noticing” these things months later, it made me feel like I had somehow created these experiences.

    This was really helpful to me feeling like the reality is these things have happened for YEARS, but they were so subtle, easy to pass off. Honestly, even if you don’t remember writing a particular text message or completing some sort of work, but it is something that “sounds” or seems familiar to you, something you WOULD have done…it is easy to just ignore it. I thought time loss had to be something so obviously out of character that it was unmistakable as anything else.

  8. Paula says:

    I was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia (linked to PTSD) several months ago when I was made aware of a date that I had gone on. The guy I went on the date with told me about it after IMing me and having me respond with “who is this?”. After he stopped believing that I was joking around, he told me about the date and when he did I got 2 snapshots in my head which seemed familiar in a dream-like way. I could then also remember that though I couldn’t picture his face, I knew I was irritated with him during the date and that I thought he was spectacularly stupid. I have no recollection of anything else, however, and no other details have come back to me.

    Since then, my memory lapses have become more frequent and even more alarming. As was mentioned in the article, the illusion of time passing normally without any gaps disguises this disorder until you are confronted with indisputable facts.

    Last week I went to a courthouse that I [thought] I had never been to before to make payment arrangements for a traffic ticket. When I told the woman behind the counter what I needed she looked at me oddly and told me I seemed very familiar and that she thought she had already helped me with this matter. Of course, I knew she was mistaken…until she produced a document outlining the payment arrangements we had made with my signature and the date at the bottom. I then asked her who I was with at the time and she said I’d come alone and that I’d seemed distraught.

    Though I had already been diagnosed, until the courthouse incident I had believed that my forgotten date was an isolated incident. Learning that I had actually looked up an address, driven there, interacted with someone and signed my name to a form all without any memories whatsoever really scared me. It also made me realize that all of my arguments about things I had or hadn’t done were related to these bouts of amnesia and not just falacies made up by other people.

    Now I live in fear, not knowing when or where I’m going to slip away…or when I’ll come back. I do see a therapist as well as a psychiatrist, but neither has any experience with this type of thing so I’m looking for someone who does.

    As a side note, I’ve also had many episodes during which I can’t remember anything at all about myself. Nothing around me looks familiar and I have no idea who anyone is (including myself). It’s terrifying. Sometimes it only lasts a minute or two, but I have had it happen for much longer as well.

    I’m sure the 2 are related but I’m still very confused by it. I don’t know what the trauma I experienced was that could have caused this to happen. I have been under a great deal of stress, mostly financial, for several years now. Could that be causing these things to happen?

  9. stuart says:

    just wondering if anyone has a similar experience to the following.. Have been with my partner for 12 years now… there has always been something not quite right that I couldn’t put my finger on.. We would feel really close and then she would seem totally distant. Emotional conversations would be had about moving our relationship forward and then nothing would happen. What we have discovered recently is that all emotional conversations we have get erased..This is not just an occasional memory lapse but seems to have been going on for years – way before we met. When we are having the conversations she appears to be totally engaged but the next day they have vanished..

  10. Tina haf says:

    I also loose time, but its getting to the point of being dangerous. I loose blocks of time, i dont know what happens during the lost time. I have to deal with the time i come to, and put into a new sutuation that i have no idea how i got there, its tough compensating for the new place i’m in. Yesrerday, i came to and had to swere from hitting the car that suddenely appeared before me, i’ve
    stopped driving, because i have no control when i blank out, very scary,

  11. danni says:

    I have never read heard anything I related to more than than what you said Paula. I live in fear. I just started work again and it has been more than I can handle. I have a weak if not non excitant support system. I have been losing hours of time at work and even more so at home now that I started my new job. I cant tell people about it because they don’t believe me. I have had this most of my life I think but it became much worse when my PTSD started. People often get mad at me for not remembering key moments or remembering to do things.I never remember movies and once even forgot one of my old roommates had a cat. I lived with the cat for months. The stress has been getting so bad I can hardly hold down a job because of my black outs. I have been numb and losing time for days. Any stress can make it worse. In my case there is nothing in my life that is not stressful and my illness makes it hard for me to fix my situation. I have been seeing a doctor for about a year now. It has helped me some but done nothing for my lose of time. I have been fighting hard with DBT classed a shrink and therapy. No matter what I do I cant end these blackout. Does it ever get better?

