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*Trigger Warning* solipsism depressed


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#1 walterthegreat

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 06:12 PM

Hey there my name is walter and for 5 MONTHS ive been obssesing over this thing called solipsism i think this is the root or main cause of my dp/dr. i just wish i never read about this because it is litterally driving me INSANE the problem is that it supposedly cant be disprovin how do i know your not figments of my iagination how do i know im not dreaming how do i know im not in some really good computer simulation. Are you guys, my friends,and my family even real its making really sad. i just wish there was a way to know that everyone does have a mind and is real. i sometimes even think of killing my self to wake up or something but i dont do it because deep down i just know life is real but im just not 100 percent certain anymore :(  is there any way to prove it wrong? i love life i really do but dp and this solipsism crap is making it really hard for me even though im 16.



#2 Tuesday's Gone

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 12:05 AM

Hello and welcome !

 

I just had a look at what solipsism is. First of all, there's no way to prove it's wrong but it doesn't necessarily mean it's right either. Let's say someone enjoys living and for whatever reason he starts wondering if things/people outside of him are real, it shouldn't even matter for him whether things are real or not because his happiness is a sufficient reason to live. No matter what, what will always stay real and most important for him are his feelings. I think I'm not really making myself clear but I find it hard to put my idea into words to convey it.

 

Also if someone finds out or become convinced that everything is unreal, then what is he going to do ? There's just no point asking the question of whether everything we perceive exists or not imo.



#3 Jurgen

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 03:56 AM

The philosophical framework of Solipsism provides nothing more than perhaps a children's coloring book or canvas for imagination. If something cannot be valid or invalid it ultimately becomes useless. No great philosopher has espoused Solipsism.

In today's society we use it to describe hardcore egotism.

If you are dissatisfied with these answers perhaps you should study it further to conclude that it is no different than pondering null possibilities.

#4 *Dreamer*

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 01:04 PM

Welcome.
I just have to say, every time I see "Solipsism Syndrome" I must repeat, the concept of solipsism is PHILOSOPHICAL, it is an intellectual debate about existence/Self etc.  It is NOT a medical condition.  I have the DSM-IV -- which granted has been replaced by the DSM-5 -- but there is no such psychiatric diagnosis.

Thinking about such things used to make my DP/DR worse.  After all these years, it doesn't.  I can be fascinated by the topic ... it would be like arguing religion or physics or deconstructionism in literature.  It is not a mental ilness.

Frequently Satre's "Nausee" has been used as an example of DP/DR.  It isn't.  Sartre was a philosopher and he DID NOT have DP.  Intellectualls going back centuries have debated these concepts.

From WIKIEPDIA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism

 

"Solipsism syndrome is a dissociative mental state. It is only incidentally related to philosophical solipsism. The lack of ability to prove the existence of other minds does not, in itself, cause the psychiatric condition of detachment from reality."

 

 

Some brief history ...
Gorgias of Leontini
Solipsism was first recorded by the Greek presocratic sophist, Gorgias (c. 483–375 BC) who is quoted by the Roman skeptic Sextus Empiricus as having stated:[

Great philosophers who have pondered this CONCEPT, not a symptom or medical condition ...

 

Gorgias of Leontini
"Solipsism was first recorded by the Greek presocratic sophist, Gorgias (c. 483–375 BC) who is quoted by the Roman skeptic Sextus Empiricus ..."

Descartes
"René Descartes. Portrait by Frans Hals, 1648.
The foundations of solipsism are in turn the foundations of the view that the individual's understanding of any and all psychological concepts (thinking, willing, perceiving, etc.) is accomplished by making analogy with his or her own mental states; i.e., by abstraction from inner experience. And this view, or some variant of it, has been influential in philosophy since Descartes elevated the search for incontrovertible certainty to the status of the primary goal of epistemology, whilst also elevating epistemology to "first philosophy".

