Depersonalization Disorder

by Mark Ivar Myhre on July 22, 2011

I don’t usually google the topic of what I’m writing about, but in this case, I did want to look up the termdepersonalization disorder’ just to make sure we’re talking about the same thing.

Yep.  I’ve had that.  Not as severe as some people, I’m sure, but still, enough to know what it feels like.  It’s when you’re not connected to yourself.  You’re not grounded, and you’re not even in your body, it seems.

It’s like your life is a movie, and you’re just watching it, rather than actually being in it.

What would cause it?  Just what you’d expect.  Pain and trauma bad enough, severe enough, to make you want to ‘check out’.  I can’t handle what’s happening to me – it’s too intense – so I’m going to ‘mentally leave’ my body and my reality and step back, so to speak.

I separate from the person I am.

When you look at it from afar, it’s a wonderful defense mechanism of survival.  It allows you to live – to survive.  It’s your freedom.  That’s the good news.

The bad news – your freedom becomes your prison. When you get stuck in depersonalization, your world becomes smaller and smaller.  Just like so many other prisons that started out as liberators.



So figuring out depersonalization disorder is easy.  The question is, what do you do about it?  How do you end it?  How do you get back to yourself?  I guess the first thing involves actually knowing and believing you can.  “I created this, and I can create it differently.”

The problem is, at the moment you can’t change it.  That’s the paradox.  The reason why you can’t change it is because when you experience depersonalization, you’re cut off from the power it takes to change.

You need a certain amount of power to change. That’s always true.  But when you’re separated from yourself, you’re also separated from your power.  This happens in many different scenarios, not just depersonalization disorder.  You can’t change because you’re not in touch with enough of your power.

It’s like the astronaut who has to go outside the space station and is only connected by some sort of tether.  You’re floating out in space and you can’t get any stability.  Can you get a sense it?  You’re hanging by a thread.  It’s not a good place to be.

But it can change.  You can change.  You just gotta get back in the mother ship.  Or in your case, you need to get back into yourself.  But how do you do that, when you lack the power it takes?

The first way I would try is by processing – writing out my thoughts and feelings as much as I could.  Because the more you can get in touch with your thoughts and feelings, the more grounded and the more powerful you’ll be.  So that’s always the first step.

But what if I’m already doing that, and it doesn’t seem to help much?

Then I’d work on letting that mother ship pull me back in.  Cause I’m kinda helpless out here.  I can’t do it by ordinary means and methods.  I’m floating out in space.  Instead, I’m going to have to have some help.  I’m going to have to let some other part of me help me.



It sounds crazy to many, when I start talking about this.  But you just can’t force your way back.  In a certain sense, you need to let yourself be pulled back.  Which means you won’t be able to control the situation.  You have to surrender.  That’s the scary, crazy part.

Here’s exactly what I would do if I were suffering from depersonalization disorder today:

First, get a sense of the situation.  I am floating in space, but there is a tether that’s keeping me alive.  Without the tether I would die.  But I’m alive; therefore I do have this tether.  I’m not going to just float away and die. You see?  Just the fact that I’m alive means I am tethered.  And if I am tethered, then I can get back inside myself.

So all is not lost.

The problem is there’s nothing for me to grab hold of and pull myself back in.  Even if I grab the tether and start pulling, it just means I’ll be pulling more and more rope out of the mother ship.  I don’t get any closer for my efforts.

I can’t do this alone.

But then, I didn’t get into this mess alone.  I didn’t volunteer to be traumatized so bad that my only option was to leave my own self.  Did I?  Well, yes and no.  There’s so much more to you than meets the eye.  There’s so many other parts of your consciousness.

Some have less access to resources, and some have more access to resources than you do.  As an example, you have a soul who thinks and feels and has much more access to energies that are unimaginable to us here on earth.  You have a soul who’s willing and able to help you right now.  And you have other parts as well.



Whatever trauma happened to cause you to separate from yourself – it was part of a bigger plan. Not you the conscious part reading these words – that part of you did not create this mess.  But a bigger part of you did.  Why?  Hell if I know.  Go ask ’em yourself someday, once you get out of this mess.

But I’ve got a sense of why I created my own trauma, and I suspect your reasons may not be so different than mine.  To grow, to stretch, to reach beyond. To show your resolve.  To learn about love and forgiveness.  Reasons like this.  I know it’s hard to understand right now.

