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I hope this helps you younger kids who just got DP.
Not sure who wrote it, don't care, I found it on a medical site, but it really makes a lot of sense. I wish I had this when DP hit me. I think this could have saved many years of pain/ worry/ anxiety/ fear.
I pray for you young kids every day, hoping you won't have to live with this anymore. Hope this helps, it's kind of long but worth every word. Moderators, if this was posted before, I apologize. If it saves one of you, then my years of suffering weren't for nothing.
Peace

"The feeling of depersonlisation is due to a shift in brain chemistry, and is due to anxiety/worry etc.
Stress or fear produce a change in your brain chemistry ? an increase of adrenaline and decrease of dopamine - and this feeling of depersonalistion and derealisation is a result. You are not going insane and this will rebalance itself. What makes it persist is that usually a person does not know what it is and so worries/creates more stress this creates a self-perpetuating cycle. Normally, the safe feeling in the chest after a shock will reverse the change in brain chemistry , lowering adrenaline and raising dopamine, but when you are worrying about the DP, you cannot feel safe.

DP can occur as a result of a trauma. In this case, as well as the above, the brain is taking time out to rest itself ? you have no control over this the more you try , the more tired your brain gets and it can't feel the safe feeling it needs. By worrying/stressing you are sending signals to the brain that something is wrong - hence it will protect itself even more and so the cycle continues.

If you let it get the rest it needs and just carry on your every day life as best you can, then eventually the safe feeling will return and you will recover. But only if you give yourself a chance to and stop trying to force recovery.

When manifesting as part of another disorder such as anxiety, depression etc, the symptom may never occur again after the person recovers from the primary disorder.

People that have experienced DP as a result of a bad drug trip or experience have NOT caused long term damage the mechanism is exactly the same, your brain is protecting itself, hiding away to get the rest it needs whether this be from the fear a bad experience causes or from the long term drain the drug use has on your body.

For some people, there seems to be no trauma, no drug-inducement, no nothing that caused the DP. They may have been just walking along the street one day, when the condition suddenly hit them. The fact that there seemed to be no cause whatsoever can make the condition all the more frightening; it's as if something has gone wrong in the person?s brain for absolutely no reason at all.

But things are not always what they seem. There are a HUGE number of elements that, when combined, can cause a person to experience an episode of DP. For example, your work might be a little stressful. You might be drinking some caffeine and soft drinks etc. You might not be sleeping as well as you should.
You might have small some problems in your personal relationships. You might be suffering from a common ailment like post-natal depression, mid-life crisis, exam stress etc.
And of course, all of these things on their own can seem like they can be coped with on a day-to-day basis. But these various stresses combined over time can cause the body and mind to react in very strange ways.
You might have reduced serotonin due to stress (even if you don't feel that stressed, modern life is pretty stressful in itself) as Tommygunz has theorized - in this case the supplements he has listed will help that re balance but you also need to train yourself out of the over thinking and ruminating habit and try to live day by day as normally and routinely as possible.

For most people, the DP dissipates naturally when they are out of the traumatic situation but this is not always the case. You can become aware of the feeling of being ?outside yourself? that DP causes and say, Hey why am I feeling like this??
That unease creates more anxiety and fear (which is now actually focused on the feeling of DP/yourself/the environment simply because there is no visible threat to aim itself at ), with the result that the DP is not able to ebb away as your brain chemistry returns to normal. It turns into a cycle of more DP and more fear generating the thought habit that becomes the actual condition.

Thus there are a variety of causes, but what is common to each case is that the person at some point focuses on the DP, and tries to understand why they are having these feelings.
The excess fear/worry has nothing to focus on; there is nothing specific to be worried about, so the fear is projected onto anything and everything
This also makes the fear self-perpetuating; there is no threat, so you assume that something is wrong with your mind.
This in turn generates more fear still with no threat around

If certain things (thoughts, environmental factors etc) can affect this, then it must be possible to get out of it altogether by establishing precise habits that do not allow it to persist distraction and not trying to do anything about it.

Most of us react to the initial feeling of DP by trying to fight against it. But if you think about it, the idea of fighting against one's own natural defence mechanisms is pointless.
By fighting against it, you are making the anxiety worse, and prolonging the DP that is trying to stop that very anxiety/protect the brain against it and give it a chance to recover.

