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07/24/2013 02:18 PM


Posts: 1352
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This is in relations to your question about your girlfriend spacing out while her friends were talking after the incident. This is a possibility and not a diagnosis but share it with her and see what she thinks. This is an article from the DP forum.


The following is just some information from the Cleveland Clinic that I thought may interest some (I am by no means saying that this is all 100% correct. For informational purposes only):

Derealization and Depersonalization are both 'Dissociative disorders' and sufferers of one can experience the other.

First of all, understand this - Depersonalization and Derealization are completely normal symptoms of anxiety disorder. Although very disturbing at times, they are completely harmless, think of them as a daytime dream. They DO NOT mean that you have any other condition, a mental illness or that you are going mad - they are just more anxiety symptoms.


A change in an individuals self-awareness such that they feel detached from their own experience, with the self, the body and mind seeming alien.

Depersonalization is a symptom of an anxiety disorder and not a stand alone condition. How do we know this? Because depersonalization cannot exist without anxiety BUT anxiety can exist without depersonalization.

In each and every depersonalization sufferer that we have treated, as we have eliminated the anxiety, the depersonalization disappears completely.

Depersonalization is caused by a shift in the part of the brain that provides us with a 'real' awareness of our environment; this part of the brain is directly linked to the Amygdala, the organ in the brain responsible for anxiety.

Terms commonly used to describe the symptoms and sensations of Depersonalization:

* unreal

* disembodied

* divorced from oneself

* apart from everything

* unattached

* alone

* strange

* weird

* foreign

* unfamiliar

* dead

* puppet-like

* robot-like

* acting a part

* 'like a lifeless

* two dimensional

* 'cardboard' figure

* made of cotton-wool

* having mechanical actions

* remote

* automated

* a spectator

* witnessing ones own actions as if in a film or on a TV program

* not doing one's own thinking

* observing the flow of ideas in the mind as independent.


A change in an individual's experience of the environment, where the world around him/her feels unreal and unfamiliar.

Unlike depersonalization which effects the perception of oneself, derealization is a change in an individual's experience of their environment, where the world around him/her feels unreal and unfamiliar.

Again, derealization, like depersonalization, is caused by a change in the way senses perceive our surroundings due to sensitized, anxious, nerve signals reaching the brain. Derealization is completely harmless but can be very disturbing. The more you give derealization credibility, the longer it stays with you. As anxiety levels are reduced, derealization disappears.

Terms commonly used to describe the symptoms and sensations of Derealization:

* spaciness

* like looking through a gray veil

* a sensory fog

* spaced-out

* being trapped in a glass bell jar

* in a goldfish bowl

* behind glass

* in a Disney-world dream state

* withdrawn

* feeling cut off or distant from the immediate surroundings

* like being a spectator at some strange and meaningless game

* objects appear diminished in size

* flat

* dream-like

* cartoon-like

* artificial; objects appear to be unsolid, to breathe, or to shimmer

* "as if my head were inside a Coke bottle and I'm viewing the world through the thick glass at the bottom"


07/25/2013 03:46 AM
Posts: 31
New Member

Hi Leigha,

Thats really great information. I will add it to my stash of collected articles : ) She did say she feels like shes in a gold fish bowl all the time so this made sense. Am i right in saying that once she gains some sort of control with the DD and Anxiety she may return to the women I know ? Then that way we can start to tackle and under stand the PTSD and Route cause slowly. Yet the way she is where she cant even kiss me, really scares me as we have been so so so close our whole relationship.

Can I ask everyone for some quick advice.

1 - Whats some ideas or things that she can do to reduce her anxiety. At the moment Apart from the obvious I also seem to be part of her Anxiety. Shes finding it difficult to see me and I get these daily up and down distance patches. Will this only be tempory ? Ie I feel she is in the DD state currently. Will she come out of this at some point and return to her previous state. Ie Not how we was exactly but return to the person I knew ? As Im really scared that shes going to stay like this and 3 - 6 months down the line im still being ignored and pushed to the side. I can stand by her as long as shes trying and I can see positive changes yet, currently they are soooo so so small. That may be a good thing, yet its daily killing me to not know whats going on. I even hinted about spending saturday with her and go do something silly and fun away from all this... and she says she has plans, yet I also asked her 2 weeks ago if she was up for it, then why dont we plan a saturday to do something yet, she said she doesnt like to make plans to far a head.... So basically its me she dont want to see ?

