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Hi, all!

One of the scariest symptoms I've been dealing with lately has been not "recognizing" loved ones. I'll look at my daughter and I get a tinge of panic because it's almost like I don't recognize her; like I'm looking at her for the first time. It happens with my husband and mom a lot, too, but mostly with my daughter because I'm with her most of the time. It also happens with myself when looking in the mirror. Then my hypochondria chimes in with, "not recognizing loved ones? isn't that a sign of brain damage? maybe I have something more than just anxiety and DP/DR...."

Is this normal? I notice the more I fear looking at a loved one and not recognizing them, the more it happens. I also have a fear that it'll get worse, as in one day I just won't know who anyone is anymore and need immediate psychiatric care.

In fact, I was doing better up until a few days ago when this particular symptom started "acting up" and I thought to look up the symptoms online "not recognizing loved ones" and it brought up amnesia, dementia, Alzheimers and psychosis...which made this worse for me.

Any insight is appreciated, thank you :)
 

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Yes, that's normal and many people experience it with dissociation.

If you had a brain tumor or psychosis, this experience would be much different. Your family would be entirely indiscernible.

In your situation, you know that it's your daughter (or other loved ones), it just appears as though you can't recognize them based on your current unreality.

In fact, I was doing better up until a few days ago when this particular symptom started "acting up" and I thought to look up the symptoms online "not recognizing loved ones" and it brought up amnesia, dementia, Alzheimers and psychosis...which made this worse for me.
Try not to look things up online. It will always give you the most extreme results. :???:

This was something I had to work on when I went through my depersonalization years ago. Once you pull out of that habit, it makes life a lot easier.
 

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Definitely relate to this. Friends/family and even acquaintances seemed to be strangers. It's as Solomon says, I know who they are logically, but the emotional connection and life history seemed to not be clicking. What I had to do was learn to build a new and second DP/DR kind of bonding with them. But eventually the old feelings slowly come back too, and it actually is like I know my people even more deeply now. I know that may sound discouraging. But I like to tell people with dissociation, who seem to have a particularly hard time with "not feeling the love" that was once there: The fact that is bothers you that you don't feel the connection, actually shows that that care and love for them is still inside, within you.
 
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