What are these feelings of unreality I feel / depersonalisation?

This was a very popular post on my last blog before I lost the info. So I have decided to write about this condition once more. Depersonalisation does not just occur with anxiety sufferers but as that is what my subject matter is I am just going to talk about it affects and why it occurs with anxiety.

Firstly depersonalisation is the feeling of detachment from oneself. People say they cannot connect with the world around them, like it is grey and hazy. They may feel as though they are acting their way through the day, like a robot with no or little emotions. I suffered very badly with this symptom also, in fact before I understood it, it scared the hell out of me and is one thing in my book I cover as much as any other symptom.

Again it is the not understanding, the bewilderment of how and why we feel like we do. We worry about it, question it. Well unfortunatley this is what can make us fall deeper into the condition. I spend weeks, months worrying that I was going crazy, thinking deeply day in day out. It makes total sense to me why I got worse and not better over the years. Again it was a lack of understanding.

Depersonalisation is in fact your body’s way of protecting you. It protects you from all the worry and the stress, it sorts of shuts down your emotions and feelings to protect you from yourself. The trouble is we then begin to worry about this new symptom and the feelings continue. I always say that while you worry and obsess about this feeling of detachment you will continue to suffer. You need to pay it no respect, to allow yourself to feel like this and not fight or try and force normal feelings. Don’t worry or obsess that you feel odd, let it be part of your day and you may begin to feel some peace.

With the right help and information I was able to lead myself back to normal living. For more help and advice on this subject visit this page on my main site.


For more information about my book ‘At last a life’ visit


109 Responses to “What are these feelings of unreality I feel / depersonalisation?”

  1. Frederic Floyd Says:

    Something I dont understand about anxiety and recovery from it, is that it doesnt apear linear, and that even after a few better (mood wise) days, there still doesnt seem to be any improvement in symptoms.

    This has made me very confused, and desperate… Why dont the symptoms follow mood closely? I was expecting something to be calmer in my body after a few calmer days in my head.

  2. Frank Says:

    One thing that I also notice, in response to Frederic’s post, is that symptoms never get better but our reaction to symptoms becomes milder. I’ve had anxiety for roughly 7 months, and progressively I begin to worry less and less about them and just telling myself, “it’s just this again. I’ve gone through it before”

    It was really hard to get my mind to the state that I realize that you’ve, “been through this before” and, “it’s just anxiety again” but once you do, you’ll find that you will begin to worry less, and that you will experience these symptoms – not less intensely, but less frequently.

    I also find it a bit weird that once I think I’m over the anxiety and things begin to progress perfectly, I tend to begin to look for things that can potentially cause an imbalance to this perfect state; pulling me back down into that anxious state again. This may sound weird but I’d say that a 100% recovery from anxiety, for me, is undesirable since this overconfident nature begins to kick in. I’d say the best area of recovery is at around 80 – 90% since most of the symptoms pass with little worry, but we realize that room for improvement can be made.

    Anyways these are my opinions on this, and I’m curious to see what the webmaster has to say about this.

  3. Tarmo Says:

    I have had depersonalisation for almost two years now and it got really bad some time ago. It helped me a lot to read the information you provide about stopping paying attention to my state and I think I have made some progress.

    However, there’s one thing that I can’t seem to stop worrying: my memory. I have always tended to forget things, but as my depersonalisation got deeper, it seems to have gotten a lot worse. I don’t trust my memory at all and it seems that I don’t really remember much about the last year, or last week for that matter. It’s strange, I don’t REALLY forget what I’ve been doing, but at the same time I have a strong feeling of not remembering. I guess it has something (or everything) to do with my current state: I’m living in a fog and it’s difficult to concentrate, so my memory can’t work perfectly either. But it’s damn scary and it makes life very tiring. I seem to have to “push it” all the time and it’s very difficult to relax.

    I guess you didn’t cover memory problems in your book?

  4. Beate Says:

    I suffer from anxiety and depersonalization.The DP is the worst feeling and I cant stop beeing scared of it.I always get these thoughts “what if I loose my mind”,”I must be going crazy”.I have your book and have read it many times.And I try to follow your addvice on DP,but its just so hard.
    The DP went away totaly for a while but now its back for full again.This is just the worst feeling,and scares me so mutch.And I dont know what I did to make it go away.I just know that its back now.It scares me so bad.I try to tell myself it will go away and that it wont make me crazy,but I still dont belive it fully.Sometimes the only thing that helps is to lay in bed watching tv or reading a book.Then I dont feel so strange.Why do you think it went away but came back?I also had it many years ago,but it went away then too.But dont know how.Kind regards,Beate.

  5. No More Anxiety Says:

    Hi Everyone, Sorry for the late moderating of your posts. I have been away for Christmas. I will always answer in time, so please don’t despair if I am a little late, my workload can overtake me sometimes.

    O.k I will go through each comment one at a time. Sorry if it is a little brief.

    Firstly Frederic, I feel you are expecting too much too soon. By saying you expected it to be calmer in your body, this means you are watching yourself and how you feel. It should always come down to an attitude of ‘It doesn’t matter how I feel’ I went through every emotion going through my own recovery, up one minute, down the next, but the key was I just went with it. I did not try and figure out why I felt good today or put any pressure on myself to feel a certain way. I just rolled with it, I learnt pretty quick that I could not control how I felt so I may as well let my body get on with it.

    Frank…I could not agree more with you. My own recovery came when the symptoms no longer felt important. I had accepted them and got on with my day for so long that it became automatic. It is not how you feel, more you reaction to it. I would say when I recovered I still had certain symptoms from time to time but they no longer bothered me, a little annoying but not the beast that I felt it once was…Good post.

    Tarmo…People always say ‘Do you cover this or that’ the book would be 500 pages long if I did. That though is not the point, the point is I did not write my book like others. Most just end up with people more confused than ever, they over complicate things far too much. Yes the memory thing is because your mind is tired, it struggles to keep thoughts in, struggles to keep attention on things for any given time. Again its just tired and is nothing to worry about, it has just lost a little flexibility. It is the same as when someone is studying for an exam. They can only study for so long before their mind becomes tired and it cannot soak up the information. I had this feeling also, but again I understand why and did not let it bother me, if I found it a little hard to concentrate at times then so be it. It is far easier when you understand why.

    Beate….You say you can’t stop being scared of it! Well sorry but this is all the fuel it needs to continue. Being scared of it may also mean you constantly try to do something about it. Recovery from this detachment of oneself is not the easiest road, but you have to start by completely abandoning yourself to this feeling. Just see it as a tired mind there to protect you. You don’t believe you are mot going to go crazy? Well you wont, you would have done by now. Trust in what I say and no matter how you feel go with it, pay it no respect. Its your fear and bewilderment of it that keeps it going.

    Hope that helps a little everyone.


  6. Tarmo Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I think this new blog with Q/A possibility is amazing! Thanks a lot, I’ll keep coming back.

    One thing that I’ve been thinking about lately is:
    This whole “not paying attention” -thing makes a lot of sense to me and I have noticed it in practice as well, but I wonder if you can really get out of the depersonalisation cycle by merely not trying to do anything about it. All of us sufferers have a reason for suffering, some of us got caught in the cycle because of drugs and others (like me) got their minds overloaded because of stressfull life/trauma. So shouldn’t we pay attention to the root of suffering as well? Especially people who have this trauma-based dp – is it really possible to get rid of the symptoms without dealing with the original issue that caused the trauma in the first place? I mean, the problem lays in the unconscious side of mind and the problem stays unconscious if you don’t deal with it, right?

    For some reason I feel that neglecting the symptoms might work better for people whose dp was triggered by drugs. I guess what I’m asking for is some evidence: are there any survival stories from non-drug related depersonalisation sufferers?

  7. No More Anxiety Says:

    Tarmo…I will give you a quick answer to this one. The intial problem of why I suffered from depersonaliastion was never important to me, I just wanted to recover. And as the site is about anxiety I cover it in this tense. I state in the book that you may have devloped depersonlisation through many different ways, a trauma for example. The initial reason you can doing nothing about, what you can do though is keep depersonaliation under control or fully recover like I was able to do, by not obsessing and worrying about the symptom daily, this is the very reason it hangs around or people fall deeper into it. Worrying, self analysing, introspection are all created by obsessing about it and your mind protects you from the worry even more and then you feel the symptoms hang around or increase. I was able to halt this cycle and come through.

  8. Amy Says:

    Hi, I’ve just stumbled onto this site and blog and it’s been an enormous relief to find some straightforward, sensible and reassuring advice. I’ve been suffering from bouts of severe anxiety for as long as I can remember. This past year has been extra stressful and distressing and I had a bit of a breakdown in the summer, with a couple of ‘lapses’ since. I’m now in the middle of another bout of severe anxiety, compounded by SAD symptoms. Not nice, but I can assure people that it really does pass. I was delighted to find your advice, cos it reminded me of what happened in the summer when I turned the corner and began to feel better. I can totally recommend just going with the flow, accepting the anxiety and anxious thoughts, without analysing them. I found several CBT techniques only compounded the problem. Rather than understand I need to put it all to one side and get on with things! In reply to Tarmo, I think the most important thing to remember is that if you’ve got into this state because you’ve been experiencing a stressful, difficult time, then that’s the only answer you need. Don’t try and ‘understand it’. The anxiety you’re feeling is an instinctual behaviour. It isn’t rational. And no amount of self-analysis is going to help. If, there are things that triggered your anxiety that you have some control over and can change (i.e. a stressful job, or taking on too many other responsibilities), then consider simplifying your life, but beyond that don’t worry! Easier said than done, I know from experience, but it is possible if you just try to relax with regards to your anxiety. Afterall, it is there to protect you, and keep you safe. Hope you start to feel better soon.

  9. No More Anxiety Says:

    Good post Amy. I am forever telling people not to over complicate things, not to try and figure it all out, not to feel the need to work every symptom out. The same way you have anxious thoughts because you are anxious, there is no need to investigate these thoughts or any symptom for that matter. One of the mistakes I made early on was trying to be in complete control of how I felt. That’s why I don’t go for all the therapist ways of giving you homework, make sure you breath properly, write down your feelings etc…etc…This is wrong in my opinion, its all about not doing anything, not trying to ‘over control’.

