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A very inspiring column about depersonalization and derealization.

May 24, 2010 - 258 comments


The feeling of depersonlisation is due to a shift in brain chemistry, and is due to anxiety/worry etc.
Stress or fear produce a change in your brain chemistry ? an increase of adrenaline and decrease of dopamine - and this feeling of depersonalistion and derealisation is a result. You are not going insane and this will rebalance itself. What makes it persist is that usually a person does not know what it is and so worries/creates more stress  this creates a self-perpetuating cycle. Normally, the safe feeling in the chest after a shock will reverse the change in brain chemistry , lowering adrenaline and raising dopamine, but when you are worrying about the DP, you cannot feel safe.

DP can occur as a result of a trauma. In this case, as well as the above, the brain is taking time out to rest itself ? you have no control over this  the more you try , the more tired your brain gets and it can't feel the safe feeling it needs. By worrying/stressing you are sending signals to the brain that something is wrong - hence it will protect itself even more and so the cycle continues.

If you let it get the rest it needs and just carry on your every day life as best you can, then eventually the safe feeling will return and you will recover. But only if you give yourself a chance to and stop trying to force recovery.

When manifesting as part of another disorder such as anxiety, depression etc, the symptom may never occur again after the person recovers from the primary disorder.

People that have experienced DP as a result of a bad drug trip or experience have NOT caused long term damage  the mechanism is exactly the same, your brain is protecting itself, hiding away to get the rest it needs  whether this be from the fear a bad experience causes or from the long term drain the drug use has on your body.

For some people, there seems to be no trauma, no drug-inducement, no nothing that caused the DP. They may have been just walking along the street one day, when the condition suddenly hit them. The fact that there seemed to be no cause whatsoever can make the condition all the more frightening; it's as if something has gone wrong in the person?s brain for absolutely no reason at all.

But things are not always what they seem. There are a HUGE number of elements that, when combined, can cause a person to experience an episode of DP. For example, your work might be a little stressful. You might be drinking some caffeine and soft drinks etc. You might not be sleeping as well as you should.
You might have small some problems in your personal relationships. You might be suffering from a common ailment like post-natal depression, mid-life crisis, exam stress etc.
And of course, all of these things on their own can seem like they can be coped with on a day-to-day basis. But these various stresses combined over time can cause the body and mind to react in very strange ways.
You might have reduced serotonin due to stress (even if you don't feel that stressed, modern life is pretty stressful in itself) as Tommygunz has theorized - in this case the supplements he has listed will help that re balance but you also need to train yourself out of the over thinking and ruminating habit and try to live day by day as normally and routinely as possible.

For most people, the DP dissipates naturally when they are out of the traumatic situation  but this is not always the case. You can become aware of the feeling of being ?outside yourself? that DP causes and say, Hey why am I feeling like this??
That unease creates more anxiety and fear (which is now actually focused on the feeling of DP/yourself/the environment simply because there is no visible threat to aim itself at ), with the result that the DP is not able to ebb away as your brain chemistry returns to normal. It turns into a cycle of more DP and more fear  generating the thought habit that becomes the actual condition.

Thus there are a variety of causes, but what is common to each case is that the person at some point focuses on the DP, and tries to understand why they are having these feelings.
The excess fear/worry has nothing to focus on; there is nothing specific to be worried about, so the fear is projected onto anything and everything
This also makes the fear self-perpetuating; there is no threat, so you assume that something is wrong with your mind.
This in turn generates more fear  still with no threat around

If certain things (thoughts, environmental factors etc) can affect this, then it must be possible to get out of it altogether by establishing precise habits that do not allow it to persist  distraction and not trying to do anything about it.

Most of us react to the initial feeling of DP by trying to fight against it. But if you think about it, the idea of fighting against one's own natural defence mechanisms is pointless.
By fighting against it, you are making the anxiety worse, and prolonging the DP that is trying to stop that very anxiety/protect the brain against it and give it a chance to recover.

Depersonalisation is simply your mind's way of reacting to an event that's been too traumatic to deal with up front or of dealing with too much stress/chemical imbalance.

When you go through an experience that?s very difficult, your mind says, Right - this is too much for me. I'm staying out of this one! - it pulls back from reality, because it seems too scary. Once again, that's why DP so often seems as if there's a pane of glass between the sufferer and the rest of the world  it's not because of any permanent change, any distancing  it's simply because your mind is trying to stay away from anything dangerous and has created a temporary screen to keep that stuff out.

Say someone gets mugged and stays in for a few days to build up their confidence again. this is exactly what the mind does with DP  it says im staying in the house for a while until I get my confidence back up. Of course, getting your confidence back up takes a lot of effort. But it must be done. Otherwise, that man who got mugged can end up staying in the house for much longer than he should, afraid of going out again.

And here's the most important part: It's up to you to get your confidence back up. You must learn to calm your mind down and coax it out of its fear, out from behind that invisible barrier.

NOT worry it more/tire it more so it wants to stay in even longer! Leave it alone to rest in its own time. But don't let it hide away at the same time?

SLEEP is the safest place your mind knows  this is why you may want to sleep all the time when first ill
To find safety, the mind accesses the comfortable state of sleeping - but does so while you are awake. So part of the sleeping state is temporarily shifted into the waking state. That's another reason why DP constantly feels like a mental grogginess, and why concentration becomes difficult  your mind is in that place where you're just about to drift off to sleep, though your body is fully awake. It's also why DP is always worse after a nap  the mind is much closer to the sleep-state.

So, in order to deal with a scary waking reality, the mind pulls the warm blanket of the sleep-state over itself and waits until it?s ready to come out again. The mind?s proximity to the sleep-state explains further many of the difficult existential / philosophical thoughts that DP generates.
You can find yourself asking questions like, Why am I here? Why am I me?? etc, constantly questioning your own reality: Because of the mind being so close to the sleep-state all the time, life can actually feel like a dream.

And what happens at the end of a dream? You wake up. The dream reality disappears, and normal reality resumes. So one reason for the constant nasty existential thoughts of DP is because you keep expecting reality to somehow stop ? because all your previous dream experience tells you that it should! And of course, that's a scary thought.

But that's all it is  just a thought.
One thing you absolutely have to remember with DP is that reality never changes. It will never stop, it will never fall apart none of those horrible thoughts will ever actually take place. Those thoughts are nonsense. All that has changed is your minds ability to deal with everyday life  but it's a perfectly natural and understandable reaction to a trauma, and it's only temporary.

You know that feeling when you are half-asleep in front of the TV or the radio, The sound can seem a bit louder than usual. Sometimes specific words can set off a strange train of thought.

It's usually a nice, cosy feeling  being set adrift on the river of the mind! But with DP,
you can have those long trains of thoughts even when you're fully awake. The anxiety and fear of being in this state tends to generate fearful, rather than happy or creative thoughts.

It can get very scary at times, yes, but just remember that its nothing more than a slightly different level of awareness ? one that everyone around the world experiences every day . All that is happening is that the DP has temporarily pushed the sleeping level of awareness into waking life in order to protect you from some perceived danger.

The following is true: People who have recovered from DP almost always say, What on Earth was I worried about?? Because nothing really changes at all with the condition  it's just the way you look at it!

In fact, DP is very much an example of a condition that features what psychologists call state-specific learning, and refers to any type of experience that is difficult to remember emotionally (dreams etc). That means that what you feel when you have DP - all the fear, anxiety etc - is very difficult to recall once you get out of it.

For example, I can describe DP to someone in vivid detail, but I cannot remember the feelings of it in the same way that I can remember, say for example, the sadness I felt when I finished college and said goodbye to my classmates. I know that this may sound unbelievable right now, but I guarantee that when you recover completely from DP, you will find it very difficult to even remember these emotions that seem so important at the moment. Much like you cannot remember a dream sometimes, even moments after waking.

People with DP are usually the sensitive, intelligent and reflective type. This is not entirely surprising, since it is introspection and contemplation of temporary feelings that
create the condition in the first place. In my experience, this has actually been a very positive thing, since all of the people I have contacted in researching the condition have always been open, intelligent and optimistic, even in the face of what is often terrible fear.

Ok, so we?re looking at DP as a habit of thought. Now let's compare it to another habit: smoking. If you're a smoker, how do you deal with cravings after you quit? Sure, you can use nicotine patches, gum etc but the bottom line is about having the will power to get past it. But you can certainly help your will power out by distracting yourself from the craving, by ignoring and trying to forget the habit.
For example, a very common tip for smokers is, keep your hands busy. If you play an
instrument, go practice it. If you like to knit, go knit. Go look at some interesting websites for a while.

The exact same idea works with DP.
But because it is a habit of thought, getting out of it is more difficult than simply not
picking up that cigarette. The pink elephant principle applies here - if you think, right, I'm not going to think about DP, the chances are that you won't able to stop! And with DP, that tends to happen over and over again. The harder you try to not think about it, to forget about it - the more you do think about it and the more ingrained the habit becomes. That's why the condition can be so frustrating: it's very much up to the individual to take action but the action taken by the individual often makes the condition worse.

But the bottom line is this: you must train your mind to not think about DP. That doesn't mean you will learn to stop thinking about it, or get rid of the thought but just to think
about something else. And the best way of doing this is to keep your mind constantly occupied. Keep your hands busy! If you play an instrument, go practice. If you
don't play an instrument, start learning one. If you like to knit, go knit. Go surf the web for a while. Always keep busy. And remember: Every time you are busy, you are absolutely working towards something your own recovery. So don't worry about doing even the most frivolous thing. Enjoy it. But stay busy all the time.

It's all about for now, accepting that you are not 100%, you feel strange because your brain is tired out from all the worrying and ruminating and just giving it a chance to rest and recover by living as normally as you can manage and NOT trying to do anything about the strange feelings/giving them any attention.

It's also better to stay busy with activities that involve your mental input more than others. For example, reading or writing can be better than watching TV, since it's easier to drift away into your own thoughts while doing the latter (That said, though, television can also be the source of a good, positive routine, when it is something that absorbs you like a good drama etc). Learning an instrument or a craft is also a good example since it absolutely requires your full attention.

You should also remember that, as with any affliction, laughter is an absolutely wonderful medicine for DP

Talk to as many people as you can. Remember that in spite of any anxiety you may feel, that each and every time you go into town, shopping, meeting friends etc is another bit of progress!
Go out and have fun with your friends. If you stay in all the time, that will become a habit and one that probably won't help.
All DP/anxiety can ever do is make things seem more amplified, more threatening. But reality itself doesn't change. Even if you wanted it to, it couldn't change! All that's
happening is that your mind is scared and jumpy at the moment, and seeing danger everywhere (even in the normal philosophical thoughts that everyone has from time to time).
I know it can be tough, but just remember that this state is temporary and entirely reversible.

One feeling that these thought processes can generate is the idea that reality has somehow changed. You may come to some very strange conclusions about the nature of the condition: for a while, I entertained the nonsensical thought that was in some sort of purgatory?, that I had somehow lost my soul?. You may think that something dreadful is going to happen, like reality falling apart?. Another common thought is that you are somehow going to disappear altogether.

