Depersonalization Support Forum banner

Question...Feedback appreciated

2736 Views 25 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Kelson12
Ok, I know I am not supposed to overthink things, but I am still trying to pinpoint exactly what it is that has caused my symptoms.

One thing I have noticed is that my brain seems to have trouble with alot of things going on that it has to focus on at once.

For example:

I am sitting at my desk at work right now. I was feeling sort of detached. I then decided to turn on some music. So I am now listening to music as well as typing emails, etc. Well, when the music is on I detach even more. And if someone walks by my office or comes into my office, I detach even more. Its like my mind is protecting me from activity as it happens.

Another example:

When I am in the car, I may feel sort of detached. If I then stop to pick up my friend and he gets into the car, I detach even more. Or, when I get out of the car and go into a store, I detach even more.

Another example:

The grocery store. I may be feeling sort of detached, but then walk into the store and see all the people, the bright lights and all the different items I need to concentrate on. So I then get more detached and lose focus, concentration, etc.

Another example:

I will be sitting in my apartment by myself. Then my friend comes over and when he/she comes inside, I detach even more.

Another example:

I may be sitting at my desk and when I get a new email it makes a sound on my computer that alerts me that I have a new message. Well lately that sound will kinna make me jump. Or when the phone rings, it makes me jump.

Another example:

I went with some people from work to get some food after work yesterday. Well I felt half way decent on the way there. But as I got to the restaurant and sat down with all the people from work, I got more detached and couldn't concentrate, focus and felt detached from my voice.

Another example:

I was feeling halfway decently connected and then left my office to go to our St. Patrick's Day party at work in a conference room. When I entered and was surrounded by alot of people and saw all the food and noticed the extra noise, I all the sudden became so detached.

Final example:

Yesterday, my boss asked me to help him escort some people back to a meeting in our large conference room. When I went to the front lobby to get ready to greet the people, I was surrounded by my boss and the secretary and other people coming in. I then became more and more detached.

Anyone seeing a trend here? It's like my brain can't handle changes in environments, people, noises, etc...etc. And then to protect itself, it Depersonalizes to hide from it. But little does it know, it is a horrific feeling, which has caused me to be extremely depressed. Now I don't ever really have a panic attack, or sweat, or have a pounding heart, or get dizzy or light-headed but I become sooooo detached and trapped inside my own head that it is horrible! And it's almost like my brain is doing it on its own, not because I am doing it.

Any thoughts? Your feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

See less See more
1 - 7 of 26 Posts
I have felt and still feel this. You indeed describe this very well.

As a result I have become more isolated. However, in recent years, this has lessened. I know how difficult it is, but I force myself to keep going, and then the anxiety passes and the DP/DR lessen.

My theory is yes, it starts with anxiety over "new stimulation", a "change in the environment", an "enviornment you can't control", fear of the DP coming on which causes anxiety, which causes the DP/DR to increase. The "novel" in life is too stimulating to many of us here.

I think we are less able to handle stress, change of environment than the norm. We are more vulnerable. At least I know I am.

One thing that has really helped me (and this doesn't help everyone) is knowing, "This is an illness" and I have the right to express, at minimum to some people that I am not always feeling well.

This is not possible in job situations, I know. But it works with friends. In that sense I am out of the closet, and many, though they don't understand are understanding. I have found many people have their own issues, insecurities, fears. Sharing them with others sometimes makes BOTH parties feel better.

But I have to choose wisely whom I tell these things too.

Kelson, I understand everything you are talking about.
This is Hell on wheels.
Take it one day at a time, one moment at a time, and try, try again.
See less See more
sc said:
Sounds like basic sensory overload. Our types get into that predicament much easier than others. Almost as if we are primed. Also, our little brains don't like to be distracted away from watching ourselves.

The only way I've found to effectively deal with it is to add more to the mix. Overload the overload. I can arrive at a point where I am no longer overwhelmed. The downside to that is - I need to get to a place of very high activity before that can happen. Something just short of frantic. And if the balance tips either way I fall even harder.
Exactly. From what I have read, there are some of us folks in the world who have a much lower tolerance for "stress" of any kind, mental or physical. We are less able to handle "sensory overload" which would not bother the "healthy" individual.

And yes, I have "catastrophe mode" when I seem to function even better, as SC describes. These have been in cases where I've had to take care of my elderly parents' illnesses, Nursing Home situations, decisions over their health care, their funerals. Moving across country, etc.

I like that "overload the overload", but it is indeed a precarious state.

In the journal articles I've read, some people (i.e. those of us here it seems) do not return to "homeostasis" as quickly as others when our bodies our knocked out of this "balance". This is NOT normal. We don't adapt as well, and must compensate in many ways. Each way differs for each person.

Yup, that's me to a "t" again.
My main arguement that this is medical doesn't preclude the psychological EXPRESSION of a medical disorder.

In the discussion of many neurological disorders, like Capgras, or Cotard's which we know are biological. Or discussing schizophrenia which we know is biological.... I can see no way of dismissing the biological underpinnings of DP/DR.

Cancer, we KNOW is physical, can go into remission. Why not DP/DR. In some people it seems to. It can last X amount of time and return, often under stress, but again that is because I believe we have a physical predisposition to this "disorder."

