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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 394
Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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I keep having short lapses in memories, I guess you could call

Customer Question

I keep having short lapses in memories, I guess you could call it that at least. Just a moment ago I ended up opening two drinks not even realizing I touched one of them and was sitting her going "When did this happen, I don't remember doing this.", this is just a small example of one occurring, I've also had moments when I just come to awareness outside on my pouch having a cig with no memory of going out there or even getting out of bed, but I'm there. I have done the same thing with cooking, taking my parrots out the cage, shopping, I'll randomly have this moment that I never even realize happened until I'm standing there going "What the f---?" and trying to figure out how I got there. I've had these things happen to be since I was 16 (am 23 now) and the first occurring of it was shortly after being put on a medication called Trileptal (Oxcarbazepine) for my bi-polar disorder (Which I think that doc messed up massively with that Rx but I was young and they wouldn't listen) and, even though I no longer take that medication, I still have these small lapses in memory, so it may or may not be linked to that med since it showed up while on it but remained long, long after. I have multiple diagnosis, bi-polar and PTSD being the most prominent, control them without meds (after meds almost killing me in the past I refuse medication, I seek knowledge instead to understand and analyze how my disorders work to overcome them logically and tactically.) and, to my knowledge, something like this memory lapses is not a known effect of my known disorders.

So then, after that little explanation there I wish to inquire just what could be causing these lapses? It's honestly a bit scary to just have 10-min to 30-min gaps in my memory and coming to not knowing what is going on or what I just did, no one has been hurt by any of this and people around me say they can't tell too much of a difference except the fact I get really quiet a while before I come to and start asking them what just happened. I tried to do some online research but an having difficulty finding information that corresponds to the situation. Does anyone have any idea what may be going on to cause these lapses of memory/realization because this is honestly scary and it's only been getting more frequent.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 2 years ago.

Hello there and thanks for asking JA. PTSD is highly assosiated with memory loss,

Here is an acticle that I like that talks about several studies on Vets.

http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~jdbremn/papers/bremner__deficits_in_memory_PTSD_s_03848.pdf

I think you need to talk to your doctor because there are many brain activities that you can do to increase memory such as crossword puzzles learning a new languige.

I also suggest therapy to find some copying skills to reduce stress. Reducing stress will increase memory. I have one question for you about the memory loss to be able to evaluate that this is not disasossiation. Do you remember any or part of what happened? Do you feel like you are walking like in a dream and not part of your own life?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the link and I apologize for my previous typos. I do things that are highly, highly dependent on memory on a daily basis, Learning a new language now honestly along with learning a new 3D program so, well, I do beg pardon if I sound like a stubborn pain in this but, I already do things that are more mentally engaging than the exercises that most doctors would try to put me through. Plus, admittedly, I do not have a doctor, cannot afford one in the current economy.

As for recollection of what occurred, I have none, today I remember talking to my roommate and then, the next thing I know I'm sitting here with two opened drinks in front of me and do not recall anything in between, these lapses are always like that, I'm doing one thing then, next thing I know, I'm someplace else, doing something else with only what is in front of me as any clue to what just happened, no memory what so ever of getting there or beginning whatever I'm doing, I've been known to do a whole 3D animation and not remember it before. It's odd because I'll do some very complex things that take a good amount of attention and effort and not even recall doing it. I'll just have the results there and have no idea when or how I achieved the finished product. It is, admittedly, and do please pardon my vernacular but, creeping me the f--- out.

The last question though, the answer to that is far from simple. I hold a belief that life is a mere transitory experience, the body just a shell, something that does not at all relate to the soul but is a mere vessel which we use for this temporary life. However, I have also analyzed the reasons for that belief of mine. I know I have accepted that view because it is the only way to make the fact that I feel, and I am struggling with wording here but, life feels surreal, the view I explain earlier in this paragraph, it makes sense in correspondence to how I feel not quite right in my existence. I know, logically, it is no dream, our pain, our happiness, everything is very, very real, as hard as it is for me to accept it, I know that this body is me for the time being.

However my emotional side and my logical side are very separate, on an emotional basis, life does not feel real, it feels like some twisted constrict, like something or someone is playing a game and we're the play pieces. Emotionally, this life makes no sense to me, it seems to serve no point, it's just trail after trail, moment after moment of pain, disappointment, anger and sorrow. My emotional side has trouble dealing with everything, it's impulsive, insecure, it has trouble grasping the concept of reality, my logical mind is the only thing that holds my emotional side together in truth.

Though I am completely aware of how my logical and emotional side are split, I engage both on a near constant basis, sometimes relying more on one than the other, without loss of memory. It's whatever is causing these lapses in memory that is my main concern as my logic and emotions do not have a severe enough conflict to cause these lapses.

I probably sound as though I am a few drinks short of a party in this post, and I do apologize for that. I simply have difficulty explaining these things much of the time without rambling or talking myself in circles. I hope that the explanations above are understandable despite my ramblings. Also, my apologies for any typos.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 2 years ago.


