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Author Topic: Worst derealisation ever  (Read 351 times)

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Offline Gomubukai

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Worst derealisation ever
« on: January 31, 2014, 07:52:35 PM »
Hey everyone

I had a really stressful day yesterday. Like, I was so stressed I thought I was going to throw up. The past couple of weeks have been quite a bit more stressful than usual as well.

Because of this I haven't been eating as well as I normally do - or really looking after myself like normal.

Yesterday after what I was worried about was over I started to get some of the worst derealisation I've ever had. I was walking through the city feeling completely disconnected, slightly dizzy and feeling like the floor was moving. The top of my scalp was also very tense and felt a bit strange.

I woke up this morning and the derealisation doesn't seem to have gone away. I looked at the people in my house and they looked strangely alien. I looked at my cat and thought. 'Are you really my cat?' Then I looked in the mirror and thought. 'That's you. It has to be, because that's a mirror'

Does anyone know how long this could last? It feels really, REALLY horrible... Like I don't really exist.

I'm also still having problems with my memory. It feels like I'm losing my mind or have early Alzheimer's (I'm 26). Does this even sound possible??

Some input would be very welcome.
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2014, 08:20:18 PM »
Stop being afraid of alzheimer's at 26 and go see psychiatrist. Maybe you need antidepressants.
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Offline corwin

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2014, 08:48:32 PM »
derealization is indeed a very unsettling symptom, but please know that it's completely harmless. when your brain is overwhelmed with stress, it sort of "shuts down" so that it can take a break and detach itself from the current stress going on around you. that explains why we feel disconnected from the world when we get this. i had derealization for months at a time once because i kept obsessing over it, consequently adding more stress onto my plate and prolonging the unreal sensation.

the best thing to do with derealization is to just let it run its course. i know it's very difficult when it feels so scary. there's nothing worse than not feeling like yourself, not feeling "there." but give it time, and it will pass, i promise. this is a very common symptom with chronic stress and anxiety so you're definitely not alone in feeling this. if you think of it as your brain's defense mechanism to keep you safe, then it takes a little bit of the fear out of it. knowing that is what pulled me out of the derealization and feeling like myself again, and i know you'll pull yourself out of it as well.
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Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2014, 09:41:52 PM »
Thank you corwin - knowing it may last for months is not ideal but at least I know why it's still hanging around after the crazy couple of weeks I've just had.

I Know logically I shouldn't expect my body to repair itself overnight when it took it a while to get so agitated but you're right. Unsettling is a really good word for it.

 It really is quite a horrifying feeling.
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Offline corwin

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2014, 11:13:08 PM »
the good thing is that the only reason mine lasted for a few months was solely because i was so obsessed with it and wouldn't let myself calm down. i can guarantee if i'd just accepted the sensation and went about my daily life, it would have cleared up much faster. it was only once i learned what derealization actually is - a harmless condition built into our psyche to come out when it needs to - that i was able to accept it and move past it.

one thing that surprisingly really helped - and i know this sounds crazy - was to try and be "grateful" for the derealization, to sort of thank my body for trying to protect me from stress. it took a while to really get into that mindset since i hated the detached sensation so much, but eventually i sort of accepted it as my brain's defense mechanism and nothing more, and that's when i started getting better. :)
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Offline sally1959

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2014, 11:52:04 PM »
I totally relate to everything you've just said--even the part about Alzheimer's! I'm 20. It's so funny to hear of someone else experiencing the exact symptoms I experienced, but it makes me feel less alone. Mine lasted for weeks as well. I second what corwin said, I accepted it and even tried to enjoy it and it eventually went away on it's own.

Now the only time it happens is when I'm having a full blown panic attack, but that's better than ruminating in it for hours like I used to.
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Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2014, 01:40:31 AM »
@corwin. Strangely enough what you said about thanking the body for looking after you makes perfect sense! Ill try to see it like that for a while and see how I go :)

@sally. Thanks for responding! I think besides the feeling of being some character in a movie the memory problems are the most scary part of this. I ordered a coffee the other day. Followed a guy to the coffee shop next door and then by the time we went back to the coffee shop Id completely forgotten I ordered it. It was scary. Even typing it down again now makes me feel a bit anxious and my heart has picked up a bit.

