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Blackouts?

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Hi! I have bpd (with no known comorbidity) and for a while now I’ve been dissociating to the point where I’ve been told I’ve gone through my day like normal (or like I’m half asleep in some cases) and I wasn’t there for anything. Like I’d come out and not remember that I just went to work or did laundry, normal stuff. I’ve had entire conversations that I don’t remember having. How could I just black out and go on with my day if I’m not there??? There are some times we’re I also feel like I’m dreaming constantly. Are any of these symptoms normal for bpd? I haven’t been seen by a professional in ages and I just wonder if this is “normal” for bpd.

Blackouts?

Answered by on -

A.

You mentioned that you have BPD but I wasn’t certain if you meant borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder. Both of those are sometimes referred to by the same acronym.

In either case, blackouts are not commonly associated with either of those disorders. The fact that you disassociate might suggest that you have a history of trauma. Blackouts and disassociation are associated with disorders such as dissociative identity disorder (DID), which was formerly known as multiple personality disorder. People with DID commonly report these types of experiences as do others with trauma histories. Typically, people with DID have trauma histories and thus they commonly co-occur.

Dissociative fugue is an extreme form of disassociation that involves individuals temporarily losing their identity and engaging in unexpected forms of travels. Some people find themselves in a place with no memory of having traveled there. Dissociative fugue is a rare condition and it is thought to be a psychological response to extreme trauma.

It would be wise to undergo a physical evaluation from a medical professional. That would be a good first step in trying to determine what might be wrong. It’s important to rule out any medical causes.

It would also be advisable to consult a therapist who specializes in trauma. If possible, try recording yourself throughout the day to get a visual of what happens when you experience a loss of time. Virtually all smartphones have the capacity to video record. It would be useful to have that information to determine what might be happening during those bouts of amnesia. It could contain valuable information for any therapist investigating this problem. Thank you for your question. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Blackouts?

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. (2019). Blackouts?. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 26, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/06/11/blackouts/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 10 Jun 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 10 Jun 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.