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Hi,

Over the last 20 years, I have been through derealization and depersonalization (and worse) several times -- sometimes even voluntarily induced -- and gained a lot of insight into it, which it is my purpose here to share with others.

The first time I experienced derealization, I couldn't even find the name for it, let alone a fellow sufferer or community. For all I knew I was the first to suffer it. It was a lonely time.

My DPDR was usually induced by thought - mostly triggering philosophical contemplation. From my late teens and throughout my twenties, I was obsessed with philosophy, particularly existentialism, eastern philosophy and the notion of Buddhist liberation; so much so, that even derealization did not discourage me for long from my pursuit of truth.

On one occasion it was triggered by stress, and a couple of times with no apparent cause.

Now I'm more fascinated by the state than fearful of it. And in retrospect, the medium- and long-term effects of derealization on my life have always been profoundly positive and transformative.

In addition to this, I have moderately bad tinnitus and visual snow, which I have had from my earliest memories (at least age 5). 99.9 percent of the time I'm as oblivious to this "neurological noise" as the nose on my face. I think of it like a hypersensitivity in my brain, since my visual and auditory acuity are not in the least diminished, and in fact seemingly the contrary. The capacity of the human brain to filter out and adapt to this kind of thing never ceases to amaze me.

I will post when I can, but anyone should feel free to PM me!

- Richard
 

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To me sedentary life, stress , oversleeping, is making me detached from reality even if im 99% recovered.. If i do following for prolonged time im getting it back again... Something in our brain is definitely not doing well
 

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Maybe you have other health issues? Lyme, bacteria, mercury in brain.. there are many health-related things that can help/cause dp/dr. Something may be wrong with your health definitely
To me sedentary life, stress , oversleeping, is making me detached from reality even if im 99% recovered.. If i do following for prolonged time im getting it back again... Something in our brain is definitely not doing well
I have never been able to establish a connection with an underlying physical health issue (for DP/DR as well as the other issues mentioned), though I have had tests done over the years. I still wouldn't rule it out though.

I also sleep a lot, but I wouldn't call it oversleeping. My brain just seems to need at least 8.5 hours or I turn into a zombie after a while.

Poor psychological coping mechanisms probably played a role. I'm quite inflexible, and I don't bend under stress. I have tended to bottle up feelings for months and years, until they blow up. Even now, that inflexibility is one of my main issues.

From a recovered state, when I tried to induce DR I was usually unable to, even with many weeks or months of effort in meditation and contemplation. It seems that for me it required some psychological stress; either sheer intensity of thought, or a profound shift in my perspective: such a realization that cast my subjective and objective reality in a new and uncertain light, and either made me feel like a stranger in a familiar world (DP), or my familiar self feel lost in a strange world (DR).

As a Buddhist, I cultivated non-attachment -- ceasing the grasping after substantiality of self and reality -- which was helpful, but I came to see that as just another coping mechanism and essentially withdrawal from reality.

You're right that a sedentary life makes us much more susceptible. I never feel my self and reality so solid and substantial as when I use the gym regularly, and my body is strong.

The reality of our lives is like a massive gravitational attractor, and like the planet beneath our feet it will keep us grounded as long as our whole selves are naturally engaged with the world and society. The more I drifted from the social, emotional and physical ground into a withdrawn and isolated state, and the more I was in an excessively detached ("mindful"), aloof, abstract frame, the easier it was to slip into DR.

I think our brains are in most cases doing a pretty amazing job under the circumstances. DR/DP is like your brain telling you, in its own twisted way, to re-engage with the world, physically, emotionally, socially, etc., or in a simpler, more balanced and healthier way. So my basic strategy when I suffered from DP/DR was to get out of my head and ground myself in the world.

The anxiety would kick me in the ass and spur me to confront and overcome my ordinary fears and aversions -- social anxieties, public speaking, working out, starting a relationship, job interviews -- which, in the shadow of that all-encompassing despair, were now utterly negated. This also serves to kickstart a positive feedback loop that can rapidly pull you out of DP/DR.

When it passed, I always found myself in a much better place.

Sorry I rambled a bit!
 

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Do you fear your one existance ? Or fear how strange is to exist as human to see hear like i oppened a pandora box of info crazy sound but create huge anxiety
 

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Do you fear your one existance ? Or fear how strange is to exist as human to see hear like i oppened a pandora box of info crazy sound but create huge anxiety
Yes, I have. I think I could fill books just listing the existential terrors I've faced. I have feared existence, non-existence, and seemingly everything in between and beyond.

I like the way Soren Kierkegaard put it: [TRIGGER WARNING :)]

I stick my finger in existence - it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted [...]
It's as if a part of our mind delights in scaring us to death occasionally, just for the thrill or to jolt us awake when we've been asleep at the wheel.

After a short while, those mostly futile perceptions and anxieties naturally burn themselves out and the embers fade away. You would have to put in a lot of energy to sustain them (if you had such a masochistic desire). If you tried (and I and others have), you would find it impossible. There are Buddhist monks who meditate for hours every day over decades and can still easily lose themselves in the world in an instant of distraction.

