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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey :)

first of all, i'm from germany, so please apologize my bad english.

I think i got DP from excessive "search for enlightenment". i was visiting so called "satsangs" many times over the last 7 years.
in june i was at an "intensive retreat", where 2 teachers (who i didn't know before) talked all day about "there is no-one", "no doer, no thinker, just thoughts and feelings arising in pure conciousness",
"we are all programmed, everything happens automatically", "everything is determined", "you have no control","there is no free will at all" etc. etc.
during the retreat i suffered more than one panic attack. i have a panic disorder and anxiety disorder diagnosed since many years, but never experienced panic attacks in satsangs.
usually i would enjoy sitting there, feeling very calm and relaxed. but somehow i suddenly had the feeling of not understanding the things they are saying anymore.
i got so confused and anxious. i told the teachers about that, i don't really remember what they said, but it calmed me down.

after this retreat i went back home and after two days at home things got worse. i had strong panic attacks with DP symptoms like my voice sounded weird and i heard it from far away.
i contacted one of the teachers and told him about my situation. He said it would be great, a step towards enlightenment and i should allow the panic to happen so that my "i" can die.
Then everything would be better. I should trust and so on. After that i realised that i was very afraid of letting my "i" die, I did not even know what that really meant.
The anxiety attacks didn't stop and i got into a bad circle of thoughts about ego-death and that i have to allow it even if i don't want to etc.

In this time i made the bad decision trying to find my "self" inside my body and I couldn't find it.
I remembered all the stuff i heard from teachers like "no-one is looking trough these eyes" and it frightened me a lot!!
This didn't feel like freedom at all! Since this moment the detachment from myself really began.

it felt as if everything was automatic, i questioned my movements ("why have i done this or that?"), i had the feeling "i" would not speak, all words came automatically from my mouth.
i could not stop looking for my "self". all that increased my anxiety to a very high level and I drew into consideration that this could be really the understanding of the teachings.
but it felt so bad and somehow wrong.

Unfortunately, I had read the book from suzanne seagall (i would NOT recommend to do that!!) and i was very afraid that i have to experience the same things she did.
and I'm still very very afraid of it!!

This all happend from june till august. my condition got worse and worse. i lost all my feelings, felt like a puppet without free will.
at some point i went voluntarily to a mental hospital. i was there for two weeks but they could not help me.

now i am back home waiting for a place in another mental hospital, they are specialized in DP/DR cases.

i think the situation got a little bit better, i don't have zero emotions anymore, but still very few. talking is the hardest part, i still don't have the feeling of "me" talking,
sometimes it feels as if the words had no relation to "me". Almost every morning i wake up with terrible fear and almost the whole day i think about this fucking enlightenment-no-self-stuff
and cannot stop it! I am so fucked off by this advaita-teachings! i don't want to believe them anymore but i can not stop thinking about whether they are right!

I do not even know why I've followed these teachings so long! I have no idea at all why impersonality would be good! I want to feel like a person again!
I try to go on with life but everything feels so meaningless and awful and i am very afraid that i can never be myself again...

Has anyone experienced something similar? Do you have any Advise?
 

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Sorry to learn of your difficulties.

The Cheetah House Facebook group might be a better place to seek advice and connect with people who have also experienced difficulties with contemplative practices.

https://www.facebook.com/Cheetah-House-108383069235890/

Cheetah House was set up by neuroscientist Dr. Willoughby Britton, who is currently researching the adverse/ challenging experiences of contemplative practice. The initial aim was to provide a place for people to recover and receive support.
 

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This report once again strenghens my suspicion that spirituality is a big bullshit and that enlightenment can be regarded as a subtype of depersonalization disorder.

now i am back home waiting for a place in another mental hospital, they are specialized in DP/DR cases.
If you mean Mainz you should not have too much hope.
 
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I think there is a fine line with this sort of thing. It is ok to listen to someone talk about it a little, so if it happens to you, you know that within meditation this sort of thing can happen... it seems what is happening to you is you have intellectualised this BEFORE experiencing it.. for some this can cause an awakening. For others it sounds like nonsense and they disregard it. And for some it scares the crap out of them. My advice would be just to watch things aka mindfulness. Watch these thoughts come and go. Watch the desire to get rid of the thoughts. Just watch and don't align yourself with the energy to fight the thoughts. Just watch the energy that is there resisting what is
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This report once again strenghens my suspicion that spirituality is a big bullshit and that enlightenment can be regarded as a subtype of depersonalization disorder.

