Depersonalization Support Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A significant part of my tendency toward feelings of depression, anxiety, panic attacks and depersonalisation, I believe is do to a very low frustration tolerance.

There have been many times in my life when I have begun a project or course of study and when I was confronted with some difficulty I would simply quit. It is as if I don't know how to endure the feelings of helplessness and confusion and had no internal resource within me where I could turn. It is as though I often lack the ability to put things in perspective, either over react or just give up. If I over react I generally end up quitting anyway.

I experience very little pleasure from my association with the outer world and at best I can sometimes achieve a kind of level of neutrality where pain and pleasure sort of equalize each other. But the experience of satisfaction from my relationship to things or people in the outer world is something I rarely experience.

It is as though since I lack the "character strength" to endure through the feelings of anxiety and depression of the stress provoking period of frustration in any given involvement I find myself doing less and less in daily life, and my life continues to shrink till all I really have anymore is my own inner world.

I don't really feel that I have a "medicaL" problem, as it feels like more of an "moral" or philosophical/psychological problem. I mean is there a drug that one can take that will give one the "will" to do the "needful?"

My life has come to revolve around strategies for the avoidance of pain rather than dreams or plans for future pleasure and self esteem building satisfaction.

Even on a sexual level I have come to prefer self pleasuring and fantasy to involvement with another person. But truthfully I have always felt that way even during my more sexually active younger years and as a child.

It used to be believed that childhood masturbation weakened ones "character" perhaps they were on to something.

I am beginning to loose the train of my original thought, (something that often accounts for my relatively infrequent posts) but I guess what I was wondering was whether or not, and to what extent you folks feel that your feelings of Depersonalization/Derealization might be a "moral" or "character" issue rather than a medical problem? I know that such a question may not be regarded as "politically incorrect" in some circles, but there you have it anyway.

Perhaps my personal concern with the "moral" or "characterlogical" approach is simply reflective of what Janine was saying the other day to me about living with an inherent sense of shame, what I referred to as a feeling of irrational over whelming guilt like one might experience from violating a strong taboo, like incest, or even incest fantasies about ones mother or father or ones own children.

Anyway, I know that guilt has often been associated with depression and depersonalization has often been regarded as a symptom of depression. For me I feel my periods of DP are more connected with depression than with a mal functioning flight or fight mechanism like some posters suggest. As I have said elsewhere I may be depressed but I don't feel particulalarly sad and I have achieved a sort of homeo stasis where i don't feel depersonalized at this time. I might be williing to try an anti depressant if i was in custodial care soemwhere as i am am afraid to take any anti depressants for fear they will make me become unhinged or something and throw me into a state of horrific DP like anti psychotic meds once did to me. Also I am getting to that age where I am afraid if I became too frightened or confused I might have a stroke or something.


Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This will be met with major disagreement by many here, yet I forge on, grin.

What you describe is VERY common to people (like myself) who have personalities/selves that are built on a dichotomy of Shame versus Grandiosity.

On the one hand, we despise ourselves...thinking we are nothing, lower than low, sub-human.
On the other hand (mostly in silent fantasy) we feel special...superior. And we want perfection. What we have no tolerance for is Reality, lol...we want things to go perfectly (according to what we want), and with the first (inevitable) blemish, we lose interest. We're not pretending to lose interest, we really honestly lose it.

Living with such an Extreme worldview ("I am nothing" versus "I want things to be just the way I want, or I'll withdraw") is enough to lay a firm groundwork for dp. NOT that everyone who has dp is like this. But trust me, kids...many of us are. And the odds of so many people with narcissistic disturbances also "having" dp would be astronomical if there wasn't a correlative/causative.

I've said it before - and this was a huge part of my own self-awareness and steps towards getting rid of my years of symptoms: I was at war with reality. Then I wondered why/how my mind had created a symptom that made nothing seem "real."


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
and just for the record, I STILL fight this at times. Symptoms are long gone, as the complicated and chronic defense against reality isn't there, but one little blemish on something, and I'm ready to toss it out the window.

I want Fantasy Perfection to the things that matter to me, or I want to withdraw all my investment of caring. I have to WORK to remind myself what the game costs longterm..and I have to remind myself what all I miss in the process of quickly writing off anything that fails me.

NObody can live a good life that way. And it's a battle I still fight.

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
John your post reminded me of others I've read(perhaps not so intricatly worded)on Avoidant personality boards.

I've noticed that there are those who speak of the world and people with an arrogant and often angry disdain and intolerance.
They use this as an excuse to isolate or withdraw from life.
Others speak of self loathing and intolerance of self and also use this reason as to why they withdraw,isolate or avoid life and people.
Sometimes a person will confess to having both views.This is what I think Janine has mentioned.

Depression by it's nature doesn't exactly fill us with light and warmth toward ourselves and others.
A hallmark of depression is giving up easily.A depressed mind is generally not going to be gung ho about future dreams or ambitions.
That's one reason as I understand it that SSRI's have a stimulating effect(the very reason I can't take them).

As for tolerance.I tend to feel intolerant generally.
More so because I'm so impatient.I put mine down to perimenopause.
I don't cope well with stress,I'm get so damn irritable and the problem is there are so many things that irritate me.
This I believe is another way that anxiety manifests itself.

All the best,cheers Shelly

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I can relate to this at least on an academic level... when I was in univ. if I came upon something I didn't understand immediately I would feel totally lost. Like I'd just been swallowed up by something. It would never even occur to me to try approaching the subject differently, or ask for help, or anything like that. It's like I'd just shrug my shoulders and walk away. I couldn't deal with the confusion and sense of feeling lost in the subject matter.

So sometimes my grades were really great, other times they were terrible.

· Registered
926 Posts
oh yes I can relate to this BIG time.

