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I've really started to realise that this weird disconnected feeling that I have is going to last forever. I don't know if you know what I mean, but I just feel so detached from life. It's like I'm not actually me typing this, it's just my hands doing whatever they please. I just really wish I could feel like I used to in a physical sense just to compare the two feelings.

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I know I had that feeling up to about six months ago. I would be walking the dogs, and feel like I was an outsider looking in. And in a shop, it felt like I was watching TV. I was sure that other people couldn't see me!! It's now almost two years since my TBI, and I am beginning to feel more like a 'person' again!


Yes likewise I know this feeling well - like looking on from the outside rather than actually having the correct sense of really being their in the midst of it all. I can only describe it as being like a ghost.

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Hi Ben, as you can see you are not alone, it was a feeling I had that was difficult to put into words. It's that you know it's you and you are doing these things but you are not really there, you are just watching it happen.

It took more than two years for it to fade with me and I still get the odd episode, but on the whole this is me now. I hated looking at myself in the mirror, but now I find its me looking back, before I could see me but I wasn't in my body if that makes sense.

I can only think it's part of the rewiring, babies must go through this but you don't remember. Babies have to learn that looking in a mirror it is themselves looking back, so this must be part of that whole learning process, and not everyone will face it, it depends on what part of the brain was damaged.

So, hang on in there, like you , I thought this was it for life but it has improved, it's that time thing.

Nearly end of term now, have a good Xmas. Love Janet xxxxx


Hi Ben,

From reading the posts here and elsewhere this seems to be a very common effect of any brain issue and one that I find ver disconcerting and often frightening becaus of the 'disconnect' I'm never sure how much effect I have on that 'outside world'.

To me it feels like watching one of the technically best ever 3D movies wher you're totally enveloped in the 'false' world but not actually part of it. It often seems to make me feel I'm not 'me' anymore if that makes sense.

Have a good Christmas all.


I'm not sure I feel detached, I just don't feel much, emotion wise. I cry about myself a lot, but don't seem to feel happiness or love. It's very strange. I wake up in a morning and feel the same as I felt when I fell asleep. Same treadmill. Just another day.

I really hope this doesn't last for ever, because it's not nice at all. I don't look forward to things or enjoy thing like I used to.

Does it really change?


I feel like this also

It's distressing with the happiness and love

I hope its temporary :(



What you're describing sounds a lot like depression.


Hi Ben

Sorry you are feeling like this. Personally I would say I don't feel disconnected as such but empty inside. I think it's to do with difficulties with emotions in my case - either I don't feel any or I feel way too many!

I hope it improve in time as some of the others have suggested.


The technical term for this is 'Derealisation', and boy was I relieved when a psychologist explained it to me many years ago.

For a long time I felt very alone in that surreal state but, when I heard how commonplace it is and how it would be worst during periods of stress, I felt reassured.

It's extremely common amongst sufferers of mental illness or brain injury apparently, and is the brain's way of trying to protect itself from anxiety. It's good that you're becoming accepting of it Ben ; I've found that with acceptance I have more 'connected' days then when I stress about it. :-/

Take care xx


I've never heard of this term before. Is it similar to detachment? This is also a way people cope with stress. When the stress becomes overwhelming, people can distance themselves from you and appear emotionally unmoved by things. I think it's to protect themselves from anxiety.


No Barny, it isn't a voluntary state that you can induce at will. Although it IS a distancing sensation, it's a disturbing & uncontrollable feeling, like being on the edge of unconsciousness but able to speak and function normally whilst surrounded by stuff which you know is familiar but which looks alien and unreal.

That's the best I can do I'm afraid because I've never managed to find a truly accurate description apart from 'indescribable'. :o

Hope you're doing OK. x


Yes I have this also Ben :(

I feel like I'm a cardboard cut out sort of 2d and that I'm in a movie set

Also when looking in the mirror it's like I'm looking at someone else I sometimes spend ages just looking sort of feeling suspicious lol



That's a pretty much bang on description of it Em


i thoughr it was just me and didnt think it was dowm to bi i just feel numb and fake it when im auppose to be happy


Who really cares though right?? If you live a life that doesn't make any sense/wont get any better then what's the point of living? It's just dull.


I only live because it would crush my parents otherwise


Oh Ben, it makes me sad to know you feel like this, you are just starting out and doing so well in the face of adversity, I do understand, it is so hard to go on thinking it may be like this for ever, but those small changes add up to big ones in the end.

We're right here behind you, watching and supporting xxxx Janet


My injury was many years ago and I still have this disconnected feeling as if I'm not really part of the world around me. It's as if I don't feel this is my world rather I'm just a bystander, I've lost my curiosity and social appetite. I can be in a room full of people and want nothing more than to sit on my own, yet I'm left unsatisfied with it, as if I'm forced to do something against my nature and right as a human. Interactions no longer have the same emotional significance, there are many times I can't smile or laugh at a joke or feel happy for achieving something. I've suffered from depression for years and now I believe I may have anhedonia (lack of pleasure).



(does that mean BSA the motorbike ?)

'disconnected' yes, I know exactly what you mean.

When I talk I can hear the voice but its not mine - when i look at my face in the mirroe i turn away as it cant be mine, its not me. The only thing that I know remains of me is my 'soul'. I feel as if i am still a good caring person, well most of the time. That keeps me going and must make me useful someday to someone or something. I am 48 so i have already used up over half of my life i am very aware i only have say 30 years left. Not being morbid, i am just aware of how precious life should be. My head injury has (eventually) taught me that valuable lesson. We can't change the fact that things are different for us now anyway. I still haven't been able to 'think' about the mechanics of what happened to me in 2010, maybe i never will.

I know i wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my husband and headway people, its a very special site isn't it ?

Kindest regards



It's just very odd; I laugh at things that are funny, I do my work at uni, I go running, I play lacrosse blah blah blah, but I just don't feel like I'm a part of those moments. Sometimes I honestly say to myself; "Don't worry Ben, I'll handle this one". Then like a little part of me goes to sleep and I just run on autopilot.


Hi Ben,

so glad I've just come across this post had this feeling for a while now being disconnected seems to have been happening more often with me.

I have seen a neurologist had EEG apparently it did show right temporal abnormalities so been told its partial seizures!!!! one minute really assertive then boom its like I'm forgetful specially when stressed at work and its noisy it just creeps up on me sometimes really weird feelings.


Yeah I get those too..nice to meet you by the way!


You have responded a few times to some of my posts I don't come on very often.

The only other way I've described to my dr is feels like I'm having a stroke and just going to go boom that's why I've just started my meds of keppra which you answered too....so nice chatting again:)

I'm was getting pissed off being told don't get anxious!!!! course you get anxious when you don't know what's going on all of a sudden...:) :)


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