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Anxiety Makes You Feel Unreal and Disconnected

August 15, 2012 Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

Anxious because you feel unreal, disconnected? Now find out what to do! Stop being terrorized by anxiety and panic attacks. Check this out.

Panic attacks suck the reality out of us!

I talked two people down from panic attacks recently and both of them had been worrying that they had lost touch with reality. They felt totally disconnected to the world around them. In talking to them, they were so convincing. I almost believed that this episode was different. But I let go of my own fear for them. (My worry doesn't help anyone.) I quickly assessed that they were not, in fact, psychotic. They were speaking rationally and eloquently.

And I remember from my panicky days how I felt different and disconnected.
And this feeling different and disconnection totally charged up my panic. It went through the roof! Making me feel even more disconnected. This is because anxiety is what we feel when we are disconnected. Anxiety comes from a feeling of separation. That there is something missing in us that doesn't allow us to handle situations. A false assumption that we are different than other people (thus separate).

Feeling Unreal and Disconnected Is a Very Scary Illusion

Anxiety makes us feel unrealIt feels so much like it is possible we won't come back to ourselves. Like our sanity is about to go off a cliff somewhere, never to return. This is terrifying! And feeds the anxiety. An already huge snow ball, rolling around, gathering yet a wider girth. Intense panic ensues.

If your panic is that intense:

Stop and remind yourself that this is just panic, not death, not psychosis, not a cliff.

Remember: I cannot guarantee much in life, but I can guarantee that things will change, you will not stay here forever. That is impossible. This too shall pass.

Remember: You have most likely been here before and came out the other side, it only feels like this is more intense because it is happening right now. It was probably this intense before and you survived (or you wouldn't be reading this.)

Know: You can get rid of problem anxiety

Please tell me what is on your mind!

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace,
share here: Twitter@JodiAman, Google+
inspire here: Facebook: Heal Now and Forever Be in Peace.

APA Reference
LCSW-R, J. (2012, August 15). Anxiety Makes You Feel Unreal and Disconnected, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, June 17 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2012/08/anxiety-makes-us-feel-unreal



Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

Doug
says:
August, 7 2018 at 11:11 pm
Every time I travel some place new I feel so spaced out to the point my brain doesn't want to except where I am. I feel like I'm slipping away from reality. I've been like this ever since I had an incident while running in the heat years ago. The heat seems to make it worse.
August, 8 2018 at 10:43 am
Hi Doug,

I've had to deal with both of those things. Visiting a new place means a lot of new things to process - taking it in all at once is going to be overwhelming. And some people are naturally more affected by the heat than others, myself being one of them.

The next time you visit a new place, perhaps try going out for only a little bit at a time, and afterwards taking as much time as you need to relax. It may seem inconvenient, but if this kind of anxiety is the hand we've been dealt, there's nothing wrong with doing what's necessary to best accommodate yourself to it. As for the heat, air conditioning should always be your friend :)
Nicco
says:
May, 29 2018 at 5:51 am
Thank you very much for making me feel better.
I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) for about 3weeks now. These days I even feel dizzy, is it normal?
May, 29 2018 at 6:30 pm
Hi Nicco,
Yes, dizziness can be part of GAD. However, it isn't always part of it, and dizziness can be associated with other medical conditions. When it comes to physical symptoms of anxiety, it can be a good idea to check things out with your doctor to confirm that it is anxiety and rule out other conditions.
Lori
says:
October, 12 2017 at 12:50 am
No offense, but you can't guarantee that this won't last forever because it can. I've been afflicted with anxiety and panic attacks since kindergarten. I was five and thought I was dying. Every. Single. Day. It hasn't happened yet, obviously, but the feelings and fears have only gotten more intense over the years as paranoid hypochondria, agoraphobia, and suicidal depression have joined the party.

I'm 42 now. I've been on the razor's edge of sanity for 37 years. I literally have no idea what it feels like to be normal. I don't know what it's like not to genuinely feel like you'll be dead by the end of the day/week/month/year. I don't know what it's like to interact with another person without overwhelming anxiety and panic, actual relationships are unthinkable. I don't know what it's like to go a day without physical pain and the psychological torture of 'knowing' that I'm dying. I can't sleep restfully without xanax and/or alcohol and since I hate doing that, I don't sleep much or well. I haven't felt genuinely rested in over a year and I don't see any end in sight on that front.

