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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, Ive had light dp/dr in the past, but nothing like it is now i realize. Id accually call it soul torture. Its worse than anything life has thrown at me thus far. The past two months have been acute.

7 months ago, my dad was admitted to a hospital where his heart failed and was restarted but all his organs had failed. At first, while on a ventilator, we thought his organs would come back as his mind was still in tact and he could write to us on paper. But as the month progressed, we realized his liver would not return and he died a month later from liver failure, we were with him till the moment he died. This feels like yesterday and at the same time an eternity ago.
I was numb to it, despite having random outbursts of crying, like say from a movie where someone died or something. After this, i started dwelling on death. Over the course of 5 months, i started getting incredible anxiety over death. Then two months ago at the peak of my anxiety, i started experiancing derealization and depersonalization.
But im not thinking about my dad anymore, im only thinking about death and existence and im terrified of the afterlife with concepts of nothingness or eternity (either one scares me) when i think of death, i start to question existence and myself at that moment like "how am i here???" "How can this be real?" These thoughts and feelings are constant, every minute of every day unless i find something to distract myself with (which is really hard) though, my feelings are still somewhat in tact but non of the other symptoms are lightening up at all.
I have spells ranging from 1-5 times a day where the existential shit becomes acute and my visual perception becomes frozen and flatlike and i literally forget everything and feel nothing and its like im only my consciousness and no longer connected to my brain or body. I also cant focus attention on anything but also super aware of whats happening to me. It makes me wonder if thats what afterlife feels like or something and that im about to die in that moment (which is dumb cause im still here) but every time it happens, i fear itll be worse than last time. The only feeling i have when it happens is incredible fear. These spells make it very hard to stop thinking about these things so how do i stop obsessing over death and these existential thoughts? Ive heard trying to just accept them as you experiance them and let them pass but i dont know how to do that? They only fill me with fear.
 

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I'm so sorry to learn of your loss. It does seem that grief is playing a part in some of the symptoms that you are experiencing.

Considering your circumstances, it's not a long post at all, so there's no need to apologize.

My experiences are slightly different, in that I experienced a near-death experience, combined with ambiguous loss ( leaving the grieving process suspended and not dealt with). It happened years ago, acceptance really didn't stop the dissociative experiences, tbh, although it allowed me to live a semblance of a "normal" life. A few years ago I decided to take a more active approach and have made good progress.

Perhaps I can offer some help. If memory serves me correctly you've also experienced an OBE?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Im sorry you experianced a near death experiance and grief on top of that. Thats super awful.

Yes i have experianced a OBE. It was induced by marijuana and at the peak of the high, it was the most depersonalized ive ever felt and then i suddenly starting lifting up out of my body with an aura of myself. I literally thought i was dying at the time.
You said you started taking an active approach. What does that include? Also do you get the existential and death thoughts too?
 

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Given your experience it's completely understandable that any dissociative symptoms are stronger for you; you've experienced a pretty traumatic life event that you're still processing and the dissociation serves to dampen the intensity somewhat so you don't become completely overwhelmed.

I had a very similar experience to you a few years ago. You're going to have questions about death and feel quite a bit of confusion; watching someone die hammers the point home that we're all mortal in a way that nothing else ever can.

Everybody grieves in their own way and at their own pace so I think sweeping generalisations aren't particularly helpful, but personally the only thing that has helped is time. It's somewhat like a scar in that it's not that it gets much easier - more that you get used to it.
 

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Hi
I also grieving the death of my loved one he passed away on the 15th of March this year and my life stopped.
I've had depersonalization and derealization since January 2016 chronic , being so depersonalizated while grieving is so hard and so messy .
I've dealt with numbness which I hate with a passion as it makes me not grieve my lose and makes me feel like a terrible person.
My minds so foggy that my memories off my loved one are sometimes so far away and distant that it kills me that I cant feel them in my mind .
Its absolutely harder to grieve while being so messed up with depersonalization and it cuts me so bad that im numb and foggy and my emotions are all over the place .
I cant offer much advice cause I'm so stuck in this that I see nothing changing at this point
I'm so sorry for your loss of your dad
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had a very similar experience to you a few years ago. You're going to have questions about death and feel quite a bit of confusion; watching someone die hammers the point home that we're all mortal in a way that nothing else ever can.
Thank you for the advice and yes thats very true. I just cant believe ill die one day too. Im sorry for your loss as well btw.
Hi
I also grieving the death of my loved one he passed away on the 15th of March this year and my life stopped.
I've had depersonalization and derealization since January 2016 chronic , being so depersonalizated while grieving is so hard and so messy .
I've dealt with numbness which I hate with a passion as it makes me not grieve my lose and makes me feel like a terrible person.
My minds so foggy that my memories off my loved one are sometimes so far away and distant that it kills me that I cant feel them in my mind .
Its absolutely harder to grieve while being so messed up with depersonalization and it cuts me so bad that im numb and foggy and my emotions are all over the place .
I cant offer much advice cause I'm so stuck in this that I see nothing changing at this point
I'm so sorry for your loss of your dad
Yeah i get what you mean when your life just "stopped" and the fact that the dp prevents you from accually grieving. I felt bad about it too, espessially since ive been so absorbed in myself, i feel selfish but its just trying to make sense of things. Im sorry for your loss as well.
 