If you mean Mainz you should not have too much hope.
i thought this too. especially these neo-advaita teachers who talk all day about "no-one being there" - it doesn't surprise me when they experience depersonalisation at some time and take

this as a proof for their theories. and ultimately it's nothing more than a theory. i can also believe in a personal soul and can find evidence for this if want to. i think mind and imagination can create many

different perceptions.

yes, i mean mainz. were you there? or why do you think this?

This report once again strenghens my suspicion that spirituality is a big bullshit and that enlightenment can be regarded as a subtype of depersonalization disorder.
i thought this too. especially these neo-advaita teachers who talk all day about "no-one being there" - it doesn't surprise me when they experience depersonalisation at some time and take

this as a proof for their theories. and ultimately it's nothing more than a theory. i can also believe in a personal soul and can find evidence for this if want to. i think mind and imagination can create many

different perceptions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think there is a fine line with this sort of thing. It is ok to listen to someone talk about it a little, so if it happens to you, you know that within meditation this sort of thing can happen... it seems what is happening to you is you have intellectualised this BEFORE experiencing it.. for some this can cause an awakening. For others it sounds like nonsense and they disregard it. And for some it scares the crap out of them. My advice would be just to watch things aka mindfulness. Watch these thoughts come and go. Watch the desire to get rid of the thoughts. Just watch and don't align yourself with the energy to fight the thoughts. Just watch the energy that is there resisting what is
i don't know if it's really good to do any kind of meditation at the moment...
 

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yes, i mean mainz. were you there? or why do you think this?
I consider myself an expert on Matthias Michal as I have read almost everything he has published, all his interviews in the press and what some people have experienced in his Spezialsprechstunde and during a stay in his clinic. In contrast to what he is telling the public, he clearly does not have a credible treatment approach for depersonalization disorder. In my opinion he is the typical psychosomatic, who wants to fullfil himself and prolong the suffering of people unless the treatment conforms to his psychodynamic ideology.

During your stay in this clinic your treatment will likely involve a combination of symptom diary, psychodynamic therapy and meditation. In addition there will be some treatments like dance therapy, art therapy and occupational therapy. They might deny it, but these are merely intended to keep you busy. I highly doubt that many people benefit from a stay in his clinic. Perhaps a few do so, because of the cognitive-behavioral components he borrowed from Elaine Hunter. But overall I consider him a threat to the depersonalized, much like Simon Wessely is in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Something to consider is that he uses mindfulness meditation to treat depersonalization disorder. It would be interesting to know what he said about you having acquired depersonalization disorder from meditation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I consider myself an expert on Matthias Michal as I have read almost everything he has published, all his interviews in the press and what some people have experienced in his Spezialsprechstunde and during a stay in his clinic. In contrast to what he is telling the public, he clearly does not have a credible treatment approach for depersonalization disorder. In my opinion he is the typical psychosomatic, who wants to fullfil himself and prolong the suffering of people unless the treatment conforms to his psychodynamic ideology.

During your stay in this clinic your treatment will likely involve a combination of symptom diary, psychodynamic therapy and meditation. In addition there will be some treatments like dance therapy, art therapy and occupational therapy. They might deny it, but these are merely intended to keep you busy. I highly doubt that many people benefit from a stay in his clinic. Perhaps a few do so, because of the cognitive-behavioral components he borrowed from Elaine Hunter. But I overall I consider him a threat to the depersonalized, much like Simon Wessely is in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Something to consider is that he uses mindfulness meditation to treat depersonalization disorder. It would be interesting to know what he said about you having acquired depersonalization disorder from meditation.
that was interesting, thank you.

i was at the spezialsprechstunde. the psychologist which i talked to was very nice. i don't know what you heard from people being at the spezialsprechstunde, but i had a good experience. they also told me about their treatment and i have to admit that i was a little sceptic, because i also see no difference to a normal psychosomatic treatment.

and there will be no possibility for me to speak with dr. michal outside the group therapy, that's a pity.

although i have not so much hope that they can help me, i will try it because i don't know what else i can do.
 