I started seeing shrinks when I was in the second grade. I've taken several different kinds of several generations of meds, done CBT, meditation, yoga, exercise, church, diet, supplements, etc. Everything. The sad truth is that for some of us, nothing works and we're stuck in this forever. It's sad and morbid but it's true and selling the false hope that "it can't last forever, that's impossible" is frankly cruel.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kelsey
says:
January, 21 2018 at 12:03 pm
I also feel the same way. Like it’s never going to get better. I get in these moods where I am so depressed and have the worst anxiety. Not feeling real, dream like state, can’t socialize with anyone, doing simple tasks are nearly impossible. Scared to talk to anyone because I feel like I’m going insane.. I have nothing in my brain, no memories , but at the same time I’m thinking about everything and worrying about every little thing.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Lovely
says:
March, 29 2018 at 1:02 am
Hi did you overcome now?
be aware that sometimes when you feel like it's anxiety your body is physically ill and that Avenue needs to be searched before you take any kind of antidepressant
says:
July, 9 2017 at 11:14 pm
I see a lot of comments about anxiety and taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications and I wonder if any of you have ever had your blood drawn and had your thyroid your parathyroid your calcium levels your potassium levels your phosphorus levels all of these different intricate parts of our body checked before being put on anxiety medications and antidepressants there was a point in my life where I got very very sick and every doctor tried to shove these pills down my throat eventually the doctor came along and ordered several tests to be done and I find out that I had hyperparathyroidism it was making me very sick my kidneys were shutting down my blood sugar had dropped to 31 and I felt like I almost died I only say this because I would like for people to be aware that sometimes when you feel like it's anxiety your body is physically ill and that Avenue needs to be searched before you take any kind of antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sara
says:
April, 10 2018 at 10:06 pm
yes. I did have all those tests done. Unfortunately I’m only 19 and have been on everything from prozac to klonopin. And they all make me feel 10x more dead than I already am inside. I just want those hurt to go away, I feel like I lost my soul at age 12. These are supposed to be the happiest years of my life why am I so sad? And unreal? And disconnected? And scared, terrified, isolated. I’d kill to feel what a “normal” person feels. I don’t even know where I’m going with this, I’m in a manic episode and if I don’t type something out I’ll go mad
Matt
says:
September, 13 2016 at 9:02 am
Hello, I found your article brilliant and refreshing to read, for i have been dealing with some unsettling anxiety issues myself. I seem to be having episodes that i can't seem to find anywhere online, maybe this is my anxiety talking, but i want to try and describe it to you. perhaps you can offer some advice. I am constantly thinking about my body movements. i get confused by how my mind controls my body and i am able to control it. i know this may sound odd but something deep inside of me is confused and i can't seem to find answers. Sometimes i don't think about it and everything is fine but when i do i go back into this worrisome loop. I fear i will lose control of my body one day and become a vegetable. I am bewildered by how my body operates, i find it all so strange, frightening and unreal. i feel im losing my mind sometimes. I can't really describe it because it doesn't even make sense to me. I have had these episodes before and survived them but i am having them once again...... Why can't these thoughts leave me alone? What can i do to help myself? Has anyone else experienced this?

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Stephanie
says:
October, 6 2017 at 10:20 pm
I have been having the same feeling for 6 months.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie
says:
November, 6 2017 at 9:12 am
Depersonalization
vishwajeet
says:
September, 2 2016 at 1:06 am
I'll feel weird strange and unreal. I'll smoke weed from 2 years but when i smoke it for 2 hours in hookah I'll start feeling unreal I'll feel that everything is moving with me. I had pain in my head foggy vision memory loss but after I consult doc they gave medicine I'll also had ct scan but it is normal I feel weird more when I wake up but day by day it becoming good I'll feeling good it take 1 month but I'll having this prblm smtm but when I was busy with my fend I'll can't even remember that I had prblm. I'll suggest all who had same pblm that they do daily exercise solve puzzle busy in works and do medication yoga. and I love the thought that it this will all pass one day I become as I was earlier. and always be happy and one warning see less TV it will feel you weird too see but less
Kim Smith
says:
August, 29 2016 at 4:27 pm
I'm not sure if I'm experiencing dp/dr or not but I definitely don't feel myself. I've never before had these debilitating sensations previous to taking an ssri. I fall into just a stare and don't feel connected with my surroundings; not like it was before. My relationship to objects and people is different. I never feel at ease. I want so desperately to be out of this state of mind. I've never before suffered from anything other than the anxiety and panic. I believe it was brought on my the meds.
Cherell
says:
August, 14 2016 at 4:21 pm
I will feel my palms getting sweaty and start shaking and then I would get this discomfort feeling on places on my body (Any place). I will be wanting to move or hold squeeze someone else's hand. Is that anxiety?
Oar kota
says:
July, 28 2016 at 11:19 pm
Just as I was waking up, I could not because I did not understand enough to differentiate between obvious opposites like sleep and waking up, arrival and departure, knowing and not knowing; all meaning was lost. Whatever it was it had no bottom nor did it have any bounds but it was ... What I called later a schizophrenic moment; is it? I had been having anxiety issues due to layoff notice