Intense fear or intense love can lead to obsessive thoughts for a few days or weeks, and keep your mind stuck for a while on its object, against your will. But in both cases the emotion doesn't last long.

Pandora's box will close when your mind becomes bored with the box's contents. The awareness will pass like a bad dream as your mind gravitates back to its default state.

These days, my fears are mostly shackled to the earth, but my love is more unconstrained.. seems better this way!
 

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My second battle with DR lasted a few months, and varied in intensity a lot -- horrific panic attacks that plunged me into unreality and crippling anxiety, and periods when I just accepted it, lived my life, and the anxiety was tolerable. For about a year I was vulnerable to slipping in and out of it if I wasn't careful to avoid triggers.

A year earlier, I experienced DP that lasted for months. Totally lost any sense of self, looked strange in the mirror, felt I was a passive observer. However, my perception of the reality of the external world was not really affected. I didn't identify DR/DP and their close interrelationship until some time later.

My last experience, two years ago, involved both the worst DR and DP I have ever been through. It only lasted five weeks at 24/7 peak intensity, and I felt fully over it within 6 months.

The shortest isolated episode was less than two weeks.

I'm confident I could have avoided more than the one experience with derealization, but as I mentioned, I willfully exposed myself to a lot of triggers over the years. :???:

How lengthy was your longest episode of derealization ?
 

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If you dont address the stress in your life at ALL levels DP will always be a problem...In my own case (nearly 30 years of constant on and off DP) my DP is literally in the closet doing push ups just waiting for me to let my guard down as regards my stress levels...I have to be extremely careful as to who and what i allow into my life nowadays...Toxic people, places and things are avoided like the plague now...Because simply put its bad for me....This includes stressful work, people, situations, places, etc etc etc....Anything that doesnt sit with me in an honest decent way I avoid...I simply have to as a DP sufferer because it is natural for me to tune out when under pressure...And that tuning out results in dissociating which results in panic fear and DP...

This may sound like im almost running from lifes pressures but im sorry when it comes to DP extreme measures have to be taken...

In fact by taking these steps in my life I am now a much more contented human being because i have some peace in between my ears now...

DP has taught me alot over the years...Most important thing it taught me is when to step away....I dont regard myself as a weak person anymore either simply because i avoid lifes toxicity....I learned to dissociate from a very young age as a result of many of lifes circumstances as well as my own genetics...That wasnt my fault and im not gonna feel guilty or apologise for appearing weak to so called "Strong people" anymore....In fact the pull your socks up people are the ones I avoid the most nowadays...

Feeling guilty for not being a "Stronger Person" played a huge roll in maintaining this crap for me for many years...Not anymore...Im weak because im human and being human means im not perfect or bullet proof...

My mental health is priceless to me and anything or anybody that tries to take it away is simply quickly side stepped...
 

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Hi,

Over the last 20 years, I have been through derealization and depersonalization (and worse) several times -- sometimes even voluntarily induced -- and gained a lot of insight into it, which it is my purpose here to share with others.

The first time I experienced derealization, I couldn't even find the name for it, let alone a fellow sufferer or community. For all I knew I was the first to suffer it. It was a lonely time.

My DPDR was usually induced by thought - mostly triggering philosophical contemplation. From my late teens and throughout my twenties, I was obsessed with philosophy, particularly existentialism, eastern philosophy and the notion of Buddhist liberation; so much so, that even derealization did not discourage me for long from my pursuit of truth.

On one occasion it was triggered by stress, and a couple of times with no apparent cause.

Now I'm more fascinated by the state than fearful of it. And in retrospect, the medium- and long-term effects of derealization on my life have always been profoundly positive and transformative.

In addition to this, I have moderately bad tinnitus and visual snow, which I have had from my earliest memories (at least age 5). 99.9 percent of the time I'm as oblivious to this "neurological noise" as the nose on my face. I think of it like a hypersensitivity in my brain, since my visual and auditory acuity are not in the least diminished, and in fact seemingly the contrary. The capacity of the human brain to filter out and adapt to this kind of thing never ceases to amaze me.

I will post when I can, but anyone should feel free to PM me!

- Richard
That’s incredible.
Well over 25 years now, I have suffered chronic DPD. Around 4 or 5 times a year, for about 2 minutes or so, my senses come back fully.
My visuals, extrude for 2d to 3d, my hearing has more depth, my smell returns, and this makes me emotional, because it brings back my memories of when I was a boy.
what I am really afraid of, is when! I get cured, I will look back at what I went through, and it may traumatise me. Sounds strange eh?!
I’m on meds, and have seen specialist Elaine Hunter in London. I will have to admit, that things have improved. I take small doses of morphine everyday, and that calms me down from the high experimental doses of Lamotrogine and Sertraline. Lol What a cocktail!
Mate, if you have any tips out there, pls let me know. I feel like a part of me has died. Sorry for being morbid 😂

many thanks

narhan
 
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