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Does DP/DR matter?

6942 Views 45 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  dalailama15
Let's assume you have the symptoms association with DP/DR. Most of us here are quite aware of what they are so let's not delve into the definition. Now apart from fear and anxiety, what is exactly wrong with the reality-altered-like symptoms of DP/DR? It seems to me the debilitating factors are not the symptoms of DP/DR, but rather anxiety and fear.
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JAG said:
Let's assume you have the symptoms association with DP/DR. Most of us here are quite aware of what they are so let's not delve into the definition. Now apart from fear and anxiety, what is exactly wrong with the reality-altered-like symptoms of DP/DR? It seems to me the debilitating factors are not the symptoms of DP/DR, but rather anxiety and fear.
No, I can't say that. The DP/DR themselves are incredibly disabling for me in and of themselves. And also, if I didn't have the damned symptoms, there wouldn't be something to be horrified about, IMHO.

Also, my overall mental health has changed over the years. These days, I posted somwhere else, I feel DP/DR (right now, this moment), and much despair. At this very moment I am not feeling anxiety. I'm feeling, hopelessness at what I have lost in my life.

But example. This summer I had a friend visiting, and we were getting ready (leisurely) to go to an Art Fair. I was excited about it, in a good mood. I had to go out to the car to get a map. When I opened the door to the ouside, I got slapped with heavy/duty DP/DR. I was angry really, not agitated, I said to myself, "Damn this. Walk to the car, walk to the car, walk to the car, get the map, get the map." The whole process seemed like it was taking an hour, and I forced myself (as I have done many times) to at least finish the task at hand.

I got the map and came back up to my apartment. When I was there I felt MANY emotions. Agitation, fear, disappointment, rage. I talked to my friend (who understands I "have problems") .... I "talked myself down". At the end of the whole episode. I was crying. I was crying about how much "not being here" has taken from my life. How going down to get a map in my car, I can be knocked out of the universe.

To me, the perceptual change is horrific, it is debilitating. The fear I have is that it won't go away, that I will be stuck feeling that awful, and the rage is that when the "bad" DP/DR goes away, then I'm stuck with my "everyday" chronic DP/DR and I'm not really living my life. Just existing.

My 2 miserable cents.
Crabby D
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My two cents on that. I believe DP and anxiety clearly have a connection, what that is I'm not sure.

However, as a little girl, I could bring on DP/DR whenever I wanted. I started to focus on my body, thought existential thoughts, "Who am I? WHY am I? What is it like to be dead?" and waves of DP would come over me.... but I wasn't afraid, as I was in control of the feelings.

I forgot I could do this. Looking back on my childhood I had DP I could control, then DP/DR that I later interpreted as feeling ODD and I didn't feel like doing things because of it (more attached to depression), and finally DP OUT of my control, which is terrifying.

I also have anxiety and depression. But my complaint from the get-go, my most uncomfortable, scary, debilitating symptom is what I called "feeling weird" -- DP/DR.

I can have DP w/out feeling anxious, such as at this moment as I type this. I'm chronic DP/DR and NOT ANXIOUS. I can also be anxious and my DP/DR doesn't spike. Other times it does.

There is some connection, stress generally worsenes my baseline DP/DR, but I don't think we can summarily throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is an anxiety connection. DP doesn't exist in a vacuum.

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But here's a question... why aren't we all on an anxiety forum then? There are quite a few people who suffer from serious anxiety in various forms but DON'T have DP/DR.

When I've visited anxiety forums, I "don't fit in", few know what DP is.

That's why we have a DP forum. It is a unique experience. It's chronicity for us, etc. Why have a DP forum, if this is just anxiety?

I like what rob said, LOL.
course it fugking matters
I agree! It is a hideous symptom that very few people fully understand. But I think we forget that we can all suffer from this in different ways. I feel great despair right now. Others are terribly fearful. Others have "adjusted" to it.
There is a spectrum here.
We're all.........for the 1,456,000,710th time....UNIQUE

Very Crabby Dreamer today,
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As I say, there are innumberable variations of when DP/DR presents itself.

