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Dissociation or ADD? Where’s the Line?

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I severely zone out all the time and it’s getting worse. I’m not thinking about anything when I zone out and I don’t always notice it when it starts. It’s also extremely difficult to stop when I do notice. If I fight it, I get headaches. It feels like the blood has regressed from my frontal lobe and continues to recede to my mid brain.

I can walk and “respond” verbally while this is happening but it’s like I am not connected to my body. The stronger it gets, the more a veil comes over my eyes and the whole world goes blurry. I can’t snap out of it, it just gets better eventually.

It happens all the time: standing in line, driving, reading, talking with people, shopping, in class, at work, by myself or with other people. I may be really interested in what’s happening but if I start zoning, I can’t do anything about it.

I do NOT have alters. I do NOT take medicine, alcohol, drugs or unhealthy food (sugary stuff). I have had PTSD in the past, but have worked with a therapist to move through it. I don’t suffer with it anymore.

Is this severe ADD or disassociation? Or, it is the vague catch all, “brain fog”?

Dissociation or ADD? Where’s the Line?

Answered by on -


I think you’ve put forth a great question about your experiences. I would strongly recommend an evaluation by a neuropsychologist or psychiatrist. He or she can give you some tests to help pinpoint what these symptoms mean, why they are happening, and, most importantly what can be done to help.

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

Dissociation or ADD? Where’s the Line?

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). Dissociation or ADD? Where’s the Line?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.