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There are many ways of knowing. A branch within philosophy, epistemology (theory of knowledge) is a discipline that deals with the question of knowing, and how it is that we as humans can come to "know things" about the world and ourselves, to put it simply. It is very easy for many of us who come from a well-educated background to only believe hard-facts, scientific studies based on "conclusive" findings. However, if you look at it from the branch of epistemology, a scientific way of knowing is not much different than a religious or spiritual way of knowing-in essence both require faith and both are belief systems at the core, never-mind the substantive component of these beliefs. In the latter you have faith in that a higher-being, a metaphysical force, a God is taking care of you and the universe around you, and you use this belief to explain certain things around you in your life, whereas in the former, you have faith in that a.) the scientific methodology is legitimate, that b.) the conclusions of scientists, researchers and scholars is valid and true (whatever these things really mean) and c.) faith in that those who are in the authority to teach us things about the world are indefinitely right. Many like to radicalise the two ways of thinking, one is usually thought of as the rational way, and the other is thought of as nonsensical by many of us today. However this polarisation is just an illusion, the receiver of either ways of knowing is subject to the same biological process in the brain when it comes down to that knowledge becoming stored in the mind and filed to enhance the way he/she sees the world.

Many of us with Depersonalization-Derealization Disorder (DPD) are trapped in the belief system that there is no way out, and that we have this condition forever because the scientific studies are inconclusive and they have not yet found "The Pill". I would like to refer you to the following (recently uploaded) video by Julian Cowan Hill who is a psychotherapist and tinnitus expert. In this video Dr. Hill introduces us to- and demonstrates to us the "No-Cure Model", and how this way of interpreting our experience is hindering our well-being and recovery. Julian Cowan Hill is a psychotherapist in London but primarily deals with patients who have tinnitus-a neurological condition-and he makes the sound argument that tinnitus is perpetuated by a loop of anxiety, more specifically the fear of permanence, the fear that you can never get better and that you will have this condition for the rest of you life. This unfounded belief system is what is thought to be perpetuating DPD as well as theorised in a 2003 study by Hunter et al. Many of us experience these symptoms, are terribly frightened by them initially, and then we come online only to find that "there is no cure", which falsely enforces the idea that there is no way out. Now, many of us have had this condition for years..."and I don't feel anxiety". It is the very veil of DPD, the very nature of this condition to mask and push-out of our conscious awareness the fears that we have been consumed by for so long (reference). I would encourage you to listen to what Dr. Hill has to say.

Let me finish off by saying that thoughts are dangerously confused with reality. Thinking that something is true, even being convinced by our internal compass that something is true, does not make the substance of that thought true. I encourage you to question your belief systems, I encourage you to rethink how you view this condition, and I wish you all the best for recovery. It is possible, many have come out of this condition, what is your evidence that you won't too?
 

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Very well put, I have had this idea many times throughout DPD only to go back to finding the magic supplement. Recently I have been tried meditation again, as a method to tune down the task positive network. I think in that there is a sense that something needs to be done, understood, fixed and changed. I have hypothesised that this network may be overactive, particularly in my form of DPD. I am constantly fixated on understanding and finding the cure, and constantly interacting with objects in my reality with that negative premise.

By "objects" I use it in the way it is meant in meditation. Thoughts are an object. As are emotions, body sensations, sounds, tastes, sights. These things are objects in awareness. My new meditation is best known as 'neti neti', translated as "not this, not that". There is no negativity or judgement or rejection of these objects, you just watch them come into awareness and pay them no attention or intention. It is almost a mental shrug, as if to say "whatever" to these things, rather than my usual interaction which is to fixate and judge and say something is wrong here, as it the literal case with all sensations in DP and DR.

