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I feel like the world isn't real

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Posted · Report post

I've started thinking this a little over 4 years ago. It went away about 3 years ago and it's starting to come back. I'm really scared and I just wanted to post it.

It's a thought process, not dissocation. When I get like this, I actually think the world isn't real, it's not like I just feel disconnected. My doctors never understand me when I tell them this. They always put down dissociation and I don't know how to get them to understand. Obviously I'm still thinking clearly enough to know I'm starting to have messed up thoughts.

I think the world will cease to exist when I die, because it never did exist anyway. I feel like everyone I know is just a hallucination or something. Why do I feel like this?

This is such a terrifying feeling.

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Posted · Report post

I've sort of had such feelings, but I knew they weren't true and were demonstrably not true. But I will pose a question to you that Einstein posed when trying to debunk quantum mechanics:

Is the moon really there when you are not looking at it?

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Posted · Report post

That does sound disconcerting. And frustrating that the doctors misunderstand.

My best recommendation is to not let the anxiety over the feelings start to run away. Perhaps doing some activities that take your mind off the issue like walking, running or bicycling be might helpful. Deep breathing exercises while clearing the mind are important to me.

Hope you feel better soon. a.m.

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Posted · Report post

Sorry to hear about that. It sounds very disconcerting when you believe that the world is not real. However, you ARE in reality. The environment will interact with you [i.e. if you drop something, it will fall], you can feel sensations, and people will act towards you in unpredictable ways [which means that they are not controlled by your mind, but rather have free will in terms of responses]. Anyways, I'll try not to get too philosophical here.

Perhaps if you described your experiences as being akin to the movie The Matrix, then your doctors may start to understand.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I've started thinking this

It's a thought process, not dissocation.

My doctors never understand me when I tell them this. They always put down dissociation and I don't know how to get them to understand.

How about if, when talking to your docs, you change the wording a little bit. Instead of say "I'm thinking" this, try "I am believing" this. "I am believing the world is not real. I am believing the world will cease to exist when I die." etc If you use the word belief, I don't see how the doctor could conclude you are dissociating

Edited by y58

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Posted · Report post

I am curious, would this be considered a delusion? I seem to have a hard time putting my finger on precisely what one "looks like."

But I like y58's suggestion. Because if you just tell him you feel the way you explained it here, well, there are religious concepts very similar to what you are describing. But I don't think in your case that is what is going on, so telling the pdoc that this is not a philosophical question, but a genuine belief, is a good idea.

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Posted · Report post

It sounds like Solipsism to me, I used to ponder the same thought off and on. I can't sum it up very well myself so I've grabbed a quote from Wiki.

"Solipsism is a philosophical position that nothing outside one's own mind can be known to exist, or, sometimes, the position that nothing outside one's own mind does exist. Solipsism syndrome is, by extension, the overwhelming feeling that nothing is real, that all is a dream. Sufferers become lonely and detached from the world and eventually become completely indifferent.[3] Some people claim to have suffered from Solipsism Syndrome[4] but it is not currently recognized as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association.[5]"

It's weird, but once I came across the definition (by accident), I could never take the thought seriously again. Taking a step back, I reckon it fits in with feelings of grandiose, since it's basically saying the whole universe is here just for you, or is your own creation (albeit in your mind). Depending how deeply you believe it, it could become dissociative.

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Posted · Report post

I was once convinced that the world wasn't real and that I was the only person who existed. I was psychotic at the time. These kind of thoughts are dangerous; I almost killed myself because of them. Be careful.

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Posted · Report post

Thank you. I went to my psychiatrist today. She called it a psychotic symptom, especially since I'm having paranoia at the same time. I was very suicidal when I first had these thoughts a few years ago and I just don't want it to get to that again.

My husband always tells me to mention the Matrix to the dr.'s. lol, guess it's not a bad idea. I like the idea of changing "thinking" to "believing" as well.

I've heard of solipsism but I forgot about it. That's something to think about.

Thank you for all the ideas. I'll look back on this thread several times I'm sure.

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Posted · Report post

I like the idea of changing "thinking" to "believing" as well.

I am another who thinks this is a good idea. That way you can get across the intensity of the feeling. 'Thinking' sounds more like a passing thought that you may not pay much attention to, whereas 'believing' sounds a lot more concrete. At least to me anyway.

But, as many others have said here, this world is the real world.

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Posted · Report post

I feel exactly the same way, have the same thoughts. I'm only 16 and it is very scary, especially as sometimes i get so entangled in my thoughts that i can't study or concentrate, and thus it scares me that I'll ruin my future (as I am studying). However one thing that has helped me, one of my teachers who knows about this said 'even if this isn't real, when you dream don't you wish to not have nightmares? well its similar. Even if this isn't real, if this is some sort of 'dream' or anything, make it a good one.'

