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Hey everyone!

Let me introduce myself. I've been diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses in the past, and about three to four months ago, I started developing symptoms of DP. Over the months, it got worse but I am determined to get my life back onto track, as we all know; DP can truly ruin someone's life.

Now, I know that people in this community suffer from different things, the main ones being DP, DR, and anxiety.

Before I say anything, I'd like to mention that if you don't agree with what I'm about to say, it's complete fine. In the end, YOU are the only one who truly knows yourself, and I don't think that you should let anybody else tell you what to do, if you believe that it's not the best thing for YOU. Also know, that I want this to be a safe place for everybody's opinions, so if you don't relate to what I'm about to say, don't be scared to suggest other opinions, or other alternatives, as this should be a community for everyone who's suffering from DP, no matter what the issue or the opinion might be.

Now, I'm going to talk about one of the main problems. (In my case anyway.) Mindfulness. It doesn't help everybody.

Here's why: DP often comes along with hyperawareness. The problem with mindfulness is that it forces you to be extra aware of your surroundings. This being said, since hyperawareness makes us TOO aware of our surroundings, mindfulness will only make you even MORE aware of your surroundings and that might, in some cases, make the DP symptoms worse. Of course, if you have found that mindfulness helps you, I do not encourage you to stop practicing it. However, for those who are going through the same thing as I am, remember this: If your therapist encourages you to practice mindfulness, or if someone is trying to make you keep practicing mindfulness but that you find it doesn't help; don't be scared to stop. There are plenty of other alternatives out there, and ultimately, it's important to understand that even though you might think that "you're going crazy", you are STILL the boss of yourself. Don't let other people make decisions for you, even if you think that you can't trust yourself. The thing is, you can. You KNOW yourself better than anybody ever will, and you need to keep remembering that.

Before you read this part, I want you to remember that you are YOU and that you can pick and chose what is best for you. This being said, if you're careful, meditation CAN help. The problem with meditation in my case, is that most meditation is based on mindfulness. Most meditation once again, makes you be aware of things that you are already TOO aware of. HOWEVER, if you're a fan of meditation, don't loose hope: there are plenty of meditation programs out there. You can find some videos everywhere; youtube, google, apple apps, etc.

Here are the types of meditations that help me most:
  • Gratitude meditation
  • Happiness meditation
  • Self-kindness meditation
  • Sometimes, body scans can help, but once again, body-scans are a type of mindfulness so if you feel that body-scans would make you TOO self-aware, be free to stay away from them. The point is, not ALL meditation is about being extra aware of everything.

I know that this might seem like weird advice but let me explain. Right now, you're probably telling yourself "There's jello in my brain, how am I supposed to talk to myself?" or "I'm probably already overthinking too much, so it might not be a good idea for me to talk to myself." Here's the thing. Most of your thoughts are subconscious. One of the main problems in DP is that we seem to be LOOKING at our thoughts and emotions rather than IN them. Now, if you consciously MAKE YOURSELF think something, this will help you realize that you're the one in control, and that you are capable controlling your thoughts. It will then help you feel like your thoughts are more connected to your body than you thought they were.

Here are some affirmations that help:

"I might see the world differently, but the world is the same."

"I am me."

"I will not die. I might feel dead inside, but the fact that I'm even THINKING proves that I'm alive."

"I am not crazy and I will NOT go crazy even if it feels like it."

"Love does exist and emotions do exist. I might have trouble feeling them, but my (pick yours: dad, mom, husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, sister, brother..) loves me and there's a reason for it."

In cases of crisis:

Pinch yourself and say: "I chose to pinch myself. My mind is what made me pinch myself and I felt the pinch. This proves that my mind is connected to my body."

This is one of the hardest ones. But remember this: The more you FORCE yourself to distract yourself, the more you will enjoy what you're doing.

For example, do something you love. Or something you used to love. You might think that you don't love doing what used to make you happy anymore and for this reason, you gave up on whatever made you feel good. FORCE yourself to do it. Even if you don't want too. Eventually, the more you do it, the more you'll want to do it and the more you'll feel better.

The same goes the other way: The more you stay in your bed, the more you do nothing, the more you think about DP, the more you'll feel comfortable in your misery. This being said, once you're stuck in that misery, it's hard to get out of it because it became your point of comfort. That's why it's important to remember that the OPPOSITE of what you're doing is also possible.

The reason why it's so hard to get better is because as I said before, once you're stuck in misery, it's the hardest thing to get out of it. Why do you think so many people are negative? Because negativity is our go too. It's so much easier to be negative than to be positive.

Think about it this way:
You want to start a diet. You start your diet but after a couple weeks, you give up. It doesn't seem worth it: eating chocolate is so much better anyway. On the other hand, you're friend gives you a cigarette. A week after, you take another one. Eventually, you develop the habit of smoking.

Here's the thing: Developing and KEEPING bad habits is sooooooo easier than developing and keeping good habits.