The point is, the ‘totality’ of you got you into this mess, and the totality of you can get you out. Now of course, you were a participant.  You’re not a victim of your higher consciousness.  The main point I want to make here is that you have help.  This isn’t about blaming some other part of you for creating this.

Because you had to agree to this space mission in the first place.  I’m sure of that.  When you agreed, you were probably feeling a little more powerful, to understate it.  “I’m going down to earth, and I’m gonna triumph!  I’ll show ’em how it’s done.”  Or whatever you were thinking.

But we get amnesia when we come down here and we forget our mission.  It’s like one minute you’re sleeping, and the next minute you’re thrown into the deep end of a dark pool. Instead of triumphing, you’re just fighting to stay alive.  Funny how that works.

It gets a little scary down here, I know.  It feels like the only way to even survive in this world is by controlling as much as you can.  But when you’re out on that tether, you can’t control anything.  That’s the dilemma.

If it were me, I’d work on trying to feel that tether.  Feel it in my heart.  Like a gentle tug.  Pulling me into – what?  I don’t know.  It’s unknown.  Pulling me back into myself.  That’s what’s really happening.

It’s a challenge to surrender and just let yourself be pulled into the ‘unknown’.  You don’t know what will happen and you don’t know where you’ll end up.  The urge to control will try to stop you from surrendering to that tug that’s going on in your heart right now.

Maybe that’s your challenge – learning how to trust yourself enough.  Letting go of the control just enough so you can feel that gentle tug that wants to pull you back home.  If it were me, I’d spend some quiet time alone to get in touch with that tether.  Not to grab it and yank myself back inside my self.  But to let myself be gently pulled.

I’d always be working on trying to get in touch with that gentle tug in my heart, and surrendering to it. That gentle tug is your tether.

Then when this whole depersonalization disorder is cleared up, I can start healing the trauma that caused it in the first place.

That’s what I’d do.  And you know what else I’d do?  Processing.  Lots of processing.  Writing out my thoughts and feelings as a way to get in touch with my thoughts and feelings.  Because if you can do that, it will also help pull you back into yourself.

all the best,

Mark

Mark Ivar Myhre
The Emotional Healing Coach
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{ 31 comments }

Marilu July 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

Mark, you just described a big part of what I am feeling. I was prescriped an anti-depressant for 7 years which I stopped taking over two years ago. I have discovered that many people, like me, go through a horrible recovery from having taken these drugs. Depersonalization is just ONE of the symptoms we deal with.

I was just glad to read your explanation of it, as it explained so much and I will try what you suggested to help myself deal with it.

Thank you!

Mark Ivar Myhre July 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

Hi Marilu

and thanks for your comments. I’d forgotten about how depersonalization is a big part of the antidepressant withdrawal.

Red July 22, 2011 at 10:28 am

There is a saying that god (whatever THAT is) never gives you anything more than you can handle…B/S!!!! Then why do people kill themselves? It’s to end the excruciating pain of what they perceive they can no longer handle. I’m sure what you are talking about is a crucial precursor to suicide. Someone has to be seriously disconnected from themselves to go there.
Now we can argue and philosophise, till the cows come home, over how and why they get to that place and what can be done to change where they are, but the reality of that situation is that unless something really deep inside themselves is able to get through the muck and reach out to, they will succeed in doing the deed. Occasionally, this is a surprise to family, friends and co-workers, because they hide, so very well, what they’re going through. The face they show to the world is merely a facade, a mask so adept, even their eyes don’t reveal the true state of their suffering soul.
Ultimately, one’s survival mechanism, their “tether”, HAS to kick in to be saved. If that mechanism is weak, or non-existent, then a life is lost.
Life is beautiful, it’s every day living that sucks, is my personal motto. No matter how lousy I’m feeling, no matter what kind of crap I’m going through, to me, life is so beautiful I couldn’t even seriously consider suicide, but that’s me.
If someone is somehow led to the information at this website, that means deep down they really want to live and thrive. It may be just understanding that others have thought and felt the same way, at one time or another, can be enough to set a person on the path to mental and spiritual verdure.
Mark, your work is important if unsung, just keep doing what you’re doing, and I thank you for it.

