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I can't really classify myself as a dp sufferer anymore. It has gone far beyond that for me. I first experienced dp as a frightening experience when i was 15. Twas scary at the time...I was lying in bed at a pscyhe hospital days prior to my discharge and I felt like i was losing control upstairs. After a few minutes I hopped out of bed and came out into the solarium seeking what i felt like i anchor to normalcy. I called my folks and talked of my approaching homecoming and i felt better. I am pretty impatient at times with typing (ie writing) about myself so I'll cut past the typical dp experiences i had in the following years and to the much darker experience of my later years. I'm just basically using this as an intro to get into this group....mainly because I have stumbled across posts from ppl who seem to have some insight and ability to discuss things i find ppl in everyday life not able to delve into. I was impressed with Janine's, umm...who was it....ziggy? Not ziggy but the one talking about existentialism. I often have a short attention span (mainly due to preoccupation) and I read few posts all the way through but I definitely recognized what i saw as ppl capable of discourse on the complex ideas of the psyche. Most of the net is filled with half a**ed descriptions of mental illness with little or no insight (chemical imbalances, purely physical reason, blah , blah, blah.) Me...well nowadays i feel as though I'm (actually i KNOW so) holding together an ego that could very possibly crumble into psychosis. Although it hasn't happened yet. You wanna talk about someone who can find nobody who seems to understand where i'm at or where i've been. My doctor...who is an expert on dp tells me there's no way i could be schizophrenic. It doesn't matter...he's a great doc but he doesn't seem to know exactly what's going on with me--i fight this tooth and nail--and am not about to try to fall to pieces to prove a point (although at this point i couldn't let myself anyways...self preservation.) I have suffered immeasurably in my life and it has kept me from holding jobs, maintaining relationships, from doing much but keeping my head above water. Again i'd like to get more in depth about my experiences...but perhaps another time. There's just too much to discuss. But I love the intelligent, insightful, probing debate on here that i don't see anywhere else. But it's pretty much the nature of dp sufferers to be like this. A philosophical, inquisitive mind, mixed with low self esteem and feelings of inadequacy are what set this disorder into motion. The strangeness and unreality of things that dp sufferers see is not hard to fathom. It is because this whole thing called existence and conciousness IS strange and weird. Everyone pretty much recognizes this. Dp sufferers are just capable of being all the more aware of it and troubled by it. DP, when it exists as an ongoing troubling experience is, I believe, and maybe there's a concensus here that already knows that, a result of intense scrutiny of one's self and the world around them. The personality traits that lead to this disorder are of a person with a more piercing glance into the nature of things than the average joe. Really a gift actually minus the extreme discomfort and suffering it causes. What it really is is looking at something too closely...yourself, etc...until it becomes unreal. The life taken for granted....reality taken for granted that is what allows humans to function on their level IS...necessary. But when you start asking questions....looking really doesn't quite hold up. I've recently experienced it with language....learning to speak spanish. We take the things we say and how we say them for granted and the way other cultures with different languages seems strange until you probe a little deeper into what you take for granted in your own see how it doesn't necessarily 'make more sense.' Anyways I'm goin on and on here so I'll try to wrap up. An example of how dp works is to think about this. You could look at a chair nearby in the room your in right now...think about that chair...look at it really hard...say the word over and over again. IT starts to seem strange. YOu do the same thing to yourself and YOU start to seem strange. And it becomes troubling...especially if you have some unexamined or unresolved insecurities about YOU to begin with. The real underlying issue of discomfort or major discomfort is how you feel about yourself. Like most neuroses, psychoses, and mental stems with being alright with yourself. Everything else is a symptom of this base problems with varying degrees of severity. Schizophrenia being a disorder with a more bleek prognosis because the self (the ego..our sense self, etc) seems to have never been able to cohesively come together properly due to a mix of extreme sensitivity and a sort of trauma that to (simplifying this a bit) be able to fully deal with the world...and the overwhelming stimulus that comes with being extremely sensitive and feeling at core that something is horribly wrong with them drastically shuts off their emotions and dealings with them...only to have a new and necessary type of stimulus swarm in (psychosis-delusions, hallucinations, and all the like...a break from reality which then becomes a different reality.) Like a person put in a sensory deprivation chamber...the mind HAS to have stimulus...and in the absense of it...will create its own. Fortunately...most suffering with dp here have egos that are 'fully' formed so to say and insanity is not really an option. Although fear of it most definitely is. But alas....there's hope... :shock: alrighty...then i've got to hit the hay and trudge through another uncertain day tomorrow so until next time...keep it real ya'll....heh...just kidding...take care all. Sorry if this post doesn't fit the category but had to start somewhere...