  10. karen Says:

    Hey Guys,

    this is specificaly for Tarmo:

    I have been suffering from anxiety, closely followed by depersonalization for a couple of months now. The trigger was a move from Germany to the United States as well as being a relatively new wife and mom.
    For me it went like this: At first the anxiewty attacks hit me with such tremendous force that they incapacitated me completely. I was scared to death, muzzy in the head and constantly looking for panic-triggers. I also thought I was going to suffocate. Once I found out that what I was experiencing had a name and was something I created myself, I pretty quickly got a grip on the anxiety attacks.
    What remained, however, was and is depersonalization/derealization.
    When it hits I feel locked in my own head, thoughts racing, I feel like I’m in a strange place and sometimes een my husband and daughter feel like strangers. It’s horrible and SCARY. And that’s exactly what I want to get at: it’s SCARY, get it? I react to it with fear. And that’s all the fuel it needs.
    Trust me, Tarmo, I have spend weeks of intense research, analyzing and obsessing all day whether maybe the way i was feeling was related to outside circumstances. Was my move to the States a mistake? Was there underlying childhood trauma? Was I maybe subconsciously unhappy in my marriage? And would it all stop if I changed the outside circumstances?

    The answer I can give you, in which I believe 100%, is that the outside circumstances DO NOT matter. There was at some point a trigger, but it is our reaction pattern and thought process to stressors in our life that makes us feel this way. And since we have already badgered our minds to the point of exhaustion, there is no fixing it with elaborate techniques.
    When I stopped being scared of my physical symptoms, they subsided. I was like “whatever, come on then and scare me. Leave me breathless. I’ll survive”. And it stopped. So once I start losing my fear of DP, it will most likely subside. I believe that the reason why getting rid of the fear of DP is more difficult is because it’s harder to monitor our mental progress than to monitor our physical progress. We just feel stronger connected to our mind than to our body. Once our body leaves us alone, we gain confidence pretty quickly and go back on autopilot. The mind however, is always conciously with us, especially now.Let’s try to lose the fear of this last remainder of anxiety and let’s stop fearing our own minds. They got us all through all our life A-ok and once we give them rest, they’ll happily carry us on through the rest of our lives. Think positive thoughts, people. At times when you obsess remember that obsessing is a choice. You don’t have to do it. You always can just turn your attention to something more rewarding than your own TEMPORARY misery.

  11. jay Says:

    Is feeling numb or weak all over part of depersonalization? Fortunately, I try accept this feeling and still do my normal tasks but I still cant help but worry that I may have an undetected illness. I’ve been reading the net and they say Hypoglycemia causes anxiety symptoms. Would there be a chance that I have that? How can I tell the difference between hypoclycemia caused anxiety than the one caused by plain worry, fear and stress?

  12. No More Anxiety Says:

    Karen: Good post there. I am forever telling people the same things. Don’t waste time worrying or obsessing about any symptom, it only intensifies and continues the cycle of worry. This is why understand why you feel like you do is so important, it takes so much fear out of the equation. Most people worry and obsess about how they feel because they don’t understand why! If you have a cold you don’t spend all week worrying and obsessing about it, what a strain on your mind and body that would be, so try not to do it with anxiety. This is why people enter into a cycle they cannot seem to break. Worry and fear is all the fuel anxiety needs to continue.

    Jay: Don’t start reading about this may cause it, that may cause it. All you do is end up on a roundabout that you cannot come off. If you feel you have depersonalisation then just try and take the advice on my main site wwww.anxietynomore.co.uk/depersonalisation_and_derealisation.html

    This condition relies on your fear of it to keep it alive, begin to learn to pay it no mind. I am half way through my new book that will be dedicated to this symptom as I feel there is so little good information on it.


  13. Tarmo Says:

    Amy and Karen, thank you so much to both of you!! It seems there is developing a nice, supportive community here around this blog. I’ll write a couple lines more when I have more time.

  14. Frank Says:

    For tarmo

    I’ve read several sites on anxiety and depersonalization, with Paul’s site being the one that has helped me the most. One advice that he constantly mentions is that we should “not worry or obsess about our symptoms but accept our symptoms and our miseries” since this is what keeps us in the cycle. For the first month or so I took this advice extremely seriously and with each anxiety attack i went through, I felt that this wasn’t working well at all. I can describe my anxiety attacks as starting in the stomach with a minor feeling of being full or bloated, then progressively feeling more and more bloated as it felt as if it was being filled with air. In addition to this, i felt as if electrical pulses were running throughout my head. My whole head was completely focused on what could happen next. I was starting to become sensitive to light, my hearing started to become affected as i listened for what could appear to be a threat, and my breathing patterns switched as if it was preparing for some extreme physical activity or action. I was taking in far more inhales than exhales and eventually i was close to feeling suffocated with all this air. Sooner or later i thought I was about to explode. “Don’t worry or obsess; just accept, I kept telling myself. How the heck could I not worry about this, I’m feeling like total crap here. How could I accept the way i was feeling. I’m in a University Lecture Hall. If i keep worrying about myself, I’ll fall way behind in my studies.” I constantly told myself to release this feeling of worry and continue on. Let go. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re completely healthy and this anxiety attack can do no harm to you. Just be.

    Eventually I noticed I was going about it all wrong. While I accepted the way i felt, i worried not, the anxiety was still there haunting me. Was Paul’s advice the advice of a madman? NO. My mistake was that i was trying to do something about the anxiety. I was trying to not obsess; I was trying to accept it, I was trying to not worry. It’s one thing to try to not obsess/worry/accept, but it’s a completely different thing to just actually do it. The trick here is to not tell yourself to do it, but actually do it with 110% force without thinking about it. Instead of telling myself “I must stop worrying, and copy the professor’s notes or else I’ll fall behind,” I directed my complete and utter attention towards copying the notes and not paying attention at all to what my body, or at least my mind’s perception of my body, was telling me. Stomach-ache, NO i have notes to copy. Shift your FULL attention to something different and give absolutely no respect to the way you are feeling. If you leave even just a mere afterthought to the way you are feeling, even if it’s less than 1% of what you are thinking about, then believe me it will suck you back down possibly even harder into your anxiety cycle. You need to shift your undivided attention to something else. And then i realized, this is basically what Paul is getting at with his advice. Don’t focus on the miseries and take pity on yourself for the way you are feeling. Instead, live, embrace, experience, and cherish all the positive things that life is ready to offer you. Anxiety is an observance, not an action. We can’t get anywhere in life by just observing and watching as everything passes by. Go out, and do something productive; something you will feel proud of. In time, you can add “ridding myself of my anxiety” as part of your long list of accomplishments.

    I don’t believe I have completely rid myself of my anxiety, but looking back on what has happened, I can say that I have made some tremendous progress. You can too.

  15. Amy Says:

    Thanks all – this is really useful. I’ve been making a real effort to ignore my anxiety the last couple of days and I think I’ve turned a corner. The feelings of irreality have all but passed and I feel a hell of a lot more rational! I’m reading a book at the moment which I’m finding really useful (and reassuring) and thought I’d pass the details on for info. It’s by Elaine Aron and it’s called ‘The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You’. Basically, she argues that some of us are just hyper-sensitive, but rather than a failing, we should see it for what it really is, a gift. With particular regards to feelings of depersonalisation, she talks about how highly sensitive people spend a lot of time pondering the big questions of life and death (because we have naturally enquiring minds), thus can sometimes feel a little disconnected and different from the rest of the world. Plus, we tend to suck in other people’s emotions, as if they were our own and find over-stimulating environments (e.g. new places) over-whelming, leading to anxiety. To cut a long story short she’s all for embracing sensitivity and offers very many ways of seeing it in a really positive light. I’ve found it all very enlightening and very reassuring. It’s given me the answers I needed, e.g. why am I reacting to a particular incident differently from other people who were also there. This is her website, if anyone is interested. http://www.hsperson.com/.

  16. Tarmo Says:

    I’ve recently thought exactly what you described. There is a big difference between TRYING to stop obsessing and to actually stop obsessing. I noticed that every time I read the chapter about depersonalisation from Paul’s book I felt calmer for a while and thought that now I’ll stop observing myself. But after a while I found myself repeating the mantra “I’ll try to move focus away from myself, I’ll try to ignore the symptoms” – which meant that actually I was “looking in” all the time. What has been most difficult for me is accepting the memory problems (I can remember but kinda feel like not remembering) but right now it feels that I’m a bit calmer and it might be getting me somewhere. I have actually had a few experiences where I’ve concentrated to some task so much that I have suddenly realised that I hadn’t been paying any attention to my own mind for a while. And damn it feels good, too bad that I’ll still slip back the moment when I “remember” to start monitoring again. Thanks a lot for your post Frank, useful and inspiring advice there.

    I really recognised myself from “we tend to suck in other people’s emotions as if they were our own”. This is something that I realised about myself not too long ago. Maybe I should read the book, cheers!

  17. jay Says:

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for the advice but I just want to know the physical symptoms of dp. Your link only suggests what we feel mentally. I really still a bit scared. I dont feel pain but I feel numb all over my body or weak (slightly light headed) and I always worry that I might stop breathing, collapse of something. It’s reall weird since I dont feel pain but I worry that my body seems to feel so soft. Please help. Are these part of depersonalization?

  18. Frank Says:

    For Jay:

    I think you are hyperventilating. I had a similar experience while I was writing an exam. A general sense of dizziness and light-headedness and a slight tingling numbness that i felt throughout both my arms. While you may feel and think you are not getting enough oxygen, in fact you are getting TOO much oxygen. While you may need oxygen, you also need an equal amount of carbon dioxide for you body to function properly. Try holding your breath for a few seconds, or slowing down your breathing pace. I had this condition several times and it can be scary, but believe me when I say that you will not stop breathing.

  19. No More Anxiety Says:

    First of all I do moderate comments and Franks advice above was for a post I had to delete. I don’t want to moderate too much but I have to make sure that I agree 100% with comments and the advice given out on here, otherwise people will get mixed messages. So please never be offended if your post is deleted, I just want us to go a certain way about things so we don’t end up like other forums with 7 totally different answers all giving mixed messages.

    Secondly I want you all to read Franks longer post above. This is completely right and something I want to add to the revised book, as I think people do sometimes go down the road Frank was talking about. I also went around thinking ‘I must let go’ , ‘I must not obsess’ , ‘I must do this’ etc….Until I realised I was doing things wrong, I was still ‘Trying to do something about it’ I was still concentrating and obsessing about it, I was trying to ‘Over control’ as I like to put it. I then realised I did not need to keep telling myself these things, I just needed an attitude of not caring. And as Frank says just get on with my day and not OBSESS that I was doing things right. So Frank if it is o.k with you I will put some of your words into the revised book, I like the way you put it and I feel it is better coming from someone else, it feels more real to the reader.

    Jay…Your symptoms of D.P all though feel physical are not. If you are very tired you feel light headed and numb. Which is really what D.P is, a tired mind, tired from all the deep thinking, the worry. It scared me far less to see my own D.P as a tired mind than something more. I think the fear of stopping breathing, collapsing etc, is more an anxious thing and not D.P. Again you will not stop breathing, nor will you collapse. This is just your anxiety adding these fearful thoughts. Again its a matter of realising that through anxiety we do have anxious thoughts, it makes sense.

