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Author Topic: Derealization- can anyone relate?  (Read 465 times)

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Offline SummerSun41

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Derealization- can anyone relate?
« on: April 23, 2014, 10:59:03 AM »
I've been really struggling with derealization lately. It's the only real symptom I have but it won't go away! I am also not so sure that derealization is what I'm feeling because I have some symptoms that I haven't read about in other's experiences. Some things I have noticed:

- I have a preconceived notion about how I should feel in certain places or situations. For example, I'm currently looking to buy a house within the next year, so I start thinking/worrying, "What if I get so derealizdd in this house that I never feel comfortable or it never feels like home?" And I am extremely picky about the location of houses. If it's somewhere I've never been or that isn't familiar (even within my own town), I don't want to live there. I think I just fear uncomfortable feelings and the new environment.
- My surroundings, for example the house I've grown up in my whole life, my university, etc. feel foreign. Sometimes it feels so new, like it's a new city that I've never been to or something.
- I have some existential anxiety that comes with these feelings. I wonder about the future so much! I worry about whether I'll be able to finish school/have enough motivation, whether I'll be able to handle all the life changes coming my way (marriage, moving, finding a full time job, etc.). Anxiety tricks me into thinking I can't handle these things but I know rationally they're all going to be exciting and not as scary as they seem.
- I also monitor my moods and feelings all the time. I question myself and ask "Is this an appropriate reaction/mood for the current situation?" It usually is but it's overshadowed by my anxiety and questioning! It's a vicious cycle.

Does anyone have these same feelings or symptoms? I know I just need to stay in the moment, but I'm not really sure how. I've also been told to just ignore it and go about my day- which I've been doing, but it still lingers! I'm not sure what to do and I just want to stop overthinking & live in the moment like I used to.
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Offline Lunatone

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 12:06:15 PM »
Dissociative disorders are extremely common in anxiety sufferers. You are far from alone.

The issue is, whoever told you to ignore it was incorrect. That won't make it better. Instead, you need to acknowledge and accept that it's there, that you are feeling that way. Not only that, but you shouldn't worry about having derealization somwhere, like in the house you mentioned. There's an easy trick for this one though:

Assume that you are going to have dissociative problems there. Don't worry about it happening, acknowledge that it will, no matter what. This makes it much easier to handle, since you're prepared. Trying to fight and ignore it or push it away is really the wrong way to go about it. Though distracting yourself right away with something difficult helps reinforce the idea that its just a temporary shift.
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Offline oooyay

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 04:10:22 PM »
I think I've often made the mistake of telling people to ignore depersonalization or derealization as it is happening. I guess my wording previously was incorrect. It's not about necessarily ignoring the symptoms of it, so much as it is actually accepting it as Lunatone put it.

You have to realize that none of these symptoms can actually hurt you, and that you are perfectly healthy and not going "crazy" as some people put it. The absolute worst thing that's ever happened to me whenever I experienced these sorts of symptoms was a panic attack or some really bad anxiety all around. That would always come after either posing some of those existential questions or just trying to question whether everything around me was real or not.

You have to come to terms with it happening and come to the realization that the worst case scenario is panic. Nothing horrible will happen. You won't forget who you are or what your surroundings are. You won't go into psychosis or anything extreme like that. You're perfectly healthy and this is just a common symptom of anxiety. Hell, I didn't think it was a dissociative disorder, but it turns out that it actually is and it's called depersonalization disorder. And guess what the most common trigger for this sort of disorder is? Trauma or panic from an anxiety disorder.

Distractions can help you a lot with DP or DR, and on top of just accepting these feelings you can also divert attention away from it and thereby reinforce that it's only temporary and it can't harm you.
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Offline Dayvid

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 05:16:22 PM »
Hey, firstly i'm sorry you're going through this. I've been there and it's SO tough. But i'm living proof that it's just a symptom and it too will disappear.

It took me around 4 months to feel normal after it hit me. This is quite fast for some people but to others may seem a long time. We all need time to heal.

The only tip i can give you is.. LIVE. Stop waking up every morning and analyzing "do i feel real yet?" "does my door look normal now?" etc etc, you get the point.

I did it for a long time, praying it'd change. But if you look for change you're literally FUELING if the derealization. The less you observe and the more you live, the quicker this symptom will dissipate.

Mine got me REALLY down and had a little depression. It's a tough spot to be in, one i wouldn't wish on any soul. But believe me, you'll get through it. And you'll get through it sooner if you start letting it go.

If you need to message me, please do! I can try help in any way i can. I've been there, i know it's hard.