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

vishwajeet
says:
September, 2 2016 at 1:20 am
pour some oil on your hair and sleep without you pillow and wake early in morning and sleep early at night and do exercise in morning and try to get busy all day and not eat too much don't eat oliy food and checked ur blood pressure do all this for 15 days u feel good. don't think too much say too ur self 'it will pass one day'.
Chris
says:
June, 17 2016 at 9:04 am
Just focus in reality
Eiduki
says:
June, 17 2016 at 8:51 am
35 year old I have something experience I was in military before 11 years and I see many things when I was in military one day 1 young men I cannot even remember his name he asked me if I have cigarette and I told him I don't have any right now and after 5 minutes he did suicide by bomb I was shocked I can not wait like 3 weeks I cannot drink it was like crazy but in my mind I think every day about him because I see his body everywhere, after 4 years I was run from military I know I cannot stay long in my country, I went to neighbor country by illegal then they put me in prison 4 years no cell phone no laptop no any communication with my family then I came to Sweden as refugees right now I am suffering buy PTSD, at this time I feel like somebody raped me I don't think it is happen on me but I don't know it feels like really I have a lot of pain in my mind and I have a lot of emotion but I don't know what to believe I'm not gay and I hate gay but it is weird I need real help right now I'm scared I think I'm losing my mind or my memory what can I do

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 17 2016 at 11:01 am
Hello Eiduki,
I'm very sorry to read what you have been through. Having support is very important in dealing with PTSD and the traumas you have experienced, but I understand that it could be difficult for you to find. It is very possible that there is a Red Cross and Red Crescent organization close to you. This link takes you to the Swedish Red Cross, part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society: http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/where-we-work/europe/swedish-red-cross/ There, you will find a wealth of helpful information as well as locations and contact information.

Also, while you are contacting the Swedish Red Cross/Red Crescent, you can also go to http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/cope/index.asp. This takes you to a specific page of the National (US) Center for PTSD that has online self help tools. You can also explore the entire site for information even though it's services are primarily for people in the United States, especially veterans. And HealthyPlace.com has a Trauma/PTSD blog like this Anxiety blog: http://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/

I encourage you to find support where you are, either through a Red Cross/Red Crescent or a different organization if you find one that you prefer. You absolutely can work through this and feel better again.
Jake
says:
April, 17 2016 at 3:28 pm
Hi everyone on here

About 5 years ago I was at university and I had my first panic attack. I put it down to an unoccupied routine, lots of drinking and smoking (tobacco and weed) and the final catalyst being a break up with my girlfriend. Her room was directly opposite mine, so I found it difficult to get over, paranoia seeped in and Voila! I had me a nervous breakdown. For about a week of 2 I couldn't understand for the life of me what it was. A constant need to get up and move, heart palpitations, loss of memory, disconnection to friends and family, a feeling of doom and spaced-outedness, the whole nine-yards. In the end I felt like I was going crazy (either the smoking or alcohol had given me psychosis or a tumour). I actually had to remove myself from University for the final term. It is rightly named 'a living death' because you feel like your waking hours are dominated by nasty thoughts, usually topped off by the nastiest thought of all before you eventually find sleep.. THIS IS MY LIFE NOW... I never considered suicide but there was a whole month where I wished I didn't wake up, which I'm sure a lot of people on here can relate to now or in the past. I would have panic attacks everywhere, someone looked at me funny in H&M once and I came straight home, couldn't get on the bus because I was afraid of my hand shaking giving out the change. It is quite possibly the worst feeling to be consumed by fear . I went to see a therapist who said I had general anxiety disorder, brought on by an undiagnosed case of ADHD when I was younger and the trauma and physical abuse I put myself through at Uni. He advised I take meds but I refused, insistent that my mind was still my own (having a bad perception of medication). My therapist introduced me to something called mindlessness, a form of meditation that brings focus and suggests that rather than tackling nasty thoughts, simply ignore them. Let them slide off you. It was a difficult road but after a month or 2 of practising this I felt a vast improvement and within less than half a year, I felt my old self again. I went from thinking about anxiety every second of every day, to having weeks go past when I hadn't even thought about it. I now refer to that part and time of my life as my 'funny stage' and where it was originally a life consuming terror, I now see it as a good thing, that needed to happen, something to steady my ship in the long run. Nowadays I feel the first onset of fear a mile away and I go through the motions, (closed eyes, breathing, mindlessness) and within 5-10 minutes I'm back and in control. If I'm feeling spacey or tense I ask myself, have I been drinking or smoking too much?. The cognitive and behavioural changes I now make in my life control my anxiety, not the other way around. That's not to say I'm not a different person, I am overall a lot tenser and nervous about certain things but I am now much wiser about it too.

