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Derealization or Depersonalization

173 posts in this topic

I found Shaun O-Conner's ebook (pdf download and MP3) The DP Manual to be very, very helpful.

 

It is a site of commerce (he charges for the download) so I will post the url without directly linking: http://www.dpmanual.com/

 

I think that anyone suffering from DP might greatly be helped with the information and suggestions that he provides.

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Thanks so much Annej for the book link and Nadia for your input. So nice to hear it will end! It's worse when I haven't slept, which I often do not, due to the w/d AND menopause hitting simultaneously. It's a cruel irony that the time we need to sleep the most for healing is when our brains are trying to rewire...but can't because with the rewiring comes insomnia!

 

Life seems so backwards sometimes.

 

Pandora

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Lack of sleep is probably a major part of it! And yes, it seems cruel that the very thing we need to heal is what we can't get. I think the important thing is not to panic, to believe you'll get better, and to do things actively that over time will help you out (even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment). The big mistake is to wait to feel better to do things like take walks, eat well, interact with other people. You have to take baby steps, but it's important to keep moving forward!

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Depersonalization really bad the last couple days, and very intense right now. Last week exercise seemed to help alot, this week I feel as if I am existing in some dream where everything I touch feels foreign, numb, food feels strange in my mouth, my own voice sounds like someone else's (whose?) and the people I live with look familiar, but unfamiliar. It's freaking me out, frankly. My feelings range from being on the verge of a panic attack to collapsing from exhaustion or bursting into tears.

 

If anything would make me go back to the toxic ADs this is it. The only thing stopping me is the thought of going through this again, from the beginning.

 

I'm re-reading the posts and trying to take the advice about not panicking and just letting it happen without thinking too much but it's hard. Please reassure that I'm not going insane or that this is the permanent state of my brain from hereon in.

 

 

Thanks.

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Pandora,

 

You're not going insane but ~ I know ~ it sure does feel that way when DP/DR are bad. All of your senses are readapting. It left me feeling very ungrounded. There were many times that I thought I was *going crazy* but then realized that if I really was, I would not know or suspect it.

 

Do you have pets? My dogs were able to break through that wall when nothing else did.

 

It does get better.

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Thanks so much Barb. It does help alot that I make sense to someone when I'm like this! I do have a really sweet dog, but when I patted him earlier during my mini freak-out his fur felt strange like everything else, and I think that upset me more than anything.

 

Oh, to be ignorant and blissful and crazy... you're right, I guess I wouldn't know if it were truly happening.

 

I like your explanation of the senses reorganizing. It makes sense. I just wish they would hurry the hell up.

 

Thanks.

 

Pandora

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Hang in there, Pandora! It's hell, but you can get through it. And it will go away. Just observe it. Tell yourself things like, I observe myself feeling very strange. Or just, "I observe myself feeling this." It won't make it go away, but it can help you get through it. Try not to engage the thoughts, but don't push them away either. Easier said than done, I know.

 

Don't forget to sit in the sun if you can, or breathe in looking at the horizon, or have a cup of tea. Anything that normally would give you comfort. Even if it doesn't feel like it's helping, it might eventually get you on the right track. Also, hug yourself, and tell yourself that this is a tough thing to be going through and you're doing a good job just living through it. It helps to be kind to yourself. You're still "in there" and you will come back.

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I'm happy to know I'm not crazy, and that other people have these feelings too. Never knew, until recently, that it even had a name. Thought it was all just in my head, which I guess it is. It's amazing that something so totally abstract can mess you up so bad. I can't even imagine how anyone would ever be able to work with these feelings. Do people work in this state? Have had this problem since I was 14 to some extent, gotten really bad over the past couple of years, no break at all for past 1.5 years. Only flare-ups, where it's almost completely unbearable. The only way I've found to lessen the misery is to distract myself. Stay busy. Focus on other people, do things for other people. Works sometimes during the day, but as evening turns to night and things quiet down, it comes right back full force. Of all the mental health related problems I've experienced, this one is the most discerning. Honestly, if I knew for sure that I was going to feel this way forever, that this was how my life was going to be forever, I would opt out now. I need to get out of this soon, cause I have 2 little kids and a husband who would kinda like for me to stick around.