    Do keep posting everyone, I can see that you are helping each other, which is why I set the blog up. Again it is freedom of speech, but I do have to moderate comments. I will try and do this as little as possible, but I truly want to help and not confuse anyone who stumbles across the blog.


  20. Frank Says:

    To Paul:

    I’m giving you the go ahead to put my stuff in your book. It’s a very soothing sensation reading people’s stories and realizing that I’m not the only one going through this. One reason why i prefer this community over other sites is that this community does not place an expected recovery time for anxiety like others which claim to cure you instantly or in 12 easy steps. In fact i feel these sites only harm us more because it makes us set expectations that if i just do this, i will recover. I believe that there is not external method of recovery and that it must come from within. I’ve gained much from people sharing their stories and advices from other posters because from this, i believe that it clarifies the path to inner recovery and makes it easier on me.

  21. No More Anxiety Says:

    Frank it will just be the few lines about how you finally understood my message of acceptance. As you see through the book I do use other people’s stories of success and how things clicked into place for them, I feel it helps when it comes from others as well as myself.

    Learning about something new takes a little time. It is like trying to learn a new subject at school, you can’t expect everything to sink in straight away. This is the reason I often tell people to re-read the book and refer back to it from time to time, especially if they are going through a tough time.

    Unfortunately there are plenty of sites out there who promise you the world in 12 easy steps, these in 99% of cases just want you to part with your money for a load of false promises. I often have people email me about the amount of useless money they have thrown at these sort of claims. I would love to expose a few but my hands are tied due to legal reasons. I do know of one person who came to me that had spent £5,000 of phone calls to a very well known on-line site and found it of little help, once he ran out of money he was then ignored my the owner and again this is a site most people would have come across. These typs of sites give us all a bad name. I don’t and never will give false promises. Knowledge is the key, this and just being happy with progress, yes you can make giant strides if you have a total lack of information, but real progress comes in time, this is how real recovery is built.

  22. Vickie Says:

    Oh thank goodness! It’s so nice to see people on here talking about what I am feeling everyday! For the first time in ages I went out on the town last weekend for my birthday with a group of close friends. Normally I would worry that I would feel nauseous, being around drunk people, the smell of food etc used to trigger me and i’d get all hot and bothered. But it was fantastic. We went out for a meal, then into town for drinks and I felt more alive than I had felt in a long time. The reason why is because I was not concentrating on myself for a change, there were too many other things going on, conversations, new food to try, good company. I couldn’t believe that on the Sunday morning I woke up with a hangover. I let myself go and had a really good time. But then I analysed it in the afternoon and said to myself ‘why was I ok this time?’ and that instantly gave me butterflies and adrenalin went flying round my body! I know to ignore it, and i’m stil ignoring it today. But I have read Pauls book ‘At last a life’ and for that Saturday evening I did have a life….I felt alive. And that has proved to me that all the time i’m thinking about anxiety it will eat away at me. So……i’m sorry Paul, but I have put your book away now, along with all the other books and prints offs from the internet. I no longer search for my symptoms in google! If I feel agitated I do my brain training on my Nintendo DS ha ha ha!

  23. No More Anxiety Says:

    Vickie I think I discussed in the book not to search the internet for answers everyday. Don’t apologise about putting my book away, that’s great, I want you to begin to leave it behind you and concentrate on other things in your day, including your nintendo : )

  24. jay Says:

    Hi Paul/Frank

    Thanks. Actually Im still confused on what a person would actually feel during DP. So you mean there should be no physicall sensation? From my experience, it stated when I feel kinda numb and light. The fear of fainting just followed. So am I experiencing DP?

  25. Tarmo Says:

    You know what guys? I think that I finally understood this week what it actually means to JUST LIVE MY LIFE and NOT PAY ATTENTION to the monster that has been occupying my mind for the last two years. As Paul constantly states, the key-thing seems to be getting rid of the fear. As long as we are afraid of the symptoms, we will not be able to stop paying attention to them. No matter how much we repeat “I’m not paying attention to it, I’m not paying attention to it”.

    As I have written above, my biggest fear has been that I’m losing my ability to remember things. I already started thinking that I’m living in a same kind of state with my 94-year-old grandmom, who is suffering severe alzhaimer disease. And this is no joke, I really thought I have the same disease – at the age of 28.

    But this week I got so damn sick and tired of all the worrying and obsessing that I somehow managed to adopt some kind of “I don’t care” attitude which made it possible to live a few days without paying too much attention to anything except the exact thing that I was currently doing. At some point I realised that I didn’t feel much (if any) fear at all. I didn’t have to hold on to myself to keep myself together, I simply had to live. My work, which has felt so awful at times because of my inward-turning mind that I have thought I will not survive any longer, started feeling pretty comfortable again and I found myself laughing silly jokes without paying attention to laughing – this alone is a huge improvement to me. Of course I’m not suddenly “back to normal” again and my mind is still foggy and unorganised, but within a week’s time everything feels so different that it feels silly to even explain. For example when I notice that I don’t remember if I already did a certain task or not, I just think “so what, my mind is just so overloaded that it can’t work properly” instead of putting all energy to thinking that I’m gonna be living in an old peoples’ home with my grandmom soon.

    My story is nothing new but I still wanted to share this progress that I’m making, because I really used to be one of those people who didn’t believe any amount of convincing that I’m not deadly sick, that I just have a tired mind. Please people, listen to the advice that is given here. It ain’t no fairytale. We all have to internalize (is that a word?) this information before we can use it for ourselves. It’s not a simple thing to do and we all have our own path, but it’s a rewarding journey.

  26. Karen Says:

    Dear TARMO:

    Bless you!! Finally you have found your way out of the cycle. I know exactly how it feels. I can relate to so much of what you are saying, the fear but also what it feels like to let go of it, however difficult it may be and however long it takes the individual person, once we have let go of the fear, and be it only for a few hours at first, we have FOUND OUR WAY.
    Congratulations dear Tarmo, my heart goes out to you. It did in your times of suffering, but it does now joyfully and I just wanted to let you know. Oh and also that when I had a time of anxiety in my life like 10 years ago, I also had a grandma in a nursing home who also was rather far gone mentally, God bless her, and I also thought I was going to end up like her and it scared me sh**less. And I also had memory problems, big time. Once when I was at work I was talking to a costumer and discussing an appointment, and I was SURE it was January when it really was October, I looked at the calendar and I COULDN”T believe it!! See how spaced out I was?! Yeah, our good old tired minds…nothing more and nothing less ;)). Believe Tarmo, and prosper.

    Best of wishes to you all!

  27. No More Anxiety Says:

    Jay…What I mean is the physical sensations you feel with D.P are caused through a tired mind, so you don’t have anything physically wrong with you. When you are extremly tired your arms may feel numb, you may feel faint etc…All of this is caused through a tired mind, there is nothing physically wrong, whatever symptoms you feel through D.P.

    Tarmo, I won’t split your message up but the first paragraph is EXACTLY the stage I want you and others to get to, you have found the key. Live your life with the feelings in the background, let them be there but pay little attention to them. I never say they must not be there, that’s the mistake people make, they try everything to rid themselves of the feelings, which keeps them in the cycle. No give the feelings a free reign, work and play with them there but don’t spend all your time worrying and obsessing about them, just move on with your day. There may still be bad days but we are trying to reverse a habit, a habit to bring other things into our day, to move away and stop constantly trying to do something about it. Great post.


  28. Mac Says:

    yes i have the same problem where i can’t seem to remember anything and thoughts just don’t stay with me. i feel like i can’t think 24/7 and that my mind is frozen in me and that im constantly looking at myself and i don’t even realize it. i have to keep saying things over and over because im afraid im going forget it and 5 minutes later i forget it. it was never like this but i obsessed so much that whenever im out i feel like this. Depersonalization started first then this for about a year. I try to think back sometimes and remember things but feel no emotion. Should i just live and move on and how do you do that when you feel bad all the time and just forget how things used to be?????

  29. Tarmo Says:

    Mac, I’m still in the process myself but people who have completely beaten depersonalisation say that when they “get back to reality”, the emotions come back and they even feel the emotions from their dp-period, the ones they couldn’t experience due to their state. Believe me, I know how hard it feels to live on when you feel bad all the time. And how hard it feels to stop obsessing about these scary symptoms as memory problems. But that is the key to recovery and it is possible for you as well.

  30. dave Says:

    hi in the past year i’ve had a fair amount of troubles. Firstly my dad went to prison. debt. my great grandma died. through this tough time I started smoking cannabis not heavily just lightly to help me out because I heard that it was good for taking tensions away.i would say that ive proberably only smoked 10 joints which is not a lot throughout 10 month period. I noticed that things started happening to me not mental just physical but I didnt relate it to the cannabis. such as muscle twitching finding it hard to sleep and feeling tired all the time. through this I started to have no emotions for my parents and just treated them like crap went and did what i wanted. anyway i had a couple of drags off a joint back in late October 2007 and I felt alright but after 10 mins it hit me and everything went verry surreal and I felt extremely detached. i started panicking but calmed myself down went home and thought id sleep it off. I knew it would only be a temporary feeling. the next day I woke up and I was in shock because i still felt the same! everything just felt sooo far away like a spaced out feeling something ive never experienced before and it scared me I thought I was loosing it.

    3 months down and I have still never seem anyone about it although I have spoken to my mum who has faith im not going to be like this all the time seeing as it was from drugs. she doesn’t understand entirely how I feel although ive explain in as much depth as I can . The fact is that im only 16 and I just want my life back i just want to be able to live without feeling how I feel. im doing A levels and going to school has helped because I can talk and interact with people just sometimes i will go quiet. I dont want to see anyone because im scared im going to be put on a list and be marked own with a recored thats going to affect me later in life because im a bright lad who wants to go far in life.

    When I found your site it was a major relief to find out that I wasnt on my own all the things you have written I feel that is what I feel although I have physical symtoms which relate to anxiety such as hot flushes, trembling.
    one thing i want to find out though is that will these physical symptoms leave me ?
    I also have a double vision which is annoying.

    I would love a relpy that may help me understand.


