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Does DP/DR matter?

6932 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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Im laughing once again. Yep, it makes me laugh when people describe dp/dr as some sort of mysterious illness. Your waisting your time thinking this way. If its an illness, than everbody on this earth has this illness, because I believe its just part of being human. Sorry, its nothing more than a symptom from a fully engaged fof mechanism. Most doctors and experts theorize the same thing. I agree. Primary dp is EXTREMELY rare. Who knows if it exists at all.


you plainly do not have dp or dr for that matter - quite frankly I don't why you bother coming here other than to frighten people unnecessarily about Klonopin (which for many who DO have dp is a lifesaver) and generally just piss people off

I wonder the same thing that JAG posted. If the fear of derealization left, would the derealization leave? Like when the fear of having panic attacks stops, the panic attacks stop. It doesn't always work this way with dp/dr but I believe anxiety is a HUGE factor behind dp/dr. For me I had mild dp/dr and panic attacks but when I went to school 5 hours away alone and had a panic attack in an isolated dorm room with no car to get home, and no best friend or mom to comfort me my panic attack was overwhelming. It's the worst fear I've ever felt in my life, and that's when my chronic dp hit 24/7. That overwhelming fear when you have nowhere to turn so you just shut down. You're body fights desperately to find a safe place. And that safe place is derealization.
So AHHH I agree with dakota Joe. But I disagree that dp units are fruitless. I think they are very important and it completely sucks that 99% of doctors have no clue what derealization is. But many many people have experienced this sensation in their lives whether they know what it is or not. Anyway, for me my derealization is pretty much all anxiety based. And the more I make myself stop being afraid of it, the less severe my derealization becomes.
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you plainly do not have dp or dr for that matter - quite frankly I don't why you bother coming here other than to frighten people unnecessarily about Klonopin (which for many who DO have dp is a lifesaver) and generally just piss people off

I agree with Rob on this.
Joe, Fuck Off.
sc, fearing it is a horrible thing. I do understand the fear of it, because I use to be so afraid.

My DP/DR began exactly like this:

I had never been a heavy marijuana smoker. However, on one occasion I was smoking pot with friends. I was 15 at the time. During the toking session I became "high". It was one of those everything-is-hilarious highs. I began laughing hysterically. Suddenly in a split second I felt suddenly different. Not scared at first at all. Just completely different, and then confused, lost. I had the sensation my very "self" had disappeared. The sensation then turned to horror; the thought that my self had disappeared. I panicked.

Now that's how I describe the beginning of my DP/DR. Note that prior to the depersonalization I was laughing. In fact I would say that I had never laughed so hard. This seems to contradict the idea that anxiety is the basis for DP/DR. However, after noticing the depersonalization I was horrified, which even then, without ever having heard of DP/DR, I thought my own fear would perpetuate it.

Still terrified a day later, I began obsessing about "what if the sensation never leaves". I was even somewhat conscious of the fact that I might actually scare myself into DP/DR, and that scared me even more. It was like I had an obsession about losing control of my own thoughts.

So, yes I think DP/DR is a symptom, and in some cases a disorder, which affects people with chronic anxiety. But, in my case I'm not so sure anxiety is perpetuating it. I think it is probably just part of being me.

So that said, I think people with DP/DR should not spend too much time trying to get rid of the reality-based symptoms. That's futile. However, if you have chronic anxiety, and subsequently DP/DR then treat the anxiety, because fear is the problem.