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I don't know if I posted this before -- I had this for several years when my Paxil withdrawal syndrome was worse, it did get better.

 

As a psychological symptom with no drugs or withdrawal involved, I believe it's attributed to an abused or highly stressed childhood.

 

Have you looked into non-drug therapies for your sense of derealization/depersonalization, Hannah?

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Hannah, I feel for you with little kids to look after. How distressing it must be, as the job is hard enough when you're feeling well. I agree with Alto, in fact I can attest to the stressed childhood as a factor and this strange out-of-self place we go to escape.

 

I am looking into cognitive-behavioral therapy with help for the anxiety/depression and from what I've learned through my research it is an amazing tool to help get through this. I also came across a book called The Stranger in the Mirror, which deals with this little-known disorder. I haven't bought it yet, so I can't give a review on it but it might help you to know you are certainly not alone.

 

I've been feeling really badly out of myself for the last few days but today I am a bit better. Nadia's advice in her post from yesterday has really helped. Check it out.

 

Pandora

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I have been dealing with severe DR/DP for 14 months straight and i am very very scared it wont fade and go away. Has anyone ever seen it not go away or get better? I am really scared :'(

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This is the worst symptom i have and i am scared it wont lessen and go away. I have it very very severe. Everyone says give it time but i have fought for a long time. Please anyone who had it years and get better/went away?

 

Thank you

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Hi Medfree, I had really severe DP/DR for about three years and it did go away. Keep hanging on, it will get better.

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I'm with you, Medfree. DR is my most distressing symptom right now. It never goes away, only gets slightly better. It makes everything around you seem strange and menacing. I am frequently freaked out by my own arms! WTH? I don't know how DR is this bad when I have been tapering so slow, but it is what it is. I pray it gets better somehow for the the both of us. At least you are off the drugs and truly healing. Have you ever had your thyroid tested? I have heard that low thyroid function can contribute to derealization symptoms. My thyroid has been wonky so that could be part of the problem in my case.

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Thanks UnfoldingSky, i am hanging on and praying everyday that it will get better.

 

Hi Medfree, I had really severe DP/DR for about three years and it did go away. Keep hanging on, it will get better.

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Hi Ladybug. Sorry to hear you are also experiencing this horrible symptom. Yes, i had my thyroid checked and it is apparently normal...

 

I'm with you, Medfree. DR is my most distressing symptom right now. It never goes away, only gets slightly better. It makes everything around you seem strange and menacing. I am frequently freaked out by my own arms! WTH? I don't know how DR is this bad when I have been tapering so slow, but it is what it is. I pray it gets better somehow for the the both of us. At least you are off the drugs and truly healing. Have you ever had your thyroid tested? I have heard that low thyroid function can contribute to derealization symptoms. My thyroid has been wonky so that could be part of the problem in my case.

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mine went away too...meditation and yoga helped...yoga and other body modalities of therapy are really important for me...I think derealization is often a sort of unwillingness to really and deeply be in the body (because it's so damn horrifying in there in so many ways)

 

hang on and be gentle and kind...yoga, walking (mindfully) and any other movement meditation (chi gong, tai chi etc) might be helpful. 

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Please excuse me for not being familiar with the term derealization, but if it's that unreality feeling- like you're observing life and yourself rather than participating in life and being yourself, I've experienced it, and it did go away.  I don't know what triggered mine other than the stress of a divorce with my ex attempting to take my kids away, but it went on for over a year and has now completely resolved.  It resolved so slowly that I don't even remember it getting gradually better.  I just noticed one day that it was gone, completely gone.  Don't lose hope.  Oh, and if I recall correctly, you too are in a very stressful environment.  That can mess with your mind too.  How about addressing the stressful environment (with help) first, and maybe the DR could improve too. 

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Merged several similar topics.

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Hello everyone. I'm a newbie so I hope I'm in the appropriate section to write this.