Berkeley
"George Berkeley's arguments against materialism in favour of idealism provide the solipsist with a number of arguments not found in Descartes. While Descartes defends ontological dualism, thus accepting the existence of a material world (res extensa) as well as immaterial minds (res cogitans) and God, Berkeley denies the existence of matter but not minds, of which God is one.
-------------------------------

If you have these thoughts AND the SYMPTOM/FEELING/SENSATION of DP/DR you have DP/DR, not solipsism.
If you are a philosopher who debates this concept you do not have DP/DR.

This is the danger again of trawling the internet and self-diagnosing.  This is also a way to confuse the true definition of a disorder.  This will only drive you up the wall.  It is one thing to research and advocate for yourself, another to get tied up in a topic that has nothing to do with DP/DR.

Philosophy is not the field of Psychology, Psychiatry, etc.
In medicine, the concept of "SELF" is yes, not understood.  I doubt we will ever understand it.  But DP/DR are neurological conditions, not a philosophical construct.


This is like a layperson confusing schizophrenia with "split personality" (there is no such thing" or "multiple personality" -- the term no longer exists) and is no longer used in psychiatry.  MPD is now DID.

Please don't drive yourself up bananas with this stuff. :)
 



#5 walterthegreat

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 02:55 PM

Would this be a mental disorder if people actually believed it?

#6 *Dreamer*

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 07:37 PM

Would this be a mental disorder if people actually believed it?

I'm not sure what the question is or to whom this is directed.  The symptoms of DP/DR (feelings of unreality, feeling AS IF the world is unreal, etc.) occur in migraine, seizure activity, stroke, brain tumors, severe brain trauma (head crashing through the windshield of a car, etc.), and many psychiatric disorders.

 

It would seem the majority of us here have anxiety associated with DP/DR.  I truly believe that is the connection with mine.  But I work with a woman who fought 12 years out of a psychotic break who knows EXACTLY what DP/DR is.  She said in the hospital it was AS IF ... she never thought it was real ... she was dead.  IT IS A PERCEPTUAL DISTORTION, not a way of thinking or philosophizing.

I asked my coworker what got her out of the DP/DR ... when she was given seroquel for her psychosis the DP/DR "flipped off like a lightswitch."  Sometimes it still comes on and she works in CBT to "move away from it."   For some it is a secondary symptom of a larger psychiatric disorder like that, or for at least myself, it is a chronic DISABLING condition -- thinking philosophically does not disable you -- I have had most of my life.

 

I also have severe anxiety and clinical depression.

It's like ... someone who is a physicist who ponders string theory and black holes ... well you might think that delving into that might "cause DP/DR" -- it doesn't.  We experience a sensation that is uncomfortable at best and disabling and terrifying at worst.

Again, a philosophical construct, is not the same as a psychiatric disorder with SYMPTOMS that disrupt someone's life.
I hope that answers something, or someone, LOL.



#7 WorkingOnIt

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 08:19 PM

Ive struggled with this.

I bet you haven't looked in the crawl space under your house. Perhaps there's some kind of gremlin living there. I mean technically you can't prove that there aren't. Does this give you anxiety? Probably not. You probably dont feel that this affects you. It feels distant or impossible or silly.

In this same way, you could be sensitized to wondering whether gremlins are real and completely fine with the idea of solipsism.

The real problem here is how we're relating to what is ONLY an idea as far as we can ever tell. The truth is that we have to take life as it presents itself. Our problem is that life with DPDR presents itself as what feels like a dream.

As for whether it's a mental disorder or not, technically I think solipsism syndrome is lumped in with derealization. But honestly, who cares? Psychiatry doesnt consider religious beliefs to be a mental disorder, but they do if you think you yourself are Jesus. The point is that we have to take it all as it's presented. AND THAT'S NOT A PROBLEM.