  12. Wolf says:

    I still sometime lose track of time, the last really bad time was about four years ago. I awoke to find myself fully dressed in my street clothes, with no memory of what I’d done, where I’d gone, or if I’d interacted with anybody. For the rest of the day I dreaded it every time somebody drove by the house or if they drove by slowly. To be truthful, I was afraid I’d gone and done something with someone else. I was in a bad marriage at the time, and it was coming closer to the end of the ride. There were times I’d zone out and I’d find myself flirting with some woman, and she was flirting back. I’d snap out of the zone mode and excuse myself promising to be right back but I never return. There were times someone would call me by a different name, and I’d be like Huh, Sorry but my name is. . .They look at me and say, my mistake, but you sure look like him.
    Okay so was I maybe sleep walking and maybe dreaming. I don’t know about many of you, but I think that D.I.D. is a load of crap. Something to excuse behavior of others.

  13. rabidwolf6110 says:

    I still sometime lose track of time, the last really bad time was about four years ago. I awoke to find myself fully dressed in my street clothes, with no memory of what I’d done, where I’d gone, or if I’d interacted with anybody. For the rest of the day I dreaded it every time somebody drove by the house or if they drove by slowly. To be truthful, I was afraid I’d gone and done something with someone else. I was in a bad marriage at the time, and it was coming closer to the end of the ride. There were times I’d zone out and I’d find myself flirting with some woman, and she was flirting back. I’d snap out of the zone mode and excuse myself promising to be right back but I never return. There were times someone would call me by a different name, and I’d be like Huh, no my name is. . .They’d look at me and say, my mistake, but you sure look like him.
    Now was I maybe sleep walking and maybe dreaming. I don’t know about many of you, but I think that D.I.D. is a load of crap. Something to excuse behavior of others.

  14. Samantha says:

    I’m beginning to think I might have something like this occurring.

    My ex-boyfriend used to call me and ask about how “yesterday” was because my parent’s would have a fight. I would have no recollection of it and he’d have to explain to me what occurred. I didn’t believe him for the longest time, until he was able to prove that I would call him in tears, detailing a horrific fight with my parents, sometimes resulting in me being physically abused, and the next day I wouldn’t remember it. It truly makes me wonder how many events of this nature have occurred throughout my lifetime that I honestly don’t remember.

    Now, time differences are more noticeable. For instance, last night I was asked by a friend where I was, and I answered that I had been with Johnny at a party. She looked at me oddly and said, point frankly, that that party was two days ago. I sat down and had to calculate what day it was and how far back and when the party was supposed to be for me to realize she was right. I had literally forgotten two days worth of time, and even now, I have no recollection of what occurred.

    These are just the incidences people have caught.

    It truly makes me wonder how many more have occurred that I don’t know about because I don’t remember them happening and I don’t have anyone around to contradict what I inaccurately remember happened.

    It’s really scary to think about.