These things have not happened, and will not happen. I have been to the absolute depths of this illness, and I have come out it completely unharmed. There is absolutely no permanent mental damage, there is absolutely no permanent physical damage. Hundreds of thousands of people have had this condition
before you, and none of them not a single one ever managed to change reality! It's all based on irrational fears created by nonsensical trains of thought.

You have not changed in any fundamental way. The world has not changed in any
fundamental way. You are suffering from an ailment that yes, can be very scary at times, but is relatively very mild. It is not even close to the risks associated with most other conditions. I think that may be one of the reasons it's not recognized as much as it
should be; because as scary as it can get, it is a non-progressive condition and, believe it or not, is simply not that dangerous for the sufferer.

Don't ever fight with DP mentally. Take it from me: Fighting it, like fighting with any type of pain, will only make it worse. DP is like the schoolyard bully who calls people names: If
you respond to his taunts with anger or sadness, he knows that he can hurt you and so it will keep happening, day in, day out. But if you simply accept him no matter how
difficult that may be, and how persistent the bully may be it will eventually stop.

Some people who wear visual aids like glasses and contacts have noted that the stress of DP can be reduced by removing them for a while. I
wear contacts myself, and found that removing them did in fact produce a calming effect. Why is this? Because by blurring your vision, you are reducing the amount of information that is being received by your visual cortex. This goes to show, yet again, that DP is to a large extent dependent on your environment and how you experience/interact with it. It simply proves, yet again that DP is not a mental condition that is somehow beyond your control.

With DP, it can seem very tempting to stay in bed all day, not shower etc every day, to just let yourself go a bit.
And sick people are somehow allowed to stay in bed, to not shower regularly, not dress properly etc. I know that I used that excuse for many weeks after I initially developed DP.
However, that's a very negative way of thinking and it will only make the DP worse. In a sense, doing that is actually drawing your focus onto the DP, since you are physically allowing it to affect your life. It's basically the same thing as letting yourself sit for hours watching boring TV  it might seem like the easier thing to do, but in fact it promotes exactly the kind of introspection that DP thrives on and in the long run it will only make things worse.

So, though it might seem easier to not to jump into the shower every day, go for it anyway. You'll look, and more importantly feel much better when you're clean and it'll give you a
solid routine to look forward to every day. Personally, I found that a good time to take a shower or bath is right before going to bed. It calms you down nicely and makes your body
tired and prepared for rest.

Take good care of your appearance in general. Look as good as you can every day! Wear clothes that are comfortable and that look well on you, especially you're going out. Eventually
this outward confidence will soak into your mind and you will start to feel better too.

As I've said, one of the many ways to get out of anxiety is to train your concentration. And a great way of doing this is by focusing on bettering yourself physically. It gives you goals, and something very worthwhile to work at every day.

You absolutely must cut caffeine out of your diet. It will aggravate anxiety and DP. Plus, they also tend to disrupt sleep patterns, which as we know are directly related to DP.
Firstly, it increases heart pressure something you absolutely don't need when trying to get rid of anxiety. Secondly, salt depletes potassium in the body, an essential element for a properly-functioning nervous system.

Everyone loves chocolate and sweets.  I'm a big fan myself. However, these again are bad for
anxiety and DP. As they are digested, they cause a drop in blood-sugar levels, which can set off anxiety and mood swings. Stay away from sweet foods!

By cutting them out of your diet, you are cleansing your body and brain, and helping to bring them back to their best. In fact, by the
time you recover from DP, your general health should be better than ever. Look at anxiety and
DP as your body?s way of telling you that it needs to be rid of all these impurities.

The carbon dioxide in soda water is actually very good for you, since anxious people tend to have low levels of it in their blood. It is good for preventing hyperventilation and also helps the blood flow in general.

In general, fruit and vegetables are very good for diminishing anxiety and DP. Eat plenty of spinach, carrots, onions, beetroot, celery, wholegrain cereals, asparagus, avocado, garlic,
eggs, fish etc. Drink plenty of water every day; keeping your body hydrated is essential for overall health.

Vitamin B6 and 12 are very important for the maintenance of a healthy nervous system, which, I don?t have to tell you, is essential for control of anxiety and DP. They are needed for the maintenance of myelin,the fatty substance that protects the nerves, and are generally good for dealing with fatigue. Vitamin B deficiencies can be caused by a number of factors, primarily stress and anxiety. This, in turn, can cause increased anxiety, loss of appetite and insomnia ? all of which can make DP worse.

Remember to be patient with it ? if you have developed a deficiency, it can take time to build your Vitamin B levels back up.

Calcium ? nerve health

Magnesium supplements are good for the heart, for the blood flow, and can help prevent anxiety and stress. Magnesium can also help to relieve insomnia and depression.

Take a good Omega-3 supplement every day.

Also, you should take a good multivitamin supplement every day.

If your DP has come on because of taking drugs, you may feel quite guilty; Remember: It's not your fault!
It's nobody's fault. Often, the drug may have been a catalyst the metaphorical straw that broke the camel's back. It'BBs quite possible that the stresses in
your life were building up anyway, and that you were about to suffer a panic attack, depression or DP (if you had not had one already). The drug simply sped up that
But regardless of whether or not the drug alone brought on the DP or whether it just hurried up the manifestation of the stresses that were already happening, the end situation
is the same. It is reversible, so don't worry!

And whatever you do, don't feel guilty about anything. DP is a natural reaction. It is not something that can be anybody's fault,
anymore than getting, for example, a bad dose of hay fever is anybody's fault. Your body simply reacted to stresses in a natural way, it and it is now up to you to train it back to
Look at it this way: This is your body's way of telling you that you need to better handle stress in the future, and also to stay away from any substances that may aggravate it. All you
need to do is heed this advice, make the necessary changes in your lifestyle, and soon you'll be back to normal.

So don?t think of this as a mistake, or someone's fault. It's a great lesson to learn, it will enrich your life, so just be happy about it! Also, remember that no matter what the cause of the DP, the condition is essentially the same. There is no difference in marijuana-induced DP and DP caused by general stress levels ? and so, getting out of it will be the
same. And if you have a therapist, don't be afraid to tell them what you think brought on the DP, even if it was illegal drugs. Getting the causes of the condition off your chest will be hugely beneficial to your recovery.

It isn't a great idea to drink with DP - although it may temporarily relieve it, the repercussions are generally worse.
But remember this: If alcohol can temporarily alleviate DP, then that tells us yet again that

DP is a temporary state a combination of a transitory imbalance of brain chemicals and thought-habits - and can be changed. The
practices that you are implementing into your life are all contributing towards making that change ? and making it permanently.

Some people have suffered from DP for a long time ; indeed it can affect some people for years at a time. This does not mean that people are affected with different types of
DP that stay longer than others; it simply means that you have not found the correct thought-habits to get out of it. The thing is that it's way to easy to deal with DP by logging
onto the websites every day, to read every book you can about the disorder, to go to every doctor in your area (who usually know nothing about the condition).

It is not easy, however, to simply try and forget about it and get on with your life. The thing with DP, as with any other type of obsessive
thought, is that there is absolutely no point in trying to suppress it, analyze it or get rid of it.

As I have already noted, telling yourself "Today, I am not going to think about DP" is the same
as saying "Today, I will not think about pink elephants". By acknowledging that you don't want to think about the condition, you are already creating an association that will bother you for the whole day.

The fact that so many people can and do get out of DP on a regular basis (as many posts on website forums prove) means that in theory, anyone can get out of DP. Of course, it may take longer for others and it may take more intensive effort on a day-to-day basis, but the more effort that one puts into getting out of these thought-habits, the faster they will see results.

You might think, well, even if I recover, won't I be likely to just go back in to DP if I have another traumatic experience or stressful period??
Well, if you recover properly, the simple answer to this question is: No.
Like I've said, DP is a habit of thought. What you are doing now is building up a resistance to that habit; replacing that negative habit with healthy habits.

Let's take, for example, the following situation: Let's say you were a smoker for ten years. And then one day, you just realized that it was bad for you.
So you quit. You didn't quit cold turkey, but you phased it out over a couple of months. Eventually, you completely stopped associating
cigarettes with your coffee break at work, with your glass of wine in the evening. You learned to stop wanting a cigarette every time you saw
someone else smoke one on the street. It took time and effort, but you replaced the smoking habit of thought with a non-smoking habit of thought, with positive thoughts.
And then, for argument's sake, let's just say that if, a decade after that, that you're at a party, and an old friend offers you a cigarette. You think, why not?? and you smoke it.
Now - does that mean that you're back to square one, hooked all over again? Of course not. The positive habits you've built up in the meantime are what count. Even if you get a cigarette craving the next day, that's ok because you know how to deal with it. You have the experience to deal with it. You have dealt with it long enough to know that you can get past it.
And it?s the same with DP. After you get through it, you will have completely trained yourself back into a positive habit of thought.
And if  something especially stressful happens to you in the future, and if  you happen to experience the transitory DP that almost everyone does in such situations, you will recognize it, know why you are feeling it, and be able to let it go.

Also remember: The DP won't stop overnight.
There is no miracle cure for the condition, just as there is no miracle cure for any truly bad
habit. - because it is A NATURAL DEFENSE/HEALING MECHANISM - much like you could not 'cure' a scab that forms over a wound - it simply drops off when the wound is healed.

Getting out of it is a progressive de-habitualisation, like learning to stop smoking,or learning to be more positive in general. You have to think of your recuperation in terms of
months, not days. And even at that, it is still quite difficult at times. As with the removal of any habit,you will find that it will return, temporarily, at the
most inopportune times. You see, recovery from DP is not a straight line from habit to non-habit. It is more like a jagged downhill mountain slope: at times, you will have to
climb tough little peaks, other times, you will find yourself trotting happily down an easypath. It varies from hour to hour, day to day. Just remember that no matter how tough
those little peaks get, they are still part of a definite movement towards recovery.

You see, the thing about DP is that because of its habitual nature, it can be very difficult to judge when you are getting better. For example, you might have two good days in a
row. On the third day, for whatever reason, you feel anxious and feel the depersonalisation strongly. Now, if you'd had that day in the
middle of a week-long bout of DP, it would just seem like another bad day.

In fact, it might not even feel that bad  just another day in which you have had to cope with DP. But when you are back in it after a few days of respite, it can seem much worse. Most of that is attributable not to the intensity of the DP itself, but to the disappointment felt when you
think that your escape route has been closed off.

So when you have a bad day (and let?s be honest about it, you will almost certainly have many days that are quite difficult), try not to think, Oh
no, Im back to square one. Just tell yourself:  am not back to square one. My DP only seems worse because I am getting better in general. I have been making improvements and that tells me that one day soon I can completely recover from this condition. If I feel
bad in the meantime I am happy to simply wait until I feel better.

