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Derealization Vision


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#1 Zee Deveel

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 05:40 AM

I was reading a post on a forum where someone else tries to describe what their vision looks like and I found it interesting as it's the first account I've read which I really relate to.

"When I look at the world around me, my keyboard, my TV, my monitor, my room, the road, cars, ANYTHING, its like I am very VERY detached from it, everything looks really surreal, like I have had 3 triple vodkas! the Stand by light on my TV is fuzzy, well its not blurred, its just like, ODD, so hard to describe, but it is like I am LESS CONSCIOUS, or in a dream, or not living my own reality"

It's difficult to describe to people who don't have DR what it's like. What he says about how the world seems fuzzy and almost like it's blurred except it's definitely not blurred, you can see perfectly but it just doesn't look how it should is spot on I think.

'Fuzzy' is definitely one of the best terms I've found to describe how the world looks. Some others would be "shimmering", "etherial", "dream like", "static across vision", "hazy".

I'd be interested to hear how some of you describe it. It would be really useful for me because I have a tendancy to start to tell myself I don't have DR, that I'm the only one who feels this way.. I'm fucked etc .. Ironically I'm sure I'm not the only one who tells myself I'm the only one lol. Please share though. :)

#2 pancake

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 06:49 AM

Ironically I'm sure I'm not the only one who tells myself I'm the only one lol. Please share though. :)


I can go one better on that:
  • Mine comes and goes, so everytime I get a bit of normalcy I either stop thinking about DP at all (like some Doctor Who style perception filter where I don't lose my memory but I just don't think about it - can't think about it)or
  • alternatively I start thinking that I made my DP/DR up and I am just some neurotic fuck actually WANTING to have this (but don't really).
Bollocks I know, but hey it is fun in here.

I'll try and think of a description although since I've read Swimming inside the sun I am trying to cut down on the constant re-describing (the author describes his DP/DR so well it is uncanny). It is like eventhough someone else described what is going on with me to a T I still get the urge to rephrase it, like I am hoping if I get the description right in my own words the DP/DR will go POOF! and never be seen again.

#3 Zee Deveel

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 08:28 AM

I'll try and think of a description although since I've read Swimming inside the sun I am trying to cut down on the constant re-describing (the author describes his DP/DR so well it is uncanny). It is like eventhough someone else described what is going on with me to a T I still get the urge to rephrase it, like I am hoping if I get the description right in my own words the DP/DR will go POOF! and never be seen again.

Yeah I hear what you're saying, but for me half the battle is convincing myself that I actually have DR and that this is all just down to anxiety. If I truly believed this 100% then I'd be well on my way to recovery. So trying to describe the sensations so I can compare to other people's experiences is something I find very helpful.

#4 BlueTank

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 10:43 AM

When it first happened I kept saying "Tunnel Vision". I like "Fish Bowl" Its like my head is inside of a fish bowl that is distorting the edges of my vision. Or like those diving suits with the big head gear.


Also you know 90's soap operas with all the blur/glare around the edges, and how things are all glowy. Like that. Sorry to make that comparison, but one day i realized it was kind of like that.

The thing about this for me is the difference between perception and the physical. An Opthamalogist said i'm all fine. And I have 20/20 vision. And I can make out details. So a lot of the "tunnel vision" is sort of perceptual. All the effects I get including after images, noise(sometimes), light sensitivity, glare etc.. all make it like i'm on another planet. It makes it hard for me to cope even though I can read ok or whatever.

#5 pancake

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 11:26 AM

DR sort of reminds me of those "find the difference" pictures on the funny pages. You can't immediately tell what is off but something is definitely different. Something is not right. It tends to be subte. Most of the time there is just something disconcerting I can't quite put my finger on. Just an inkling.

Sometimes DR feels like I am having one of those dreams where you wake up, brush your teeth and go to work (with or without trousers on). I keep on looking up from my desk expecting it all to dissolve into my bedroom, waiting for the alarm clock to wake me for real.

When I was at my worst I got a lot of visual snow. It was like the world was a tv set not quite tuned in. I'd half expect the heavens to open up any minute.

I guess when I get bad it is the DP that gets more pronounced. In general my DR is quite low level unless I am having myself a breakdown (I use that term loosely. While my private life atrophies I retain limited functionality at work. Enough to scrape by).

That said, over the years my vision has gone awry in various different ways:

* limited colour vision (everything looked like an episode of Cold Case.. low sat)
* flickering lights like in a migraine aura
* visual snow
* objects appear closer or further away
* objects (or people) appear taller or shorter than usual
* dolly zoom type affair where stationary object appear to come closer then further away then closer again. Sort of vibrating
* lollipop heads. Everybody's heads appeared enlarged
* tunnel vision (often felt like I had a narrow visor on as a kid)
* sometimes everything seems in sharp relief, like a cardboard cut out

NOTE: I don't have binocular vision and therefore do not and have never seen in 3D.

Hope that made any sense : -)

BTW, BlueTank - friggin love that jet pack!

#6 Zee Deveel

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:11 PM

It worries me when people say things like: "You can't immediately tell what is off but something is definitely different." because that's not the way I'd describe what I see at all.

However maybe it's just because we're unique individuals experiencing similar symptoms subjectively and so describe things differently.

I've heard lots of people with DR talk about how things just look "wrong" or "not real" but you can't really workout what.

To me everything looks fine in a sense that I can see it perfectly and I know nothing is wrong with it, only with me. Objects just appear to kinda shimmer and look like they lack solidity somewhat.

When I hear incongruencies between my experiences and other people's, the doubts creep back in: "It's not DR, you don't have what these people have, their descriptions don't fit, it's brain damage blah blah blah" etc

You guys think I'm just analyzing too much and looking for flaws rather than accepting the most obvious explanation?

