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Hello everyone,

I'm experiencing DR (not DP) in various degrees since 8 months. I actually got out of it for about 80% for a while but a good old panic attack set me back at 20% again. I think the thoughts (all of the usual DR ones) and my already present social anxiety became unbearable.

The weird thing is that I have NO symptoms at all in my dreams. I actually dream about falling in love, feeling REAL emotions, having my friends around me etc. Basicly all the things I feel I can no longer achieve in real life because my DR and anxiety cripples/ruins this.

Would this mean that anxiety is the mean reason of my DR? The anxiety/DR is only present when I'm awake. I'm seeing a therapist who is gonna work on my social anxiety because that seems to cripple me the most. Any other tips or things I could do to work on this?

And how about depression? Does depression affect dreams? I felt like I had a depression because suicidal thoughts were occuring more recently. Mostly because DR makes me feel like I'm stuck in this body and there is no way out.
 

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In most of my dreams, I don't have any DP symptoms either. I can feel emotions in my dreams even though I can't access those emotions in real life. I will say, however, that when I have a lucid or semi-lucid dream, I become aware of the fact that I'm DP'd in real life and usually feel uncomfortable or panicky.

I don't know why this is and there hasn't been any research done on dreaming and DP even though so many report their DP as feeling like they are living in a dream.

I also know that a lot of other people on this forum report feeling DP in their dreams all of the time, so I'm not sure why some people can feel normal in their dreams and others feel their DP symptoms.

As far as what to work on, I've found one of the only things that works for me is distraction. I keep myself very distracted with books, Netflix (currently loving animes like Naruto and My Hero Academia) and YouTube videos when I'm not working. The more distracted I am, the less likely I am to obsess over my symptoms or ruminate on stuff from my past which only increases my anxiety and discomfort. I also heavily monitor my thoughts and attempt to avoid thinking too much about my symptoms, what life used to be like, when I'm going to get better, how uncomfortable I feel, etc. It's a hard skill to master but to me there isn't much of a point in digging my hole deeper by obsessing over things I can't control, so I've found distracting myself and focusing on whatever else I can to be the only thing that's been helpful on my journey.
 

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I weirdly have only started dreaming again on probiotics. It happened last time I did this, but this time I have gone full on fibre & kefir/yoghurt/kimchi/yakhult/cheese and fruit... Didn't dream/sleep well last night but my energy levels have gone up so need to set a better routine & will be fine...

Anyway... my personal opinion on dreams is they process emotions unexpressed during the day. Socially we are expected to not express fear, sadness, anger, shame, embarrassment etc... so I think the prefrontal cortex suppress the over expression of these emotions when they arise in social situations (or at all). Much like one theory for DPD, but an over suppression by the medial prefrontal cortex. I think people throw away dreams too easily as meaningless, but they can tell us things. I think for example with anxiety you may have a lot of anxiety based dreams (I know I do, being chased or hiding etc).

So you may have difficulties with these emotions during the day because they are suppressed. BUT, the good news is that when you dream they come back as the limbic system processes emotions & memories from that day whilst the prefrontal cortex takes a break.... Again, my theory but I think that during the day our personality aka prefrontal cortex runs the show suppressing and expressing whichever emotions. When we dream the roles reverse, and primarily the limbic system expresses these emotions in some way primarily, whilst secondary to that the prefrontal cortex makes up weird nonsensical stories to give these emotions an outlet. Very likely a different part of the brain is involved which is why there is always something strange with dreams ie dead people being alive or something not making sense.

So yeh, I think dreams are good and are just your subconscious expressing itself. It is nothing to worry about I feel it is a positive way of processing emotions and are important so the brain. I know that REM sleep comes after the first 4 stages, stage 4 being the most restful... so if you dream, you know you have gone through the 4 stages and got a good nights rest, although they can be exhausting when we overdream... but I find that once I am dreaming again, I need less sleep so probably oversleep... so now I am dreaming again recently I really only need 6-8 hours as opposed to my 10-12 and STILL feeling exhausted.
 
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