Losing Time With Dissociative Identity Disorder

February 1, 2015 Sherry Polley

Living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) can be a perplexing reality. There are many symptoms, including depersonalization and derealization. One symptom involves “losing time” or “blacking out” for periods of time. This happens with no drugs or alcohol in the system. It is scary to realize that you've lost time, and sometimes the person may not realize it at all.

About two weeks ago I came home to my apartment, after a run to the store. I unlocked the door and walked in, and to my surprise I saw a package sitting on my desk. I live alone, and I always keep the door locked, but somehow a package was in my apartment. I had no recollection of how it got there. I asked the apartment manager if she or the maintenance man had put it in there, but she seemed perplexed and assured me it was not them. The mailman doesn't have a key to my apartment, so it couldn't have been him or her. The other thing is that this package had been there since the day before, as the mail had not come yet that day. I was just now noticing it, so it's possible that I lost more than a few hours of time.

Clock01Later, I had another incident. My friend messaged me on Facebook to apologize that she couldn't make our plans that day. I asked her, “What plans?” She explained to me that we had made plans to hang out. The next time I saw her I told her that we had never made plans. I was sure of it. She showed me the text conversation we had had, and I had no memory what-so-ever of having had that conversation.

Could these two examples be a normal lapse in memory? It's possible. It's possible, however, that my symptoms of DID are coming back. I've been off of my dissociation medication for about two months now, with the approval of my doctor. Losing time, or having large blocks of time for which one has no memory is a symptom of DID. This can be very scary and can have serious consequences. Sometimes a person will lose so much time that they “wake up” in an unfamiliar town or place. This is called Dissociative Fugue.

What Can I Do If I Lose Time By Dissociating?

I will talk to my doctor about these instances. It has been suggested to me that I begin keeping a record of what I have done during the day. To do this, I will list times and activities of the day, so that I can keep track if I lose time again. I will stay in great contact with other people in my support network so that they can help me identify if I am acting “funny.” This will help if I am losing time, as I would likely act as if I am a different person. My doctor will help me decide if I need to go back on my medication, or if it is safe to wait. I have had success with the medication in the past, so this may be the best option. Overall, I will keep a close eye on my behaviors and surroundings, so that I will notice if I lose any more time. I recognize that dissociation, or splitting, is not usually dangerous. There can be some significant consequences, at times, however, so I will not take it lightly that I need to pay attention.

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APA Reference
Polley, S. (2015, February 1). Losing Time With Dissociative Identity Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Sherry Polley

Melissa Abbott
August, 28 2019 at 8:47 pm

When telling my psychiatrist that I don't think I have bipolar disorder.
I lose time. It's like I wake up and I am at a loss. I don't remember what has been going on for a period of time. It is for the family that I have been doing good. They used to tell me stories because that is what they are, about things I do do not remember. I at the same time say I don't want to know what I did. I always get around to finding out if I hurt anyone? Why would I ask that question? The daughter in law catches me alone and tells me one of these stories. I try to get the family to talk to me about what she said. They don't remember or that sounds vaguely familiar. I have wrote these stories down over time. I'm not sure of the time line. I can only write them down as she tells me. There is no telling what I have done. I don't understand why my psychiatrist always dodges the issue of my losing time. Who did I turn to? I'm only about 30 minutes from UAB and University Hospital

August, 26 2018 at 7:43 pm

I went to bed on Thursday evening. I slept soundly. When i awoke I was astonished to find out it was Sunday afternoon.. I don't understand this!!! Nobody believes me. It was very scary .

February, 5 2023 at 1:24 pm

The same thing happened to me once before . I believe I was abducted and this was not the first time .

