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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

me again... I have a pretty hard time with dissociation. :( Meds don't touch it, Paxil neither. I always feel like I miss my day. Like it's not me who was there, did that and that. I feel VERY weird about it. Like my memory of the day doesn't exist. That scares me very much. I have much trouble to explain that, too weird. My mind is not there. I remember my day, but I felt so bad when I remember it. I feel @not [email protected], damned, there is not enough word! I don't understand. I make projects, I talk with boyfriend, we plan to move, I want to go work (even if I still feel horrible), but when I go home, my memorty shut down! I am so afraid.

I realize Paxil just calm my heart and shaky legs, but doesn't help at all for dissociation. So I want to quit.

I want to quit Paxil and take anafranil.

If you have sometthing positive to say, please do! Just anything.

Cynthia (who wants to live FOR REAL)xxx

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835 Posts
is anafranil another anti d? if paxil isnt working for you try a different med. it might help. i'm sure you'll find something that helps you :)

i get dp more than dr but i think you have dr worse? which meds have helped people who suffer primarily with dr?

zoloft helps me with dp but i'm not sure if it helps with dr.
best of luck

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is an interesting thought that might help you to understand, or might totally confuse you forever, promises:

Actually, technically, you're not dissociating ENOUGH. We use the term "dissociation disorder" but to really understand this term can be useful.

NORMAL people (whatever that is, lol) dissociate throughout their day. It's necessary to sort of "zone out" or "go on automatic pilot" to do the most routine things in a human's daily activities.

If, right now, I tried to think what I did this morning, I might draw a blank! Unless I did something particularly interesting or out of routine, I might have trouble disintinguishing THIS morning from YESTERDAY morning for a minute. A normal mind says "oh, well...gettin' old" lol...and moves right back to the task at hand (typing this post to you).

Most times throughout my day I am NOT aware of my inner certain times (like a recent interview I had that was very important to me) I was totally aware of my every inner thought, and probably years from now I could relive that experience, because I was so tuned into it, so heightened in focus...but we cannot live that way 24/7.

A normal mind does not watch itself think.

A normal mind does NOT try to evaluate how real this morning felt and if it feels more "recent" to me than yesterday did.

A normal mind does not see if it can "relate" to its recent experiences or try to recall with detail the specifics of what an experience was like a few hours ago.

Those things become OBSESSIONS to us once we develop dp because we THINK that to self-monitor and to test ourselves, and doublecheck our memories and our attention and focus is NEEDED in order to make ourselves "feel normal"

It's exactly the opposite. It ends up making us feel crazier.

A normal mind dissociates a hundred times in a day.....I can take the bus home from work and honest to God not remember the event, lol....I was thinking about something else, the bus riding was rote to me, etc....and ONLY because I've been where you are, Cynthia, can I realize how IMPORTANT that kind of thing feels when you're in that state.

In my illness, that would have TERRIFIED me - to get off the bus, and not be able for a minute to even recall riding the bus! But it's NORMAL.

In dp obsessional states, we have twisted around what is normal thought from delusional thought. We are WRONG in what we think will help us "right ourselves" - that self-observation only makes it worse.

We are so afraid, in these states, to LET GO of the self-monitoring...yet that is precisely how we heal. We will stop feeling like "it doesn't feel like that was even me!!" when we stop WATCHING for "how much me did that feel like."


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835 Posts
thats interesting. when thinking 'normally' i do dissociate constantly. its just going off on mental tangents or daydreams. dps so far from that kind of dissociation. being termed a dissociative disorder doesnt really get it.

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, at least you're not about to pop off from a heart attack :)
Mmmm. Maybe that isn't what you meant by "something positive to say...."
Many of us, most even, have a pretty good understanding of what you are going through with the dissociation. It's a bit different for everyone, but the main features are the same.
I say I am DP ALL the time. Yet I know that can't be true. Wouldn't be able to function as well as I do otherwise. So that means there are times when I am more "me". The same must be true for you. Those are the times we don't really notice though, because we not overthinking things then. We are just.....being.
All I can do is tell you what helps me get out of myself. Today, it is cold here. Rainy too. When I finish this response, I am taking Mollie the Collie for a walk. She like cold and rain, and so do I - because it gets me thinking of something other than myself. Then later, One of my boys wants me to teach him how to play "Texas Hold 'em", a card game. Though I can't be sure, it may be that by doing that I will find enough interest in something other than myself for awhile. Maybe I can "associate" rather than "dissociate".
DP/DR is not a death sentence Cynthia. It is only a nightmare......
But I know of too many people who have escaped to consider giving up. Every day I wake up is a new one. Might be the best one yet. Maybe not, but it could be..............
Hang in there kid.