Shirl July 22, 2011 at 10:53 am

Hi Mark, I have had years of depersonalisation!! I call it “Unreality” because if feels like you are sort of unreal, not there, on another planet, in a zombie state, disconnected……… Very very frightening. Especially when nobody in the family understands what you are going through. I know its an anxiety issue, like one of the many anxiety symptoms really. In fact its probably my main one. I had to read up all about it and fix it into my head that I wasnt going to lose the plot or kill someone, or die, or anything else come to that. And once that was fixed in my mind, I could them make small steps in going about my dad as best as I could without monitoring myself all the time. Not easy, not easy at all. I have had it often over the years though thankfully I am NOT troubled with it at the moment.
Here is a website that helped me through it. There is an article all about DP/Unreality. The site is: http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk

Thanks
Shirl

Amy July 22, 2011 at 12:50 pm

Hi Mark.

Been there before stumbling across your website years ago and still today depersonalization is never that far away from me. I could slip into that mode easily but I find that instead of writing, I look at pictures – any pictures. It seems to help me cope, meditate, or processing (or escape from reality (??)). My friend calls this (what I do) “Self- Actualization” — I don’t know what she means by that exactly.

But I know you’ve nailed it.

Amy

Will July 24, 2011 at 4:52 am

Mark…I think we have to find the power that you talk about and one of these is that we still have, at whatever level, the power to make choices. If I am suffering from this depersenalisation, making our own choices and sticking to thme can connect us with our own power. Example. I was out with friends but had decided not to drink that day for various reasons. I was asked what I was going to drink – and asked for a soft drink. I did not get a good response..in fact it was rude. But I knew it was right for me. Yes it was a bit painful as it would have been easier to say ‘beer’ and been accepted rather than be me and be mocked and then felt crap again, once for drinking and twice for having gone against the decision I made for me. I think when we become depersonalized, doing this becomes scary as we are going against what we so much want. But want in the wrong way! Who was looking after my best interests there? It is the right road…as long as I am clear with myself for the reasons for the decisions I make and that they serve the authentic me, and not out of some egotistical or point-scoring game!!

Will

Nirvana August 23, 2011 at 3:57 am

Hi, I never knew of this disorder. I guess that’s what I’d say I’ve been going through this past year, and it’s been strange to me. I have always been known to be so amazingly outgoing and a risk taker, spontaneous and have a smile on my face always. This past year though, I have been through some crazy out of this world things. I know I got myself here, and I told my mom today that today was the first time in a long time I didn’t feel I had to stay in my room – in my ‘wall’. It’s a state of mind I had been trying to get myself out of, I tried drugs and anti depressants, they temporarily helped, but then I wanted to get off because I knew it wasn’t real. Then it got worse. I could barely go to work, I didn’t want to talk to anyone and all my thoughts were filled with negative destructive feelings. I couldn’t see anything positive. I made major changes, thinking to move closer to my family that I would be okay. It was worse because I changed countries and now I really felt disconnected. A new country before was an awesome challenge and now it was an excuse to build a higher wall. I tried to work for charity to maybe help others to help myself. At one point in the day I started bawling, I couldn’t stop crying, and that had happened a lot to me too – if someone directed a question right at me, I couldn’t handle the attention and I’d tear and choke up. I had rather wanted to be away in a corner unseen somewhere.

One of the clients tried to comfort me and just smiled at me and said “you have to help what’s in here first” [and pointed to his heart]. That almost killed me because I felt he could see right through me. It’s true you have to help yourself. I tried listening to the life coach Anthony Robbins, and although everything he says is true, you have to want to be part of this change. He talks about this being a state of mind, and it is. It’s not sadness, and it’s more than depression. I was thankful he had a free first session, as you have figured out, I want to help myself but at other times I couldn’t find the strength – sleeping for days on end. Every day or so, I would youtube and google for hours. For me, it turned out music was the most helpful. Interestingly I found this website while searching for the lyrics for the Pink Floyd song ‘Comfortably Numb’. Many say it’s about drugs, to me it’s about this thing called ‘depersonalization’. Today is a new day for me, I hope I never see the black ‘low’ I went through, it’s an internal hell and you punish yourself every step of the way. I can see the light there and I want touch it sooner than later.

