Trance/shut down

I have anxiety and depression, panic attacks and I self harm. Yesterday was going ok until in the afternoon I started to feel anxious and upset but instead of having a panic attack or managing to calm down, I sort of shut down and was almost in a trance. The friend I was with at the time said I just sat and didn't move for ages like I was frozen. I wasn't deep in thought and it just felt like I wasn't there and that I was detached from everything around me. I found it really really scary! Is this part of anxiety? Does anyone else get this?

Thanks xxx

4 Replies

  • Hi. Sorry to read about your disturbing experience. What you have described is an episode of depersonalisation .In a chronic state this is a dissociative disorder and can come about as a result of prolonged stress and anxiety. Indeed, along with anxiety disorder and depression, this condition is in the top three psychological illnesses. Do you also have any self-harm impulses at any time?

    If the conditional is not a chronic one it may be that you are suffering side effects of something like medication, especially if you recently stopped taking it, or other more common things like caffeine withdrawal, alcohol use, or a whole range of other stimulants.

    It might be helpful if you kept a diary of when and for how long these episodes last. It might help your diagnose whether it is a chronic condition and whether is it organic or psychological - that will affect the treatment, if any is needed.

    What happened to you was disturbing and scary, but it is not life threatening in any way - so you should not worry on that level.

    I hope that you feel better soon.


  • Thank you so much for replying. I do get self-harm impulses but I didn't have them during this episode. The citalopram I take went up from 20mg to 40mg last week so perhaps it's something to do with that. I'll try keeping a diary as you suggest. Thanks for your advice!

  • U poor thing..I feel for u. R u gettin help? Talking to someone? Please don't hurt yourself..U r worth something!!! Take a warm bath with stinky stuff and plenty of bubbles and a book..maybe a snack too! I don't have a remedy for anxiety or streaa. What do u get off your plate? Why do we have so many people depending on us? I guess we do it to ourselves. Take some time ALONE..even if it is in your bedroom. Do u have a spare room u can call your own? Fix it up just for YOU! Please keep in touch.

  • Thank you for replying. I feel a lot better today. I have a very supportive doctor and a great husband and friends so I have plenty of people to talk to luckily. I'm seeing the doctor next week so I'll mention this to him. I'm on the waiting list for cbt but unfortunately it's taking ages!! Thanks for your help!

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