The point of this very long-winded description of my own experiences with anxiety (I apologise) is to let everyone know that overcoming anxiety is always possible. No matter how bad you feel about yourself and the future, there is hope even when you can't see it. It has already been said on here before, finding out first that you are not crazy, losing your mind or going insane is fundamental. The physical symptoms of fear (the fight and flight response) is a nasty blighter, de-realisation is mean, shortness of breath is a bugger (I find it's actually great to use words like this when sorting things out in your head to calm down) but they are all harmless and all there to help you. The best analogy I've ever heard of anxiety and fear is that of the brimming pint glass...

Say a non-sufferer of anxiety experiences something stressful (job interview, relationship issues) water (symbolizing stress) is added, but the levels of water are low enough so it doesn't brim; therefore no breakdown or panic attack. Alternatively, the pint glass of someone whose stress levels are already high could brim when encountered with stress. I always find it helps to think of my stress like this. I go on a 3 day bender, my water feels up, so I sleep, lay off the booze, relax. It might help you to think about this like that :) You may be brimming now, but with the right steps you will get it back to a good level. For me, it was a couple of months, 1 therapy session, a lot of sleep, a lot of meditation, little or no alcohol/smoking. It really depends on whatever works for you, it just takes time to figure it out :)

P.S. I decided to share with you on here because I have recently had a onset of eye floaters that could potentially be with me for a long time, this has caused me a great deal of stress and I feel myself starting to get uncontrollably anxious. I've booked a therapy session and tried calming myself down. I feel very optimistic still despite my worry, that is key I think :) It''s all okay guys, we can defeat this!
Kate
says:
April, 8 2016 at 7:26 am
I have this feeling constantly, I don't feel real, it has become uncomfortable living. I've had this since I was 13 years old, I am now 27. It's a horrible feeling, it kind of feels like you're dying inside. I feel like an empty shell and the fear is awful. I know I mustnt give up, I realised this two years ago but every single second of being awake sucks big time
Jorge
says:
March, 20 2016 at 1:17 am
Ok so I just experienced something so scary and I felt as if I was so light and unreal and I got really scared and like felt like floating and couldn't hear and then thought to myself I was going crazy and once I got on the trolley home I got off and realized what I think was a panic attack but idk can I get some opinions from someone thankyou for reading this
Victoria
says:
February, 25 2016 at 2:29 pm
Hey everyone. So like most posts on here I've been having very weird experiences with my mental state after a panic attack. I have never really had one before until about 6 days ago where I absolutely thought I was loosing my mind. Life at that moment didn't feel real and I was just in an overload of panic. Ever since then I've been having the same sense of panic and really believe I have schizophrenia or something. I do want to mention that I have severe OCD with a phobia of throwing up and germs as I was having an episode prior to my panic attack. after I had the PA my phobia turned completely away from throwing up to having schizophrenia/going insane. I truly feel like I have all the symptoms of this mental illness and it's driving me insane. I've been to a few doctors and they've all said its my OCD that has latched on to something else but I really feel like there is something more severe wrong. I feel out of it, no emotion, in constant panic all the time, having weird dreams before I've actually fallen asleep, having weird dreams once asleep, second guessing everything I do/see & etc. I'm really at wits end because this is no way for someone to have to have to deal with life. Please, anyone with guidance?
denise
says:
January, 2 2016 at 7:23 pm
hi! about a month ago I encountered to had have an anxiety attack on my way home from work while being in the car after that my thoughts have not been able to settle down I fear that I would never feel normal again I also feel like I don't want to look at myself in the mirror cause I feel like I don't know this person anymore I now tend to feel sad beacause the things I loved the most I don't I find it very hard to concentrate and I fear that this will never go away do you have any tips on what to help the worrying thoughts and what can I replace the worry thoughts with! Im glad I came across this website it doesn't make me feel alone and feel like I am going crazy ive experienced also symptoms of crying and being sad does this fall into place with the anxiety as well . any advice will help ive started medication for it and I know I can defeat this I will not let it defeat me !! we will all be normal again.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