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That was an awesome post. Thanks for putting it up. I enjoyed reading it and it made really good sense on many, if not all, points.


You're very welcome here - currently dp or not - I'm recovered, so I don't actually "qualify" either, as a current sufferer - but we're here to talk about dp-type issues and feelings and either help one another or at least shed some light. VERY interesting and insightful post, and clearly your doctor is correct on one count: no way could you possibly be schizophrenic.

What you are, however, is Obsessive! And while the ideas you put forth are quite interesting, and they make perfect sense for a group sitting around discussing Theory - I suspect you're not just investigating those ideas out of intellectual curiosity but probably NEEDING them in a way to help you feel sane or grounded. We can FEEL like we are almost "willing ourselves to stay sane" or "figuring out the Meaning of insanity/sanity" as ways of keeping some Ego cohesion. Feels good, feels reassuring, but it's a fantasy.

IF we were able to literally fragment the Ego (as a schizophrenic can), there is no intellectual exercise that would prevent us from doing it. Here's my two cents on the ideas you put forth:
clearly, we with dp, or any dissociative disturbance have a sense of our own Ego frailty. But FEELING that the Ego is in jeopardy is very different from having it actually IN jeopardy. And to us, the thought of ego dissolution is petrifying - to the schizophrenic, it is a Solution to an otherwise very terrifying set of emotions. We try to NOT fragment, the schizophenic's brain opts for fragmentation as the "lesser of two evils" when faced with too much stimulation.

There is an old catch phrase within psychoanalysis that says "behind every fear is a wish." Don't take it too literally, but there is some very useful truth there. Those of us with dp have used the defense of "disavowal" probably long before we ever felt dp'd. We "split off" aspects of our Self's experiences and feelings, we were able to compartmentalize "this isn't me" or "I can do or say this, but it's not really who I am" as if only when we INVESTED authenticity in something did it "count"

While most people live with a cohesive Ego that FEELS cohesive (so much so that if you try to engage the average person in this kind of conversation, you'll just give them a massive headache and make them avoid you in the future, lol), we HAVE a cohesive Ego that feels splintered. It's as if our Ego is a crystal - with vertical cracks within its structure - partitioning parts of itself off from other parts, but still "gelled" together to form a single sound crystal - visibly piecemeal under a bright light, but still all of one solid form.

We WANTED it that way, and probably still do. It makes us feel in control of ourselves, and slightly special and powerful to be able to be one way and feel another, to be able to divest words or actions of importance or to invest importance at will. We probably prided ourselves on our abilities to play mental games with ourselves and to DECIDE what is "me" or "not me" out of the myriad of words and feelings that occur within self.

We wanted our Ego to be fragmented.

BUT....we didn't REALLY want it to.

That's the "wish behind the fear" that rests under this horrible symptom of dp. We wanted to be "partially in ourselves" and "partly detached" only so far as we WANTED that game - then we wake up one day and realize "oh, my God, I've created something I can't control! I'm really NOT me after all...I've taken it all too far.."

and the horror show begins.

In that entire package, there was always a Central Ego that functioned with cohesion. But our "observation" of our own Ego was continually under seige and reality was being manipulated daily. Only when we developed SYMPTOMS did we see the horrible results of that way of living/thinking, because suddenly we felt that the monster we'd created was loose and free.

What kept me from healing for so long was this: I did NOT want to give up the way I used to be (and turn into some revoltingly boring ordinary person)..but I was so petrifed that I also felt at the same time that I'd be ANYbody just to get free of the horror. The reality didn't lie in EITHER of those options - I wasn't going to go back to how I was, nor was I going to turn into someone I didn't recognize. Instead, I evolved into the me I am now...and it wasn't scary and it doesn't feel ordinary (or dull). But we keep ourselves on the fence of Change by fearing it's a two choice issue; 1) either I return to how I was (which is impossible); or 2) I surrender my Self and become some ordinary person I never wanted to be which is almost WORSE than losing my Ego in the first place.

Hope that was enough food for thought for now!
And again, welcome!
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