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Hello everyone. I personally have no problems with DP or any form of clinical depression or anxiety throuout my life and ironically this is why i need help. My girlfriend has had these problems for years and is opening up to me more and more which I feel is a good sign, but at the same time she is getting worse. I struggle to comprehend what she is going through and sometimes she will yell at me saying "why do i even talk to you you could never understand". She is right, and sometimes it gets hard to maintain a relationship with someone who is never happy and is on their own world, a world i dont understand. This is why i need help. I would greatly appeaciate anyone who is willing to help me out on ways to develop an understanding of what is happening to her and how i can be there for her. Thank you very much to anyone who replies, it means so much.
 

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OP, my husband also had trouble understanding what I was going through and how to help me through it. He wasn't sure how to respond when he didn't have a solution for fixing the problem. I explained to him that I knew he wasn't going to fix it, but what I really needed was reassurance. When you open up to someone close to you about struggling with mental illness, you worry that they won't believe you, they think you're crazy, or they think you're exaggerating. Sometimes when people don't know how to respond, it's easy to interpret that as one of the above responses. Since I respond well to physical touch, my therapist advised that I tell my husband that when he doesn't know what to say, he can respond with a physical gesture, like a hug or squeezing my hand. I recently had a bad reaction to something and completely dissociated while out with friends. One of my friends simply put his hand gently on my shoulder after a while. The friendly touch was extremely reassuring and helped ground me a bit. Simple things can go a long way towards helping someone sometimes.

I would recommend talking to your girlfriend and finding out what sorts of things might be comforting for her. If she doesn't respond well to touch, she might prefer verbal reassurance of your presence and support. Keep in mind that depending on the severity, someone in a dissociative episode may not always respond to your input, but sometimes it can still help even if they are unable to respond. That's why it's important to have these sorts of conversations with them. While we do want to be understood, I think the bigger need is to have a sense of safety, and a sense that our loved ones believe and support us. This is probably the best way you can help if you're not a mental health professional.

I hope this was helpful. Good luck to you both.
 
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