So I would presume that this would switch from a more task positive mode of awareness to task negative or the default mode network. This is a complete guess on my part, but it seems to relax me. It gives you a space in the day where you don't worry, try to fix or understand and switch off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very well put, I have had this idea many times throughout DPD only to go back to finding the magic supplement. Recently I have been tried meditation again, as a method to tune down the task positive network. I think in that there is a sense that something needs to be done, understood, fixed and changed. I have hypothesised that this network may be overactive, particularly in my form of DPD. I am constantly fixated on understanding and finding the cure, and constantly interacting with objects in my reality with that negative premise.
I don't think this is a "you thing", rather that this is very much so a DPDR thing; my experience has been that what you just described is in and of itself a symptom of this condition, or the barrier, if you will. We are looking for an answer that doesn't exist; we are looking for something that we will not find. This state of stress (and though you may not feel it, this is definitely is a state of stress) is perpetuated in the knowledge that we feel something is not right, therefore we keep going back to find the cure, to find our way out of our demise. We are symptom-focussed. The research paper by Hunter et al I think really did hit the jackpot. Why do I think this? Because those who recovered and come back to share their stories all say the same thing over and over again (I have studied this extensively). They all say they accepted the condition first and foremost, allowed it to exist, moved on with their lives, tried doing all the things they did before without an obsessive watch over their symptoms, and after some time they felt back to normal. They didn't do anything, there is nothing we can do, its a subconscious disorder, we can't do anything consciously to "redeem" us. "But how do we really know they really recovered"; "but how do we know they even had this disorder"; "but how do we know they had what I have"; "but what if we had different symptoms"; "what if I don't even have DPDR"; "but my brain is damaged" --> these sentences are the blocks, the veils, the dams between us and recovery. Just listen to those phrases, they come from a place of doubt, a place of uncertainty, a place of fear/anxiety.
 

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Yeah those last thoughts you wrote I have all had. It is the doubt itself that torments you. The not knowing with this illness.

But I would also say alongside that it is the attitude and relationship with those thoughts. It swings between belief and denial. Fear and desire. Never indifference.

It seems to be that obsession with looking for and finding an answer but it never comes. And that is all thought based, following thought trails until it burns out and then you pick up and follow the next trail. On and on it goes. It's the letting go, the dropping of that desire. How that is done exactly is the million dollar question
 

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It is possible, many have come out of this condition, what is your evidence that you won't too?
Let's start with the simple fact that anyone who has recovered from whatever they they recovered from may not be dealing with what I am (or someone else who identifies with the DP disease label is) dealing with. We're relying on subjective interpretation here in conjunction with language, which is not a reliable combination to say the least. How can you have any certainty that my DP is your DP? Just because we can relate to a verbal description to a certain degree does not mean the experience is actually equivalent or that the cause is the same.

EDIT: Perhaps the ones who are cured never had the actual DP to begin with, and those who have it chronically do, or perhaps it's two different ailments altogether, or multiple? Such things are possible due to this problem of subjective interpretation and language.

When you take into account how differently people construe DP, those stories don't really weigh much. To some it can be as simple as having obsessive existential thoughts, it seems. They were cured of this form of "DP". Good for them. It has nothing to do with what I'm dealing with, yet it's labelled as a recovery story from supposedly the same disease. Might as well be called something different.

I'm not saying it is or isn't incurable; I'm just saying those recovery stories only go so far due to these inherent problems.
 

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Let's start with the simple fact that anyone who has recovered from whatever they they recovered from may not be what I am dealing with. We're relying on subjective interpretation here in conjunction with language, which is not a reliable combination to say the least. How can you have any certainty that my DP is your DP? Just because we can relate to a verbal description to a certain degree does not mean the experience is actually equivalent or that the cause is the same.
This isn't evidence. What is your evidence that what you are dealing with is different from others with this condition? This is not fact, this is speculation, and unfortunately from a place of doubt. You cannot prove that what they are dealing with is the same or different. But in the latter case, you are coming from a place of uncertainty/fear, with the former you are enforcing the idea that you can get better. Please read my second post in this thread.

From a more academic angle, it has been shown that people with DPD demonstrate the same neurobiological underpinning (fronto-limbic model). So no, if you have DPD your condition is the same as anyone else with DPD. We see this in the brain scans of those who were monitored throughout recovery in one of the lamotrigine trials. People with DPD have an overactive rVLPFC which inhibits other brain regions. When lamotrigine worked for patients (as reported by improvements in subjective CDS ratings), they also detected objectively that the rVLPFC and affected brain regions were being normalised [link].

