I’m writing this in response to a follower who asked me what a state of fugue was. I did “micromessage” them but one can not truly go into great detail in a micromessage. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to do so solely based on my personal experience.
My initial “fugue” episode occurred two years ago. I don’t exactly recall all the details but all the ones that have followed have been similar with the exception of some symptoms and duration. I’ve actually had quite a few over the past two years; sometimes brought on by stress, others from pushing myself too hard with work, periodically for no apparent reason. We do know it was a series of traumatic events that induced these episodic fugue states.
The first time it happened it was mild. I told my psychiatrist and he originally thought it was a singular event of amnesia. I was so worried that my brain was becoming damaged!! After the second episode, which was very severe, my husband came with me to contribute his input (it’s good to bring someone to provide details and fill in the blanks from his perspective). After a lengthy discussion of my side and Cory’s more detailed version, my psychiatrist revealed that I had Dissociative Fugue. Basically my brain has an on/off switch and when it’s placed under extreme stress or pressure it turns itself off in order to protect itself. So it’s actually a good thing and not brain damage!
Now what MY Dissociative Fugue looks like. I’ve had two mild ones where I become VERY sleepy and will have to lie down but instead of sleep it becomes this out-of-body-like experience. It’s like I’m floating; I can’t open my eyes, no matter how hard I try, and I can’t move a muscle, I can’t speak but I can faintly hear voices in the room. The severe, and predominant episodes is when I fully crash. For example, I made chicken fajitas for the family, feeling fine, I made my wrap and got it half way to my mouth when my switch went off. I apparently sat there, hanging onto my wrap, jaws wide open, eyes glazed over. Hubby guided me to the couch where I plopped half on half off so he had to adjust me to keep me from falling off. More recently, my mom witnessed my Dissociative Fugue for the first time. I scooped out ice-cream for all of us and proceeded to eat it when once again, poof, I was out, bowl in hand, spoon dripping ice-cream all over me, dogs lapping it up as fast as they could. She told Cory he should take me to the hospital but he told her this was just a part of my condition and it would pass, which it did 18 hours later.
The times have varied from a half a day to two days. It’s embarrassing to admit I’ve wet and soiled myself on several occasions. I will sometimes respond to yes and no questions. I can walk but as long as I’m guided. I have zero recollection of any events that have transpired during my fugues. At the end of it all I’m left physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Recovering from a fugue episode usually takes me three days.
I hope this answers your question! Thanks for asking :)
Laura Marchildon will blog honest and true posts about her real life experiences.