Again, it can come with most if not all mental illness, TLE, stroke, brain injury. There has to be some common element there.

That isn't to say that therapy isn't necessary. Cancer patients who are recovering or who are dying benefit by therapy. Prayer is known to help some very ill patients get better when their doctors figured they were at death's door.

I do subscribe to a theory, again, more the biological reductionist, or the neuropsychiatric evolutionary theory of Ramachandran, that the MIND IS BRAIN.

And Soulbrotha, research into mental illness is imperative. It costs the country billions of dollars in lost productivity and quality of life for so many. Research into mental health is as important as that of AIDs, Cancer, you name it.

I belive suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death (suicide related to depression)... I'm not certain of the statistics, but I can find them again on the Surgeon General's website. The last Surgeon General, Satcher wrote an entire phonebook on the critical need for dealing with mental health. Some mental illnesses are MORE TREATABLE than some heart and lung conditions.

See at minimum the fact sheets at

I believe there are medical treatments.... they may come in 100 years. Personally, I feel I will not see these things in my lifetime, yet on the other hand I have seen advances that astound me in technology and medicine, etc. You never know.

In the meantime, we must use every tool at our disposal. Therapy of all kinds, meds if we choose. We can do no more or less.

Also, 8) , again every single case here is unique and I don't presume to say my theory is correct for everyone.

In the spirit of .... getting rid of this damned DP/DR!!!!

See less See more
Allure30 said:

I wonder something.....

Why suddendly you say that Lamictal doesn't help for DR? Only Klono helps? You always said that it was the turning point for you?


Dear Allure/Karine,
Where did I say that? DidN'T mean to imply that anywhere. Klono WAS the turning point. Lamictal ADDED to that has given me more improvement. I take four meds that have helped me. Klonopin AND Lamictal. I'm on those two, and both have lessed my chronic DP/DR. Two antidepressants help with my anxiety and depression. The Lamictal has also been a mod stabilizer for me.

Sorry for any misunderstanding.
kelson12 said:
The one thing that does scare me a tad though is the meds issue. I've tried alot of different meds. Doesn't it seem like, in a way, that trying a whole bunch of different "drugs" isn't really the best thing to do to help a brain? I mean, can it honestly be good for it? Just a question.
Dear Kelson,
Experimenting with meds has been my choice. And remember I started with all of this years ago. Psychiatry has changed. There was no Prozac when I was younger, no SRIs, etc. Klonopin was on the market in 1975, but no one thought to give it to me for DP at the time. I didn't try it until 1987. Who knows, it could have made a difference.

I HATE being on meds, but for me, WITH THERAPY, with TIME, WITH EFFORT, with some degree of "acceptance" that I must push on with this... well that is all I have been able to do.

Again this is MY case. It may not apply to many others here. I started with this mess at 15. The treatments available then were nil. I was told I would never get better. Period.

Things HAVE changed. And you're young. And I have IMPROVED.

OK, before I take a NAP, LOL....

Facts on Mental Illness from NAMI.Org for SoulBro

"Mental illnesses include such disorders as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and other severe anxiety disorders, autism and pervasive developmental disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder, and other severe and persistent mental illnesses that affect the brain.

These disorders can profoundly disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, moods, ability to relate to others and capacity for coping with the demands of life.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion, or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character, or poor upbringing.

Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people with serious mental illness need medication to help control symptoms, but also rely on supportive counseling, self-help groups, assistance with housing, vocational rehabilitation, income assistance and other community services in order to achieve their highest level of recovery.

Here are some important facts about mental illness and recovery:

- Mental illnesses are biologically based brain disorders. They cannot be overcome through "will power" and are not related to a person's "character" or intelligence.

- Mental disorders fall along a continuum of severity. The most serious and disabling conditions affect five to ten million adults (2.6 ? 5.4%) and three to five million children ages five to seventeen (5 ? 9%) in the United States.

- Mental disorders are the leading cause of disability (lost years of productive life) in the North America, Europe and, increasingly, in the world. By 2020, Major Depressive illness will be the leading cause of disability in the world for women and children.

- Mental illnesses strike individuals in the prime of their lives, often during adolescence and young adulthood. All ages are susceptible, but the young and the old are especially vulnerable.

Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States.

- The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70 and 90 percent of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports;

- Early identification and treatment is of vital importance; By getting people the treatment they need early, recovery is accelerated and the brain is protected from further harm related to the course of illness.

- Stigma erodes confidence that mental disorders are real, treatable health conditions. We have allowed stigma and a now unwarranted sense of hopelessness to erect attitudinal, structural and financial barriers to effective treatment and recovery. It is time to take these barriers down.

To find out more about specific illnesses visit the By Illness page.
Copyright ? 2005 NAMI. All Rights Reserved.

(National Alliance for the Mentally Ill)
See less See more
PS, I don't agree with everything NAMI has to say, though
I'm a member, a volunteer, and attend support meetings.

I believe a poor upbringing such as I had contributed to
my mental illness. This is again where we can't separate
Nature/Nurture. THey are so enmeshed.

But we have psychological issues that therapy deals with, and
we have symptoms. What do we do to lessen the symptoms?

It's different for every single person on this board. I believe

"Ask not what disease the person has, but what person the
disease has." - William Osler, M.D. -- neurologist
See less See more
1 - 7 of 26 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.