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Offline Last Active May 09 2021 05:58 AM

#629802 Forthcoming DPD/dreams study.

Posted by Absent on 26 April 2021 - 08:32 AM

This study about depersonalisation and dreams, is now open for people to register an interest in participating.

To be included, you must be

a) formally diagnosed with DPD
B) between 18 and 65 years old
c) need to commit to participating for 15 days in a row (it's mandatory).


Below I have copied in further info from the researchers. It includes the email address to register your interest.

Dear all,


We would like to invite you to express your interest in taking part in an online study exploring the relationship between dreams and depersonalisation. 


Who can take part?


Participants aged between 18 years old and 65 years old, formally diagnosed with Depersonalisation/Derealisation Disorder. 


What is the commitment?

First, we need to decide whether you are eligible for the study. To do so, you will need to fill an initial questionnaire regarding potential mental health symptoms including DPD, your diagnosis and treatment details, questions regarding your sleep quality and a general dream questionnaire (it takes 20-35 minutes to complete).

If you are eligible, then we will contact you back with instructions. 

But basically you will need to do two things for 15 days in a row:

Each morning, when you wake up, you will need (i) to freely describe in your own words your dreams (if any); and ( ii) complete a short questionnaire. Don’t worry if you can’t recall your dreams every day, or you don’t have any. You will simply have to state so. 
The same day, each evening, before you go to sleep, you will have to complete another short questionnaire

What do I get out of it?

You will be reimbursed a flat compensation of 40GBP for your time. You will help researchers better understand this under-acknowledged yet widely spread and distressing condition.

If you are interested in taking part in this study, please drop us an email at : [email protected]

Please note that this is only an expression of interest and not the study proper. The study proper will begin only after you have received the Information Sheet and signed the Informed Consent form. We do have ethics approved for this study ( cf attached). 

We can only test 25 participants (because of the limited budget) and the slots will be offered on the first-come/first-served basis, hence we strongly encourage you to express your interest at your earliest convenience, in order to secure your slot.

If you have any questions regarding this study, please do not hesitate to contact Dr Anna Ciaunica at : [email protected] and/or Dr Helge Gillmeister at : [email protected]

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this email!


Best wishes,


Anna &Helge




Institute of Philosophy Porto, Portugal  & 

Research Associate - Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
Alexandra House, Queen Square
London - WC1N 3AR

#628974 Does anyone feel like DP is impossible to explain?

Posted by Absent on 17 February 2021 - 11:02 AM


I am now good at explaining my DPRD to myself, i.e. its dynamics and the many apparent contradictions of my state. If, though, you mean how can you explain this to other people, that certainly is difficult, since they will perceive your presence in ways you currently cannot, and DPRD is so subjective and complex, yes. I have tried explaining DPRD to others for ages, tired of being misjudged by some and also wanting to explain to those who are genuinely interested in understanding. Eventually, I put some of my descriptions into a website describingdepersonalisation.com and specifically hoped that would be useful in trying to get across to people something of what DPRD is like. I wrote how profound DPRD can be but I always showed my own confidence that it is reversible, despite the ‘crud’. Words are insufficient but still I attempted it, in terms that could mean at least something to the non-DPRD person, even though I do not consider they could understand without experiencing DP/DR themselves. I wrote how language is lacking for this private distortion.


I recognise the need and motivation to explain the state of DPRD, it is the ‘thing’ that compromises my appearance and abilities. Part of the value of this forum is that we know what we are trying to explain.

I find that my observing self always being intact is a reassurance while other perception is practically absent.  If I can’t explain it to anyone, I still know my truth within DPRD and how it would be without it.  All best wishes.

#621914 Scared of getting lost?

Posted by Absent on 16 September 2020 - 06:38 AM

Hello lost235. Yes, it's horrible to be out and not feel where you are or how to get home. That my body is in different locations without me being emotionally aware of it, is very difficult and unpleasant. Worrying about being lost is entirely understandable and natural, since DPD flattens so much, but I find it better not to question where I am and instead to trust. Questioning makes it worse for me and trusting is ok because I always know as information where I am, even as DPD stops me experiencing it. Also, what is natural is still there behind the DPD 'numbing divide' and it looks after me even though I feel absent from space-time. I always get home. I hope this helps. In short, DPD leads to understandable doubt, but doubt makes it worse. It is difficult to find the 'poise' with that but trusting reality works for me practically and keeps me calmer, even as realness is obscured.

#621480 Feel like my life didnt actually happen?

Posted by Absent on 05 September 2020 - 09:22 AM

No, I did not mean that. I am absolutely certain that DPRD is reversible and that treatments will improve. My post was to say that all is not lost to me and that even though DPRD pushes away 'realness', existence and reality are true. I was sharing something of how I manage the crud, to get to a better place for the recovery I expect to achieve. The existence DP obscures will be revealed to me when I emerge from DPRD because it is true. Meanwhile, diffusing existential anxiety and reality doubts, helps me to reach a less tangled state, one from which DPRD itself is more liable to be usurped. Hope that makes sense. 

#621472 Feel like my life didnt actually happen?

Posted by Absent on 05 September 2020 - 08:09 AM

Hello Fae,
You are right that DPD is more profound than people appreciate (unless they find themselves in primary DPRD also). All credit to you for getting through this time.


I am not ‘in on' my own life, in terms of feeling present through space and time. My body, location, actions and memories are all unfamiliar and seem not ‘actual’. BUT [as you know] it is the experience that is rejected in DPD and the fact of existence is still intact. DPD is horrible and for me it can sometimes be so severe it is as though nothing really exists, but it certainly does, albeit hidden behind the DPD divide. I have learnt to notice what DPD does but not to be scared of it, despite the profundity.


