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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Epiphany Phobia

People often ask ?how on earth can I STILL have the same exact terror that ?THIS IS IT!? when my dp and anxiety states reach new peaks? I felt this way for ___ years, and yet every single time it feels like THIS is the moment ?IT? will happen. Why don?t I get used to the experience? Why does every moment that my fears peak feel DIFFERENT from every other identical moment in the past??

There is a common delusional kind of terror that dp folks share, and it?s something I am calling an ?Epiphany Phobia? (just something I made up, don?t look for this term on the internet, lol)

Different people have different content to this fear ? some are convinced this is the moment they are literally going insane. Others fear this is the moment they are going to realize that the world is, in fact, NOT real and they have been making it all up since birth. Sort of ?The Matrix? realization??oh, my GOD, now I understand!!!? and then slink to the floor in horror.

Same thing for The Truman Show (?oh, no! Yes, now I see!?) in which the person ?sees? the truth ? and realizes in one horrible epiphany that they have only been part of some demonic experiment since birth. In short, the person is forced to see much more than they really wanted to know!

The thing they all have in common is the Epiphany. It?s the key to why each time we feel so awful, we are convinced ?THIS IS IT!? The epiphany is a very important part of these symptoms ? the very fact of an epiphany, more so than the particular content of what that epiphany is about to reveal.

Try to see that most other sufferers share this experience with you. We think we are completely unique in this one ? and we are not.

Instead of obsessing more about the Facts of your particular epiphany fear, try to look at the PROCESS of the fear. The fear is based on control, efforts at control, terror over not knowing what?s coming, terror over past ?surprises? and anxiety over potential future surprises. The mind conjures up the worst possible future surprise it can manage ? as a way of trying to master the impending trauma. We invent our delusion because we needed to imagine the worst case scenario of any possible future shocking epiphany ? we are trying to prepare ourselves, but by doing so, we?ve made ourselves sicker.

EVERYONE has had experiences of suddenly seeing something, or understanding something that was infinitely disturbing. We suddenly see our family members in a new light. We suddenly realize we are not much different from some hated parent. We suddenly realize that we are repeating certain patterns and what had seemed like a new way of being is really just more of same. Or we suddenly realize we are NOT the king/queen we once thought we were. Life is full of those ?fun? realizations.

For some of us, they are traumatic. Literally traumatic. And in response, we may hide from them, pretend they never happened ? pretend we are still na?ve and happily so. At least we TRY to do that. As soon as we start screwing with our sense of reality though, we invoke all kinds of symptoms ? especially things like dp, dr, and obsessive anxiety. They are manifestations of recreations of the trauma ? recreations of the unacceptable Epiphanies of long ago.

Never again will we be caught off guard. Never again will we allow ourselves to be devastated by something we didn?t see coming. Never again will we be victimized by suddenly seeing reality turned on its head. Well, no we?re safe now because we have DE-reality-fied everything anyway! In an effort to master trauma, we have created a delusion a thousand times worse than any ordinary life epiphany. And we get ?Stuck? there, in dp land.

We feel unable to extricate ourselves from our symptom state because we want to exit that state on OUR OWN terms. We insist that we feel POSITIVE and IN CONTROL of our every response?.we want to be Super Human in terms of confidence and security before venturing out of dp land. In short, we are saying ?yes, I?ll get well once I?m well!?

Try to notice how often that ?THIS IS IT!? moment rears its head for you. That Epiphany moment of suddenly discovered knowledge that is devastating to your very sanity. It is an illusion. A mind game. And then try to think back on some very real epiphanies (of a much more ordinary nature) that might be contributing to your symptoms. And try to be honest with yourself ? try to let go of some of your more grand self-delusions you had before the symptoms hit. Notice how often Control was in the picture.

And notice how your CONVICTION each time you think ?This is it!? makes you feel like it must be true ? as if ?how could I feel so SURE if it wasn?t really finally all coming true??? Truth is, being that sure is almost a clue it?s a delusion. Being POSITIVE with every fiber of your being is not a sign that you?re right. It?s a sign that you?re desperate.