Do you guys think memory issues like that could be part of the derealisation? Like my brain is kind of running on auto or something rather than a real memory problem?
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Offline sally1959

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2014, 02:06:21 AM »
I get the memory problems too! I just posted about this the other day (it was my first post actually). I made coffee three times in one day because I would forget that I made it, then it'd get cold. I then walked across the street to the store and just bought a cup of coffee. When I got home I thought, "I should make coffee." While the coffee was still in hand. I was having a really bad day.

I've had loads of similar incidents with memory since I developed an anxiety disorder. I used to think it was so serious that it couldn't possibly be anything but a brain tumor or something similar. Now that I don't stress about it as much, my memory is improving. Although I'm not 100% better, I used to live everyday wondering what it all meant, now I have more good days than bad.
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Offline Gomubukai

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2014, 02:45:11 AM »
Thanks Sally! Just knowing someone else knows what I'm going through does give me some peace of mind. :)
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Offline Sunlover

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2014, 08:55:32 AM »
Although my derealization only lasts a few minutes (I walked back into the women's locker room after my workout and all of a sudden the place looked strange, for a few seconds I couldn't even remember which locker I used!) My daughter (who is 26 like you) will have it last for a LONG time, weeks.   I think when younger (like maybe you?) it scares you more, but when you've been dealing with anxiety symptoms for 45 years or more you kind of get to "know" them and the momentary freak out doesn't cause MORE freaking out wondering "what is going on here!"  My first derealization happened when I was about 8, so I'm an old pro :bigsmile:
When I complain to my daughter about my memory and start blaming it on menopause she says, "I'm the same way and it's not menopause!"
There's a lot of us out there, take heart it does get better.
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Offline corwin

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2014, 07:44:31 PM »
the "running on auto" feeling is definitely connected to derealization. that's actually a very accurate way of putting it, since it does feel like you're sort of just awkwardly cruising through your day like a robot. when i was going through derealization i had a hard time remembering anything short-term since my brain felt so clouded and distracted. i think it's your brain's way of telling you, "hey, i have too much on my plate right now and i'm trying to calm you down, so stop trying to make me remember a bunch of things, i'm tired!" still completely harmless though!
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Offline RCB127

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2014, 08:47:59 PM »
Sounds just like what happens to me some days. It's bizarre to say the least. Like you start to wonder about your existence. I'm 23 and forget what I did 15 minutes ago. I feel embarrassed because my boss will ask me to do something and I forget almost immediately what she asked me to do. So she thinks I'm an idiot and I always misplace things and can't remember where I put them. Anxiety really screws with your brain in odd ways. I'm worried that when I do get old my brain will be mush. Some days I just feel like I'm on auto pilot and cruising through the day and don't even feel attached to myself. If I am distracted doing something that really requires my attention or if I just stop obsessing about it it usually goes away and I feel "normal" again whatever that means these days lol.
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Offline BeeDot

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Re: Worst derealisation ever
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 11:08:10 PM »
Definitely have had all these feelings.  The funny thing is, I've been getting them for most of my life, but always thought it was a really cool feeling until one time in college I got them and for some reason it freaked me out.  The longest time I had was for about a month.  I eventually overcame it by accepting the feelings.  For example, I used to feel really weird about sitting in my car (I really don't know how to explain why that was frightening).  Usually, I would fight against the feelings and try to keep them at bay.  It wasn't until I just let myself sink into the feeling that I got rid of it.  It was almost like proving to myself that the feelings wouldn't kill me or make me go crazy.  I guess kind of like when someone you love dies and if you push the feeling of grief down and don't deal with them, it will surface later. 

What we resist, persists: )

Hope you get to feeling better soon!
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For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe.  -Author Unknown

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