  15. Liddy says:

    I have called to my attention 2specific instances where I seem to have lost time in seconds. A couple of weeks ago i was walking across the reception area and 4 different employees all agreed that I was whistling a christmas tune and I swore up and down that I was not doing that, as I can barely whistle and that is some thing I NEVER do. I thought they were all just teasing me, but they all said they heard me and all named the same Christmas tune. Last night I was awakened by my cell phone by the bed which was hooked up to the charger, so I absolutely know it was on the table, my husband verified it. This morning my alarm went off I got up grabbed my robe and went and drank my a.m. Coffee. As i went back to my bedroom i felt something weighing down my robe pocket and it was my cellphone. I have had instances in the past where if I forgot something or did it in “robot mode” i could think back and remember having done the behavior, but this time it was a COMPLETE BLANK. I know I would have had to wrestle with the phone to get it off the charger, so I know I would have remembered doing that after thinking back on it, but it was a complete shock to me to find the phone in my robe. I have also had instances where my husband swears up and down that he has told me something and I will argue to high heaven that he didn’t. It is different than the usual kind of arguments in the past as I believe that I have functioned at A pretty efficient level (I was tested in school many years ago and was told I have an IQ of 129) so when I have argued with him I could provide supporting evidence and then my spouse would back down after remembering the conversation. This has been very different in that he is very adamant and will describe to me where we were and the conversation we had and I have an absolute blank about it. This is such a different experience for me, so much that I am questioning my sanity…hence I googled “losing time” and came to this page. Could this be a part of what you are describing on this site?

  16. Angela says:

    I have been diagnosed for many years with DID and a few others. I haven’t thought that I had problems with it over the last few years, but as I read these comments my sudden black out, time slips, memories have been progressively gotten worse..I had a huge blackout the other night and again making me wreck my vehicle. I haven’t had episodes like this for about 12 years….I just hate that the doctors want to try a bunch of meds…I’ve been through them all. Treating my adhd and ptsd seem to keep my blackouts at bay. Unfortunately I haven’t treated anything for a while (no insurance) im convinced that and my current stress levels have brought them back…worse than ever.

  17. NIKO says:

    I also had the folowing type of amnetia,but i have other problems like,strong headpain,and ful emptynes or darknds in my mind,and like there was nothing inside me,also signs of depresions like no interest in anything at all,i am just surviving, life contains dark dimensions and god choosed me to face it

  18. NIKO says:

    also had the folowing type of amnetia,but i have other problems like,strong headpain,and ful emptynes or darknds in my mind,and like there was nothing inside me,also signs of depresions like no interest in anything at all,i am just surviving, life contains dark dimensions and god choosed me to face it

  19. Luanne Doelz-Curtis says:

    @Angela, please look in to Obama Care. The law was written to help people, and you will be eligible for free health insurance if you have D.I.D. With that being said, I have just come to realize that I have D.I.D., not just disassociative fugue as was originally thought. It is scary as hell. I once flew to NYC, got scared and did not know my name for 21 days. I have two college degrees, a high I.Q. and no memory of those 21 days. I flew to NY to see Julia Roberts in a play (2006), lost my purse and luggage in a taxi and ended up at Bellvue Hospital. I was married at the time and my husband didn’t even come to my rescue. That tells you how abusive my marriage was. To top things off, I just found out today that my ex is a professional con artist and I was his target, being a highly educated Christian teacher. It made him look better on paper, but he sure did not act better. I plan to leave MN behind and find respite by the ocean.

  20. Chris says:

    It can be very abrupt- like suddenly being in a room w/o remembering how I got there or who the people are or very subtle like feeling that I have just gotten lost in a project and finding that 5 hours have gone by.
    One time after a therapy session, I was most of the way into the next state and had to stop and find out where I was- 2 hours out of my way in the opposite direction. It can be scary.

  21. Cindy says:

    To anyone that could help,
    I just got married Dec. 30th to a wonderful man. He’s been my rock in the most unsteadiest time in my life…but here recently I’ve started noticing that what i thought for the longest time was him messing with me might be a serious problem. My husband is in his late thirties and has never been a drinker or any type of substance abuser but occasionally he will start talking some off the wall things…or finish a conversation we had hours sometimes days previous. When I try to discuss this with him he laughes and says he’s just kidding around or he’ll get fustrated because I don’t understand what he’s talking about or trying to say. I’m so very worried about his health. On top of this he lacks an appetite, he has strange twitches in his sleep along with a lot of movement (not sleep walking just movement) and talking in his sleep. He’s had anxiety and depression problems in his past but I don’t know if that could tie into anything. Im just a very protective wife that is desperately seeking answers and was wondering if this at all resembles dissociative identity disorder. If you can help me in anyway I’d be forever in debted to you. Thank you for your time. Have a good day.


