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Keeping it real in the depersonalisation/derealization hang out thread

(451 Posts)
JeepersMcoy Fri 25-Mar-16 18:33:08

Following a thread in Chat where a few people have said they suffer from depersonalisation and derealization issues I thought it would be nice to move the conversation to somewhere a bit safer and out of the Chat traffic. It has really helped me to just hear that there are other people out there who feel how I feel and I would love to be able to come and share good days and bad days with you all.

Biscuits, cakes and nibble are provided along with a selection of hot and cold, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (all dietary requirement catered for). Pull up a chair and and together we can attempt to hold onto some semblance of reality.

RoomForASmallOne Fri 25-Mar-16 18:54:39

Hey Jeepers
Thank you for starting this thread.
I'm in smile

I'm actually ok today. It's hard to grasp how intense my feelings were only 24 hours ago.
More self protection, my brain 'forgets' how strange it feels.

nodifyoucanhearme Fri 25-Mar-16 18:58:43

Hi Jeepers thanks for the thread. Well done for being brave. Im a little more cautious posting on a thread that stays around - I usually name change regularly. I'll give it a go though. Its been good not to feel alone on bad days.

JeepersMcoy Fri 25-Mar-16 19:15:20

Yay! Hello! grin

It's strange isn't it room how one day you can be an absolute wreck and the next you feel completely different. I find it can be a bit exhausting. Sometimes I'm just not sure what the reasons are for feeling terrible either. There seems like there is no logic to it.

nod I am also a repeated name changer and hop in and out of long running threads depending on how I am feeling. Feel free to name change whenever you like or come and go as you need to. We will all understand smile

nodifyoucanhearme Fri 25-Mar-16 19:15:36

Glad you had a better day RoomForASmallOne.

RoomForASmallOne Fri 25-Mar-16 19:23:47

Logic plays no part most of the time grin

It definitely is exhausting.
Our life (mine and DC) is shaped to accommodate me, so I get a lot of time to myself.
I can nest up for days, if needed.

RomiiStartsAnew Fri 25-Mar-16 20:48:18

Checking in. Thank you for starting this threadflowers. No-one in RL has got what I mean, aside from the therapist I saw for CBT 18 months ago, and last year, my GP when I had a bad episode.

I was wanting to get back to thread on Chat but I need to take care of getting drained and fatigued and I was also focusing on some healing after the last therapy session I mentioned.

I will come back and read properly and post in the morning as I am done for today. But am here too smile

JeepersMcoy Fri 25-Mar-16 21:26:19

Hi Romii <passes the cake>

I'm off to bed soon as well. I'm just exhausted and sort of bruised feeling today. This week has just had far too much going on due to family visits and dd and dh's birthdays. I feel like I have done 10 rounds in a boxing ring and still have to go visit dh's brother and his family Sunday. I can feel myself getting more and more disconnected as the week goes on, it feels like I have one of those really heavy deepsea diving helmets on.

I am actually looking forward to work on Tuesday after a week off. I oddly find being at work easier in a lot of ways.

I think I like the sound of nesting up room smile

Shakey15000 Fri 25-Mar-16 21:35:13

Alien Shakey signing in wink

Shakey15000 Fri 25-Mar-16 21:37:00

What was very weird this week was, having the tail end of a cold, my left ear was completely blocked. So I felt even more disassociated than usual. Most disconcerting. I felt cocooned in my head and ended up ignoring people and not wanting to converse at all confused

moopymoodle Fri 25-Mar-16 21:49:23

Saw this thread and thought I would chime in, I hope nobody minds or finds me patronising.

I suffered anxiety and depersonalisation for a long time. I just wanted to add that eventually I got better. Over the years I learn that depersonalisation is a normal reaction when our mind is in shock or stressed, sometimes even tired. I know it's awful to feel odd and unreal, but it can and does pass. I guess I just wanted to share my story and bring hope. For those who haven't yet checked out claire weekes work or that on the website Anxiety no more I would highly recommend them.