Post a Comment
Avatar universal
by shnubbles, Jan 13, 2011
I love you. Your described the feelings i am having with dp dr so accurately it made me smile the entire time i was reading this. I am currently still suffering from this and this article just gave me so much hope. Thank you very much, and please add me on facebook please:

Avatar universal
by phillippe, Jul 12, 2012
Man I dnt know who you are but you jus saved me from a life of hell..I was scared that I caused brain damage to myself by doin something I shouldn't have and that's what started this...loll this article made me crack up the whole time and the way you were so accurate with the description..loll right now I have my contacts out because it calmed me down even before reading this...THANK YOU You are a godsend

Avatar universal
by Ballerkid, Aug 20, 2012
People have been saying its not temporary, but it IS! I had it after I lost my mother and I didn't know what it was Bc I tried something months before.
And I thought My brain was fried, but it eased up and then I lost my mother. It hit me HARD. I didn't know what to do. Then I read this and it calmed me so much! Thank you. And people remember. Pray! It helps. Stay blessed

Avatar universal
by seve260, Sep 02, 2012
What a great article. DP is domething I have been experiencing for 6 years now. I used to go through fleeting moments of It when I was younger, and all of what you say makes total sence. I would just like to say that I was diagnosed with Lyme disease 3 months ago, and DP has been with me since I got Lyme Disease 6 years ago. At times it has been frightening and constant. Worry definately doesn't help the situation. I am so glad I read this. I just hope the principles are the same when DP is caused by an infection. I am on antibiotics now, and I have seen slight improvements. Thanks

Avatar universal
by jo564, Sep 10, 2012
I feel like I'm completely out of all the detachment but I for some reason I can't remember how I even should feel. It's been 4 months and the whole time I've been staying busy to get better I at least felt like myself and felt connected to my family. Now that I'm coming out of it i feel less like myself and less connected to kids. I'm sure that's just another thought but I can't seem to get over this. I have no confidence now and I just feel like I'm walking in circles now that I'm coming out of it. Will the me ever click again with confidence. I just feel like I have no clue who I am or how I used to be. Is this normal when coming out of it or am I just overthinking this? Are these just more unwanted thoughts? Any suggestions would be great! Thx!

Avatar universal
by phillippe, Oct 10, 2012
I suggest everyone read as a man thinketh thoughts on the body it might be exactly what u need

Avatar universal
by phillippe, Oct 10, 2012
The book is by james allen

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by kirtyleigh, Oct 17, 2012
ive done alot of research and reading, and this is one of the best articles I have read, it gave me a better understanding and a clearer perspective on things, thank you! I was wondering though, before my dp/dr started I had been expiriancing social phobia/anxiety, (i geuss its more like social anxiety because i tried not to/didnt avoid social events) i was wondering if this fades with the dp/dr? like when I eventually cure it along with the anxiety, will my fears, social stress and other things go? I have probably made myself believe that i suffer from more things than i do, but im wondering if it is all completely caused by anxiety and if it will all go away together with the right therapy and with time?

Thanks so much!


Avatar universal
by PinkLisa, Oct 21, 2012
Wow it's very long to read but worth reading. :) I have social phobias and anxiety and panic attacks. Does this go away when the Depersonalization/Derealization goes away? I guess I have to look up the book by James Allen.

Thank you very much!


Avatar universal
by Strale, Nov 24, 2012
Really nice.

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by Strale, Nov 28, 2012
Damn I have to read this few times a day.

Avatar universal
by Kaylah_Jayde, Nov 30, 2012
I love this!! I have been suffering derealization for about a month now and although it is fairly new to me it is very scary, this has reassured me so so much and I want to try take some of the advice and help myself to rest and recover :) I am going to try my hardest and hopefully soon I can feel alive again!

Avatar universal
by Raq1000, Mar 05, 2013
Thank you for this information. It is bang on, even with the taking off the glasses thing. I do this and it does work! I have been dealing with this for about 3 years now on and off. It ***** and some days are good and some are bad. It all started after i lost a friend to Cancer and I was taking an extremely difficult and time consuming accounting course, and i had just gotten remarried , and I think everything just built up and I had that first awful experience. It terrified me and still does, and I try not to think about that feeling, but can't help it and I associate it with being in meetings ( as the first one happened in a classroom) and now also when stuck in traffic as I had another experience while in traffic. Most of the time I can calm it but sometimes it is sooooooooooooooo hard.  I just want to be back to my normal self. I will read this again and again as it has been helpful. i am also happy to know that I am not alone in this struggle.

Avatar universal
by luckyakhi, Mar 07, 2013
Ditto for me :
"your work might be a little stressful. You might be drinking some caffeine and soft drinks etc. You might not be sleeping as well as you should.
You might have small some problems in your personal relationships. You might be suffering from a common ailment like post-natal depression, mid-life crisis, exam stress etc"

And yes I projected my fear on everything around.

Avatar universal
by myoami, Jul 14, 2013
what about people with DR ?  I have been suffering from it for 15years...

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by Luckaloo, Sep 10, 2013
I hear both sides of the story, that some people have come out of it and that some people haven't... I've been dealing for little over a year. There are times when I almost feel like my old self but mostly I feel like a space-case. I'll never let it destroy my life but what I wouldn't give just to really feel again. Derealization is like a giant buffer between you and the world, it really muffles your experience. Truly a cursed thing.

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by alex681, Sep 17, 2013
I have been suffering for 6 months now. I don't know if I'm doing things right basically. all I do is just watch TVs go for walks go look around at store. Get on the internet cook clean. And go to hangouts. But I still am not feeling better am I doing the right thing?

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by MoeH, Sep 30, 2013
This is so wonderful and my fear and depression about this evaporated as I read. I have printed most of this out to stick in my night stand so that I can easily pull it out when I go through this again. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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by kmso81, Nov 16, 2013
very good article, your explanation of the symptoms and how to deal with it..  reflect how you completely understand the condition.

i truly appreciate your help.


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by codyboo, Jan 15, 2014
DP and DR are very very similar in their mechanisms and can be cured in the same way as explained in the first post. Don't worry about the definitions!

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by Ceories93, Feb 10, 2014
Does DP and DR also cause moments of Deja Vu?
Almost like having a dream that you think you had before, or that you think you experienced in real life, but realizing shortly after you didn't.
I seem to experience these moments of deju vu frequently during DP/DR.
I'm assuming that its because of the brain trying to rest while my body is awake.

thoughts anyone?

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by jac322, Feb 15, 2014
Thank you for all your research and conclusions. Based on my own life of DP/DR, I found this very comprehensive and accurate.

Good point about removing visual aids (in order to diminish stimulation): This is most likely why squinting has worked for me during an episode.  

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by macattack420, Feb 15, 2014
great article, if any one wants to talk email me!!

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by macattack420, Feb 15, 2014
seba_oprinca***@****     ***

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by lrakvon18, Mar 02, 2014
WOW! You couldn't have put it a better way! I'm 20 years old and My depersonalization has almost completely Gone Away. It started a few months after a suicide in my family(Major Trauma) and my DP would be triggered almost every time I ate food.

It turns out for me it was all Food allergies that I think were creating too much stress on my body and mind and the trauma that caused my DP. I also Had severe arm tingling to the point where it would lock up my fingers so I couldn't move them.

Thank God I Found and went to a NAET Practitioner. She eliminated my allergies one by one every week. Now My mind has felt sooooooo much better. It was like taking straw off the camels back. More and more stress(straw) being taken off made me feel like a Kid again.

Visit to find a practitioner this could change you life and health as it did me.

I was allergic to Many things like Minerals,B vitamins,serotonin,Vitamins A and D ect Dairy,Eggs,Beef. Well if you allergic to any foods no matter how healthy they are your body doesn't properly absorbed them. I was even allergic to foods that would actually heal my allergies and aid my sysmtoms and make me feel better :(

Overall I'm Doing 95% Better and in some areas 110%.

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by JayDoria, Mar 29, 2014
Thank you so much for this article, you saved my life.

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by mielaniekse, Apr 10, 2014
Hello, I am ill DR, or anti-depressants to help (Sertralin?) I feel a constant anxiety, I can not in any way complacent. This feeling horrible ..: (

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by dkkonieczny, Apr 18, 2014
   Does anyone think this problem could be hereditary? I had this same thing when I was10-15 years old. Now my 17 year old son has this. I wish I could make it go away for him, but I think I out grew it.

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by carnevn03, Apr 22, 2014
WOW... you have honestly saved my life. I have been experiencing DP for over 3 years now all because of a traumatic experience smoking weed. I felt like the weed permanently changed my brain and was gonna have to live feeling like a zombie forever. My life is at rock-bottom right now, dropped out of college, destroyed relationships with my family and girlfriend, and had thoughts of suicide almost everyday but your article has given me hope! I feel like this fog in my mind can be lifted and I will finally feel alive again! God Bless you whoever wrote this article!

ps. this might sound crazy but I was thinking that that starting to smoke marijuana again when i am relaxed will help assist my recovery from DP and rewire my brain to be more relaxed in general. Since marijuana is what triggered my DP in the first place. Is this a bad idea? If anyone has any thoughts or advice you can email me at ***@****. Thanks

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by englishborn, May 01, 2014

It isnt that dp/dr is hereditary but it might be that your family are a little more prone to anxiety, maybe due to where you live, how you were brought up, stress brought on from things out of your control. Also seeing someone with anxiety can heighten your own anxiety as seeing someone in distress is not nice.

I would strongly advise against smoking again, it may relieve the feeling for a short time but it will also increase your anxiety later and therefore strenghten the DP/DR symptom. The best thing for you is to live life, fake it until you make it, let yourself feel bad and dream like, when we start to accept it the fear and horror starts too fade, this stops the feedback cycle that DP creates.

We get DP/DR due to stress and anxiety so the mind retreats to a safer place, we are scared by the symptoms so the dp/dr stays.

Get lots of exercise and eat healthy, socialise lots as it is hard to feel bad when having a laugh with friends. I would also seek out a CBT Therapist as they will help you understand why the dp/dr has occured and the thought processes that help keep it alive and keep you anxious. For anxiety (and dp/dr) knowledge is power, if we are able to rationalise the feelings and sensations it helps take away the sting mentally.

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by carnevn03, May 03, 2014

I really appreciate the advice. This has been a big problem for me for years and going out of your way to personally answer some of my questions means the world to me.  It is really hard but you are absolutely right. I have to learn to accept the DP/DR feelings right now and make the most of it. My only question is, I know I was really anxious about the entire marijuana situation at first but lately it has been enjoyable and helps relieve chronic pain in my knee. I would hate to give it up unless it truly had lasting effects on my brain. However, I have been to numerous counseling/psychiatrist sessions and they all insist that the marijuana itself cannot cause any permanent damage to your brain. If this is the case than how could the marijuana increase my anxiety later and strengthen the DP/DR symptoms?

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by englishborn, May 05, 2014
I dont believe it can cause permanent damage to the brain, but it can make people more anxious, hence people say they got paranoid sometimes when smoking it. With an anxious mind where we are trying to learn how to rationalise our fears again this can be a massive set back and undo any progress you were making.

I understand you use it to help pain relief but I dont think in the long run it is helping your anxiety and therefore your dp/dr symptoms. You might alos be using it as a safety behaviour, if it makes you feel less anxious and reduce the dp/dr you may feel that it is the only way to help relieve the horrible symptoms, which stops you from accepting the feelings as easily (it is hard I know, and takes time and effort to confront them).

