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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(****I am NOT in any way trying to impose anything here, but simply re-posting information available on the internet****)

i was surfing around on Reddit and suddenly came across this thread with really interesting material, in which someone asks people if they have experienced DPDR on a Gender Dysphoria subreddit and these are the most interesting replies from the people:


_Yes, absolutely. I have had issues with depersonalization (and derealization) almost as long as I can remember.

Some of my earliest memories involve looking in the mirror and finding it unbelievable that I was inside the thing that was looking back. As a kid and a teen it didn't bother me too much, it was generally no worse than a passing weird feeling.

That changed around about the time I went to university. I decided to experiment with magic mushrooms and during the trip ended up deeply exploring those feelings, which completely fucked me up and caused a permanent intense feeling of DP.

Right after the trip I felt like I had lost my soul. That's the only way I can really describe it. I've never felt such a profound terror in all my life, I would never wish it on another person. I felt like I didn't have an emotional connection to myself or my family. Usually around family and friends you feel a sense of comfort and connection, love I guess? But that disappeared. I knew intellectually that I had spent my life with these people and that I had shared memories with them, but there was no emotional component anymore.

Sometimes you read about the brain and how we are all really just biological robots. DP, for me, meant really feeling the truth of that statement. I felt like I and those around me were just fundamentally machines and that nothing we did had any significance or meaning, it was all just hollow.

After that I had a horrible time dealing with DP for several years. It gradually got better bit by bit and after about 5 years I felt mostly normal in myself, though it still lingered at the back of my mind and would return if I let my thoughts wonder in the wrong direction. I did not, however, regain the connection to my family. No matter what I did or how I tried to bond with them I couldn't rekindle any feelings of love. They were stuck feeling like strangers to me.

Which brings us almost today. I started HRT a couple months ago, and a couple weeks back went to visit my parents. On the second to last day of my visit we were talking over dinner and my dad was joking around being a twit. There was this moment when I looked up from from my plate, saw him smiling and laughing, and then noticed a warm fuzzy glow of affection in my chest. Something I haven't felt for almost 10 years. I was pretty stunned. Then it happened again for my mum and then again for my sister, and then more times on the next day! I had lost hope, and I kinda can't believe it, but I think I am actually starting to feel genuine love for for my family again. :)

Sorry that turned into a bit of a story!

P.S. I've come to realise that my DP was definitely related to being trans. Not only because the HRT has helped but because when I see myself as female, that 'stranger in the mirror' sensation evaporates, which I've never experienced before. I didn't know it was possible to feel so connected to your reflection.

_Totally experience this a lot and it feels like it gets worse the more I'm pushed into acting as my assigned gender? Or maybe it's the other way around and I act more wrong gender when I'm detached bc it's easier on a material level? IDK

_That last part rings true for me. Every time I have suffered massive harassment or rejection or any crisis, I depersonalize and start acting like my assigned gender more and more. It's almost as if it is a safer mode to operate in given how all those negative experiences happened because I showed outward femininity.

_ For me, boymode is still safemode. Given a million opportunities in life to indulge my femininity, I refused and rejected it and reasserted my masculinity, which of course was just a suit of armour and a character attached.

_This has been my life. On top of that, whilst I've never felt literally disassociated from my body, for most of my life it felt like it wasn't mine, rather, it was just a vehicle I drove around in, but couldn't get out of.

I've had them most of my life. I can't remember specifically when they onsite, but it was probably around puberty when I first became aware of my fascination with "being a girl".

Interestingly for me, the physical disassociation was resolved by getting piercings and tattoos, even before I had admitted to myself that I'm trans. They significantly (and temporarily) eased much of my dysphoria, which had the result of connecting to my body. It still wasn't right, but it was (is) me.

And most of the mental disconnection went away the moment I admitted to myself that I'm trans and decided I needed to transition. One day it was there, the next it wasn't.

_Yep I had these feelings, started at puberty for me I avoided mirrors at all costs, hated photographs what I saw in images wasn't me but something holding myself inside of it. I've had great experience with this so excuse the long rambling :/.

I became a nihilist hated life, people, animals, the sun, holidays anything that made people happy I hated. I joked about suicide constantly, also I did 'ruminate' a lot over every action I did in a day and became extremely-paranoid.

Its funny I remember how I constantly referred to myself when speaking alone as 'Dead Name' rather than 'I'm such an idiot'. Like the male me was another person entirely.

