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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello
i am writing to ask you for your help. i have a partner that suffers from dp and dr i'm ashamed to say that she has asked me to try to understand what she is going through and on many occasion asked me to join this decussion board i have viewed this board many times but i have never become a member. I have read some of the topics, instead of joining and asking questions and trying to understand more and more about the illness, i would think i could do this without anyones help but i could not,i have let her down terrilbly....i would listern to what my partner would say about it and thought i understood what she was going through.Thinking to myself that i could deal with it by trying not to feel hurt when she was affected by dp, but i found i became more and more withdrawn.we would end up arguing because i would start to feel insecure and start believeing that she didn't care about me, the periods of dp could go on sometimes for days,weeks or months at a time. i am hoping you maybe able to guide me in the right direction, please help.
 

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Hi mate. As you know Dp is very complicated and I think it's probably very hard to imagine what its like if you don't suffer from it yourself. no doubt your partener has tried to explain it to you many times in a variety of ways, but you're never able to imagine what it's actually like. What happens when she gets extreme bouts of dp can be extremely distressing for her. I wouldn't want you to try to imagine it, just think of it as being one of the most stressful, fearful and painful experiences you can get. The best thing you can do is comfort her and reassure her that everything will get better. The ability to be able to calm her down will help in lessening the effect of dp and may help with the symptoms.
Don't get angry with yourself that you cant do anything. I could see why you could feel sometimes that she doesn't care about you anymore, but that isn't what she's thinking. The dp focuses all her attention, it just seems like she ignores you. In fact she is caught up in her own reality from time to time.

Thats pretty much all the advice I can give you I'm afraid, hope this helps.
 

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Hey Slow Down ?

I'd really recommend paying attention to what your needs are. DP has a way of consuming everything in its path. The fact that you continue to stay in this relationship while your lover is obviously going through some heavy-duty sh*t is proof enough of the degree of your care and concern.

But don't let her get away with blaming you for not understanding. You're clearly doing everything you can to understand, you're on this forum which I find completely amazing.

So, you'd be doing more than enough for her if you pay attention to what your needs are and act accordingly. This could be painful, but its real, real-life stuff, which is helpful when dealing with DP which is by nature so subjective, isolating, world denying.

Good luck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thankyou
Welshlad, bright23 and mrmole for replying to this topic. It does help me to think i'm not alone, I have been feeling angry feeling despair sort of thrown from pillar to post. In a way when my partner would suffer bouts of dp, I would tell myself this is only an illness she loves me really. She would tell me that she loved me and that it would pass although she didn't feel she loved me she knew deep down that she did. Often she would say she could not hug me never mind kiss me as she felt like cringing at the thought of even touching me.My emotions would go into melt down, Here is the woman i love suffering and i couldn't even hold her to comfort her, I would start to keep my distance in a way i suppose to protect myself from being or feeling hurt, I would try not to let the hurt get to me,the feeling of uselessness thinking, why doesn't her feelings return does she even want them to return. Always having trouble bringing my emotions back to the surface when her feelings for me did return, Perhaps my subcontious would be telling me to keep my emotions where they were in case tomorrow the dp returns. i realise now how stupid i have been she loved me so much there was no reason to think the way i did. It just seemed harder harder instead of being easier and easier to understand DP.I will learn from my mistakes, thanks.
 

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Dont know how to help you understand dp (not sure i even understand it myself, most of the time), but i just want to say that i think it is really sweet of you to care and try to understand. Going through this is painful for everyone involved.
 

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Hmm... Understanding DP/DR... That could be a difficult issue...

I am not sure I have DP/DR myself, but I have this itch trying to make someone outside to understand what's inside.

Here is my approach:

1. understand what is happening to her

DP/DR is a feeling that causes the subject (the person) to report things around the term "unreal", "unreality", or "non-existance".

While DP/DR are different, they are actually the two sides of the same coin. DP is when you feel that you (yourself) don't exist, and DR is when you feel that world around you doesn't exist. DP always involves some DR and vice versa.

2. understand what she feels with what is happening to her

I will speak for myself. But descriptions of what's happening people of DP/DR have some common points. Here we go:

- I don't exist
- You don't exist ("you" is the person that I speak with)
- The world doesn't exist
- I am not actually speaking right now
- I have no control over my movement (arms, legs, head, speaking, etc)
- Someone is controling my movement (arms, legs, head, speaking, etc)
- There is an invisible glass (or fog) that seperates me from the world
- I am in another place, in another world, and I control my body from there
- I never actually existed (you start to think of this, usually after a few months, or years)
- Time has become relative, 5 years have passed since yesterday
- Why is it so dark? Why is it so bright? What did you do to the lights? (the subject might have issues with vision: I am seeing the contrast changing for instance)
- I am actually in another place and this whole thing (the world, you) is a dream I am seeing
- I have invented/created the world (I don't have this, much..)
- My mind is blank
- I am blank
- The void has filled everything that has ever existed, and not existed
- There is nothing
- [...] (the subject just does nothing, sais nothing)
- I am fine (the subject got tired, now, all that matters is to stop trying to explain and just sit in a corner)
- It's an illusion (the subject starts to doubt if he/she feels all these)
- I am a fool (the subject tries to convince him/herself that there is nothing wrong, or that this is actually an involvement of a "faulty personality full of flaws")
- Why do I keep complaining since there is nothing wrong with me? (the subject denies: the only way out when noone is understanding you, or you don't stand describing anymore)
- I have no motive to do anything
- Why do I keep living since there is nothing to live for?
- Why do I have no motive?
- What is that I wanted to say?
- What is that I wanted to think? (the subject cannot even describe DP/DR at this level)
- Err.... (every motive to find something that would help is now gone, some people say that this the point that you start to heal because when there is nothing more when you have accepted it, you can as well start to think other things and focus outward)

