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#13 Findmywayhome

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Posted 05 December 2020 - 10:52 AM

I remember trying to find the terms to describe the transition I had undergone at age 17.  I finally hit upon "I lost my sense of self".  I remembered thinking it
was something of a big deal to be able to describe my symptoms in this manner.  I had never heard dissociation discussed in anyway in the early 1970s 
I would discover it is one thing to be able to define a problem and quite another to address it.


Hmm interesting. Looking back do you think that was an accurate description of what you were going through? If so when did you get your sense of self back?

#14 lost235

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 05:18 PM

Have you found any way at all to deal with this? I used to think DP wasn’t as bad as DR but it sucks, I’m honestly desperate for some tips at this point, can’t seem to find any.This is exactly how I feel. Do you notice anything that helps?

#15 forestx5

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 03:59 PM

Sorry to be so long in replying as I lost touch with this thread. In answer to how I coped with loss of self at age 17, with no help from anyone?

Well, I guess you could say I still had half a self.  I had lost positive emotions but I could still feel pain.  I underwent an episode of major depression.

It was really rough.  I lost 30 lbs and had terrible insomnia and anxiety.  I was in full survival mode.  I just held on until my symptoms subsided

enough to allow me to have some hope for the future.



#16 Findmywayhome

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 05:32 PM

Have you found any way at all to deal with this? I used to think DP wasn’t as bad as DR but it sucks, I’m honestly desperate for some tips at this point, can’t seem to find any.This is exactly how I feel. Do you notice anything that helps?

Hey lost.

 

The only thing I can say somewhat alleviates the feeling of nonexistence is spontaneity. What I mean is, try to lose yourself in the present as much as you can. For me, this primarily consists of talking with my friends, playing video games, going on my phone, listening to music, etc. For some reason talking to or even being in the mere presence of my parents makes my DP so much worse, I haven't figured out why, I wonder if you can relate?

 

I know you didn't ask for this, but I am kind of intrigued by the reason why I think my advice works at least for me. I think that before DP, one isn't hyper aware or even aware at all of their existence. They don't perceive themselves as a distinct entity operating a person that interacts with the physical world. Rather, without DP, one is only aware of the experience of reality itself; they are not aware that they are a person experiencing it. So, to have spontaneity, means to only be aware of the experience itself, and it inhibits the hyperawareness of being a person. I truly think that, in day to day life, a person without DP forgets that they exist. And that's why you hear about the pop culture phenomenon of, when you suddenly remember that you infact are a distinct being, existing in a physical world, you feel that dissociative feeling. I think it's important to remember how you expeience the world without DPDR, and spontaneity is one way to do that.



#17 Findmywayhome

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Posted 26 February 2021 - 05:36 PM

Sorry to be so long in replying as I lost touch with this thread. In answer to how I coped with loss of self at age 17, with no help from anyone?

Well, I guess you could say I still had half a self.  I had lost positive emotions but I could still feel pain.  I underwent an episode of major depression.

It was really rough.  I lost 30 lbs and had terrible insomnia and anxiety.  I was in full survival mode.  I just held on until my symptoms subsided

enough to allow me to have some hope for the future.

Thats truly a very inspiring story, I admire your endurance to the adversity of mental illness. For me though, my practically absent sense of self isn't derived from anhedonia. In fact, I am the fortunate minority of people with DPDR to not feel depressed, I feel plenty of positive and negative emotion. I feel miserable sure, but the depressive episode I went through that actually caused this 24/7 dissociation was so so much worse. So my loss of sense of self seems so much more weird, like it feels like my ego has been dissolved.  



#18 lost235

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 03:29 AM

Hey lost.

The only thing I can say somewhat alleviates the feeling of nonexistence is spontaneity. What I mean is, try to lose yourself in the present as much as you can. For me, this primarily consists of talking with my friends, playing video games, going on my phone, listening to music, etc. For some reason talking to or even being in the mere presence of my parents makes my DP so much worse, I haven't figured out why, I wonder if you can relate?