Make FRIENDS with reality a little more than you?re doing. You want to live in it, but you avoid it like the plague.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
yes this is a very good post. This is actually what i am trying to do is forget my delusions of what i have been building up about the "matrix" kind of world and start thinking and living in the general reality.
 

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Make FRIENDS with reality a little more than you?re doing. You want to live in it, but you avoid it like the plague.
This is the key to healing.

Janine, your ability to communicate the accuracy of the DP experience is amazing. Thank you.

Ken[/quote]
 

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Yes, this makes a lot of sense.

I think I've lost count of the number of times I've felt "This is it" with respect to my symptoms. Each time I think it's somehow "different" from the previous times, but each time, at least so far, no impending realization has materialized.

I often find when I'm in a bad anxiety/dp state that it feels as if I'm "on the verge" of finding something, or it feels as though I'm missing something really obvious that will cure me once and for all (paradoxically, I guess, the latter could be true). Throughout all this I know that there is nothing to be found - it's just a feeling - but it's annoying nonetheless.
 

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I think I've lost count of the number of times I've felt "This is it" with respect to my symptoms. Each time I think it's somehow "different" from the previous times, but each time, at least so far, no impending realization has materialized.
So true. I get the same thing. Every time my anxiety goes haywire I look for ways to explain to myself how it is so different from before, when in fact, it's just the same damn thing with a new flavor.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
this is so true, but the thing that makes this so hard is the fact that we can learn all we want about this illness, and everything you say is very very good, yet very much common sense ,,,,so we all relate to it. we dont have to be smart or super intelligent to understand what we need to do, but the knowledge almost does us no good because the sensations and symptoms are stronger than us at the moment. it sucks......please dont think i am being rude, becasue the only reason i come to this site is to read your posts Janine...thanks, you are brill!! :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With all due respect Robbie (and MUCHO thanks for your dear words), I don't think you do know what you need to do.

We say okay, we need to STOP thinking "this is it!" but my point in the post above is that we CAN'T just stop it. It's more than a bad habit, it has a REASON for its existence.

Part of what we're accomplishing by continually reliving the Epiphany moment (and its dread) is AVOIDANCE of other fears: such as fears that we cannot always know what is coming in life. Fears that we may (and likely WILL) experience many ordinary epiphanies in life that will startle us and throw us off balance. We don't want to accept that.

We are afraid that if we cannot be in control, we'll fall apart. We're afraid of facing the human precarious position of life itself.

And to avoid making peace with all that, we live out over and over and over the epiphany fear.

Work on OTHER areas of self. The dp will fade away

Love,
J
 

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Thanks for the post Janine. I'm going to think about what you wrote. I'm having an easier time not having to deal with the "mystery" of DP. Since I now have known for about two years that DP/DR are actual symptoms common to many people (and not pre-enlightenment feelings) I spend less time thinking about them. I'm hoping the derealization disappears some day, because unfortunately it still lingers. I don't really think about DP much any more, although I bet if I wanted to think about it I could conjure up the feeling. It just seems to have lost the meaning it once had for me. If I did conjure up the feeling I think I would quickly shrug it off as a passing feeling. No one can relate to it that hasn't experienced it because quite frankly it doesn't serve any practical purpose in the real world. (ie. it doesn't help get the laundry done).

All that said, the DR does make me feel separate from the world still. It's not a good feeling and I really don't know what can be done about it. It really doesn't make sense. I sometimes think it is an actual physical thing. However, I might be wrong. Any suggestions you might have on getting rid of DR, I'd really appreciate it.

thanks for reading.
 

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okay janine - imagine that we (the remorselessly dp'd) are all blind - you've told us there's an exit from dpland now you have to guide us to it....

rob x
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
yea i hate this dr its suckin my personality dry, its like constantly feeling a buzz without any good feelings
 

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I've got this epiphany moment again now, for the first time in a couple of weeks. Now I feel about as DP'ed as I've ever felt, and it ain't nice.

I thought I was getting better, I really did. Now it feels as though this actually is it - as if I actually am going to lose my sanity this time.

I guess if I'm not any worse in a couple of weeks or a month I'll know for sure.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I can relate to this, but I have found real fears now.. but I find it hard to accept them, how do we do this Janine?
 
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