EDIT: Perhaps the ones who are cured never had the actual DP to begin with, and those who have it chronically do, or perhaps it's two different ailments altogether, or multiple? Such things are possible due to this problem of subjective interpretation and language.
"perhaps" "what if" "but what about" --> none of this is really constructive, uncertainty fuels anxiety, fuels doubt. This is not necessary, if you want to recover, it starts with the belief that you can. Until you question this, you will stay stuck. Please read the full thread.
 

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This isn't evidence. What is your evidence that what you are dealing with is different from others with this condition? This is not fact, this is speculation, and unfortunately from a place of doubt. You cannot prove that what they are dealing with is the same or different. But in the latter case, you are coming from a place of uncertainty/fear, with the former you are enforcing the idea that you can get better. Please read my second post in this thread.

From a more academic angle, it has been shown that people with DPD demonstrate the same neurobiological underpinning (fronto-limbic model). So no, if you have DPD your condition is the same as anyone else with DPD. We see this in the brain scans of those who were monitored throughout recovery in one of the lamotrigine trials. People with DPD have an overactive rVLPFC which inhibits other brain regions. When lamotrigine worked for patients (as reported by improvements in subjective CDS ratings), they also detected objectively that the rVLPFC and affected brain regions were being normalised [link].

"perhaps" "what if" "but what about" --> none of this is really constructive, uncertainty fuels anxiety, fuels doubt. This is not necessary, if you want to recover, it starts with the belief that you can. Until you question this, you will stay stuck. Please read the full thread.
Sure, it's not any evidence of anything at all. I never said that's the point I'm making. I realize some unknown percentage of those who self-diagnose themselves as having DPD actually have it and the rest don't. So yes, it follows that some of those who recovered were probably dealing with actual DPD and others probably didn't due to mis-/differing interpretation.

Regarding the bottom part of your post, I honestly don't believe mental attitude has anything to do with it for me at this point. I've gone long stretches without paying it any attention at all and noticed no effect on it. I can be as pessimistic or optimistic about it as I like, and it won't budge. Trust me, I've gone through all the possible phases. Now I'm at the "I don't really care about it" -phase. Wasn't this sort of acceptance supposed to cure me?

It's affected by things such as exercise, which can either make it better or worse. Usually light exercise makes it slightly better, and maximum effort makes it worse. Being tired also makes it worse.

"But how do we really know they really recovered"; "but how do we know they even had this disorder"; "but how do we know they had what I have"; "but what if we had different symptoms"; "what if I don't even have DPDR"; "but my brain is damaged" --> these sentences are the blocks, the veils, the dams between us and recovery. Just listen to those phrases, they come from a place of doubt, a place of uncertainty, a place of fear/anxiety.
This is called rational deliberation. I'm not one to believe anything without thinking it through. "They come from a place of doubt?" You bet. What's wrong with having doubt when it's warranted? Understandably, this doubt extends to curing oneself through positive thinking alone. Could that work in some cases? Yes, very likely. Will it work in all cases, cases with decade-long chronic DP? Probably not.

I'm not trying to say we should be collectively pessimistic about our recovery. I'm not implying there's no value to being optimistic about it. I'm just saying it's not quite so simple for everyone, especially those who have had it for a long, long time.
 
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Recently I have been tried meditation again, as a method to tune down the task positive network. I think in that there is a sense that something needs to be done, understood, fixed and changed. I have hypothesised that this network may be overactive, particularly in my form of DPD. I am constantly fixated on understanding and finding the cure, and constantly interacting with objects in my reality with that negative premise.

By "objects" I use it in the way it is meant in meditation. Thoughts are an object.
Nicely put. When I went through a particularly bad phase of dp, it felt like my thoughts were all clustered together and swarming on any perceived threat. A bit like a really terrible football team (soccer team if you're in the US) who would collectively all chase after the ball together rather than remain in their positions on the field. It's a weird analogy, I know.
 

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Been this way for 16.5 years now. I've gradually gotten ALOT better over time. But finally to get completely over it, I'm now accepting that is is 'me' who will emerge from this. See, all this time I've always believed there was a cure, a way out, a recovery. But I subconsciously held on to the belief that the transformation would "kill" the DP'd me. But now I understand who I am in DP, will be the same one to cross back over to reality. Rather than some kind of "DP Ego" Death.
 