  31. Tom Says:

    Hi Dave,
    I thought I would try to help you out as I can relate to your situation. Obviously as you have been unfortunate to find out is that bad experiences with recreational drugs can leave you in a de-realised/de-personalised state. In October 07 after taking some hallucinogens I awoke to feel very detached/unreal, I tried to explain to my parents that something wasn’t right, but it is so hard to explain when you don’t even know yourself. The best way I could explain is that ‘I see things differently’ although red is red, my garden is still my garden, but somehow my mind was processing my visions in a different way. This is the feeling of de-realisation.
    Naturally, this causes anxiety as you try to figure out what the hell has happened and eventually you are thinking about it 24/7. I finally had a massive panic attack in November because I thought I was going mad, tried to pursuade everyone I was in a psychosis and ended up in an ambulance outside my house.
    Since then, I saw my Doctor, who reffered me to a Crisis Team of Psychiatrists who diagnosed me as having anxiety. After reading Pauls book and getting help from http://www.dpselfhelp.com I finally feel I can cope everyday, and I am pannicking less, although I still feel detached.
    If I can give you some advice: –
    Obviously Pauls books hits on everything related to anxiety.
    From a personal point, I can see that you are in an important part of your life with A-levels and stuff, and that you feel that your condition will effect your performance at school. Basically, DO NOT LET THIS THOUGHT CAUSE MORE ANXIETY! The more you panic about your tembling, hot flushes, possible lapse of concentration the worse you will become and the longer it will take to recover. When I was at my lowest point (and granted I haven’t suffered long), I felt that I would never be able to move on in life, even finish a day at work, but you do because its just negative thoughts brought on by anxiety. I thought I had ruined my life from taking a few legal highs, but i was just trapped in an anxiety cycle caused by a bad trip during a rough patch in my life.
    You mentioned all your troubles, and I think that panic brought on from that last joint was enough for your tired mind to just say ‘right thats it for now Dave’ and shutdown to protect you from further hurt, which I why you feel detached and lack emotions. Just remember that when you stop worrying about your symptoms your mind WILL restart.
    Here a few tips that will help you start
    -stay off the weed! Its easy to turn to drink and drugs when you feel awful, don’t do it.
    -Dont fight your negative thoughts, there just rubbish.
    -Try not to stress about trembling, I had it for weeks and it does reduce when you pay it no attention + time!
    -Don’t look on too many internet forums (stick to this one as it is moderated by Paul, you find in many forums that there are many people who love to exaggerate and make a hobby about how they feel going on about medication and so on and it can scare you, scared me, thinking maybe I need that, what if I have that, it will make you worse).
    -To sleep, try herbal calming tablets from your local supermarket, and take omega 3, vitamin b and zinc to aid your concentration and mental health.
    -Your physical symtoms are related to anxiety, so when you understand what anxiety it (through this site) your physical symptoms and double/blurred vision will reduce and leave.

    Try to go with the flow, and realise its just anxiety, its temporary and you will recover.

    Hope this helps a little, Tom, 23, Leics.

  32. No More Anxiety Says:

    Thanks for helping Tom there, some good points and welcome to this blog and thank you for your comments on the site and book. Also I received your email and will certainly be in touch about the book and thanks for the offer of your own personal story.

    Something I would like to agree with you is the forum point you brought up. So many people come up with so many different ideas, medications, avoidence behaviours, tips, do’s, don’t do’s that they do become very confusing and to be honest the advice on some is counter productive. This is the reason I don’t have a forum myself and as you say I moderate every comment that comes here. I have my own beliefs and will not stray away from them. I always believe we need one road and one road only.

  33. Mac Says:

    i guess the what i would like to have help is why is it that the emotional side goes and away and it feels like you can’t get excited, scared, upset etc.???? is it also that i am afraid to let go and that i just so used to this state that im afraid to let go maybe because i don’t remember how i used to be???? sometimes i feel like i don’t know it thing happened ot i try to thing how i just used to live on with life now im stuck in my own mind and don;t know how to get out without being upset. I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me this. Thank you

  34. No More Anxiety Says:

    Hi Mac, What Depersonalisation/Derealisation is, is a shut down of your emotions. People who have been in a car accident can have it for a while, it is to protect you from the shock or another example is when someone loses a loved one, your body protects you from the hurt and that is why people can go into that lost look. Anxiety brings depersonalisation because we worry and think deeply about our problems, the body then realises it needs to protect you from all this worry and deep introspection and shuts down all your emotions, that is why you feel like you do. The trouble is then, we worry about this new symptom and the cycle continues. That is why I say pay it no mind, let yourself feel odd and strange, don’t worry or obsess about it and in time you may find relief. Just go with how you feel no matter how bad and odd it feels and have a little patience, nothing is achieved overnight. Rather than repeat what is on this page from my main site, I will post it here in case you have not read it http://www.anxietynomore.co.uk/depersonalisation_and_derealisation.html


  35. dave Says:

    hi tom just wondering if you’ve got msn you’ve been a great help mine is babycake.s@hotmail.com please give me an add. only because it happened to us in the same month. i can get through days and i am a lot better than i was i don’t really worry about things like that its just only when im talking to someone i tremble or have a hot flush and i go red its more embarrassing than anything else. maybe we could beat this together. you the first person that has told me and instructed me any it give me confidence. i’m not a negative person and i have always been good at over coming things and not thinking much of stuff ive got my bronze and silver duke of Edinburgh award and you know what im even going for my gold award in the condition im in that just shows the determination i have! it would just be nice for someone to give me a boost and a well done your doing great but no one in my house can because they can see what i can. when i do recover which i hope to god will be this year. i want to devote part of me to this state of mind because im telling you with out this site i don’t know what or where i would of gone.

    Paul your a saint.

    thank you

  36. Tom Says:

    Hi Dave,
    glad to hear this site is helping you. I don’t really use msn, but I can give you my email tom.mikunda@educationforall.com so you can drop me a line if you need any more ‘confidence boosts’, although I didn’t even pass Duke of Edinburgh bronze (lost pet) so your probably more confident than me!
    It wicked your able to interact well at school, socialising is a fantastic way of overcoming anxiety. Try to hang around with nice people, have decent conversations, but don’t talk about your anxiety with loads of people. Again, similar to internet forums they will do their best to help but this may place further doubts into your mind e.g. ‘yeah my mum had this, my dad had that’, really not what you want your mind to be absorbing at the moment. Also, as Paul rightly states in his book, don’t put a time limit on your recovery, after having a good week at the end of November 07, I proclaimed to my mum that I will be fine by Christmas, well I wasn’t and the disappointment kills your confidence.
    Take it easy bud, Tom

  37. dave Says:

    does anyone recommend good weather i’m going to Turkey in april for 2 weeks and again in july for 5 weeks because we have a villa there. does sun help and just generally relaxing? and not doing alot? comments back please!

    thank you

    i was thinking of just living in turkey until im better but i dont want to drop and leave everything but i do want to get better.

  38. Mac Says:

    Does anyone out there feel like they can;t enjoy a good moment in there life because at the time when that good thing happpened your emotions werent there and that that good moment will forver be forgotten and not as important and it would be if your were healthy???? i struggle with this along with trying to remember things and worrying that i can’t better and constantly looking at myself because i forget what it feels like to jsut live without looking at what is happening inside me.

  39. Tom Says:

    I bet the sun would help, but don’t do anything rash like quitting school, then you are letting anxiety effect your life. Just carry on as before, but just with the coping skills you are learning from this website. You need to be able to cope in the UK with normal stuff, I dare say I would recover quicker with a bit of sun, but what happens when you get back? I reckon everyone suffers from lack of sunlight, somehow I always feel better with a bit of good weather.

  40. dave Says:

    has anyone on here recovered yet? would be nice to hear from other people on how they managed it. i know i shouldn’t but i went on a different forum and you know it was actually different from other ones i have been on. because there were alot of people on there actually saying that they recoved 100% and when you think this has been going on too long and stop and stuff and panic that where you stay where you are.
    i put it like this its like climbing out a hole where you cant see any light, the light to the end of the tunnel could be 8 miles away but you’re only going to get out of that dark cold cave if you keep climbing if you stop your not going to get out as quick as you would of done by carrying on.
    its like that in your mind but because its not a physical thing its harder but is on the same grounds i guess.

    I’ve only been in this mess since October in 07 and i know theres only one way out and im goint to get there. there was a person on there who got DP and recovered but then did drugs again and relapsed but they said that once you’ve got out of it once you know theres nothing to worry about and its not even hard sort of thing so i do believe everyone can do it as long as they keep going.

  41. dave Says:

    hi there i just want to ask a question.
    what i cant understand is that even though I’m not anxious and I’m not worrying about my anxiety symptoms i still have anxiety symptoms. what is with that? thanks

  42. No More Anxiety Says:

    Dave because your body takes time to recover, if you have anxiety symptoms then you are anxious. A body takes time to regain its balance, nerves take time to heal, your mind takes time to readjust. This is where so many people go wrong, they think as soon as they stop worrying they will feel fine. Your mind and body have been through so much and it takes time. My own recovery did, stopping worrying and obsessing how you feel just opens the door for recovery. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to rush recovery or demand to feel a certain way, however you feel you feel, that should be your attitude and let nature take care of the rest. I always say be happy with progress, as someone emailed me today and said “Paul I am improving all the time and my personality is coming back in small strips”. He is not expecting or demanding anything too soon, this is the right way home.


  43. dave Says:

    yes paul i know that.
    i am not obsessing or worrying about how i feel atall i stoped doing that months ago its just i will have anxiety symptoms but i dont feel anxious atall!!! thats the think i have accepted it and i get on with my day without barley thinking about it. its just i have symptoms such as hot flushes that just come from knowhere but i always have a symptom i havnt had a break from all the symptoms since it began! i have some type of symptom 24/7 hrs a day they change through out the day. but its more embarrassing than anything else i mean im 16!!

    i’ve never been to the doctors because i don’t want it on my record. simple as that but i just want to feel better i must say i did start improving i noticed that but now i think ive got worse not that ive been drinking or worrying atall about it.
    its more of the unreal state of mind if i was free from that i reckon i cd just live soo much easily even with anxious symptoms 247.

    its hard aswell because everyone in my family and house think im fine even though i have told my mum n shout as mt for not tiding my room and just all that and that is the worst thing when you feel like i do.

  44. Tom Says:

    Dave, you obviously feel anxious because you are commenting on this site. The feeling of unreality is related to your anxiety, your in a loop. You are obviously upset about how you feel, which must be on your mind, which then continues your syptoms. You have to accept this unreal (or different) state of mind before you can get rid of it. I also have feelings of unreality when I leave the house, the environment seems more daunting than before, but I know exactly what it is and what is causing those feelings, and I don’t let them effect what I want to do, when I want to do it. I still have the feeling, and its impossible not to give it attention, but I don’t let it effect my life as I can feel gradual improvements.

    Everyday I have ups and downs throughout, but when i’m down I just let it pass as I know sooner or later I will naturally feel better. I’m sure anxiety can come in many forms, but the fact is you have to accept the feelings of unreality and not be scared of them. I can tell you that from my improvement in the last 6 weeks, listen to this site and listen to Paul. Its really hard to feel improvement at first, because of the ups and downs, but gradually the improvements become more noticable and will give you more confidence.

