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I just read a million of these posts, and already forgot proper etiquette to start a post? A greeting perhaps? #goldfishmemory

Hello!

I can vividly remember my first "depersonalization experience" as a child, looking in the mirror and questioning who I was looking at, to then traumatically realize I had been looking at myself? That was me at 9 in a nutshell, a shy and goofball kid who relied too heavily on self deprecating humor and questioned my reality way too often for my own good (cue chronic existential anxiety and dp/dr about 4 years later to continue into my 20's- aka now).

Blah blah blah childhood trauma, bullying, poor adjustment to college life resulting in social anxiety which led to me leaning even more into my own mind. My social anxiety which caused me to isolate myself, thus only intensified my existential anxiety. I am a cultural studies major in school, thus I'm constantly having to read a lot of theory, philosophy and whatnot, which I am genuinely fascinated and passionate about, but all throughout my school career it continually triggers my existential anxiety till the point of derealization, and the cycle continues looping each semester. It's kind of a nightmare literally HAVING to continue reading up on the exact material that causes my brain to question my own reality, or else I would fail at school. It's really a shame because I can get so interested in a topic, only to go a bit "too far down the rabbit hole" and then I get stuck in this "dream-like" state - which sounds a lot more enticing that it really is, doesn't it? It's taken me 7 years to graduate between switching majors, poor academic advisors/administration bullshit and struggling with mental health issues. But I am happy to say even though I am struggling with a derealization episode currently I am on track to graduate in May with honors and two minors, so there's your daily motivational story if you want it to be. Perseverance! Finishing up a thesis while derealized as fuck is fun, if your idea of fun is more aligned with the technical definition of torture. But I have mostly hope right now that it'll get done.

Sometimes I like to think about further torturing myself by fantasizing about getting a masters degree while forgetting my struggle to get through my undergrad, it's great fun. 10/10. On the off chance that you meet me on a good mental health day, most would say I am one of the most vehemently passionate environmentalists and just person in general, so I use that to help me. Even on days when I can't decipher what is real or not anymore I always know climate change is real! (wouldn't that be nice if it was just a figment of my imagination though)

I recently stopped smoking weed because being high can intensify the dp/dr symptoms (no sense of time, completely ungrounded in reality, feelings of floating or like everything is in a haze of sorts, loss of ability to focus, loss of memory functioning, etc..) BUT - weed stops me from dreaming as much at night, and I've been having INCREDIBLY vivid dreams every night, which i've been having a hard time transitioning and deciphering between dream/reality in the mornings. I luckily have a partner who I've been with for a while and is able to remind me what is real and reassure me of my reality. I've taken LSD quite a few times, and would definitely NOT suggest taking if fearful of triggering an dp/dr state (I have had both amazing and traumatic experiences on LSD, correlating mostly to who I've done it with and how much I've taken - good trips have been on lower doses for me personally, however I am staying far away from it until I have figured out my whole mental health bullshit :) )

Anywho, thank GOD for smartphones, because I wouldn't be able to function in reality at all without my reminders in my phone to do things and leave for things. Does anyone else feel like meditating can sometimes make them feel even more derealized? I've been trying to meditate daily for about 2-3 weeks now, and on/off for 3 years and sometimes it really intensifies the floating feeling, making me feel even less grounded than before, but more centered? Like my centered being is more still inside, but I can simultaneously feel like my mind is literally floating like 2 feet above my head somehow? *shrugs*

That was super rambly and all over the place but that's alright.

Sincerely,

Trying to not feel so alone in this world I struggle to be sure even exists
 

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Does anyone else feel like meditating can sometimes make them feel even more derealized? I've been trying to meditate daily for about 2-3 weeks now, and on/off for 3 years and sometimes it really intensifies the floating feeling, making me feel even less grounded than before, but more centered? Like my centered being is more still inside, but I can simultaneously feel like my mind is literally floating like 2 feet above my head somehow? *shrugs*

[...]

Trying to not feel so alone in this world I struggle to be sure even exists
The world exists and we're both real. In the final analysis, doubting the world and your self is incoherent -- and it's the most boring and unimaginative possibility you could conceive.

I used to derive great benefit from meditation before DP/DR, and tried many times over the years to start practicing it again, but I tend to experience the same as you have. Mantra meditation (such as TM) was much worse for this than something like breath meditation. Rather than cultivating mindfulness and mental quiescence, I'm starting a more contemplative and grounding form of meditation with actual content.

I will try to reply more later.
 
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