January, 5 2016 at 3:26 pm
Hello Denise,
You have a wonderful outlook! You are right -- you definitely can defeat this, and yes, we can all be "normal" again! (Well, just because people experience symptoms doesn't mean they're not normal. :D ) You're already being proactive in seeking info, setting your mind on overcoming this, and even starting medication. I'm sure your doctor told you that medication doesn't always work quickly -- depending on the person and the medication, it can sometimes take up to two months to have an effect. Often, it's faster than that, but it sometimes does take that long. Also, sometimes, different medications have to be tried before finding one that works. So just be patient. Don't give up! You also are definitely on the right track with your comment about replacing the negative thoughts. That's the key -- replacing what we don't want with what we do want. It can be helpful for people to practice mindfulness, to pay attention to sensory input in the present moment. That focus can bring the mind back when it races off. Also, noticing your thoughts, checking them for accuracy, and countering them with something more realistic and positive is very helpful. Hopefully, other comments in this thread will spark some ideas, too. Keep your positive mindset even when things are difficult. Outlook goes a very long way in overcoming anxiety!
Nicole
says:
October, 3 2015 at 4:09 pm
I'm so happy to have found this site! I went into a major anxiety attack on Thursday and unlike the others this lasted for a couple hours at its peak and I'm still not feeling reconnected today, Saturday, so I wanted to describe what happened and hopefully get some feedback. ...
Thursday morning I drank way to much coffee and no food and then went and did physical labor. Suddenly I dumped sweat. .. could not wipe it away fast enough and I began shaking uncontrollable. The woman who was with me wouldn't allow me to drive bcuz my knees actually felt as if they were going to buckle and the shaking was throughout my body and quite extreme... definitely not a tremor. I felt completely disconnected, like I was in a dream fog and everything sounded as if it were in a tunnel. My mother came and got me, I explained to her that I had 3 cups of coffee and I hadn't eaten. She was immediately on to the hypoglycemic symptoms and got me some food. I had a hard time with the food bcuz I was afraid I would choke, I was careful to walK bcuz I was afraid I'd fall... I've had panic attacks and I know that they are horrible and I know that we have a way of turning each episode into the worse ever... but I'm still stuck in that disconnected feeling. .. 2 days after the onset day...

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 4 2015 at 11:43 am
Hello Nicole,
Being aware of factors that worsen anxiety and panic is really important, so it's great that you noticed the connection to caffeine and lack of food. Caffeine can be one of anxiety's big enemies, as can low blood sugar and/or poor nutrition. As you know, of course, getting rid of anxiety isn't as simple as avoiding caffeine and having a meal. That's why the effects of anxiety, including the disconnected feeling you mention, can linger. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally can help ease that feeling. Getting both rest and exercise, doing enjoyable, stress-relieving activities, deep breathing, engaging your senses (peel and eat an orange mindfully, or go for a walking meditation where you pay attention to sights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations) are all examples of things you can do to ease anxiety and the feeling of disconnection. These ideas might inspire some of your own!
Staci
says:
August, 14 2015 at 11:15 am
I've been anxious since last friday. I have had anxiety since 2007 and I got put on paxil, I am still taking 30mg paxil every night. I have days here and there that I feel anxious but it goes away quickly. I woke up Friday and had swollen feet and a bad tooth ache, that day I went to the doc and the dentist. Doc ran a bunch of labs and dentist gave me antibiotics cuz my wisdom tooth was infected and I need to schedule a day to get it pulled. I thought, ok now when I get my labs back, if they're normal I'll be so relieved and back to being my happy self. Well they all came back fine, but I still felt off, on my way to work the next day I had a panic attack, I snapped out of it and told myself to stop, a few hours later I still felt anxious so I took my blood pressure and it was really high so I went home. My doc said I need to see the psychiatrist, but I can't even get myself to do that. I feel ok when my friend or sister is woth me, but as soon as I'm alone I'm worried again, I can't even take a shower or leave my house if I'm alone. It's making me so frustrated! I don't want to raise my prescription higher than it is... I see people swimming and I think, I wish I was happy again and could go swimming and joke and laugh again... and I dread the future. Like having to go to work on sunday is scaring me cuz I'm afraid I'll still feel like this..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 14 2015 at 6:55 pm
Hello Staci,
Seeing your psychiatrist could be quite helpful, given your recent changes. He/she wouldn't necessarily increase the level of your prescription. Sometimes a change is in order, and sometimes even a lower dose of the same medication is needed. Your doctor will work with you to determine what is best. Perhaps you could take your friend or sister with you to the appointment. Even when anxiety and panic flare up, know that it's temporary. Especially since you're so insightful and motivated to decrease it, you can definitely take action to reduce it.
Ari
says:
July, 18 2015 at 5:11 pm
I took a screenshot of the article and i go back to it every time i feel anxious or in panic.