I have mixed DP and DR descriptions in that list. Remember: descriptions that are saying "I don't exist" is DP, and descriptions that are saying "The world doesn't exist" is DR. Additionally, that list is actually biographical about me. Don't take it very seriously and don't get scared :) It is most likely that your girlfriend can handl

3. understand the complications of the mental disorder that disable her from becoming clear and specific

Because DP/DR makes people feel unreal, but actually not loose "reality testing" (this is a medical term meaning that "no matter if you don't feel that this telephone exists, you still can call someone and talk to him"), other people don't actually get what's wrong.

The key is to know that it's a feeling. The logic remains intact. However, when your feelings are not right, your mood is bad, and then logic just steps aside since you are feeling very sad, depressed, etc.

4. understand that while many people may have DP/DR, it is different on each person (like all body and mind problems)

It's like a flue. Sometines you had heavy flue. Sometimes you have light flue. And not all people get sich under the same conditions, and under the same severity, or flavour/type.

There are symptoms that one has. He/she may have this, but not the other.

5. learning more about it

Here are some internet sources you can learn more about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depersonalization (REALLY goooood information here)
http://www.geocities.com/www.depersonalization.info
http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8 ... nalization (a Yahoo search about DP)
http://www.google.com/search?q=depersonalization (a Google search about DP)

6. closing

As for me.. If I have something, it must be DR. Check every one or two weeks in "That's Life"... I will post there a brief text, designed to casuse "understanding" to people who have never felt like me (of cource your girlfriend might not feel like me). After I post it, it is important to read other peoples' responses to it.

And of cource, a little... WARNING!: this is my personal opinion and estimation. In no way this should be considered a worthy description. You will need to ask a specialized doctor. However, the truth is that most of the times doctors don't know even what's happening in their own poor damn heads :D Not that all doctors are like this, but... you got the point. Search this website with the keyword "doctor" or "doc" and see how many times patients get sick-tired of lousy doctors or generic-physicians that simply have no idea that there is a thing called "depersonalization".
 

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Here are two brief descriptions:

Intentions (an intention is behind every thought and body-movement) are not clear, but thoughts and body-movement keeps going. So, everybody (including myself) is unable to understand what's wrong. This is, apparently, because we measure the result (e.g.: a machine achieves the goal it was made for).

"DP is a mental fog that clouds my perception of reality. I mostly sleepwalk and go through the motions instead of taking an active role in day to day life." (this is from Scattered, I just read it in another post).
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The very best and first thing you can do for her is definitely try to understand this illness, and above are all good descriptors of this. I do not know your partner's specific symptoms but I can say this: More than half of all dpers experience some sort of emotional blunting as a symptom of the illness. This can mean emotional distancing towards loved ones. You just must remember that if she does this (which sounds like might be happening) it is not because of you, not at all. This has happened to me and I can tell you that I feel horrible that I cannot be more affectionate or feeling at times, and it is frustrating for the both of us. I am sure that if your partner is experiencing these problems, she wishes so very deeply that they would go away. Just please remember that this emotional distancing/blunting towards people and other things is a symptom and not because of someone else's doing, as well as not a sign that you aren't doing something right.

The second thing that you can do is help. Comfort her. If she has a fear of this getting worse, or, such as in my case, a fear of going crazy and being out of touch with reality all together, tell her that is not the case and CONFIRM it---tell her why this is not the case, tell her everything that is SANE about her. Again, I am just guessing, not sure if she even feels this way, although most dpers do feel extreme and intense fear during dp experiences, and for many it involves this fear of totally losing control of their reality. So, remember this and it will help.

There is another very important thing you can do to help. As stated above, a dper's attention is extremely fixated on the illness/and the loss of sense of self. This just feeds into the illness and makes the experience worse. Again and again I have read posts about distracting yourself from the illness and trying not to pay attention to it, and I can say from personal experience that this DOES help in the recovery process. So, a great thing you could do for her is act normal, do things, do activities she likes or you both like to do together. Go about your normal lives as best you can and stay busy. Exercise together, go for walks, do yoga, talk about work and plans for the future. Basically, do what perfectly healthy people do with their lives, focusing on the good stuff and the normal stuff.

Again, these are just things that I have found helpful and have heard others talk about being helpful.

Oh ya, and there is another thing that you have to do...BE PATIENT. It may take a while but soon she will start to feel better and be able to function normally again, but before this, you just have to stick with her. I cannot imagine anything worse than having to go through this alone.

I hope this helps and am wishing you the best.
 
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