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"a scientific way of knowing is not much different than a religious or spiritual way of knowing".

Couldn't disagree with you more. Believing is absolutely different from knowing. Just as a fact is different from a "maybe, maybe not"
Yeah, that statement is pretty insane. Hell, it's downright dangerous. Under such a mindset, believing any kind of unfounded dogma is justified. Scientific and logical (read: philosophical) knowing are superior to "I think X is Y because a book says so (or I just feel like it), so it is." At least they're based on something non-arbitrary.

One is based on observation and reproducibility-malleable, constantly evolving as hypotheses are disproven or confirmed and theories formed-the other is based on dogma from ancient books, the only change occurring out of necessity due to certain beliefs becoming too incompatible, nonsensical, and contradictory to be reasonably maintained in an ever-advancing scientific society (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cafeteria_Christians). Then you have the "non-religious" spirituality which makes mishmash out of certain religious concepts and is ultimately no less devoid of evidence.

There is always some corruption in the form of biased research in scientific circles due to vested corporate interests, but that's still infinitely better than basing your "knowledge" on pure belief, with no evidence to present to anyone. You can philosophize all you want about this and lean on epistemological nihilism and say that "bro, you can't even know that objective reality exists!", but it's a much better bet to trust in science than unsubstantiated beliefs. It's a great way to discover facts about this world. It probably can't answer every question, but I'll take it any day of the week over some ancient books written thousands of years ago.
 

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Many professionals adhere to the science behind what they're doing in a way that is fully dogmatic.
And? It's still a thousand times more effective than trying to pray a tumor away.

This is very relevant to mental health, because the science behind what most practitioners are doing "informs" them that people suffering with mental illness who have been correctly diagnosed will never fully recover. They base this on the fact that their ineffective treatments, in conjunction with society's routine way of oppressing these people, rarely have impressive positive effects. When a person fully recovers, they'll sometimes claim, "This person couldn't have had [insert disorder], because full recovery isn't possible," or at the very least, "We have to look for signs of pathology in this person, because full recovery isn't possible."
Mental health/psychiatry is garbage science. It's closer to a pseudoscience than an actual science. It's barely better than taking your diagnoses from the Bible as they're arbitrarily given by majority vote. People arbitrarily decide that certain human conditions are diseases. Yeah, psychiatry is just about the worst example of a science. It lacks the empirical rigor of for example physics.

I don't know where you get the "recovery isn't fully possible", though. Source? I haven't come across anything like that. I'm under the impression that the consensus is that people are expected to fully recover from most mental health-related things, with or without medicine. If not expected to recover per se, then at least not expected not to recover.
 

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This is stuff that's true, coming from my side, not a debate. I understand many people think full recovery from mental illness is possible, and I hope clinicians don't have the same fatalistic view in your region that they've had in the US for many lifetimes. By your standards of what's a real science, science has only existed for a few centuries, if that, and might retroactively not have existed as new, more advanced science comes into play.
A lot of medical science is good; psychiatry is just its rotten underbelly. I'm afraid your comment regarding my idea of science is a strawman as I never suggested anything like that.
 
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So we agree that bad, quacky science is still science? Including clinical psychology? I'm saying many practitioners adhere to it like dogma, or actually much stronger than the religious dogma I've seen personally. This is a topic I find aggravating, like an ex religious fundamentalist might look at religion.
Bad, quacky science as in psychiatry? I'm very hesitant to call it a science rather than a pseudo one. I'd probably rather not. Psychology? Yes, though it's definitely a "soft" science.
 

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"a scientific way of knowing is not much different than a religious or spiritual way of knowing".

Couldn't disagree with you more. Believing is absolutely different from knowing. Just as a fact is different from a "maybe, maybe not"
You can untangle this further though, as science is still seen as God in our lives. I don't refute the importance of science whatsoever, but because we can accurately observe the effects of something we still have to BELIEVE the hypothesis as the truth, when often the cause cannot be seen.

