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09/22/2011 07:36 AM

Sometimes Like Dissociation...

mem6684

I admit sometimes I like the state of dissociation. Usually I am less inhibited, like what I say isn't real. I sort of like the numb feeling, too.

I don't like it when I try to get out of it and can't, or when I am in therapy and need to be present to discuss certain issues; then I feel the time with her is wasted. Does anyone else sometimes like this state? I am still a bit confused about the difference between dissociation and dep or der, or are they varieties of the same thing?

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09/22/2011 08:34 AM
Raoul
RaoulPosts: 4009
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According to the literature I have written

two forms of dissociation are dp and dr (depersonalization and derealization).

hugs


09/22/2011 09:54 AM
PhilPhil46
PhilPhil46  
Posts: 11408
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I'm an Advocate

Hope this article can answer some of your questions. Smile

Recovery From Depersonalisation and Derealisation

"Understanding Feelings of Unreality"

Sufferers of Depersonalisation or Derealisation feel divorced from both the world and from their own body. Often people who experience depersonalisation claim that life "feels like a dream", things seem unreal, or hazy; some say they feel detached from their own body. Another symptom of this condition can be the constant worrying or strange thoughts that people find hard to switch off.

People often say that no matter how hard they try, they don't feel like they can interact with the world around them. They feel a sense of detachment from their surroundings, finding it hard to talk and connect with others. Also they feel no love for the people closest to them and even question if they did a certain task or had a particular conversation. The most upsetting thing is they lose a sense of who they are and can't seem to perceive themselves as being normal.

Depersonalisation is a common and understandable offshoot of the anxiety condition. Before going further into depersonalisation, let me clear up one thing that I get asked often. “No, you are not going mad.” This feeling comes from being constantly worried about your own problems, it is not serious or harmful in any way and has a totally logical explanation. It is temporary and, with patience and understanding, eventually passes like any other symptom.

Depersonalisation occurs with anxiety because you are so used to watching yourself, questioning your illness, day in, day out, that you start to feel detached from the outside world. Your mind has become tired and less resilient through watching and worrying about your symptoms. It has been bombarded with worrying thoughts and becomes fatigued. When our limbs tire, they ache. When our mind tires, we feel these strange feelings of detachment from the world around us, experiencing an almost dreamlike state, convincing ourselves that we are going mad or losing it. You are not; your mind is just so very tired and just craves a rest from all this introspection of oneself.

When people are caught up in the worry cycle, they begin to think deeply and constantly. They study themselves from deep within, checking in and focusing on their symptoms. They may even wake in the morning only to continue this habit, “How do I feel this morning? “I wonder if I will be able to get through today”. What's this new sensation I feel?” This may go on all day, exhausting their already tired mind further. This constant checking in and constant assessing of their symptoms then becomes a habit, but like all other habits this one can also be changed.

All this worry is bound to make your mind feel dull and unresponsive, You are so concerned about how you feel, that you are letting nothing else into your day, is it any wonder you have come to feel so distanced and detached from your surroundings? Is it any wonder you find it so hard to concentrate? Some people, when studying for exams for hours on end, get to the point where they can no longer take information in, so they take a break and carry on the day after. For you, there are no breaks and no time outs.

What a lot of people don't know is that depersonalisation can occur in people without anxiety or panic issues. This can occur when someone has lost a loved one, been involved in an accident or maybe a recent shock. It is the body's way of protecting you from all the worry or hurt you maybe feeling. This is normally temporary and when say the person grieving overcomes some of the hurt, the depersonalisation will fade. The trouble with anxiety is that people suffering have a tendency to worry and the depersonalisation comes along to protect you from all this stress and daily worry. People can then feel detached, empty or emotionless. What happens then though is people begin to then worry and obsess over this new feeling, thinking its something serious or they are going mad. They may even forget their anxiety and focus solely on this new feeling, this can lead to these feelings increasing. The unreality grows as we enter a cycle of worry and fear and so your body protects you with these feelings of unreality even more, making you feel more distanced and detached. It is the very worry and fear over this feeling that keeps you in the cycle.

The way to move forward out of depersonalisation is not to worry and obsess about it, but to work with it there, to give it as much space as it needs and not be too impressed by it. To see it as your body protecting you and not a sign that something terrible is happening or that you are going mad. This symptom is like any other and the more you worry or obsess about it, the bigger the problem can become and the longer you stay in the cycle. Below is one of many emails I receive from people who were convinced they would never find a way out of this condition.

Hi there Paul! I just wanted to thank you for your book. After countless Doctor's visits I still never knew what I suffered from until I found your website!! I have suffered with really bad anxiety for the last year following a panic attack I had back in February. After buying your book for the 1st time back in November and following your advice I am making strides every day to recover. I suffered from depersonalization and bizarre scary thoughts. The depersonalisation was so frightening and no one ever explained to me what it was until your book. When the thoughts would come I would try so hard to fight them and then I would think….Oh My Gosh....why am I thinking this and it would create more anxiety and feelings of detachment. I saw a Social Worker for 6 months and she let me suffer for so long without one explanation of my symptoms, I honestly and truly thought this was me forever. With your book I am getting better everyday.......the depersonalisation is gone and now I am working on these crazy thoughts!! God Bless you and thanks for writing this book.

