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Has anyone heard of this guy? If not, search him on YouTube and see what you think. Worth checking out if you have depression in addition to dp. He uses breathing techniques and uses the cold to induce a state of rejuvenation in the body and mind. It is supposed to be great for depression and all kinds of ailments. I perhaps wouldn't try the method if you have extreme levels of panic though as his breathing method literally induces a controlled hyperventilation, haha. I tried it and was ok with it. I don't suffer much from severe panic anymore though. Maybe practising this method would help a person feel more in control of their panic symptoms - light headedness, out of breath feeling etc. People have left testimonials on YouTube saying it has massively helped their depression and anxiety. His methods have been tested and backed up scientifically too and he has set various world records by employing his techniques in extreme environments. I'm yet to try a cold shower. It doesn't really appeal to me after being at work all day and walking home through the miserable Scottish weather and then treating myself to a lovely freezing cold shower! If it works though, I will do it. I shall report back here if i see any positive results. There is such lack of definitive treatments for dp that I hope to add to it in some small way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Time for an update on this. I tried this method for 3 weeks and felt progressively worse - more depersonalized and the depression is really kicking in badly now so I have decided to stop the breathing method. i don't know why exactly this has happened. It started off quite well so I was hoping this would be a great tool as I have seen so many positive and scientifically backed studies about this method. I know the breathing method creates a large amount of adrenaline in the body, which apparently helps to reset hormones and chemicals in the brain. Perhaps the hyperventilation and adrenaline shock to the body/brain was a bit much for my sensitive anxiety prone self. People with dp have perhaps the highest levels of anxiety/panic in the general population (I'm guessing) so maybe this method is too powerful for us. However, some positive has come out of it. I'm much more aware than before now of the powerful influence of controlling your breath to change states. I have been using deep breathing at points throughout the day to bring my anxiety levels down and I will continue that. Also, i have seen some benefit from the cold showers on my skin and it also seems to wake me up and calm me at the same time. The benefits of cold showers are well documented so I feel confident in continuing that, especially as I am used to them now. Hope this helps anyone thinking of trying out the Wim Hof method. Perhaps it will work differently for you than it did for me.
 

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How has this been going for you? I have just started this and intend on sticking to it for some time hopefully. Has it helped your DP at all? How about sleep or other aspects of your life?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I gave up the breathing method (holding your breath for as long as possible) but have been doing the cold showers most mornings - having a warm shower then turning it to completely cold for 2 or 3 minutes at the end. The cold showers are great, once you get over the terror of the first 30 seconds or so in the cold. I get a real sense of calm and aliveness after them. They help my skin and seem to help my immune system overall too. I highly recommend it. Take it slow at first though. Don't do a whole 3 minutes in the cold first time round. 30 seconds max at first.
 

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Holding your breath?? That isnt his technique as I know it. Edit: Perhaps you mean the 30 deep breath in- let go out, then in and hold until you feel the need to breath, then in and hold for 10-15 seconds before starting over

I only started this today but had good effects:


I also have been doing the warm to wash then finish with a minute cold at the end for some time. Today I did pure cold and also later had a cold bath (yikes! lol). They are very invigorating experiences and more so without the hot shower before. I am going to commit 30 days to this technique and see what happens. I am fully commiting to the cold now without any warm except special occasions lol listen to him on Joe Rogan and his Vice video (just youtube them)

I am just watching his interview with Russell Brand and about half an hour in he mentions he did a brain scan whilst having cold water passed through a suit he wore. His brains prefrontal cortex closed down a bit and his INSULA lit UP! This is exactly what we want to happen with DP as the brain scans so far have shown our insula is hut down. Also the periaqueductal gray area of his brain lit up which produces natural opioids and endocannabinoids. Again, these seem implicated in DP as the kappa opioid system/marijuana seem involved in DP symptoms.

 

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I have done a bag of meditation, one session of Wim Hof actually had quite a profound effect though whereas meditation is hit and miss (more miss for me). The experiments done on this man are insane and the effects it has physiologically. I am sold tbh, guna give it a crack for a month to see what it does.

The breathing actually makes the blood alkaline and has healed people of many ailments. Cold shower every morning, no fucking about. Straight into the cold. Wim Hof says the cold is his teacher, its his god. I do truly believe now that this gets to the heart of some forms of depression, waking up the lizard brain. Perhaps sometimes the problem is too much comfort, humans are adapted to struggle with stress and have done for millions of years. It is only recently we have everything. I will update here anyway how it goes
 

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Yeh it is basically hyperventilation. But supposedly how it works is that the body fully oxygenates (30 deep breaths in), then we breath out and hold. The body wants to breath naturally but actually you can hold your breath a lot longer due to higher oxygen levels. Keep holding until you feel you absolutely have to breath (2mins ish). Apparently, this kicks in adrenaline which is used positively & heals certain inflammatory conditions.