Thank you. You are awsome

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 18 2015 at 10:45 pm
Hello Ari,
Jodi is the one who wrote this great article. She is no longer writing for HealthyPlace, so she's unable to respond to comments. I'm sure she would be very glad to know that you found this helpful.
Annie
says:
June, 22 2015 at 8:56 am
Hi,
So for months now I have not been able to feel my body and it feels like part of my body is missing. I also feel such intense feelings of being unreal, unhuman. I basically feel non existent. This started after a sudden breakup. I feel like I am totally gone and don't think I will ever come back. I can't sleep and I am barely functioning. I am getting help but I still feel hopeless. Has anyone had these symptoms before?
Abby Hausey
says:
June, 15 2015 at 2:06 pm
I don't feel like myself. The only thing I can seem to feel is extreme nervousness and sadness. The fact that this feeling won't go away makes me frustrated. I questioned my sanity but I know I'm not insane (sociopath). Idk why I can't get myself out of this funk I guess I'm scared for the future and what I night become even though I know that I won't become anything i don't wanna. I guess maybe I'm now just scared that this feeling won't go away. When something happens Its like I'm numb when this extremem nervousness. Like I can't feel happy or any other feeling except what I'm feeling right now. I've cried everyday cause I just want this to go away and it won't. What should I do. If this doesn't go away this week I will talk to my therapist on Friday. I just feel like no one has ever felt like this and that I'm going crazy or something.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 15 2015 at 7:52 pm
Hello Abby,
Hopefully the fact that this article and all of the comments even exist shows that you are definitely not the only one who feels like this. Anxiety disorders, as well as other disorders, can lead to this experience. You're not alone, and you're not going crazy! Talking to your therapist is a very good idea, and is crucial. Therapy doesn't work well unless people can talk freely and openly about what they're experiencing so the therapist can work with you to find the correct path to wellbeing. And there is a path for you to wellbeing.
Vicente
says:
May, 19 2015 at 3:10 am
Hello,

I have OCD and I am very worried about the way my brain works or has stopped working. I feel stupid and I can't think straight. I overlook obvious things very often and make ridiculous decisions because of this. I don't even try to solve simple problems because I know that I get anxious and that if I can't solve them, I am going to get even more anxious and start feeling stupid, frustrated and sad.
My dad contributed a lot in me being insecure and more self-conscious about making mistakes and not being able to solve simple task at home like putting a picture up on the wall, fixing the shower of my bathroom, etc., because he acts like he know everything and he is very smart and can do it all. A little bit more than a year ago, my shower got blocked and I wasn't sure what was going on. I first thought there was no water in the house, but it wasn't this and I got very worried because I knew I was going to have to fix it and I didn't want my dad to help me. He ended up knowing about the problem and yelled at me, "come here, the problem was that the shower had sand and rocks inside" acting surprised because I hadn't noticed this. This immediately triggered my anxiety and made me feel stupid. I felt very bad for two days. Things like these have happened to me very often in the last years.
One day, I had several sets of stapled documents that I wanted to dump into the recycling container of my school. I didn't want to throw the papers with staples so I borrowed a staple remover and took each staple off. When I was about to finish, I thought: Why didn't I just cut the corners of the papers off, it would have been a lot faster and easier. That day I could control the ssituation and didn't make a bit deal about it because this happened 3 years ago and I wasn't so traumatized about me feeling dumb yet. The problem is that the problem grew and grew and now I get nervous every time I see a new device in my house that requires thinking to get it working because I get blocked and very anxious. My mind goes blank. For example, my mom got a dish drainer yesterday and when I saw it I got extremely anxious because I started to think if I could make a device like that without help. Then, I disovered it had a tray and I started to get nervous because I wanted to know what it was for. I went blank again and my brain blocked. I decided to avoid checking the drainer carefully to find out the purpose of the tray because as I said, it is terrible for me when I can't solve a problem like this and I can't figure out how things work. This morning, I saw the tray undernreath the drainer putting it in a position so that the water could fall in the sink. This immediately triggered my anxiety again and made me feel stupid for not having thought about it immediately after I saw the drainer and the tray. I didn't even try it because I escape situations like this as I told you to avoid feeling anxious.
I am very worried because when things like these happen to me I start to get ideas in my head, ideas I have got for many years because I am very suggestionable, like feeling itchy mouth like I am hungry or feeling I don't miss my death dog anymore or I can't be anywhere. I get anxiety attacks. The first one of these ideas was the one that made me feel hungry because in highschool I was afraid of putting up weight. This is by far the worst compulsion I have.