Hello there, and thanks for letting me know. You do not
sound drunk you sound like a very smart woman who understands her behaviors and
wonders why those things are happening. My answer to you may sound far fetched
because the disorder that would explain your symptoms is a very rare one. Rare
enough for me to have only have worked with only one other person with your diagnosis
in my 25 years of experience. You have
many of the symptoms of disassociative disorder.
This disorder is the result of extreme trauma.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple
Personality Disorder)



Dissociative identity disorder (previously
known as multiple personality disorder) is a fairly common effect of severe
trauma during early childhood, usually extreme, repetitive physical, sexual,
and/or emotional abuse.



What Is Dissociative
Identity Disorder?



Most of us have experienced mild
dissociation, which is like daydreaming or getting lost in the moment while
working on a project. However, dissociative identity disorder is a severe form
of dissociation, a mental process, which produces a lack of connection in a
person's thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.
Dissociative identity disorder is thought to stem from trauma experienced by
the person with the disorder. The dissociative aspect is thought to be a coping
mechanism -- the person literally dissociates himself from a situation or
experience that's too violent, traumatic, or painful to assimilate with his
conscious self.



Is Dissociative Identity
Disorder Real?



You may wonder if dissociative identity
disorder is real. After all, understanding the development of multiple
personalities is difficult, even for highly trained experts. But dissociative
identity disorder does exist. It is the most severe and chronic manifestation
of the dissociative disorders that cause multiple personalities.



Other types of dissociative disorders defined
in the DSM-IV, the main psychiatry manual used to classify mental illnesses,
include dissociative amnesia dissociative fugue, and depersonalization disorder.

This explains why you do not remember this because your other personality has taken over. In your second writing I can see a very adult well educated persona.



What Are the Symptoms of
Dissociative Identity Disorder?



Dissociative identity disorder is
characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or
personality states that continually have power over the person's behavior. With
dissociative identity disorder, there's also an inability to recall key
personal information that is too far-reaching to be explained as mere
forgetfulness. With dissociative identity disorder, there are also highly
distinct memory variations, which fluctuate with the person's split
personality.



The "alters" or different
identities have their own age, sex, or race. Each has his or her own postures,
gestures, and distinct way of talking. Sometimes the alters are imaginary
people; sometimes they are animals. As each personality reveals itself and
controls the individuals' behavior and thoughts, it's called
"switching." Switching can take seconds to minutes to days. When
under hypnosis, the person's different "alters" or identities may be
very responsive to the therapist's requests.



Along with the dissociation and multiple or
split personalities, people with dissociative disorders may experience any of
the following symptoms:




  • Depression



  • Mood swings



  • Suicidal tendencies





  • Anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias
    (flashbacks, reactions to stimuli or "triggers")





  • Compulsions and rituals



  • Psychotic-like symptoms (including auditory
    and visual hallucinations)



  • Eating disorders


Other symptoms of dissociative identity
disorder may include headache,
amnesia, time loss, trances, and "out of body experiences." Some
people with dissociative disorders have a tendency toward self-persecution,
self-sabotage, and even violence (both self-inflicted and outwardly directed).
As an example, someone with dissociative identity disorder may find themselves
doing things they wouldn't normally do such as speeding, reckless driving, or
stealing money from their employer or friend, yet they feel they are being
compelled to do it. Some describe this feeling as being a passenger in their
body rather than the driver. In other words, they truly believe they have no
choice


Please see a therapist county mental health and your doctor can help you. Therapy really works to intergrate the 2 personalities and this disorder is treatable.
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 394
Experience: I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
Penny Rayas, MFT and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ummmm, not a woman, I'm a guy, though I know that it can be hard to tell over the internet, especially if you can see the name on the payment info since I am transgendered and have not yet been able to change my legal name, so I'll not fault you for that. Also the 'few drinks short of a party' is an expression inferring that I sound a bit off my rocker/nuts, then again that is an uncommon saying. Anyways, to return to the main situation. . .

So suspected Dissociative Identity Disorder, well, I fit the criteria, a history of extreme abuse (I'll not go into details, I believe it suffices to say that I'm lucky to be alive and leave it at that) which was what caused my PTSD to begin with, 7 of the main symptoms are commonplace occurrences in my life and a few compulsions to do what is listed in the lesser symptoms, though my logical side normally stops me from doing such things. Well, I do thank you for the information, knowing what it may be means that I can begin to do some independent research so I can get a through understanding of the disorder and figure out what the best steps would be. As one who is normally hyper aware, this is beginning to really throw me off. I'll have to try to find a therapist in the area which will take Medicaid and won't jump to medication as a first resort, which sadly can be a difficult task.

I cannot believe my horrid luck, 23, already a multiple diagnosis case and now a possibility of yet another serious disorder, goes to show that abuse doesn't end when one escapes their abuser.

Again, thank you for the information and for listening, I just have to figure out the best course of action from here I suppose. Have a great day and again, I've grateful for the help and information.
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for working with me please find a therapist who specialises on the transgendered community and anxiety. Your disorder is very treatable and is usually a result of trauma. Working with healing the trauma will help you integrade the two personalities. Please let me know if you need assistance in the future as I have worked with transgendered men and women for over 10 years. Just ask for Penny on your question

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