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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hope posted this under my Ebook thread and I figured no one would see it so I've copied and pasted here.

Hello all on forum:

I'm posting after spending the last 3 hours researching depersonalization and dissociation online. I am not DP myself, although I am a self-injurer and can relate is some ways. I'm posting, however, in regard to a friend. I wanted to introduce myself and find out if I can get some support and help, either from people on the forum if it's appropriate, or just from references to other resources.

I am realizing that my boyfriend of 3 months has some kind of dissociative disorder. I don't judge him for it (how could I?) but it is very hard on me and the relationship. This line from your post above, Janine, stated almost verbatim what is now happening for the second time:

"These patients experience only an emotional deadness, and complain of being unable to feel their own emotions while retaining awareness of what they should, or would feel if they could only re-connect to a sense of self. They may report that they know they deeply love someone, but lack any access to their own emotional responsiveness and are unable to enjoy any experience."

The first time my friend went through this it lasted a few days and we nearly broke up. He has explained to me that these events happen with varying intensity 2-3 times a month -- where he becomes emotionally numb and confused about who he is and who he should be, feels almost as if he doesn't know people around him, can't fully experience what is happening around him, and can't remember or relate to the way that he was previously, coupled with a lot of cognitive self-judgement and confusion. In worst case scenarios he has experienced feeling literally as if objects all around him were further away than they actually are, he says maybe 1-3 times a year.

He has not been diagnosed with depersonalization disorder as far as I know. I've mentioned it to him but I don't want to press him while he's currently going through this. But it's extremely difficult for me as basically what I need to do for him is allow him to behave as if our relationship was largely dissolved. When he feels pressure from me to show affection that he can barely remember it causes him distress, so I'm learning to let him know that I don't expect this from him when he's going through this.

My only comfort is knowing that the last time this happened -- 2 months ago -- it eventually passed without really any lasting effect. It was as if he just simply came back.

I could say more but I don't want to speak inappropriately or selfishly. I'm just initially wondering if this does sound like depersonalization and if anyone has any advice to give to a person who is close to a person with DP. If there are articles any one knows of that would be particularly relevent to emotional numbness please let me know.

Also please let me know if it's appropriate to speak with people on this forum with DP in my attempts to understand and learn to how to best support my friend. I would love to be able to engage in some kind of dialogue with someone about this, since I know that pushing my friend too much could be difficult for him at this stage.

I appreciate your help,


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It sounds like DR and DP. Did you ask Him to seek a specialist so it's diagnosed. I think it would help if He was diagnosed. I think He's got it, but it's anxiety so I guess you're supporting anxiety.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Michael,

Thanks yeah I'm beginning to talk to him about it. He's in the midst of some heavy stuff right now though so I don't want to push him. He read some of the stuff I found for him online and said that it does sound familiar but, yes, he would need to get a diagnosis for us to know. He is seeing a social worker right now as his therapist, and I do find it kind of odd that she hasn't mentioned something like this to him, given his descriptions to me. I only know about dp b/c I'm an avid reader of psych literature since I suffer from my own disorder. But in addition to what sounds like dp/dr he says that he has almost no memories earlier than the age of 10, so it seems pretty clear that he has at least some sort of dissociative amnesia. He's told his social worker therapist about the memory thing and I don't know if she is just not taking him seriously, not talking to him about his diagnosis, doesn't specialize and so doesn't know, or doesn't think this is what he has. I think later I'll talk to him about going to a clinic here in ny that studies depersonalization disorder...

What is it that you were saying about anxiety?

Thanks, H
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