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1. Do you guys think there is a reason some people get derealization without depersonalization?

I've tried to research it but I couldn't find much on why some people only get DR. Is there any scientific information out there that I am unaware of? Do you guys have any theory of your own?

2. Is the "inability" to feel emotion part of the DP, the DR or both?

Being detached for your own emotions has to do with one's personal self so it would make sense that it mostly has to do with DP.

But I guess most people who suffer from derealization alone, also have disturbances on one's personal sense of self/emotions, just don't actually feel like they fit the symptoms of depersonalization.

I believe that if you only have DR then you are mostly detached from how you feel about your surroundings. Even if emotions have to do with the self, they are very connected with the stimuli that we accept from your environment, so to me it makes sense that the "inability" to feel has to do with DR too. I don't even know if I am making sense :p Having that said, these are just my thoughts, you don't have to take them seriously :p

3. Any of you experienced DP/DR in childhood? Wanna share your experience?

I think I must have experienced it when I was a teen but I can't rely on those memories to actually tell you that I did have it back then. I only remember that I've most of the time felt as if I couldn't connect with other people.

4. Any of you suffering from other Dissociative Disorders as well as DP/DR ?

Thank you in advance if you read this or replied to all or some of my questions x
 

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Do you guys think there is a reason some people get derealization without depersonalization?

I think a lot of it stems from anxiety and what that anxiety can latch onto first.

The stress response is the initial reason why I believe most people get depersonalized. The reason that it lingers is because of rumination caused by anxiety. If you are depersonalized as an initial symptom, you may obsess and catalyze that feeling, which could make it even worse. Likewise, if you struggle with derealization as your initial symptom, it might be the same scenario. This is just my theory and from my own experience. I can't speak to those who have unreality based on physical brain issues or from drug-induced situations.

Is the "inability" to feel emotion part of the DP, the DR or both?

This emotional withdrawal is most likely connected with anxiety or depression, rather than the unreality itself.

The term used for it is Anhedonia, which is typically found in patients that have clinical depression. When your body is overwhelmed with anxiety, your brain is regulating more stress chemicals than some of the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness and reward. To put it simply, people are losing motivation in things that had interested them before because they are depressed or anxious. Dissociation supplements it due to the disconnect that people have with the self, which only perpetuates those withdrawal symptoms.

These are just my own theories from personal research and experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you guys think there is a reason some people get derealization without depersonalization?

I think a lot of it stems from anxiety and what that anxiety can latch onto first.

The stress response is the initial reason why I believe most people get depersonalized. The reason that it lingers is because of rumination caused by anxiety. If you are depersonalized as an initial symptom, you may obsess and catalyze that feeling, which could make it even worse. Likewise, if you struggle with derealization as your initial symptom, it might be the same scenario. This is just my theory and from my own experience. I can't speak to those who have unreality based on physical brain issues or from drug-induced situations.

Is the "inability" to feel emotion part of the DP, the DR or both?

This emotional withdrawal is most likely connected with anxiety or depression, rather than the unreality itself.

The term used for it is Anhedonia, which is typically found in patients that have clinical depression. When your body is overwhelmed with anxiety, your brain is regulating more stress chemicals than some of the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness and reward. To put it simply, people are losing motivation in things that had interested them before because they are depressed or anxious. Dissociation supplements it due to the disconnect that people have with the self, which only perpetuates those withdrawal symptoms.

These are just my own theories from personal research and experience.
SolomonOrlando, thank you so so much for your reply and for sharing your theories!

1. About my first question, I recently found out that people who have little to no depersonalization but get derealization and also have other dissociative symptoms ( that might have to do with identity) might actually get diagnosed with "Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified".

My theory is that most people who only get derealization most probably don't have the dissociative disorder thats not otherwise specified, but might actually have identity issues or unintegrated EP parts or/and ANP part/parts (*) that stem from abusive/traumatic childhood since childhood is when EPs and ANPs integrate and form a sense of self (*). Those identity issues might actually unable some people from forming a sense of self in the first place so it's more likely for them to only get derealization symptoms and less depersonalization symptoms when stress hits them (or permanently).

Having that said, I don't think that people who only get derealization have identity issues! But they might do, or but they might be prone to having identity issues! They might also had prolonged traumatic childhood experiences that messed up the integration of their EPs and ANPs, they might not even be aware of it ( have unstable emotional responces etc).

(*) If anyone is interested in learning more about EP (emotional parts) and ANP(apparently normal parts), I found most of my information on a website that has to do with DID research (also has to do with ptsd, c-ptsd, borderline personality disorder etc). I would also encourage anyone who is interested to read about structural dissociation.

These are also just my own theories from personal research and experience.

2. About my second question... From what I've just googled, Anhedonia is the inability to feel pleasure. From my personal experience with DR, I am also unable to experience pain, empathy, grief and those emotions are not necessary connected to pleasure. But yes, I also believe that emotional withdrawal is connected with anxiety. Anxiety is what causes DP/DR in the first place for many people.
 