  22. Karen Dawn says:

    I have PTSD with DID, but I have never experienced a lapse in time or memories. I have 6 personalities at the present time. I have always known I wasnt alone, but until my diagnosis, I did not know what the “voices” were, or rather who they were. My alters are all me, just different ages of me. Like at this particular age, I split, and again at this age, and so on. This diagnosis makes it difficult to be treated. I was told by a therapist that there are only a handful of Drs in the country who are experienced with my type of DID. It is difficult to find help, and I need it desperately. If anyone knows of a dr, please let me know.

  23. Hi Cindy,
    I am sorry to hear that you are struggling. I can not rule out dissociative identity disorder, as I am not a doctor. If it were me, I would take my husband and these symptoms to a physician and psychiatrist. It doesn’t hurt to get the input of professionals. I am not a professional and can’t help to clarify what is wrong. It doesn’t particularly sound like DID, but rather a memory problem of some kind… but don’t take me word on that as I honestly do not know! Good luck as you try to get him seen by a professional. In the long run, he will probably thank you for it. Take care!

  24. Hi Karen,
    I, too, have been told that DID doctors are few and far between. My psychiatrist and therapist do not specialize in DID, but they have been able to treat me appropriately. One thing that has helped a lot is schema therapy. It may be hard to find a therapist who does schema therapy, too, but it is worth looking into as it has helped me a lot. You may be able to find adequate care, even if you can’t find a DID specialist. Good luck to you in your search! Thanks for your comment.

  25. jeccey says:

    Am glad I came across this thread coz it all sounds so familiar in more ways than one…am not sure if this is what am suffering from….pliiiiizzzzz help if you can…
    I’ve occasionally waken up with weird memory lapses, I’ve noted the times in my diary and it happens like every two to three months… I’ll wake up with recent memories seeming so distant,for example if today is Monday,what is did yesterday seems like it happened long time ago,I can hardly put together what I follow on TV once it happens…
    I get this floating kind of feeling… Like am not connected with what’s happening in my life of in life…. I notice am so anxious and confused, can’t sleep well,it goes on for about a week or so.
    I live such a lonely life…way far from family, in a different country…. I don’t work coz I take care of my son with Autism… Am so isolated, I had an MRI scan about my memory which besides this episodes is soooo bad and they said it’s my life style it’s nothing wrong with my brain….
    Someone heeeellllpppp before I go mad with worry…

  26. Kelly says:

    Have you tried therapy? I am no expert (I’ve been diagnosed with DID for only a few months) but it sounds like you are having symptoms of dissociating. This can be very scary but very normal for someone with DID. Begin by looking for a therapist that treats DID and you can be assessed to see if that is the case. If so, there is help out there. hang in there.

  27. Hi Jeccey, I agree with Kelly in that getting a professional opinion is a good idea. I am not a professional and can not help to diagnose you. I do agree that what you are experiencing could be DID, but you would want to talk to a therapist about that. I get help from group therapy, individual therapy, and my psychiatrist. All of these are helpful if you suffer from DID. Good luck finding the correct diagnosis and treatment! It can be hard to find a good therapist, but don’t give up! Good treatment is out there. Thanks for your comment!

  28. Karen Dawn says:

    Hi Cindy,

    I just wanted to comment on your husbands twitching in his sleep. I, too, twitch, move, and talk in my sleep. I suffer with night terrors where I relive traumas from my past. Sometimes the dreams are so severe that I wake (nearly everyday) with black eyes that fade after a few hours. My therapist said it is because our bodies are visceral – the emotions can’t help but show themselves. If he suffered from anxiety and depression in the past, he may still be reliving some sort of trauma or traumas. Either way, he needs help. He may not want to admit it because of stigma or just plain fear, but the longer it goes on, the harder it will be for both of you.


