Well this post was changed from another subject to this as it seems to be a hot topic at the moment and I am going to be very honest about depersonalisation here and try and help people who are still bewildered by it. I will hold nothing back and tell my whole story and the truth behind it.
Firstly lets just refresh ourselves with Depersonalisation and derealisation and why we have it.
Let’s start by saying that D.P is not just an anxiety symptom. I have read a hell of a lot on the subject and people who have been to war can suffer. People who have lost a love one can suffer temporary from it. People who had something happen to them early in their life, that really hurt or shocked them can suffer bouts of D.P. Many people who don’t suffer from anxiety have D.P, although I would say anxiety would be the main reason. So let’s go back to person who went to war and saw things that shocked him and he would rather forget. D.P is his bodies way of shutting down these memories and feelings, to block them out and protect him. Of course these are isolated cases, but they do happen and I have read of a few cases. The second where someone may have lost a loved one, have you ever seen that blank look, as though they are not really listening, they are somewhere else. Again a few people who have lost loved ones can have temporary D.P. It is again the bodies way of protecting them from all the hurt and worry and just like anxiety sufferers they may begin to think very deeply. Once the hurt and pain weakens, they tend to become their old selves again and the D.P leaves them. The D.P is not needed to protect them from all the hurt and pain anymore. The last one where someone may have had something happen to them earlier in their life. Again they may get bouts of D.P to surppress these memories, to shut out the hurt.
Now let’s move on to anxiety and why people suffer with Depersonalisation and derealisation, and why it is only natural that you will. I had anxiety for about two years before I had any symptoms of D.P. I showed no symptoms at all, until how I felt bothered me more and more. I was been moved from one doctor to another and nothing was working. This was about the time I thought I will have to figure it out for myself. So I worried daily about how I felt, spent 12 hours a day trying to figure a way out of this mess, spent my whole day feeling sorry for myself, on the verge of tears at every waking moment. Day after day this went on, until one day I went home and as I was stroking my dog I felt as though I was not really there, my vision seemed blurred and I had no idea what was happening. What happened that day is my mind said, enough is enough, I cannot take this worry and deep thinking anymore and to protect me, and you, I have to shut your emotions down. And it did, I could feel no emotions, no happiness, no joy, the whole world went grey and lifeless and I seemed to become a walking shell. Of course it makes sense to me now that my mind was protecting me. But what happened then is, I began to worry about this new symptom, tried to figure not only the anxiety, but this new sensation of feeling lost and empty. What was happening to me? I was more bewildered than ever, so I thought and worried more than ever. I spent my time now getting worse, I really had entered the cycle that would pull me in deeper. If I had known or been taught about D.P before I suffered then I would have known the reason why it was happening and would not have wasted years trying to figure it out or worrying about it daily, sinking deeper and deeper into the condition.
You see that is why people with anxiety develop Depersonalisation, it is all the worrying and deep thinking about the initial anxiety that brings on the D.P. There is no more explaining needed to be done and this is the reason why. You are not unique and it just shows how popular this subject is and how many people who suffer with anxiety go on to develop D.P. It is the number one thing talked about on here and I receive more emails about it than any other symptom.
So how did I come through my own D.P?
Well before I give a list of things that saw me through, I want to say to everyone and be honest……
It did take a while, there are no quick fixes.
D.P left me when it realised that it was no longer needed. When would this be? When I stopped the deep thinking (trying to figure it all out) When I stopped the daily worrying and feeling sorry for myself. While I was in this cycle, nothing was going to change, it makes total sense that while I did worry and obsess, then my mind would carry on protecting me, more worry, more need to protect. Only when this was reversed, would it ease. Now a lot of habits had built up and yes worrying and obsessing had become a habit, but I allowed this habit to be there whilst I added no more worry and stopped trying to figure it all out daily. The attention was on me for a while and D.P was still very strong, but I decided and I mean from the pit of my stomach to live with this for the time being and question it NO MORE, pay it NO MIND. Not do this for a week and think ‘Oh, it has not gone I must try and fix it’ or start questioning it all over again ‘Oh should I do something about it, its still there, what if its something else’ or feel sorry for myself ‘Oh I hate this, why won’t it go away’ All this stopped and I TRULY accepted this feeling and understood that it was my minds way of protecting me and I had no control over it, so it was better just to get on with my life with it present. This is what a lot of people do, they accept it for a week or so and then become frustrated with it again or begin to question it all over again, they have never really accepted this feeling, more just put up with it. I never even thought about recovery, I just gave up and stopped worrying or fighting, questioning the feeling anymore and recovery came to me. I always say that, don’t go searching for recovery, your body will bring it to you, if you step out of the way and let it.
Here is a list of other things that really help me recover from Depersonalisation and Derealisation
This is a great way of clearing the cobwebs, burning off excess adrenalin, giving you another focus to your day, if you go running outdoors, having a dose of nature. I found this very beneficial.
Keeping away from forums and studying the subject daily.
I run this blog as I think it is great for support and the odd bit of advice. I don’t like forums, as people on there tend to wallow in the subject, drown themselves in it, trying to find that miracle answer. They end up mostly feeling worse and the subject just becomes their day. I took breaks from the subject all the time and stopped doing the google search daily. I knew to begin to feel like my old self I had to pack in as much normal living as possible. Doing normal things makes you feel part of the outside world again. I always tried to live as normal life as possible and never let how I feel stop me. Not always easy, but I am so glad I did as normality seemed to overwrite my years of suffering in time.
Stop obsessing and worrying, trust in yourself.
Pay this feeling no mind and this means truly just get on with your day however you feel. You are not going crazy and this feeling will go when your body feels it is no longer needed. No matter how long you have suffered with this feeling, it will pass and does no long term harm at all. Trust in what I say and trust in your own bodies natural healing system. I keep saying it, but I was worse than most who come on here. My D.P was so bad I could not hold a conversation and I came through. I don’t have one symptom now, my mind can feel a little tired at times, but I have no symptoms of D.P at all and trust me EVERYONE’S body is the same and reacts the same. I can only give advice, I cannot make people follow it and that’s the sad thing. People do believe they have something else and go down the worry cycle again, people do believe there must be a quick fix somewhere and begin to go on their merry search again. Someone once emailed me and said ‘I have read your book but my D.P is still there’ I mean did they read the same book that told them it would take time? No, again they wanted the quick answer, the miracle cure that does not exist.
I hope the above helps people and really do and try and take it on board.