Kevin Herrington August 30, 2011 at 3:08 pm

I am in deepest throws of depersonalization and your blog’s description is rather accurate. About 8 years ago I had a sever traumatic brain injury. A lot of weirdity has been going on between my ears since then – seizures, memory issues, extreme tiredness and a progressive, pervasive dissociation from your world. It’s like I’m on another frequency but can interact on this plane. Like being in a dream but unlike a dream where we just begin operating on odd and impossible situations without questioning, I am awake and stuck in this dream and can’t wake up. Like sleep paralysis but I’m not paralyzed. I have become so separated that I have no friends whereas I used to be extremely gregarious. I became such a stranger to my wife that she ended up having an affair which I just found out about two weeks ago. I never yelled or cussed or even cried. We are trying to work it out and are in counseling but they still don’t seem to grasp where I am. She is one of those people that fit in the category of “the last person I ever thought would cheat” but given what I have become I can’t fully blame her although I want to. I have been suicidal for more than 6 months and have toned that down to merely wanting to cut my face and body badly. It’s something I am trying to get thru but not sure I can. Strangely I am 46 male and otherwise seemingly normal and quite intelligent despite the brain injury. I am just about out done and have no idea why I am writing this.

Mark Ivar Myhre August 31, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Maybe you wrote it to get it out of you.

Which is always a good thing.

one eye September 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Is it a personal disorder or a social. Have we been taught through propaganda that we must be a certain way or act a certain way, have certain things so that we can fill a false since of reality. None of this Shit is real. Things don’t define us, but society does define us through our things. The machine we have created, credit, economy, social status, are all a stigma or slavery we have willingly given ourselves to. Now this machine wants more from us. We over exert, underbudget, and over leverage. Of course you feel absent, your living a dream of false idiotic stigma. Fuck reality, I will substitute my own. I will not be put into a box of “dis-order”.

Rob October 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I don’t know if this is what I have. I see a lot of people talking about how they are afraid because of this feeling or that it is scary, demoralizing, etc. This isn’t how I feel though. I have all these symptoms and just today found out that there is a word for this issue but on top of these I don’t even have the capacity to feel afraid or worried about this perception. I’m just watching my life in virtual reality and it doesn’t seem to be congruent with the human experience. The only problem is that I don’t care or even experience any emotion over this because it’s not “me” who’s experiencing this but rather it’s this conglomeration of tissue that is experiencing this abnormal existence. I’m not entirely sure what to do about this, you couldn’t be more right about this issue being paradoxical. What I need to accomplish is exactly what I need in order to get started, and even if I somehow could get it, I wouldn’t care to start because I’m so indifferent about this existence. I don’t want to kill myself because I don’t care too, I don’t care if I keep living, I don’t care if I get run over or killed tomorrow. The only thing connecting me to this world are physical stimuli such as pain, hunger, etc. nothing else. So if i’m going to die tomorrow, hopefully it just doesn’t hurt. To be honest, I feel like a mirror image of the character, Mersault, in Albert Camus’ book, The Stranger. I’m sure a lot of people on here could understand his situation.

Joshua Deione November 6, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Rob, I have the exact same thing to a certain extent… I don’t want to commit suicide because i believe their is a future for me or something idk.. it feels like it’s not my time and something out their is waiting for me, although I do have thoughts of suicide and it were better being dead. I also get really emotional over the smallest things idk why… small fights make me really sad for a reason that i cannot figure out.
But i experience everything that you guys are talking about. I have friends and all that… i experience life but it kinda seems like im just going threw the motions and not really living and experiencing it tot he full extent. Also when i look around i kinda feel out like detached from life or a scenario or something… it feels like im watching life not living in it. Also when i try remembering something that i just did like 20 seconds ago it feels like so faint and like fuzzy… like i can see the image in my head but its just like so faint and far away, as if like i did something went to sleep and tried to remember what i did kinda if that makes any sense at all. I’m really desperate for help and im glad i found this website where i can share my thoughts or ideas with somebody… i haven’t told anyone because i feel ashamed of it, idk why. Sometims when im watching something like tv or anything in that matter… ill just sort of think really deeply and ill go into this zone or mode or something.. like ill tunnel vision and like idk i think is this really real or is this just a fake dream ill wake up from? and i start to get a panic attack and ill just tell myself its all real because idk ive lived it before..its the worse feeling in the world. Also it may sound pretty weird but like i would stare at myself in the mirror and it feels like there’s 2 different people.. like there’s like my body and then theres like my inside like me.. idk it feels really bazzar. I think the only thing keeping me sane and from going crazy is knowing that i’ve lived all of this before and that i can still like feal pain, hungry and be tired and all those normal functions… but its kinda weird because i dont feel love for my parents or family members like… i know i have to love them because their my family but like when i really think of it theres no feeling inside for them like idk its really weird.. i know i care for them but theres just no feeling inside to like feel… but anyways a site like this where people experience the same thing is really comforting. Thank you.