    If you want to go to the Doctor, go to the Doctor, the records remain confidential, and unless you want a job at NASA or the FBI I dont think anyone will be bothered if you smoked the odd joint or not, Crickey, chill man!


  45. BS Says:

    Hi Guys,
    I can certainly relate to allot of what your saying, my situation is slightly different in that I had a fairly big move across from one state to another, new job, new life etc. although at the time I took it all in my stride around five months later i got some pains in my stomach.. for some reason these bothered me and I started worrying about them… since then I have had brain scans CRT, ultrasounds of lumps i found that thought were cancer (turned out to be just fatty lumps) eye floaters, ENT appointments for a lump in throat which was globus, and even went to a nuro because i seem to feel ‘spaced out’ all the time… i can still work (i work in IT) but I find it harder to concentrate and pick stuff up mentally… even trying to think of the right word or i might forget something that happened only moments ago. All this has compounded and i thopugh I had everything from MS, ALS, Cancer, Parkinsons (due to tremours) and the list goes on… I guess the hardest part for me is for instance when i even read my book, eat dinner, pick up my pen i can feel a very slight shake in my arms.. this is worse sometimes than others but its never enough that other ppl can notice, I sometimes also get sensative patchs of skin that come and go within a few hrs… weird, so i think oh no.. parkinsons etc, and most recently i have aches in my arms and legs for no reason… like ive been to the gym but havnt. Its just hard to have these physical symptoms and not think they is something horribly wrong with you… it feels like ive got some horrible diease that is slowing causing me me to degrade.. like MS.. hence my fears.

    Does this sound familar to anyone here?

    thx heaps for your time :)

  46. Tom Says:

    Hi BS, I am no doctor so I don’t want to suggest that you have nothing but anxiety, i assume all your tests and results have suggested your fine, but your symptons do appear to have alot in common wih anxiety. Stomach pains, headaches, eye floaters, trouble swallowing, shaking hands/lower arms, a weak trembling feeling (like a low blood sugar feeling that you can’t shake off) and a spaced out feeling I have experienced and I know are common with anxiety. You also mention trouble concentrating at work, and of course with this constant worry your not able to pick things up as quick as you used to. The whole process that you have been backwards and forwards to the doctor is quite typical of a person suffering from anxiety. I don’t know anything about your situation, you said you went through some life changes, maybe you had a ‘problem’ that caused an onset of anxious symptoms, but now these symptoms have taken over your life with worry. Thats how you get sucked into the cycle of anxiety and fear.

    As I said, I am no doctor, just an anxiety sufferer who’s starting to get to grips with himself and can’t help but try to help others. If you feel the content of this website helps, then buy book which goes into everything in far more detail.

    Please reply if you wish, if what I have written feels right.


  47. No More Anxiety Says:

    Tom, Excellent reply to daves post, this is exactly what I am trying to get across. If anyone feels they don’t understand certain things, hang around, it is like learning a new subject and in time things will begin to sink in.


  48. Tarmo Says:

    BS: You did the tests already, they found nothing. I’m not a doctor either but as you can read here, all your symptoms can occur with anxiety, some of which I share. The feeling of not remembering what you just did is the worst, I had it for quite a while but it’s been getting better since I stopped giving a damn. Even “normal” people forget things all the time so is it any wonder if people with a very tired mind can’t keep everything together all the time? I’ve been working with this highly unorganised mind (yes, concentrating has been very difficult) and the funny thing is that my job requires a LOT of organisation skills as I’m an elementary school teacher. I guess I’ve even done quite a good job although it’s been very very demanding with an inward turned mind – there were days when I thought that I’m really losing it any second. But it has gotten a lot easier and more fun after I finally learned not to fight the way I’m feeling all the time.

  49. BS Says:

    Thanks for your replys guys and girls, yep ive had all sorts of tests like CT scans, untrasounds, two different ent looks down my throat (due to lump feeling), nuro did all these co-ordination tests etc and all came back fine. Its very strange as my natural reaction is something must be medically wrong.. hence my quest to find out whats happening with many visits to the doctor, im sure he thinks im crazy :)

    Of course ive also done the ‘google’ thing and that tends to make stuff worse as the first website you tend to get is MS or parkinsons etc.. makes me even more paronoid but im stopping myself doing this now as I notice it just does not help the situation.

    Thanks for all you comments, its good to know maybe this really is just in my mind… im rying to not think about it and that seems to works sometimes, onwards and upwards. 😀


  50. Zoe Says:

    Everything I’m reading about depersonalisation here is ringing true. Something I read also, that people feel like life is a film and they’re just actors playing a part. Going through the motions because it’s what they think is expected of them.

    It’s sort of bitter sweet discovering I am not alone. I’m mainly relieved, finally there’s an explanation for what I’m feeling and most importantly there is hope. The bitter side of this, maybe it’s my ego taking a beating, this isn’t a unique problem to me “because I’m special”, that’s hard to swallow, but liberating too.

    It’s weird, there’s a part of me that almost doesn’t want to give it up. I’ve been feeling like my detachment was giving me a unique perspective, a way of seeing the world objectively. I have to let that idea go. It’s not objectivity, it’s just me over-analysing everything. I see now it’s only distorting everything and just adding to the unreality of it all.

    These pages are really opening up my mind and closing down my self-obsessed ego! I’ve ordered the book and hope it can help me.

  51. BS Says:

    Hi, quick update – my doctor advised I could have fibromyalgia due to my aching limbs etc and brain fog and feeling tired allot, has anyone here had or has this? some of the symptoms do match mine… i also found the other day i did some cycling and my legs seemed to fatigue very quickly compard to a few months back when i didnt have these limbs aches.

    Any comments would be great!

  52. Tarmo Says:

    I read some older posts on this topic and started wondering how Karen is doing nowadays? Haven’t heard from you for a while.

  53. No More Anxiety Says:

    I will email her tomorrow and see how she is getting on for you Tarmo.

  54. dave Says:

    hi there everyone, just want to let you know how im doing.
    everything is well. i do what i want when i want nothing rules my life anymore like it did almost 5 months ago when it started. to be honest i barley think about my unreal state in a day. im so back into life and too busy to question or what ever. when your thinking goes back out the box like it should you can engage and interact have a laugh everything like i used to. I’ve even just got a girlfriend and i know this sounds crazy but i think im in love. i just want to be with her all the time every minute of everyday. this is proberably a good thing i don’t know. i’ve heard that on average it takes 2 years to recover but im not sure about that thats why i wanted to ask. another story i heard was from this guy who recovered in 10 months! but i know you cant put a time limit on recovery but it would be so much nicer if you could know.

    although i don’t quiz my state 24/7 anymore. you can notice when stuff changes. sometimes i have got really really excited because i have seen the improvements of being drawn back into the normal state. not as spaced out etc. and this is good. but however i do notice it worsen sometimes but i don’t question it because i know that up there its working hard to get back to normal.

    one question i did want to ask is has anyone recovered fully off this site? apart from paul? would be nice to hear from you thanks everyone.
    you have to put it as this lifes an experience and this is just one of those. don’t look at it as something bad. thats what i said to myself.

  55. Ian Says:

    Hi Paul

    I have experienced depersonalisation & derealisation for over 1 year now, from a history of anxiety, panic attacks and a bad drug experience.

    I have read your book, and wanted to know if anybody has experienced the same overwhelming physical symptoms that I have experienced.

    The biggest physical symptom is a complete sensitivity to light (photosensitive), and cannot see at night. It seems that my eyes cannot adjust to light contrasts. It also feels like my vision is two dimensional and flat. I am even more sensitive to fluorescent light.

    I worry about this the most, even though you say “just let the symptoms ride”. Can you give an explanation why dp/dr affects ones vision?

  56. Karen Says:

    Hi everyone. Well I guess I am kinda new to anxiety in a certain sense. Ive always been a bit of a worrier and used to freak myself out that I had every illness in the world. My biggest fear was (like many) going mad or “losing my mind”. Well…
    This site and Paul’s book has been a beautiful help to me, and its only been TWO days since I read the book.
    I suffered a very tragic loss in Oct 07 (stillbirth at 25 weeks) and it tore my reality apart. Literally. I went into tremendous shock and was so upset that what i was feeling was happening to me, to ME!!!. The world terrified the holy crap out of me and I had no idea who/what/where/how I was.
    Somehow I held it together, after so much falling apart it didnt seem possible. Anxiety was HUGE at the start, I had no idea what was happening to me at all. I was terrified I was going to get post natal depression/ post natal psychosis (because others did…so…etc etc). Convinced myself at one stage that I actually had it. And of course, cue the scary thoughts..which fuelled that belief, got so depressed thinking i had it…and so the cycle went on.
    We moved house and i went back to work, this lifted me for a few weeks but i felt the down-ness coming back again. And it kinda spiralled…
    Up until a few weeks ago when on a Saturday, the feelings and scary thoughts got SO much that I honestly thought that day I was having a nervous breakdown.
    The scary thoughts were the worst for me. Convinced I could do some harm to my partner…so bad that I was terrified of my kitchen knives.(ALL BECAUSE OF ONE THOUGHT) And because i Pondered and completely obsessed about that thought, I was convinced even more that I had post natal depression which made me worse…and so it went on and on…cycles of anxiety, fear, depression, adrenaline, frayed nerves…not sleeping…EXHAUSTED physically and mentally!!!
    How I continued going to work I will never know, I was going around like a ghost, like a shell..it was awful. Beating myself up constantly because I SHOULD have been feeling better…I just should have.
    But I shouldnt!
    I found Pauls site and believe me i am a true information gatherer..and of course, like many of us, convinced myself that I had every symptom, disorder etc. The amount of times I asked my partner if he thought I had this or that etc.
    No amount of convincing would pacify me.
    Then I found Paul!
    And its only been a few days, but now I finally realise whats causing all of this.
    Yes, I went through a terrible trauma. Of course my poor mind and body wanted and needed to shut down. But did i give it the break it deserved and needed…NO!
    Of course I didnt.
    Now I finally realise where the bodily feelings come from…adrenaline people…adrenaline!!
    Thats simply it.
    I thought I was doing ok until we were on our way back from Manchester on an early morning flight, my stomach turned once atthe thought of going back home..and BAM..that started me off thinkin “oh no its starting again” and I was messed up for weeks. Then I came across Paul’s book (Thank You)
    Ive learned that no matter what Im feeling its ok.. Its OK.
    And thats all there is to it. Whatever Im feeling, Im feeling and thats ok.
    If i feel derealism…any wonder, my mind is tired and shut off and needs a break…so its ok
    If my stomach turns (which it still does a lot)..thats ok, my body is in habit and my memory believes that somehow Im not safe…thats ok too, habits take time to change..its all part of it, and thats ok…
    If my hands shake, sure, thats ok too…Im still working away.
    Scary thoughts…Ive learned a lot from this one…
    I didnt believe that when the thoughts came that if i just followed Pauls advice that it would work. And believe me Im a sceptic when it comes to ME!….It worked.
    And I know Im only 2 days into it but..when they come, let them in, see them bounce around in there, let them have a stretch and roar and shout at you…thats ok..thats the over production of adrenaline needing an outlet, thats where the thoughts come from in the first place and because you placed so much importance on them when they first came, your mind thinks there is seriously some danger in that thought. There is NOT!
    Let it in…pay it no mind. Give it space and time and let it run alongside your day. I didnt believe it would work. But it did.
    The thoughts just dont seem as scary..they are still there but just a teeny bit less scary..
    Just dont stress over it. Take the fear out of it and what have you got…..a thought and nothing else.
    I have many scary thoughts, thats my difficult one. But if i keep following the advice, understanding where they come from and let them have their space and time…they eventually lose their edge and I find I could go an hour and then think …oh I havent thought that in a while. Then it comes back and you do the same all over again “come on in…take your time but Im not going to pay you much attention”

    Its been working so far and Im only starting this journey. I believe it will help me with previous scary thoughts that I had , I now realise that they too came when I was going through some tough times . Yes my friends anxiety.