I suggest reading a book called At Last a Life, it is by a guy who had anxiety and dp/dr for 10 years solid and finally found a way out of it by accepting it, as he put will not get out of anxiety if you fight it... He gives a lot of advice and comfort which helped me recently when I had a big setback.

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by Santiee, May 11, 2014
My DP makes me feel like life is not worth living... and i hate it because before all of this i lived life. Ive had it for 2 months and its been a life changing experience and it killed my personality and feeling tours life. THANK GOD IM NOT SUICIDAL but man it makes me feel worthless. I am doing things to make me feel a little better like jogging and eating a little more healthy.  But its hell because it makes me see human life as something strange and weird and it makes me feel like ****. I feel so disconnected from my family and environment. I have little hope that i will ever feel alive and like my old self but I'm beginning to accept it somewhat.

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by englishborn, May 15, 2014
The moment you start to accept it is the moment you give it permission to start leaving you. It is a defence mechanism to protect us in very stressful situations, allow to be removed from emotions so we can fight or run from danger. However when we become scared and worried by the sensations the primeval part of the brain keeps us in that state to keep us protected not understanding it is the protection that is scaring us.

By slowly accepting it and talking to our scared mind we slowly allow the older part of the brain to relax and allow the rational part to become more active again. This can be achieved by any methods, simply living your life and trying not to dwell on it with time will bring you out of it. If however you struggle to accept it then CBT can help you understand the sensations and this allows us to be more prepared by the DP/DR and see it for what it is.

Your older part of the brain is in charge at the moment, it is doing its job too well, this is why we start to get scared by other things which are not DP/DR, like existential questioning which usually starts due to the feeling of unreality, our brains are developed to seek answers and we start to believe we or the world isnt real because the mind uses the evidence of unreal feelings as proof we are not real.....however it is reaching the wrong conclusion. By challenging those questions and not dwelling on them it reduces the potency, which in turn brings down your stress and anxiety levels, which in turn allows the DP/DR to fade, or in some cases suddenly go away.

In order to recover you need to break the negative feedback loop of your anxiety over the symptoms and address what event or root cause of the anxiety (social anxiety, self esteem issues, bad trip with drugs....etc), it is hard work but you will slowly tred down the road to recovery, even if you do not realise it. Try not to compare how you feel today compared to yesterday or even last week, compare it month to month. You might feel awful now, but a month ago you were stuck in bed crying.....slow and steady steps. Feel free to PM me.

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by carnevn03, May 16, 2014

Thanks so much for your advice. I ended up buying the book you recommended and it has really given me hope and a whole new perspective on life. The hardest part for me was realizing that drugs/marijuana did not change my brain permanently. These feelings of DP/DR I have are not from the drugs it is just a result of my constant fear and worrying about them. Now that I truly learned to believe and accept this I am slowly starting to feel better everyday. I no longer have anything to worry or be anxious about because I know that marijuana only has temporary effects. The true me is still here! It's only been a few days and I feel like a new man already. At first I had fear that it would come back and would get scared if I started to feel a little anxious again, but I learned to just let it in and am no longer scared of it. This is such a hard thing to overcome because the people who care the most are the ones that suffer the most. Thank you so much englishborn for reaching out and giving me advice. Your words have honestly saved my life. I am proud to say I am finally DP/DR free. God Bless You.

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by englishborn, May 18, 2014
That is really good news Carnevn03, so pleased you have allowed yourself to move on from the symptoms. Keep at it, you may experience a set back or two when extra stress enters your life, but remember these are normal in recovery and just take them in your stride, you may not have any and that will be great.

It does show that it was just the bad reaction to the drugs and nothing more, you most likely dont have another underlying root cause and now can look ahead in your life.

All the best, stay off or limit the drugs/marijuana and enjoy your life, as a favour if you ever see someone suffering anxiety do not hide that you once suffered, finding success stories and meeting people who have recovered is a massive boost.


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by JAYARR8, Jun 29, 2014

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by englishborn, Jul 07, 2014
DP and DR are very similar things, do not be concerned if you start to feel the other, it is all coming from the same place. Dreamyone drinking and smoking weed is doing you no favours at the moment, it is giving you some very short term relief, but in the longer term you are just keeping yourself in a dp/dr state.

DP/DR comes from anxiety, you can see this yourself with it all starting with a bad trip, the added bad trips have deepened your anxiety, added extra layers of fear which your irrational state is latching on to.

Drinking while in an anxiety state is a very bad idea when you are in the depths of it. A hangover and the effects of alcohol naturally will feed our anxieties, which in turn increases the sense of unreality and detachment.

When you drink or smoke you are indulging in a safety behaviour, similar to someone suffering from agoraphobia will stay indoors to stop the feeling of anxiety from happening. In order to recover you need to accept the feeling, even though it is distressing, when we accept we are feeling horrible it starts to remove some of the horror and gives our older part of the brain a bit of a rest.

Keep telling yourself the symptoms are just from anxiety and not that you dont exist or that you are not really you, or you are dying. All it is the bad trip triggered the primevil part of the brain, whose job it is to keep you safe (the fight or flight responce), the problem is it is doing its job too well at the moment and will not quiten down, so you need to start soothing it. When you feel anxious and your thoughts are racing and you feel dp/dr tell yourself "this is a symptom of anxiety and worrying about it is only feeding my anxiety and doing me no favours what so ever!" and then distract yourself from it, eventually you will be able to dismiss the thoughts much easier.

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by Naturalhealing2, Jul 07, 2014
This post has been very helpful to me , I've had DR since January , and have experienced the fear that seemed to come from the feeling of having DR thus creating a vicious cycle of fear, and the desire to be in bed all the time, I'm an truly tryin to retrain my brain, I've started jogging again, taking vitamins and I'm working on my diet, I feel like I cannot attempt to work in my field because of this, my concentration and focus isn't there right now, is anyone out there able to deal with this while working? I don't feel like its okay for me to even attempt to work? My job requires focus... I'm an RN

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by englishborn, Jul 10, 2014
Hi Naturalhealing

It is great you are jogging and taking supplements (even if it only for the placebo or indeed they do help, I never could tell) all this is going to make your mind slowly come out of this in time.

Does your work know of your current state? If so I would ask if for the time being could you take on some other duties if they agree your focus isnt currently there. Ironically the focus of the job should be a great tool for retraining the brain, as doing anything other than worrying helps break the feedback loop of anxiety and dp/dr. Last thing anyone should do with dp/dr is quit their job and/or hide away.

I hope you are finding time to socialise when away from work, this for me is one of the biggest healers.


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by michhh, Jul 16, 2014
hi! im 17 and my family recently decided for ius to move acros the country to kansas out of no where! we i was told and we moved in about a week and it triggered my anxiety really bad. at first it was to normal anxiety i.e. stomach pains headaches unable to eat ect ect, then it turned into dp and it really really freaked me out because ive never experienced a feeling like this and it was so hard to explain. i thought i was insane until i started researching. the main promblm i think triggered my anixity is i am all about my education and school and friends and since we moved i would have a whole new schoool and it scared me a lot until my brain just turned off. this has been happening for about 3 weeks/a month and i actually feel like i recover a bit each day since i started exercising and eating healthy to relieve it but some days are really bad. i feel really good today but i still feel the dp and it scares me becasue i have no idea what it feels like to be normal, so i start to worry if im better but my mind is just forcing me not to be..? can you please explain how you feel when you recover becasue that thought is holding me back i think

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by michhh, Jul 16, 2014
also im not socially anxious i actually was very outgoing and i had a lot of friends, but i also was very attached to them and my school everyone loved me there. im also very intelligent with a 4.5 gpa and ive known ive always had anxiety but never to this extent. i try to think normal thoughts but i dont even remeber what normal thoughts are and thats what acres me the most.also my mom made me a doctors appointment on friday and im scared they will put me in a mental institution if i tell them how i really feel. i could really use your advice

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by timmyjonstearns, Jul 16, 2014
I'm 90% I have DP/DR (from smoking cannabis) but I'm not sure because I have a few symptoms that haven't really been adressed. When I look around (it can be anywhere, oddly enough it mostly happens in my house) everything looks unfamiliar to me and all I can think about is how it looks so odd. I feel like I act on impulse, like I'll say something and immediately after the words come out of my mouth I can't remember even thinking of that response before I blurted it out. It also feels like nobody can relate to me, it's like I'm in my own ****** up world and I hate it! My memory is terrible and my sense of time seems to be extremely distorted to non existent. Can someone please let me know if this is a result of DP? I want to know if doing what this article said will alleviate these feelings :(

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by englishborn, Jul 17, 2014
I had very strong DP/DR 24 hours a day, however some times it would be stronger and sometimes a little bit weaker, but I initally didnt take any comfort from that, all I could do was worry about the symptoms and question is things and me were real. Feeling like you are in a dream is completely normal for dp/dr, all it is your mind has gone into "safe mode" the problem is the safe mode feeling is scaring us and therefore keeping us in safe mode. The best thing to do before you can deal and cope with the symptoms a bit is to distract yourself like there is no tomorrow. The more time you have to think about things the worse for you, so fill your day. Play computer games, do work, do anything that takes your mind of it even for a short time.

This will slowly allow you to reach a point where you can start saying "this is only a symptom of anxiety and whilst I feel horrible I will not let it dictate my life" and this will start to slowly calm your mind down. It may take a while, it is different for everyone, some even snap out of it but most it is a slow fading.

There is hope, in your state it doesnt feel like it but talk to anyone who is somewhat down the road or recovered and they will recall feeling as if there is no hope.

Hi Michh, I remember clearly desperatly trying to remember what it feels like to be normal and reaching so hard to try and feel normal. The problem is all that was doing was increasing my worry and therefore making sure the DP/DR stayed as the older part of the brain felt there still was a threat. Compare yourself not day to day or even week to week but month to month, we live in the moment and even a good day can feel like hell. However a bad day in a month will still feel like crap but when you look back a month this would have been a good day. Recovery feels like looking back and realising you dont feel as bad back then, you dont really feel as if you are better as your mind is still anxious and looking for a threat, when in reality it has calmed down a bit and your symptoms are not as bad.

Try not to obsess on getting better, as this helps keeps your mind aware there is something wrong, when you find yourself dwelling on the symptoms and other anxious thoughts quickly distract yourself until you can push those thoughts away by yourself. This also applies to thinking "normally" you are not able to think normally because you are in an anxious state, and you know what that is ok, let yourself have the thoughts but remind yourself it is because you are anxious and when you start to recover your mind will quieten down again.

There is no way a doctor will put you in a mental institute, this is an irrational anxious thought, mention you have anxiety and the main symptom is dp/dr and he/she will hopefully recommend CBT therapy, if not request it. Do you feel like you are going mad? Well you are not, mad people do not know they are mad, so if you worry you might be going mad is proof you are not.