Shelby November 21, 2011 at 1:17 am

My father committed suicide a year and a half ago and i have been experiencing depersonalization as my way to deal with my dad’s death and I hate it and dont understand why i cant come to terms with his death. This is the worst feeling ever and I do not wish it upon anyone. I am only 18 and feel i should be enjoying life and I’m not. I am a controlling person and it is weird because depersonalization makes you feel like you dont have control over yourself so this just causes anxiety for me. I have tried many anti depressants and have talked to many different counselors and nothing seems to work. I dont know how i still have any hope. I enjoyed reading this though and it makes me feel like there really is hope out there somewhere.

Shirl November 22, 2011 at 10:23 am

Shelby, What happened to your dad must have been a massive shock. Anyone would have problems coming to terms with such a death and you are only 18 years old when all said and done. There is no wonder you cant come to terms with it. I lost my dad 18 months ago (On Fathers Day here in the UK) but at least he was an old man and ill and his time had come. Very sad. But very different to your situation.

I have had years of depersonalisation so you are not alone and I know just how it is and how it feels.

Go to http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk as I have mentioned above, and he writes there about DP.

The thing is NOT to fight it. Forget counsellors (Where the DP is concerned) and anti-depressants and looking for a cure. DP is the same as all other anxiety symptoms, the more you focus on it and try to get rid of it or fight it, the longer it will last. Look at anxiety/DP as a bully. Now what does a bully do when he knows he has upset you? Of course, he comes back to upset you and annoy you even more. The same with anxiety/DP. The more you get wound up and irritated with it and try to push it away and get rid of it, the more it will come back!

So as difficult as it is, you have to live with it and accept it and not fight it. You can accept it by reading about DP at the above mentioned website. Paul David who wrote the site, explains DP very well and it will take a lot of the fear out of it for you. I know how hard it is to accept such a thing and I know how frightening it is, do I ever, but once I found out what it was, and that I wasnt going mad or anything, I was able to “Ride along with it” with less fear and tension.

So dont feed this condition by sitting there worrying about it and trying to push it away etc. Its nothing serious and cant harm you and you are not going mad.

You can get over this Shelby. It may take time but you can do it. And keep the Counselling sessions to deal with your dads death, if thats what you want to do.

Take Care

Lydia November 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Wow. All I can say is wow. Its amazing how well you grasp the concept without suffering from it yourself as well. Thank you for your excellent insight. It often feels like im the only one dealing with this , none of my friends understand what it is and how scary it can be ..your words have brought me a new sense of ease. Thank you

Serin November 29, 2011 at 9:19 pm

I’ve had this condition for such a long time and I didn’t even know what it was until tonight, I just kind of ignored it, I thought it was a phase and that it would go away by itself. My friends are amazing but none of them have ever felt the way i’m feeling, which made me feel a little worse. People would just tell me to ‘get over it’ as if it were just that easy. After finding out the name of this condition I decided to read into it futher, this article is beautifully written and it made me feel much less alone and that I can actually get through this and start my life afresh. Thank you 🙂

Paul December 16, 2011 at 7:24 am

Wow, again. So nice to hear others talk about there expereinces with DP. I have been suffering with what I think is DP for nearly 8 yrs now and its awful as you may all know. Doctors are useless, friends and family have know idea of what I’m talking about which makes you feel isolated and so alone and in a constant daze! I find these symptoms kick in around 12-1pm everyday and I feel myself going into a zombie, hazy, low mood, lost, out of it kind of state. Its so frustrating. I did quite a bit of reacreationl drugs in my earlier days which I can only presume thats what started all of this. I am recently married and feel so for my wife havinf to put up with my constant mood swings and downers due to what I think must be DP. I would welcome any advice or comments from anyone and wish you all the best of luck in overcoming this awful daily out of body state. I feel like I have lost the last 8 yrs of my life and only dream of how I use to be before these feelings started. Feeling unreal is also a helpful book by daphne simeon and Jeffrey Abugel. Merry christmas to you all and keep fighting.

