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DP/DR from Meditation?

6309 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Charger
Anyone get DP/DR from meditation?

I got mine from a Vippashina mediation retreat. I did the retreat in the hope that it would help with my insomnia and anxiety due to financial problems. Here are some words I wrote after the retreat. This I wrote before I knew about DP/DR:

Within this words I will try to describe my feelings and perceptions after I returned from a retreat where I only completed three out of the ten days. I left late afternoon on the third day due to intense feelings of fear, anxiety and a perception of non reality. These feelings started late in the evening on the first day a varied in intensity during the next couple of days. On the third day I couldn?t take it any longer and left the retreat.

After returning home I noticed that the feelings still persisted although they did vary in intensity from just being perceivable to a point where my whole body felt like it would implode. The feelings I?m referring to are of fear, anxiety, panic, confusion, loneliness, weirdness, strangeness, unreality, detachment, depression and also a strong sense of not feeling like my usual self. I also discovered that I could trigger these feelings and change the intensity of the feelings by slightly shifting my awareness or focus on either my body, thoughts or surroundings. This shift in awareness would dramatically change the perception of my reality. The feelings I most dislike are feelings of intense and uncontrollable fear, anxiety and unrealism which makes me feel very distant and not like my familiar self. When I refer to my body and thoughts I?m referring to normal everyday functions that we perform thousands of times a day like walking, talking, thinking, observing etc.; but this slight shift in awareness has a profound effect on my whole perception of these familiar phenomenons.

Anyone with a similar experience?
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I was meditating and practicing kundalini yoga around the time of my first DP 1994. I was using meditation/breathing excercises to handle stress and anxiety I was experiencing in my life at the time.

A Vipassana retreat ? that's a lot of time spent just in meditation, no speaking correct?

There is a report out there somewhere on DP experienced by meditation practitioners, I can't recall the link, but it was a site that had a compendium of medical literature on DP/DR. I'll keep my eyes out for it.

I feel like I was very lucky that I had an inclination to meditation, that this helped ease the burden of the aftereffects of my DP experiences. I experienced 2 traumatic DP episodes three years apart, with daily obsessive monitoring and general weirdness in between.

I have been symtom free for 7 years, just working through depression and anxiety now. Yoga and meditation keeps me sane. I don't know how I would have coped with DP without it.
here's the link to the website I mentioned above

type in "depersonalization and meditation" and click on the Castillo article, second from top. I'm very interested in obtaining the entire article... let me know if you come across any more information, I'm VERY interested...
The definitions in the Castillo study, even though I've just read a brief abstract, appear to be DSM-IV.

They are cases in which people, like apparently Milan and partly myself (I primarily had the classic smoking pot and Panic Attack start to my DP), have been into triggered into DP from their experiences of meditation.

Here's the abstract...

Depersonalization and meditation.

Castillo RJ.

Department of Anthropology, Harvard University.

From a review of the literature on meditation and depersonalization and interviews conducted with six meditators, this study concludes that: 1) meditation can cause depersonalization and derealization; 2) the meanings in the mind of the meditator regarding the experience of depersonalization will determine to a great extent whether anxiety is present as part of the experience; 3) there need not be any significant anxiety or impairment in social or occupational functioning as a result of depersonalization; 4) a depersonalized state can become an apparently permanent mode of functioning; 5) patients with Depersonalization Disorder may be treated through a process of symbolic healing--that is, changing the meanings associated with depersonalization in the mind of the patient, thereby reducing anxiety and functional impairment; 6) panic/anxiety may be caused by depersonalization if catastrophic interpretations of depersonalization are present.

I think #5 above is particularily intriguing.

But in your case, you're using meditation to help you with your anxiety. I agree with you entirely that "DP is the opposite of the meditative state," because DP is about thinking, and attaching/struggling with meaning, and meditation is the letting go of this verbal functioning and being "in the moment, merging with what ever is.
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