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i was at the spezialsprechstunde. the psychologist which i talked to was very nice. i don't know what you heard from people being at the spezialsprechstunde, but i had a good experience.
The personal experiences with Matthias Michal are quite variable. Some described him as cold, distanced and even arrogant. One person even stated that he wanted to kill himself afterwards. However some people also perceived him as a nice guy, just like you did. Perhaps in the course of time he learned to more effectively conceal his true self.

they also told me about their treatment and i have to admit that i was a little sceptic, because i also see no difference to a normal psychosomatic treatment.
That's because there probably is no real difference to a normal psychosomatic treatment. According to people who described their time on this clinic the only treatment component specific to depersonalization was psychoeducation. I think this was some kind of presentation done by Michal to a group of patients. Some also reported that they were urged to use a symptom diary and to meditate, but according to one person I talked to there seemingly was no integration of these components into the overall "treatment concept".

Some reported that the clinic was badly organized: Treatments were canceled and did not take place or person A did not know what person B wanted to do. A person to whom I talked complained about this. The senior therapist then told him that by doing so he destroyed all therapeutic advancements up to this moment. In my opinion saying such a thing is really disgusting. He also wrote an e-mail to Michal, but he did not respond.

and there will be no possibility for me to speak with dr. michal outside the group therapy, that's a pity.
Some who were for months in this clinic even have never seen him. Michal is one of the bosses of this clinic and his role is more of a supervisor. The actual work is done by his subordinates.

although i have not so much hope that they can help me, i will try it because i don't know what else i can do.
There are some medications that may work against depersonalization disorder. Didn't he tell you about this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The personal experiences with Matthias Michal are quite variable. Some described him as cold, distanced and even arrogant. One person even stated that he wanted to kill himself afterwards. However some people also perceived him as a nice guy, just like you did. Perhaps in the course of time he learned to more effectively conceal his true self.
This was a misunderstanding. I didn't speak with Dr. Michal personally, i spoke with a very nice woman who is a psychologist at the clinic. And she told me that it is not possible to speak with Dr. Michal

unless you are privately insured which i am not.

That's because there probably is no real difference to a normal psychosomatic treatment. According to people who described their time on this clinic the only treatment component specific to depersonalization was psychoeducation. I think this was some kind of presentation done by Michal to a group of patients. Some also reported that they were urged to use a symptom diary and to meditate, but according to one person I talked to there seemingly was no integration of these components into the overall "treatment concept".

Some reported that the clinic was badly organized: Treatments were canceled and did not take place or person A did not know what person B wanted to do. A person to whom I talked complained about this. The senior therapist then told him that by doing so he destroyed all therapeutic advancements up to this moment. In my opinion saying such a thing is really disgusting. He also wrote an e-mail to Michal, but he did not respond.
that sounds very bad :( and very similar to things i have experienced in other mental hospitals. in general i am not a big fan of mental hospitals, in my opinion they mostly don't help much.

2010 and 2014 i stayed for some time in different hospitals. i had the impression that the doctors are not able to treat you like an individual. i would like to describe this more accurate, but it's

hard to find the right english words for this and i don't have much time now.

There are some medications that may work against depersonalization disorder. Didn't he tell you about this?
They told me that they usually don't use any medication because no medication could treat DP. my psychiatrist prescribed me quentiapin (50mg) and escitalopram (10 mg) but i don't have the

impression that this really helps.

by the way .. how did you get DP? and what are you doing against it?
 

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This was a misunderstanding. I didn't speak with Dr. Michal personally, i spoke with a very nice woman who is a psychologist at the clinic. And she told me that it is not possible to speak with Dr. Michal unless you are privately insured which i am not.
That's new to me. Their website says that the Spezialsprechstunde is with Michal himself. Previous reports confirmed this. You are the first one who reported that someone else did it. To my knowledge only receiving psychotherapy by Michal personally required you to be privately insured.

They told me that they usually don't use any medication because no medication could treat DP.
This is a half-truth. It is correct that no medications are approved for depersonalization disorder. But there are some drugs that according to scientific studies might work in some people. Those include the anti-convulsive lamotrigine, the opioid-antagonist naltrexone and the benzodiazepine clonazepam. The psychologist you saw might have been friendly, but at the same time lied in your face.

and what are you doing against it?
As you can see in my signature below all my posts I tried 16 medications without success. I also had both inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy, which were completely useless.