Depersonalisation is simply your mind's way of reacting to an event that's been too traumatic to deal with up front or of dealing with too much stress/chemical imbalance.

When you go through an experience that?s very difficult, your mind says, Right - this is too much for me. I'm staying out of this one! - it pulls back from reality, because it seems too scary. Once again, that's why DP so often seems as if there's a pane of glass between the sufferer and the rest of the world it's not because of any permanent change, any distancing it's simply because your mind is trying to stay away from anything dangerous and has created a temporary screen to keep that stuff out.

Say someone gets mugged and stays in for a few days to build up their confidence again. this is exactly what the mind does with DP it says im staying in the house for a while until I get my confidence back up. Of course, getting your confidence back up takes a lot of effort. But it must be done. Otherwise, that man who got mugged can end up staying in the house for much longer than he should, afraid of going out again.

And here's the most important part: It's up to you to get your confidence back up. You must learn to calm your mind down and coax it out of its fear, out from behind that invisible barrier.

NOT worry it more/tire it more so it wants to stay in even longer! Leave it alone to rest in its own time. But don't let it hide away at the same time?

SLEEP is the safest place your mind knows this is why you may want to sleep all the time when first ill
To find safety, the mind accesses the comfortable state of sleeping - but does so while you are awake. So part of the sleeping state is temporarily shifted into the waking state. That's another reason why DP constantly feels like a mental grogginess, and why concentration becomes difficult your mind is in that place where you're just about to drift off to sleep, though your body is fully awake. It's also why DP is always worse after a nap the mind is much closer to the sleep-state.

So, in order to deal with a scary waking reality, the mind pulls the warm blanket of the sleep-state over itself and waits until it?s ready to come out again. The mind?s proximity to the sleep-state explains further many of the difficult existential / philosophical thoughts that DP generates.
You can find yourself asking questions like, Why am I here? Why am I me?? etc, constantly questioning your own reality: Because of the mind being so close to the sleep-state all the time, life can actually feel like a dream.

And what happens at the end of a dream? You wake up. The dream reality disappears, and normal reality resumes. So one reason for the constant nasty existential thoughts of DP is because you keep expecting reality to somehow stop ? because all your previous dream experience tells you that it should! And of course, that's a scary thought.

But that's all it is just a thought.
One thing you absolutely have to remember with DP is that reality never changes. It will never stop, it will never fall apart none of those horrible thoughts will ever actually take place. Those thoughts are nonsense. All that has changed is your minds ability to deal with everyday life but it's a perfectly natural and understandable reaction to a trauma, and it's only temporary.

You know that feeling when you are half-asleep in front of the TV or the radio, The sound can seem a bit louder than usual. Sometimes specific words can set off a strange train of thought.

It's usually a nice, cosy feeling being set adrift on the river of the mind! But with DP,
you can have those long trains of thoughts even when you're fully awake. The anxiety and fear of being in this state tends to generate fearful, rather than happy or creative thoughts.

It can get very scary at times, yes, but just remember that its nothing more than a slightly different level of awareness ? one that everyone around the world experiences every day . All that is happening is that the DP has temporarily pushed the sleeping level of awareness into waking life in order to protect you from some perceived danger.

The following is true: People who have recovered from DP almost always say, What on Earth was I worried about?? Because nothing really changes at all with the condition it's just the way you look at it!

In fact, DP is very much an example of a condition that features what psychologists call state-specific learning, and refers to any type of experience that is difficult to remember emotionally (dreams etc). That means that what you feel when you have DP - all the fear, anxiety etc - is very difficult to recall once you get out of it.

For example, I can describe DP to someone in vivid detail, but I cannot remember the feelings of it in the same way that I can remember, say for example, the sadness I felt when I finished college and said goodbye to my classmates. I know that this may sound unbelievable right now, but I guarantee that when you recover completely from DP, you will find it very difficult to even remember these emotions that seem so important at the moment. Much like you cannot remember a dream sometimes, even moments after waking.

People with DP are usually the sensitive, intelligent and reflective type. This is not entirely surprising, since it is introspection and contemplation of temporary feelings that
create the condition in the first place. In my experience, this has actually been a very positive thing, since all of the people I have contacted in researching the condition have always been open, intelligent and optimistic, even in the face of what is often terrible fear.

