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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi--TRIGGER WARNING to pretty much everyone here because this will likely get a little existential or talk about trauma at some point. :)

So I've known I have DID for years now (tbh I've been aware of it my whole life) and I suppose I've probably also suffered from DPDR before because I recall a LOT of episodes in the past, but if I already had it then recently it's gotten an awful lot worse. I had an acute psychotic episode last year immediately after the pandemic really started in the US because I was isolated for a month, I lost my job, I was terrified of the virus because asthma and mass deaths and then I started researching possible causes for my own history of trauma (there are some REALLY terrifying and believable conspiracies out there and I thought maybe I'd been raised by a cult) so I started to try to tear apart my own mental structures and external reality to try to get to the bottom of whatever it was that was supposedly controlling me. I ended up getting really delusional and trying to reprogram and break reality itself by manipulating objects, colors, and sounds because I thought this universe wasn't real; I got false memories of the very beginning and even the pre-history of the universe, I ended up hurting someone close to me when they tried to calm me down, and I've now been through 7 months of therapy that only made everything worse because I had to relive all of my trauma twice a week while the therapists tried to shove interventions that were really the opposite of helpful down my throat. Last week they finally agreed with me that I need something other than a generic DV solution to my mental problems and that what they've been doing to me so far is only breaking me more, so now I'm just waiting for them to pick another individual councilor who'll hopefully be a better fit for me.

However, in-between that episode and the classes I had to take I did manage to fix myself almost to 100%. I have an ISH (internal self helper, one of my alternate personalities who's basically an internal therapist/brain mechanic) and she came up with a plan immediately following the episode to 1. thoroughly research both science and metaphysics until we were convinced that death is not the end of life 2. actually get into magic even though I didn't 100% believe in it because the placebo effects would be helpful 3. take up meditation and explore reality from a more spiritual side for once and 4. make temporary use of oneirogens to learn new techniques to control our dreams even if not lucid and stop having nightmares. We ended up getting really, REALLY good at the whole meditating thing and eventually got to a point where we were meditating for over 90% of our day (even when working or talking to people) and then we fell into a state we recognized as roughly equivalent to the hindu concept of ananda, which is a state of permanent infinite bliss (just like nirvana but with more happy feels). I felt like I could have stayed that way forever, but I determined within a day that if I did so then it would genuinely become permanent and I would gradually lose my ability to emphasize with others because I would no longer understand the concept of suffering myself. So, I backed out of it and forced myself back to more normal means of cognition. Due to an entire year of intense research I truly believed (and still do) that the universe is really just a dream, and that the universe existed as a fragmented external DID system that needed to be fixed somehow. I thought I'd never be able to find a solution to all of the universe's problems because every single possible solution I came up with eventually failed when mentally extrapolated to an infinite timescale across every possible configuration of reality (because the phrase "it's a dream" actually says very little on its own, I needed to know what kind of dream I was dealing with and that's actually beyond complicated to try to puzzle out).

So to recap, I went through intense suffering myself because I believed the universe wasn't real, I then did intense research into the actual nature of reality which told me it DEFINITELY wasn't real (please don't look it up but the specific topic I'm thinking of here is the self-simulation hypothesis which is the most believable interpretation of quantum mechanics I've ever heard) and at the same time I was pushing my brain to its absolute limits in terms of meditation and mindfulness. I was searching for a true end to all suffering for everyone forever...and then I found it. Ironically, that's when I really started having problems.

I was a couple of month into my therapy classes at the time and they weren't really giving me issues yet, but I did notice that the only time I was ever feeling down or having flashbacks at all anymore was the day of or the day before my classes. I found what seemed like a true and perfect solution to all suffering, but then I realized that if the solution exists in my head then it also exists in the universe itself, which means the universe knows exactly how to end suffering and still won't or can't do it. I spent a lot of time trying to rationalize that epiphany and eventually just ended up hating all possible gods, spirits, or universal mental constructs for not helping me and everyone else who's ever been traumatized. My meditative efforts started triggering the most intense flashbacks I've ever had and trying harder just gave me a bunch of really disturbing existential imagery I had a hard time shaking (one time I just straight up felt that I was nothing more than a collection of waves and everything around me from a scientific perspective was just a video game on tv and I immediately had an anxiety atttack) even though I'd been able to handle literally anything anyone could ever possibly through at me mere weeks before. My "down" period every week stretched from two days to four around my weekly classes and the down period also intensified. I considered trying to return to ananda, but around that time I randomly did some research into misogyny in eastern religions and discovered that some of the supposedly wisest and most enlightened people on earth and in history have also been total assholes like everyone else with power, and then I realized that it's the same thing with every type of knowledge, skill, or wisdom: most people end up just using it for their own power or for attention and growth in terms of morality has almost no correlation with mental or spiritual growth. I analyzed all of society's problems and realized that not a single one of them really has to exist, we as a species just happen to get a kick out of pointlessly robbing each other and the earth itself of our consent. Nobody ever had to be hurt at all and the universe never had to have this experience of reality; we just did it to ourselves because idk why, we're just a bunch of sadists and masochists I guess. Eventually I had a day where I felt perfectly happy and content with my life and decided in that moment to kill myself because it was the logical thing to due when presented with a hell-like dream reality that absolutely refuses to change, so I sat under a cold shower and happily waited until my shivering stopped and I started to feel paradoxical warmth which is the last stage of hypothermia before passing out and then dying, then I decided to live for my boyfriend and got out. Remembering how happy and calm I felt WHILE DYING still really disturbs me; I definitely had WAY too much control over my own mental state at the time (when not having flashbacks).