I insist there is at least one person in the world who has DP/DR and lives with it, with or without anxiety. Me. I don't believe I'm living in a chronic state of fight or flight. Maybe in some cases, such as mine, you can have DP/DR on its own. How rare my sort of DP/DR is remains to be seen. Because if you don't have a problem with DP/DR then you're not going to seek counseling.
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Edit by Dreamer: double post by JAG.
Hey Rob,

Ive had chronic dp/dr for over 2 years because of my anxiety state. I know as much as anybody about this subject. I continue to come here because of nice people like Dont worry, Im not going anywhere.

dakotajo... If everyone has DP then why doesn't anyone understand it when I try to explain it to them? I have primary DP. The first time I felt the unreality(DP) I was a little kid thinking about God, it was like a rush, like going down a rollercoaster but then I was able to make it go away... kinda like Dreamer. But then it kept coming back... without any thoughts to prompt it and it caused me fear. And now it is constant and the fear is constant. DP caused the fear.

But anyway... Why, when I posted my symptoms on several anxiety forums, why didn't anyone understand if it's just anxiety and they all have it too? When I was first diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorder I was hopeful. But then I realized the doctors had no idea what I was experiencing. They said yeah panic attacks can cause feelings of unreality. But with panic attacks the fear subsides... the unreality subsides. My unreality NEVER subsides. And my DP CAUSED my panic attacks not the other way around like the doctors said.

I am insulted and really pissed off that you say doctors are wasting time researching this disease. How dare you condemn the research of a disease that we are suffering from that you obviously do not understand. There are millions of people studying anxiety... millions of books about anxiety. I've read many of these books and I'd say maybe one mentioned unreality and even then it was said to be the result of a panic attack and would last briefly.

I'm beginning to doubt you have DP cuz if you did you wouldn't say you could care less about it cuz you'd be in utter hell right now because of it. Maybe you should go to the anxiety forums if they're so helpful. But hey, I'm not gonna sit here and diagnose you like you did to everyone on this board cuz unlike you I don't claim to know how the minds of everyone on this planet work. It seems that if you experience something everyone else has to also. Because you suffered horrible withdrawals from Klonopin you say we all will. Well guess what, I didn't. You say that because your anxiety causes derealization ("The 2d,dark, corridor vision, ability to see all the debris on the inside of the my eye ball lenses, and the perception that im seeing my world from too far back in my head." {these aren't even the symptoms a lot of us are suffering from}) say that has to be how it is for the rest of us. Well guess what, it isn't.
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P.S. If you were calm for the first 32 years of your life why the hell did you take Klonopin in the first place?! Maybe that's why it fucked you up so bad... maybe you didn't even need it.
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.
Joe says:

Im misunderstood
Yeah right.
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.

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.

But DP/DR symptoms may occur more easily in some people than in others. So for one person maybe it hardly requires any anxiety at all whereas another person needs a much greater level of anxiety for DP/DR to kick in. If DP/DR kicks in more easily in some people than in others, then you are in fact getting into the area of a specific problem removed from simple anxiety itself. Afterall, everyone has at least SOME anxiety in their lives, and if their DP/DR symptoms appear from very low anxiety levels, then to me it should be classified as a separate phenomenon. In other words, however rare or unlikely, someone could potentially DP or DR from simply living.
Agreed. Im sure, everybodies threshold is different. As Dreamer says, were all unique. I still believe tho that is no illness. Whats perpetuating the fof response maybe is, but the dp/dr itself is only a symptom. A doctor once told me that you can become accustomed to anxiety states and not even realize your in one.

dakotajo said:
A doctor once told me that you can become accustomed to anxiety states and not even realize your in one.

Yeah Joe, I've thought about that before. And I haven't ruled it out as a possibility in my case.

But don't forget the possibility that DP/DR can occur at very low levels of anxiety. And maybe at levels which are considered normal. Depending on the individual, of course.
everyone seems so bitchy around here lately that ive been afraid to post lest i get my bitch-switch flipped..

i see your point joe.. yes dp is part of fight or flight.. but alas its not that simple deary.