Wanna know why? Unfortunately, it's because in this world, negativity seems to overpower positivity. But once again, remember this: YOU are the boss. It's not because everybody in your entourage smokes that you need to smoke. The same goes with the world. It's not because the world is a negative place that you need to be negative too.

I'm not saying that it's easy, but it's possible. I'm not going to say that I'm an expert at it either, but I know that it's possible and it's important for everybody to remember this.

That negativity that's everywhere is the reason that's stopping you from getting better. It's the reason why it's so hard to meditate, to talk to yourself and to distract yourself. Meditation, talking to yourself and distracting yourself in this case, are some positive tools that can help you with your DP. Since they're positive tools, you want to make those tools a habit, but it's hard because like I said, it's easier to keep your bad habits rather than develop and keep good ones.

All of this being said, remember this: You have the power over your mind. I'm not saying that these things are easy to do because to be completely honest, I don't do them half of the time. I'm not saying that DPD is an easy disorder to deal with, I'm not saying that it's easier than you think, I'm simply trying to give you some tools that might help you get better. And if you're like me, in order for me to use any tools at all, I need to know the "why". (Hence why this post is so stupidly long)

I'm still suffering and I still have DPD but on the days that I follow all of these concepts, I can truly admit that my day is better.

REMEMBER, if there's things here that you don't agree with or that you can't relate too: don't force yourself to follow my advice. You are the King of your castle. You know yourself better than anyone. So ultimately, even if you DO have DP, you're the only one who will know what's best for you. If you're having trouble knowing what's best for you, do a trial and error. Try different things. Then, toss the things that don't help you away, and keep in mind the things that do.

For those who would like to hear a bit more about someone else's journey and what helped him, here's an interesting video:


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Cat Carnivore Ear Felidae Whiskers

Feb 04 2017 11:50 PM

How to Find a Therapist for Depersonalization Disorder and Derealization
Harris Harrington addresses questions related to seeking therapy for depersonalization disorder.

therapy good

By Harris Harrington

How does one go about finding a therapist to treat depersonalization disorder? Is a therapist necessary? Are there advantages and disadvantages to therapy for depersonalization?

There are many questions that come to mind when thinking of how to treat and cure depersonalization as well as feelings of derealization. It has become a common occurrence for people with DPD to encounter therapists who are totally unaware of the existence of the disorder. This situation was mocked in Harris Goldberg's movie Numb, in which the depersonalized protagonist (played by Matthew Perry) goes from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, therapist to therapist (some with credentials from Harvard), only to be prescribed useless medications, or to be given advice that didn't work. It can be disheartening for someone with the disorder to experience this, as I have a number of times with different therapists.

If you suffer from DP you may be thinking to yourself "there's no hope". Having personally recovered from depersonalization without a therapist, I can tell you that there is plenty of hope for this disorder. A good therapist can be difficult to find, especially for such a poorly understood disorder, but it's no question that a good therapist can help in recovery from depersonalization, though it isn't necessary.

One of the biggest benefits of therapy is verbally and consciously processing emotional pain. This can be achieved via a dialogue with a therapist, or through developing a personal narrative in writing. I recommend that before you seek therapy you read my article on developing a personal narrative (something I go into in depth in my program). When you combine this personal exploration with therapy, the combination can be synergistic.

If you are just learning about depersonalization and derealization, I highly recommend you read my articles, watch my videos, and get my program to have a full understanding of what is going on. The advantage is that my program costs less than a single therapy session (not that the price of therapy should deter you from seeking it out), and it would take many sessions to learn what you learn from my program. With this knowledge you will actually be able to better understand DP, and will be more able to select a compatible therapist. If you apply the information in my program, you very likely will not need therapy for this disorder. The Total Integration Method is an extremely healing process. You are going to be hard pressed to find a therapist that will provide you with the level of help and expertise my program provides.

With that said, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, etc. are an extremely diverse group of people. Generalizations are difficult to make.

Depersonalization is a disorder caused primarily by trauma, in particular emotional abuse and neglect. Depersonalization is also a dissociative disorder. With these two things in mind, it's important to find someone who is knowledgeable about both dissociation and trauma. Other areas of specialty could include borderline personality disorder (BPD), dissociative identity disorder (DID), and complex post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). All of these disorders can have a somewhat similar pathogenesis.

In addition to background is the compatibility of the therapist's personality with yours. This is an extremely important point. In recent years, the importance of the client-therapist relationship has come into greater focus among psychologists and academics. This relationship should be a therapeutic one, in which the client can work through his or her trauma in an accepting, yet challenging environment that promotes personal growth. This criterion of personal compatibility is an extremely subjective evaluation that must be made on your part. Another reason why the personal relationship is so important in depersonalization is because depersonalization is rooted in disorganized attachment.

Disorganized attachment is a pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaving that a person acquires in their first years of life as a result of the relationship with a primary caregiver. The client-therapist dyad should serve as a new healing attachment relationship, in which the depersonalized person's emotions are being validated for perhaps the first time. Through the emotional attunement of a knowledgable and adaptable therapist, someone with depersonalization can finally develop a sense of self, and learn how to actually process their feelings. It is likely they were treated as an "it" growing up, instead of as a psycho-social-emotional human being, with subjective needs. In fact, a therapist could theoretically be less adequately educated, but provide superior therapy if they are more personally compatible.