  29. Jeccey says:

    Hi Sherry and Kells….thanks a million for your input,my my…it happened again about four days ago,am right now in a fog floating kind of feeling,memory the worst problem coz I’ve just googled why I feel how I do and came to this page,as I was reading through,it all seems new to me what people talking about, am excited as I go on reading thinking I can see a similarly till I get to myself, OMG,i can’t remember everything reading or ever writing in this page…Oohhh God…
    Have to find me a therapist and the sooner the sooner the better…

  30. Kelly says:

    Dear Jeccey,

    Just read the above. I know things are very scary when you start noticing these symptoms. Once I had the support of a good therapist and understood more about what was happening and why I was more at peace. I hope the same for you.

  31. Tricia says:

    Hey there ,
    My name is Tricia and I am 25 years old and I am expierencing time loss it seems. Now ive blacked out before that i remember about 10 years ago when i was drinking all the time. Just the last few months I’ve been blacking out completely sober I havent Told my partner until today the last thing i remember is playing with my daughter at our visit then i open my eyes and im in the shower with my boyfriend and hes holding me up i just starting crying.. its really scary when you think your somewhere or doing something but when you blink and open your eyes your somewhere completely diffferent and its 1- 2 hours later// i could cover it up before .. play it cool .. but its really getting to me and it seems to be getting longer and longer. Another thing .. i pass right out .. Ive has sesuires in the last 2 months.. I’m just realluy scared like i said . I’ve been with my boyfriend for the last 3 years // and he will tell me i said all these things and i dontremember saying them at all// we could be fighting for an hour straight and i wont remembver it // so when i snap out of it I’m Normal happy smiling telling him i love him .. and he thinks im really srewed up becAUSE 10 mins prior i was telling him i wanted to leave him .. and so on and so on… i recently started excessively started picking at face until its completely raw . . I’m so stressed out getting severe skin infections. now i know ill pop a zit sometimes but i dont remember picking at my face for 3-4 hours at a time // Im not doin g drugs at all . could the skin pickinh be a part of my black outs// I’m asking for ANYONE whos going threw the same kinda thing as me and has some advice for me please email me because my doctor isnt helpful at all . and i really want to know whats going on .. thanks so much .. for tehe post …

  32. Kelly says:

    Dear Tricia,

    I have not experienced the kinds of black-outs you are describing but it can be a symptom of dissociating. You mentioned talking to your doctor and that not being helpful. Have you tried talking to a psychiatrist, therapist, or psychologist? They may be able to help you help with a diagnosis give you the support that you need. I am sorry I am not able to help you out more than that.

  33. Richard says:

    I feel like I just lost time. I’ve been up for 8 hours and just finished filling out an online application for a job. 8 hours have passed and I can only remember doing about 2 hours worth of tasks. It is such a strange feeling for me right now.

  34. Tom says:

    I can’t explain what is happening to me, maybe some of you have a clue. I have PTSD and MPD. (I believe my personality disorder is the problem, however I seem to be functioning normally under different identities when it happens, according to my wife it is me at different ages.) Well here is what happens to me, I blink and I am someplace else having a conversation with someone or working, then I blink again and I am in bed or driving. I lose entire days sometimes, Classes, 2-8 hour stretches. However my work is done for school with 3.86 GPA and 131 credit hours, Always complete my tasks at work even apparently talk to people, drive, obey the law ect… It just isn’t me doing it…. Its like someone changed the channel on the TV except its my life…. Tonight I was using a pallet jack Blinked and was cuddling with my wife no clue what happened but apparently I left work early, drove home and climbed into bed…. I don’t remember any of this…. I’m losing my friggin mind…..

  35. Wendy-jo Weston says:

    I too have been recently diagnosed with DID.
    It appears I have a few different personalities
    with no memory of each other. Since starting to learn about and receive therapy on DID seems to be helping though my acceptance of it is still very raw feeling. This was a good thread to read.
    Thanks Wendy-jo

  36. jack says:

    im losing days, i dnt remember what happened the day before and i argue with my friend that im not, but now i know i am. fucking great, now i can undestand why ppl act the way they do and the way they look at me like im guilty of something.