I know you didn't ask for this, but I am kind of intrigued by the reason why I think my advice works at least for me. I think that before DP, one isn't hyper aware or even aware at all of their existence. They don't perceive themselves as a distinct entity operating a person that interacts with the physical world. Rather, without DP, one is only aware of the experience of reality itself; they are not aware that they are a person experiencing it. So, to have spontaneity, means to only be aware of the experience itself, and it inhibits the hyperawareness of being a person. I truly think that, in day to day life, a person without DP forgets that they exist. And that's why you hear about the pop culture phenomenon of, when you suddenly remember that you infact are a distinct being, existing in a physical world, you feel that dissociative feeling. I think it's important to remember how you expeience the world without DPDR, and spontaneity is one way to do that.

Yeah I’ve actually noticed that spontaneity does work quite a bit. But what’s been shitty about that for me is that after I’ve spent the whole day on auto-pilot and being social, I’m even more DPd when I go to my room at the end of the day. If I spend the day not thinking at all, just focusing on doing things, that’s just pushing the problem onto my future self. Is that something you experience too? I’ve spent most of the days this week doing this exact thing, and yesterday I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. I don’t recognise myself at all, it’s like I’m in someone else’s brain. I don’t recognise my emotions, thoughts, myself, not anything. (I’m also currently sick so that doesn’t help, I feel like I can’t break the dissociation at all. Can’t hear anything, hurts to talk, can’t smell etc. Which makes it super hard to feel present). My parents are actually the only ones who makes it feel kinda better for me, talking to them is the only this that can calm me down somewhat.

And I’ve also thought about what you’re saying, before this no ones ever really that conscious of themselves (I mean I definitely was when it came to how others perceived me and what I said everyday, but it was never like I questioned myself and who I was). But like I said, to me, ignoring the problem throughout the day hasn’t at all worked it’s just made it worse. I’m glad it seems to work for you tho! What you said actually does make total sense. Without DP, you never question yourself as a person, and analyse your whole existence and experience of the world. If you try and stop questioning it maybe living becomes more natural? Idk, I just can’t wait for this to be over (if it ever does go away).

#19 Findmywayhome

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 05:11 PM

Yeah I’ve actually noticed that spontaneity does work quite a bit. But what’s been shitty about that for me is that after I’ve spent the whole day on auto-pilot and being social, I’m even more DPd when I go to my room at the end of the day. If I spend the day not thinking at all, just focusing on doing things, that’s just pushing the problem onto my future self. Is that something you experience too? I’ve spent most of the days this week doing this exact thing, and yesterday I had the worst panic attack I’ve ever had. I don’t recognise myself at all, it’s like I’m in someone else’s brain. I don’t recognise my emotions, thoughts, myself, not anything. (I’m also currently sick so that doesn’t help, I feel like I can’t break the dissociation at all. Can’t hear anything, hurts to talk, can’t smell etc. Which makes it super hard to feel present). My parents are actually the only ones who makes it feel kinda better for me, talking to them is the only this that can calm me down somewhat.

And I’ve also thought about what you’re saying, before this no ones ever really that conscious of themselves (I mean I definitely was when it came to how others perceived me and what I said everyday, but it was never like I questioned myself and who I was). But like I said, to me, ignoring the problem throughout the day hasn’t at all worked it’s just made it worse. I’m glad it seems to work for you tho! What you said actually does make total sense. Without DP, you never question yourself as a person, and analyse your whole existence and experience of the world. If you try and stop questioning it maybe living becomes more natural? Idk, I just can’t wait for this to be over (if it ever does go away).

 

Yeah I experience that too. My DP is at it's worst during the five minutes I spend getting ready for bed; that's when im at my most fatigued and burnt out. That's really good that spending time with your parents helps! Family is very important with these kind of things.

 

I guess id have to respectfully disagree. I don't think what I define as spontaneity is the same as ignoring the problem the whole day. I think it is a form of remembering the mode of being that existed before DPDR. I think that is essentially what recovery is; the first step is remembering  how one used to live their life before DPDR, and then living as close to that as possible. Initially, it is only an intellectual memory with no clear feeling, but I believe over time it can allow one to repair the bridges inside their mind that were burnt down by DPDR. This process will allow one to get back in touch with emotion, and then to hopefully feel integrated within themself.

 

For me, it has seemed to work. I don't do any mindfulness or grounding exercises, or journaling, or any form of trying to directly address and combat the DP, I just live as much as I can, and since then, my DPDR hasn't gotten better admittedly, but it's stopped getting worse, and it sure as hell doesn't bother me as much as it used to. 



