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No sense of self

5321 Views 23 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ThystaBoy
Going to keep this brief.

I know a detachment from the self is a common symptom of DP. But I kinda feel like I don't even exist anymore. I literally can't tell. I feel like I am just experiencing everything consciously, emotionally, and somatically, but their is no "me" that is experiencing it, its just my brain. Its terrifying. Most people seem to say that DR bothers them more than DP. I definitely disagree, It's easier for me to acclimate to DR then DP. A loss of self is so much more threatening to me then my surroundings looking fuzzy.

Just wondering if anyone can relate to feeling like there is no actual person inside their brain.
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Dp definitely sucks more than dr. No sense of self paired with a blank mind is screwing me over currently. Very much on autopilot. It eez what it eez.

You kind of are your brain, but more than that you are also your experiences. Since you have thoughts and are experiencing things consciously, emotionally, and somatically, "you" do exist. The fact that you find this experience terrifying proves that you are still here, there is a person inside your brain, you still have a mind, you are still you, you exist.

Why do we exist? I don't know, lol, let's not think about that.. but being that we are built to have emotions, be self aware, and have thoughts has to mean something? Maybe? You're not just organs.

It may not feel like it but you still exist, I promise.

Hang in there.
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Hey, thanks for the reply. Ive seen that you've been on here quite a bit recently and I just have to say I appreciate the sympathy and advice you've given on here. You seem to have garnered a wealth of wisdom about all of this lol.

Unrelated but I thought I would ask you here. From what I gathered you have had DPDR for around half a decade? And I think maybe you're in highschool? How has your disorder changed over time- if it all. How have you coped with it?

Lol I'm not wise at all, but thanks.

Low-key don't know how to answer so this is gonna be long and probably have no sense of structure...

I've had dpdr for about 5 years; started right before 8th grade and now I'm in 12th. To be honest, I can't completely remember what this disorder used to be like for me regarding symptoms. I'm not even sure I could tell you anything astonishing in terms of how I've coped with it..super helpful, I know.

I'm as calm as I've ever been about this disorder. I mean, I would kill to look at the sunset with clear eyes just one more time, but, I still think I am doing better than any other year I've had this. My symptoms haven't changed much over the years. I'm still constantly derealized and depersonalized, and I've got a blank mind. Some days are horrible, my body feels like a hologram, everything looks like its in my peripheral vision and I do feel hopeless. Though, compared to the first year/ two; I'm not as paranoid, the severity of my dissociation does not fluctuate as dramatically, I'm not as existential, and I'm not too worried about the meaning of the world or the meaning behind my existence anymore.

I think what has gotten me to this point is that I accept that this is a dissociative disorder, I have a clear understanding of why I developed this disorder and still have this disorder, I am actively trying to increase my psychological flexibility (look that up if u haven't heard of it it's pretty rad), and I'm trying to view this disorder as something conquerable, a mere obstacle.

For me, a critical step for developing good coping would be recognizing trauma, anxiety, or anything that may have caused the dpdr. Personally, this took so much time to figure out, a lot of recalling/reliving memories, a lot of emotions, and some therapy sessions, but I think I've finally got it down. A reason why I've had this disorder for so long and why I think you can overcome it quicker is because one; I was super young when it started and didn't know jack shit about mental health, and two; I was minimizing the impact my trauma had on me and felt like my problems weren't important enough to ever be addressed. I've just recently learned how to cope with my emotions instead of repressing them.. haha.

Um, I'm also on Lexapro. That's probably calmed me down. I know people who've experienced depersonalization and derealization for months from bad meds, having too high a dose, etc. so that's something to think about uhhh

I guess just try to have a positive outlook, but don't suppress your feelings under the guise of positivity. Find peace and comfort in knowing we constantly change and there is no final version of yourself. This disorder isn't a death sentence. Focus and do things that make you happy but also know that you need to have a willingness to experience a range of sensations, emotions, and thoughts in order to grab dpdr by the throat and to live a rich life in general. Don't suppress your emotions, you aren't dumb for being hopeful, and uhh friends and talking to people is always good.

I'm obviously not recovered nor am I some enlightened master of life, so... take my advice with a grain of salt. I can't think of anything else right now but if you have anything else you wanna know or just wanna talk, I'm here.
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Thanks, I genuinely appreciate the detail. I'm really curious in the nature of long term cases. Btw Im in grade 11 so we are at a pretty similar stage in our lives lol.

Im really glad to hear that you are improving your mindset towards this disorder, that is how one recovers from it I believe. I like to imagine that is the most reasonable future for myself; to be in a calmer state, not thinking about it as much, even despite if it hasn't gone away. I am not gonna lie, It is very hard for me to convince myself that I won't have this for the rest of my life, it just seems so severe. But that mentality alone would certainly contribute to its longevity. I have to try to force myself to believe that I will recover soon I guess. I still experience a degree of emotion, and throughout the day I still find these random organic impulses to do things that I would normally do, that is kind of all there is left of me, hopefully its my ticket to recovery.