For example, we can accurately predict how fast a ball will drop to the ground but the theory right now is gravitational waves. So there is an element of belief in that knowing. The outcome is known, but the theory is a belief. We cannot see or know, it could be magic elves from another dimension moving things.

I can know that I have DPD. But the beliefs I have about it cause a negative feedback loop, which is one theory as to why the symptoms perpetuate. And that is what CuriousMind is saying. We can argue whether that is a plausible approach to cure this, or whether we have DPD or some other cause of these symptoms. But that does feed back into that cycle that I have found myself in countless times of not knowing the cause and believing that nothing will help.

Its possible the way I interact with my thoughts perpetuates this illness. That I need to find an answer to this problem. Also looking at my direct experience as an enemy. The derealization is 24/7 and I cant turn away from it or find relief. Maybe if I shut my eyes. But because nothing is KNOWN, or concrete about this, that cycle persists. And its exhausting. And perhaps that is the point for some of us.

I dont know or anticipate that meditation will cure this for me but it is worth a go at least. Watching those thought patterns come and not engaging. Watching my intention to either follow the thought or attempt to push it out of awareness. And instead see it for what it is, just a thought. And let it burn itself out. Call it 'letting go' or whatever, but watching my attention wanting something out of this moment and taking my hands off the wheel. I've said before just giving a mental shrug to whatever shows up
 

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Robyn M. Dawes was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. If I remember correctly, he was a single parent raising a child with mental disabilities. His experiences led him to write a book which I found to be very valuable

in my quest to find a mental health professional who understood my illness. Of course I never found one, but I came to understand why, from reading "A House of Cards" by Robyn M. Dawes.

"In this indictment of the therapy profession, the author exposes the misguided beliefs and shoddy practices used by most psychotherapists. He examines the pop psych beliefs and explores the debilitating effects they have on everyone."

If I remember correctly, Dawes notes that the psychology industry once had roots in science, but in today's practice of psychology, it rarely references those roots.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, psychiatry is an area of treatment, and psychology is an area of study. Clinical psychology is like treatment/study, with talk therapy and some holistic techniques. I think the "no cure" model comes from psychology. All the neurological studies I've heard of focus on what the brain can do, rather than what they assume it can't.
Yes, that seems about right.

But I don't buy this idea of a so-called "no cure model" having any significant prevalence. Certain individuals are pessimistic, and others are optimistic about their (and others') outcomes; most are initially optimistic until they've tried everything, at which point they become realistic or pessimistic. Obviously there's a potential cure to everything. "No cure" ideas come from there being no proven effective treatment available to certain conditions. AVAILABLE is the key word here. That doesn't mean that there can't theoretically be a cure or that there 100% won't be one in the future. Only a complete idiot would claim there can never be a cure for something. The only thing there will probably never be a cure for is stupidity, though perhaps we can even enhance general intelligence at some point.

OP is going to link some recent research in its infancy here soon as "look, here's proof". A piece of promising research is not enough to establish an effective treatment modality to be considered a proven "first line treatment".

Regarding the theme of "just move on, and believe", of course you can try all kinds of voodoo and positive thinking, but believing enough isn't enough to cure this shit for everyone. Some people HAVE tried all of those things, with it having had zero benefit.
 

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The only group of people I've heard about no-cure from have been licensed clinicians. I could pull random examples from video lectures or summaries of published papers, but if you want to go the believing is seeing route, that's your business. It really sounds like clinicians in your region, not assuming you've had to meet any, are more uplifting and optimistic than average. Where I'm from, it's a mixture of clinicians at least trying to be optimistic, and others who fancy themselves more scientific and realistic (telling patients they "have" their diagnoses, and that full recovery is impossible).

I don't think partial recovery is a cure. I'm actually not sure what the word "cure" is supposed to mean in precise terms, if anything. Recovery is the word I think most MH practitioners and physicians focus on instead. Treatment is another word MH practitioners love, even if their treatments aren't proven to do anything.
Well, if you say so. Yeah, that can be problematic considering people who don't know better actually take psychiatric diagnoses seriously, which they shouldn't considering the utter lack of objectivity.
 
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