#20 lost235

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 06:17 PM

Yeah I experience that too. My DP is at it's worst during the five minutes I spend getting ready for bed; that's when im at my most fatigued and burnt out. That's really good that spending time with your parents helps! Family is very important with these kind of things.

I guess id have to respectfully disagree. I don't think what I define as spontaneity is the same as ignoring the problem the whole day. I think it is a form of remembering the mode of being that existed before DPDR. I think that is essentially what recovery is; the first step is remembering how one used to live their life before DPDR, and then living as close to that as possible. Initially, it is only an intellectual memory with no clear feeling, but I believe over time it can allow one to repair the bridges inside their mind that were burnt down by DPDR. This process will allow one to get back in touch with emotion, and then to hopefully feel integrated within themself.

For me, it has seemed to work. I don't do any mindfulness or grounding exercises, or journaling, or any form of trying to directly address and combat the DP, I just live as much as I can, and since then, my DPDR hasn't gotten better admittedly, but it's stopped getting worse, and it sure as hell doesn't bother me as much as it used to.

I guess my DP doesn’t peak just when I’m going to bed. It’s anytime I spend alone, from 1am-3am when I can’t sleep, or when I have to study and be alone, or even just going and getting something from my room in the middle of the day. It doesn’t really have anything to do with how I feel or my anxiety, it just happens for no reason which makes me feel like I have no control over it whatsoever. I feel like there no reason to keep trying to feel better, because it’s literally like I’m living someone else’s life everyday. There’s no “me” at all, it’s freaking me out a lot.

But I do agree with everything you’re saying! I think you’ve figured out a really good way to feel better with the DP (or at least moving towards a normal-ish life). And as I said, that’s what I’ve been trying to do and it works really well, until 5 days have passed and I’ve restricted my feelings for too long. And I know that going on as usual doesn’t exactly mean “ignoring your feelings”. But to me spontaneity is to not think and just do, and that’s why I end up with all the thoughts later. I’ve found that Monday-Thursday is alright, but when Friday hits I’m panicking again. Idk maybe it’s just me overthinking a lot. Maybe it takes some time getting used to, like I have with the DR. I just feel like I’m consumed by anxiety, like that’s literally all I am.

#21 Findmywayhome

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Posted 27 February 2021 - 11:52 PM

I guess my DP doesn’t peak just when I’m going to bed. It’s anytime I spend alone, from 1am-3am when I can’t sleep, or when I have to study and be alone, or even just going and getting something from my room in the middle of the day. It doesn’t really have anything to do with how I feel or my anxiety, it just happens for no reason which makes me feel like I have no control over it whatsoever. I feel like there no reason to keep trying to feel better, because it’s literally like I’m living someone else’s life everyday. There’s no “me” at all, it’s freaking me out a lot.

But I do agree with everything you’re saying! I think you’ve figured out a really good way to feel better with the DP (or at least moving towards a normal-ish life). And as I said, that’s what I’ve been trying to do and it works really well, until 5 days have passed and I’ve restricted my feelings for too long. And I know that going on as usual doesn’t exactly mean “ignoring your feelings”. But to me spontaneity is to not think and just do, and that’s why I end up with all the thoughts later. I’ve found that Monday-Thursday is alright, but when Friday hits I’m panicking again. Idk maybe it’s just me overthinking a lot. Maybe it takes some time getting used to, like I have with the DR. I just feel like I’m consumed by anxiety, like that’s literally all I am.

I used to have that same problem. Having to go to my room, take a shower, take out the trash, or do anything that isolates me with my thoughts would be the most painful part of my day. But now--I can't really say how it happened at this point-- but I underwent a huge shift and now being alone in my room makes me feel the most safe. 

 

The first few months with my DPDR was very turbulent compared to now, I'm more or less at a deadlock with my illness, of course not completely, there's still a bit of a mental fight going on. Like I feel like I have multiple modes of thinking and perceiving that I shift in and out of. Like right now, as I read the words that described how you are freaked out because it feels like there is no "you" I felt very comforted because I have the exact same problem, but then I think, "why should I feel comforted? I literally don't even exist, human emotions are absurd, none of this is real" and the DPDR feelings set in. I feel like DPDR is drowning me in this horrible state of perception and I am just trying to keep my head above the surface, thankfully these past few months the waters have seemed to calm down. 

