Depersonalisation and derealisation doesn't exist.
I know, right? Sound crazy? Well, give me a few minutes to explain.
DP and DR is an obsession disorder. It is an obsession with the self.
The vast majority of people think outwardly. We think inwardly. A very knowledgeable and understanding psychologist told me when I went for my first session with her that 40% of people get depersonalisation. I was blown away. She had to be kidding. 40? I mean, yikes. But how come I felt so alone with this? I thought.
She went on to explain that there are two big differences. We can all get depersonalisation and derealisation, but it's the people who give the first fleeting feeling attention that start to believe that they have a disorder, because they suddenly notice that they get it more and more. This is because they are placing meaning onto it. They are giving it some significance.
What for one person would be a quick moment of DP or DR where they feel "spaced out", and most likely will not even mention it to anyone else and carry on with whatever they are doing, for another they latch onto the fact that in that split second something very weird has happened to them and this is different and wrong and important and needs further investigation. This is when they start Googling, reading up, and in an "Aha!" moment, find what they've been feeling online and give themselves a label to carry on living with.
Isn't that unfair? Isn't that just an unnecessary burden?
We all know that DP and DR cannot be fixed with drugs. That is because it is imagined. It was not something we were given, or born with - It is something we blew out of proportion within our own minds. In fact, our very first moment of having DP or DR may have simply been a little hiccup with the inner ear, affecting our balance, or sickness, or a headache, or tiredness, or just that random spaced-out feeling that everyone gets occasionally.
The problem with everyone on this forum is that we have one thing in common - an imagined disorder, born from a need to cling and obsess to one single, fleeting sensation that once happened to us.
But why do I seem to have it every single moment of every single day? You may ask.
The answer is simple: Because you have obsessed too much.
You once chose to focus on a sensation that you were worried about, continued to focus on it with concern, then with fear, and with the fear and concern came the obsession. Obsession gave this "thing" we call DP and DR a face, a name, a state... a distinct way about it. You became a pro at noticing it, and when you did, you latched onto that. There is it again! You thought.
But then you noticed that... It wouldn't go away! You couldn't make it go away! So you made it into the big beastly thing it is, although with fear deeming you the victim, you didn't realise that it was you that did, and you can't make it go away!
That's because the obsession with inward thinking, with yourself, and with this sensation, all combined, has locked you in to a vicious cycle.
And the solution is to forget yourself.
Easier said than done, right? Well yeah, sort of. You may be surprised though.
You need to let yourself forget. The first thing to do is to stop doing anything that relates to it! If that means not going on these forums, then stop. You won't easily forget about something you are obsessing over if it is there staring you in the face every day. It's like an alcoholic who's just started his journey in becoming sober, but there's a bottle right in front of him all the time, teasing him. Just as it seems like that bottle is asking him to drink it, the forum is asking you to think about it.
Of course, this forum is different to a bottle of alcohol, in that it does have that benefit of community support - so there are benefits. But ask yourself if these benefits outweigh the feeling or reminder you get when you come here. If you get a gut feeling that leaving would help best, then don't hesitate. Giving your mind a rest or even a permanent leave from the subject on the internet can do the world of good.
So you've left the forum? Stopped Googling? Biting your nails and wondering what's next? Great! You're already on the way to forgetting yourself and integrating yourself back into the wonderful world that we live in.
It often feels like we lose all emotion with DP and DR, but really, we're not letting ourselves feel emotion because we are so consumed by this obsession. There's no room for emotion when you have an obsession. How is there time to enjoy life when all time is spent running around like a headless chicken inside your own mind?
Now, you can't push the thoughts out of your head - that's always a fruitless exercise - but you can do some things:
1. Override them, until eventually, they have no voice, they have no power... They disappear.
You do that by distraction. Anything that turns your thought process away from yourself and outwards is a brilliant thing! So do anything. Feel the walls. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Organise your sock drawer. (It's quite therapeutic, actually!)
2. Face them, until you are completely comfortable doing it. The thoughts you have about DP and DR are most likely very silly, and you will realise that once you watch them without fear, they are more like a nuisance than something that needs to be given any credit. Accept your thoughts and the way you feel, and move straight on. You don't need to give them meaning. Just notice that they are there, and that that is fine, because they are simply insignificant, and shouldn't be feared or paid any special attention to.
Imagine your mind as a train track, and your thoughts and feelings, trains that roll past, always moving. At the moment, the cargo might not be exactly what you like, but soon enough, trains will be coming in and out carrying the best feelings, thoughts, and messages about the world around you.
3. Rest. If you have been working yourself up into a knot, let yourself rest. You deserve it. Be kind and be gentle, because for so long, that is not how you've been treating yourself, and that is what you deserve. Sleep is of the highest importance. Your mind can also rest by thinking of positive things, like puppies. Don't feel silly - Your mind really does want to relax enough to think about puppies and lighthearted things, because it wants to stop taking you and the world around it so seriously. So give it the utmost care.
4. Remember that you will get it again - I will get it after I stop typing this post because I've been staring at the screen for a while, but I know that it is harmless, and I will simply go do what I want to do next, and forget it. I know in my case it will be because my mind is adjusting to a different light level and a difference scene as I look away from the computer, but that's all it is. There's no need for me to get worked up or pay it much thought. You will get it again too, but it need only be for fleeting seconds.
Remember - It is how you deal with the fleeting feeling that determines whether you will get "DP" or "DR" for an extended period.
This will be my last thread before I leave the forums. I don't have chronic DP and DR any more, or anxiety, or obsessive thoughts, nor am I suicidal. I have had a very sudden and drastic turnaround in my life this past week that has been nothing other than a revelation to me. I have seen the truth and I am on the road to recovery now.
If you want more help and techniques to recover, I have suggested it before on here but I will suggest it again - The book Self Help For Your Nerves by Claire Weekes is invaluable.
I hope my words have helped somehow, and I wish everyone the best of luck!