2010 and 2014 i stayed for some time in different hospitals. i had the impression that the doctors are not able to treat you like an individual. i would like to describe this more accurate, but it's
Sounds like you have some sort of prehistory concerning mental illness. However I do not fully agree with your complaints regarding the lack of individualized treatment. Personalized medicine would be a good thing, but especially in psychiatry this is still a long way off. Trial and error is often state of the art. In my opinion the real problem is that not all means are utilized. Although my disorder is very severe and clearly highly resistant to treatment my psychiatrist does not want to prescribe anything off-label, making possibly effective treatments unreachable.

my psychiatrist prescribed me quentiapin (50mg) and escitalopram (10 mg) but i don't have the

impression that this really helps.
However it has one use: As Quetiapine did not increase your symptoms it means you do not belong to the group of patients whose symptoms get worse from antipsychotics. Unfortunately for now this only has academic value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's new to me. Their website says that the Spezialsprechstunde is with Michal himself. Previous reports confirmed this. You are the first one who reported that someone else did it. To my knowledge only receiving psychotherapy by Michal personally required you to be privately insured.
i don't know .. in my case i didn't see Dr. Michal personally. perhaps they have received so much bad feedback that they are now using other employees for the job :D

As you can see in my signature below all my posts I tried 16 medications without success. I also had both inpatient and outpatient psychotherapy, which were completely useless.
sorry to hear this :(

Sounds like you have some sort of prehistory concerning mental illness. However I do not fully agree with your complaints regarding the lack of individualized treatment. Personalized medicine would be a good thing, but especially in psychiatry this is still a long way off. Trial and error is often state of the art. In my opinion the real problem is that not all means are utilized. Although my disorder is very severe and clearly highly resistant to treatment my psychiatrist does not want to prescribe anything off-label, making possibly effective treatments unreachable.

However it has one use: As Quetiapine did not increase your symptoms it means you do not belong to the group of patients whose symptoms get worse from antipsychotics. Unfortunately for now this only has academic value.
i didn't mean the medication treatment. one time i was in a mental hospital because of my "borderline condition" which was diagnosed by a psychologist who saw me excactly two times.

and although i doubted the diagnose from the psychologist and saw the differences between me and the other patients in the clinic, everything i did which was a little against their "clinic rules" was labled as "borderline behaviour" and "therapy damaging behaviour". that was really annoying.

my psychiatrist now prescribes me risperdol because he thinks this might work better. i don't really know but it's not worse than the quentiapin.
 

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Hey :)

first of all, i'm from germany, so please apologize my bad english.

I think i got DP from excessive "search for enlightenment". i was visiting so called "satsangs" many times over the last 7 years.
in june i was at an "intensive retreat", where 2 teachers (who i didn't know before) talked all day about "there is no-one", "no doer, no thinker, just thoughts and feelings arising in pure conciousness",
"we are all programmed, everything happens automatically", "everything is determined", "you have no control","there is no free will at all" etc. etc.
during the retreat i suffered more than one panic attack. i have a panic disorder and anxiety disorder diagnosed since many years, but never experienced panic attacks in satsangs.
usually i would enjoy sitting there, feeling very calm and relaxed. but somehow i suddenly had the feeling of not understanding the things they are saying anymore.
i got so confused and anxious. i told the teachers about that, i don't really remember what they said, but it calmed me down.

after this retreat i went back home and after two days at home things got worse. i had strong panic attacks with DP symptoms like my voice sounded weird and i heard it from far away.
i contacted one of the teachers and told him about my situation. He said it would be great, a step towards enlightenment and i should allow the panic to happen so that my "i" can die.
Then everything would be better. I should trust and so on. After that i realised that i was very afraid of letting my "i" die, I did not even know what that really meant.
The anxiety attacks didn't stop and i got into a bad circle of thoughts about ego-death and that i have to allow it even if i don't want to etc.

