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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
It's really hard for me to put my inner experiences into words but I'll try ...

When depersonalization first kicked in I felt like my chest went blank and empty from one second to another, like my soul was ripped out or something. My brain also gradually developed OCD symptoms solely to ease the DP.

Now, it's pretty normal to this point, I guess.

But.

Every so often I feel like that emptiness in my chest can drain away something from others, that "soul" or what that I feel is missing from me. Kind of like in the case of "energy vampires".

It feels a bit of a schizophrenic trait. The fact I'm fully aware these thoughts and feelings are far from reality, however, suggests it's not schizophrenia. I am really confused about this whole situation though.

Is it paranoia? OCD + DP together causes it? Schizophrenia? Does anyone have similar experiences?

And I should add, while I know these feelings are bs, they still are unbearable. So I don't even care if it's schizophrenia or something even worse as long as I can get proper treatment that really helps at last.

I feel really vulnerable, almost literally tired to death and longing for any different points of view, so any opinion is very much appreciated.

I really hope it was more or less understandable ^_^"

Thanks for reading it, cheers!
 

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Hey Ancsa,

I can relate, not so much to your specific problem but to just wanting some kind of (hopefully valid) explanation, whatever it might be. So it’s great that you are open to various possible interpretations.

The claim that schizophrehics are not aware of their own schizophrenia is absurd. A schizophrenic might believe his own self-deceptions and he might be literalizing his own metaphors, but psychiatrists do those things too, of course. Schizophrenics are aware of their own thoughts, feelings, sensations, beliefs and behaviors though, but they are said to “lack insight” because they disagree with their doctor.

It’s a bit difficult to make suggestions as to what might be going on as your description was a bit vague, but I do have a couple of ideas.

I’m not sure what you mean when you say “your brain developed OCD symptoms.” Your brain does not develop symptoms; symptoms are complaints about how you experience yourself. It could be helpful to explain what some of those OCD symptoms were in more detail.

Im not sure what to make of your narrative, but your language was highly figurative. It sounds like this feeling of chest blankness and your soul emptying from your body is just your way of describing the experience of becoming depersonalized. Then when you talk about being an “energy vampire,” sucking the souls out of others, it sounds like my experience (common in DP) of feeling a bit more connected to reality when interacting with others in a casual and comforting manner. Or perhaps you’re saying that you feel that your “DP-ness” infects others when you are around them?

I can’t say I know what you are going through, your post was a bit cryptic. And I don’t have any recommendations for a diagnosis or treatment. But I would suggest trying to think about your problem less in terms of psychiatric clinical entities (diagnostic categories) and simply reflect on what your specific issue might be.

For example, you say toward the end “these feelings are unbearable.” Which feelings are you referring to? Classic depersonalization or derealization? The “OCD thoughts?” Ideas about being an existential vampire? Fears that you might one day believe that you are really becoming a vampire? Or the vulnerability and exhaustion you feel from having to deal with this confusing nightmare of a situation?
 

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Hi Chip!

I am really sorry again my description was that blurry, after 8+ years with DP my thoughts and feelings are still hardly apprehensible for me.

Thanks a lot for reading through it and for the reply!

- “My brain developed OCD symptoms”: I most likely didn't use the right expressions, but I meant I have an additional OCD that seems to solely exist to ease the stress of DP and make it more bearable. If I feel more disconnected from myself the OCD symptoms worsen as well, if I take meds that ease OCD my DP becomes much worse. There were a couple of short periods when I crawled out of DP, and my urges to wash hands 10 times etc. just disappeared without any further effort.
These OCD behaviors change from time to time, it can be stepping back, washing hands or stuff that I touched, things associated with numbers, ... Now I don't like 6 and eg. cannot put things in groups of 6 or else I often panic, and afraid anything I touch is stained so they need to be washed before using again. That latter is really closely assotiated with that "existential vampire" feeling I think. (Now I'm typing this I'm starting to see the whole OCD is probably related to that "vampire" feeling...)

- "Or perhaps you’re saying that you feel that your “DP-ness” infects others when you are around them?" : Something like that, yes. Like I'm missing my soul (you are right, that's how I feel DP is like for me) and I can steal it from others, making them empty like me. (I am terribly sorry but I cannot express this in a less figurative way ^^") I feel like I can hurt them and though somewhere I know I can't, I am still really afraid of it.
This is the unbearable feeling I was talking about, that I might hurt others in this way, while I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

- "simply reflect on what your specific issue might be" : That's how I like to approach such problems as well when I try to help someone out. Sadly many therapists don't really have the same idea and cannot do anything about a problem as long as it doesn't have a name, maybe not even then.
You are absolutely right though. I will do that, thank you! <3
I usually have so great ideas when helping others and I never think of using the same methods on myself, thanks for being the one with the great idea for me now :)

I also feel like I could unravel a few important things about my situation with the help of your questions that might help finding the core problem :)
 

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Hi Chip!

I am really sorry again my description was that blurry, after 8+ years with DP my thoughts and feelings are still hardly apprehensible for me.

Thanks a lot for reading through it and for the reply!