All the best
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Offline SummerSun41

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 08:31:31 PM »
Thank you all so much. I can't express how much it means to me that others have been there and gotten through it! There are so many times during the day when I feel completely normal, so I'm hoping that means it's on it's way out! In the meantime, I will definitely take your words and put them into action. :sign0092:
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Offline Rainbow

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2014, 07:06:04 AM »
Hi, I'm new to this site

Felt that i needed to join to get some guidance and support. I am 35 years old and have never suffered from anxiety before in my life but due to a series of stresses in my life in the past year i started really suffering from anxious and panicky thoughts about 2 months ago. I also noticed that I was starting to feel different, spaced out, in a dream, which panicked me further.

I started on citalopram for the panic 3 weeks ago and although i do feel calmer, the spaced out feeling or derealisation is still very much with me. I understand that i just have to accept it and carry on living my life but its very hard to do sometimes, i constantly worry that i will feel like this forever and this is the new reality that i will always be faced with.

Anyway I'm hoping to find that there are some people on here who can understand and help get me through xx
 
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Offline Dayvid

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2014, 10:51:41 AM »
Hi Rainbow!

Yes, i've been through it, and yes it's VERY scary. But i'm here 2 years on and I feel myself again. It took a few months to move passed it and stop obsessing. The obsessing fuels it. Live your life and forget it's there. Read a book, visit friends, watch TV. Just immerse yourself in something. It may only distract you for a short time, but it's that release that will let your body rest and stop obsessing. Eventually, ignoring it WILL become a habit.

I still feel my DP/DR from time to time. But now it just makes me laugh.. i know, crazy right!? But it does, because i KNOW what it is and i KNOW it ain't gonna hurt me. It's a matter of moving passed that moment and getting on with my day to day life.. and it's become easy. And it will for you too. This isn't forever.

Like i said before, anyone who wants to message me, please feel free!!
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Offline Rainbow

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2014, 11:03:02 AM »
Thank you for your reply, i really appreciate it.

Can you tell me, do you think that you always have DR/DP and just get better at dealing with it so therefore don't notice it or do you think it actually does go away completely?

I'm wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, it is truly scary but you have made me feel positive so thank you. I may message you sometime if thats okay.
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Offline Dayvid

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2014, 08:59:52 PM »
That's perfectly fine Rainbow! Message me whenever you like.

And no, i don't always have DP/DR. It has gone, but i just feel it hit me sometimes. It goes way in a swift moment because it really doesn't bother me anymore. I get on with my life and ignore it. Then i'm back to being me :)

You'll get through it. You just need to stop checking, observing and wondering if it's gone. It won't go like that. Live your life, and try your best to forget it's there. It's then that it will go.

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Offline emmiesuz

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 06:38:52 PM »
YEs....I can relate.  100%.  I have anxiety, OCD and depression.  I've always know I depersonalize, but never knew it was a disorder all its own.  Not sure why my doc hasnt addressed it.....maybe in the medications, treating the other things, he assumes it will be addressed?
Anyway, Yes, I wake up in the morning and think "Am I here today? Am I real today?  Am I connected to myself today?" It feels like I am wasting life by feeling this way.  Never really experiencing.

But I agree with these other posts.....Knowing it will pass.  And knowing we are not crazy!  Easy for me to say, considering an hour ago I was ready to commit myself to a hospital, poured calming tea, burned sage and found this site :)

But maybe we just have to do what other members have said....know it will be there, but its how we react to it.
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Offline Rainbow

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2014, 07:26:46 AM »
Hi Emmiesuz, i'm new to this site too and am finding it really helpful.

I'm have a bad day today, feeling my vision is really bad but i can't pinpoint what is wrong with it...it seems blurry, too strong, and just odd all at the same time. I can see long distance too clearly but finding it hard to focus on my computer screen.  I can tell my anxiety levels are high as I had a panic attack yesterday and have felt worse since :(

How long have you had issues with derealisation/anxiety etc? Do you feel derealisation 24/7 or does it come and go?

xx
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Offline emmiesuz

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Re: Derealization- can anyone relate?
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2014, 08:50:01 AM »
Hi Rainbow,
I'm sorry you are feeling badly today.  Can you talk to a therapist about this?
I have felt this on and off since I was in high school....I'm 42.  Sometimes I will have a whole day feeling hazy, sometimes I will feel it acutely for 30 seconds at random times during the day.  Lately, for the past year, its been an overall haze of it all day every day with momentary glimpses of my true self.  awful.
Emily
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