That's helped my thoughts at times, hopefully it will help you.

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Posted · Report post

Camzzystar, if you are feeling the same way Dusk is, please reread Dusk's last post. She (sorry, Dusk, I *think* you are female) said her pdoc said it was a symptom of psychosis. That doesn't mean you are psychotic, but you seem very troubled by this. You need to see someone about it, to either treat a psychosis (if you have one), or to help you overcome this scary feeling, however your doctor or tdoc suggests.

Are you seeing a tdoc or pdoc?

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Posted · Report post

Well, I have been to CAMS which is a child and adolescent mental health service in the UK, but they don't help much it's more myself, I mean I love life but its just a scary thought I guess to think I've just made this up or that it's not real. I'm sure it will all be okay..

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Posted · Report post

crtclms, I am female, thanks :)

camzzystar, you're right, it is scary. I've gotten on a new medicine that's helped me a lot with this. I hope you're able to overcome it, too.

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Posted · Report post

I went through some similar things when I was much younger. They were existential crises. This was long before I had any mental problems. I was just an outside the box thinker. I was able to convince myself in a manner that was beneficial to my psyche.

I convinced myself that my thoughts that reality was not real is probably the result of the fact that we have this BRAIN thing in between the real world, and what we experience. Brains aren't perfect after all. You know?

Imagine, for example, if you viewed the world only through a TV screen. A lot of things are in between your eyes and the real world in that case. That sure wouldn't feel very real.

I wish I could draw a picture. I'm more of a picture person. Brains are fun to draw.

Anyways, you are not alone with the unusual thinking. :D

Hope you and your doc can ameliorate the problem, but don't fret too much in the meantime.

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Posted · Report post

I went through some similar things when I was much younger. They were existential crises. This was long before I had any mental problems. I was just an outside the box thinker. I was able to convince myself in a manner that was beneficial to my psyche.

I convinced myself that my thoughts that reality was not real is probably the result of the fact that we have this BRAIN thing in between the real world, and what we experience. Brains aren't perfect after all. You know?

Imagine, for example, if you viewed the world only through a TV screen. A lot of things are in between your eyes and the real world in that case. That sure wouldn't feel very real.

I wish I could draw a picture. I'm more of a picture person. Brains are fun to draw.

Anyways, you are not alone with the unusual thinking. :D

Hope you and your doc can ameliorate the problem, but don't fret too much in the meantime.

Squid, I once watched a movie called "What the bleep do we know?" and it explained how our brains only capture a part of the reality. The movie gathered knowledge from people from different areas: religion, quantum physics, etc.

It mentioned when native indians saw the ships, they didn´t see them. Why? because they had never seen something like that before. Their eyes saw the ships, but their brain told them it wasn´t true. Maybe we actually see and perceive a lot of things, but we rather discard it, because it is something new to us, or is not accepted by our modern society?

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Posted · Report post

Sounds awesome. Our brains certainly do glaze over a lot of the world.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Hey! I just came across this and found it very interesting and helpful, just to know someone else believes their world isn't real. I've been suffering from this since I was 13. I am now 21. Although I am okay now compared to before, here and there I have to force myself to believe in reality and knowing that I can still do that gives me hope that one day I will be okay permanently. My biggest fear is that I won't ever be able to get into reality and just stay stuck with this make-believe feeling. It's the worst because no matter what people do to try an help it doesn't feel real so nothing can really help you WHEN IN THAT STATE OF MIND. :unsure: I believe this feeling comes from anxiety, trauma, and waaaayyyyyyyy too much thinking. My anxiety pills have helped and cutting thoughts off almost immediately have also helped. Also knowing other people go through this also gives me this full-filled feeling of hope.! Here's a little something I wrote about it:

My mind wanders into a place where it is not welcome, where it doesn't belong!

At times I am not sure if I am in the real world or stuck in my own thoughts again.

I've been there before and refuse to go back, but the more I fight the weaker I become.

Will it overcome me one day?

I don't want to stay stuck in a world I think is made up.

Can they tell when i'm in that world?

And how do I stop myself from getting there?

Am I there now and don't know it?

How will I ever know?

Is this all apart of a world I made up or is it real? I'm I playing a part of a play my mind endlessly writes or is this what "Life" is?

ONLY WHEN I DIE WILL I WAKE UP...

I like this because it describes all of the feelings you can get when you feel that way! But of course I always say "It's not what you feel it's what you KNOW.! And that too has also helped me.! :)

Edited by ninibella

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