Are you taking therapy? Assuming you haven't that would certainly assist you in processing trauma. Im happy to hear that you've addressed it though

I've always thought I never had any trauma. And its technically true. But I realized that the depressive episode and consequential anxiety that caused my DPDR certainly wasn't random. My entire life has been a me vs me battle. Ive always convinced myself pragmatically that I was inferior, helpless, and ultimately life was meaningless. I've had this quiet desperation my whole life to be someone and do something; and being in my teenage years that really manifests as having a fulfilling social life, garnering some sort of online attention for my creative work, being validated, and feeling special. This has all caused me to live with a perpetual sense of melancholy throughout my teen years. I constantly felt like something was wrong, something was missing. It felt so inappropiate to be where I was in my life for no reason. Eventually, three months ago, It was all too much. And thus my spiral into mental illness began. Its so funny when I think about my goals for this year. I wanted to get jacked, make new friends, lose my virginity (to be blunt), go to more parties, ace my classes, and finally be happy. Now, all I want is for my sanity to still be intact by the end of the school year. Oh well, shit happens.

I take zoloft, its worked wonders for me anxiety and depression wise. Unfortunately recently my DPDR has gotten worse, so its a little harder for the medication to cut through it I guess.
Hey there, you're welcome

First off, you're valid. Trauma or not, you're valid. Optimistic or not, you're valid. Where you're at in life as a teen, is valid. Your emotions are valid. Your goals are valid. You. Are. Valid.

It's super hard to get out of that "I'm going to be this way forever" way of thinking, I'm still kind of there myself. I used to be super pessimistic. Just a big ball of negative energy and trust issues. I lowered my expectations and treated everything like it would ruin me so I'd be "prepared" just in case. I thought if I treated dpdr the same way I wouldn't be as sad or obsessive about it, but just like you said, this mindset does contribute to the longevity of this disorder. It's super hard to become optimistic when you've viewed things in a pessimistic way for so long.. cognitive fusion, ew. So, no more telling yourself you're helpless or that It doesn't matter. I've been looking into the principles of ACT therapy and have been trying to change the way I treat stressful thoughts, I've gotten pretty far, so keep on fighting and I will too.

I am taking therapy, yay.

A depressive episode was also what triggered my dpdr, feeling so hopeless and with no one to confide in sucks, I escaped it by developing this disorder. The depressive episode you had/ whatever triggered it could actually be trauma though, anything that dramatically alters the way someone views the world is deemed traumatic.

I for sure also had a lot of ambitions. Being an ambitious teen and having this disorder sure does not mesh well. I think the problem is also society and media portraying the teens the way it does. Coming of age and high school films just kill me, they romanticize the teenage experience too much. Now that we're in the midst of a pandemic, my plans have been ruined. It is stressing me how I probably won't be able to make any meaningful positive memories or contributions in high school like I always thought I would, like the movies and books said I should. But, you don't need to be successful or peak in your teens. I've been zoned out for all of my teen years at this point, it does suck watching others having fun without the burden of dissociation, but there are going to be more opportunities for things in the future. I'm just trying my best to be happy from now on, embrace the good and bad, live in the moment and fuck all else.

I'm really sorry that your dpdr has been worse, have you mentioned this to a psychiatrist/ doctor? Like just in case it's the dosage of zoloft that's off. Please don't lose hope. Even though I've had this disorder longer I don't think we are that different, improvement is not impossible.
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You know what's actually funny.. most teens don't feel this way. Sure, a lot of teens feel sadness, want to have friends and want to fit in or whatever, but, the majority of teens aren't depressed and don't feel inadequate on the regular. I have a feeling you don't see your emotions as justifiable. Your thoughts, feelings, and emotions are legitimate and as important as anyone else's, k?

Sheesh, how you described things it really seems like you have had low self-esteem for a while. Same here. One doesn't really just wake up one day and decide that they're a nobody. Rather, that belief is ingrained into us slowly through many experiences like rejection, bullying, pressure from our (patriarchal) society, *cough* media warping our ideas of self worth *cough*, and also through dysfunctional families. I'm sure you're working through this, you know what you're going through better than anyone, so good luck, I understand that you've done more than enough introspection lol. I could honestly go on longer but imma stop myself here, you're informed on this stuff and I'm sure you've been trying shit like more self love which in turn helps the dpdr or whatever so imma not annoy you lol. And I still said it. Sorry, it's 3am rn, idrk what I'm doing.

Don't undermine what you've been through, developing this hell of a condition is proof that it was "bad enough". And 20's? Who said it'll last that long? You can still have some fun with dpdr, sure it feels harder to do, you'll zone out, but it's always better than staying in.

I just realized you said you wanted attention for your creative work in the other reply….you a soundcloud rapper? Lol sorry that's just the first thing that came to mind when I read it.
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Just replying to apologize aaaaaaa

I was tired while writing the reply, sorry I kinda projected onto you there lol.

There are some similarities between us, but I overstepped, you're probably not going through the same things I was. I used to think I was just born overly sensitive but turns out my low self worth stemmed from deep rooted issues. I felt like we both had a tendency to engage in escapist and self-destructive fantasies, and for me, I connected that with a weakly-defined ego and identity in childhood, but I see that you don't relate aaa I'm embarrassed.

Starting a Youtube channel for shorts sounds hella cool, you already got a supporter here so don't keep me waiting on it lol, good luck.
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