 

But yeah, like I mentioned before, I feel like I have sunken into my brain, I don't feel outwardly present, and I don't feel like a unified self within my brain. As I write these words, it's so hard to connect to them, but I know intellectually that's whats going on. I just feel so damn confused, my life is so damn confusing. I feel like there is a huge part of "me" that is being blocked off from experience. Like my consciousness has been shifted away from myself, and I am experienced a greyer world with no sense of self. I can't believe that the eyes I am seeing this screen with are mine. It's so confusing and I don't know how I can understand it



#22 lost235

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Posted 28 February 2021 - 01:03 PM

I used to have that same problem. Having to go to my room, take a shower, take out the trash, or do anything that isolates me with my thoughts would be the most painful part of my day. But now--I can't really say how it happened at this point-- but I underwent a huge shift and now being alone in my room makes me feel the most safe.

The first few months with my DPDR was very turbulent compared to now, I'm more or less at a deadlock with my illness, of course not completely, there's still a bit of a mental fight going on. Like I feel like I have multiple modes of thinking and perceiving that I shift in and out of. Like right now, as I read the words that described how you are freaked out because it feels like there is no "you" I felt very comforted because I have the exact same problem, but then I think, "why should I feel comforted? I literally don't even exist, human emotions are absurd, none of this is real" and the DPDR feelings set in. I feel like DPDR is drowning me in this horrible state of perception and I am just trying to keep my head above the surface, thankfully these past few months the waters have seemed to calm down.

But yeah, like I mentioned before, I feel like I have sunken into my brain, I don't feel outwardly present, and I don't feel like a unified self within my brain. As I write these words, it's so hard to connect to them, but I know intellectually that's whats going on. I just feel so damn confused, my life is so damn confusing. I feel like there is a huge part of "me" that is being blocked off from experience. Like my consciousness has been shifted away from myself, and I am experienced a greyer world with no sense of self. I can't believe that the eyes I am seeing this screen with are mine. It's so confusing and I don't know how I can understand it

Yeah that’s exactly how I feel! I’m still very uncomfortable doing things alone and being with my thoughts, but at the same time I feel equally as uncomfortable being in social settings. It sucks because I was finally getting used to the DR, and I was at the point where I felt like it might be okay again, then the DP came and now I’m at the lowest I’ve ever been.

And it’s like I can’t even calm myself down because I don’t even know what it is I’m calming down. The best way I would describe how I feel is that my thoughts, body and identity/memories have separated and I’m stuck in between them trying to make sense of everything. Sorry if this triggered you in any way, just wanted to let you know that I do relate a lot to basically everything you’re describing so I get what you mean. Must say though I’m pretty relieved that I’m not the only one experiencing this, I thought I was going crazy for a while. Still I’m sorry you feel this way:/

The good thing is, I think I’ve hit rock bottom now too. I seriously doubt that it could get any worse. So I do think that’s a good sign! That’s the thing to hold onto in this kind of situation I guess.

#23 BlueTank

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Posted 06 March 2021 - 10:40 PM

So my experience is proof you can DP/DR while you are still happy and active.  Anxiety was probably building. sleep problems etc.. and I was like in denial and going about life. Then it leads to depression.  

In my case though this story is not started with marijuana. 

So.  You have DP/DR and it messes with how you've always seen the world and then you get depressed or freak out over it.  Perhaps this is different for you though.  There is a lot of variation.  But I really felt like you did after a while. Worse DPDR. Bad sleep. Then nocturnal panic and spine shocks.  All sorts of crazy shit happened and it beat me down. I got extra anxious and then yes it had a very zombie like feel to it.  Like you don't exist i suppose.  I lost my personality etc...  But I got it back. So that made me think its depression.  

Think about like somebody born with out legs vs losing them at the prime of their life.  First person never knew it any other way and the other has to get used to it.  In a way you get used to it. Infact the first person I ever talked to about "I feel like i'm outisde of my body" gave me a startled look and I said "Will it go away" and he said "No. but you'll get used to it". And in a way he is right and in a way he is wrong. You can get rid of it.  But mostly or atleast at first you get used to it. I'm not kidding.   A lot of it imo is light sensitivity.  The damn tunnel vision.  That can lessen. The light sensitivity for me can hang around but you get used to it.






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