- “My brain developed OCD symptoms”: I most likely didn't use the right expressions, but I meant I have an additional OCD that seems to solely exist to ease the stress of DP and make it more bearable. If I feel more disconnected from myself the OCD symptoms worsen as well, if I take meds that ease OCD my DP becomes much worse. There were a couple of short periods when I crawled out of DP, and my urges to wash hands 10 times etc. just disappeared without any further effort.
These OCD behaviors change from time to time, it can be stepping back, washing hands or stuff that I touched, things associated with numbers, ... Now I don't like 6 and eg. cannot put things in groups of 6 or else I often panic, and afraid anything I touch is stained so they need to be washed before using again. That latter is really closely assotiated with that "existential vampire" feeling I think. (Now I'm typing this I'm starting to see the whole OCD is probably related to that "vampire" feeling...)

- "Or perhaps you’re saying that you feel that your “DP-ness” infects others when you are around them?" : Something like that, yes. Like I'm missing my soul (you are right, that's how I feel DP is like for me) and I can steal it from others, making them empty like me. (I am terribly sorry but I cannot express this in a less figurative way ^^") I feel like I can hurt them and though somewhere I know I can't, I am still really afraid of it.
This is the unbearable feeling I was talking about, that I might hurt others in this way, while I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

- "simply reflect on what your specific issue might be" : That's how I like to approach such problems as well when I try to help someone out. Sadly many therapists don't really have the same idea and cannot do anything about a problem as long as it doesn't have a name, maybe not even then.
You are absolutely right though. I will do that, thank you! <3
I usually have so great ideas when helping others and I never think of using the same methods on myself, thanks for being the one with the great idea for me now :)

I also feel like I could unravel a few important things about my situation with the help of your questions that might help finding the core problem :)
Glad I could be at least somewhat helpful to you! Most of the time I feel like just treading water when I respond to posts here. I realize I don’t know you at all and so I can only comment on the things you write; you know yourself better than anyone else, but sometimes it can be nice to have an outsider’s perspective.

Using metaphors like “my brain developed OCD” and other figurative expressions is fine; language is metaphorical through and through, especially when talking about our internal feeling states. I’ve just noticed that we have a very strong tendency to fail to acknowledge when we are speaking in metaphor, and I think that’s a major issue for both psychiatrists and their patients alike, so I often try to point that out.

When it comes to DPDR, I feel it’s very important to acknowledge a clear distinction between the change in our experience and the way that we are interpreting and responding to our experience. DPDR is an experience that has many potential sources: severe anxiety, drug use (which may or may not also be an anxiety-based reaction), certain organic diseases, etc. But the problems that you are talking about here are all ways that you, as a language-using agent, are interpreting your experience. The OCD behaviors you describe as well as the soul-stealing “feeling” you have are distinct from from DPDR proper. If you are disturbed by these behaviors, then finding a way to re-interpret your experience can offer relief, with or without the assistance of a therapist. However, the DPDR itself may not go away, unless of course, your DP is entirely driven by your fears.
 

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Hi Chip!

I am really sorry again my description was that blurry, after 8+ years with DP my thoughts and feelings are still hardly apprehensible for me.

Thanks a lot for reading through it and for the reply!

- “My brain developed OCD symptoms”: I most likely didn't use the right expressions, but I meant I have an additional OCD that seems to solely exist to ease the stress of DP and make it more bearable. If I feel more disconnected from myself the OCD symptoms worsen as well, if I take meds that ease OCD my DP becomes much worse. There were a couple of short periods when I crawled out of DP, and my urges to wash hands 10 times etc. just disappeared without any further effort.
These OCD behaviors change from time to time, it can be stepping back, washing hands or stuff that I touched, things associated with numbers, ... Now I don't like 6 and eg. cannot put things in groups of 6 or else I often panic, and afraid anything I touch is stained so they need to be washed before using again. That latter is really closely assotiated with that "existential vampire" feeling I think. (Now I'm typing this I'm starting to see the whole OCD is probably related to that "vampire" feeling...)

- "Or perhaps you’re saying that you feel that your “DP-ness” infects others when you are around them?" : Something like that, yes. Like I'm missing my soul (you are right, that's how I feel DP is like for me) and I can steal it from others, making them empty like me. (I am terribly sorry but I cannot express this in a less figurative way ^^") I feel like I can hurt them and though somewhere I know I can't, I am still really afraid of it.
This is the unbearable feeling I was talking about, that I might hurt others in this way, while I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

- "simply reflect on what your specific issue might be" : That's how I like to approach such problems as well when I try to help someone out. Sadly many therapists don't really have the same idea and cannot do anything about a problem as long as it doesn't have a name, maybe not even then.
You are absolutely right though. I will do that, thank you! <3
I usually have so great ideas when helping others and I never think of using the same methods on myself, thanks for being the one with the great idea for me now :)

I also feel like I could unravel a few important things about my situation with the help of your questions that might help finding the core problem :)
I’ve had this fear of numbers with 6 in it and I’ve also had the fear of affecting others with this black hole type of energy you’re describing, that seems to just bring me down no matter what. It’s like a seriously deep rooted fear of failure, or a deep rooted disturbance in one’s own psyche and you don’t want anyone to know that it’s there inside you. Almost like a fear of awkwardness? Idk but I question the importance in figuring out how each particular fear manages to affect me because I’ll never solve fear that way. Id be analyzing endlessly. I want to find out the root of fear, i could call it thought and time but answering isn’t important, posing the question is. To see what it is you put the question, without asking how or trying to find an answer.
 
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