Do you feel like the world is a 3rd person video game?

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Spooky_Mulder
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19 Jun 2018, 4:47 pm

Whenever I get anxious, I generally feel like I'm outside of my body - it's almost as though the world becomes a third person pov video game and I'm standing behind my shoulder.

Does anyone else experience this "out of body" type of experience?



Trogluddite
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19 Jun 2018, 5:29 pm

Yes, I get this often; it's dissociation. There are two general kinds, which can be experienced at the same time.
- Derealisation - the feeling that the world around you isn't real or present.
- Depersonalisation - losing the feeling of occupying your own body or that your own thoughts or emotions aren't real.
It's common for it to be caused by anxiety. It's not specifically an autistic thing; it can happen to just about anybody if they are stressed enough, but it is more common for people with certain conditions. It's something that autistic people seem to report a lot on forums, so I guess it may be more common for us, if only because we tend to experience a lot of anxiety.

My proprioception (sense of body position) isn't good either, which contributes to not feeling quite in my own body. I quite often lose track of where parts of my body are after a little while focusing on something else or if I start daydreaming. So I guess autistic sensory differences might contribute to it.

Sometimes, I really do get into treating it like a video game. When I'm out walking, and there aren't too many people about, I try to find the racing lines around the corners in the pavement, as if I were playing a motor racing game (you'll be glad to hear that I don't drive a real car!)


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Rustifer
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19 Jun 2018, 6:17 pm

Yes. Dissociative states (natural and induced) are known for their pain abatement so it's a key survival trait that probably exists in just about every complex lifeform to one degree or another.

We humans probably have potential for extreme dissociation because we are generally much more self-aware than any other creature, so one's dissociation capability would need to compensate for that extra "super-awareness" many of us have.

For instance, Gorillas can eat their own feces like it is nothing, however a human would have to overcome A LOT of disgust and visceral reactions to eat their own dung.

Who knows if that's exactly the case, I just came up with that as I was typing this.