Im finding it rather lonely and difficult now. Im close to a breaking point, yet I dont know if its just me that needs to hang on in here. ???? She said the other day shes scared that im going to run out of patience with her... So this obviously says to me shes trying and wants us to be together, but other than that I get zero affection, nothing, not i miss you, not I love you, nothing. I need something even if its small... : ( Any ideas of guidance ? She currently feels it acceptable to see me every couple weeks, and all i get is a couple hours on a bench : ( In a park, then she says shes tired and wants to go : ( Hurting alot here people.... think its just a bad day but.. I need to know life can go back to some sort of normality. ???

2 - All the things I have written, she still has not read them. She said she "browsed" at work. Shes keeping busy busy busy. Works all hours, weekends plans go sees friends, other family etc. So never leaves any time to focus on the one thing that will make her better and in more control. Does any one have any ideas to try and break this cycle... As we simply could be here for months and months. I get there is no rush, yet Im also very sad and i miss her terribly. : (

one day i feel just to leave, yet this would mean cutting off completely and I feel this would only harm her in her current state and any good ive done would be un done, yet others i feel strong when i see a little something from her and feel I need to hang on in here.

Yet its made me start questioning my own future and will she ever be the same amazing girl I loved, will the love return, will she now forever be switched off to me, ? I need someone to clearly explain if this can be alright and controlled so you can return back to a regular style of life, obviously with the right tools / counciling etc. Yet is this it now ? Is this how im supposed to live life ? Seeing here once a week ? With no real connection ?

Anyones advice would be helpful as this is all so new to me :" (

07/25/2013 03:54 PM
Posts: 1352
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I'm an Advocate

To question 1: Yes, it is possible to come out of it and be normal again. It takes therapy, grounding techniques and a lot of hard work. There will be pain because you have to dig deep and release it before you can "crawl out of the grave". There are also grounding techniques in my DP forum if you would like to take a look but some simple ones would be to chew minty gum, suck on something sour, hold an ice cube in your hand, count backwards from 100 in increments of 7, or changing scenery by going for a walk. It really depends on what works for each person. For me, being around people really freaks me out because it's already so hard to function that sounding like a normal person when interacting is stressful and makes me even more depersonalized. This could also be why she doesn't want to do a whole lot and is tired after just sitting on a park bench. The internal struggle of someone with PTSD is very tiring. You are mentally drained from being in a hypervigalent state for most of the day, your muscles hurt from being tense and nervous and just going outside can be a down right chore.

Patience and time. Smile

07/25/2013 03:56 PM
Posts: 1352
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I'm an Advocate

Oh and as far as her keeping busy and not wanting to read about PTSD. It's all part of the symptoms...avoidance. As long as her mind is occupied she does't have time to think or feel.

07/26/2013 03:47 AM
Posts: 31
New Member

Thank you for that Leigha,

I was sitting in the park yesterday in a right state. I sat there from 7pm until 10pm when it went dark and didnt move. I was feeling really torn and quite alone. Trying to make light if im doing the right things and controlling my own sense of grief. Ie I miss her tremendously.

I calmed myself and found the strength again to keep going. She messaged me just after my battle and I just told her to keep strong and keep going day by day and step by step. I said Im going to keep strong for her and told her to try and get as much rest as she can. I told her shes amazing and im blessed to have her in my life. She replied saying that what I just said meant a hell of alot and im such a lovely person. She has no idea how upset I was, and how dark ive been feeling myself, yet I feel by putting this on her will only hurt her more and slow the process. It will almost be as if im personally attacking her.

I told her im amazed how far she has come already and how well shes doing and how well shes done all along. Especially all these years we didn't know and she kept her self going.

She has said she has been listening to everything i have been saying, it may not look and sound like it but she has. Its taking her alot of time to process and its alot on her shoulders.

This morning she text me saying shes feeling more positive and having less scary days where she feels the future is ok and not such a scary place.

Im so hoping that all the things ive been saying have been sinking in and helping her.

May I ask advice on what you think is the best next step. ? Ie once she gets her self back to that base line, that place of safe ness. I dont want her to feel ok again and continue of life as if this was a bad dream. I understand every ones different, yet im new to all this : )

Ie I feel we need to formally diagnose the PTSD. Yet this is going to be quite scary for her. Is there anywhere that you can go which is away from the normal GP route. Somewhere maybe that specialises solely in PTSD ?

As her GP isnt really quite understanding, and would probally prompt to start going deep as to why she feels she has PTSD, whereby a proffesional place will know how to tread without devastating her.

Thank you again for all your support : )

07/26/2013 04:54 PM
Posts: 1352
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate far as a certain place that specializes I am not really sure. I am willing to look for you if you wouldn't mind telling me where you live. You can message me that if you like.

As far as the next step, that is really up to her. Follow her lead and just know that there will be really good days and still at some times really bad days. It's not that she is a failure or that she can't be helped, it's because the mind releases memories and feelings when it's ready. Smile

08/16/2013 07:08 AM
Posts: 31
New Member

Hi Guys,

IVE been away for a little while, I had an opportunity to go to asia and as my other half has been needing space and time away I decided to go yet still talking to her as normal.

Its been a Rollercoaster with much more twist and turns that I have expected.

As a couple we are no where near how we use to be. Still have only seen her a handful of times in 3 months.

Im relising that I need to try and stop taking thing personally and to try and take thing slower and stop pushing.

Its terrible when you love someone so dearly yet your so far away from each other and all you want to do is help..

Any how, I got to a point where by I was hurting to much, wasnt eating and was ruining my daily life, whilst not having any support from my family. We ended up having quite a big argument and she told me she just wants to be mates / friends right now, which to anyone is a horrible thing to hear from the one you love.

Even though its not meant in the way i probally took it, it really hurt, so I ended up saying I can be here for you as your loved one and can help stand by you, but not quite as a friend.

We got to a point whereby i actually said my goodbyes to her and was balling my eyes out again... as to be fair i dont want to leave and want to be here for her, yet she just will not let me in and is keeping me away, toanyone is mentally draining. I still need some love and support aswell.

Literally at the last hurdle it was as if shes been under water and she burst out and took a breath. She said she cant belive shes loosing me and said she cant imagine life without me in it. She promised whilst i was away that she is going to try and actively start making small changes to help her self but with my support.

We agreed to spend a weekend away when i got back to talk and so I can comfort her. At the last minute when i arrived home she turned that into a lunch rather than a weekend away. I intially felt sad, yet I can understand that it may be a bit to much for her right now and appreciate what shes been doing.

I have learnt to try and stop pressuring her, and to let her come forward.

All the way through the last 3 months she has not been able to read anything i sent her about PTSD. she was scared to.

The other day she said she read all about PTSD and said she wants to go to the doctors to get a refferal for counciling... Im gob smacked... shes finally got there. I feel this is a massive step and Im so so so happy for her that shes fighting.

Shes asked if we can build our relationship back up as if we are dating again and take it real slow. So this is what Im trying to do.

All I can say at the moment is our future is full of massive uncertainty and its very scary, yet if you truly love the person and they have done you no wrong. Then stand by them.

She never chose this and its certainly not her fault whats shes going through, and she needs me the most right now. I feel through my support she has got to this stage and by me standing by her she will get through this storm.

She said to me yesterday that im her rock and thanked me for understanding and doing everything right by her. She said have i told you how incredible you are and how strong i have been for her through all of this. im her rock and shes grateful to have me in her life. She said we are both learning and both make mistakes yet we will get through this cause of my strength and when we look back we can say we did it together. she couldn't live without me and i keep her saine and she loves me.

I broke down in tears when she sent me that as in all these months ive had nothing like that and to get it was as if i broke through a barrier....

I would like to ask some advice. We are based in the London Area.

I have a few concerns and wonder through peoples experiences on her whether they could say what the right way to go would be.

Is it the right thing for her to go to her normal doctor about this to get referals for PTSD counciling ?

Or would you advise anything different.

Shes very fragile and im concerned that her doctor may not handle this with the care and compasion it deserves. ?

Im wondering whether shes better going somewhere that specilises in this who will be able to talk to her in the right way ?

Any advice would be appreciated at this crucial time. : )

Thank you for your continued support as always

08/16/2013 03:00 PM
Posts: 1352
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

I'm going to keep this short as I don't have a lot of time but I am so happy she is willing to seek help.

From my experience, going to the doctor was pointless. I went back and fourth for 5 years as they diagnosed me with depression, anxiety, panic disorder and IBS. I finally took it upon my self to google the symptoms I had and PTSD popped into my search results.

I then took it on myself to contact a therapist, make an appointment for an assessment and within 30 minutes she diagnosed me with Complex PTSD.

My suggestion: Go find a therapist that has background in treating PTSD, and Rape Trauma Syndrome.

08/18/2013 10:07 AM
Posts: 31
New Member

Hi, I have found a few specialists. One of which recommends something called EMDR ?

"Hi Alexander, thank you for your message.The only treatment recommended by NICE for chronic PTSD is EMDR. There are plenty of people trained in London. The website you need is"

Can anyone give any advice on this ?

Secondly on a more personal note. I wanted to ask some advice in relations to the "give space part" of Ptsd. I understand everyone is different.

Yet some advice on how i should be handling things would go down a treat right now.

We met up yesterday, I took her to lunch in a lovely restaurant in Mayfair. We chatted for hours and i didnt bring up anything to do with PTSD or sadness, bad feeling etc etc. I thought it was best to try and bring back the memories of how we were and try to make it a nice time for her.

We got on very well, and held hands and there was a good feeling of love there. She is still focusing alot on what she "should" be doing rather than just being her self. We dont kiss much at the moment as i know this is something she finds hard. Has anyone been through this ? Ie the not wanting to kiss ?

Also after lunch we was getting a cab, and I pulled her close and gave her a cuddle and just put my head on hers and held her. Within 30 seconds she fell asleep in my arms all the way to our destination.

While i was away I got her a very nice coat which she loved as a present, and I wrote her a card with a little poem. The poem made her cry and she gave me a cuddle.

After i dropped her off she sent a message just saying thank you. I said for what ? and she said everything. I do feel im giving her the right space, yet I do want to progress aswell.

I drove her home. Where I find things difficult is i desperately want to see her. Every day if I could, Yet she seems to want to keep this distance at the moment, which is hard on a nice sunny day and im home alone thinking of her whilst she is having a family barbecue etc and I want to be there with her.

I said about seeing her today, yet she said shed prefer to meet up in the week which is great. Ive asked to take her to dinner on the weekend but no reply yet.

She said she wants to get it as if we are dating again like right at the beggining and kinda vuild things up slowly. Its very hard yet im hanging in there. Im worried to push to much ie making it seem like im forcing her to see me yet I also dont want to leave it to the point where by we only see each other once every week or two.

Can anyone give any experience on this or guidance ?

Kinda fed up of feeling lonely : (

Thanks guys : )

08/18/2013 12:20 PM
Posts: 1352
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

It's hard. The thing is with what she is going through is that she doesn't even understand her feelings yet. It took me 11 years to figure that out. I don't say that to scare you as everyone heals differently and at their own pace but I had to go down a very f"ed up road to even begin to heal.

This is probably not what you want to hear but you really just have to take it day by day. There is no magic cure or correct way to act to speed up the process. Healing begins and ends with her and only when she is ready. It takes a lot of courage to face the horrifying feelings she has pushed back and drag them out again. Facing it all at once can be traumatizing.

I know you are fed up with being lonely and you have every right to feel that way but I also gather from your posts that you love her dearly. I promise time...she will get better. She will have really good days but just be aware that she will fall again and this is nothing to do with you. It's part of the healing process. Just be there to help her pick herself back up.

I'm here if you need anything.


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