I eventually realized that my own meditative and intense researching habits were causing all of these problems, so I stopped completely and sent an email to one of my therapists to that effect since she was teaching a DBT class and insisting that I still needed to somehow get even better at being mindful. She basically reported me to the other therapist because I was refusing treatment and had attempted suicide, so they took me out of that class and set me up with individual sessions instead. After one week of that they decided to cancel that individual session and my DV class as well because they realized that therapy was actually hurting me and I desperately needed different treatment options. So now at least I'm not getting 4+ days a week where I'm guaranteed to have flashbacks from DV class, but at the same time I feel less connected to reality than ever before and I feel like it might be too late for me. I never should've pursued enlightenment, it was always a foolish goal just like everything else I've ever tried to do to change or control my own reality. Now I'm just trying to distract myself with meaningless hobbies and just kinda live for my boyfriend because I have no more purpose or passion to drive me and I really don't even feel like taking care of any of my bodily needs anymore. I still eat as much as I can, but often when I do or when I think about eating I also think about just letting myself slowly starve to death in bed so I can have a really peaceful exit from non-reality. I see static sometimes when the world REALLY isn't feeling real at all--not like tv static exactly but more like a really faint overlay on top of everything else I see--and because of my meditative efforts my brain also tends to dissociate from itself HARD at such times. I can separately engage or turn off several of my sensory systems esp. vision and letting my brain dissociate leads to my eyes defocusing to the point that the world around me just looks like a really blurry field of flowers; I can also almost shut my vision off with my eyes open by focusing on a single point and letting it slowly fade from view. I see phosphenes constantly every time I move my eyes or sometimes when something I'm looking at moves, and I feel and hear every single little thing that ever happens to me. I can sense my thoughts to a degree I'd never imagined possible before and can now tell that even when I AM focused and being perfectly mindful, my brain is actually doing several dozen things at once and being able to sense all of that suppressant and independent mind activity is incredibly anxiety inducing; the only way to escape that sensation of thought is through distractions, otherwise it's a daily issue for me. I can now also sense my heartbeat every time I'm feeling anxious, which makes the anxiety worse. I've come to the conclusion that spiritual abilities are always cultivated at the expense of physical functions due to energy management and needing to let some parts of the brain atrophy or even learn to function independently so others can be trained and grow.

Sorry this is all so long and unorganized...anyway my plan is to just focus on external reality and to NOT engage in any more mindfulness, magic, or meditative practices unless by accident or if it's absolutely necessary in the moment. I guess I'd love some advice since I'm just now coming to terms with the idea that this might be my worst mental issue by far, but mostly I'm just looking for support from other people with the same issues and just wanted to share my experience even if no one ever reads it. Thank you to anyone who did read <3 you're beyond appreciated. :) Thank you.
 

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Hi seraphcat, just wanted to say that I read your post, it is very layered. Since no two people are alike, including the experience of dissociation, I don't really have an advice, except that you should always rely on your own impression about how helpful the therapy is, which is what you did, and I think that is great. I hope you will find a model of therapy that suits your needs.

I had experience with CBT, that was actually very helpful until the traumatic memories came out, and then it proved to be anything but helpful for a person who is completely hijacked by trauma, and fragmented into parts and pieces that were actually denied by the therapist. After I left CBT, and after suffering on my own for a while - well, basically, I was researching what could possibly help me not being torn by flashbacks any more, which was happening over and over again - I found an EMDR therapist, and that therapy allowed me to integrate (some) traumatic memories, but only when I was ready to do it, without forcing anything. The therapist was also understanding of my explanation of different parts, and we worked with that, as different parts came forward to tell their story. I still find it difficult to identify with any of it, but I know it is true, I know it happened to me, even though I cannot feel it as my own experience.

I had a clear sense and image of different parts when I ended the therapy (I ended it because I felt I need some time to process everything we went through), and at that point I was not able to see myself as one person for almost two years, but then a month after finishing with EMDR, all the parts somehow merged, or better glued together - it is not that I do not see them, it is more like there is no pushing and pulling in all directions any more, and as if I can once again function as one person, or perhaps different parts of me can again function under one joint management, so to say...

Anyway, take care, I think you are very brave and a real fighter, and I hope you will find the spark, the inspiration again, to live your life for yourself.
Best,
A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much :) just reading that actually helped, esp. the last paragraph even though it sounds cliche. I'm doing my best.
 
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