On a larger scale, ie academically, career,

On a smaller scale, getting the washing done, blow drying my hair, tidying the house, getting up at the right time.

Sometimes I can't finish things because my mind starts its 'humming'

Most of the time, I can't even start. I am seriously PLODDING through this.

Rather than be crap as opposed to perfect, you end up in a constant state of, er, not much at all. Twilight Zone. Finding middle ground by actually doing things and accepting a realistic outcome is difficult. Wanting to be a better person but afraid of disappointing yourself. Shame and guilt. Is this the kind of thing you mean?

I find your posts really interesting John. I know the feeling of losing the original point, goes back to what you were saying earlier. I think the mind kind of fogs over if it doesn't get the clear cut answer it craves.

· Registered
348 Posts
I have always seen it as a circle of behaviour, where one has low self esteem but high expectations. The two can't mingle, so one will sabotage anything that intereferes with the other, including quiting a project becasue it may make one dissonant to have to feel good about oneself when your script in life is telling you should feel bad. (if you would have succeded in the project you would then feel good about yourself, but that cannot be so you quit). Sabotage can take many forms, but it always has the same goal, to deal with tension between low self esteem and high self expectatons.
I find myself relating very much to the frst poster here, for my frustration tolerance is nil, especially when I am feeling symptomiatic with dp. It is a very confusing situation becasue the same mind is telling us two things. I do not know how any of this relates to cause or effect of dp/dr, but I do know that when ones core (what you referred to as character) is even weaker temporarily becasue of dp sensations, that this existential dissonace is numbed, at least for me. Strange.

· Registered
348 Posts
The more I read your posts the more it tweaks memories. There has always been within me this loathing for myself but the need for perfection sits along side. I was indeed raised on all fronts on a foundation of guilt and shame. I too have spent my whole life "semi depressed", never really being able to connect solidly with people or enviroments, as if there was always something holding me back. I too more often than not avoid pain, always taking the path of least resistance.

But what hits me hardest when I think about it is how my whole life I have thrown the baby out with the bath water becasue the baby was not perfect. Examples are thousands, but the jsit of it is that in my mind these things did not measure up to perfection so I left them. This includes many people and relationships. Out of necessity (reality check???) I have had to come to accept many things order to keep going...but I hate it.

As for coping skills. I have always blamed my anxiety disorders on my lack of dealing with normal situations. Character flaw? Avoidant personality? Reality dodger? Center temporarily off balanced from chronic dp? Any of these would fit me. I cannot see how people can deal with lifes major setbacks (divorce...death...firings..whatever) as well as some do.

My ultimate inspiriations in all of this have been the old Norwegian women of the Midwest where I live. Most I have known have faced life squarely in the face, endured all the hardship, expreienced all the dissapointment, felt all the loss. And yet they move on, remembering the past and not dismissing it, working on crafts and volunteering and not resorting to booze, watching most of their friends die only to find new ones, seeing their bodies crumble to disease only to make jokes about it. What they do is not avoid, they see it coming and accept it all as life. And yet they are often joyful and feel life deeply. I guess, maybe, they are living in.... reality.

Is it possible for damaged goods like us to have this relationship with life....using less than perfect skills to get on as we were meant to be? I think so, to the very best we can. We jsut have not to strive for the perfect world, the perfect project, the perfect spouse....and especially not the perfect "self". Anything other than this is not reality.


Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good posts, John, Jft and Janine (kinda) I lke your posts Janine but I don't think you search deep enough. Or maybe that is a good thing for you actually. I wouldn't want you to end up like me; thinking and thinking until I don't know how to get out of my head.

It's strange, because if I have thoughts of incest (first of all it'd never be with my mom. maybe a pretty aunt or something) i'm not even sure they are my own. See, back in grade school, I found a 3.5inch floppy of porn in my dads filing cabinet. There was something on there that could be considered kiddie porn and I just felt so weird and shocked and terrified after seeing it. I think it had a huge effect on me come to think of it. This was also around the time when he wasn't home very much at all and instead having an affair 350 miles away. On a side note: I found out he was having this affair by when he gave me an "Outside" magazine (there was some article he wanted me to read) but the name on the address thing at the bottom was some woman's name that I didn't recognize. It was like I was waiting all along for something like this to happen. I knew he was having an affair, I could just sense it. Everytime i'd ride in teh car with him or something, I'd just feel it so deeply and my mind would wonder about how things will never be the same and about what he could be doing with this woman who was not my mom. I grew up for so long thinking they'd be together forever. That really did my head in. Anyway where was I...

Maybe I am making excuses for my shame and guilt but if I have ever thought about incest (again, i've been so fucking confused/deluded at times that I just did not know what is real and what isn't) I think it could be traced back to a paranoid thought about me becoming like my own dad. Like me thinkging "I am a part of this guy because he made me. Part of him is in me. I'll turn out just like him because I am just like him. I'm so impressionable and I've looked up to him like Superman for so long that I just can't escape it. It's inevitable." And it was true, the way I acted and the way I talked had a lot to do with him. I took a lot of my personality from him. I don't think I've been the same ever since finding that and I think, imho, that it has contributed to my dp/dr.

I mean there are a dozen other things that have caused my dp/dr but that may be one of them.

· Registered
1,146 Posts
I lke your posts Janine but I don't think you search deep enough. Or maybe that is a good thing for you actually. I
She's recovered.... :)

The reason why she may not sound "deep" there is because there is no deep answer to all this. Just the more shallow world of life.

· Registered
403 Posts
Trust me, you don't want Janine to go deep. When she does, it can get very intense. I think she simplifies her answer because her bright mind is unique and few can understand on her level when it comes to DP. She's a recovered veteran of DP.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.