Ok, so we?re looking at DP as a habit of thought. Now let's compare it to another habit: smoking. If you're a smoker, how do you deal with cravings after you quit? Sure, you can use nicotine patches, gum etc but the bottom line is about having the will power to get past it. But you can certainly help your will power out by distracting yourself from the craving, by ignoring and trying to forget the habit.
For example, a very common tip for smokers is, keep your hands busy. If you play an
instrument, go practice it. If you like to knit, go knit. Go look at some interesting websites for a while.

The exact same idea works with DP.
But because it is a habit of thought, getting out of it is more difficult than simply not
picking up that cigarette. The pink elephant principle applies here - if you think, right, I'm not going to think about DP, the chances are that you won't able to stop! And with DP, that tends to happen over and over again. The harder you try to not think about it, to forget about it - the more you do think about it and the more ingrained the habit becomes. That's why the condition can be so frustrating: it's very much up to the individual to take action but the action taken by the individual often makes the condition worse.

But the bottom line is this: you must train your mind to not think about DP. That doesn't mean you will learn to stop thinking about it, or get rid of the thought but just to think
about something else. And the best way of doing this is to keep your mind constantly occupied. Keep your hands busy! If you play an instrument, go practice. If you
don't play an instrument, start learning one. If you like to knit, go knit. Go surf the web for a while. Always keep busy. And remember: Every time you are busy, you are absolutely working towards something your own recovery. So don't worry about doing even the most frivolous thing. Enjoy it. But stay busy all the time.

It's all about for now, accepting that you are not 100%, you feel strange because your brain is tired out from all the worrying and ruminating and just giving it a chance to rest and recover by living as normally as you can manage and NOT trying to do anything about the strange feelings/giving them any attention.

It's also better to stay busy with activities that involve your mental input more than others. For example, reading or writing can be better than watching TV, since it's easier to drift away into your own thoughts while doing the latter (That said, though, television can also be the source of a good, positive routine, when it is something that absorbs you like a good drama etc). Learning an instrument or a craft is also a good example since it absolutely requires your full attention.

You should also remember that, as with any affliction, laughter is an absolutely wonderful medicine for DP

Talk to as many people as you can. Remember that in spite of any anxiety you may feel, that each and every time you go into town, shopping, meeting friends etc is another bit of progress!
Go out and have fun with your friends. If you stay in all the time, that will become a habit and one that probably won't help.
All DP/anxiety can ever do is make things seem more amplified, more threatening. But reality itself doesn't change. Even if you wanted it to, it couldn't change! All that's
happening is that your mind is scared and jumpy at the moment, and seeing danger everywhere (even in the normal philosophical thoughts that everyone has from time to time).
I know it can be tough, but just remember that this state is temporary and entirely reversible.

One feeling that these thought processes can generate is the idea that reality has somehow changed. You may come to some very strange conclusions about the nature of the condition: for a while, I entertained the nonsensical thought that was in some sort of purgatory?, that I had somehow lost my soul?. You may think that something dreadful is going to happen, like reality falling apart?. Another common thought is that you are somehow going to disappear altogether.

These things have not happened, and will not happen. I have been to the absolute depths of this illness, and I have come out it completely unharmed. There is absolutely no permanent mental damage, there is absolutely no permanent physical damage. Hundreds of thousands of people have had this condition
before you, and none of them not a single one ever managed to change reality! It's all based on irrational fears created by nonsensical trains of thought.

You have not changed in any fundamental way. The world has not changed in any
fundamental way. You are suffering from an ailment that yes, can be very scary at times, but is relatively very mild. It is not even close to the risks associated with most other conditions. I think that may be one of the reasons it's not recognized as much as it
should be; because as scary as it can get, it is a non-progressive condition and, believe it or not, is simply not that dangerous for the sufferer.

Don't ever fight with DP mentally. Take it from me: Fighting it, like fighting with any type of pain, will only make it worse. DP is like the schoolyard bully who calls people names: If
you respond to his taunts with anger or sadness, he knows that he can hurt you and so it will keep happening, day in, day out. But if you simply accept him no matter how
difficult that may be, and how persistent the bully may be it will eventually stop."
 
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