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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, everyone!

I haven't been on these forums in quite a bit (several weeks). I had re-started taking inositol and honestly, it helped quite a lot the first few weeks of taking it. Recently, my DP/DR is coming back full force (and today has been the worst...so that's why I'm back...).

Last night, I was reading something online about psychosis and feelings of unreality and automatically started to panic "Oh my god, what if all this time, I'm dealing with psychosis? Maybe it's NOT just DP/DR???!!!"

and then my hypochondria kicked in thinking "well, maybe if it's not psychosis, maybe it's some type of brain damage issue...amnesia, dementia, stroke, etc, etc, etc"

I also have OCD, so I panic and obsess over everything. Because I'm now obsessed with the fact that I could possibly have psychosis or something even worse, my DP/DR has been at an all-time high the past day or so. I bought myself a car about three weeks ago and have been enjoying getting out of the house more with my daughter and today was the first day driving home after doing some shopping where I got that "out of body" experience...I became immediately panicked and confused, just wanted to GET home. I typically have DP/DR daily...but this particular instance, it came in a major WAVE...like an overwhelming out of body experience type of thing. Well, I'm home now and the DP/DR is still majorly there.

So....my question is: what exactly IS the difference between DP/DR and full-on psychosis? Could I possibly have psychosis?

I asked my brother today (he's a registered nurse) about psychosis (he knows I deal with dissociation) and he said that "psychosis is not black and white, there are some people who have psychosis who don't know there's anything wrong with them and then there are people who are very aware of the psychosis." and it made me even more panicked.

Any help or insight would be appreciated :D
 

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Its a very grey area but technically psychosis is when you physically see and hear things that arent really there....Its physical visions and voices etc that are not real but appear very real to the person experiencing them...Psychotic people also will "completely" believe that they are being followed 24/7 or will believe they have to do certain things or else they might die etc etc....Think of it as being 100% convinced by totally false beliefs and delusions...

Now DONT confuse this with the strange 2D and 3D vision and catching things out of the corner of your eyes and things looking larger or smaller than normal that goes hand in hand with DP....and also thinking your hearing or catching odd sounds or experiencing intrusive thinking that doesnt feel like your own...These are not delusions...These are more heightened awareness experiences because our minds are in such a state of fight or flight due to the exterme high anxiety levels..

The difference between Psychosis and DP is that with DP there are no physical delusions of hearing and seeing things that arent really there...We are more basically in a constant state of fear that we may start seeing things and hearing voices that arent really there...

We only doubt things are maybe unreal...We never fully believe things that are completely false...

Us as DP sufferers only DOUBT everything around us or about ourselves...We never actually start to totally believe in unreal things if that makes sense...Doctors describe it as "Our Reality Testing Always Remains In Tact" .........We are actually so anxious and become so obsessed with our symptoms that we constantly fear we are going to start hearing things or seeing things or basically lose our minds...We never actually do....We just constantly fear its going to start happening to us...

In basic terms DP sufferers never actually lose touch with reality (even though at times it feels like we have just gone completely nuts)

Of course each and everyone of us (me included) as chronic anxiety and DP sufferers will read this back and start to obsess and throw in the but I experience this and ive had this weird thought etc etc etc and we will run with it and stat to imagine every horrendous scenario we can....The usual conclusion we come to is that we are psychotic or schizophrenic or have developed some new kind of mental illness nobody else in the world either has or knows about....

Thats what chronic anxiety and DP does people...It constantly tries to convince us it is something more sinister...

Probably should have added a trigger warning before I wrote this LOL...
 

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Migraine symptoms can overlap with brain tumor symptoms, but this doesn't mean that it is indicative of a disease. This goes double for mental health diagnoses.

For various types of psychosis, you have to meet very specific criteria and definitions. To diagnosis things in psychology, we use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. If we look at psychosis (specifically Schizophrenia), we notice that there are five items:

  • Delusions.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Disorganized speech.
  • Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.
  • Negative symptoms.

You have to have experienced two or more of these that have been persistent for over one month. This must include one of the first three bullets as well.

The first thing that you'll notice is that you can probably find a lot of similarities between your symptoms and the criteria for psychosis. The way that we can differentiate you from the psychotic symptoms is by making sure we understand the definitions for them. While symptoms - in a general sense - can overlap between depersonalization and things like schizophrenia, the actual descriptions in the Diagnostic Manual are something to consider.