Hi Timmy, what you are describing are classic symptoms and thoughts of DP and DR, it is all because your mind has become anxious, the older part of the brain has been under stress or been triggered by the weed and therefore is now searching for a threat. It is a natural response to a stressful situation, the mind goes into safe mode shutting down emotions and protecting you from mental stress. The problem is the feeling of our minds doing this is very scary when we notice it, and this worry over the symptoms keeps the symptoms there.

Ability to track time
Feeling seperated from your body
Feeling as if you are 2 people
Feeling as if you are watching yourself
Feeling as if you own communications are not your own
Feeling as if people are just objects or not there
Memory worsens

these are all symptoms of DP/DR which in itself is a symptom of anxiety. I remember having these feelings and thoughts but I cannot remember how they feel now, because my mind is slowly coming out of it, I still have scary thoughts and still find myself checking if reality is real, but I know that will fade slowly too and must not let it dominate my thoguhts.

I hope you all find this comforting, can I also ask you not to read DP/DR forums as they are usually full of people who are not doing the things they need to recover and are in despair, your anxious minds will latch onto any bad news currently. Read recovery stories if you must go on the internet to research it, the horror stories are the very very small minority but because they are in a hopeless place right now they are very loud. Someone who has recovered tend not to visit forums on DP/DR as they are getting on with their lives again.

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
will their ever be a day where i wake up and the first thing on my mind isnt my anxiety? i feel like my thoughts are keeping it alive even if they are positive they are still about my anxiety and sometimes i feel like evrything about me is back to normal and my thoughts just want to hold be back my making me think i still have it you know?

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
i also am too aware that im a person sometimes and it scares me, like im scared of thinking becasue its always about my anxiety and i just dont want to be myself anymore

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
im really freaking out right now actually and idk what to do i just want to die or sleep forever i just cant handle this feeling, i cant even explain it it scares me so much im just afraid and i cant love this way please please help

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
being alive actually scares me at this point

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
also does dp make you feel like nothing matters anymore? like when i used to see just trees outside i would think they are beautiful and im so happy to be alive and i had dreams and goals. now i just feel like everything is pointless and life is a void. i hate this feeling because i am the one who usually convinces people that life is beautiful. is this also dp or do i have like major depression too.??

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
will i ever get my ambition back? and lolo soryy im posting so much i just want to fully understand whats happening to me so i can fight it

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by timmyjonstearns, Jul 17, 2014
To michhh, I don't know what to say to help you but I feel exactly the same, it's horrible and I hate it. I'm trying to do what is recommended for a recovery and it's so hard because I wake up and think "if I can do all the right things this could be gone in 5 months!" But at the end of the day all I can think about was how long that day was, and how many days are in a month and it's just terrifying. Keep it together man, I'm trying and finding hope is hard but hold on to what little bit you have.

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
to timmyjonstearns, please dont loose hope, the reason im holding on is i can still remember who i used to be and im just really determined to get back to that person, i just have really bad moments sometimes. i was having a panic attack earlier but right now i actually feel ok i was even able to laugh and smile but i just still have that lingering feeling in the back of my mind and i still have the constant worrying about how i feel. the hardest thing for me is just letting go and giving the dp the room it needs to go away because im so obsessed with how it feels to be normal again and i overanalyze everything i do .

to anyone who can help, at this point it just feels weird being alive and i keep questioning the meaning of existence.. is this normal for dp? i feel like i have really good moments and bad moments all in the same day every time i feel the worst at the end of the day i feel the best. and sometimes i question if i even have dp and im just being dramatic but i think its the anxiety speaking, i just really want it to be gone more than anything but i keep praying for strength to get through and i remember everything happens for a reason and everything is temporary

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
i also sometimes feel like my mind is looking for dp even when i feel ok which makes me think ill never be normal again because my mind cant let it go and i dont remember what my mind thought about all day before.

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by michhh, Jul 17, 2014
its like my mind doesnt want me to get better and its scared of being normal. but i really do want to get better

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by michhh, Jul 19, 2014
also this perfectly explains how i feel is this anxiety/dp or is it something different

".I feel hyperaware of my existence,like I am too conscious.I feel like I was unconscious all my life and now my mind opened and I am ovely conscious of my existence and it's scary.I feel afraid of life,of me being me,and feel stuck being alive and having consciousness.It's super weird and it gives me panic attacks,very very bad panic attacks.I am afraid of the fact that I exist,it's like a phobia of existence ( not death),it doesn't make sense, I don't know how to explain it to my psychiatrist either because I decided I am going back on meds,I can't live like this,It's hell,I want to shut my consciousness to how it was before but I feel that now I am 'aware' of something I wasn't aware before ( of my own existence) and there is no way back,once someone is aware of something you can't get UNaware of it.I don't know even what it is,I think it is anxiety but I am not very sure,it's HYPERANXIETY may be,am I the only one with this weird symptom?I feel like an alien,like I am new to 'living'. I freak out not because of any straight reason but because well.. I'm alive. I feel like my whole life before this I was living unconscious and now I am conscious and it's very very scary. Initially it starter with panic attacks now it's a constant feeling 24/7,can someone relate?"


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by englishborn, Jul 21, 2014
Hi Michhh

I can tell you are in great distress over the symptoms, this is feeding the anxiety and thus keeping the dp/dr alive and stronger. Everyone who gets stuck in dp/dr starts to get very existential questioning. I personally went through a huge amount of questioning reality, questioning how can things be alive, how can my thoughts be me etc...

I also became hyber aware of all surrounding me, the feel of wind, smells and I questioned how did I used to ignore these they seemed so important but not in a good way.

This all happens because our minds always try and find an answers to questions. Our minds in DP/DR search for the answers from our senses over the odd feelings of dp/dr, and it concludes that things are not real, which is a false conclusion. This leads to a huge amount of questioning everything around and mentally exhausts us, but the dp/dr will not allow our minds to rest as we are petrified of it. The anxiety also makes us over sensitised to everything, this is why you are paying attention to things you wouldnt even bother with earlier, coupled with the existential questioning your anxiety latches onto this heightened sense of place and finds things to worry about.

As you calm down the feelings of dp/dr will fade and so too will the questioning and thoughts you are getting. It will likely take time but your mind will recover and you will look back and be amazed you even were able to think like that.

Avatar universal
by timmyjonstearns, Jul 21, 2014
Just thought I'd come give an update, I still lightly feel some symptoms when I'm not doing anything but I feel so much better! Even thiugh I know it's only been about a week since I heavily felt symptoms. I'd like to share what I've been doing in hopes in may help others. I've been getting extra sleep, and when I wake up I take vitamin C, and a B complex vitamin supplement. I also eat much healthier, new favorite snack is celery and peanut butter! I have been running everyday. I also try my best to go out and do things with my girlfriend or family to keep my mind occupied. It may or may not work for you Michhh but give it a try. Cheers and good luck my friend

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by timmyjonstearns, Jul 21, 2014
I just want to clear up, I do still feel the symptoms, but by "lightly" I meant it's  bearable now. (Knock on wood)

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by miadia93, Jul 22, 2014
hi all. i'm in kind of a similar position to michhh and before i even really recognized this as DP I was convinced I was quite depressed. this all came after a bad LSD trip on top of a period of chronic stress in school that had lead me to a place of really intense burnout in EVERYTHING (including friendship and social situations, as much of my anxiety previously was related to my two closest friends going down a super drug-ridden path and me feeling like i no longer knew/understood them, and like i, who had previously thought myself to be open minded, was suddenly this anti-drug NARC or something, which threw my whole identity into question). i haven't had an appetite in a few months and have a really really tough time sleeping. it's like i can't allow myself to feel comforted by sleep, so i can't slip into it. i can't tell when i'm sleeping or not and mainly just lie in bed anxious and uncomfortable and not focusing on anything in particular, but very afraid to let my mind slip away into sleep. most of my rumination centers on my personality/identity, time, and aging and I've reached a point where I've almost totally invalidated my old self (old thinking patterns, joys/pleasures etc), so it's like i'm stuck--I don't even know what i'm trying to get back to, but i'm in a terribly uncomfortable state of existence right now. i literally take comfort in nothing. i never know how I should feel or what should bring me pleasure vs. what should bring me stress or pain. i think that i am suffering from depression as well, and that makes it particularly difficult to distract myself, as tv and books exacerbate my thinking patterns (I don't understand why i used to like them, think really negative thoughts about the characters etc) or i focus on how superficial i feel their values/the things that give them enjoyment are, but, simultaneously grieve over the fact that i can no longer (or may never) be able to take pleasure in the same superficial things.

i guess mainly i just want to know: do I need to work through these things? or just carry on as best I can and hope that the thoughts stop? does anyone else have trouble eating or sleeping? do anyone else's thoughts center around their own identity/personality/traits or aging/time and things like that? did anyone else over analyze every aspect of their life to the point where they can't get pleasure or comfort out of anything anymore?

for context: i'm a 21 year old female going into my senior year at a pretty rigorous university and trying to keep it together/figure things out over the summer so that I don't totally lose it when I go back to school in September. have had a lot of suicidal/self harm thoughts, just because i get convinced sometimes that my self image/world view so messed up that nothing can help me. any feedback would be splendid. thank you.

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by michhh, Jul 23, 2014
miadia93, you perfectly described exactly how im feeling! i have the EXACT same thoughts and feeling and im kind of relieved im not the only one. every time i try to do something i used to enjoy i cat enjoy it because im overthink and questioning. the questioning on existence has gotten really really really bad these last two days and im going to be starting my senior year in high school next month and i really dont want to feel like this when school starts. "just because i get convinced sometimes that my self image/world view so messed up that nothing can help me. " is my exact feeling

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by michhh, Jul 24, 2014
I feel like I'm dead. Sometimes I have really good moments where I'm really motivated to get rid if this then I try to do something to distract myself and I can't feel joy or anything really. I honestly just feel like I died in Indiana and they brought my ghost to Kansas. I find EVERYTHING meaningless now like when I try to do anything like reading my mind just goes what's the point and I hate that thought/ feeling so much I used to be happy about the smallest things now I just feel hopeless and dead. Every day when I wake up is pure torture I just want out of this illness.

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by michhh, Jul 24, 2014
hi dreamyone,yes i did have only a few times. sometimes i just feel so normal (like now) but my mind just wont let me be. it keeps me thinking analyzing everything, i sometimes feel like maybe ive had this my whole life but used it for good because i would daydream 24/7 but i think that was just normal teenage stuff, im trying really hard to replace my anxious thoughts though its just i cant connect to anything and it scares me, im trying not to let it though but its so hard.

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by michhh, Jul 28, 2014
englishborn can you please respond. my irrational thoughts have pretty much gone away and im able to ignore ym amxious thoughts but i still can only think about my anxiety 24/7 if i just let the thoughts go and ignore them will they enventually go away? i just never want to think of them again or at least not every moment of the day. but im doing much better

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by englishborn, Jul 28, 2014
That good to hear Michhh, yes eventually your thoughts will move away from your anxiety. Currently the ,most important thing your mind feels is important is your anxiety as it seems to be a threat. As your mind calms down so will your constant thoughts about your anxiety, until you will find it odd to think you even worried about your anxiety. IN fact worrying about your anxiety is the only thing keeping you in an anxious state....kind of funny in a way, if it wasnt such a horrible feeling.

