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Slight Disassociation, Feeling that Body Was Changing in Size

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I experienced a very strange sensation earlier today. I was having a very intense, emotional conversation with my sister, and my hands were over my face, because such conversations go easier for me if I can “hide” myself. While we were still talking, I had this feeling like a partial detachment from reality coupled with the feeling that my hands and my head were alternately growing and shrinking, my hands being alternately huge on my face or tiny. I was able to continue the conversation with my sister with no trouble, but everything felt very far away. This lasted for a few minutes, n more than three, I believe. I wasn’t intoxicated and I don’t think I was hallucinating, I knew it wasn’t real the entire time, but I am not sure. Would this fall under the jurisdiction of psychosis or the like?

Slight Disassociation, Feeling that Body Was Changing in Size

Answered by on -

A.

I would not necessarily classify that experience as psychosis. It seems more like a dissociative experience. Disassociation is a defense mechanism that serves to protect oneself from psychological distress. It’s not typically something that happens willfully. However, you may have inadvertently brought it on by attempting to “hide” yourself from stress.

I’m wondering if this is the first time something like this has happened to you. Is attempting to “hide” yourself from stressful situations something you have experienced in the past?

My best recommendation is to keep track of these types of events and report this incident to a mental health professional. Counseling could really help you. It would teach you more effective ways of dealing with stress. Naturally, people want to avoid stress but it’s important to deal with problems head on, as they arise. The sooner you learn to effectively deal with stress, the better and more prepared you will feel for the inevitable problems in life. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Slight Disassociation, Feeling that Body Was Changing in Size

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Slight Disassociation, Feeling that Body Was Changing in Size. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/05/14/slight-disassociation-feeling-that-body-was-changing-in-size/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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