Paul

Bella December 25, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I have the same thing but to me its exactly feels like this: my seeing is fuzzy, im not thinking at all, just say. yes like im watchign myself. and also like i can do anything. it also feels liek im looking at a movie attached with background audio sounds.(people talking) it feels like im not controlling myself and this started 3 days ago, the first day i fraked out, and was trying all sorts of things to get me back to reality. 🙁 i wish it would go. i feel empty when it comes. then it eventually goes. and sometimes its really sad liek when special things happen because its like im not there to actually fully enjoy and experience it. 🙁

Paul December 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

I know excatly where your coming from Bella when you comment on feeling really sad when special things happen to you! I got married this summer on was so worried about the wedding day for ages as knew I would feel out of it and fuzzy again and not be able to appreciate how nice the day was abroad, its horrible. I so wish it would go away as have felt like this for nearly 8 years now and cant enjoy my life as I used too.
Does anyone know of any decent or effective cures for these feelings as well as DP sufferers? doctors are hopless as they dont want to listen.!

All the best

Samantha Harris January 3, 2012 at 1:01 am

I was reading a study on PTSD, trying to figure out where I could even start healing, when I saw a mention for Depersonalization disorder. My world is so small right now I can’t even fit in it. I spend all my time alone and push my friends to the backburner. I’m one of the least emotional people you could meet and I almost cried at reading this. Thank you for putting this so succinctly. I am going to restart journalling every night and try to let my heart get tugged back in. Thank you so so much. I know how to heal now.

Mark Ivar Myhre January 3, 2012 at 7:53 am

Glad I could help!

Marie.. January 6, 2012 at 8:11 am

Its a very lonely place. It hurts inside and out. Its easy to hide… But not from yourself. I empathize with anyone who suffers with this disorder, and empathy, I believe, has a lot to do with it. Try to find happiness in the little things.

Jay January 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I realized that others had this condition a couple of days ago. This was actually a real relief for me because as many other i thought that i was the only one who had DP and thought that one day that i would lose my sanity. however, today was a good day it kinda feels like part of the “fog” is actually leaving. i am trying to stay hopeful and continue to remind myself that this will soon pass. i been dealing with this for about 10 years now. does any feel like a little tremor when this sit in place for a while or while lying down sleeping?

coco January 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

i just realized that what i have been feeling for the past few days has a name, depersonalization disorder. most of you say that you do not feel happy..ohh no i am happy, i feel happy all the time these days, my life finally went back to normal, but then again i do not feel it. i feel like i am living a dream, a happy dream and that sometimes i am going to wake up and realize that i was only a dream.something happened like 5 months ago, something bad, something i would have never expected to happen, like the kind that can change your life forever, and after that bad things kept on happening and i guess this whole depersonalization disorder started when i was trying to stop myself from being/feeling depressed. bad things kept on happening and i kept telling myself, don’t feel sad, you are strong, you can bear anything, even if the worse happens you will be able to rise again…you know that kind of stuff, and it did help me stop form feeing sad about my situation. All my friends were all surprised by how i was handling my situation..because i am usually a very sensitive person, a crier..all the time( well i used to be that like 6 monhts ago, i am no longer like that)…and i honestly though that i was becoming stronger..more mature…and now that good things are happening, and i am back to my life, and i am feeling happy again….now this happens..i feel like it is a dream ..i feel like i am dreaming and that one day i am gonna find myself back to my misery…and i know i won’t because i know it is real but i can’t help myself but feel like i am in a dream….HOW CAN I GET BACK TO MYSELF, HOW CAN I STOP MYSELF FROM FEELING LIKE THIS..BECAUSE I CAN’T FEEL LIKE THIS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE., AM TOO YOUNG FOR THAT AND I DON’T WANNA FALL INTO THE WHOLE “YOU CAN PASS THROUGH IT” BECAUSE I AM GONNA END UP HERE AGAIN IF I TRY IGNORE THIS FELING. I DON’T MIND FEELING MISERABLE IF THAT WOULD HELP ME GET BACK TO MYSELF….

D February 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

People calm down. You probably don’t have anything except maybe an existential crisis. Depersonalization Disorder is when you feel literally, physically, disconnected from your self, your movements, your body, your actions. What you’re doing is you’re taking it to mean something metaphorical, which isn’t the same as the actual Disorder. Even derealization wouldn’t diagnose what you’re feeling. I feel the same way as you guys/gals, trust me; but to take this phenomenology, your existential nausea, and label it Depersonalization Disorder, is invalid. The real problem, I think, lies in the communication between a plethora of smaller-scaled issues, that culminates into a feeling of being totally lost. Furthermore, to reify it such that it becomes a singular concrete thing in the center of your mind, indivisible, is to distract you from the many real possibilities for improvement. I think that’s a sad loss–no, I know it is, because I chased the psychiatric diagnostic dragon in circles til I realized there was so much more to this than some DSM-IV name. Obviously, this was only directed to those of you who aren’t intermittently baffled as to whose arm that is and what happened to the time, if you catch my drift.