 

I am having a lot of trouble with 'depersonalization.' I notice that different people give different meaning to it but I personally like this definition from Webster's. Depersonalization is the feeling that you are observing yourself from outside your body or you have a sense that things around you aren't real, or both."

For me personally, it's like I am constantly looking inward. It's very weird and if you have had it you know what I mean. I'd like to ask if anyone else has experienced this during tapering? Also, I just started having a throbbing/pulsating in the back of my head. It just pounds and pounds.

 

I would appreciate knowing if others have had experienced these symptoms. Thank you!

 

Cbergens

started Paxil withdrawal 10 months ago at 15 mg

Now down to 4.75 mg.

Had panic disorder for 15 years back in the 1970's - under control for many years now

Currently experiencing symptoms of morning nausea, throbbing/pulsating in head, lack of motivation and ambition.

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I came across this as a post on a social anxiety website and I really think it sounds like a really good way to deal with Depersonalization/Derealization. It turns out, I was already doing a lot of these things in an attempt to cope with it but did not know that this can actually lead to a cure for this awful malady. Then with some more research on-line I found that there is actually a book on this disorder that teaches you how to overcome it and it seems that the 'method' is what this person summarized in his post. The person who wrote this post uses some offensive language which I wish was not there, but it is.

 

Here is the URL for how to overcome Depersonalization/Derealization

 

http://www.dpselfhelp.com/forum/index.php?/topic/20892-the-holy-grail-of-curing-dpdr/

 

Cbegens

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Similar topics merged

 

For me personally, it's like I am constantly looking inward. It's very weird and if you have had it you know what I mean. I'd like to ask if anyone else has experienced this during tapering? Also, I just started having a throbbing/pulsating in the back of my head. It just pounds and pounds.

I would appreciate knowing if others have had experienced these symptoms. Thank you!
 

 

I've experienced both DP and DR since going into withdrawal.  I didn't taper properly, so I didn't get it as part of tapering. For me its been one of my many symptoms and I haven't had it all the time, it comes and goes. It seems to be getting better as I recover although when I'm in a wave DP/DR usually get pretty bad.

 

For me, the DP is like I have lost my sense of self and I'm desperately searching inside for something of my old self that I can recognize.  There are memories of the person I used to be, but its like I'm looking at someone else, there is no emotional recognition or connection, its very frightening.  This loss of a solid sense of self causes me to feel very vulnerable, especially when I go out, I just don't know who I am or how I'm going to behave or what I like or don't like. 

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Today I am on day 35 off mirtazapine. Two weeks ago I had one day with terrible depersonalisation along with anxiety. Today it is more derealization. I watch the tv but it is like I am a jar. I see and hear the tv but it does not come through really. Today is the fist day I really feel low. I am very cranky. Is it just two symptoms occuring today or do they relate to each other? I thought depersonalisation/derealization was more related to anxiety.

The depressive feelings scare me more than the derealization because I am really afraid of going into a deep depression.

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It sure looks permanent to me. Its now 25 months with this non-stop severe symptom and it has not even let up one bit.

 

Im trying not to panic and freak out, but its hard. Im really stuck. I dont know what to do. Please i need reassurance that this will go away :(

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i had it for over 18 months very very bad,it effected my every move ,thought and interaction with people 24/7.I am now nearly drug free and its gone,I overcame it by simply ignoring it and carrying on with whatever i was doing.This helped it lose its power and it slowly very slowly started to subside.

 

I hope this gives you hope,I am sure you can also overcome this as I did  :)

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I had it for about three years, and it was very severe. Many people talk about windows, but aside from the very early days after my drug reaction, I actually had almost no windows at all.  For about three years I had severe withdrawal symptoms of various sorts that almost never let up. 

 

I'd usually though have maybe one or two days in the middle of winter where I had a window of sorts.  That was it, otherwise I'd be in a "wave".

 

So it can be really severe, and long-lasting, but it will go away.