  37. Michelle says:

    Not so much time, for me its seconds and minutes. I have trouble remembering what i just said. Or what someone just did.

  38. Tracey says:

    the other night I left a friends home to pick up something at the store and became lost I drove around for three hours before finding my way back! I had left my phone at home! After arriving back admits a crying friend and a police at the door I was confused I thought I had only been gone 30 minutes! Prior to this incident I had taken my daily medications twice in one day also having forgetfulness! Is this just fluke coincidence or should I see my physician for tests

  39. KK says:

    I have therapy for this but sometimes I blackout even when nothing bad is going on and people don’t notice a change in me at all. At times, I don’t even remember a therapy session which I’m paying alot for I might add. It’s like I’ve just woken up, I’m noticing the periods of time that I am losing. Although I may appear normal when I am blacked out, I’m not always and I’m worried about work in case I do something bad that I’m unaware of. I’ve felt myself blackout in the middle of an argument with a stranger, it’s not the first time either. It’s an experience that’s caused me to become housebound

  40. Kristianne says:

    I have DID and I severely hurt and injure myself when I am not my true self. I am really scared and have no family or support. I recently got 3 complaints from neighbours a few weeks ago when I lost from midnight to 7:30am. I can’t really explain anything about it right now but if there’s anyone that has any suggestions for me I am open to them. Thank you in advance.

  41. DDD says:

    Dear Kristianne: I understand isolation and the inability to be FROZEN and want to give up but THERE IS HELP. I am new to this sight, but believe I noticed a number on here that you can call. I cannot say I understand your fear, but I do know there is help, so please don’t ever give up. If you do not have a psychiatrist or psychologist, maybe you could call the local mental health center where you live. I do understand self-harm, dissasociative amnesia, and it helped me to realize I am not alone, and neither are you! You are very brave to reach out and talk about your problems!!!! Don’t forget that!!! BRAVE and NEVER EVER GIVE UP HOPE! If you need help you call always call 911; anyway that’s the number we have – they will be able to help you in any emergency. That means, feel the fear, but reach out for help. God Bless you Kristianne.

  42. Kelly says:


    Do you have a counselor? A good counselor can provide support and can help you become more aware when your alters are out. They can also help with the anxiety that tends to tag along with DID. I am thinking about you.

  43. Ross says:

    This is driving me nuts. It’s the thing that just won’t heal, it seems. My anxiety is long gone, I’m functional, I’m thriving in life, I’ve never been in a better place mentally, and yet, I’m just floating through life. I don’t feel an attachment to anything, and I have zero sense of time. Hours can pass and they simultaneously feel like a single minute and like a full eternity. I’ll think a day or two has passed since something, but then when I check, it will be many days later and I’ll have no idea.

    I thought I’d just started my diet like a week ago, but when I checked my food log, it turns out I started on April 28 — that was 20 days ago. I moved into a new apartment 1.5 months ago, and the two years I spent at my last place, as well as my roommates there, are the tiniest fragments of a distant memory. It already feels as if I have lived in my new apartment forever.

    I’ve been learning a language with Duolingo, and I decided to take a break. I thought I’d stopped for a couple days to take a break, but then a push notification popped up on my phone saying it has been five days since I last practiced. I had no idea, it felt like a single day. I regularly miss all these little things through the day, I’ll suddenly skip ahead a few seconds or a minute or two. Like when I was at the gas station, I got a coffee, I remember paying, then I’m at my car door getting in, and I had no memory of grabbing the napkins or anything, I found them stuffed in my pocket. It was a total hole in my memory. Or I’ll shut the stove off and then I’ll be draining the noodles, and I’ll have zero memory of actually turning the stove off and picking up the pot.

    Most of the time these losses of time are seamless, but every now and again — usually if something manages to make me actually feel emotion, which is rare — my stomach muscles will tighten and I’ll feel more and more pressure in my body and usually depression and physical discomfort until it just sort of…releases. And when that happens, my mood will suddenly be really elevated and I’ll feel great, and my memory of the day before that moment will get extremely fuzzy, so that I’ll only have a detached awareness of the last 20 minutes or so, and no memory of what I did earlier in the day. It’s like everything before that release is some distant memory of things that happened to someone else, if I remember them at all.