not everyone has 24/7 fight or flight... usually it happens after a horrific or tragic event.. trauma.. then bang your dped.. then it goes away.. grief period then healing begins in whatever form. but the dp ultimately goes away. unfortunately in some cases it doesnt. it gets 'stuck'. the switch is turned on but for some sick twist of fate doesnt turn off. or in other cases like me... it turns off for a bit.. then it turns back on when i least expect it to. and there are different responses to it. for me... its a pleasant experience. its the way my mind 'shuts off' to get away from the horrors of reality. the problem is i have no control over it. and when it happens im even less in control and oblivious to what is going on around me. not being in control is what i hate about it.

dp is not a disease. but it is a disorder. it IS REAL. we are not like everyone else. i mean .. how the hell can you think that? havent you tried to explain it to people that have no fricken clue what youre talking about and look at you like youre a flippin loon? i have. choke times. no one i know really knows how i feel.. accept my friends from this site.

WE ARE UNIQUE. if you dont think so.. then you are just trying to blind yourself to the facts. saying everyone has this is like saying everyone can cook just because everyone can zap a hotpocket. my dad can do that and he cant cook to save his life.

you gotta look at the whole picture before you start throwing facts around wildly. in other words.. get your facts strait. 8)
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Reading around a little here tonight (this thread and the really sad one started by Rob) and I am suddenly really demoralized.

I am a newish here, now around six months. I wanted to be a "member." I think my posts are sententious. I think I am trying to cook up some persona for social reasons as much as anything else, trying to define myself. I do this in the non-virtual world as well, but have given up on being anyone of any consequence, and so out there I try to pick a facade that is as innocuous as possible.

Here it seems to me, tonight, that I have been trying to create a different kind of identity, and as I said, I don't much like it. I have associated this absolute sense of disingenuousness with DP.

But this place seems so full of distinct personalities, and right now I think I have been trying to have/be, one myself. It is a trap, an eternal shuttle, because, I think every utterance implies or creates some kind of person or personality or self. Never mind about that.

Was going someplace with this, something like, if I enter some kind of debate I really don't know what I am talking about.

My experience as briefly as possible:

Very fortunate to have had a great childhood.
Disgusted at how ungrateful I have been for this good fortune
Pretty happy, optimistic, and in some ways prodigious kid
Changed quickly concurrent with use of cannabis.
To my surprise and shame became in so many ways "damaged" adult.
Functioned until now through a series of shitty jobs and lots of beer.
Enough of this.

Is there anxiety here? Yes. Is there psychology? Duh. Is there something else related, specifically, to cannabis? I had always thought so, in the back of my mind, but had dismissed this. One, it is shameful to think that I have so adversely affected my life by just trying to be like my friends. Two, it just didn't seem possible for something almost everyone I knew experienced as a mild diversion to have a long lasting effect on me. It was adding THC to a search on things like unreality that I found out about DP, and on this site I found other people, for the first time, talking about the same syndrome.

That is why I have been putzing around here, and I have found if of great value. For one reason the wealth of support and information, and the possibility of real help. For another, some sense of being someone. I don't really want to engage in any controversy or to debate anything. Rob and Joe and Janine and Dreamer and Rev and Jag and sc and etc.--all this stuff is good and nothing wrong with a little passion, absent any nastiness.

As far as the original point. I am similar to Jag. Terror at first, thinking that the successful life I had planned would turn into a life devoid of accomplishment and human intimacy. Now that this has happened, there is not that much to be afraid of. I have no symptoms debilitating enough to keep me from getting out in the world and doing (albiet, mostly the minimum) things I need to do.

As far as the way I percieve my self and my surroundings, I am used to this way of experiencing things and can live with it. I have assumed I will have no other choice.

My main aim is to confront any symptoms that might keep me from improving my life, (assuming I can cook up some motivation to try) preparing for the next several decades, which can not go like the last several, improving the nuts and bolts of my existence before it is really to late. These very well may be anxiety and depression and the like. Anyway
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Hey uhm... lostvisionlostfeeling... aka: Robbie. Just a little FYI for you, smoking weed isn't going to help your anxious nervous system, but instead damage it and make it harder for you to recover. I would rethink your actions. :)

;) :roll:
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