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depersonalization disorder


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hey everbody (oh no not him again!!) i was talking to my psychiatrist about how i feel like things are unreal and spacey, she thought it might be depersonalization disorder, which is what i thought i had too. she said therapy would help but i'veb een in therapy since high school and it hasn't got any better. she said it could be anxiety but idk. i just want to feel connected, in the moment. i thought it might be me holding my emotions in but i had a good cry a week ago and it was still there. i figured i'd ask other people how they deal. right now i just try not to focus on it and distract myself but it still gets in the way of me enjoying life

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Have you tried grounding techniques at all? Hold something in your hand (an orange was the example my tdoc gave me) and examine it closely. Take note of its weight and texture in your hand. Smell it. Open it up, smell it again, observe the way the juice beads up out of it. Eat it, but slowly, taking inventory of the actual experience. I'm not sure it's okay to admit this, but when I couldn't get a satisfying feel for it in my hand, I set my orange on my head for a few seconds. I actually had a little taste of the rind; I scraped some off with my fingernail and put it on my tongue. Any mundane object will do. Sometimes I run my hands over the carpet for the same effect. This does help sometimes. I can do a version of it with the people nearby me; paying very close attention not only to what they say, but also their body language, the sound of their voice, etc.

I sometimes find it helpful to try and remember conversations from earlier in the day, or try to recall everything I ate this week. Sometimes simple memory exercises like that can help jog my brain back into proper working mode. In that same vein, sometimes listening to music helps. I am emotionally disconnected, though, so these suggestions come from my personal perspective.

I can certainly relate to you saying the unreal feeling interferes with your quality of life. It damned sure does not make wading through depression any easier or any more interesting, I do know that. Are you close with your friends, or do you date anyone? Maybe you could appeal to them for some emotional support. Hang out more, or try being more affectionate with your partner. Having more good moments with these people might give you something to think about when that depersonalized feeling starts to creep up on you. It might at least give you a feeling of being more connected.

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A lot of anxiety is linked to dissociation, especially depersonalization disorder. You said you've been in therapy for years, and it never worked correct? Well, in my personal opinion I feel that once you actually have a dx, you can begin therapy properly because then, with the dx you know what you're up against and what type of therapy would best suite you because different dx's are treated by different types of therapies (dbt = borderline for example, but not specific for borderlines). I would go back to your doc and talk about the depersonalization dx, and therapy for that certain dx because it might just be what you need.

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Have you tried grounding techniques at all? Hold something in your hand (an orange was the example my tdoc gave me) and examine it closely. Take note of its weight and texture in your hand. Smell it. Open it up, smell it again, observe the way the juice beads up out of it. Eat it, but slowly, taking inventory of the actual experience. I'm not sure it's okay to admit this, but when I couldn't get a satisfying feel for it in my hand, I set my orange on my head for a few seconds. I actually had a little taste of the rind; I scraped some off with my fingernail and put it on my tongue. Any mundane object will do. Sometimes I run my hands over the carpet for the same effect. This does help sometimes. I can do a version of it with the people nearby me; paying very close attention not only to what they say, but also their body language, the sound of their voice, etc.

I sometimes find it helpful to try and remember conversations from earlier in the day, or try to recall everything I ate this week. Sometimes simple memory exercises like that can help jog my brain back into proper working mode. In that same vein, sometimes listening to music helps. I am emotionally disconnected, though, so these suggestions come from my personal perspective.

I can certainly relate to you saying the unreal feeling interferes with your quality of life. It damned sure does not make wading through depression any easier or any more interesting, I do know that. Are you close with your friends, or do you date anyone? Maybe you could appeal to them for some emotional support. Hang out more, or try being more affectionate with your partner. Having more good moments with these people might give you something to think about when that depersonalized feeling starts to creep up on you. It might at least give you a feeling of being more connected.

yeah i've done that. i look at my hand and look at the tiny hairs or something. but it doesn't help. its like a cloud of discomfort encasing me. if that makes sense. i guess i'll have to see what happens when i get back. try therapy again. but man do i hate feeling like this...so detatched and worried constantly!

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I have a history of this, it is one my bodies ways of dealing with too much stress. Maybe you are just having an episode of too much stress right now, still a good reason to see a therapy. My therapist is building in me a greater tolerance for stress through DBT, SO I won't have to check out as much. Grounding yourself with the 5 senses is one of the skills you learn, and I agree it would be too subtle to help with bringing me back from zombieland, If I am tuning out, I usually need something stronger to shake me out of it, like splash ice cold water in my face, hold an ice cube, not good for the make-up but it sometimes worked.

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I have a history of this, it is one my bodies ways of dealing with too much stress. Maybe you are just having an episode of too much stress right now, still a good reason to see a therapy. My therapist is building in me a greater tolerance for stress through DBT, SO I won't have to check out as much. Grounding yourself with the 5 senses is one of the skills you learn, and I agree it would be too subtle to help with bringing me back from zombieland, If I am tuning out, I usually need something stronger to shake me out of it, like splash ice cold water in my face, hold an ice cube, not good for the make-up but it sometimes worked.

yeah but i never "come back" im always feeling this way

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I can relate. In my case, it took finding the proper cocktail of meds, and that took many years. Therapy didn't do jack for it. Mine was really severe though. IIRC major anxiety was the underlying issue, that wasn't being sufficiently treated.

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yeah i've done that. i look at my hand and look at the tiny hairs or something. but it doesn't help. its like a cloud of discomfort encasing me. if that makes sense. i guess i'll have to see what happens when i get back to michigan. try therapy again. but man do i hate feeling like this...so detatched and worried constantly!

