Anytime you’re worried about something possibly being wrong, it’s always advisable to have an assessment. To answer your question directly, yes you should have an assessment.
You can do this several ways. You can contact your primary care physician, report your concerns and ask for a referral. Another option is to contact the local community mental health center and make an appointment. Report your concerns and they will conduct an assessment. It is always wise to have an objective, professional opinion.
In the meantime, you might try keeping a journal about your day-to-day activities. That might help to improve your memory.
Another idea is to record yourself on video. Virtually every smart phone has recording capabilities. That might also help to improve your memory. Whether you keep a physical journal or a video journal will depend upon what you’re comfortable with. A physical journal may be the easiest, since all you need is a pen and paper to start. It may also be good to do both.
If I were interviewing you, I would want to know more about several things. One would be whether you experience “losing time” meaning, are there times where you simply can’t remember what you are doing? It sounds like that may be the case but it would be good to have more details.
I would also want to know more about your boyfriend mentioning that you seem to act “differently and even sound differently at times.” It’s not clear what he means by that. You might ask him to record you acting or sounding differently. He could do this either by physically writing about it or by making a video recording. You could then share that information with whomever is providing the assessment. Having a video recording would allow you to physically see yourself behaving and sounding differently. Having that video would be very beneficial to the professional doing the assessment.
Some of your symptoms may be characteristic of dissociative disorders. Dissociative disorders are a group of mental health disorders in which an individual experiences a disconnection between their thoughts, memories and their everyday surroundings. Two main symptoms include amnesia and loss of time.
Other symptoms include being detached from one’s emotions, distorted perceptions about self-identity and those around you, stress in important areas of one’s life, inability to cope with stress, and depression and anxiety.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Health Disorders (DSM) identifies three main dissociative disorders. These include: dissociative amnesia, dissociative identity disorder (DID), and depersonalization derealization disorder. Individuals with these disorders often have trauma histories. The stress associated with having these dissociative experiences can sometimes lead to suicidal thinking.
When choosing a mental health professional, consider someone who specializes in dissociative disorders and/or a trauma-informed therapist. They would be in the best position to help you. It would also be good to have a medical evaluation to rule out a physical cause. Good luck and please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle