Experience with depersonalization? Anybody else?

Helena (@Helenz) 8 years, 1 month ago

I’ve been experiencing some intense symptoms of depersonalization for the past month or so. For those of you who aren’t quite familiar with the disorder, it’s just another form and manifestation of extreme anxiety. It makes you feel like completely not yourself, detached, kind of like a third party viewer watching your own life as it goes by. When it comes to socializing, it’s like you completely forgot how, and you feel a deep loss of identity. You act as if you think you would have before you felt this way, but it’s forced and inauthentic. You kind of are forced to question everything you once held your groundings in, which can be quite unsettling haha.

Now, I can say that I’m grateful for having this experience because I have learned so much about myself through it. I definitely have high hopes for recovery, and I’ve felt better in the past couple days than I have in a while through exercise, writing, prayer, meditation, and reaching out to friends/family. I have learned to be empathetic towards those who suffer from anxiety, because now I know just how terrible it can be.

I’m wondering if any of you have had experiences with this particular disorder or a similar one, or just tips and such for how you have dealt with your anxiety, and what helps you feel back to normal. Looking forward to hearing some responses!

EDIT: OH and I forgot to mention, I rolled for the first time about a month and a half ago. I’ve had a hankering it might have something to do with it.

October 27, 2013 at 2:31 pm
hello (113) (@smortlur51) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@helenz, I think I went through this exact thing, didn’t know it had a name though lol. I was going to college in Boston to get my doctorate degree in pharmacy which is a six year program, and after a year and a half, I figured out I didn’t want to do it at all. I dropped out of school and didn’t tell my parents until I had pretty much guaranteed I was going to drop out (didn’t do shit the last month of school). The next four or five months were probably the roughest of my life, I had hit rock bottom. I was feeling really shitty about pretty much everything in general, just going through the motions, acting like I thought I should be acting, but the biggest thing was I just didn’t feel anything, it was like I was just an empty vessel going through life but not living. The worst was a month span where I was contemplating taking my own life, and there was one day where I came close to doing it. But at that moment I thought, why am I doing this? Why would I want to stop this? After this, I started my road to recovery. It started off slowly at first, more just not feeling so blah some days more than others. I think what helped me the most was just taking an active role in my life, and figuring out what I wanted and to just get going on it. Now, a year later, I can say I am truly happy with who what and where I am, and it feels great :)

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Anonymous (127) (@) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@helenz, Is there anything particularly wrong with depersonalization? If you emerged from it a better person, it seems like it was worth the while, no?

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Anonymous (53) (@) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@helenz, Maybe I’m square, but I don’t know the meaning of “rolled.” Would that be the same as tripping? Sounds like you’re experiencing the tri-part mind (id, ego, super ego) Most people are unaware of this compartmentalization. It can seem unsettling at first when one apprehends the realization that we have very complex minds and personalities.

Depersonalization disorder is thought to be largely caused by severe traumatic lifetime events including childhood abuse, accidents, war, torture, panic attacks and bad drug experiences. It is unclear whether genetics play a role; however, there are many neurochemical and hormonal changes in individuals suffering with depersonalization disorder.

Suffice to say, that these days, everyday is a day of trauma (to the conscientious and sensitive.) There seems to be violence everywhere, and this makes some people want to flee. Often they flee inside their thoughts and imaginations to obscure the horror of reality. Catatonia and dissociation are severe responses to the unintegrated pain.

You are very lucid in your writing and equally empathic. It doesn’t seem too serious (but how could I know.) A diagnosis is generally proffered if the “disorder” substantially interferes with normal life function. This is also unfortunately a value judgement. In my opinion, the daily hectic neurotic lifestyle leaves little time to properly grieve. This causes a perpetual state of cognitive dissonance; that is holding two or more emotionally conflicting thoughts simultaneously. This dualism in my opinion can exacerbate mental illness. That is, a person can have a perfectly healthy brain, and suffer illness as a consequence of being so educable and attentive.

This impressionability, and retentive mindset is one reason you must guard your psyche like invaluable possessions, because it is invaluable, and could well be indelible. You are experiencing your higher self observing partial selves (again compartmentalization.) With these partial selves can come rogue intrusive renegade thoughts (mother, father, brother, sister, professors, lovers.) We really aren’t any of them, however our proximity and perhaps unlimited capacity absorbs them.