It can (not always) show up in ALL mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bi-polar, OCD, certain personality disorders, post partum depression. It also shows up in patients with certain brain tumors, and in TLE patients.

If you read (on the IoP site) or any of Dr. Simeon's articles, or articles you can find in PubMed, there are many causes for this, and the approach to alleviating the suffering of the DP/DR symptoms themselves varies from person to person with varying degrees of success.

Again, if you look at my list of meds Rec and Rx (top of this forum) that CAUSE DP/DR in otherwise mentally healthy people, the question arises as to why this happens to some and not to others. When the drug that causes the DP/DR is removed, in these people the DP/DR passes. Researchers want to understand this phenomena.

I know a good number of DPers I met in London who aren't anxious who live with DP/DR. Hannah, Andy C., Ramon, Cavan. And JAG seems to be another. It doesn't mean their experiences are pleasant, but they have a different response to them. Also each have different backgrounds. One had a psychotic depression prior to onset of DP/DR. Some had drug onset.

Those with tumors or epilepsy don't necessarily have anxiety when they experience this, though some may have serious concern over the feelings they experience.

And yes, I have known people who are mentally healthy who have experienced this due to lack of sleep, or during car accidents when the "fight/flight" mechansim is working, or the individual is simply out of homeostasis (due to the lack of sleep). These episodes pass, and the individual finds them uncomfortable or "strange", but move beyond them.

No neurological event is easily understood.

Joe, my question is, why did you seek a DP forum in the first place? Did your doctors understand your feelings immediately? Did they take your symptoms seriously?

I also suggest you read the work of neurologists Oliver Sacks, M.D. and V.S. Ramachandran who illustrate the strange perceptual distortions they have encoutered in their research.

You have reduced the experience of DP/DR to one simple cause, and that isn't the case. I believe chronic fight/flight might be a factor in my DP, but I don't see it in all the cases here. By a long shot. And again, I have no rec drug history at all. But I don't presume to compare my case to anyone else's here.
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Edit: duplicate post I'm afraid to delete. Posting problem.
dakotajo said:
Im like everybody else here. Ive had chronic dp/dr for over 2 years straight, due to my anxiety state. Im misunderstood. Im not saying that everybody on this earth has dp. Im saying I believe everybody on this earth has the ABILITY to dissociate. I believe like alot of experts that dp/dr is a mechanism which becomes engaged during intolerable suffering. Its all part of the FOF mechanism. Its not mysterious, and its not an illness. Its part of being human.

The fight/flight mechansim, I believe, is part our evolution. It exists in animals for protection. In modern society, sometimes it backfires, and becomes PATHOLOGICAL. When it becomes DISABLING and chronic (lasting more than an hour or so over a long period of time for instance), when it interferes w/work or social functioning it is of great concern for patient and doctor alike.

I know people/doctors I have tried to MAKE feel DP/DR. I tell them to focus on their bodies, wonder about their existence, and they CAN'T do it. Some note fleeting experiences in their lives when exhausted/lacking sleep/w jet lag, and others understand deja vu which is also common -- we don't even understand why we experience deja vu!

You can't reduce any neurological phenomena to one simple theory. The brain is SO complex. We have a very limited understanding of how it works.

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JAG said:

nice post
Agreed. Echo some of my sentiments exactly -- about my life, my future, and the sort of "burning out" over 30 years of the "terror" of DP/DR.

I must say, my approach has been to "fit in" knowing all the while I have never been able to. And I'm in a place now of hopelessness re: my future. However, what to do, but plod along.

But I have a need to "leave my mark" on the world, or I feel I will have truly never existed.

I will say however, anticipatory anxiety over the simplest things sometimes can bring on BAD DP/DR which still horrifies/terrifies me as much as it did when it first "took over."

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