The thing that excited me about this was the brain scan. Without his breathing/meditative techniques his body/brain acted relatively normally. However, with it the blood flowed to the insula which is a very very good thing for DP as this is thought to be the main cause. Where we feel emotion, embodiment, the home of 'the self' if you will. Where all senses are integrated, we also feel disgust and air hunger here. For me it is enough to pursue it for a while. Im not a zealot (yet) but will report back my findings. Cold showers themselves are immensely beneficial and of themselves have helped some peoples depression
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Holding your breath?? That isnt his technique as I know it. Edit: Perhaps you mean the 30 deep breath in- let go out, then in and hold until you feel the need to breath, then in and hold for 10-15 seconds before starting over

I only started this today but had good effects:


I also have been doing the warm to wash then finish with a minute cold at the end for some time. Today I did pure cold and also later had a cold bath (yikes! lol). They are very invigorating experiences and more so without the hot shower before. I am going to commit 30 days to this technique and see what happens. I am fully commiting to the cold now without any warm except special occasions lol listen to him on Joe Rogan and his Vice video (just youtube them)

I am just watching his interview with Russell Brand and about half an hour in he mentions he did a brain scan whilst having cold water passed through a suit he wore. His brains prefrontal cortex closed down a bit and his INSULA lit UP! This is exactly what we want to happen with DP as the brain scans so far have shown our insula is hut down. Also the periaqueductal gray area of his brain lit up which produces natural opioids and endocannabinoids. Again, these seem implicated in DP as the kappa opioid system/marijuana seem involved in DP symptoms.

Haha, christ you're hardcore mate. Cold shower followed by a cold bath later in the day? I think one cold shower in the morning is about as far as I'm willing to go at the moment. But maybe another one would be the extra dose of coldness I need to get a ticket out of dp land. Everything is worth experimenting with to help feel better with good reason.
Yeah I meant the breathing method where you breathe in and out 30 times and then hold it for as long as you can etc. I enjoyed the head rush I would get when I would breathe in and hold for 15 seconds at the end. Then the hypochondriac in me found out that this head rush is caused by blood rushing to the brain because of low oxygen levels in the brain. I was also getting tinnitus in my ears after doing it and my dp got worse after two or three weeks of it. I convinced myself that I was causing some sort of brain damage by doing it regularly. Similar to how free divers are susceptible to brain damage. So I stopped the breathing method.
The cold showers are great though. I highly recommend them for anyone with dp. If you can stay in the pure cold water for at least two minutes, it has such a calming and awakening effect. The only problem is that it is extremely uncomfortable to step into the cold water. It's bordering on crazy and your mind doesn't hold back from telling you how crazy it thinks it is. What is amazing though is after a minute or two, my mind stops freaking out and becomes really focussed and calm. It's like an extreme form of mindfulness meditation.
 

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Dude I get the worst tinnitus in my ears after, like a rushing of water. A different kind of tinnitus than usual. Not sure what to make of it atm. His brain scans are what interest me though and it is the breathing technique that will do that. Makes sense as the insula is so involved with breathing. Panic attack > DP etc...

Cold showers are awesome for my energy/mood, but so hard to just get into the cold. Yeh your mind can be nowhere but NOW when it is cold, which is good. Also it releases norepinephrine and cortisol, which are thought to be involved with DP (but then a lot of things are!). I have done cold before, but like you went from hot to finish on a minute of cold but this doesn't have the same effect.

Yeh the cold bath was intense! I live right by the sea so might try and take a dip more regularly. Aiming to start jogging or something again
 

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So I am feeling more energy, focus, relaxed.... sleep hasn't quite improved yet but I shall see with time. I imagine it will. For me this is a great start to the day. I wake up, lie in bed and do the breathing exercises (takes about 10 mins). Involved with this is the sensation of air hunger as well as tingling in the body. Wim hof's meditation/breathing has been shown to activate the insula which as I have said before is really important for DP.

Then I take the cold shower. Non-painful cold also lights up the insula. An important part here, which will come with time, is embracing the cold not fighting it. Here we have an uncomfortable sensation that the prefrontal cortex (PFC) would suppress the uncomfortable sensation in the body (insula). So... what is seen in 'normal' patients is the PFC suppresses the insula. Wim hoff and people who have learned his technique is that the PFC actually goes quiet and the insula LIGHTS up! This is what we also want to see with DP. Whether we can simplify DP down to two brain regions is beyond me (hopefully we can lol), but I will stick to this for 30 days to see what happens.