    Accept whatever you are feeling. Dont “try” to let it go dont force it away dont try to make yourself feel better. Dont try to talk yourself down, invite every bit of it in. Live it, experience it. Realise that its all a part of what you are going through. Dont fear it. You WILL NOT collapse and die. So what if you look a bit weird in front of people, this is you now (just for now..and thats ok)..getting better and you will be back to your old self soon.

    Remove the fear – remove the problem.

    It lives on fear. But through understanding and perseverance I believe we all can come through as Paul has.

    And never have to worry about anxiety again.

  57. No More Anxiety Says:

    Very good post Karen and I am glad the book really help you, you really have grasped the message.


  58. Candie Says:

    Hi karren, thought i would respond to your post above as i had exactly the same problem around knifes! I was convinced i would kill my fiance!! That much so i begged my doctor to section me. Of course he new i wasnt gonna harm anyone, if i was i wouldnt of paniced so much id of just done it, but at the time it seems so real eh!

    Iv got past it now, i still think it sometimes, but iv learnt from the book how to be with them. I’v stopped having panic attacks from them since the book, which i guess means im giving my body a much needed rest!

  59. trey Says:

    hi my name is trey,im 21 i have never posted before so im new at it lol. I have read pauls book and it help alot and my anxiety doesnt bother me but my dp is got me terrified.I have had anxiety for 2 yrs. ITs infintly better than in the past but my dp has takin a turn for the worst. I made a terrible mistake i watch a movie american psycho and now i am terrified im going to hurt loved ones and not be able to control my self. all these thoughts from a stupid movie. even if i just get mad i start to dp cause im so scared of my thoughts. has anyone had a similar experince?

  60. Az Says:

    Hi all. New to the site, think it’s great!.

    Tarmo – I suffer from the same ‘memory loss/maze’ problems as you. They make up the significant part of my D.P condition. Your posts are the first I’ve come across that highlight these memory-related effects (or maybe I’ve just not been looking hard enough?).

    The whole not remembering, but still remembering thing is by far the weirdest thing for me,…sometimes its gets so bad that if I change from simply looking left to looking right,…I have forgotten what at, where or when it was I was looking left?! But whats EVEN weirder if for example this is happening while I’m driving is that while I’m thinking “…WHAT THE!?”…, my mental ‘autopilot’ mode/counterpart manages the driving as if nothing was wrong in the first place! plain CRAZY.

    Anyway I’m looking forward to reading this book and attempting the technique(s),..or the lack or technique(s) should I say. lol

  61. Tarmo Says:

    AZ, yeah I know what you mean and I haven’t heard many people talk about this “vague memory” symptom either.

    It used to be very scary but now I’m sure that it’s just the tired mind playing it’s tricks. I used to have this mode on all the time but now I have it only when my mind is really tired. And it never really happens if I don’t observe myself. As you said the mind takes care of things as an “autopilot” when I just do things and don’t think about how I feel (this used to be impossible for me a few months ago). I think this proves that the feeling of depersonalisation is caused by a mind that is set too heavily inward. To get back from that deep hole the mind needs a new setting and in my opinion Paul gives the best tools to achieve it.

    I know this memory thing can be frustratingly difficult to accept but just take it as another symptom and things will get easier!

  62. Azi Says:

    Tarmo: Thanks for your responce.

    Although Im still to read Paul’s book yet I’ve been attempthing the ‘try not to observing yourself’ / ‘accept it’ techinique. Lets hope I’m as luckly and successful as you in the days/weeks/months to come!

    Cheers, Azi

  63. No More Anxiety Says:

    Don’t try not to observe yourself Azi as this is impossible if you try. What I teach is let the attention be on you as that will come through habit, but don’t care that it does ‘Let the attention be on you, but just carry on with your day, if you feel odd then fine’

    Yes don’t watch yourself in the way of ‘Worrying about how you are feeling, purposley looking in and worrying how you feel, questioning it all’

    With depersonalisation it had become a habit to watch myself, I stopped going looking, but my habit was inward thinking. Now I just let that be and paid it no mind. I stopped worrying about it, questioning it daily, getting frustrated by how I felt. This is where the real results came.

  64. JR Says:

    trey…i know how you feel when my dp first started i was horrified at the hannibal movie. these thoughts come from your anxious state and are not factual in anyway…let them be and they will fade…i now look at my anxious thought as funny and actually good movie filming. : )

  65. JR Says:

    tarmo and az…i have the vague memory thing too…very strange at times

  66. pete B Says:

    Not left a message here before – suffered with anxiety severely about 8 years ago following a very stressful period of my life. symptoms have returned recently due to more stress.It started with the usual stuff – severe muscle tension, shortness of breath, the odd panic attack – worrying about physical self. It has been much easier to deal with this side of it this time and have had myself checked out by my GP. however still getting the old dreaded symptom of feeling unreal. have periods of several hours where it is not present but can’t seem to stop looking for it in my thoughts – its not even a thought its more of a feeling – i know the way to beat it is to accept it as normal and not scary but sometimes it is very difficult particularly when you have a demanding job and 2 small children.I just want to feel normal again so that i can get on with my life without monitoring my thought s and feelings all the time.

  67. trey Says:

    thanks JR I still feel like im goin crazy when i dp but its comforting to know im not the only one that feels this way.I now have been tryin to do anything that causes me to dp and just tryin to relax and let it fade. Is this a bad idea to self induce my dp to learn to cope.

  68. trey Says:

    i will answer my own post lol. when i dp i relax and let it run its course at first it got so bad that i thought i would pass out or would get “stuck” in my dp state of mind but i didnt it still akward and a little scary but i dp less and it only last 10 to 30 secs now :) way nicer than half a day. i just pretend every one in the world does it and that its normal so when it happens i just relax and let it happen.

  69. RANDY Says:


  70. trey Says:

    hey randy im not all better but like you i had very brief dp lasting 30 seconds at the most when i was about 10 to 16 but they were rare and only when i thought inward on my thoughts to hard ( if that makes sense) but i had what i guess was a nervous break down at 18 and after 2 yrs i started to dp bad felt crazy and unreal! just read the post and talk about it it will become easier to deal with till your better!

  71. randy Says:

    TREY thanks for answering my post talking with people who understand seems to help very much. do you still suffer from dp now and if so how long does it last?

  72. trey Says:

    yes unfortanatly i do randy but i will tell you i have gotten alot better since i started having anxiety 3 yrs ago. sometimes it last 10 seconds sometimes hours. or even days before i get clearheaded! but lately it has been better but what i realised is that it will happen to me again and i dont worry about whats happening to me or when. I just relax and let it happen. i pretend im just drunk lol. its closest thing to dp i can relate it to in my head.

  73. trey Says:

    ooo one more thing honestly when i have it every time i think this is it im losen it! but the less i fight it the faster it goes away.and if you feel it coming try to engage in a conversation and dont think about yourself listen the best you can to what there are saying. it will be hard at first but if you relax and talk you brain will “forget” you are dp-ing.

  74. randy Says:


  75. randy Says:


  76. trey Says:

    i felt like that and still do at times and even though all our symptoms are exactly the same i sometimes tell my self they have anxiety but my illness just mimics anxiety i am goin to lose it! then i have to tell myself no thats the whole key to anxiety and dp it keeps you in the “negative” frame of mind. you see randy if you were truly goin crazy you would not see reality as bein distorted you fell everything is fine but everyone else would see you werent normal. but because you know your not feeling right your acutally goin further and further from crazy. I understand how hard this is be i fight it at least once a day! i got to where i felt so unreal i couldnt look in a mirror! it would make me dp so bad. Also LIVE YOUR LIFE cause your not crazy so thinking about it all day is ruining your enjoyment in life more than if you were crazy lol. i felt like sh*t for so long but one day i looked back and said wow if im goin crazy it sure has takin a while and “crazy” people dont have good and bad days so i got up got a job again,got my membership to a gym again, got me a girlfriend…now my fiance :) and just started living the best torwards my “old” life as i could. and trust me its hard when your 21 to tell your fiance you cant sleep without the tv on or in a all dark room!lol i mean i can bench press 325 pounds but when im havivg anxiety cant watch scary movies or listen to certain types of music! it really trys to rob you of your cofidence but just say i got it for now so be it… i stole that last part from paul ;). you should order his book and read atleast 3 times so it stays fresh in your mind cause when your clearheaded you know you have anxiety but when you dp you tell yourself o god its back im losein it etc.

  77. Tarmo Says:

    I think you guys are talking about important stuff here, nice to see some action at the dp section!

    For a long time I thought that I’ll first have to get rid of this unreal state and THEN I can start living again. I was checking myself all the time, I’d say once every second, and it was impossible to concentrate on anything. But then I learned that by living like this I was only keeping dp with me and I decided to try another way: living my life despite these feelings. It felt hard and tiring at first but after a while I realised that I’m able to do things without even remembering the whole “disease”. My mind kept trying to turn back inwards, still is as I’m still in the process, but once you “get out” for a while you start trusting this path and little by little you build confidence so that you don’t need to hide anymore.

    My advice is:

    – Stay active and show the middle finger to dp
    – Have enough rest
    – Find things that “suck you in” so that you can show yourself that it’s possible to move the focus away from yourself. This may be hard at first when everything feels meaningless but the meanings will come when you learn to let go.
    – Exercise
    – Stay away from most dp sites and read Paul’s book again and again.