(NSFW??? drug talk, I'm not proud of my past but it helped with derealisation for me)

First time I smoked marijuana I had the effects of bullet-point one, it was like my 'spirit' was behind my body. Pretty scary...

It got better when I took MDMA at university (why not I thought it might kill me that would be good) and the night after I felt amazing like all life was bright and colourful.

I recognised myself in the mirror for the first time as well, I was a fat disgusting mess I thought "Oh God this is ME , what the fuck am I".

However the afterglow of this faded pretty quick and I became addicted to ecstasy, chasing that first high, it never came back just speed-like nights burning me away.

Then I took psycosilibin (?) mushrooms, and the world looked REAL for the first time, I felt deep peace, love and acceptance for myself and the world. I also accepted through a realisation to my friend that I wanted to be a girl, for the first time I admitted it to anyone and out-loud. And he said 'so what' I felt unknown happiness the first person to ever accept me for ME.

After this night, I denied it ever happened I ran so far into the closet I met Mr.Tumnus became hyper-masculine with weightlifting, hyper-depressed and detached from myself

The only thing that ever cured this for me was HRT, now i finally recognise myself and accept the mirror image as me. Not the image i want, but one I can work with a block of marble rather than a finished piece created by another's hands.

I still have anxiety but its more over my masculine features and actions rather than anything and everything. I also still have suicidal thoughts, but because of bad dysphoria days rather than anything else tbh.

_That sounds sort of like my experience. Marijuana always made me feel like I was hiding behind the mask of my face; like my face was actually one of those theatrical masks. That's why I smoked weed just a few times.

_I've struggled with dp since about age three. Finally overcame it on my 29th birthday after five years trying to fix myself and three years on hrt.

I'd love to answer your questions mire fully soon side I think it will help. I only became real one month ago so I'm still processing how life is different. I've never been happier.

_Yes. From early on in my life I had a hard time with feeling real. Everything was always so far away from me and it constantly felt like I was moving through pillows. In school when I would get beat up I wouldn't feel the threat, or the urgency to get to safety, I would barely even feel the hits. I used to just lie in the bathtub and stare at the ceiling for so long. Sometimes my parents would come check on me and ask what I was doing and I didn't have an answer.

As a teenager it constantly felt like there was a cloud of gas in my skull and it took a lot of concentration to move my limbs because it generally didn't feel like my soul inhabited them unless I specifically thought about it. When I tried weed for the first time I thought it had made it worse and was scared that I had fucked my self up permanently by smoking it. Then I heard about depersonalization from the Documentary "Tarnation" and it seemed to be what I was feeling so I went to the school therapist and asked about depersonalization, but she didn't really know if there was anything to be done about it so I just went on with my life.

As an adult I had a lot of trouble 'getting out of harm's way' when I was in dangerous situations, I'm incredibly lucky that I didn't die all those times. There was a time I was hit by a car but luckily he had slowed down, I can't even say where exactly I felt pain but I know from memory which side I was hit on. The only time I felt any kind of sharp emotion was when I was suicidal.

When I transitioned (full time and HRT) I suddenly felt real. It was terrifying. Suddenly I could see myself, and I was attached to my life and concerned and excited for my future. Suddenly I had things to lose, and things I wanted (and really felt the physical sensation of wanting them), I could feel pain, I could feel my emotions both good and bad. It was amazing but also incredibly difficult to manage, and I felt quite overwhelmed.

Sadly, after facing ridicule and disgust from my family, an unsuccessful relocation to another city, the draining of my savings trying to survive. Suddenly finding myself with no job, no money, no support system, I depersonalized hard. Three years later and I'm only just now starting to come back to myself and feeling real. So it still happens post-transition, sadly, and it seems to be triggered by traumatic events. Specifically the kind related to me being trans or poverty. It's like a safety mechanism that comes into effect if it is suddenly unsafe to be me. So I become this unfeeling masculine-acting robot that can get through the tough shit I sometimes I have to get through to get to a better, more stable situation. I hate when it triggers because I cease being able to express my femininity, I cancel any transition goals and time flies by as this masculine robot thing, and then three years later when things have settled and I feel safe the walls come down and all of my feelings come rushing in. These feelings include pain at all the time that has passed not working towards transition, processing of the trauma that triggered the dissociation, pain from having to adjust to feeling things again, general anxiety. It's some fucked up shit. Hope this helps.