You should also keep in mind the therapeutic approach, and schools of thought the therapist uses to treat his or her clients. Depersonalization is a multifaceted disorder, related to trauma, obsessive-compulsiveness, anxiety, and often comorbid with a number of personality disorders. A therapist that uses a number of different approaches is likely going to be a better choice.

You should also be on the look out for therapists that are manipulative (yes, they exist), or just cold and unempathic. It goes without saying that you should avoid such people.

But there are other issues in seeking out therapy unrelated to the quality of the therapist, or the necessity of therapy.

You may not even want to find a therapist, though if you are reading this article I am assuming you are at least curious. Many people with DP seemingly don't want to improve by any means. They identify with DP. Sometimes they think of themselves as enlightened, and they invest a considerable amount of time filtering for information that confirms their feelings. Change can be difficult.

Another thing to consider is your current support system. If you currently lack a support system, and have no confidantes, mentors, or real friends that can provide any emotional support, a therapist is likely more necessary, though not necessarily for DP specifically. A therapist in this case can provide life direction and direct feedback for your particular situation. I recovered without a support system.

Social isolation, self focus, erratic sleeping schedules, loneliness, and addictive behaviors go together. Many people with DP acquire the disorder in their adolescence, an emotionally tumultuous time in which life direction is usually hazy, identity formation occurs, and leaving home for the first time to become an independent adult provides a number of challenges.

These realities are compounded by the lack of parenting depersonalized people usually receive. They are usually not taught how to deal with the real world, or how to become a fully functional adult. A good therapist can serve as sort of surrogate parent that can help you navigate through the world.

Modern, post-industrial Western society is in its very nature alienating. The freedom of mobility, and technological advancement has provided us with many benefits. But these benefits have been accompanied by a decline in social capital and social connection. Atomization and social isolation are rampant. Television, the internet, and increasing work hours have taken a drastic toll on our society. This is further exacerbated by the decline of religion and a vacuum of meaning people feel in their lives. Individualism has been taken to the extreme, leaving our collective needs behind.

These developments only increase the need for therapy in general. Does that mean that you specifically MUST seek out a therapist to cure DP? No. Most people in our society are not depersonalized, despite the stress.

There are a handful of therapists who specialize in depersonalization disorder such as Orna Guralnik in New York, Evan Torch in Atlanta, Elena Bezzubova in Laguna Beach, and Daphne Simeon in New York.

Another therapist who has caught my interest is Alan Rappoport, located in the San Francisco Bay Area. His clinical focus is on people who suffer from co-narcissism, meaning they had narcissistic parents. Narcissistic parents invalidate a child's burgeoning sense of self, which leads to a number of problems. This emotional abuse is extremely common among people with depersonalization and derealization. Alan Rappoport is one of the few therapists shed light on this extremely important, though often neglected topic.

Depersonalization never exists in a vacuum. There are a plethora of tangential issues in a depersonalized person's life.

People with depersonalization suffer a fracture in their sense of self, and have also split off from the surrounding reality. Our sense of self is in large part derived through social interaction, and feeling that the world is unreal is a way to numb ourselves to a difficult life situation.

A therapist isn't necessary for recovery from DP. Some therapists won't be of much help, and you can spend a lot of money and time getting nowhere with a therapist. On the other hand, if you do your homework on the disorder, educate yourself, and find a good fit, therapy can be helpful.

Cat Carnivore Ear Felidae Whiskers

Feb 05 2017 12:03 AM


I found really good your advices, I got good results processing the feelings of anxiety and panic trough mindfulness meditation and visualization meditation, but like you said and it's truth, can work for me but not for you
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anyway, I'm feeling lately way better since I got fully developed this Condition of Dp/Dr in the last Christmas night. Like I always say, you can't stop living your life with all the passion, just because a dark cloud is crossing leaving you kinda out of the sun light, but the world is out there, so stop imagining life and start living it. My tools are : swimming, chamomile flowers tea, Zero cafeine, nicotine, alcohol, drugs, sleep starving, eating on time, eating healthy, reading the books you like, stay away from stressful people and situations, learning how to deal with your personal stress, pray and trust that you positively view and God will be with you and you will get recovery 100%, out always good and productive ideas in your mind.

Hair Arm Eye Jaw Gesture

Feb 11 2017 09:49 PM

Ya. TOTALLY AGREE with the mindfulness stuff. I was trying tihs and I couldn't figure out why I felt even worse! Maybe I'm strange?/
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Hair Arm Eye Jaw Gesture

Apr 01 2017 09:32 PM

This is great to read thank you. I've been told to practice mindfulness when I am having a really hard time but it only makes it worse. I start becoming "over-aware" and overstimulated. Thank you for your tips, it's really uplifting to find others like me.
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