There will be ups and downs along the way, sometimes you will hardly think of it other times it will seem as if it is as bad as ever. Just keep distracting yourself and if you can find yourself a good CBT therapist, they will speed up the process.

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by michhh, Jul 28, 2014
ok you so much ive really just been ignoring the thoughts because im 100% confident now that they will go away i just need to have patience its hard sometimes but im getting better at it everyday. i have a question about CBT though, wont it just remind me of the anxiety every time i go?

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by michhh, Jul 28, 2014
and youre 1000% right my anxious thoughts are the only thing keeping me anxious it *****

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by michhh, Jul 28, 2014
also should i just let my thoughts be and wait until they go away? or retrain them because every time i try to think of something else at all i can only think of my anxiety so i just decided to let them be will this work? or should i try harder?

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by michhh, Jul 28, 2014
and sometimes i have really good days (like today) and i always question if this means im back to normal and it causes me to obsess over how i feel, when you actually are back to normal will you not even worry about it at all?

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by michhh, Jul 30, 2014
also englishborn:
do you not think of your anxiety 24/7 anymore because thats the only thing left and i dont even know how to replace my thoughts or what to do its really hindering my life i cant do anything at all, i cant even have one thought without immediately thinking after an anxious thought. i feel like the only way to not think about it anymore is if i got amnesia and forgot.

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by michhh, Jul 30, 2014
i dont want to just ignore them for the rest of my life, i want them gone

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by englishborn, Jul 31, 2014
Hi Michhh

There are only 2 reasons why anxiety will stick around, either the underlying cause is still there (extreme low self esteem, abusive situation, PTSD, etc...) or (and usually the case) the sufferer has become hyperaware of their anxiety and it scares them and thus keeps the negative cycle alive.

CBT does make you more aware of your anxiety but in a good way, CBT explains to you where it is all coming from, and how your thoughts go from a simple thought into an anxiety spiral. For example in my case when I used to feel tired:

I notice I symptoms of tiredness -> My eyes feel heavy, things feel a bit fuzzy, my mind feels slower -> this feels like DP/DR -> OH NO its DP/DR -> anxiety levels increase -> DP/DR symptoms increase -> Become even more aware of DP/DR symptoms -> anxiety increases -> become heavily Dp/DRed.

However the CBT allowed me to realise what is happening at stop the cycle earlier and earlier until I would feel tired and now allow myself to be tired and not be falling into DP/DR.

When you have a good day it is still important to distract yourself, you will be back to normal when you realise you havent even thought about dp/dr for weeks and months. When you have a good day say to yourself "I am having a good day, it isnt gone and thats ok, I will make the most of feeling ok, tomorrow I might not be and thats ok too, this all part of the healing process"
Your thinking about is this how it is to be normal is still an anxious thought, the desperation to be better, and this in turn is not helpful, slowly you will accept the anxiety and thats when the real healing begins. I no longer think of my anxiety 24/7, I am not recovered but down the road that way. I do think about it everyday but it comes in moments not all the time, and when I do think about it my CBT allows me to stop the thoughts and move on much quicker and thus I rarely get disturbed by the thoughts anymore. They will go Michh, but for the moment they are there, let them be there, you will not get better until you stop fighting it.

Dreamyone what you have isnt hppd, all it is your mind is now paying more attention to things. The floaters for example normally the human mind notices them we get annoyed by them then forget about them. An anxious mind notices them then starts to worry they mean something else, so it keeps an eye on them and refuses to just accept they are there. The other things are anxiety symptoms:

Accept they are symptoms of your anxiety, otherwise they reinforce the anxiety.

I would strongly advise both of you to seek CBT therapy or even just talk therapy, you are obviously in need of  someone you can "look forward" to getting fears off your chest and put into a rational perspective. They will also help you resolve the root cause of the anxiety.

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by michhh, Jul 31, 2014
thank you so much englishborn i am praying for your recovery as well as everyone else's. i try to follow your advice but sometimes its just really really frustrating and hard, but thank you i will keep trying. i have already improved in the last week more than ever so im going to keep holding on to that hope and the hope you gave me.

i have one more question though. does dp/dr make you have strange realistic dreams. i just had one where i was in the exact same spot i was sleeping in but i woke up but i couldnt move or speak or open my eyes. i just woke up but its kinda freaking me out, isthis just the anxiety?

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by michhh, Aug 06, 2014
also is it possible to think two things at once???? i try to think of something else but i always have the thought of anxiety in the back of my mind, its pure torture because everything feels completely normal but my thoughts and im still really aware of my thoughts and evreything i think even if its a normal thought kinda freaks me out. it feels like my mind is axious of being normal!! i just want to know if this is normal or not for anxiety and when i know i'll continue to just ignore it and get on with my life

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by michhh, Aug 06, 2014
i feel really normal right now and its freaking me out!! like i cant get a break from this!!! i dont even know how to describe this feeling im just not me, is this normal?????? i want to be fully educated so i know what to do. also im going to start therapy soon

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by englishborn, Aug 11, 2014
Hi Michh
Sorry for the late reply I was involved in my own things and didnt check the forums until now.

The dreams feeling realistic isn't anything new, in fact trhoughout your life you have and will have them, the difference is the anxiety has made you pay attention to them much much more and therefore raise their significance greatly, and so you worry about is it normal to have them, similar to intrusive thoughts.

The thing with anxiety is we still can do completely normal things as there isnt truely anything wrong with our body or mind. It feels as if you are having 2 thoughts because the you are "checking in" on yourself all the time to see ho you feel now....and now.....and now....and now. This creates the illusion you are going mad, you are 2 people, your mind isnt working correctly, all it is anxiety again and being hyperaware of your own thoughts but in a bad way. When we have anxiety we find it very hard to just let things go, remember when you were not anxious? misplacing a sock wasnt a big deal, now it is something to be afraid of as you fear your mind is going.

You will feel "normal" at times, almost moments of clarity but your anxiety doesnt allow you to say "this is good news, it is evidence I am slowly moving forward" it goes along the lines of "this is different! I should be worrying, I should feel like ****, this means something has broken and I am in real trouble!"....let yourself feel normal, just as you need to let yourself feel awful and scared and disconnected later when the symptoms say hello again. It is all about breaking the cycle!

I am really happy to hear you are going to therapy soon, you hopefully will find it a massive help (in time, it may seem to be doing nothing to begin with), remember therapy is a 2 way process, if you dont feel safe you can always ask to be referred to a new one where you feel a better connection with the therapist. (By safe I mean able to open up, not feel attacked when they ask personal questions and how your thought process works, remember they are there to help you, but they need all the information and "secrets" we hold dear).

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by SammyDee7223, Aug 12, 2014
This is amazing stuff to read, I had my first feeling of this when I was in 5th grade! I am now a senior in college, 21y.o., and I have been puzzled for years. I would try to tell my mom,dad, and sisters how I felt when going through DR or DP but I could only articulate it as being dizzy. I was worried I was going crazy. I have noticed that I experience it more in the summer when I am not in school or traveling for track and field training and competitions. I seem to focus on it more when not doing anything. It has freaked me for years, and I started feeling disconnected again last night so I researched it and just discovered what it was. I am relieved and glad that I know what to focus on when trying to correct it.  My only confusion is that I haven't had any traumatic experiences to trigger this  almost 10 years ago.

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by englishborn, Aug 13, 2014
Hi Sammy, glad you found this site. You don't need a traumatic experience for dp/Dr to happen. It is a symptom of anxiety and anxiety can come from a huge amount reasons. My own comes from low self esteem, or can come from co-dependence, stress from work, stress of exams, the need to please people, PTSD, etc.... Have you ever been to see a therapist to help you trace your triggers and therefore the root causes?

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by SammyDee7223, Aug 13, 2014
Hello Englishborn! Thank you for the response. I didn't know that it could be caused by those factors, this is my third day of even hearing about this disorder. I have a lot to learn about it.  I have not seen a therapist for it as of yet, but I will look into it for sure.  How can you differentiate when you are having a spell of DR/DP from the moments you aren't? Or is it just always there?

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by englishborn, Aug 14, 2014
You know you dont have dp/dr when you realise you haven't thought about it for a while. It generally is there in some shape or form and tends to fade away when you start to do the right things and resolve the underlying issues.

When dp/dr is very heavy you feel disconnected either from the world or yourself, this will vary every hour as it isnt at a constant strength. It sticks around as we fear it and other anxiety symptoms and this keeps us fearful and anxious, you will notice when you distract your mind on something else, maybe reading, you will not even pay attention to the symptoms as they will be very low. However as soon as you "search or check" to see if it is there you trigger your fear and it rises again. Hence why you feel it more when you are not doing anything as you all you can do is think and worry about your anxiety and fear something is wrong.

The best state you can get yourself into is not caring if it is there or not and just living your life how you would want to, even more so when your dp/dr makes you not want to, this teaches the mind slowly there isnt anything to fear.

I would strongly advise seeking out a CBT therapist (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) as they will help you understand how anxiety works and how to challenge the anxious thoughts. I would also strongly advise against visiting websites such as as it is full of people who are letting despair about the symptoms rule their lives and is generally a negative place. If you must visit such support forums make sure they have a positive tone and concentrate on success stories and not posts written from a dark place with no hope.

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by SammyDee7223, Aug 14, 2014
Englishborn, I can't thank you enough. You have helped me so much in your messages. It definitely helps to simply live life and enjoy each day to the fullest because if I am not thinking about it then I don't even have it. I have looked up "At Last a Life" and plan on ordering it to begin reading it. Going to a CBT is also great advice, I want to see one ASAP. I am very glad that I found this forum because it helped me a lot and much of the positive info that I found were in your posts. I am a very positive person and it is all the more hopeful to have found people that really understand what I have been going through. It seems like the cure is just to forget about it and keep on living normally.

