Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 15 December 2020 - 04:08 PM
I can reply as a member of the DPSH mod team, consisted of volunteers who are also active members here. However, I do not speak on behalf of the whole team, I will only state my opinion.
It is true that we fight every day with dozens and sometimes hundreds of new registrations and posts that are actually advertisements. I believe that most members are not aware of this job that is done manually, day after day. So, yes, our antennas are up for every post that contains a price and looks like an advertisement. You would not believe the number of people preying upon those who are vulnerable and desperate. Having said that, you are an old member, and in that sense, I have no reason to doubt your intentions, or the effort and time invested in the programme that you offer.
As someone who is dealing with DPDR caused by developmental trauma, I've noticed that you mention in your programme the role of trauma and the importance of finding the root cause for the onset of DP, and I completely agree with that. However, I personally would not recommend your programme to anyone dealing with trauma, as I am painfully aware of how demanding, long and personalized the trauma treatment has to be. I know that many people dealing with Depersonalization and derealization disorder, or other disorders on the dissociation spectrum, have had their patience tested when it comes to therapy, but I am still more inclined to recommend a therapist specialized in trauma treatment such as EMDR, Somatic experiencing or Sensorimotor therapy.
I have no doubt that your programme can be very helpful for some people, though, and I think that with this post, that does not look like an advertisement any more, lol , you will be able to reach in a more subtle way those who may be interested in such a model of health coaching.
Personally, I am very glad that you managed to overcome your own depersonalization, and I sincerely congratulate you on that.
Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 15 December 2020 - 04:48 AM
Yes, I think I was fortunate in finding good therapists, as I had two by now.
The first one was a psychiatrist, and also a very good diagnostician whose approach is CBT. He dx me with Depersonalization and derealization disorder, and later with Dissociative amnesia, among other things (I also had GAD, depression at one point, and somatization), but that was even before I was aware of the fact that dissociative disorders stemming from early childhood are linked to trauma. We reached the root cause of my dissociation in therapy, but I was not able to move on, even though I had periods of being highly functional in my professional life, interchanging with periods of a very low functioning.
The second therapist I found recently is a psychologist, whose approach is REBT, but I found him by explicitly looking for an EMDR therapist. EMDR is one of few approaches (besides Somatic experiencing by Peter Levine, or somatic or Sensorimotor psychotherapy by Pat Ogden), that is efficient in treating trauma, but it is not solely used for that. I am very satisfied with how it goes.
In the meantime, I decided that dx, as helpful as it is at the moment one experiences all the weight of a condition that is unknown and scary, does not define us. The main thing I learned, both in CBT, and now in EMDR, and also from reading a lot of the latest research on dissociation (including DPDR) and trauma, is that I have been badly hurt in my formative years (think of betrayal of trust, or the loss of secure attachment, beside other things), and the result of that is a coping mechanism that has been blown out of proportion, and that mechanism is dissociation.
Now, I cannot know the type of problems you face, where they stem from, and what the right therapy would be for you, but I wholeheartedly recommend EMDR for people who had, as I did, problems with depression, anxiety, addictive or obsessive behavior (that in itself is actually soothing behavior, as an attempt to establish some sort of control in the situation one feels helpless or powerless or an attempt to distract oneself - well, I had more distraction than addiction, really, as I was a workaholic, and I never used any substances, no drugs, no alcohol), dissociative disorders, and particularly with some sort of somatization (such as inexplicable pains, tics etc.).
I also relied a lot on online communities, in particular when my anxiety and DP prevented me from reaching out to people irl.
I know it is very difficult to connect to anyone when you already feel disconnected from the closest people in your life. There is a number of posts in this forum that give very good advice as to how to stay grounded as much as it is possible, how to maintain some healthy habits, and how to endure the worst times that depersonalization and derealization can bring about...Hope you will find something to relate to.
Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 08 December 2020 - 05:04 AM
Hey leminaseri, I admire your spirit, and I think you are reaching some important realizations. You are right, you could not have done anything back then when you were bullied and when your family treated you badly, because you were just a kid or a teen, and it is absolutely not your fault that you have to suffer now only because you already suffered before.
If there is one thing I learned about people who struggle with DP, is that we are some incredibly stubborn and creative people who just refuse to give up, even though DP is an incredibly difficult state to endure, and someone who has never been there cannot possibly understand what that means. It also gives you a unique perspective on life, just as you say. Everything becomes exposed in way, all the pretense and staged lives. When we are so acutely aware of it all, the least we can do is to be better people, starting with being better to ourselves. Stay strong:)
Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 18 November 2020 - 03:48 AM
I am very sorry for the trauma and the loss you've experienced at such a young age.
I think that your conclusions are very important, as you have a clear perspective to what you have been through, and how that influenced the development of dissociation.
What I learned from my own experience is that the memory of such a traumatic event (and all other accumulated trauma around it, such as repeated neglect) is not processed in the brain as it should. In order to heal, those memories that are stuck like a splinter in us need to be filed as other, non-traumatic memories usually are. Therapies recommended by Bessel van der Kolk and other authors in the field of trauma are EMDR and somatic experiencing (Peter Levine), but there are others as well, that combine the knowledge about trauma treatment that has been perfected in the last 20-30 years.
