Weird Nameless Symptom



New member
Oct 9, 2018
Hey all. I've been diagnosed with BPD about a year ago and since I've been finding every tiny part of my life really aligns with the symptoms of BPD. This process has been really awe-striking because I can look back at old diaries and really put every single word in them into a cookie cutter BPD symptom from dissociation to self-harm to unstable self-image, etc.

The only symptom that the internet or my therapist can't seem to give me an answer for is what I call reverse dissociation. During particularly bad episodes--usually only when I am in a situation similar to the emotional abuse I had growing up--I will have full contact of my mind but I will be unable to physically move my body. It's odd to describe, but it just feels like I'm able to think "I need to move my arm so I can pick up some tissues" but I'll feel absolutely paralyzed. It can last for 30min to 2 or 3 hours of me sitting or laying somewhere just staring into the abyss while people may be trying to communicate with me or help and I'm unable to respond.

When I described it to my therapist he said it sounded like the opposite of dissociation, instead of having the ability to move and act normal with a brain that's all off and wacky, my body is all off and wacky while my brain feels completely normal. He said the closest thing he knows of similar to it is emotional paralysis, but I really don't feel like it fits the symptom.

Has anyone else had this symptom? Is there a name for it?


Well-known member
Sep 23, 2018
Georgia, USA
Hmm.. it sounds like it could be catatonia. Google it for more information. I don't know that much about catatonia but that's what it sounds like to me. I'm not sure if there is any treatment for it, you'll have to look it up. I hope you get some help with this :hug1:


Oct 1, 2018
I'm not sure there's a name for it, but I've experienced it as well, especially after panic / anxiety attacks. My body goes all numb and I stop feeling it and being able to move it, although my brain is back to functioning normally. I also tend to get really bad muscle spasms right afterwards, the kind that will move my entire body as if I was having a seizure. My therapist and psychiatrist say it's due to the tension the muscles accumulate during the panic attack and that it's completely normal. Does this also happen to you when you're feeling more anxious?


Nov 27, 2018
This can happen if you have really bad anxiety- more so if your senses are really heightened but you’re unable to respond. It’s part of fight/flight/freeze response.
If it is really really severe it could be catatonia however this is usually quite long lasting and normally requires some form of medical intervention to come out of it. I know ECT is still commonly used to get people out of a catatonic state.
I hope this helps, sending hugs.
It can be really frightening when you feel a lack of control over your body/mind- I usually think “you’re alive and you exist” and continue to say that over and over until I feel grounded again- might be worth seeing what works for you too.