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Yeah for sure I feel like crap a bad person being numb and messed up when I should be feeling the full affect of my grief.
My thoughts are so scattered and I cant make sense of losing my loved one , it feels unreal that they are no longer here and that its final.
I hate that I'm so depersonalizated even more so now more then ever cause i fo want to feel the loss not be so messy and numbed out .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah for sure I feel like crap a bad person being numb and messed up when I should be feeling the full affect of my grief.
My thoughts are so scattered and I cant make sense of losing my loved one , it feels unreal that they are no longer here and that its final.
I hate that I'm so depersonalizated even more so now more then ever cause i fo want to feel the loss not be so messy and numbed out .
Its ok. I felt selfish about it too but just because you arnt feeling anything at the moment isnt a bad thing. Its your own way of dealing with it. The fact you feel bad means you care and love the person and thats all that matters. You dont have to grief the way you think you should and knowing that helped me. Feeling numb is accually normal. Though dp is much worse and way more intense and confusing. I get how thoughts feel scattered too. Nothing makes sense alot of the time. But it gets easier to deal with. Dont beat yourself up for the way ur dealing with it, no one can help the way they process stuff. Theres quite a few people who get dp from trauma, including death from what ive read too which means its normal.
 

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Im sorry you experianced a near death experiance and grief on top of that. Thats super awful.
Yes i have experianced a OBE. It was induced by marijuana and at the peak of the high, it was the most depersonalized ive ever felt and then i suddenly starting lifting up out of my body with an aura of myself. I literally thought i was dying at the time.
You said you started taking an active approach. What does that include? Also do you get the existential and death thoughts too?
Yes, I've experienced existential thoughts and have some detrimental ideas about death, so I'll leave discussions of bereavement and mortality to other people, as ruminating on the topic is something I need to avoid at the moment

knowledge has the potential to ease fear, people often fear the unknown, so my active approach has been to gain some knowledge about my experiences (the NDE and OBEs) and use it to prevent OBEs. If you've ruled out other medical issues and are having dissociative spells, there are a few simple, practical steps that can be applied to help interrupt the process and potentially avoid these spells.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, I've experienced existential thoughts and have some detrimental ideas about death, so I'll leave discussions of bereavement and mortality to other people, as ruminating on the topic is something I need to avoid at the moment
knowledge has the potential to ease fear, people often fear the unknown, so my active approach has been to gain some knowledge about my experiences (the NDE and OBEs) and use it to prevent OBEs. If you've ruled out other medical issues and are having dissociative spells, there are a few simple, practical steps that can be applied to help interrupt the process and potentially avoid these spells.
Im glad im not alone in that. And i agree, ruminating about it seems to make it worse.
I have yet to be checked for an underlying health problem that could cause these spells but im pretty sure im healthy anyway. What are those steps?
 

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This is just one small piece of the puzzle and involves just a basic understanding of arousal and the nervous system. With increased arousal there is usually sympathetic dominance, with less arousal, such as relaxation and sleep there is parasympathetic dominance. With dissociation, the parasympathetic system becomes dominant when in a state of high arousal (not just the fear response). It's an atypical response, causing unusual experiences during wakefulness and sleep. Fluctuations of the system may cause a drastic drop in blood pressure, leading to alterations in consciousness. So if there are warning signs, these spells can be interrupted in the same way that vasovagal syncope may sometimes be prevented. Keeping well hydrated and adequate salt intake are helpful and also avoiding being still for long periods of time. If an episode occurs, sometimes gentle movement, walking or repeatedly tensing legs muscles will be enough to interrupt.

Activities utilizing attention/ arousal, combined with parasympathetic dominance are probably best avoided until the nervous system becomes more stable and heavy meals at a time of the day when you are naturally feeling sleepy are not a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hm. Alright,alright...I have dp nearly constant but I tend to get more acute spells if im not laying down. Or at least the worse ones are when im doing something other than laying down in my bed (aka my comfort zone) doing simple things like cooking food, going to the bathroom or even just simply waking up tends to trigger them.
 

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I think that dissociative symptoms or having DPDR relapses in this kind of situation is normal. When I was 9 years old, I learned that my grandfather had died and it had hit me pretty hard because I was close to him. When I was told that he passed, at the time I was in my mom's car with her and I felt like my soul had disconnected from me and was floating in the air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I started getting better recently! My previous anxiety came back with a vengence though but i got through that (for now at least). The past two days however, its hard to realize im not the only person in existence. Its disturbing and its hard to prove overwise. I just wish i could think like i used to and not dive back into dp every so often. Some days its very hard to get up in the morning. I feel like ive just figured out what life is REALLY like or something?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I feel like i should update this post since its been a while and ive recovered alot from my dpdr. I feel more connected to life again but theres still something "missing" which appearently is a final stage in recovery so thats good but i still get really bad anxiety at night to the point im up till morning hours. It feels like my dad was never in my life...i know it might be the dissociation and probably cause its been 8 months since he died but i can hardly remember what life was like with him around and i feel super guilty about it. I shouldnt but when i say it aloud, it sounds horrible. I dont really even miss him? Which is super weird and makes me feel awful. I loved him, and always will but its like it never even happened...
 

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Hey
It's great your feeling better
The feelings about your dad is part of dealing with the pain
I to have gone though these exact same feelings and yes it makes you feel really bad and guilty but I try to tell myself I cant help that my brains blocking the lose out.
I do think the blocking effect about your true feelings about your dad is part of dissociation pr maybe it's just a normal part of the grieving process.
One off the stages of grief is numbness , from what I've read numbness is something felt in the very beginning of the grief but with us it seems to off happened later .
It's all normal we are normal after suffering such a huge loss
It's not grief its bereavement.
I wish you well
 
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