517872 tn?1623105664
by real_jimmy, Sep 04, 2014

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by Keepmylifesimple, Sep 14, 2014
Hello everyone. I am new here. Just testing my first post to see if I need to log in first. :)

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by Keepmylifesimple, Sep 14, 2014
Ok. Great. I was already logged in.
First, I want to thank the originator of this blog.
I know it is a great relief to SOOO many people to find something like this.
I'd like to share some of my story. My first experience with DP was when I was in elementary school. I am guessing maybe 5th grade.
As I reflect back on it, for some reason, I was walking home from school a different way the day I felt it come over me. I must have been under some kinds of various stress. I feel that I may have even been born with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and also depression. It runs on both sides of my family. I have to share my experience of how when I was 18 and mentioned to a regular doctor about my thoughts, way back in the early 1980's nutrition was just getting more popular. So, it wasn't a huge surprise that the doctor mentioned going to see a psychiatrist.
What I truly believe was an answer to me and my Mom's prayers, was a woman from the local congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that we attended, secretly handed my Mom money (that we didn't have) to take me to a nutritionist she referred us to. When I met the nutritionist, one of the first things I asked him is: "What would cause a person to have strange thoughts and feel like they were outside their own body." He very calmly and casually said, "Too much copper." From that moment on began my quest to learn about nutrition. I was thrilled to hear his answer!!
I remembered we had COPPER PLUMBING in our house!! Over the years, I also have done extensive research on Natural Progesterone and learned that EXCESS ESTROGEN or ESTROGEN DOMINANCE IS ASSOCIATED WITH HIGH COPPER!! To this day, if I start feeling strange, I ask myself: "where did I last get a soda or drink somewhere out, where they may make ice cubes with water with TOO MUCH COPPER." Or "What kind of food did I just recently eat with high fat that could have skyrocketed my estrogen levels?"
I don't have DP/DR as much anymore.
When I have, each time I can usually always find the trigger of ANXIETY AND STRESS that have built up over time and then explodes or traumatic stressful events. Thanks for letting me share and thanks especially to Englishborn!!! Warmly, Patty

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by Keepmylifesimple, Sep 14, 2014
I remember during my first episode of DP that it helped me come out a lot of the HUGE PANIC ATTACK I had by reminding myself who I was by naming my family members in my head. The more I think about it, a lot of DP can be a panic attack.
Isn't it very simple when you are driving and suddenly forget where you were
going and then forget where you are at? Or the déjà vu feelings are very scary too. They all call into question reality. I think the many points Englishborn brought out about our brains trying to cope with the anxiety is very interesting as well as I totally agree that giving yourself permission to think thoughts or to have the anxiety and then calmly have self-talk that, "Oh, I know it must be something I ate or drank or stress that is causing me to think like this. If I start thinking strangely, it's ok because I know there's something causing it and it's not me. But instead, I'm going to choose to focus on solutions like simple steps of drinking good water and eating food that is healthier. I'm also going to be more modest and know my limitations, so I'm not overly stressed out. I've come out of this before and I know I will again.
Take one day at a time.  Everything is going to be alright." :)

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by Keepmylifesimple, Sep 14, 2014
sorry meant to type "isn't it very SIMILAR when you are driving.."

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by Keepmylifesimple, Sep 14, 2014
One other thought, especially for the women here.
When I actually feel DP coming on. (I'm 52 now, so I've had practice. Haha!) I take a Natural a Progesterone pill I get an RX for. Prometrium is the brand name. They now have generic. They are little round ball capsules in peanut oil. I take 100mg and it has been amazing how it helps me because I think it brings down my sky high estrogen levels and high copper levels.
Men and women should probably ask their doctor who believe in natural hormones if this would be helpful to you. Hope this helps!  Patty :)

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by GodiisAlmighty, Sep 17, 2014
My depersonalization/derealization started January this year. I kept on praying to God that He will heal me. I found this column in May. Since then I started feeling better. There were bouts of bad days but now as I look back the minutes I used to just feel good went longer to hours then weeks. I'm hoping to really fully recover. I always seek God's protection and I'm eating more healthy now. I started doing sports, yoga and "live life" trying to find more time to relax and not to stress myself with work, chores at home and errands for kids all the time. That's actually the cause of my DP. I was so stressed out with things that needed to be done/accomplished and wasn't eating healthy that caused my heartburn which I thought was heart attack a couple of times. I had to go to ER one time and all tests were negative for heart attack. Another time my husband had to call 911 as I was feeling bad thinking that my blood sugar was low. Paramedics checked my vital signs and blood sugar level and all were within normal limits. I just realized those times were panic attacks as I was continually so stressed out being always "on the run". Now when I start to think of my DP/DR, I remind myself that these are just  signs if anxiety and I'm not going crazy. I did have high level of anxiety before that I had really bad thoughts trying to analyze things and think of weird things about the world, etc. but then again they were all from my anxiety that was caused by being so busy with life without time to enjoy life and family per se. Thanks to the author of this. I would say I'm at 95-98% anxiety-free now. I only have 2-5% unreasonable worries now which I observed only when I am sooo busy.

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by amenoera, Sep 25, 2014
Im so afride ill be stuck like this forever :c i feel like a zoombie because i can't feel anything anymore and all i can think about is the DP. I honestly have no idea what else to think about.
Also it it normal that time goes EXTREMLY fast??
;c i just want my old life back. This isnt fair!! All becouse i smoked a bit pot ONCE. :c i just need someone to tell me it will go away. If not i dont know if i will be able to live on much longer.  Please. Its been 3 months.  Im so so so afride. Please. Im going to a therapist soon. Do you think anxiety medicine and anti depression pills might help? Ohhhhhh all i can do is cry. Please help.

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by MzDmoon, Oct 05, 2014
"Feeling like a zombie" is a perfect description of how I've felt  with DP/DR. My anxiety level and fear has been paralyzing. Since DP causes overwhelming existential angst, I often feel suicidal. I'm doing CBT for anxiety and depression, and added Lamictal to my SSRI. It's too soon to say if it is helpful. I also got a CPAP machine for UAR. Not getting enough oxygen and missing REM sleep worsens DP/DR!  I've had problems with dissociation most of my adult life and have found that deep states of meditation, cannabis, shamanistic practices, being a vegetarian, and being in highly dysfunctional
relationships have precipitated major episodes.
Also, grief around mourning a death or lost love.
Thank you to everyone who has posted. It is a great support to know that I'm no alone, and that others have  lessened their symptoms. You are all very Brave!

Avatar universal
by MzDmoon, Oct 05, 2014
"Feeling like a zombie" is a perfect description of how I've felt  with DP/DR. My anxiety level and fear has been paralyzing. Since DP causes overwhelming existential angst, I often feel suicidal. I'm doing CBT for anxiety and depression, and added Lamictal to my SSRI. It's too soon to say if it is helpful. I also got a CPAP machine for UAR. Not getting enough oxygen and missing REM sleep worsens DP/DR!  I've had problems with dissociation most of my adult life and have found that deep states of meditation, cannabis, shamanistic practices, being a vegetarian, and being in highly dysfunctional
relationships have precipitated major episodes.
Also, grief around mourning a death or lost love.
Thank you to everyone who has posted. It is a great support to know that I'm no alone, and that others have  lessened their symptoms. You are all very Brave!

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Oct 08, 2014
Hello amenoera, I am glad you found this post, I hope you take a lot of comfort from it, even if you feel like it isn't helping right now.

You feel like a zombie because it is the body's and mind's response to a threatening situation, when someone has to jump away from a train, run into a burning building our emotions are shut off so we can deal with the situation and threat much better. In the cause of anxiety the mind and body feel the threat nearly all the time and so keep us in that state, in fact the thing keeping us in that state is the feelings of anxiety.
The symptoms of anxiety can be very scary and we concentrate on them, which causes us to be more afraid, which means we get into a negative cycle. In order to get out of anxiety we need to allow the anxiety to be there, allow the symptoms to be symptoms and not evidence that something more is wrong. In the case of DP/DR we become very existentially thinking and question our reality, now that is very scary and feeds the anxiety we have, which in turn feeds the DP/DR and keeps us in an anxious state.

Your DP/DR seems to have come from a bad trip from smoking pot/weed, it is likely that this is the only cause and not more underlying issues (although it is always wise to make sure). Once you learn to see and tell yourself all the feelings you have are symptoms of anxiety the DP/DR will start to fall away, sometimes quickly sometimes slowly. I strongly advise you seek out a CBT therapist as they will allow you to externalise your fears and therefore start to realise your thought patterns that are keeping your anxiety alive, and so approach them from a rational starting point.

I am going to guess one of the thoughts that goes through your head is "I smoked Pot and have damaged my brain", this is a very common thought for anxiety suffers developed from a bad trip. You haven't damaged your brain, but you have put it into "fight or flight" mode which is a completely natural mode (all animals have it) the difference is you are well aware of being in it and this is the "threat" that keeps you in the state.

I have helped a number of people who have smoked pot and fallen into DP/DR on a few forums, once you are able to accept and not be afraid of the symptoms and rationalise your fears then it should fall quite quickly as the cause is usually just a bad trip.
Stay off caffeine, alcohol and recreational drugs whilst recovering as these help heighten your anxiety.

Hi MzDmoon

I am very very glad to hear you are starting CBT for the anxiety and the depression that comes with the condition. Since you have had dissociation issues for a while it isn't a surprise your default anxiety type is DP/DR, but as with everyone it isn't dangerous at all, just feels like it. The therapist will be able to address your dissociation issues as well hopefully as there seems to be a root cause that your mind is in need of addressing and resolving.
Don't hide anything from him/her, it can be very hard to admit things but once we do it starts the journey of slowly unravelling the reason for the anxiety and dissociation in the first place. You may think you already know the reason, but in my experience that is usually just part of the issue and the therapist will along with you explore the whole issues.

It is great you have already identified triggers, and I see some which seem to be in the "out of my control" which is the most common cause of anxiety, some seem to be in your control but you are worried about the consequences if you change the situation,

You are far from alone, and it isn't just lessening symptoms that when doing the correct things and facing the fears, it is recovery.

Bit of advice for both of you, compare month to month, not day to day or week to week, otherwise you will make changes in mood/state over small time frames more important than they deserve, and therefore beat yourself up about not getting better or for having a bad day when yesterday was a good one.

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by Bill3381, Oct 15, 2014
With depersonalization or derealization does one not only feel seperate from their body sometimes but actually experience the visual (or should I say seeming visual) experience of looking at their body from outside of it? as in a sort of out of body experience? Or is it more of a feeling rather than a perceived visual experience?

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by stickybuns, Oct 17, 2014
This is to Englishborn. I need your advice and I hope you get back to me. My DP happend when I was prescribed a pill. I've had the DP for about a year now. now it says you've helped people out with their DP and I was wondering if you can help me. I'm the type of person who worries a lot I don't have confidence on things I  worry about what people think about me I'm just in that general area. so I was wondering if you could help me on that or if anybody reading this can help me out. I have asked advice from my family and friends and it just seems like it's not working cuz they don't understand what I'm going through. and the one thing that bothers me is I went to the doctors and they told me that it was all in my head and I went to see a counselor and they're like oh I never heard of that and they looked it up. Then my next visit thetr like oh yeah that's a real thing I said yeah exactly I have it. it feels like I'm alone in this and I was wondering if you can please help thank you

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by sjwilcox, Oct 27, 2014
About a month ago i had smoked pot with my friends for my friends birthday, which i have done before, and we also decided to take laughing gas whilst we were high, which i have also done before, but this time we took 2 canisters in one balloon, which i have done before only sober. It had a good effect on all of my friends but when i did it i went into a bad trip which made me panic a bit to the point where i sat up straight and had a look of shock on my face and was saying to my friends "nah that was bad nah i hated that". The following week i had felt like i was in a dream really bad like my my vision was all blurry and stuff and i was generally worrying thinking i had brain damage and i was going to die.
(By the way i have anxiety when it comes to something wrong being with my health like if i got a headache i would start thinking i had a brain tumour or a blood clot or something ridiculous)

After the first week it had gotten better like i wasn't so out of it after watching a youtube video with someone explaining that it was derealization which is just another form of anxiety, which made me feel a lot better for about 2 days. But then the feelings started coming back making me worry and stress out more to the point i had to research more about it.