  78. randy Says:

    Trey I am glad to here that you have made a break through thats awsome. when you explain the crazy feelings like that it makes total sence and it helps alot thank you……….

    Tarmo ou hit the nail on the head about finding things that suck you in. when i am engaged in intence activities it is great because i don’t even think about the dp or anxiety but of course wehen i am done it is licke secound nature to stop and think about the dp its impossible to forget about it. i beat it twice before in my past but this time i can’t seem to.

  79. trey Says:

    hey randy its like tarmo says stay busy and also when you do dp find something that helps you stay “grounded” i.e. conversation or tv! atleast till you get a grip on your dp. which you will trust me. also my is always worst when im tired or drinking so might want to rest as much as you can and alchole in moderation. these are somethings that help me. i try to leave something in a comment that you can use when you dp to help you cope but theres a huge amount of explanations on why you have these feelings on this site. i hope my post helps! o and thanks tarmo good post! :)

  80. steph Says:

    hi all, well iv been postin on this site for few months now but didnt realise that people were still postin on the dp blog! im glad as i do tend to suffer quite bad with this..sometimes ill have no dp ..others it can be there for a while..i have it when i dont actuallyfeel like myself..or that im really there, not with it..n everything feels slowed down at times when im out like if someone turns to look at you in the street its like slowed down which makes me feel more anxious as it looks like there staring! daft i know,does anyone else have this..? d sometimes when im in full blown dp and someone stops to have aconversation i feel so weird even tho im prob comin acros as normal..feel like im obviously acting anxious and agitaed! dp is awful..and i believe mine strems from rec drug takin in the past..however when it happens i automatically think about the past think iv done permanent damage n the dp is turnin into some sort of psychosis!! when i feel ok tho i can laugh at my dp n the way i interpert it..at the end of the day all it is excess adrenalin n our bodies protecting ourselves from constant stressing..memory has alot to do with my anxiety n dp returning i think, if i visit a certain place or relive a situation where iv experienced unpleasent thoughts or dp it sends a wave of fear over me and even creates dp cycle again..any tips on this?? x

  81. trey Says:

    yea for me i tell myself your going to have anxiety either way so you instead of letting my anxiety slowly close off my world to a few “secure” places i go ahead and go to a certain place knowing i going to have anxiety and the more i did this the less and less the fear became.also realise like paul as said its not the place you fear its the way you will feel at that place that you fear! hope this helps.

  82. randy Says:

    to trey and steph. exposure does seem to help. one my issue is driving on big highways and really populated areas of the city. there have ben times were i havent even been able to go more than a few miles away. if i now i might have to go some were far i will obsess and dp for weeks just over the fear. of driving, but as bad as it gets if i force myself to drive in certain places once i get used to it it gets easier. this isnt a complete solution but it does show that it is a posability to overcome the spacific situations that caus anxiety,panic and dp. i just wish it was that easy.as we all know that is a mountain that is one hell of a climb. i do agree that it is the obsessing over the fear and what might happen i.e. passing out etc. rather than the place or situation itself. my anxiety is the highest when i wake up in the morning and if i do not get a handle on it right away it will turn into dp.has any medication really helped any one out there.some times i think when i am taking meds its the very idea that calms my mind down. i have ben off meds for 6 mos and i have had good and bad time not much diferent then when i am on them. just dont have the annoying side affects.

  83. randy Says:

    steph. i to sometimes think that past drug use has terned into some rort of delusional state from wich there is no return. i am not a doctor but from doctors have told me and from my own exp. that is just all a part of the twisted cycle. your mind is in such a weak state that every little thought or feeling can turn into a monster of “matter of fact” thinking. i.e. being woried that past drug use is the problem your mind computes that into “that is definately what is hapening” and it is not the case.if you have had good time or when you do if you can laugh about it you probably are not suffering from drug damage. “people who are razy donot know they are crazy.” they don’t know that some thing is wrong with them. once again i am not a doctor this is just my exp. and what doctors have told me. exposure does seem to help but can also turn into a really bad dp cycle. so i would suggest exposure with a friend or family member you normaly confide in with tis issue to be with you as a calming safety net incase you get bad. i would like to know how it turns out . randy……..

  84. clare Says:

    hello everyone, i suffer with d.p constantly from the moment i wake up till i go to bed, i dont remember things i have only just done i know i have done them but it feels like i dreamed i done it. well recently i decided to try and carry on my life as normal and started my driving lessons, my anxiety went out the roof, i had anxiety rash all over my body and at the time i was trying so hard to concentrate on my lesson, what i had to do, it was so hard trying to concentrate when i just cant get myself to be here in the living, anyway i plodded on, fine, the next lesson i had (no nervous shaking or rash!!) just completely not here at all, i didnt even remember doing the lesson as soon as i had gone in my home 2 minutes afterwards.
    i felt like it wasnt me, i know i really want to do this just for myself, its just so hard when i dont even feel like im here and no matter how much i relax, it still wont go into my head and stay there.
    i dont know whether i should carry on with my lessons? has anyone done their lessons while having d.p. at the time??? how did anyone else manage to do this can i please have a few tips???? and did u manage to pass your test!!!!!
    from clare xxxxxxx

  85. trey Says:

    hi clare i just wanted to say that no matter how bad the dp seems just keep living your life! i felt at times i wasnt even real like sometimes i would go to work and on the way there i would think do i really work there? am i crazy or headed there? i would look at my hands and get all fuzzy headed like i was dreaming my days were filled with a surrealism and it caused tremendous anxiety! im almost from healed of anxiety and dp! and what i feel happens is that when we dp it causes depression and when your depressed you lose all hope and you just go around all day in a fog! when you get a head ache you dont think thats it im always going to have a head ache my lifes ruined! NO you just rest and let it heal even then im sure most people have had head aches come and go hundreds of times in there life and every time it goes away! so the only real diffrence with anxiety is that it effects the way you think! just cause you dp doesnt mean you wont be clear headed again or that when you are clear headed that you wont dp again! the point is to just forget about it! i still dp sometimes and as soon as i start having negative thoughts i just ignore them and do something proactive like exersise or draw! just remember that as soon as you treat you dp like a common cold ( harder said than done) it will start to get better! no fun to have but doesnt matter anymore once gone! you will have ups and downs but when your up enjoy them dont worry about the next time your gonna dp! hope this helps :)

  86. damian Says:

    does anyone fear that ithey would end up in a crazy house those are my feelings when the dp symptoms hit hard with the obsessive thoughts ive sufferd with anxiety for 9 years off and on but never theese feelings it has been going in for nine months it happened after alot of stress with kids wife and bussiness

  87. Marie Says:

    Hi everyone,
    I am new to this, in fact i have never posted on any blog before but i’m feeling brave so here goes.
    Phew! I finally have an explanation for the way i have been feeling for pretty much most of my life. I have seen countless therapists, psychologists etc who have tried to help me to come to terms with stuff that happened to me when i was very young. I used to think “what’s the point!? i’m not even here!”
    Anyway, my quandry is, while i am relieved to discover and understand anxiety and dp, i have yet to find out how to let go of all the memories and emotions associated with my past which are having a huge impact on my life now. Any suggestions?


  88. Suneet Says:

    My problem is some time i feel better and think that my dp has gone but when i start checking in whether it has gone or not then again i start worrying about it. I just want to stop checking in please give some idea to stop this.

  89. Georgi Says:

    Hi this is the first time i post on this site, I just found out I have DP/DR Im so scared, Im pregnant and due in 6 weeks and feels like thats never going to happen cause everything seems unreal, its strange cause Im aware of everything and everyone but its like there is a dream. I need help and I dont know what to do I cant sleep or eat.

  90. ilene Says:


    I have had anxeity and panic with the feelings of dp for many years, every since I was a little girl, everytime I have something happen in my life that throws me off track I get them back. Everytime they come back it is like I never had them before and they scare me to death. I go into a panic for a long time can’t sleep and walk around in a state of fear. The way I have gotten rid of them in the past is to talk to myself and tell myself I can still do everything I do on a daily basis and still feel this way. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. My fear is medication and I am constantly in fear that if I do not stop being anxious I will have to go on something to stop this. I feel all alone even though I have a close mom and sister who get it because they have been through similar stuff . Does anyone feel these symptom’s like you are in a dream and when people are talking they are far away like not real, also you are detached from your body not really doing things? I can sure use some of your thoughts

  91. Deborah Says:

    I have also had depersonalisation and derealisation for some 15 years approx. I am having a particularly bad time of it lately as I have just come off of my medication which totally got rid of the symptoms and I was able to live a happy, healthy lifestyle but I have just recently found out that I’m 5 weeks pregnant. The thought of being pregnant scares me to death and the fear of having the responsibility and being depersonalised throughout is really freaking me out. Today I have felt really depersonlised and have even been looking at other human beings strangely like I cannot face another; like they are not the same as me and I always question, how are we made/how can we be!! I’m not sure whether I can continue with this baby as I cannot take my medication and don’t know if I’ll be able to cope with having these feelings and with the responsibility. The worst thing I fear is having the baby move inside of me and not liking it, then what? I keep having thoughts that I would be better off not being here! I cannot get these thoughts out of my head and just want to be back on my meds! I feel also, with regard to Ilene’s comments that I’m not really doing things, like its someone else doing the things and the thinking.

  92. Kay Says:

    Hi I am avery happy outgoung fun person who loves life, but I do suffer from depersonalisation at times. I am 35, married with 3 kids and I have a very stressful life between kids, problems in marriage and running our own Company. The first time I got anxiety I was 20, I must say I have always been a worrier and I analyse everything alot, My brother got ill through cancer-thankfully he’s perfectly ok now and at the time while he was get cured for 6 months I was ok never gave it a thought. When he came back I just started feeling wierd and then I started worrying about this feeling and getting panic feelings. This lasted for 2 mths and it wasnt that bad. Then 10yrs later after a period of stress I took a few puffs on a joint and I got a horible feeling and a panic attack I was really scared. The next day I started obsessing about this and I started feelin really wierd spaced out everything just seemed different dreamlike, I didnt feel myself the happy person I used to be, its as if the spark had gone from life. I was all the time obssessing about what I had and I got many panic and anxiety symptoms. I carried on doing things as normal, with my kids work etc.. but in my mind all I had was the fearof this horrible feeling. Eventually I took anti deppressants and after a few months I was ok at the time I thought I was never going to recover and I was going to go crazy. Well after a year on meds I came off, but 6 months later the dp came back but this time I decided not to carry on with meds, I just tried to forget about what I had and it went away. OK 3 years later after more strss and thinking that I could handle everything by myself and after developing a phobia of cancer I thought anything I had was cancer, one day I started seeing little lights (probably migraine) and I panicked thought I had a tumor or I was going blind, it went away, but the next day I started remembering my anxiety and dp again and I got worse. Now i bought Paul’s book and its brilliant. I suffer from anxiety and dp but the worse is the dp, the anxiety goes away and the dp seems to stay longer. I just don’t feel myself and it seems the world around me has shifted a little, a bit as if you have just woken up from a dream. I want to feel the way I used to but I cant its really wierd, sometimes it feels like I dont recognise myself anymore, even though I do. When I’m around my family and familiar places I am much better. I do get better when I stop worrying and analysing how i feel and i just get on with my life and do everything like I normally did, this will put me back to how I was before. Its happened before and I have completely recovered, so this time I will recover too.