#7 Guest_tinyfairypeople_*

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:17 PM

I have vision issues too. Mine are in the sense that my vision is 2 dimensional all of the time. It's flat, dull, and lifeless. I get these moments of clear sight sometimes and I swear that it's like seeing heaven. Everything is 3d and it's actually real. Colors, depths of shadows, contrasts are INSANE. Everything is just so beautiful that I end up crying most of the time. Sometimes it gets so hard to remember life and why it was so worth living, then these moments hit where I see everything normally again and I remember how beautiful life really is.

#8 BlueTank

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Posted 21 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

DR sort of reminds me of those "find the difference" pictures on the funny pages. You can't immediately tell what is off but something is definitely different. Something is not right. It tends to be subte. Most of the time there is just something disconcerting I can't quite put my finger on. Just an inkling.

Sometimes DR feels like I am having one of those dreams where you wake up, brush your teeth and go to work (with or without trousers on). I keep on looking up from my desk expecting it all to dissolve into my bedroom, waiting for the alarm clock to wake me for real.

When I was at my worst I got a lot of visual snow. It was like the world was a tv set not quite tuned in. I'd half expect the heavens to open up any minute.

I guess when I get bad it is the DP that gets more pronounced. In general my DR is quite low level unless I am having myself a breakdown (I use that term loosely. While my private life atrophies I retain limited functionality at work. Enough to scrape by).

That said, over the years my vision has gone awry in various different ways:

* limited colour vision (everything looked like an episode of Cold Case.. low sat)
* flickering lights like in a migraine aura
* visual snow
* objects appear closer or further away
* objects (or people) appear taller or shorter than usual
* dolly zoom type affair where stationary object appear to come closer then further away then closer again. Sort of vibrating
* lollipop heads. Everybody's heads appeared enlarged
* tunnel vision (often felt like I had a narrow visor on as a kid)
* sometimes everything seems in sharp relief, like a cardboard cut out

NOTE: I don't have binocular vision and therefore do not and have never seen in 3D.

Hope that made any sense : -)

BTW, BlueTank - friggin love that jet pack!



Yeah I get a lot of that stuff! My brother says he has bad visual snow. I've heard "like i'm wearing a VR headset" which is really good. Life is through a Virtual Reality headset. I don't know if his was chronic or not though.

One of the worst times for me when I was freaking out I got virtigo and so much visual noise it looked like it was raining. It was not, but there was like lines coming down (hard to explain).
I get the sharp relief at times too. Vertigo works with this. Its like foreground and background cut outs that seem to move apart.

Does anybody get double vision on stuff that is far away?

#9 kaitlyn_b

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 03:39 PM

My vision is very distorted. It seems that someone laid a sheer black veil over my head. I see black spots in my vision sometimes and I just feel like I am stuck in a weird dream. I can look at something beautiful and feel absolutely no emotion…..which sucks. I have a very hard time planning now because when I try to imagine my future plans (even if its in 4 hours) My mind gets hazy and tired. The best way I have described it to my tdoc is “agoraphobia of the brain” Like my brain is scared to wake up, or feel anything. It’s not yet trusting…even to me.

#10 pancake

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 07:21 AM

You guys think I'm just analyzing too much and looking for flaws rather than accepting the most obvious explanation?


I think so. Comes with the territory ;)

Visual stuff is ever fluctuating with me and while most the time it is just that sneaking feeling that something is off here I have had quite distinct visual distortions in the past too. If you look at what people are seeing here I do believe it to be highly individual and even on that level things can fluctuate over time.
If you look at some of the core visual symptoms quite a few of them are even at odds with each other: Things can't be in sharp relief and blurred at the same time but both are part of what you can expect to see courtesy of DP. Just not at the same time I guess ;)

If you haven't yet get checked for migraine aura - because a lot of the visual stuff does bear resemblance to that and many people get the auras without the migraine.

#11 megaroniandcheese

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Posted 24 June 2010 - 10:42 AM

hard to explain, but i'll do my best.

at my best: surreal dream-like sensation. everything seems foreign to me, other people appear alien. rays of light, from like a street light or something, appear larger than normal. lights seem to flicker, i would compare it to what it's like coming up on extacsy.

at my worst: i get "floaters" which is like a black dot that shows up in your peripherals. it makes you feel like there is a bug or something flying by. if i'm having intense anxiety, my vision becomes pretty useless. for example my phone has the light up numbers and i was trying to use it but could only make out a glowing object in my hand and couldn't see any numbers at all. oversensitivity to light and some of that visual snow jazz but usually only if it's dark.

#12 heathrob

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 07:51 PM

I've definitely had a dissociative disorder for 4 years now.

It started when i graduated high school and started questioning reality. It happened all at once. 6 days after graduating i woke up with a severe headache, lightheadedness, dreamlike state with muscle aches. I had no energy. My vision was skewed. This continued at this severity for 4 months.

It cleared up when i was constantly smoking pot one summer. My vision became incredibly focused, i almost felt real.

Now i'm off pot.

The vision i can describe as such:
Blurry
Dreamlike
Disconnected from body
Disconnected from environment
Mind can only focus on one thing at a time, can't see the big picture (important)
Permanent narrowed (tunnel) vision

I'm not necessarily anxious, when i slow down things seem to connect as one whole and sharpen. I get these very briefly, almost like a grace of sanity.
When i rub neck/head, things become sharper and more connected.

I think its important to remember how you would see something before you had the derealization, helps distinguish between times you have it worse than usual, what makes it better/worse

Even though i don't let it ruin my life, i'm desperate to get this problem fixed. Its my number one priority.




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