June, 16 2018 at 1:40 pm

Living with did is very hard. You think your crazy. But your not. apparently my family has no idea that's how good my alters are I finally broke down after 20 years of marriage and try to explain it to my husband actually I found out it wasn't me that told him but my altar when she gets along with him better than I do it's very difficult living with something when you're afraid to tell anybody I was diagnosed at the age of 22

October, 4 2017 at 5:48 am

An alter came out on Monday night and overdosed on meds. Hospital sent us home yesterday. What to do? I'm 25 and totally blind. Don't know what to do.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 4 2017 at 10:05 am

Are you in therapy? The primary focus right now should be to keep the body safe. Work with that alter to find out what’s going on.

Sandra Clark
April, 23 2017 at 1:04 pm

I figured out I can lose up to a year of time but am not sure if I have been diagnosed yet. The singer Prince passed away a year ago and to my surprise I knew and sure he passed away last month. Different events have happened a year ago and it feels like they happened a week ago or even yesterday. My family tells me I repeat things a lot as I just know I don't remember ever telling them before.

Susie q
February, 8 2015 at 6:36 am

I was dx'd DID 11 yrs ago and was already a functioning therapist myself when everything fell apart and I was flooded with memories, most of which I had no recollection of, tho I know now as a child I intentionally went away when things were painful or stressful. I have lost time since childhood, but despite being a therapist and having wondered about losing time I had no real proof of why it was occurring to me, indeed I think I wanted to deny that reality. But after years of intensive therapy and self work I am relatively stable now and have become more able to apply various methods of coping/skills for coping, to help myself. My growing through this morass and pain has helped me genuinely be able to understand and reach out to my patients/clients in a different way. I guess that must be the positive out of all the negatives that wrought my DID/BPD. It's worth doing the work, there is help and a way through it, tho not always easy to discover where to find that help. The growth and healing were incredibly painful, and know I will contend with this for rest of my life. I have chosen to see this as a positive and creative way for a child to hold on to relative sanity, functionality and survive the brutality and hell of my childhood.

Emerald Isle TorKilsen
February, 8 2015 at 5:35 am

I have DID, over 20 personalities. Male, female, toddlers to above my physical age. I have been working with my system for about 3 years now. Before that I did not know what was going on. I can promise you drugs do not fix the problem. It's like pain killers for a broken leg. Not good long term. And you can become un-DID. If you want to know more about DID is very good. May be a bit intense if you're not used to that kind of thing. I don't mind helping if someone wants it. I know a few DID people already. We're really more common than people think.

February, 7 2015 at 4:41 pm

I thought I was loosing my mind

Elizabeth Thornbufg
February, 5 2015 at 7:27 am

I was diagnosed with DID 4 years ago, I too have lost time. When I lose time it can be very dangerous to me. I have lost as much as 6 weeks at a time, I know this because I was in thereapy for 6 weeks before I (the Host ever came out). The last two times I have lost time, an alter came out and tried to kill the body. I do not have a support system except for my therapist so it is hard sometimes, I believe with the help of my therapist I am finally after 4 years in a safe place. I hope to be able someday to use my life to help someone else who is struggling with DID.

Any Bryde
February, 5 2015 at 7:19 am

I have also been told that there's no medicine for did and would love to know what you take so I can try them myself. I have memories that's not mine, loses time, woken up in places I don't have any recollection on how I gotten there.. I have several alters in different ages and I have also notice that I have gotten a few new once. Sometimes it's pretty entertaining. But I spend a lot of my time in my apartment and alone from time to time, also because of my BD, BPD, Anxiety and ED..

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Sherry Polley
February, 5 2015 at 3:06 pm

The medication I took is not marketed for dissociation, it just happened to work for it, for me. It will probably work differently for everyone. So it's not really for dissociation, but it may be worth a try. The medication is called Naltrexone.

February, 4 2015 at 3:19 pm

There are meds for dissociation? I did not know that. If my losing time would interfere with successful employment, then it could be helpful. However I use information about lost time to help me understand my alters and heal the pain involved in each.

February, 4 2015 at 12:54 pm

Sounds normal to me . Dx bpd n disociated since i was 8. My forgetfulness inceses my family who dnt get it at all.

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