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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently three stressful situations entered my life simultaneously. Any one of them alone I feel confident I could have weathered without experiencing the DP reaction.

I would like to briefly mention what these stressors were for me bcause proior to their simultaneous entry into my life i had been virtually free of DP.

Of course i would now and then have little "mini DP attacks" lasting a few minutes that would often just appear out of the blue, perhaps just the way the sunlight catches on the side of someones face could set it off. Or a distant sound that seems to echo in my mind long after the outer sound is silent. For me my DP has very much a feeling of echoing thoughts, reverberating in an inward direction; seductive even hypnotic.These events which tend to turn the mind in an intense introverted direction seldom last for more than a couple of minutes. They are simply like mood setters which seem to create a mental state conducive to the DP condition if the introverted state continues on for some time.

Well anyway over the last few weeks I have been experiencing some pretty intense DP feelings bordering now and then on panic. It has been a number of years since my DP was intense enough to produce near panic states, and if i hadn't had so much experience with DP over these years I could very easily gone into panic mode.

The three conditions or circumstances which lead up to this intensification of DP feelings were:

1. Beginning an e mail correspondence with my Cousin who I haven't see or heard from in forty. We were fairly close when we were children and young teens and this correspondence brought back many memories of my childhood when I experienced a great deal of trauma in regards to profound seperation anxiety I felt towards my mother as a very young child in during the vital formative years> She was repeatedly taken from me because she suffered from hysteria which lead to severe asthma attacks and the ambulance would come. She was gasping for breath it seemed to me at sucha young age that my mommy was going to die and leave me all alone in the world. Sometimes Ii would stay a few days with a relative or sometimes with a neighbor. And then my mother would come back for a while and the same thing woud happen again and i was without my mommy. Talking toddler years for much of this. This I beleive was when my dissociative pattern of dealing with stress first became established. One shrink in his diagnosis referred to me as having a "bonding deficient" making it difficult and stressful for to connect to people emotionally and this accounts for some of those empty places i feel inside.

Anyway corresponding with my cousin dredged up many of these early childhood feelings. And from this came feelings of depression, and a sense of an empty feeling of hopelessness.

2. At almost exactly the same time I discovered this Depersonalization support forum and reading of peoples experiences of ongoing DP, caused my mind to reflect back and begin to dwell upon the serious DP I experienced in the past and this somehow conjured it into the my present life and almost in its original intensity.

3. And the thrid factor which contributed to a slipping into a rather intense DP condition for a couple of weeks recently was, strange to say, the pain and discomfort and the indecision about what to do about an ingrown toenail. I tried to ignore it hoping it would get better on its own and it eventually became infected and hurt even worse. But I came to realize that it wasn't so much the pain that was further aggravting the strong feelings of personal unreality, but it was my feelings of vulnerability, it was painful and difficult to walk and I couldn't work even the few hours a week "under the table" as I usually do to help supplement my psychiatric disability. So here I was back in my mind in the past dealing with seperation anxiety and the intense fear of abandonment
by my sick mother, preoccupied with self monitoring as my mind dweled on symptoms of DP from reading on this site, and with the painful toe feeling quite vulnerable in my indecisiveness.

It was this triple whammy that nearly did me in ( at least that is how it felt) but when I took action and had the toenail removed my DP began to lift again. WHY? Because I no longer felt so vulnerable.

So anyway I guess what I am trying to say is that often it is not simply one thing or one event that can put us into a the DP condition but a combination of perhaps several factors which act as stressors in our lifes. So what i learned from this experience and am trying to share is that when several things are pressuring you at the same time it might be prudent to try and find the one you can take immediate practical action to change through an effort of "Will" if necessary and that aspect of the burden of stress having been dealt with or even an effort made to deal with it may reduce feelings of vulnerability which in turn may begin to help lift the DP condition.

I am sure if i was a writer by trade i could have made this post simpler to understand but perhaps what I am trying to say well make sense to some.


48 Posts
Hi John, i know what you mean about the potential to spark off dp with a combination of certain factors, as i belive the amalgamation of certain stressors led to my onset as well.
I appreciate your advice though on how to counter the stresses when they heap up all at one time, because i tend to worry a lot, and i am sure that your advice will help me get through the next time i get bogged down.

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