    Because of this, I enjoy nothing. I don’t go out aside from work or groceries, I don’t go to things unless it is for the benefit of someone else, because I know that I won’t actually feel present and established in the moment, and it’ll seem like a vague dream almost as soon as I leave. I’ll go to BBQs to make friends happy, I’ll smile and laugh and say the right things, but no one knows that I’m just an animated body going through the motions. I don’t even feel depressed anymore, I might as well be an empty body with a smile on its face sitting in a chair, useless.

    I know this is because my parents never let me leave the house, I was trapped 24/7 with their abuses, and the long miserables days trapped in the same room day after day after month after year feeling all these hopes and yearnings eventually broke my mind. I can’t help but think that as I grew into an adult, my brain formed and was shaped in such a way to handle that particular environment — seemingly endless days completely devoid of stimulation and human contact outside of my parents. My brain learned to delete blocks of hours so I wouldn’t go completely insane. I know I can’t feel emotions anymore because the pain of yearning and hoping for salvation eventually became so painful, the pain of hope and yearning was worse than any other pain. So my brain somehow removed my ability to feel, and on the rare occasions where I actually feel something, it’s as if something snaps in my brain and then…boom. It’s all gone, everything before that snap.

    How is a person supposed to rewrite the very structure of their brain? Therapy has reached its peak. Meditation can’t touch this. Mindfulness doesn’t work. I’m afraid that one day I’ll blink, and I’ll be 70 years old with no memories of seven decades of wasted potential.

  44. Dik Liu says:

    Are my symptoms that of dissociation? In the past year, I have suffered from bouts of hypersomnia that would find me sleeping involuntarily for up to four days, followed by hours or even days of confusion and disorientation. I have also have episodes in which I would go to bed in my Brooklyn studio and a few days later wake up in a different part of the city.

  45. Dik,

    Those symptoms could possibly be related to dissociation. Hypersomnia isn’t connected to dissociation; if you are actually sleeping and not just losing time, then that is another concern entirely. Either way, you should seek help from a medical and psychiatric professional to see what’s going on.

  46. lana jones says:

    In a store shopping..woke up and found myself 2 blocks away…???? Had severe headache that morning..was that a warning signs of blackout?

  47. Lana,

    That can be dissociation, yes. It’s also common to experience headaches/migraines when there is a lot going on inside.

  48. CW says:

    It’s very disturbing walking past a mirror and recognize that your reflection is a stranger. Maybe older or younger than at the time. You often have to lie to others about things when they ask about past happenings because truthfully you have no idea what happens only noticeable drawings, writings, items that occurred during your “away” time. I have had fugue states like walking around in a town I grew up in years ago in the middle of a snow storm wearing a T-shirt. It’s quite unsettling and disturbing, but more so trying to explain it to others.