Cristi March 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I guess I get what you’re saying. Labels don’t heal, they are not medicine, and they are certainly not an identity! But they are a tool, a pathway, a beginning for those of us who have been unwilling, unable, or afraid to know ourselves and to know others. It gives us a place to start, to say, ‘yes, I am totally like this!’ or ”i am somewhat like this’ or ‘I am really nothing like this.’. The point is not the diagnosis, but the journey the association with this FEELING, the meaning of this word, takes us on toward healing! Toward feeling ANYTHING (perhaps other than fear!–for me anyway). Many of us have real trouble connecting with any feeling, which connects us with others…..and then wham! Suddenly a few of us seem to understand this feeling, and feel excited and hopeful that anyone shares in anything we
feel, and that we have a feeling we can relate to in others!!! When I read my
post it sounds self centered, and some could take it that way. It may even
be true, but for many of us, we don’t want it to be true but we don’t
understand how to change that and connect and maintain real connections
with others, and I think that is because for many of us we don’t even know
who we are, for somewhere along the way we internalized that we were
nothing to those who were most important to us. Where do you start from nothing, when you feel like nothing, and maybe when you wanted to be nothing because it protected you?! So in that sense, identifying with this word, with this feeling is a real breakthrough. I hope and pray it begins a journey toward help and healing for all who need it!

Murad February 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

I think of inspiration,
Yours, mine.
I smell ash and barely
glowing embers
hear the pissing hiss
of rain,
It’s early morning and
this lens (my mind)
renders everything
Distant.
Out of focus, background
I have no sub conscious
I am aware of every thought.
People talk in echoes
around me
like we’re waiting
in some vast station hall
for departed trains.
These conversations are
arranged clumsily
one upon the other
until they become
graceful, logical
I don’t know how.
The hand
at the end of my arm
has lines on its palm
which predict nothing
but fists from the past.
I wonder then
whether the world
takes my silence for acquiescence
only to realise
that it never needed
my permission

Cristi March 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I just heard the term ‘depersonalization’ yesterday…and just understood for the first time that is how I have been for as long as I can remember…and I don’t know really where it began. I know my father scared me with a violent temper, and have only understood in the past 5 years he could be an autistic type (the temper was due to his inability to cope with the smallest problems). My mother was herself depersonalized (she grew up with an alcoholic father). I do remember sexual abuse from a teenage neighbor…damaging and demeaning relationships in high school, a similar first marriage, and being terrified about my own autonomy (since I graduated high school) especially after I separated from my first husband. I joined the army at 27. I went to college for years…I really didn’t know who I even was or where to start, what I wanted, if I even deserved anything. I changed majors 6 times. I almost finished. But at 31 I met my current husband and just wanted a LIFE, a real life, whatever that was, with my then 7 year old son. The best I could figure was that started with a real family, a happy family, the one I never really had….my disinterested, angry, anxious father, busy disinterested, exhausted mother, abusive older brother, and a very troubled younger brother (now living far away and on
drugs). I have an amazing husband, intuitive, thoughtful, intelligent, and very caring. It is safe to feel things for him, and I do. It is safe to feel things for my kids, and I do. But I remain anxious and mostly terrified of most everybody else! A part of me wants to ‘join the rest of the world’ but I never really feel a part of it…it’s like a merry go round spinning too fast and I can’t seem to jump on, don’t know how. I do make what I feel are efforts to connect with others…but I am rarely able to sustain. And don’t WANT to sustain…as the obligation makes me very anxious, trapped, without options. I need to know I have an escape route! I need to know I can get away. Despite a happy relationship with my immediate family (husband & kids) I feel detached from everyone else. My mother and father, my brothers, my in laws, my one close friend. I have also become very codependent on my husband in many ways. I feel better about doing things when he is with me. Safer. Less alone. Usually when I go out or to my kids school I do feel very anxious and alone. Since I got married, and my personal life and home life feel more settled and safe, my depression worsened…not a sad sort of depression, but an emptiness….not knowing who I am or what I want…why I need to wake up except to get the kids to school. An unknowing of myself. I go back to bed, usually (3-4 times a week) after getting the kids to school. I just feel so overwhelmed and anxious about the day in general…what I will do. I don’t want to do anything. Just sleep. Just be alone. Just dream. It sounds weird but I felt in a crisis until I joined Facebook a couple years ago. I filled out all the information, the interests, the education. At first it was really kind of hard. Then after I got it all on a profile I looked at who I was and I cried. I looked beautiful in my profile picture. I had accomplished a lot. I was interesting. I had real depth. It’s like I was just seeing this for the first time! There’s who I am! That’s her! I know her! I like her! Why was this so hard for me to visualize before? The Facebook also is serving another purpose. It gave me a tether to grab on to, but it has also helped me feel connected again at a safe distance, one I am comfortable with for now. I don’t feel so out in space with nothing to grab on to! I get affirmation from others about my feelings and thoughts…a way to gauge my grasp of reality. It’s a start so don’t laugh!! I have also learned that an occasional ( a VERY occasional) percocet or xanax helps a lot when I am so worked up (anxious) usually about a social situation/obligation. It just helps me to stop the negative thoughts and relax and be in the moment ( oddly it doesn’t make me feel detached but more real?!?! Does anyone get that?!) sending happy thoughts to all of you. Reading of your struggles has helped me, and I’m hoping mine helps you <3