JeepersMcoy Sat 26-Mar-16 07:46:54

Oh that does sound disconcerting shakey. I hope your cold is feeling better today. There seems to be a lot of it around at the moment. Dh suffers with blocked ears and is currently putting warm Olive oil drops in twice a day to try and help clear it. Might be worth a try if you haven't already.

Not patronising at all moopy. Mine is very much tied up with anxiety and I have come to realise it is a protective response I developed in childhood to cope with a dysfunctional home life. The strange thing is I think I have done it so long and so consistantly that I can't really imagine what it would be like to not disassociate. I know it is something I would be better off without, but at the same time it is a comfort blanket and the idea of not having it is scary in its own way.

RomiiStartsAnew Sat 26-Mar-16 07:47:05

Thanks, Jeepers, actually I think some cake would be lovely with my coffee just now - not onto the caffeinated stuff, I am cutting that down. Hello to shakey.

Thanks for sharing moopy; I want to respond as briefly as I can, as I have a tendency to write long posts and overshare smile. I also don't want to turn this into a 'what is derealisation/depersonalisation?' thread - I think that would be better placed elsewhere.

Nonetheless, from my understanding, such as it is, dissociation, of which DR/DP in various forms are part, is a spectrum of issues; DP/DR also co-exist or are triggered by other mental health conditions. That is to say, one person's experience of depersonalisation as a result or cause of anxiety would and could be different from another person who was experiencing dissociation as a result of trauma or abuse, for example. This is not to discount your experience or what you say, just that I personally would be really wary of making generalisations about what DR or DP is for individuals or what causes it.

There is an excellent book by Bessel van der Kolk, who is a psychiatrist working/specialising in trauma since the Vietnam War, called 'The Body Keeps the Score: mind, brain and body in the transformation of trauma', which goes into detail about dissociation in the context of anxiety, fear and panic, but then also dissociation as a result of trauma in a childhood abuse or PTSD context which shows the ways in which it affects the neurology of the brain in a different way from anxiety/fear responses. To respond to your 'normal' comment, van der Bolk does suggest that childhood trauma is by far and away the biggest public health issue unaddressed in mental health circles and society - and of course, childhood trauma is not the only cause of DR/DP - but that kind of 'normal' makes it very difficult for people who are affected to actually live 'normally'. It is great that you have recovered, but I would courteously suggest that your comments are misplaced here, if well-intentioned.

As to the van der Kolk book, it is helpful to me, because it relates childhood and adult trauma to dissociation, and experiences I connect with (although it is hard to read emotionally). I actually set it down just after Christmas, as it was too difficult too read, and looking at it now, I can see why - BUT the second part, which I am almost at, is about recovery, so I will persevere now. I have discussed some of the things in therapy since then, so probably good timing.

RomiiStartsAnew Sat 26-Mar-16 07:51:24

X-post with Jeepers - I feel like a heel now for being negative, moopy, sorry.

JeepersMcoy Sat 26-Mar-16 08:35:41

That was a fascinating post Romii. I would like to read more about it, but like you find it really hard to read about. I shall not the book you mentioned for when I am feeling brave smile

I just downloaded a free Kindle sample of a book called Overcoming depersonalisation and feelings of unreality. I just read the 'about depersonalisation' chapter and it summed me up so perfectly I had to lie down and hyperventilate for a bit.

I then gave it to dh to read. He is amazing and knows I am having CBT for anxiety but I have struggled to really explain what I feel like. I think it will be helpful for him to know a bit about it. Also admitting it to him feels like an important part of admitting to myself I have a real problem. It's scary though confused

BursarsFrogs Sat 26-Mar-16 10:13:36

Hello all. Could I join? I'm a serial name changer as well, but it's nice to hear from others with similar issues. I've had issues with dissociation for a long time, often with depersonalisation. Probably a combination of early trauma, dysfunctional family life and an overactive imagination. I don't really know what to say about it all, but hi!