Kind Regards

Janet

I took some convincing that this was just an off-shoot of anxiety at the time when I was suffering, I thought this must be more serious. Now I know that it was caused by nothing more than a tired mind because I am living proof. I felt so detached that I could not read a book or follow a conversation. It was like taking part in some sort of movie, having to act my way through the day. I just could not connect with people or anything outside of my own little world. I now know that I was just in the habit of watching myself all day and was so concerned about how I felt and how I could get better, I had no interest in the outside world; my illness consumed me. I was living my life while at the same time watching myself and doing neither very well.

This symptom, like many others relies on your fear of it to keep it alive and this is the symptom I have been asked more than any other over the years. I do go in to far more detail in my book and explain how I was able to recover from this harmless yet disturbing symptom. This condition can really throw people into thinking it is something far worse than it really is. I myself found this feeling of detachment very hard to accept and understand, but when it was explained to me in full, in time I was able to rid myself of this symptom of anxiety.

http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/ depersonalisation_and_derealisation.html


09/22/2011 03:58 PM
mem6684

Thank you both for the info and article. I do need to stop worrying about the symptoms themselves, I guess. It is hard, bc my voice sounds different (like a child, monotone, and a lot softer) and I seem different, too, like a zombie or something.

09/22/2011 04:39 PM
Raoul
RaoulPosts: 4009
VIP Member

Hi - I remember it scared me a lot the first few times it hit me; but when I learned thatthe depersonalization is just my own body's self-defense mechanism - it helped me to relax about it . Then i would add a little music and soon I would be fine.

Basically it is a body defense mechanism to protect us from our own worrying.

hugs, Raoul


10/30/2011 12:02 AM
tapiocabear
 
Posts: 66
Member

Lots of excellent information in these postings. I read that many pilots on bombing missions experience depersonalization. That made sense when I thought about it. But a plain little Catholic schoolgirl at the age of ten (first experience for me)--what would make me dissociate? I still don't get it. I try hard to understand and control it but it is still a very terrible thing for me to experience, although I am 50 years older, more experienced, better read, in therapy etc. I wish there was more literature about it.

10/30/2011 03:41 PM
Raoul
RaoulPosts: 4009
VIP Member

Hi Again Tapioca

Have been out all day. Just saw your post.

I get depersonalization and sometimes derealization when someone in the room plays a radio in the background - I trigger into it almost immediately.

Sometimes I am able to get out of it in an hour - sometimes it takes me days.

BUt knowing that the dP is actually something that my own body does to protect me seems to help me - in how I feel about it all.

Also - if I am able to get onto a piano and play some music - that seems to help me to relax - and sometimes to exit the dP .

just thoughts.

hugs, Raoul


10/30/2011 03:58 PM
tapiocabear
 
Posts: 66
Member

Sometimes, I can play games with myself to reduce it but usually not at it's height. I had a young friend whom I worked with at the bookstore who suffered from heart disease (he was only in his mid-20s) and he experienced depersonalization/derealization sometimes late at night after work. It frequently occurred when he considered his diagnosis of heart disease. He said he only experienced it a few times a year. Me, sometimes it's triggered by dim lighting. I remember feeling it come on when I was concentrating on how dim the lights became one stormy night. I also feel adversely affected by the lighting in stores but because I worked in one and had tasks to do, I could mostly push it aside. Hugs back to you, Tapi

10/30/2011 05:29 PM
Raoul
RaoulPosts: 4009
VIP Member

Hi Tapi

KNowing the triggers and understanding how they work can be good.

It can allow you to avoid them, or to alter your situation sometimes so that the dP/dR may be avoided.

Of course if the lighting is someone elses responsibility that can be a hardship.

In my case - I immediately react when someone puts a radio on in the room where i am working.

That can reduce the occurances sometimes.

But not everyone is willing to accept my requests.

In some cases - I have even removed myself form the situation entirely.

Even car radios have started some very disturbing occurances for me.

But not always. Now that is interesting. It also suggests I may be able to alter a component of the irritant to prevent the problem.

hugs, Raoul


10/30/2011 10:36 PM
tapiocabear
 
Posts: 66
Member

What do you think it is about the radio that triggers the dp/dr? I'm curious as to my reaction to dim or fluorescent lighting. I don't recall that from childhood. That seemed to develop as an adult. I wonder now about others's triggers. Like I said, I can understand my friend and his fear of an early death. I can get the pilots reactions. The articles re: anxiety and focusing on your own thoughts too much. Yup, makes sense. But the radio and the dim lights...I wonder. It's all fascinating to me and would be more fascinating if the experiences weren't so terrifying and weren't mine.
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