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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I personally think the existential thoughts are what keep my DP/DR around and triggers it.

My recent thought are "am I even a human? what governs us being humans and other creatures being,, well...not human?" and then I'll look around and looking at other people or myself triggers almost a panic attack basically panicking over the fact that "oh my god, I'm human and those are humans?". Sometimes doing something as simple as scrolling through pictures or Facebook sends me into a panic because...humans. Is this DP/DR...or am I going totally nuts? I've thought to myself..me thinking I'm not human/in my body...isn't that a sign of going crazy where you think you're like an alien or something?

Okay..well...sorry for rambling...

My real question is, what do you guys say or do when you get these weird and anxiety-ridden existential thoughts? I'm just trying to collect some methods I could use for myself when the thoughts get so bad I feel like I'm going to go nuts any second.

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I think rather than develop the attitude that there are 'bad thoughts' and get caught up in the battle to defeat your mind, try to take a neutral stance towards them. This of course is extremely difficult, but it is what mindfulness points towards. Most sources of it nowadays are crap though, they don't desribe it accurately. They say it is 'non judgemental awareness', which is all well and good when things are going well. But not if things are bad. I think more accurately in my experience is just watching. Dont do anything. Dont try to understand anything. Nothing is lost and you can't gain anything. Just watch. Observe your thoughts. If resistance comes watch that. If bad emotions come watch them. The more you build up the relationship with them that you can watch without trying to change something, the less these things will bother you. With time. And practice.
Your not going to get better, until you stop trying to get better
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think rather than develop the attitude that there are 'bad thoughts' and get caught up in the battle to defeat your mind, try to take a neutral stance towards them. This of course is extremely difficult, but it is what mindfulness points towards. Most sources of it nowadays are crap though, they don't desribe it accurately. They say it is 'non judgemental awareness', which is all well and good when things are going well. But not if things are bad. I think more accurately in my experience is just watching. Dont do anything. Dont try to understand anything. Nothing is lost and you can't gain anything. Just watch. Observe your thoughts. If resistance comes watch that. If bad emotions come watch them. The more you build up the relationship with them that you can watch without trying to change something, the less these things will bother you. With time. And practice.
Your not going to get better, until you stop trying to get better
That actually makes a lot of sense. Thank you. So, I have this thing where I'll get panicked over the thought of being human, which is do dumb and crazy, I know. With that type of thought, how do I stop/prevent the panic?
 

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The problem to me seems to be that you believe you can control this. I know this sounds scary but you can't control your emotions. Or thoughts. They just happen. Watching them happen without you 'doing' anything will make you realise that. Me telling you won't make you believe that. The belief that the 'thought of being human' gets you panicked is just a thought. And you can't do anything about that. If someone tells you not to think of a pink elephant it's the first thing that pops into your head. What you resist persists, especially with things like thoughts. Because we have something we want to avoid, we get a bit of relied and then think 'what was bothering me? Oh Yeh, thoughts about being human'.. and then you start thinking those thoughts again! It's not a problem, but I think taking the time to just sit and watch those thoughts will be beneficial. Only then you will see they can't really hurt you
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The problem to me seems to be that you believe you can control this. I know this sounds scary but you can't control your emotions. Or thoughts. They just happen. Watching them happen without you 'doing' anything will make you realise that. Me telling you won't make you believe that. The belief that the 'thought of being human' gets you panicked is just a thought. And you can't do anything about that. If someone tells you not to think of a pink elephant it's the first thing that pops into your head. What you resist persists, especially with things like thoughts. Because we have something we want to avoid, we get a bit of relied and then think 'what was bothering me? Oh Yeh, thoughts about being human'.. and then you start thinking those thoughts again! It's not a problem, but I think taking the time to just sit and watch those thoughts will be beneficial. Only then you will see they can't really hurt you
That's very insightful! Thank you so much. I do have OCD and get intrusive thoughts and I've been coming to the realization that these existential thoughts are a form of intrusive thought. It just sounds crazy...telling someone I feel panicked because I'm human and surrounded by other humans. I often think hey, maybe this is what going crazy feels like. But it really is just a thought. It's not like I'm looking around and seeing hallucinations of like aliens or something. I just get weirded out and panicked over the thought that I'm this walking brain having a human experience. Having DP/DR also causes me to feel disconnected from myself, which almost fuels the thoughts.

And you're totally right! I could be feeling perfectly fine and then I get the thought "hey, remember this morning when you were panicked over being .....you?" and the thoughts come rushing back. It's almost like I remind myself I should either be feeling this way (disconnected) or should be having these weird existential thoughts. I'm going to put your theory to use today. I personally feel if I can tackle these existential thoughts, I can finally relieve or overcome the DP/DR.
 

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Hi!

I just wanted to say I really relate to this. I have OCD and believe that that make these existential thoughts linger. As someone with OCD you're probably aware that the more you think about it the bigger andeal it makes of the thought and the more it makes you think about it and cause you anxiety. It's the same for me. I think it's good to try and use the same method you're supposed to use for when you get intrusive thoughts, and that is to let it happen without actively thinking about, don't investigate no matter how much you feel you need an answer. You'll never get an answer to these things so it's really just putting you though unnecessary anxiety. Believe me I am verrrrrry familiar with intrusive thoughts.
 
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