JeepersMcoy Sat 26-Mar-16 14:34:19

Welcome bursar! Somehow I am not all that surprised that a group of people suffering with depersonalisation might tend toward serial name changing grin

I wanted to share my minor success today. More to do with my anxiety the dpdr issues but it's all basically joined so hope you will humour me. We decided to take dd to the local museum and go to a cafe we know for lunch. Eating out is a major anxiety trigger for me as I have severe IBS and am on a low FODMAP diet which is really restrictive.

I had carefully thought through all the possible issues and where I might get anxious before we left and then turned up at the café to find it was packed and there were no seats. Usually this is just the sort of thing that would send me spinning into melt down, but miracle of miracles, not only did we find another place to eat, but I even managed to choose something from the menu I could eat and ask the waiter for gluten free bread.

I know this all seems pretty small beans, but I have ended up in tears in cafes before because I couldn't choose something to eat and my anxiety was so bad the thought of asking for even a minor alteration to a meal seemed impossible.

After a pretty up and down week (last Saturday was such a disaster I ended up hiding from my perfectly pleasant mil in our bedroom when she came to visit) this feels really positive and has made me think that maybe the CBT is working after all. smile

moopymoodle Sat 26-Mar-16 16:28:46

Romi whiles I understand DP can be triggered by alsorts of issues, I was sharing my experience from the perspective of anxiety. My anxiety was induced by childhood trauma aswell. I'm aware it's not one size fits all, however it doesn't harm to give people hope. A lot of people with depersonalisation are at their wits end, I suffered for nearly ten years and hearing positive stories were what really helped me.

moopymoodle Sat 26-Mar-16 16:38:11

I'd also like to add.. It's a bit harsh to jump on my case! You are in the process of reading one book, I have read thousands and tried all different medications. I've seen recovery right through to the end, with setback after setback. How is you advising I don't post wise? Why are you allowed to advise people from books yet insinuating my post is somehow inaccurate because you don't identify with it?

I wish you all the best with your recovery, but try not to be so defensive and narrow minded just because I suggested there may be a simple way out of suffering. I never said it was easy, I never said it doesn't take practice and sometimes setbacks. But many others can and will identify with DP triggered by the bodies stress response. Even trauma Is caused by major stressor! DP can be caused by drugs, grieving, anxiety, stress, trauma. Each of those are all linked to the bodies nervous system and triggered by thr amygdala. Research it!

JeepersMcoy Sat 26-Mar-16 16:48:58

moopy in her next post Romii did say sorry for being negative about your post. I think we all need to except that everyone has different experiences and this will effect how we think about dp. We also all sometimes have good days and bad days. Sometimes we post things we regret and sometimes posts can come across in a way we didn't mean.

This thread is only 19 posts in. Let's not have fisticuffs quite so soon smile

moopymoodle Sat 26-Mar-16 17:02:43

Sorry guys! I just wanted to give others hope and it's very difficult to do that without seeming like you know it all and patronising.

I don't know it all, I don't know other people's lives or experiences with DP but I do know my own and that of a few friends. Im going to leave the thread now as I don't want to derail it with pettiness. If anybody can resonate with my experience and they would like to talk, feel free to inbox me. I have a bunch of free audios I can link to which are amazing in regards to DP caused by anxiety and stress. smile

RomiiStartsAnew Sat 26-Mar-16 18:58:16

It is okay, I apologise againflowers. This should be a support thread and I am clearly still too raw to judge my posts well. No need to leave moopy, I accept it was my mistake to post.

JeepersMcoy Sat 26-Mar-16 19:25:20

<hands out more biscuits and tea> smile

BursarsFrogs Sat 26-Mar-16 21:14:36

Well done Jeepers, small wins are important. smile

I managed to get through a big grocery shop, which is always really challenging for me. I find the noise and people in supermarkets really disorientating and hard to deal with, but it's done for another week.

JeepersMcoy Sun 27-Mar-16 09:36:37

<swaps biscuits for chocolate eggs>

Happy Easter everyone. I have already eaten too much chocolate and feel a bit sick.

Supermarkets are hellish bursar. Well done for getting the shopping done in one piece. I need to stop putting it off and do mine.

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