#8 WorkingOnIt

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 08:36 PM

I'm not sure what the question is or to whom this is directed. The symptoms of DP/DR (feelings of unreality, feeling AS IF the world is unreal, etc.) occur in migraine, seizure activity, stroke, brain tumors, severe brain trauma (head crashing through the windshield of a car, etc.), and many psychiatric disorders.

It would seem the majority of us here have anxiety associated with DP/DR. I truly believe that is the connection with mine. But I work with a woman who fought 12 years out of a psychotic break who knows EXACTLY what DP/DR is. She said in the hospital it was AS IF ... she never thought it was real ... she was dead. IT IS A PERCEPTUAL DISTORTION, not a way of thinking or philosophizing.

I asked my coworker what got her out of the DP/DR ... when she was given seroquel for her psychosis the DP/DR "flipped off like a lightswitch." Sometimes it still comes on and she works in CBT to "move away from it." For some it is a secondary symptom of a larger psychiatric disorder like that, or for at least myself, it is a chronic DISABLING condition -- thinking philosophically does not disable you -- I have had most of my life.

I also have severe anxiety and clinical depression.

It's like ... someone who is a physicist who ponders string theory and black holes ... well you might think that delving into that might "cause DP/DR" -- it doesn't. We experience a sensation that is uncomfortable at best and disabling and terrifying at worst.

Again, a philosophical construct, is not the same as a psychiatric disorder with SYMPTOMS that disrupt someone's life.
I hope that answers something, or someone, LOL.

Regarding your coworker who experienced psychosis. Sometimes I felt like my obsession with what's real was psychotic. It felt crazy to think so much about solipsism, and sometimes it did feel true. I know it's just a feeling, and my psychologist doesn't think im psychotic. Were her delusions related to solipsism? Or was it different from that?

#9 walterthegreat

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 08:54 PM

I'm not sure what the question is or to whom this is directed. The symptoms of DP/DR (feelings of unreality, feeling AS IF the world is unreal, etc.) occur in migraine, seizure activity, stroke, brain tumors, severe brain trauma (head crashing through the windshield of a car, etc.), and many psychiatric disorders.

It would seem the majority of us here have anxiety associated with DP/DR. I truly believe that is the connection with mine. But I work with a woman who fought 12 years out of a psychotic break who knows EXACTLY what DP/DR is. She said in the hospital it was AS IF ... she never thought it was real ... she was dead. IT IS A PERCEPTUAL DISTORTION, not a way of thinking or philosophizing.

I asked my coworker what got her out of the DP/DR ... when she was given seroquel for her psychosis the DP/DR "flipped off like a lightswitch." Sometimes it still comes on and she works in CBT to "move away from it." For some it is a secondary symptom of a larger psychiatric disorder like that, or for at least myself, it is a chronic DISABLING condition -- thinking philosophically does not disable you -- I have had most of my life.

I also have severe anxiety and clinical depression.

It's like ... someone who is a physicist who ponders string theory and black holes ... well you might think that delving into that might "cause DP/DR" -- it doesn't. We experience a sensation that is uncomfortable at best and disabling and terrifying at worst.

Again, a philosophical construct, is not the same as a psychiatric disorder with SYMPTOMS that disrupt someone's life.
I hope that answers something, or someone, LOL.





Yeah man I get what you're saying solipsism isn't a mental disorder the problem is that it's fueling my dp

#10 *Dreamer*

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 03:56 PM

Regarding your coworker who experienced psychosis. Sometimes I felt like my obsession with what's real was psychotic. It felt crazy to think so much about solipsism, and sometimes it did feel true. I know it's just a feeling, and my psychologist doesn't think im psychotic. Were her delusions related to solipsism? Or was it different from that?

My coworker, and I, would never call this solipsism.  In her case, the DP/DR were secondary PERCEPTIONS she knew weren't right -- she KNEW she wasn't feeling right -- and they scared her.  She said however these feelings in her case would flip on and off like a light switch.

Her struggle to get better had much more to do with fighter her psychosis.
 

Again, solipsism is truly not a medical condition and is not DP/DP.