I have found great value in this book:
http://books.google.com/books/about/Transformers.html?
id=kNOt7j2nIA0C

She maps out the structure of personality in a remarkably astute prose.

best wishes- K

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hello (113) (@smortlur51) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@sobroquet, rolling is just being high on MDMA :)

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Anonymous (53) (@) 8 years, 1 month ago ago
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Silver (2) (@barrano247) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

you are not alone my friend

in about 3 months it will be my 2nd year of constant dissociation

mine came from drug use, not sure if its cureable but smoking weed daily cant help. You sound a lot better off than me haha

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@helenz, I have had depersonalization for a long while now, it started around 16 or 17 (I’m nearly 24) and was daily for a year and a half after starting.

The major reason it came on, which I learned much, much later was lack of or bad quality of sleep. I had been smoking a lot of cannabis, and that was changing how I was thinking, I started to get very analytical, and then suddenly the analyses turned on myself. Every day it was like watching myself from a projector screen. I always felt like everything I said and did was completely forced. My voice would crack, I was so self-conscious, and it was self-perpetuating. The stress of “something is wrong” kept me up at night, and lack of sleep kept on the symptoms.

I still have it every once in a while, and usually I can associate it with bad sleep. However, tripping at all brings it back and I’m forced into at least 30 minutes of hard depersonalization, which eventually evens out and I can gain some kind of ‘normalcy’.

Its incredibly confronting, but the experience is invaluable. You lose so much bias towards yourself and the world around you. The filter of “I’m special” is removed and you see yourself as what you are – a human. An animal. A being. A body with a mind.

But its tough. There is nothing like that first “What is going on?” feeling. That sense of insanity, of distance, of separation from everything.

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Anonymous (53) (@) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@ijesuschrist, You write well. You seem to have a lot of integrity and continuity. You know yourself genuinely and authentically, and can see what throws you off, or interferes with your true personality.

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MarkII (71) (@mwinship13) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

When I experience depersonalization I enjoy it very much. It usually happens when I trip and sometimes when I get high. It helps me look at how the person I am interacts with others and my surroundings. I’m usually hyperaware and ahead of the beat in these states.

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Helena (8) (@Helenz) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@smortlur51, I am so happy to hear you’re doing well now! I believe with persistence, we cannot fail. It’s undyingly optimistic. Plus, it’s really the only option we have as humans.

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Helena (8) (@Helenz) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@sobroquet, Thank you for that link, I think I’ll actually check it out. Sounds very pertinent to this issue, or more hopefully worded, life experience.

I’ve just graduated high school last spring, and have been growing in many many different aspects of my character. The thing you said about conflicting thoughts is all too real. I’ve been putting a lot of effort into spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth, but I struggle profoundly with faith and confidence in myself. The two conflicting sides of my mind are always at war with each other, and when the anxious and self-doubting side seems to win, this mindset takes over. There’s nothing more frightening than the absolute disconnection from passion, from love. It makes it hard to continue, and I acknowledge the fact that I am creating this mess of mental angst for myself, although that doesn’t seem to make it better. I think my problem is that in high school it was very easy to unknowingly place my groundings in false securities, and now that I’m growing up and everything is changing, those false securities don’t cut it anymore. I’m craving a spiritual revolution, I feel like it’s what I need to fulfill my role on Earth. But at my worst, it seems impossible to ever connect again the way I used to, and find meaning. It’s very disheartening, but even though this path of self discovery can appear toxic at times, I’ll continue on.

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Helena (8) (@Helenz) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@ijesuschrist, It most definitely is an invaluable experience, I’ve learned a helluva lot of life lessons in the past month. The hardest part about the separation from everything is that i used to derive all my motivation from the joy and happiness I could bring others on a daily basis. Naturally I’m a bubbly and optimistic person, and I absolutely loved being outgoing and meeting people and spreading smiles and just living life, so this is really a radical difference of lifestyle for me and it’s been hard to accept. But! Once I did decide to accept it and learn what I could, all sorts of invaluable lessons revealed themselves.

How did you find a way to cope or rise above depersonalization? Did it just like go away eventually?

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@helenz, Mine was very demanding, it really took a toll on me. It was coupled with light psychosis and stress. With nobody really to talk to at the time, I took to forums to express myself and try to get some help and support.

It took me a year to really make myself believe I could over come it, and to figure out it wasn’t really an issue. There were so many “Eureka!” moments about what was actually going on, but the feeling persisted anyway. (That was the most trouble, logically knowing nothing is wrong, but having this FEELING of some type of illness).

I would just make sure you set yourself a bedtime, that was my actual turn-around.

How I eventually ‘overcame it’ though is;
1. I realized that it was just a perspective. That it was real, and ignoring it wouldn’t remove it, but that it was only one part of the whole. For how negative it made everything, I realized that there was always a positive light to all, sometimes unable to be gripped, but sometimes I could just REALIZE happiness and contentedness and it would come.

