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In a gross oversimplification of the complicated process of emotional, physical and environmental interactions that can leave a person with depersonalization, I?m proposing that the pathway to DP/DR and then the following recovery appears to occur in four stages:

Traumatic Event(s) -> Incidental disassociation -> Prolonged, chronic disassociation -> Recovery

In this thread I?d like to take a moment to analyse the the 3rd item on the list, the chronic long term disassociation and not necessarily at the triggers or recovery methods.

I think it?s safe to say it?s fairly well accepted that the symptom of DR appears to be the result of a coping mechanism initiated by the brain during a traumatic situation in an attempt to protect the individual from the full realization of the unfolding events. I?m guessing that this is a very normal, human phenomenon which is usually only experienced during the time that the individual feels an overwhelming sense of threat.

If disassociation normally only occurs during the course of an event, why does this state of mental and emotional protection; DP/DR last for days and sometimes years after the threatening situation has passed?

Please throw some theories around!
 

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I think because the DP mechanism in the brain was still doing his work, even when the traumatic event had passed. This has made us aware of our change in reality. Not knowing what it is or what to do we build up our anxiety so we keep focusing on our change of reality. Before we actully know it's DP and we start working at it, using the DP coping function of the brain has become some sort of 'habit'. And then you are stuck in it.
 

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Yes, this question has always puzzled me too. Why do some people seem to get 'stuck' in DR/DP mode, once the initial trigger has been dealt with. Physical scars heal in time, but for some reason sometimes psychological ones don't. It baffles me.

I think over the past year or so most people on this forum agree with the 'stuck in the rut' idea, but why, or how to get out, is a different matter. One thing is for certain; the longer you're in the rut, the harder it is to get out.

Why doesn't DR/DP fade away for everyone, like it did with me ? Am I the only one who's DR faded, but am still left with anxiety and panic ? My mind boggles at how the hell that happened. Perhaps, at a guess - just a guess, that DR/DP for me has only ever raised it's ugly head due to drug abuse, and my recent anxiety and panic (no DR/DP) is due to 'situational' depression/anxiety. But if that's the case, why no DR/DP this time ? I'm truely gratefull, I just don't understand it. At the moment I'm about as screwed up with anxiety and panic as I ever have been, but still....no DR/DP.

Which is why I get the sniff that drug induced DR/DP, and 'other' causes are two different beasts with the same symptoms. Could that be possible ? I mean, you can a headache from being hungover or having a brain tumor....if you see what I mean. I dunno though. People like Rob and Lewis had drug induced DR/DP and they have been going through it for years....so that kind of blows my theory out of the water. Unless, and correct me if I'm wrong guys, that LSD (which you took), because of it's somewhat more traumatic psychological effects makes your kind of DR/DP an another altogether different beast.

I dunno. Maybe I'm complicating things uneccessarily.
 

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No, Uni-girl suffers from longterm marijuana induced DP. I think it's all the same, although I think it's the way you cope with it after the DP kicked in. Most people start to worry that it will never fade, they develop anxiety & depresion wich all help to feed the DP.
I think specially with drug-induced DP, just going on with your live bashing trough all the baricades DP has created is the fastest way to gain reality again
 

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Thats the million dollar question... why does it persist after its purpose is served?

If we could answer that, we could be given honorary doctorates of psychology.

Sometimes I feel as if the dp mechanism in our mind is so powerful and so effective at protecting us from immediate overload that our normal psyche simply has no method of turning it off. Never before had I felt "I am not real" or "that guy sure looks like a robot", and it consumed me.

But once those feelings begin, the obsession begins to figure them out. To make sense of them, thus feeding the dp cycle. Its a completely new problem, no matter how old you are when your dp began.

I dont know, throwing things out there....
Blake
 

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nemisis, I think the initial trauma is so powerful that it is possible that the brain did not find a solution to cope with it. If something is very traumatic the brain may feel it every moment of the day unless something disovles the pain it has endured. I suffered a major trauma and because I cannot deal with the pain I am still in the grips of depersonalization. The only way I feel right now for the dp to go away is if the initial trauma had never happened. Once the brain suffers something like this I would be beleive it would be very difficult to fix. I am saying this about my own sitution for others it would be different. For me it is like having a broken heart, time will make it feel better but the heart will never be the same.

gem.
 
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