My sense as to why people incorrectly latch onto this (aside from trawling the net and scaring the Hell out of themselves, lol) is:

 

1.  We are experiencing a sensation that distorts our sense of self.  It is AS IF we lose our sense of Self, and our Self in relation to the world.

2.  In that case ... I see in myself ... having the SENSATION cause me to contemplate these existential things ... I would call it being occupied with existential thoughts.
3.  However, when I was a child, I was precocious and very alone.  I had too much time to think about this stuff, even at age 5.  Early on, these thoughts ... well I could BRING ON DP, but I it was under my control.
4.  Later as I grew older ... 8, 9 ... the DP/DR itself took over so to speak.  I had "no control."  It was initially a "mind game" in a way that I didn't understand.
5.  Then it became chronic and those existential thoughts could make me feel awful.

I don't think that way anymore, in terms of myself.  I can read philosophy of Self in an intellectual way and it doesn't bother me. However, if I started to focus on MY OWN EXISTENCE specifically, I could bring the DP/DR back on.

 

What is interesting, is I have asked friends, my doctors, my therapists to "think themselves into this state."  THEY CAN'T do it.  I say, "Do you understand deja-vu?"  Some do, some don't.  But I have TRIED to make people think this way and they CAN'T.  I see that they do not have an ability to dissociate like this.  Many don't even understand the extent of my anxiety.  They don't feel this level of anxiety in their lives or work. They worry, but don't have anxiety through the roof most of the time.

Yes, dwelling on this, can make the DP/DR worse for me.  Over the years, using CBT (as does my friend who has some form of psychosis), I have been able to refocus my thoughts. I "don't go there" re: overthinking MY existence.

I will say, still sometimes it is entirely out of my control.  That is the DP/DR seem to come from nowhere in a huge wave.  Again, what helps, is distraction, focusing on anything else, talking to someone, etc.  Now and again I may take ONE Xanax.  Very rare.  I don't even have any with me.  But in a years time, just keeping a bottle with 10 pills in it can be comforting.

I also see this as an illness, and say to myself, I'm feeling DP/DR, this will pass.  I am alive, I am ME, etc.

And my friend, she runs an entire non-profit office.  I have to say, she is highly functional.  Very intelligent.  And she is quite aware when she doesn't keep to her routine that she can fall back more into depression and confusion.  She takes meds regularly.  She socializes.  She has a therapist. She exercises, she watches her diet.  She takes care of herself.

She functions better than I do.

 

I just wish folks here wouldn't use a term that really means nothing.  Which is purely a philosophical term that many individuals argue, write about, etc. and they do not have DP/DR.
I hope this makes sense.

IF you look at my website and the description of my symptoms you will see I have many descriptions and ways to explain this.  Only thoses friends or doctors who have experienced epsisodes of DP/DR (even for short periods of time)  understand.  But they then forget about it.  It just goes away.  And it doesn't matter what they think about -- existentialism or whatever.

 



#11 WorkingOnIt

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Posted 30 March 2015 - 11:21 PM

I got over solipsism on my own. It's nothing to dwell on. In my case and like Dreamer said, the real scary one is nihilism. Pondering your own existence and why you are here. It's an ego killer and a pleasure killer. When you go and do things and ask yourself constantly what the point in it is can really make life unenjoyable. If anybody has an answer for that question. That would be helpful.


It's funny because I dont find the idea of no preordained meaning to be sad. Actually I like it. I dont think there has to be some kind of divine stamp of approval on the things we do. It's like dancing. People typically dont dance because they want to get in shape or some higher level meaning. They simply just enjoy it. For me though, the topic of this thread is truely sad. And the feelings coming from DPDR make it feel real. It's interesting that both of us are not bothered by what makes the other anxious.

#12 walterthegreat

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Posted 31 March 2015 - 02:54 PM

I don't even want to read about nihilism lol but how did you get over solipsism?




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