2. I started researching how to make myself happy. Smiling begets happiness, AND vice versa, so I started waking up and smiling every morning – forcing it. This would be followed by an opening of the arms, as if feeling the breeze. Smiling, and making the body as open as possible trigger the brain to release endorphins, and contrary to popular belief, this is true happiness… Even if triggered by the own self.

3. Meditation. I would meditate the verse, and feel it in my bones; “Everyone deserves my love”. This resonated more than any other meditation I’ve done, and really helped me become a nicer human being.

4. Bed time, slowed with cannabis, removed the urge to drink every weekend.

5. Nature. Respecting and admiring nature (the physical and immaterial) for the beautiful enigma it is centered me.

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JonH (1,139)C (@IJesusChrist) 8 years, 1 month ago ago

@sobroquet, Thanks.

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Myra (1) (@Myra) 8 years ago ago

Hi. Depersonalization is just a stage of transformation, old self is dying and fearing, the new one arises. It is not a disorder. Just enjoy and allow the transformation to happen.
Enter your fears, accept them, observe them, and go further. Allow yourself to be different, in a way you can’t imagine right now.
Check this http://www.youtube.com/user/bipolarorwakingup/videos, to see some nice data on this. Enjoy your anxiety, it is a good sign. And let it flow through you. You are not your mind, you are not your emotions. Let them pass. It may look like psychosis for some moments/hours/days, but after that the new perspective will appear. Don’t think that this is spiritual development, it is just natural human development.

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sian (109) (@siantastic) 8 years ago ago

I find it fascinating that so many people on here post about depersonalisation, having been through a period myself. And @helenz, that is why there is absolutely no need to worry. Mine was rather acute but extreme. I had building anxiety and depersonalisation due to how weird I now found society and the pressures I found myself under. Then one night whilst high, I was so far removed from my body I was sure was dead. I was sure I was dead for about a week. I would sit and stare for hours on end. Mixed in I had some psychosis. I became certain my neighbours were spying on me, and I saw shadows and heard unexplainable noises.

Then I decided it was all in my head. It was as simple as that. I became a lot calmer with what I was experiencing and decided to work through it. I took some time off work, and spend the best part of a month doing nothing but yoga, meditating, reading, listening to music, and sitting outside in the sun. After that month passed I felt better than ever. I returned to work, but as my good routines fell away, and pressures continued, my anxiety returned. So, I quit. I felt like I owed myself that much.

And now, like you, I am so greatful for my experience. It forced me to change my life for the better. And whilst I’m still sometimes completely socially awkward and anxious, it’s becoming rarer.

An experience like this is trying to tell you something, and all you have to do is listen.

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Rose (30) (@roseara) 8 years ago ago

@helenz, I feel this way unfortunately. And I’m not grateful for it. I don’t know exactly what you can do about it, because it continues to persist. But there must be something. All the best.

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LSDismyGOD (63) (@LSDlover) 8 years ago ago

@ijesuschrist, u sound familiar to me….oh now i remember u…u was JesuschristITC…HELLO…………..

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LSDismyGOD (63) (@LSDlover) 8 years ago ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=684g9KyUBcc
may be this will help u a bit..
take care

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mus (16) (@Mustafa47) 8 years ago ago

@helenz, your words resonate with me in ways i can’t begin to explain. like you, i’ve for the past few months sought to grow both spiritually and intellectually, and i think that’s when i first became aware of the symptoms. initially i just felt disillusioned with the external world, but then as the weeks passed i started to feel unsure of myself. i distinctly remember being on a bus on my way home and looking down at my hands and feet, feeling as though they weren’t ‘mine’. i then started to repeat my name in my head, sort of like a mantra, and i still couldn’t identify with it. the more i repeated it the more detached i felt from it. nothing felt real anymore, even the way i looked and moved felt like they belonged to something else separate from ‘me’, but i didn’t know who or what this real ‘me’ was and that was pretty unsettling.
that lasted for a few days, but ever since then i’ve been in constant conflict in my mind over the smallest things. i can’t identify with any core beliefs or thoughts or ideas, everything feels unauthentic, coming from something other than myself, like a copy. gradually i’ve become numb to it all, i don’t identify strongly with the thoughts i have, or even the words i am writing. even typing this now feels unauthentic, as though all of this is not something i’m going through at all, and i’m imagining all of this stuff. every thought is followed by a doubt and right now i just accept it as the way it is..
sorry for the essay

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Anonymous (0) (@) 8 years ago ago

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