In this time i made the bad decision trying to find my "self" inside my body and I couldn't find it.
I remembered all the stuff i heard from teachers like "no-one is looking trough these eyes" and it frightened me a lot!!
This didn't feel like freedom at all! Since this moment the detachment from myself really began.

it felt as if everything was automatic, i questioned my movements ("why have i done this or that?"), i had the feeling "i" would not speak, all words came automatically from my mouth.
i could not stop looking for my "self". all that increased my anxiety to a very high level and I drew into consideration that this could be really the understanding of the teachings.
but it felt so bad and somehow wrong.

Unfortunately, I had read the book from suzanne seagall (i would NOT recommend to do that!!) and i was very afraid that i have to experience the same things she did.
and I'm still very very afraid of it!!

This all happend from june till august. my condition got worse and worse. i lost all my feelings, felt like a puppet without free will.
at some point i went voluntarily to a mental hospital. i was there for two weeks but they could not help me.

now i am back home waiting for a place in another mental hospital, they are specialized in DP/DR cases.

i think the situation got a little bit better, i don't have zero emotions anymore, but still very few. talking is the hardest part, i still don't have the feeling of "me" talking,
sometimes it feels as if the words had no relation to "me". Almost every morning i wake up with terrible fear and almost the whole day i think about this fucking enlightenment-no-self-stuff
and cannot stop it! I am so fucked off by this advaita-teachings! i don't want to believe them anymore but i can not stop thinking about whether they are right!

I do not even know why I've followed these teachings so long! I have no idea at all why impersonality would be good! I want to feel like a person again!
I try to go on with life but everything feels so meaningless and awful and i am very afraid that i can never be myself again...

Has anyone experienced something similar? Do you have any Advise?
Avoid these meditational retreats! They are highly promising, idealistic and naive. Often people think the more intense the meditation is, the better -- wrong.
A lot of the "tutors" are simple-minded, unaware and inexperienced. They take a one-year course in teaching and think they are Gurus and even worse are the institutions and organizations that accredit them.

I've even heard of stories where the "master" or "guide" is not even physically there, just you, a group of people and a pre-recorded program guiding you into enlightenment.

It seems like I'm bashing and quite honestly I'm refraining from being worse. Meditation taps into the deepest layers of our conscious, ego and psyche. This is not a game for others to make money out of.

Meditation done correctly can be AMAZING!
But one must start slow and gradually move up. Not even experience Tibetan Buddhist would consider this for students.

Th ego is well..egotistical. The reason you are having a hard time is because of two things.
1. You were taken down a spiritual path to essentially eradicate the "ego":

Yes, this can be great and truly enlightening but few have attained it.
Getting rid of the ego allows for your true spiritual being to flourish. The wonders and emotions that come from it are pure bliss but many practitioners first undergo a few existential stages, one being "Sunyata". At this stage, the ego is being submerged, forms and shapes and even identity are slowly fading away into a void. This void is where "you" meet your true "you" but the ego has a hard time letting go and most people do not complete this stage, much worse some get stuck there.

2. Your mentors did not fully prepare you:

Scary part is, some of these guys never eradicated anything, they are just guiding you based on their observation but have no knowledge how this can impact you.

Furthermore, most retreats are isolated where there is a limited social environment. Sure, mediation requires quite and calm but if you are about to get rid of your ego, you would need true loving, caring support from someone that suffered and knows how to get out of it. (Siddharta comes to mind)

FEAR NOT! You are not in the deepest realm of sunyata. A true experiencer of this stage would become one with everyhting and everyhting around that person would melt into one. This is quite frightening and without preparation, it can be worse.

You are in middleground, for now release yor anxiety and concentrate on more mindful meditation and meditation that enforces concentration and patience.
 

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This report once again strenghens my suspicion that spirituality is a big bullshit and that enlightenment can be regarded as a subtype of depersonalization disorder.

If you mean Mainz you should not have too much hope.
No TDX, what is bullshit is the so called "teachers" that falsely guide people into enlightenment without any actual completion of it.
Western society has taken meditation, spun it around and given it a nice little bow-tie so it can appear enticing, presentable and sellable.
Meditation is not a walk in the park and , yes, if done incorrectly it can lead to de-personalization. However true practitioners transcend the ego, this stage is much deeper than de-personzalization and although this sounds scarier, it is not. BUT again, you have clowns who think it's fun to lure people into their Navy Seal meditation camps, promising self-realization by hardcore-pondering and sitting for hours on end.
 
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