I hope you will be able to find the treatment that suits you best. I am currently in the EMDR therapy, and I feel that it is helping me feel more grounded. I cannot say whether it would be beneficial for you too, but apart from CBT (that also had a huge part in my recovery), I haven't tried anything else so far.
Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 17 November 2020 - 02:44 PM
I cannot really offer any help except for sharing my experience with Zoloft. I was taking 50g for a short time in order to adjust to it, and then 100mg for six months. I tolerated the med pretty well, and I think it helped me stabilize enough to deal with depression that went hand in hand with DPDR. The second time I went back to therapy, I was prescribed the same dosage. However, both times my CBT therapist told me that meds are like a safety net, and that the main cure is talk. I resolved many things during both times I had therapy, basically everything that was possible to resolve within the CBT setting - most of all the primary family pathologies, and the way they were normalized for me.
However - and I think you wrote that in one of your posts - you need to understand your root cause as to why you are having dissociation when under stress. I mean, a lot of people will experience some kind of mild dissociation in their lives, in stressful situations, but there is probably a reason as to why your response is that strong. I found out what my reasons for developing dissociation were, but it didn't take away the problem, as I had to continue to work on acknowledging it, accepting it, and finally integrating whatever trauma there was that caused me to be this way. I do not consider that I have any disorder any more, I am aware that what I deal with is a coping mechanism that has been blown out of its initial proportion, due to significant stress and trauma.
It is important to consult with your therapist about the dosage, as well as about how well you are tolerating the meds.
Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 11 November 2020 - 02:38 PM
I was pretty desperate some weeks ago, as at one point all of my efforts to get better seemed to give no results. I am not out of the woods yet, but I started with EMDR therapy four weeks ago, after realizing that I have completely isolated myself. Since I started with therapy, I re-connected to some of the activities that I was able to do before, without feeling tons of anxiety or agoraphobia while I am outside. I mean, obviously the 2020 is not a year that works for us in that regard, as it has been pretty isolating for lots of people, but it is completely different when you feel that isolation within yourself.
The core of my dissociation, including DPDR, is in childhood trauma. What I understood is that I need to integrate the implicit memories of traumatic event(s), that have never been properly filed as memories, in order to heal. It is by no means easy, I am having a hard time just facing some things, but I am aware there is no other way but through it. I am 44, btw, soon will be 45, and I have been trying so hard to heal these last four years. I made a lot of progress with CBT, and also on my own, in understanding where some things come from, but I came to a point where I actually need help and guidance, as my mind's makeup is such that it will do everything to maintain those same coping mechanisms that served it well for decades. But they just keep me stuck, and I did not want to accept that "it is it". No way that I am going to accept that's all there is. Don't accept it, man, you can find that strength in you! As long as we are alive, we can do something good for ourselves.
Posted by AnnaGiulia
on 16 October 2020 - 04:31 AM
Hey Abe, I do not have exactly an advice for you, but I have been following a lot of vloggers who talk about their experience with autism recently, and most of them also share their experience with burnout. As you have been coping with DP for a long time, and only recently realized you have autism, perhaps you need to look more into that, and take advice from other people who may have a situation similar to yours.
Also, perhaps you do not need to hide how you feel all the time. I don't mean you should go around and tell everyone that you suffer when you feel that way, as there are always people who may not understand, but if you have friends who may be understanding about it, it may be a relief not to have to pretend that you are fine all the time.
I actually believe it can get a lot better for you, once you learn what are those social situations or stimuli that make you particularly exhausted, and that eventually lead to burnout.
Would you perhaps like to share as to why this particular video killed your hope?
I am suffering from depersonalization-derealization disorder, and I am diagnosed with it, as a disorder on the spectrum of dissociative disorders. I haven't got it from drugs or (for most part) anxiety, but from a prolonged childhood abuse that I suffered, and in my case it is completely trauma-related. It means that I cannot just solve it by relieving my anxiety, even though relieving my anxiety helps, but that I have some other background issues to tackle. It does not mean that I am doomed with this disorder, it just means that my path to recovery is somewhat more complicated - but not impossible!
I have to say that I see nothing wrong with what this guy is saying. He allows for other possible causes of depersonalization to exist, but he is pointing out to what he suffers from, and that is what he is mostly talking about through his channel, from what I understood, based on this one video. It does not have to refer to you. Also, you should only rely on a good therapist to tell you what you suffer from, and by no means assume on your own what kind of DP do you have.
Yes, you are right when you say to yourself that it is now safe to feel, no matter how awful it is. It is only a feeling, and now as a grown-up you are finally able to process that feeling, to put it into words and to place it in a particular context. It is by no means easy, but it can be done - at least that is what I say to myself, and truly believe.
I would have definitely tried group therapy, or a survivors support group if I had the opportunity. Unfortunately, there were no such options where I live, and I found a lot of support online instead. For me it was the most important to articulate my experience and to put it into words somewhere where I felt safe and understood. My favourite phrase is: if it is mentionable, it is manageable