To read, Scroll Down or click in heading 1️⃣What is Numbness & autopilot? 2️⃣ Protection by numbing or autopilot can be one or all of the following. 2️⃣.1️⃣ Dissociation 2️⃣.2️⃣ Derealisation 2️⃣.3️⃣ Depersonalisation 3️⃣ The problems of always living on autopilot
1️⃣ What is Numbness & autopilot?
When you are faced with an experience that is overwhelming and/or you can’t escape. Your brain steps in and protects you from the distress caused and emotionally removes you from your immediate surroundings, your body and/or your emotions.
This emotional numbness, often described as running on auto-pilot, makes it feel as if you are:
▶️ detached from other people or
▶️ looking down on yourself and others as if you are outside of the world,
This is called ‘Dissociation’, and it is your brains way of protecting you by building a wall around your unsafe thoughts and memories. To stop the
▶️ guilt and
you may feel at your failure to do the most basic thing in life and keep yourself safe.
2️⃣. Protection by numbing or autopilot can be one or all of the following.
Happens when your mind stores thoughts, memories, and emotions in sealed boxes. To be dealt with at a later date when you feel ‘strong enough’ to cope with the thoughts, memories and emotions.
It’s an effective strategy in as much that it hides the unpleasant feelings but it also hides all the good memories and happiness. So you feel empty inside. Disassociation ranges from
▶️ mild day dreaming to
▶️ the more extreme depersonalisation and derealisation.
▶️ When you feel as if you look at the through a veil.
▶️ As if places and people are a long way away.
▶️ You feel as if the world is dreamlike, it is not quite real, and people and events lack meaning.
▶️ You feel as if you are separated from yourself. As if you are a reflection or you are looking down at yourself.
▶️ You feel as if the entire world is dreamlike, less real, lacking in significance.
▶️ You do things without thinking or enjoying as if you are living life on autopilot.
3️⃣ The problems of always living on autopilot
The problem with living on autopilot/disassociation over a long time is that it tricks your brain into thinking that it is constantly under attack. This is also known as operating from a position of survival. Nobody, including you, can be in a constant state of survival and still function well.
Its important to remember that numbing and living on autopilot involves detaching yourself from reality, rather than a loss of reality as in psychosis.