Do you know if it is normal for a person with OCD to have foggy brain and to have difficulty thinking straight and solving simple tasks?

I really appreciate your help in advance.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

May, 19 2015 at 1:19 pm
Hello Vicente,
While anxiety is of course personal and can feel different for different people, there are commonalities. Yes, what you describe is common with OCD and anxiety in general. This is once of the reasons OCD is so frustrating. It does interfere with people's lives. You are describing thought patterns that can stop people in their tracks. The good thing about our thoughts is that we can learn to control them rather than letting them control us. There's a very effective approach called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that works on our thoughts. You already have insight into your thoughts, so you're a step ahead of the game before you've even begun! There are excellent books, websites, and even smartphone apps that allow people to go through the process of CBT. That said, CBT is most effective, especially in the beginning, when done with a therapist/counselor. A large number of therapists use CBT because it is so very effective, so the chances of finding one are high. However, if you can't see a therapist, I would still strongly recommend finding books and workbooks on CBT that will help you overcome what you are describing as foggy brain.
Lauren
says:
April, 10 2015 at 3:54 pm
I am currently on medication for anxiety and depression. I feel better, but the disconnected feeling seems like it is the hurdle I have to overcome. I feel disconnected and detached and its driving me crazy. I have a counselor and psychiatrist. Both tell me to get busy doing things and those feelings will go away. I might be thinking too much about it and therefore remaining stuck. Suggestions??

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 11 2015 at 1:41 pm
Hi Lauren,
Kudos to you! You have already begun the process of becoming unstuck. You are taking medication which, for many people (but not all), helps soothe the brain so you can create and use coping skills to keep getting better. Your counselor and psychiatrist are wise in telling you to do things, because that truly is what it takes. It's difficult, though, because anxiety and depression can keep people from feeling able and motivated to do so. This is only the disorders talking. Many times, when we want to get unstuck, we try to think of huge things we can do or change, but that often makes us more paralyzed. Have you tried thinking of little things you can do each day (and, actually, it's helpful to break the day up into segments) to get yourself going? What are your passions or interests? What feels doable to you? It doesn't have to be fancy. You could just sit in a sunny spot for a period of time and enjoy a cup of tea, one chapter in a book, etc. Pick one space in your house to organize and clean (that does wonders for helping shake off anxiety and depression). Perhaps other readers have their own suggestions and tips in the comments thread. Remember that you've already begun your healing journey, so you do have the power to continue!
Ahilya
says:
April, 7 2015 at 3:16 am
Also i sometyms take burning thin n burn my hand..now i hve small burns in my hand..I dont know why i do that..When i am fine i feel why do i do it??
i feel guilty..When i am not normal i throw things i shout n cry n lock myself..Then i feel that ws not necessary i overreacted..Is this any disorder or normal behavior??

