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I wasn't sure where exactly to put this one.  I think of depersonalization as being part of the dissociative aspect, but it's also highly anxiety-based and seems to be triggered by trauma reminders.  So I think technically it could go in two other places.

I've started struggling with depersonalization within the past two weeks or so.  The first week I didn't really pay attention to when it happened, other than to note that the first time it was clearly linked to something obvious (though I can't remember what it is now).  The second time it happened that week, I didn't see any noticeable trigger.  This week (yesterday in particular), I had it happen twice.  The first was when I was discussing a client's hospitalization.  It was for physical health reasons, but I imagine it would trigger my hospital and medical trauma regardless.  The second was at a happy hour with work people, which may have been triggered by interpersonal trauma.

So...I'm working on treating the underlying trauma crap.  in the mean time, what can I do to try to stop it from happening? (if anything)  Is this one more thing that falls into the "it's going to happen for now and it sucks" category (like intrusive thoughts and memories)?  Or are there actual things that you can do to prevent it from happening?  I've gotten fairly decent at eventually grounding myself, though it was really hard when I was in the phone call with the client because I couldn't just end the call and try to get a hold of myself in my office. 

Just appreciative of any thoughts or suggestions.

Thanks!

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The thing is - you're sort of on the right track, as far as I know. Like, you can't escape it entirely, because then your world risks just getting smaller and smaller. You can learn to catch it earlier and earlier, and you can ground against it as you catch it. But, until the cause of the dissociation is resolved, that's sort of it.

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Thanks, that makes sense.  So I'll keep with updating my therapist on when it happens and push forward with the trauma stuff so long as it doesn't get too interfering.

wow this stuff is fun.

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I know it sucks. 

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is it about distancing yourself from emotions at all?  I did my exercise on identifying emotions that related to the childhood neglect and now I'm getting swarmed by depersonalization and dissociation. 

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No, quite the opposite actually. That response is to be expected until you learn to accept your emotions and validate them fully which is the opposite to what the abusers did, and why it happens, at least in a lot of cases, and that seems the most likely for you. 

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Do you know what your survival type/mode is? Sounds like there is a freeze component in it somewhere. Usually finding that out and researching it will give you some answers as to how to deal with the common responses it has. 

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Im actually not familiar with the concept.  I know the general fight/freeze/flee idea, but not much past that.  Do you know a good way to look into it?

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I'm a bit of a tie point when it comes to dissociative disorders. I didn't read all of the comments but let me pick out some of the things you said and individually comment.

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 I think of depersonalization as being part of the dissociative aspect, but it's also highly anxiety-based and seems to be triggered by trauma reminders.  So I think technically it could go in two other places.

Most dissociative disorders and/or dissociative symptoms actually stem from traumas, and anxiety surrounding them. Childhood abuse (of any kind) is one major player for DID (and is for me.) But the anxiety surrounding just the thoughts of trauma trigger depersonalisation for me sometimes! 

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So...I'm working on treating the underlying trauma crap. 

Good. Trying to process underlying trauma is always a nice step (though it's not always helpful nor possible. Some people react too heavily to the attempt of processing trauma. Me.)

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In the mean time, what can I do to try to stop it from happening? (if anything)  Is this one more thing that falls into the "it's going to happen for now and it sucks" category (like intrusive thoughts and memories)?  Or are there actual things that you can do to prevent it from happening? 

Therapy does help, but not just simple therapy. Therapy will be about learning to accomplish things like knowing what caused something, knowing what will happen if it happens to trigger you again, and what you can do.

If your symptoms are currently or at the episode caused by anxiety then an anxiolytic may help you calm down. When the anxiety clears it might ease your symptoms (and you don't always correctly notice when anxiety is gone or not, trust me.) Xanax at 3-4mg helps me to calm my thoughts, but that's a pretty high dosage, let me tell you. I had to bump it to 2mg pretty quickly after the first Rx before I noticed sustained anxiolytic effects after the first ten minutes. But don't try to self medicate, though.

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