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926 Posts
I don't get that it's a dissociative disorder either. The only reason I can think it is called that is because of parts of the brain that usually work together seem to be cut off from each other. Like not being able to access your sense of self, and the feeling of not entirely filling your skin. So, actually I can...But like Janine said, I can remember extremely vividly my worst dp moments and those whole days with complete clarity and if I really immerse myself in that memory I can remember the pain at the time and how scared I was, that it scares me. And I feel relief that I know it is possible to come back from that.

Recently I have been forgetting what I did the day before, or at the weekend, when a short time ago I would have remembered how I felt when I awoke, what I had for dinner and how hard it was to eat to live rather than the opposite, which is how I normally am.

Dp feels too real, like I am too involved with everything to an unnatural degree like everything is under a microscope. Yet nothing is clear. I am so consumed by everything and nothing at the same time if that was possible. The day I walked up to my boyfriend and said I thought I was having a nervous breakdown, I had sweat running down my face and was shaking uncontrollably and would have vomited if I had anything in my stomach. I wanted him to take me to hospital.

I know we all experience this differently but believing it is possible to not feel this way was so important to me. If I felt normal, I would ruin it by doubting it. You have to build confidence in the times you feel more normal.

Have faith in yourself Cynthia, you don't have to monitor yourself all the time, believe what Janine says. You can read something over and over again and think you've taken it in but you haven't. Really believe it.

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2,383 Posts
I think the problem with the word "dissociation" is that, like "depersonalization" it has a variety of meanings ...

I agree with Janine in that all of us do things on "automatic pilot" -- say, drive a car and carry on a conversation, or a better example, drive one's car, miss the correct exit, then sort of wake up wondering "How the Hell did I drive 10 miles past my exit." There's so much input, our minds have to filter out a lot of junk.

However, per the Merck Manual ... our dissociation is pathological....

"Dissociative disorders: Failure to integrate one's memories, perceptions, identity, or consciousness normally.

Everyone occasionally experiences dissociation without its being disruptive. For example, a person may drive somewhere and then realize that he does not remember many aspects of the drive because of preoccupation with personal concerns, a program on the radio, or conversation with a passenger. Perception of pain may become dissociated under hypnosis.

However, other forms of dissociation disrupt a person's sense of self and the recollection of life events.

When memory is poorly integrated, dissociative amnesia occurs.

When identity is fragmented along with memory, dissociative fugue or dissociative identity disorder occurs.

When the experience and perception of self are disrupted, depersonalization disorder occurs.

Dissociative disorders are usually associated with overwhelming stress, which may be generated by traumatic life events, accidents, or disasters that are experienced or witnessed or by intolerable inner conflict that forces the mind to separate incompatible or unacceptable information and feelings."

And even now, researchers don't know where to put Depersonalization Disorder in the next DSM. And MPD has changed to DID. These concepts are endlessly in flux.

The workings of Memory are infinitely complex, and whatever gives us "Sense of Self" is extremely complicated to understand. We have a long way to go.

Also, Janine, no eye-poking :), I don't subscribe specifically to "intolerable inner conflict that forces the mind to separate incompatible or unacceptable information and feelings." I'm more of the fight/flight failure theory. But I change my mind daily about what this is, what has happened to me.

I'm just glad I'm not alone in the experience. And Cynthia, neither are you, and as SC said, there are many ways out of that. I have to believe in that too.

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Whoa. SSRIs send me into space. Noway i'm taking another one of those. I take klonopin (i know, not a drug many want to have Rxed to them). Recommended dosage is about 1.5 mg a day and I only take about 1.5 mg a week. Likle once every 3 days.