DPD denies that I am in the here and now, and it does the same to the past. I find it is an agony to not feel present across time and not to experience that I was in the world. BUT all the truth of it is there behind DP. I find it a comfort to know that and better not to question reality. I proceed like that. It is pragmatic and I grieve for time but I find it minimises damage and gets me to a better place for recovery. I hope you get some relief soon, I find times when DP is at least less intense.

#620672 Weather affecting DP/DR intensity.

Posted by Absent on 20 August 2020 - 07:28 AM

Thanks for all the replies, weather has always caused some variation in my DP/DR.


James_80,  I could almost see DPD as having once been a friend briefly, protecting me from something emotionally intolerable, but then it staying for years makes it itself my greater problem (of course). It is as though DP insists it remaining is crucial. Knowing it is not and that it is unneeded ought to dispel DPD more than that does, a measure of its fundamental mechanism perhaps? It all ends up being a contradictory tangle of vicious circles. I tried to say a bit about that here    https://www.describi...rd-as-defence/         (my own views).


forestx5, it sounds like a daily challenge with mood varying in different parts of the day. My DPD is more manageable in the afternoon. I have learnt not to take on too much in mornings or evenings. I gain more progress by assiduously waiting for at least some practical awareness in the afternoon and then applying myself to getting on despite DP/DR.

I am also old enough to recall winters that were actually wintry. Background discomfort from climate change is not good and DPD does not seem to numb me to sensing the global concern.


PerfectFifth, no more cold winters in Finland either is unsettling as regards climate change - and also less relief for you as hot weather is more difficult for you. I am hanging on to October, good to know I will improve then.

#620618 Weather affecting DP/DR intensity.

Posted by Absent on 19 August 2020 - 07:27 AM

Weather can significantly worsen my DP/DR, hence my post.


Nights are easier for me too, I would say that is because my divisive derealisation is less challenged then, whereas in the day there is more overwhelming stimulation from light and more happening around me. That jars with my DPD trying to reject everything.


James_80, with my derealisation colours do look altered and estranged to me (but not with hppd, I don't know what that is like). I think you are probably right that there can a factor of vigilance for danger. So many apparent contradictions on DPRD: sensory numbing but hypersensitivity to light, DPRD 'protecting' yet that leading to more need for vigilance to compensate for DPRD.      I do get, at least, some rest from the intensity of it all in the winter and I optimise such times!


All the best. 

#620366 DPD description website.

Posted by Absent on 12 August 2020 - 07:22 AM

Partly to try to get what DPD/DPRD is like across to non-sufferers (as much as anyone outside of DPD could ever understand) and partly for new sufferers, I wrote a 10 page website in which I aimed to concisely describe my main experiences of DPD/DPRD. It is another site to get DPD/DPRD better known and another view. I am forever explaining it to people and medical staff, so decided to write this account, trying to optimise the limited language for DPD/DPRD. Please note, it is mostly descriptive (i.e. not advice or treatment info). There if it is useful.      https://www.describi...nalisation.com/    or https://www.deperson...iondisorder.com

#438458 DPD blocks pleasant emotion but not always negative feeling.

Posted by Absent on 09 March 2017 - 10:45 AM

DPD obviously numbs feeling, emotional memory, and takes the emotion and ‘actuality’ out of my senses. For me, negative situations and memories are often allowed through though. They can be powerful hurtful and destructive. It makes sense to me that negatives can get through, as they affirm the DPD state, i.e. does not threaten it, as positive feeling would.


Does anyone else get this disparity?

#434266 Time experience

Posted by Absent on 27 February 2017 - 09:17 AM

With DPD inhibiting the experience of time and of emotional memory, I expect others here get the mismatch of knowing about the past but not feeling that it happened, how long ago it was, or that it was to do with you. But I also get extreme episodes in which I literally experience that it is sometime years ago, which all the immediacy and expectation of it being then now. My mind knows truth, i.e. it is 2017 and years have gone. I know factually what has happened in the interim but have no emotional reality of that. So an argument goes on between my intellect and the rest of me, trying to resolve the temporal and experiential dissonance. It doesn’t resolve of course, I can’t force feeling of it being here and now or of time having passed. I understand how this is from DP, but the shock is awful. It is like continually being at the point of emerging from a coma and finding the world has moved on. It is painful grieving for the ‘unaware’ DP/DR years. I can’t experience a continuum of having existed across time.

Does anyone else get these shocks so severely?


#353960 Happiness?

Posted by Absent on 24 June 2015 - 05:56 AM

Yes, this is typical of DPD. You still know what would otherwise make you happy and feel good, but you don't experience the emotion of those things. It is like this all the time for me and I know the frustration you describe. I've learnt to appreciate noticing at least logically what I know is good in the world around me, even though I don't feel it directly. It's not the same of course, but has helped me manage the loss.

#254771 Horrible Intrusive thoughts anyone?

Posted by Absent on 09 April 2012 - 10:19 AM

A long time after DPD began for me, disturbed thoughts started and are relentless. Aspects are related to ocd but they are still a product of DP/DR. I think that the idea I might act on some extreme thought is a result of the division of self from environment and the ‘loss of agency’. Also, I’m trying to interpret everything around me when it is so unreal and so the fear of ‘getting it wrong’ gets too important.

So I also have compulsions and ideas to say and do awful things – out of character. They are upsetting and scary but I try to let them go by despite that - I try to just casually observe them as part of my disrupted state. I hope they are passing for you.

#235144 Alcohol

Posted by Absent on 03 July 2011 - 02:04 PM

Alcohol briefly helps body sense but obviously not derealization. Then body sense, DP and DR are worse for days. Scarcely worth it though sometimes I indulge to go to happy land. Which I need.