 

Anything you can do to lessen stress that is safe might make it more likely to fade sooner.  I agree with Andy's strategy, don't give it power.  Tell yourself it WILL go away, and come here as much as you need to get reassurance that that is the case.  I've read on boards like this one for years and I don't think I've ever seen a case that was permanent.  The time frame for healing will be different for everyone though, and it's this reality I think that can start to mess with you (it surely did for me, I remember insisting to people I knew around me that I'd never get better, I was convinced I was doomed for those three years. )  But do not lose hope, it WILL go away, even if it does not seem like that right now.

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I have this and have done for 9 months. It's bloody awful and wouldn't wish it on anyone.

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I had it when I had anxiety when I went to the docs....highly stressed. Nothing like this though...totally different and disturbing, feel like I'm living in a cartoon world - nothing seems real or have no connection to anything.

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I had various degrees of derealization the last 3 years. I could go to work but I was all the time afraid of a new episode.

 

There were many meetings after which, returning to my desk I had to stop and lean on the wall to keep my balance. And I was not dizzy, I was just out of the reality. My eyes, my ears were not doing their job properly anymore. Touching the wall helped. It felt real.

 

Higher my Paxil dose, or more abrupt the dose drop ( like dropping from 2.5 to zero), worse the DR. But it was getting better after I stabilized on a lower dose.

 

I cannot even imagine how horrible it is to feel this every day, all the time. This was the worst symptom I had from the pills.

 

Now, 2 months after stopping it is completely gone. Lower I was going with the dose, better it was.

 

I think everybody heals sooner or later, if given enough time. It looks permanent and an eternity when you are in the middle of it, but it will pass.

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Thank you all so much reading through this site as helped me so much today and it as also shed a lot of light on my past history well done very grateful

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I first experienced this witnessing my mother's death, which was too instantaneous to grasp (the death, that is). So I do believe it can occur not only necessarily in the clutches of withdrawal, but during times of severe stress. Afterwards, during actual withdrawal, I began experiencing both DP and DR, and they've been a constant symptom for me since then. I'm inclined to believe that insomnia intensifies this, for me at least.

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I have not read this thread as reading about DP/DR is my #1 trigger. Sorry if I have repeated anything. For me it happened like this:

 

Self-perception ≠ Feelings and actions = DP/DR, leading to a 24/7 partial symptom panic attack, repeat vicious cycle.

 

After I lost my ego, I spent a few years in DP/DR, but once I built something of a personality with a value system and so forth, my symptoms eased off.

 

That was my case. It my be different in SSRI withdrawal, but I can see how long-term SSRI use could foster these incongruences. Everyone is different.

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28 Months with Severe DR/DP and counting............... No let up 24/7

 

Holding On

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28 Months with Severe DR/DP and counting............... No let up 24/7

 

Holding On

 

As corny as it sounds, try embracing it. I know it is hard to embrace nothing, since nothing does not exist, but you get the idea. This book "Overcoming Depersonalizing Disorder: A Mindfulness and Acceptance Guide to Conquering Feelings of Numbness and Unreality", was a great asset to me.

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8292060-overcoming-depersonalization-disorder

 

I can send it to you, if you like.

 

Try starting with simple, "I am statements". Write them down. Who are you? What do you value/what is important to you? What do you want to be? Writing these statements and creating a road-map of sorts helped me to a great degree.

 

Rediscovering a sense of yourself means relearning much of which you thought you knew. I came out a better man from the challenge. I was in DP/DR 24/7 for 3 years. The first "window" I had was when evening struck, and I realized that "evening" has a distinct feeling associated with it. It was beautiful to experience "evening" all over again, and while I can't guarantee it, the odds are on your side that you will experience lost things again as well.

 

Intense psychodynamic-based psychotherapy was essential to my recovery, but it doesn't have to be to yours.

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That a beautiful way to describe it..evening has a certain feel to it. In my ok days since starting to taper, that it exactly how I felt things to be - the wind has a certain feeling to it ( not just the obvious), the scene of an autumn day comes alive with a certain feeling as well. So nice to be able to feel again - I've experienced this to an almost constant extent for 6/7 years now but hang in there Olivia that was whilst I was on ad,s switching doses, stopping, starting so I'm sure it won't be that long for you.

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