I'm pretty regular as far as anxiety attacks and it usually builds up over a span of, on average, three days, I pop one and go about my routine. Its very helpful for anxiety, and it was originally developed as an anti-seizure med. My hppd (visual problems) are greatly reduced as my mind creates visual seizures in response to both anxiety and perceptual damage. It might be worth some of your while to check this med out.

I was a total drug addict and if anything I'm taking this benzo too seldom so some of you need not worry about freefalling into an addiction. I used to snort advil for fucksakes.

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all,

Janine, I will read you post again.

Thanks all, I just want so much to be understood, I feel like i am the only one who feels this kind of dissociation. I called it dissociation because my mind seems not to be connected to my body, far away. And when I try to recall events of the day, or past hour, it seems foggy, like I wasn't there. So I called it dissociation.

I know I have to let go, but I feel like Paxil stop me in this move. I always obsess about how Paxil makes me feel *in a dream, not there, no panick outside but inside, no mental clarity, etc. That is why I can't let go.

I know normal people dissociate, I dissociated before, I call it daydreaming, but I wasn't feeling like I just come down to earth and forgot totally (or almost) where I come from. I was aware of ALL my day, what I've done, who I talked with, it was so clear, I was thinking all I wanted to, I was thinking cleary with mental pictures, I was thinking of what I will do in the night, clearly, i.e. I was grounded.

Now I act in automatic pilot and I just wonder what the hell am I doing here and what happened. Like someone who lost his memory or went into a coma. I really feel drugged and I can't let go of that.

Anyway, I will try to re-read Janine post.

But I still think that is not OK to feel this way and MAYBE Paxil isN,t for me.

Cyn xxx

Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm sorry if I confused anybody...technically, yes, Dreamer is right and Cynthia is also right that dp IS a "dissociative disorder"

I was just splitting hairs in what I think is an interesting distinction between what WE do and what a "normal person in normal dissociation does."

Cynthia, here's the interesting part (well, to me, anyway, lol). Before you had all these terrible symptoms, you THINK you were "dissociating" because you were entertaining fantasies throughout your day, etc. But you weren't. If you are totally aware of "watching the self" even if you are watching FANTASIES, you're hyper-focused on self. I used to do exactly the same thing, so trust me, I know precisely what you mean when you describe how you used to be.

It's one of the reasons social anxiety is so often connected to dp. A person with social anxiety is also monitoring themselves very closely in every interaction wtih others. They are like a camera following themselves around, judging "do they like me?" or "am I looking foolish?" or "Should i have said that? did that look stupid?" THat is NOT dissociation - it's the exact opposite.

BEFORE dp, most of us were already way too self-monitoring. But at that time, it didn't feel bad (in fact, we liked it, because it fed our desperate need to feel in control of everything we did, thought and said). Part of what dp OFFERS the mind (sorry, Dreamer, lol) is a chance to NOT do that. It's as if the brain is saying "MY GOD I AM EXHAUSTED! LET ME JUST ZONE OUT FOR A MINUTE, YOU SLAVE DRIVER!" and DP becomes an enforced "withdrawal" that the brain is doing in interest of getting a rest.

The more we FIGHT that, the more we try to implement our old ways of 'hyper-self-watching" the worse the dp grows. It's a battle of wills. The brain is saying, STOP IT! and withdrawing even MORE. The we, the stubborn self-watcher, is saying "oh, my GOD! if I EVER needed to watch myself, it's NOW!" because we feel like we're going crazy.

The battle rages on.

Self with self.

DP deepens and we do the exact worse thing we could do (try to force ourselves in 24/7 awareness of self).

What the mind is WANTING is a chance to "normally dissociate" for awhile. I know it feels dangerous to imagine "letting go" and just going through the motions of life and trying to invest energy ANYwhere besides self. We feel like we need to be on guard more than ever, because we are (accurately) feeling our OLD ways of self-monitoring control slip away.

We can eventually go back to being somewhat self-watching - but not while we are trying to heal!!!!!

Okay. Done yelling at you now, know I am only sounding so bossy because I KNOW THIS IS ACCURATE and I know it feels wrong to you when you're in the middle of it.

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