So in the cold, I feel the idea is not to think "get out" or tense up, or jump about, but to do the breathing and FEEL into it to try and take control of the autonomous nervous system (this has been proven to be a possibility by Wim Hof and his method). So we want to control the breathing to oxygenate and embrace the cold and "do nothing". Dont try to do anything with thoughts, the attention or anything. Just try to 'be' in what is, to be honest, a pretty horrible experience lol but after feels AMAZING! Anyway, another hair brained scheme of mine to try and tackle this thing. I have read a review or two where people have said this method helped their DP
 

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A ridiculous few days of being hungover and sleep deprived, which never has a good impact on my DP. Out tonight as well but going to try and take it easy. Anyway, sticking to Wim Hof despite being not in great condition which has been a struggle. But I feel it has helped the hangover and energy, did some very hard manual labour during that as well

So, I think that Wim Hof could potentially work by targeting the insula. Non painful cold, breath hunger, and stretching can all help activate it. An interesting page, worth reading the wiki page as well:

https://neuroscientificallychallenged.com/blog/2013/05/what-is-insula
 

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Lol Break yourself in slowly is what they recommend. I have just gone fully into it, cold as it goes, straight in. My body gets less tense now than at first, think I am getting used to it.

The way I am starting to look at this is to try and tap into the way my body deals with pain/stress. So I start with the breathing that supposedly alkalises the body, and I also feel tension releasing, Then I do the stretching which is breathing into the pain of the stretch, again learning to stay with it and consciously relaxing/focusing on the pain. Then a cold shower, again uncomfortable but I stay with the discomfort, try not to tense and just inhale deeply and let go. Now after this I am starting to meditate and focus on discomfort/pain anywhere in the body, staying with it and breathing into it.

The idea is that hopefully this routine taps into my bodies own ability to deal with physical/emotional pain. I have mentioned before, this SHOULD activate the insula ideally. Want to get some sort of exercise routine going as well, 1 mile a day in the morning. My whole ideology of DP so far as been I am not strong enough, my brain chemicals are out of balance, I need a magic supplement/vitamin/mineral, a medication, a diet etc. Perhaps this will improve my will power and tap into the healing of my brain/body, as opposed to being dependent on a substance that my body will inevitably grow tolerant to... anyway, just some thoughts
 

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Weird old week, some severe anxiety coming up for me. Trying to focus on it and breathe into it, rather than distract myself. Unsure if it is the breathing/cold shower WHM or not but I am struggling through. Still have good energy and perhaps feeling more relaxed. Been about ten days now so want to get to 30 and see if I will stick to it, imagine I will try though
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Look forward to seeing the 30 day evaluation. Hope you get good, clear results. If not, at least you gave it a good shot. The cold showers are the best addition to my self care routine for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Think I'm going to try adding more regular hardcore exercise routines next - like an hour of strenuous exercise 5 or 6 days a week. I've noticed if i start the day with a cold shower and then do a good session of exercise that i feel pretty good for the rest of the day.
 

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I'm going to try jogging again soon or maybe run 1 mile a day but as fast as I can. Feel ok energy wise today after probably less than 6 hours sleep. You shower BEFORE you exercise?
 

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I'm going to try jogging again soon or maybe run 1 mile a day but as fast as I can. Feel ok energy wise today after probably less than 6 hours sleep. You shower BEFORE you exercise?
Nice one, I think exercise can help use up some of that pent up anxious energy built up in our bodies.

Haha, yeah I shower before I exercise. But I don't actually clean myself - I just give myself a 3 minute dose of pure cold water and then step out again. A nice shot of freezing cold water before I face the dp day
wink.png
 

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Lol ok that seems like a half good plan you know. I clean atm but it distracts me, but not in a good way. I feel the cold should be there to focus on to learn to adapt to the discomfort. As soon as I start to pick up shampoo etc I tense up and focus on my breath less. Perhaps I will try cold shower, exercise, then another cold shower lol more water but less heating bills
 

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Cold shower, exercise, cold shower... the cold shower sandwich! It sounds like you're moving into the realm of asceticism. David Goggins territory.

I don't think I could do that. I like to have a warm shower in the evening. It feels nice and is sort of calming. You're right though about saving money on the heating bills. More money, less stress, less dp.
 
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