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Recovery is this simple

recovery obsession obsessive thoughts dp dr depersonalisation derealisation simple

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#1 Guest_Delicate_*

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 06:59 AM

I am going to say something here that might shock people.

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.

Posted Image

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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!



#2 mipmunk40

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:02 AM

I don't think I agree with all this. My DP started because of my depression. DP is not imagined. Sorry. It is a self defence mechanism gone wrong. The brain has shut us down to protect us from whatever triggered this. I don't believe it is an obsession at all sorry.

#3 Lala29

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:24 AM

I see both your points. But one thing that has happened before is that it did go away eventually. Yesterday I went out on the boat with my friends because I knew I had to. I can't let this thing defeat me. If I sat at home and drove myself crazy over it I'd be a DP/DR wreck at the end of the day. Getting out yesterday did help me. I'm fighting this horrible thing for the second time. I quit my job over it which sent me into a new panic. I've realized what's most important right now, is to feel better and get better. Reset my stress level as much as I can, even if I have to say F it to certain issues in my life. I believe alot of us with DP are perfectionists and in some ways, even controlling. We can't control everything. Go with the flow sometimes and realize your only one person. stop analyzing everything that happens during the day and learn to brush things off that you would normally obsess about. I had a panic attack in front of people the other day and I left so embarrassed. I started reliving it in my head and was wondering if they talked about me when I left. Then I STOPPED myself. That kind of BS probably caused my DP in the first place and it sure wouldn't help prevent any future panic attacks. I'm trying to change my way of thinking. Dwelling on that would help nothing. Sometimes you have to say F it and just move on.

#4 marleygirl

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:30 AM

In my situation, I agree with most of this. Not sure about the "imaginary" part but I am definitely a thinker and feel my existential thoughts were brought on by over-analyzing. When I distract myself or don't think about it all so much, I feel a lot better. I agree also with the rest factor; rest seems to make me feel sooooo much better. "It is how you deal with the fleeting feeling that determines whether you will get "DP" or "DR" for an extended period." -- very true for me.

#5 Midnight

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

Eh? I swear I just saw you posting about how messed up you were and now your handing out advice like nothings wrong?

#6 Guest_Delicate_*

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:20 AM

Eh? I swear I just saw you posting about how messed up you were and now your handing out advice like nothings wrong?


I had a bad reaction to venlafaxine on Saturday where I ended up in hospital feeling like I was at deaths door. Prior to this I had suicidal ideation for months. The experience made me realise that I did, in fact, want to live. The weakness felt before I quit the drug left me wondering what would be in store for me each day. I didn't know if I was going to take a turn for the worst, or what, but as I was ill, everything came into perspective, it was like a revelation, and my DP and anxiety and obsessive thoughts disappeared because if I did worry in the slightest, the weakness, numbness and tingling would flare up. I had to quickly and desperately change my mindset.

The above is what I found, and since have not had any anxiety, DP, DR or obsessive thoughts (and obviously no suicidal ideation).

I will check back to this thread in a few months time and let you know how I got on.
I know now that it's simply not an option to let things be the way they were before if I want to be happy and live a fulfilling life. The above is what i found worked for me and what I will continue to practice, so yes, I do feel like I can hand out advice.

#7 mipmunk40

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:22 AM

Agree, DP is an abnormal state of consciousness, where the loss of the self occurs, this is not imagined, it is very real and very disturbing. For me once my DP kicked in there was nothing I could do to stop it, it was like switch went in my head. Distraction is fine, trying to take your mind off of it is temporarily ok, but it won't cure DP. If you feel unreal or "not like a person", if the feeling is there, it is there, and no amount of distraction, thinking or talking your way out of it will make any difference. It eases and goes away when it is ready. It is like having a broken head, a fuse has gone in your brain. It would be like somebody breaking their back and then somebody saying, don't be silly get up on walk, you can do it, be positive. Uh no, it takes time for the bone to heal. And as DP is something gone wrong in your brain, it takes time for your broken head to heal. I agree focussing on it doesn't help, which I do far too much of which doesn't help. But for a large majority of us DP wasn't self inflicted and something that came along beyond our control, we are obviously people who have a predisposition to dissociate, unfortunately. So it is more of a waiting game, as mine was caused by depression, hopefully by treating the depression my DP will go (I hope), But DP is certainly not an obsession or imaginary!!

#8 RichUK

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 11:47 AM

I agree totally with your approach to this and an obsession with this is what keeps it alive, but am not sure that it is imagined initially.
With me each time I have gone through this (6 times now over 15 years) there is an initial trigger, its not like I am fine and I start thinking about it which makes it come on. It just comes on out of the blue, for example this time it all began in a hotel room. I had been fine for over 3 years no DR symptoms at all then while I was sorting through my suitcase BANG I felt really weird all of a sudden. I wasn't thinking about or stressing over anything at all, it just happened I was then stuck with this horrible feeling 24/7 for 3 months. I admit the reason it stayed around for 3months was because I obsessed over it but can not put my finger on what started it again.

Rich

#9 Guest_Delicate_*

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:01 PM

I agree totally with your approach to this and an obsession with this is what keeps it alive, but am not sure that it is imagined initially.
With me each time I have gone through this (6 times now over 15 years) there is an initial trigger, its not like I am fine and I start thinking about it which makes it come on. It just comes on out of the blue, for example this time it all began in a hotel room. I had been fine for over 3 years no DR symptoms at all then while I was sorting through my suitcase BANG I felt really weird all of a sudden. I wasn't thinking about or stressing over anything at all, it just happened I was then stuck with this horrible feeling 24/7 for 3 months. I admit the reason it stayed around for 3months was because I obsessed over it but can not put my finger on what started it again.

Rich


Hey Rich, yeah it does come on randomly for everybody, often for no apparent reason, and the initial onset isn't imagined, definitely not, but obsession keeps it there as you say. Then it's imagined in the sense that it is something that your mind has clung onto and blown out of proportion. It doesn't need to be there anymore so if we want to get better I think we need to actively calm our minds and focus outwards.

#10 mipmunk40

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:06 PM

Real true DP is brought on when we are overwhelmed with anxiety or stress. Mine has only ever been brought on either by depression followed by DP, or overly worrying or stressing about something. Many times when I haven't had DP, I could ask myself who am I, and it wouldn't matter. You can't just think ooh who am I, and bang there is DP. You have to be in a really bad way through depression/anxiety or stress for it to trigger. When you don't have DP the existential anxiety doesn't mean anything, you have your sense of self and identity, so who am I means nothing. When you have DP you have an abnormal state of consciousness, your sense of self is lost and that is why you question who you are? Because your identity is somehow temporarily lost. Whether through medication or time, when the brain feels the danger has gone, then and only then will you slowly start bit by bit to get your identity back. I have had DP numerous times varying anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months and it is hell on earth, and I have it now. I always say you know when you are in a DP'd state if "who am I" bothers you then you have DP, if that question doesn't bother you then it is gone.





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