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Problems with Zoning Out

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From England: Okay so ever since I was very young I’ve had a problem with zoning out. When I was about 4 my parents became very worried, I zoned out in the middle of conversations and I could be walking from one room to another and end up walking into a door or wall because of it. I have two older siblings and neither of them ever did this so my mum was ready to bring me to the doctors but my dad thought it was just my age as well as an over active imagination. My older sister has aspergers syndrome so my mum feared the worst but when I was older (around 6-7) I got checked for this and like my other older sister, I was fine. I still did well in school, it never really affected that but I did zone out in class occasionally. It never went away but was less frequent after around 10 years old however now I am 15 and for at least 6 months now it seems to have been becoming more and more frequent. I’m zoning out more and more and when I finally snap back into reality I’m not even sure how much time has passed, its kind of like being in a trance. Its not like it only happens when I’m bored, I can be doing something I really enjoy and then I just zone out. I’m also developing a strange liking for a little bubble I’m starting to create, which is totally separate from the zoning out as I actually feel conscious during it. I just go into a kind of ‘bubble’ and begin imagining different things, I find this really comforting but I’m concerned about how much I’m enjoying it, I could do it for hours on end and it feels so much better then real life. I’m more concerned about the zoning out more though as I’m not actively imagining or thinking during it, I’m just kind of not there and I cant stop it happening, it just happens whenever. I definitely don’t think I have ADD or anything, I would just like to know whether I should be concerned about this behaviour or not.

Problems with Zoning Out

Answered by on -


Thank you for your question. There are several possibilities — but the fact that it has become a concern is the most important thing. Since it has been going on for quite a while and it seems to be more frequent suggests it is time to bring it to the attention of a neurologist. This will help determine if this is a purely psychological or neurological happening. From there you’ll be able to put a plan together for treatment.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Problems with Zoning Out

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Problems with Zoning Out. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 16 Aug 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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