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 7 2015 at 6:41 pm
Hello Ahilya,
It's very common for people to wonder if they are normal when they are experiencing something frightening and frustrating. Rest assured that you *are* normal. You are experiencing something that sounds like it is causing problems in your life. The great news is that all of this can improve. It does take time and persistence and often assistance from people like counselors and doctors, but what you are dealing with isn't who you are as a person. Have you considered seeing a counselor/therapist to discuss what's going on? Counselors/therapists can be very helpful in helping sort out what you're experiencing, helping you understand, and working with you on a plan to make things better.
Ahilya
says:
April, 7 2015 at 3:07 am
I am 16 n I was a very smart girl n i topped almost every test..
I dont know what made me this but I am nt the same anymore..I had Exam anxiety which turned worse from past few months..Now i cnt study at all..It had turned to somethng worst i dont know wot it is..I dnt get proper sleep during night..If i get sleep i wake up suddenly feeling anxious..I feel my dreams r real n wot is happening in reality is fake..I feel so disconnected..
No one beleives me at all..They say u r doing it on purpose..I cant concentrate on anything..I feel my mind is ever running..I get sleep on unusual times n during night i keep on thinking...Is this normal??
tt
says:
March, 31 2015 at 4:21 pm
i am suffering from thoughts/fears of losing my mind or suddenly forgetting everything.i haver thoughts like you are going to forget how to open the door, maybe you have epilepsy, you don't know where you are and i do in fact know where i am at all times,you are going to be put in a mental hospital. all in all irrational fears.. i recently started lexapro 3 weeks ago 10mg....am i going crazy or is this just my anxiety and panic...i know god has me but at times it is very intense. i have felt this before and always come out on the other side

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 1 2015 at 10:22 am
Hello tt,
The thoughts and worries you have, including wondering if you are going crazy, are absolutely parts of anxiety and panic for many people. So rest assured, as awful as it is, you are not going crazy! Having felt this before can give you an advantage now; you are more aware of the feelings and can recognize them for what they are (irrational fears and components of anxiety). Also, use it to your advantage. You stated that you have always come out on the other side. That's great! Really think about those times. It wasn't arbitrary that you came out of it. What was different when you transcended it? Pay attention to your successes, and do more of what you did/thought/felt during those times.
tt
says:
April, 1 2015 at 11:45 am
thank you so much. you have given me the boost i needed and i feel great knowing that i am not going crazy.......GOD bless you:)...i am going to start excersing to chanel that extra energy and change my focus.i am also going to take your advice and start focusing more on my success rather that the bad times...thanks again!!!!!!!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 1 2015 at 3:10 pm
That is exciting, tt! Way to take charge and start to rid yourself of anxiety. I love your plan!
Dylan
says:
February, 22 2015 at 11:30 am
Hi my name is dylan i use to be one of the best athelete's in the tri state area one day i was riding the bus and these horrible symptoms started haunting me i felt almosted unreal as my head felt funny it felt like i could pass out at any second its a horrifing feeling and it happens everyday like im living a different life its ruined my career what do i do what is this feeling

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 23 2015 at 3:36 pm
Hello Dylan,
You aren't alone. Anxiety can derail anyone. You are on the right track to recovery already, as you are seeking out information. This site (HealthyPlace) has much information about various anxiety disorders, and the forums and comments contain insights from people who live with, or have lived with, anxiety. Look here and on other reputable sites, and learn about what applies to you. Another important step is to have a medical evaluation just to rule out other conditions. Also, working with a therapist can be extremely beneficial. Anxiety can feel completely miserable, but you aren't doomed to living with it forever. The good news is that it can absolutely go away.
Michael
says:
January, 24 2015 at 8:59 pm
Has no one heard of derealization or depersonalisation? This sounds the same, feeling detatched from yourself and reality, like your in a dream and everything going on around you don't feel part of. It is terrifying, I got it when I was 13 and managed to get get rid of it but have just got it back again at 16. It seems so much worse than it was the first time even though I know it probably isn't. I'm just having more weird and disturbing thoughts, for example I'm getting psychosis because I'm so detached and I'm not going to make it. I cant look at myself in the mirror anymore because it seems like a different face and I also get out of body experiences because of so much panic. All my memories feel like a different life and sometimes I can't make out what are memories and what were dreams. My house doesn't seem like the house I have been living in most my life and my town feels like somewhere else. It's like I'm waking up to a whole different scenery every day, also everything looks unreal and dreamlike. The second I wake up I feel so much anxiety and just want to curl up in a ball and go back to sleep. Im am just trying to be positive at the moment even though it is really hard and I always have something to look forward to which is just being back to normal and back to reality. Anyone else suffering from this you will get better! I still have hope because I done it once before. Goodluck!
leslie
says:
December, 8 2014 at 11:44 am
when i feel good i can almost look back at all this and laugh like why the heck did u let that scare u u r perfectly fine. i just wish there was a switch to flip and turn it off. i as on prozac and it kept it away for 2 years and then i lost my insurence. feel so blah and like i dont care about anything ;(

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