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About my first question, I recently found out that people who have little to no depersonalization but get derealization and also have other dissociative symptoms ( that might have to do with identity) might actually get diagnosed with "Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified".

My theory is that most people who only get derealization most probably don't have the dissociative disorder thats not otherwise specified, but might actually have identity issues or unintegrated EP parts or/and ANP part/parts (*) that stem from abusive/traumatic childhood since childhood is when EPs and ANPs integrate and form a sense of self (*). Those identity issues might actually unable some people from forming a sense of self in the first place so it's more likely for them to only get derealization symptoms and less depersonalization symptoms when stress hits them (or permanently).

Having that said, I don't think that people who only get derealization have identity issues! But they might do, or but they might be prone to having identity issues! They might also had prolonged traumatic childhood experiences that messed up the integration of their EPs and ANPs, they might not even be aware of it ( have unstable emotional responces etc).
Interesting!

That's definitely a correlation worth looking into. The fragile sense of self might cause a predisposition to unreality. It might not happen to everyone, but it could definitely raise the probability. Coming from my own experiences with identity issues, I did have rather large bouts of derealization. While I don't necessarily classify it as abusive, my parents were separated at a very young age and I bounced from house-to-house. The psychological definition of that may allude to trauma and I have been told that my identity issues could be correlated with those experiences. So, maybe you're onto something.
 

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Ugh...this sounds scary. I too always wondered about my self-identity a lot. My parents divorced at a very young age and I bounced from house to the other in a shirt amount of time. I can't even count the times I have moved, coupled with the absence of a father and a mother who was never stable in her life, this definitely didn't help me growing up.

Part of me resents them. But more importantly is to frogive, and forgive oneself.

Question. If one didn't have a strong self growing up, can this be strengthened while your older (im 29)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting!

That's definitely a correlation worth looking into. The fragile sense of self might cause a predisposition to unreality. It might not happen to everyone, but it could definitely raise the probability. Coming from my own experiences with identity issues, I did have rather large bouts of derealization. While I don't necessarily classify it as abusive, my parents were separated at a very young age and I bounced from house-to-house. The psychological definition of that may allude to trauma and I have been told that my identity issues could be correlated with those experiences. So, maybe you're onto something.
Yes exactly, it could raise the probability...

Those were definitely traumatic experiences. Sorry you had to go through this as a child. I am sure that those experiences do interfere with identity and depending on the coping mechanisms of the child, they could lead to anything really cause childhood experiences affect brain development (and identity development etc etc).

I also had a traumatic childhood (witnessing abuse) and I do realize now that my coping mechanisms were and still are maladaptive and dissociative and that's probably the case for most people who develop DP/DR, after all, it's a dissociative disorder. I also do have identity issues and dissociative amnesia. I don't know if there's any validity in my connection between childhood trauma, identity issues and derealization but I personally do mostly get DR and I wonder why is that. I wish there was more research on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ugh...this sounds scary. I too always wondered about my self-identity a lot. My parents divorced at a very young age and I bounced from house to the other in a shirt amount of time. I can't even count the times I have moved, coupled with the absence of a father and a mother who was never stable in her life, this definitely didn't help me growing up.

Part of me resents them. But more importantly is to frogive, and forgive oneself.

Question. If one didn't have a strong self growing up, can this be strengthened while your older (im 29)?
Sorry you had to go through this as a child... but I do agree that forgiveness is very important!

I think there is almost always a connection between prolonged childhood trauma and self-identity. The severity in which a sense of self is affected, depends on the situation and the person.

To answer your question, yes, your sense of self can strengthen at any age! If you do have some form of structural dissociation or unintegrated emotional parts and apparently normal part, there can be integration through therapy. It can be done in pretty much the same way people with dissociative personality disorder integrate their parts.

What does it mean to integrate? it's not a cure really, but a process of being aware, accepting and owning these part of yourself that seemed foreign (your thoughts, feelings, memories, urges etc).

I am personally not there yet but I am currently looking for a therapist that can help me. I personally think it's important to find a therapist that specializes on trauma, is well-read and open-minded.
 

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You really can build a sense of self and self-esteem at any age. I grew up in a very stressful and negative household and had dissociative experiences from a young age. It really affected my whole life and made any progress difficult. What helps me a lot is first accepting any bad feelings I am having about myself without judgement, then affirming that just because I had been made to feel bad - by circumstances around me or the way I had been treated - that didn't mean I was a bad person. As a child I had no power or control over the situation and it wasn't my fault. I didn't do anything wrong and wasn't a bad person. Through repetition and connecting with that truth, little by little, my shame and guilt has faded a lot and my sense of self grown. I'm not saying I'm 100% and everything's great, it's a process, but it's made a real difference.
 
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