  49. Joe says:

    Good evening all. My name is Joe im a combat vet with extreme to severe PTSD due to multple deployments and direct interaction with the enemy including hand to hand combat where i have taken lives. I also have been diagnosed the same for injuries recieved while in a combat zone. I quit taking my meds 4 years ago and relied on my faith in God to relieve me of the symtoms and episodes,trips as some have called it. I woke up yesterday morning i had no idea where i was or who i was in a sense. Its soo confusing and hard to explain. i was late for work which is not unusal for me im always late for work. But what was unusual was there was a dude in my living room and i knew him but didnt know how he got there or when. Then i got dressed and walked outside to get in my big truck and it was not there. I then called my boss and he asked me was i high or messing with him. I then realized something wasnt right. i told him i think im having a breakdown or did have one because i was trying to hide the fact i was totally lost. Especially after he informed me that i havnt drove for him in over 3 months. And that i had drove for another guy i didnt even know. Then he informed me the other guy i drove for fired me 3 weeks ago. At this point my pulse started racing i got dizzy and extremely numb. Then i got a call in less than 5 minutes from another gentleman that was logged as a contact in my phone that told me where to go to fill out the application for him and drug screen info Etc. I dont remember ever talking to this guy! Nor have i any recollection of asking him for a job but he was now a contact in my phone. It just gets worse from there. I dont remember the last 48 hours much less my birthday the fourth of july halloween my sons birthday on and on i remember bits and pieces from the last 6 months but thats it. Oh and i met the woman ive been searching for my entire life and she is the only woman i ever want to have by my side for the rest of my life in December last year. We are very devoted Christians. And we were madly in love At least i still am. By reading emails and text for the last 18 hours that i dont remember sending or recieving and have aalmost 100 from Marlene from august til yesterday that i never opened but was in my right mind i guess enough to Archive them so they wouldnt be deleted. The last time i remember being in my walk in closet in my bedroom i had moved all my things to another closet and all her things were in the walk in. She had soo many more clothes than i do and i was soo happy she moved in with me. Now my closet looks like me and only me have ever been in there. There is nothing in my place other than a few notes and old letters and some photos on my phone. She is gone . we are broke up and she has already fell in love with another man and hates my guts and the threats and language in our text and emails are horrible. She never spoke to me like that before and i never would have done it to her. THis woman is my life and im completely back me now and still head over heels in love with a woman that hates me now. I dont know or have memory other than slight hazy things here and there. Ive went off on PTSD trips for 3 weeeks at the longest but never a duration of 6 months or maybe i have. Iam soo confused. oh and i attend church or bible study 3-4 days a week every week. I also journal. I have a gap of 2 1/2 months where i have no entries in my journal and 3 months no entries. I called my pastor and he said he hasnt seen me in at least 3 months and my bible study group said i had not been there since July. I love God and church and my brothers at bible study but apparently i gave up on My Lord And Saviour over the last 6 months but right now i still feel the same like i never missed a day. Please help…. i cant talk to anyone. She hates my guts. I have no friends i trust. If the military finds this out they will commit me. I have lost the greatest treasure in my life, Marlene!!! HELPPPPPPPPP God Bless

  50. Kat says:

    Hi everyone –

    thank you for sharing your experiences. They help me figure some things out amongst my confusion.

    I am the girlfriend of someone I suspect might have dissociate amnesia and I’m looking for help/opinions on the below writing. I apologize in advance that there isn’t maybe enough details to support my speculation below – let me know and I’ll give more info.

    So, dissociative amnesia, because I catch him not remembering things he has just said and one time he used another language that he wouldn’t normally use and then he though I had said it, when I hadn’t said anything, so he kind of “caught” himself, but he couldn’t remember it, so when I bring it up now, he believes it’s my memory lapse.

    Unfortunately for me, I feel his memory lapses around his experiences with women. I don’t know why, but he can’t remember any women he’s had feelings for in the past. When I asked him about it he said he just wasn’t into girls, but I was only to discover that through an 2yr old conversation I read that was between him and his friend, that he liked girls plenty and these two actresses in particular. When I showed him some pics of these actresses and asked him casually if he’d ever thought they were somethin’ he said no, never, and he said he never though of them in that way at all. When I told him that just 2 years ago he was calling these “his girls” and thought they were very hot/attractive, he said he genuinely couldn’t remember saying that. I used to think that perhaps he was lying to me, but with all the memory laps here and there, I feel like his memory laps are beyond the “normal” and he genuinely can’t remember chunks of time OR things surrounding women.

    Does it happen that the amnesia can “choose” topics to forget?

    Perhaps he has other personalities – but living with him for 2 years I have to say that I haven’t “met” any of them… or maybe I don’t notice them?

    I wonder what his trauma would come from though… because he seems to have had a really nice childhood and only when he was a teen did he have some trauma when one of his parents was going through cancer.

    Thank you if you read this and I hope you can give me some of your input from what you know about DID – amnesia and also give me your personal opinion.

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