  93. Kay Says:

    Deborah which is the meds u were on???

  94. lucky Says:

    I sometimes wonder why God allows this to happen? why won’t prayer help us through?

  95. mc Says:

    Hi Paul-

    Sorry think I posted this is the wrong area- so I’m reposting here.

    I’m not sure if this question has been addressed. I have been suffering with DP/anxiety/panic for 13 yrs now. It started when I was 22 yrs old- in college (yes, a lot of stuff was going on, found out bf had cheated on me, roommate and I no longer were friends and the most difficult part, found out my sister of 17 yrs old had cancer)

    I was not a big druggy at all but did try pot once. I flipped out while I was “high” and then NEVER felt the same after that. Can pot (weed) start the Dp cycle? why did it start it for me?

    Been on celexa for 9 yrs went off and had a BAD panic attack and DP is worse than event. When I was on the celexa the Dp was always humming in my ear, never went away fully. But now that I have been off the meds it’s been really bad. The reason why I went off the meds is because my husband and I want to start trying for a family. I have been freaking out for three months now becasue I can’t imagine being pregnant feeling like this and caring for a baby feeling like this. On .5mg of adavan everyday now, I do not want to take drugs while I’m pregnant so I’m waiting until I feel better- but have this pressure eating away at me because I will be 35 very soon….I’m just lost and not sure if we should just start trying now or wait a couple a month until I feel better. Looking for some advice.

  96. brett m Says:

    Hi Paul
    You mentioned in your book that DP doesnt start straight away ,it comes when your mind is tired from constant anxiety, My dp come on the morning after i took LSD,which scared me very much 16 years ago ,although i have tried to accept in the past it hasnt fully gone away , i think it is too deap seated in my head and i will never recover , i was just wondering if you could give me some insight on my situation
    Thanks Brett

  97. ash Says:

    hi, my names ashley and I’ve been suffering from depersonalization since 8th grade, I had to see conselurs, get put on anti-depressants, etc.. once I started to get used to it, it eventually lingered off, but if I thought of the feeling, it would come back. its been 3 years, and it just came back again, and hit me real hard, I feel like I watch what my body is doing without me doing it, I don’t even want to talk because it doesn’t even feel like I’m talking, I feel like I’m going to lose my mind, and I can’t seem to let go of the feeling, I’m scared of it, its my worst fear. everything looks strange to me, people I usually see look strange, I feel like I don’t even exist. I don’t know what I did last time to make it go away. I’m constantly crying and have no motivation for anything. I was just wondering if someone could help me through this? I really need it. Thanks- ash

  98. Kay Says:

    i too suffer from a dp sometimes about three times in my life and its awful i am a very otgoing down to earth person who loves life and this dp happens after a big period of stress its like someone has switched on a button and everything seems strange, sometimes i feel strange and sometimes i am just hyper aware of evrything i do. anyway to get rid of this A-ACCEPT THIS IS HOW U FEEL FOR THE TIME BEING

    eventually this aspect of anxiety will just dissappear when u no longer give it any attention its just like a bad habit that u have formed

    good luck

  99. greta Says:

    Hi to everyone,
    I’m an italian girl, so sorry if my english is not perfect. Anyway, I always had this feeling of depersonalization and anxiety, but what I notice is that for all of you is like a soundtrack of your day but for me is like a flash, it is a second of deep confused feeling of I’m not myself, panic and then I feel confused ( I know who I am and bla bla bla, but I start questioning life, the meaning of everything and the nonsense of everything) … It is almost painful… sometimes I have the generalized depersonalization but what I hate is the flash of dp and dg… I would like to understand if I am the only one who feels this or there is someone else who had this before…

  100. JAN Says:

    Am I ever grateful for having come across this website!

    It hasn`t cured my dp and feelings of unreality but it has reassured me that I`m not as mad as I thought I was!

    I know exactly why I have been suffering on and off for years now, I guess!

    I have always had this awful, awful fear of death and whenever anyone close be it friend or family has died – its when these feelings rear their ugly head!

    Because then I start the analysing – what`s life all about, completely pointless, analysing myself – why am I me, what am I made up of – about 90% water which then makes me feel even more unreal.

    This time I have been feeling like this for about 7 months – due to 2 people dying during last year, and I thought I was eventually beginning to cope with it quite well and could see a light at the end of the tunnel, when
    3 weeks ago – my ex-husband went and died suddenly.

    My partner and I had always had a good relationship with him after I parted company with him and I still cared a lot about him!

    So it has set me right back to square 1 again!

    I sometimes wonder just how much more my poor old mind will withstand!

    But what most of your posts say is me to a T!!

    I just wonder if any of us will ever be completely free of it!

    But all know is that this website helps me immensely – doesn`t cure but helps!

  101. dominic Says:

    please help me i get alot of weird feelings i get dizziness, brain fog, derealization, fatige i get cramping type feeling in back of my head ear itchiness, nausia feeling in my stomach when some one slams a door or makes a banging sound i feel it more in my back then i do the sound in my ears i have racing thoughts i hear alot of noise in my head some nights i have restless sleep and sometimes im a little moody because of it. have never taken drugs or i dont drink alcohol i used to smoke for a couple of years but i quit when i had an episode…. i was trying to sleep one night and i got a weird feeling in my body like it had shut off and then i got up and slapped water on my face but i felt vibrating through my body i freaked out and had this rushing feeling up the back of head continuously hitting me every 2 seconds in waves i went to the ER and they told me to wait by the time they got to me i had gone it had stoped and i felt better but still really weird it had followed me around for 18 months now and whilst i still work and im all right i have had a couple of blood tests and an MRI i have seen a ENT Dr nothing has been found a liitle sinus problem but nothing big…i feel like i am in a movie most of the time i have never had heart pulpitations and never sweat when anxious i constantly tap my foot and i get really scared when i get any weird pain in my head. and i always see colous in my vision i stil have a good IQ when i take the test and i dont get huge highs and real bad lows im getting scared because if some one even mentions death i get anxious and go for a walk. i seen a therapist for 6 months but she never taught me anything she said i was already a cognitive thinker and make assumtions that i may have somataform disorder ( unlikely because thats intense ) she never offered me any constructive advice to what it was that i could have been feeling please tell me if you can help i dont want this to manifest into depression over this whole ordeal i have gotten really good at fighting this but i some days are hard to grasp i feel like i have got no head and i feel like i am letting this beat me. HELP please

  102. dominic Says:

    oh and sometimes i feel sick to the stomach and get this real light headed deep feeling of dread and i just feel like i have a blanket wrapped around my head i feel like i am trapped inside my head and i panic because i feel like i might forget where i am or i keep feeling like im going to loose my way…….i also get these feeling of like iv been away somewhere and cant seem to phatham what i have done for the last few years kind of like m thought are going faster that my head can keep up with and it makes me panic and it is pretty scary.

  103. Michelle Says:

    I like this site especially when I wasn’t the only one who was happy one minute and dizzy and down the next. Derealization is very bad. I am tired of it.. has anyone tried Lucinda Basset or Linden Method? I havn’t but heard it is good but just wanted to make sure if it REALLY helps with derealization and depersonalization….I had this from weed and had it once before I done weed..actually I smoked that day but had it hours later from multi tasking some things…wasn’t all bad..got over the derealization the next day and forgot it but the second time REALLY scared me and now I feel likeI am in a dream and so sick of all this. I hate to think Iam hallucination all this and dreaming this but at the end I am more aware and nice but I hate living like I am okay and ‘normal’…..any ideas anyone?

  104. dominic Says:

    hi michelle, i know exactly what you mean i have had all this and still get it but i know i gotta hang in there……..my email is dominicpanaia@hotmail.com if you need someone to talk to let me know. no one seems to use this thread no more i guess they stopped caring.

  105. Kay Says:

    Hi, I havnt written in nearly 3 years. In all this time I have been completely ok I am still a worrier but have no anxiety. I want to say thankyou to Paul David cos his book helped me alot. It teaches you that you have the power to to get rid off your anxiety & completely recover. Thankyou !!!!

  106. Diane Says:

    Hi all, this is mu first time writting, I have had anxiety on and of for over 30 years. I was doing well having finished my Masters and started a new job. However anxiety has come back big time and the part I am struggling most with is the depersonilsation bouts I am getting.The aanxiety is now affecting my job, my realtionship and I feel like it is taking over again, with me checking myself and panic attavks until I am sick. I am trying to take Pauls advice to live alongside it and take the fear out, however I am really stuggling with this especially the depersonlisation, it scares me and I don’t know how to let go of the fear.I suppose what I am asking is any tips on how other people have done this, I feel like I am a bit on a slippery slope and want to reverse and carry on with my life, any suggestions really much appreciated

  107. Peter V Says:

    I was just wondering if I could get some knowledge on DP, ive had problems with my vision recently where it felt as though my eyes would every now and again skip a beat or like something was moving in my peripheral vision… i also feel a little dizzy and my head can throb.. is this due to over sensitized nerves?

  108. Pat K Says:

    Hallo Doreen and everyone,
    Do hope I have not shocked, disgusted, offended anyone by my revedllation. . What I was had causedo much stress and unhappiness throughoui the years. A vert good councellor/psychologist, whom I saw 8 times fairly recebtly thinks that my lesbianism has played a large part in thiso vert long, daily GAD. \\ii know that there still an understandable predjudice, though for some its no big deal. Anyway I can assure you I am no longer £”o ne of those women”..
    I apologise if I have offended you and shall understand if you do not wish to know me.
    Vert best wishes to all.

  109. Rana Says:

    Im 17 years old and i have already experienced anxiety and now im in a period od depersonalisation. First i was confused i didnt know what was going on with me. I thought i was going mad but when i read your blog i felt so much better. Like there are actually pple out there feeling the same. Anyway i have a couple of questions. Does taking medication for anxiety actually help? And how long does the healing process take? Am i too young to experience this?

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