It makes sense. I'm no genius expert or anything, but it does sound like anxiety. You say you hate feeling like this. Maybe you could question a little more deeply into that, and find some power in understanding it. What are your personal reasons for hating it? Do you always hate it, or is it sometimes easier to be able to detach more easily? Et cetera. Liveoak also makes an excellent point; proper medication and treatment for the underlying cause will likely do you a power of good. It takes time and experimentation to find a workable combination, but it's worth the investment.

Not to be a downer, but I think there is no silver bullet; what works for me doesn't work for you, and maybe what you find will strike me funny. The sheer individuality of each person's problems and situations are what can make treatment seem basically like a crap shoot. Just keep hacking at it. Ask questions. Try things. Keep talking, most of all. I've found keeping a journal has been instrumental in illuminating some of my personal thought patterns, which has allowed me to begin understanding the mental structures that underlie them. For me, that understanding is the most useful thing to happen to me so far, even better than medication.

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I can relate. In my case, it took finding the proper cocktail of meds, and that took many years. Therapy didn't do jack for it. Mine was really severe though. IIRC major anxiety was the underlying issue, that wasn't being sufficiently treated.

i doubt pills could help that!

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I can relate. In my case, it took finding the proper cocktail of meds, and that took many years. Therapy didn't do jack for it. Mine was really severe though. IIRC major anxiety was the underlying issue, that wasn't being sufficiently treated.

i doubt pills could help that!

Why?

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I can relate. In my case, it took finding the proper cocktail of meds, and that took many years. Therapy didn't do jack for it. Mine was really severe though. IIRC major anxiety was the underlying issue, that wasn't being sufficiently treated.

i doubt pills could help that!

Why?

cause ive been on a LOT

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yeah i've done that. i look at my hand and look at the tiny hairs or something. but it doesn't help. its like a cloud of discomfort encasing me. if that makes sense. i guess i'll have to see what happens when i get back to michigan. try therapy again. but man do i hate feeling like this...so detatched and worried constantly!

It makes sense. I'm no genius expert or anything, but it does sound like anxiety. You say you hate feeling like this. Maybe you could question a little more deeply into that, and find some power in understanding it. What are your personal reasons for hating it? Do you always hate it, or is it sometimes easier to be able to detach more easily? Et cetera. Liveoak also makes an excellent point; proper medication and treatment for the underlying cause will likely do you a power of good. It takes time and experimentation to find a workable combination, but it's worth the investment.

Not to be a downer, but I think there is no silver bullet; what works for me doesn't work for you, and maybe what you find will strike me funny. The sheer individuality of each person's problems and situations are what can make treatment seem basically like a crap shoot. Just keep hacking at it. Ask questions. Try things. Keep talking, most of all. I've found keeping a journal has been instrumental in illuminating some of my personal thought patterns, which has allowed me to begin understanding the mental structures that underlie them. For me, that understanding is the most useful thing to happen to me so far, even better than medication.

when it gets bad is usually when im the most detatched. but the thing is im on vacation...but my mind keeps going "well this or that could happen you never know" its a never ending cycle. i hate it when i see friends being in the moment smiling being happy. especially like, for instance, sports. you have to be in the moment to do good and i just can't do that. always thinking, worrying, analyzing. or if im trying to date and i keep worrying she thinks im annoying or weird. i could give you more reasons i hate it if you want.

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I would thrilled if there were meds out there to do anything for it. My pdoc was the first to tell me that it was my mind shutting down not my body, for years when I had too much stress to handle I would go to sleep for a couple of days after a couple days of numbing myself. I think he sees it as a therapy issue, but for jollys I am going to ask he if he can give me something for it.

hey I don't mean to take away from h3llo's thread, I know how frustrating it is, I lost my last two jobs from this problem, crummy jobs yes, but jobs anyway

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I can relate. In my case, it took finding the proper cocktail of meds, and that took many years. Therapy didn't do jack for it. Mine was really severe though. IIRC major anxiety was the underlying issue, that wasn't being sufficiently treated.

i doubt pills could help that!

Why?

cause ive been on a LOT

a) I just said that meds worked for me, so your response makes no sense.

b) The fact that you've been on "a lot" of meds is no proof of anything.

c) Clearly your anxiety disorder is not under adequate control.

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I can relate. In my case, it took finding the proper cocktail of meds, and that took many years. Therapy didn't do jack for it. Mine was really severe though. IIRC major anxiety was the underlying issue, that wasn't being sufficiently treated.

i doubt pills could help that!

Why?

i could tryy them again...but i don't want to feel drugged up all the time. thats how my ativan makes me feel and why i don't like taking it.

cause ive been on a LOT

a) I just said that meds worked for me, so your response makes no sense.

b) The fact that you've been on "a lot" of meds is no proof of anything.

c) Clearly your anxiety disorder is not under adequate control.

i could try pills again but i don't know if i want to feel drugged like how ativan made me feel.

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So sorry. I totally missed this part:

i could tryy them again...but i don't want to feel drugged up all the time. thats how my ativan makes me feel and why i don't like taking it.

It's interesting that someone with an anxiety disorder would feel drugged by ativan. I wonder about buspar.

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So sorry. I totally missed this part:

i could tryy them again...but i don't want to feel drugged up all the time. thats how my ativan makes me feel and why i don't like taking it.

It's interesting that someone with an anxiety disorder would feel drugged by ativan. I wonder about buspar.

i don't know maybe i'll ask about it. when i mean drugged i mean i feel calmed down. so maybe i don't mean drugged lol.

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I don't know if h3llo was able to get help for this yet, I talked to my pdoc about this and my dissociation and my anxiety, he did not change my rx at all, and suggested I start seeing the therapist more regularly. So that's what I'll do. We are working on memory work and DBT

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