Cristi March 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Part II …my main thought is, that while the Facebook created a window, a mirror where I could see and understand myself, and others’ reactions to me, I know that is no real destination, that I need to grow beyond that. About a year after the time I joined Facebook, I also joined the church my husband and I began to attend a year earlier ( I made myself for the children’s sake ). But I would go and leave and rarely interact. It was excruciating…interacting and also NOT interacting. It made me more aware I felt alone and disconnected. Finally 6 months ago I ran into a very distant cousin who supervised the preschool program. She asked if we could take one class a month during one service. Terrifying but I said yes. OMG I cannot tell you how anxious this made me! But I am starting to cope better. I still only know my cousin by name. I don’t know anyone else. But… The children! I am starting to get to know them. They are beautiful. They are honest. They are a handful and…they are healing. I feel my tether shortening for the first time since I can remember…but of course, I make my husband come with me! Lol!

G. D. Swer March 26, 2012 at 11:34 pm

wow…. it was nice reading about your story… i guess we all share alot f things in common… i dont know if this would help you, but whenever i get anxious and agitated and frightened, i start gardening; i do ask someone to assist me, anybody who is patient and calm… i think it helped get my mind off a few of the anxieties i had…. maybe you should try it 🙂

G. D. Swer March 26, 2012 at 8:23 am

wow, i cnt believe im not the only one suffering from this thing…. here goes my story..
I turned 16 last month n iv been suffering from a bunch of these related ‘disorders’ from the time i was 11… it didnt bother me much till the episodes started lasting for more than an hour everyday…. i was freaked out and i remember crying everyday when i looked around me; everyone seemed to go on with life without having a clue of what was happening inside me.. Yes, i did have suicidal thoughts then and consulted a no. of docs… about a year after that, it somehow disappeared by itself without me doing anything about it. however, it was when i had a second, much more severe attack of this in january 2011 that i just could not take it anymore… i somehow dnt remember much of the past year.. bt i do remember the horrid feeling of that deadening numbness; i remember once i just sat in the middle of our school’s football field, staring at the ground n touching and poking it! i cudnt sense anything! the day after that, i made an appointment with a psychiatrist n found out that i suffered from derealization and depersonalization. when i went for a check up in 2008, my parents told me that there was nothing wrong and that whatever i felt was natural . but last year, i knew that these episodes which went on continuously for weeks were too painful to be natural.. anyway, iv been on meds sinse may 2011 and i dont really know whether im feeling better…. but finding this website was lyk a relief to me bcoz now i know that im not the only one (not that i want everyone to suffer this way!) n im so glad that i can understand what all of us have been through… we CAN help each other i guess; i think it would be of great comfort to all of us if we support and help each other 🙂
ALL THE BEST PEOPLE, we have beautiful lives waiting for us on the other side! 🙂
id be glad if i could help any of you in any way i can, though im not any better off than any of you in this! 🙂

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