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over-awareness of self and own thought processes

(11 Posts)
kitnkaboodle Sun 09-Feb-14 01:06:30

Can anyone offer any help on this?

I've suffered from this in small doses since I was a child. Get episodes when I am suddenly very away that I am 'trapped' in myself, in my own consciousness. It's almost like feeling that I am just a consciousness, unconnected from the person I see in the mirror. I'm not talking about feeling 'out of body' though. More that I am hyper aware of my own thoughts and consciousness, and feel quite isolated in that way.

I thought I had hit on it when I started reading about depersonalisation/derealisation, but now I don't think that either of those fit. I DON'T feel as if I'm detached from reality, I don't feel like I'm in a dream and I don't feel as if I'm in a play (or everyone else is in a play and I'm the only real one). It's more the opposite - a hyper-real awareness of self, and a consciousness about my consciousness that doesn't seem normal.

I hope I am making sense to someone else out there, as no-one else I've spoken to ever seems to connect with this or 'get it' What's a little scary is that the episodes seem to be getting more frequent and somewhat longer. I can almost always 'snap myself out' of it though - just by doing something mundane or talking to the kids, etc. I wonder if the increase in episodes could be anything to do with the menopause ..? I also read a hint somewhere that this could be somehow connected to OCD, which I sometimes feel as though I'm on the fringes of.

Any ideas welcome

basia2 Sun 09-Feb-14 03:08:48

I do understand. I do not know how to help, but I get what you're saying. I am sorry you feel this way. I hope you are able to talk to someone about it.

MadameLeBean Sun 09-Feb-14 04:04:01

I have the opposite, I feel like everybody else has a real centre (self) and I have (am) nothing / a fake. Anyway, my advice would be to seek counselling, perhaps one who is trained in CBT also.

livingzuid Sun 09-Feb-14 07:16:38

Yes the besf thing is to get to your gp and get referred to a specialist. Be sure to not take no for an answer!

kitnkaboodle Sun 09-Feb-14 08:48:27

Thanks - it doesn't actually affect me much in my day-to-day life, thank goodess. Just episodes that come and go and i can snap myself out of. Probably happens a couple of times a day to a mild degree, and then maybe once a week have a slightly more prolonged spell. But always when I am quietly on my own/late at night, etc. Never really happens when I am busy/in the midst of doing something with other people.

I do sometimes worry about getting 'stuck' in that feeling, though.

I was mainly interested to see if anyone else out there 'gets it', or can even name it. I'd also be interested to hear from OCD sufferers to see if they can understand it. I do feel that sometimes I have (thankfully mild) OCD symptoms too - rituals about locking doors/car door, occassional obsessive thoughts.

CraftyBuddhist Mon 10-Feb-14 14:08:12

Hi op.

You sound like you're suffering. Have you considered talking therapy of some kind to discuss in rl how you feel.

It's probably obvious from my nn but I'm a buddhist and as such have great respect for the power of our minds and thoughts to determine our happiness. As pp said earlier, is there even a 'self'. Might you try some meditation to harness your tendency to observe your thoughts?

kerstina Mon 10-Feb-14 21:32:38

I can relate a bit was thinking of starting a similar thread myself.
I have certain times when I am intensely self conscious and aware of my self which I absolutely hate I suppose like an extreme introversion. I am ok if I can loose myself in another activity. I also think it is related to my hormones as I get it worse certain times of the month and think I am in the peri menopause state.
Also I am feeling very numb at the moment not sure how long I have felt like this but I think it might be a way of protecting myself from feeling pain. I can't remember the last time I felt truly alive and felt joy even when nice things are happening. By the same token with a recent tragic event I am not allowing myself to fully grieve. Not sure how I can resolve this it seems to be a consequence of growing older and growing up. I already take a very low dose anti depressant but don't want to block my feelings out anymore.

kitnkaboodle Tue 11-Feb-14 18:59:12

Yes - extreme introversion just about sums it up. You feel trapped in your own self, and almost as if you are disembodied - or just a pair of eyes that is viewing the world. Sounds weirder and weirder as I describe it. But the good thing is that I'm not particularly 'suffering' as such. It's just an episode that I get every now and then. I'm not aware of having any other MH issues and there is no trauma in my life.

I can just worry myself sometimes by wondering what it would be like to be trapped permanently in that frame of mind, and then start to panic a bit. The best cure is just chatting to someone else about daily nonsense, but I spend a fair bit of time alone.

livingzuid Tue 11-Feb-14 20:45:41

Do you think it's like disassociative behaviour? I do this, I detach myself and it's me but not me. Normally when I am stressed or in a bad situation. It's a coping mechanism. I have bipolar but also bpd traits so get treatment for both. The disassociative stuff I see a psychologist for.

It used to happen lots when I was in a bipolar state but now I am on medicine it's much better.

When do you get these periods? What are you thinking of when they happen if you don't mind me asking?

kitnkaboodle Tue 11-Feb-14 21:07:22

hmmm I looked up disassociation, and that may be what it is, tho' I feel that it is more a sense of heightened reality rather than detachment from reality ... but in any case it is definitely a distortion of reality - an overthinking about thinking rather than just letting yourself experience thoughts and emotions in a normal way.

Thinking about it (!) I suppose that it happens to me when I am absorbed in something - say, I don't know, sewing something fiddly, then just when I am coming out of the absorption it's almost as if for a moment I can't remember who I am or what I look like, or what I'm supposed to be doing. After a nanosecond of panic, I can get 'back to me' again. And also often in the middle of the night if I'm awake or walking to the loo I can feel weird and feel like I don't know who I am or where my thoughts are coming from

...perhaps I'm just tired ... maybe that's what triggers it. I would say I'm more tired than stressed most days.

But I would love someone to come on here and say 'oh yes, that's just what happens to me!! I know that feeling!' ... but they never do!

Sesamestreet14 Fri 15-Jan-16 15:19:32

I know this thread is old but i have just seen it and cant believe it. For years since i was at least13 i have felt like this exactly!!!like this i have searched evrywhre fr someone who undetstands what i am talking about. I looked at depersonalisation/derealiation but like you its not the same i dont feel outside my body ir in dream but opposite inside i might be washing up and suddenly be aware i am doing it extra aware it comes out of blue and like you if i wake up i sometumes get it go to loo and be aware i am walking to the loo extra aware. Thing is it is scary when it happens panics me sometimes it just goes othet times it stays on and off for days. This us the first time i have seen it in words exactly the way i have it. I used to say"have you ever felt what it is like to be yourself" only way i could put it into words. Its like an rxagerrated sense of awareness but its not nice. I have sufferd anxiety since my mum died when i was 13 and i suspect it is somefng to do with it it is obviously distirted way of thnking but i dont know why i am just so glad that someone has the same as me.....has anyone helped u know the thread is old but at least u dont feel complely mad now. You explain it exactly. I hope somene picks up on this.

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