_I guess so, I just always assumed it was a normal thing or a phase and later when I learned that it's not, I thought it was simply something connected to my depression. I don't know if this is what you are looking for, because I haven't really thought about it all that much, but my experience is as follows:

There were times during my childhood, when I would get the feeling of detachment from my body - like if my field of view narrowed and the inner me tried to emerge from the body through the back of my head. From then on, I would "watch" myself in sort of in a 3rd person and usually got scared of the experience eventually. Over time (when I hit the age of 13 or 14) it evolved into the numb feeling, where I would go through my days casually like some unconcerned outsider and on those days it felt more like a sequence of scenes in a movie than something that was an experience of my own. When I looked at my body and at bodies of other people, I saw just the meat, the blood running through their veins, etc. I often had a feeling that all the things and people around me are there just for show. My friends, my family, strangers on the subway, all of them just soulless husks. I think I managed to kind of avoid me in the mirror ever since that age. Usually I felt more like there was an actual stranger in the mirror staring at me and I didn't feel any connection whatsoever - I knew it was my face, but it didn't really feel like it could be me.

Then there are those weird deja vus, where I would totally disconnect and get an overwhelming feeling of the already experienced situation and it was like I have been at that exact point in my life many times before and I was yet again firmly set on the path to some very bad ending and I just have to live through the whole damn thing over and over again.

Some of the things stopped when I met my fiance, most of them probably around the time I finally admitted my transness and started HRT. I see myself in the mirror at last, albeit usually with a lot of distaste and discomfort.

Again, I don't know if my experience is relevant in any way, just putting it out there.

_oh wow... that pretty much explains my entire life between puberty and discovering I was trans nearly a decade later. I didn't know what to describe it as except to say that all the colors were ...muted. Like I was living in gray, but never noticed until I got a splash of color when I started experimenting to figure myself out. After that the contrast was impossible not to see clearly, with a night and day difference.

_When I was very young, I would dissociate when my mom would beat me or scream uncontrollably at me (she had/has BPD and was/is very abusive). Depersonalization was thus perhaps something I took to naturally as a way of coping with the feelings of hating my male body and wishing it could be a woman's body instead. I frequently would feel like a floating consciousness that was only indirectly connected to this body I controlled. I was prone to engaging in activities that let me escape my body, and tended to do this to an obsessive and unhealthy degree.

The depersonalization went away entirely once I realized I was trans, and has not returned. It's wonderful to feel embodied now, just like everyone else! But it also made me vulnerable to body dysphoria, which grew to be very problematic for me. Fortunately HRT has helped a lot with that.

_Hello Zinnia :) It's very nice to meet here :) You were one of the first people I read about when I started discovering being transgender, and you helped me really a lot with your articles and sharing your experience.

I experienced derealization and depersonalization in few moments of my life, but in significant ones, I believe. They were associated to high levels of anxiety and guilt and fear associated to something I was doing, like making people believe I was something I was not, or feeling something I was not feeling.

Some examples...

The first time I felt derealization I was in high school, and I was coming back a week out with my class. I was feeling guilt and ashamed about making some people believe something about me that was not true... During this week out, one of my teachers talked with me to know why I was so sad and melancholic. I replied I was not like other boys... and I wished to be like them. The very moment I said that, I felt that that was not true. She reacted in a nice way, she got happy!, saying that she was finally able to understand me, and she was happy to have discovered such a nice boy, closed in his world. About me... I felt like "Ugh", like what I said made sense, but that was not what she was actually feeling. I think I felt guilty and ashamed. Then I started sticking to that idea, and had no courage to tell no one the truth...that, btw, I didn't know either... I just felt fake, and thought that it made sense, so why bother? But I still felt false... Since that day, often and for short time, I had this sensation I was outside my body watching the life that I was living: depersonalization, and derealization as well. Thinking about these moments now, I feel they happened in the presence of high levels of anxiety, fear and sense of guilt.

The last time I experienced derealization was for a fucking long period of time, associated to a moment of my life in which I had to behave in a certain way, living in a situation I really was not enjoying, and behaving like I was, i.e., showing that I was something I was not, so feeling guilty and with very high levels of anxiety.

I discovered to be possibly transgender when I was 32 (I'm 35 today), and I am experiencing lower levels of anxiety, and no more derealization and depersonalization since some months (no drugs taken).


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
well it's not basically about SEX CHANGE! for me, it's kinda related to how i perceive myself as a MALE person. I had issues with my sexuality. I'm still dealing with some. My role in my life as a male. complicated stuff...
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