Delusions (as taken from the DSM-V)

Delusions are fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence. [...] The distinction between a delusion and a strongly held idea is sometimes difficult to make and depends in part on the degree of conviction with which the belief is held despite clear or reasonable contradictory evidence regarding its veracity.
Someone might contend that people on this site deal with delusions, but I would disagree.

Psychotic individuals deal with delusions, while depersonalized individuals deal with obsessions. Delusions are typically unwavering. It's something that someone believes without hesitation. Most people who are psychotic and show signs of delusions are unable to change their viewpoint, no matter how often they are corrected.

Someone who suffers from obsessions might have a conviction towards that particular thought, but sufferers will often try to suppress or neutralize the thoughts. They are also aware that these obsessions are based on their own cognitive processes, where someone with psychosis might believe their delusions as a separate reality entirely.

The point of this was to show that - while things may seem really similar to psychosis, you will most likely fall under the category of another diagnostic criteria that does not pertain to psychosis.
 

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I nowadays call DP the "DOUBTERS" condition.........

If you where Psychotic you would completely believe 100% all the total imaginary unreal stuff that goes along with mental ill health....

We as DP sufferers "doubt" it all.... "Big Difference" We doubt whether its real or unreal.....

Maybe that technically makes us half psychotic :p (Trigger Alert)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you guys so, so much!!

I have OCD, too. I have had violent intrusive thoughts, existential thoughts, etc, etc in the past. Pretty much the only type of OCD I've never dealt with is the cleanliness variety, forgot what it's called exactly (where you can't touch anything without thinking you're going to get a disease). I also deal with chronic hair pulling (my poor hair, lol), and I know that's a form of OCD as well. I also have compulsions like looking things up, pulling my hair, counting, etc, etc. It's awful. Like you said, Eddy, I just have a hard time "believing" that DP/DR is just a result of anxiety and what we're currently focused on: IE: the obsession of the moment. It's almost like my mind is like "well...you know....you could have DP/DR because you are psychotic, schizophrenic..or hey, maybe you have some type of brain damage. Mini stroke? Let's look up the symptoms of that!"

I also somewhat (maybe?) figured out why I had the "out of body" type experience on the way home today. I had taken my daughter to McDonalds and had a huge Coke Zero...and I typically don't drink caffeine at all. So maybe that was the culprit? Haha, I'm grasping at straws, lol.

Yes, I don't have any delusions or hear voices or anything. I will admit I always am afraid I will start hearing or seeing things. My uncle on my dad's side of the family was a paranoid schizophrenic and it scares the beejesus out of me knowing that schizophrenia runs in families and now I'm dealing with this weird, unreality crap. Everyone in the family has assured me that he had schizophrenia due to the work he used to do (he worked spray painting boats back in the days when paint contained weird crap), but it's just not enough to convince me that it doesn't run in the family and maybe this is what I have.

I know of someone on Youtube, I watched a few of his videos. He talks about being followed by the government and he said he was attacked by government agents and had a burn on his throat (and I was thinking...ughh...that's a sunburn, dude....). I guess that would be what psychosis is like?

For me, I just question EVERYTHING and I am an obsessive person, so the questions don't leave my mind until I've found an answer to them. I've been using CBT to help with them, but then my obsessive mind turns to the DP/DR to focus on, lol. It's a never-ending cycle.

What started the whole thing for me was yesterday, I was playing with my daughter and I dealt with the old crap I used to where I didn't recognize her. It wasn't that I didn't recognize her, but she just looked foreign to me...like I was seeing her for the first time. And I immediately went online to look up the symptoms and the first thing I saw was "psychosis" and I'm like...dear lord, this is worse than I thought. It's hard to understand that the "not recognizing loved ones" could just be part of anxiety and DP/DR. And the more I focus on how scary it is to look at people and not "recognize" them, the more I look at them and they seem unfamiliar.
 

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This was asked earlier and though eddy summed it up pretty nicely, I’ll say what I said on the other thread. People in psychosis become convinced of an alternate reality. DPed people don’t, they know something is wrong and that’s it’s just anxiety or ocd or whatever.
 
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