Some more symptoms i get now even though its been about a month now is i get blurry vision, my memory can feel terrible sometimes, I'm doing general things like a I'm some robot and i scare myself by thinking "what if i've forgotten what it feels like to not have this derealization and be normal and i constantly think I'm still in it"

Whoever wrote this amazing article could you please give me some personal reassurance on my situation because the things that heals me the most is when situations like this is backed up with scientific evidence that everything is fine, which is why i love being reassured by a doctor that I'm completely fine whenever i get a chest pain or something and they tell me its just a symptom of anxiety.

Please just show me the path to recovery and what is essential for me to do because even though I've read your article which does give amazing support, i fear that maybe I'm not going through derealization and its something much more serious even though i am experiencing the symptoms explain about this disorder.

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by englishborn, Oct 30, 2014
Sorry for the late replies, I only pop onto here once every 2 weeks or so.


You are far from alone, a lot of people go through this in their lives and the vast majority (around 95%) recover compeltely. Your general anxiety means you are more vunerable to feelings od dp/dr as your mind rarely gets a prolonged time to quiet and feel safe. You are always seeing "threats" (social occasitions, low self esteem etc), therefore it is important to make progress in addressing these anxieties in order to be free of dp/dr in the future.

DP/DR is slowly getting recognised by doctors and therapists, the trick is to ask if they have experience of it before you arrange a session. Your family and friends are struggling to help you as they cannot understand what you are going through as what you describe to them is alien to what they are used to. In fact the alien feeling is what is the most scary thing.

The best advice is seek therapy to help (I believe CBT to be the best for dp/dr), but constantly tell yourself whenever you feel it or have a thought about existence that all it is a symptom of anxiety that your anxious mind has latched onto thinking it is a threat. The problem is you are seeing a threat in a symptom of anxiety and thus making yourself more anxious.
Stop letting it control your life, go out and do things even when you are at your worst, let the dp/dr be there and distract yourself with a book, tv, puzzles or computer games when you find yourself dwelling on the sensations too much. All this will slowly bring your mind away from hyper alert mode.

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by DaisyMaya, Oct 31, 2014
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by sjwilcox, Nov 01, 2014
Englishborn could you please read my last comment I really really need your advice and help!
I also sometimes feel like I've forgotten what it feels like to be normal in reality like I get confused wether or not I'm going through derealization at the time or I'm normal but I get really scared I've lost memory on what reality felt like and what it felt like to be normal, which in turn makes me think and worry more :((((

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Nov 02, 2014
HI there sjwilcox
I did reply to you but it seems it didnt get posted correctly.

You havent damaged your brain or the feelings of disconnection with the world are caused by something else, it is all symptoms of anxiety. People with anxiety often struggle with memory as the part of the brain that processes memories receives less blood as the mind puts more attention to the "protective" part, so when you find yourself forgetting things just remind yourself that is what is happening and nothing more, once the anxiety has passed the memory section will be working as normal and isnt damaged.

I would say everyone with dp/dr worries about forgetting what normal feels like, all that is you are desperatly trying to get better and try and use the "normal" feeling as a way to check how you feel. This oddly is the worst thing you can do as we live in the present and by comparing ourselves all we are doing is constantly reminding the anxious mind that something is wrong and we obsess over it and feed the anxiety.

Have you thought about contacting a CBT therapist or a talk therapist to help you re-engage the rational (newer) part of the brain. You are going to be fine once you start to do the right things and start to allow the dp/dr to be there and not obsess over the symptoms of anxiety. Read the Book "At Last A Life" it will give you a good platform in understanding how anxiety works, and along with CBT therapy (either by a therapist or using a self help) it really helps you break out of the anxious state.

Remember anxiety can be caused by a huge amount of things, yours seems to have been caused by a bad trip which I suspect is causing you distress at the irrational thought of having damaged your mind, you haven't, give it time, live your life how you want to, even when the symptoms make you want to hide away, socialise a lot. I would not drink, and even more so I wouldn't take drugs anymore, these things seem to help but in fact they cause your mind to be more vunerable to the negative thoughts which keep the anxiety alive.

Avatar universal
by sjwilcox, Nov 02, 2014
Thank you englishborn for the reply and the support it's much appreciated and has started helping a lot. May I ask how you know all the science behind this anxiety symptom as knowing if I'm talking to a doctor or a specialist also helps me a lot as it reassures me a lot and stops me worrying knowing I was speaking to someone who knows what they are on about.

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Nov 03, 2014
I am a sufferer myself but quite a way down the road to recovery, my knowledge on anxiety has come from my own research, experiences and a huge amount from my CBT therapist explaining how and why anxiety works. I also am a volunteer for the UK charity AnxietyUK where I help man the helpline to offer advice.

Avatar universal
by sjwilcox, Nov 04, 2014
Oh that's very respectful that you help out so many others with this kind of problem. I was wondering if you could maybe give me the number to the helpline you said you man because speaking to you or somebody else about this would just be the best thing ever like the anxiety would almost dissapear hearing someone over the phone telling me expert advice and reassuring me everything Is fine because there really is nothing better when in times like this to be reminded by someone your absolutely fine.

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Nov 05, 2014
here we are sjwilcox, feel free to browse the website and ring us.

I am afriad we are only open during office hours and be in the UK (unless you want a huge phone bill)

Avatar universal
by sjwilcox, Nov 14, 2014
Hi Englishborn it's sjwilcox here again, past week I've been dealing with quite DR moderately well like I've been in good moods and felt good and I've just started taking omgega 3 supplements as well as vitamin pills to gain b6 and b12 from it. But earlier today I started to think in a negative manner which lead me thinking deep into my DR. I started thinking about the symptoms it's been giving me for 2 months such as me generally not feeling myself and having a almost fuzzy vision as well as not being able to concentrate on school work which scares me a lot. But what scares me a lot is the fact that I keep thinking I'm never going to get out of this state and that I'm going to constantly relapse myself back into the bad thought habit after noticing I've had a good day or a good few days, because I naturally just think "oh look, I'm feeling a bit better" making me acknowledge that fact and just send me back into the DR again. I started to get really upset and I also get the feeling of nausea when I feel like this, which seems to make it worst. As mentioned before I got this DR from a bad trip experience which I'm afraid I won't forget about since this has had such a bad impact on my life. I feel like I'm going to loose my girlfriend over it as well since she hates seeing me in this state and I generally just feel like life Is going past me to quickly for me to enjoy. Being a sufferer yourself I really need some personal tips on how I should think of DR like for example sometimes I could think of DR as a headache and I would kinda switch back into normal mode for a short period of time because I remember what having a headache or a cold felt like. Please help me to acknowledge the facts as to why I get feeling like this, help is really essential for me :(

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Nov 18, 2014
Hi Sjwilcox

The thinking of "I will never recover" is the most common thought of any anxiety sufferer. This is because as human beings we live in the present, and when anxiety hits us coming from a source we cannot see (ie: there isnt a tiger and has been brought on by stress or a bad trip) our minds struggle to let go of the anxious feeling as there is no point where we ca can say "ahh thank god the tiger is god we can relax now".

The best thought you can have when you notice the negative thoughts is "these are just negative thoughts brought on by my anxiety, what they are trying to tell me isnt true, I know this isnt true as anxiety is not the defualt setting of humans and is there because I had a bad trip. I feel like crap right now and that is ok, it is allowed to be there, it will not rule my life as once my mind calms down I will slowly revert back to the default setting. I am worrying about the worry which keeps it alive along with all its symptoms, they cannot harm me, they are giving my mind false alarms and as long as I force myself to move on from them they will go away"

When in an anxious state our anxiety will latch onto other worries that before were very low level or non existent eg: I dont remember putting that pen there.....I must be losing my memory or the pen isnt real, when in fact the act of moving a pen is so trivial our mind doesn't give it hardly and notice. A healthy mind doesnt even trigger the pen has moved it just accepts it is now there. This is what is happening to an extent with your GF, the best thing to do is tell her your fears, do not keep them inside as the not knowing if she might leave you is fuelling your anxiety.....a rule with anxiety is let it change you in good ways such as being more open about your fears and troubles, as letting them out to a friend, family or GF helps you in so many ways.

Once again sorry for the late reply, I have has a small set back in the last couple of days, but I know how anxiety works which allows me to identify where it is coming from and why it is irrational, it doesn't lessen the horrible feeling but it does reduce the length of time it makes me feel disturbed by the sensations, and you will get to a point where you can too, then the real healing starts.

Avatar universal
by sjwilcox, Dec 10, 2014
Hi there Englishborn, I have developed a good understanding on how derealization works which has rid of most of my anxiety about it. But the thing I worry about the most is the fact that I can't remember what feeling normal feels like. I feel like I'm going to stay in this weird semi-healed state and not fully heal back to the way I use to be where I didn't use to think or care like this about the most silliest thing like noticing weird changes in my vision and my general thought process is jus wondering wether or not how long it will continue to take to recovery because I've been going through this for 3 months now which also worrys me a bit, making me feel like I've lost 3 months if my life to this. The things that are very hard to rid of is my obsession about thinking about the weird unstable state I'm in and the anxiety it gives me. I please ask that you send me your indepth knowledge about then feeling of thinking I won't be able to reconnect myself with what normally felt like before this bad trip happened to me. I'm scared nothing will be the same again to the fullest amount it use to be.

Avatar universal
by pandabeardreams, Dec 11, 2014
Hi there.
I believe I have suffered with this for all my adult life..I am now 34. I enjoy socialising, I have a high pressure job dealing with children who have social, emotional and behavioural issues and I would consider myself to be approachable and out going. However, my mind and body is in constant anxiety mode and my 'natural' state seems to be in dp/dr. I have read the book ' at last a life' I've read books with cbt, I've tried meditation and hypnosis and yes I have accepted my condition. However, it is there, my vision is head hurts, my memory *****, I have zero sexual desires, a racing heart, sweaty palms...I feel like I'm in the matrix. I sincerely hope I will return to being the optimistic, enthusiastic person I was...where I could see the sun shining, hear the birds chiming and enjoy completely the wonderful world that we live in. I just want to be completely human the the moment with full alertness and sensory pleasure.

Avatar universal
by loveeelife2014, Dec 26, 2014
This is the most amazing article I have ever read. Not knowing what this feeling is and why it is happening has been the most terrifying experience of my life.

I first experiences DP/DR when I was 17. A friend of mine had been murdered and all I could think about was life and death. Where will I go when we die... what will I feel when it happens.... what is the point of living... ALL I could think about was questioning my existence. It stressed me out so bad that I was desperate enough to take someone else's prescription for anxiety. I would pop pill after pill hoping things would get better. Eventually, I noticed I was making things worse. I threw away the whole bottle and stopped cold turkey. I began having terrible withdrawls... hot on the outside cold on the inside... restless nights .. I began internalizing everything my body did. I thought about every breath I took, every bite I ate as it slid down my throat, EVERY little thing I noticed. I was so self involved I began having heart palpitations. Being so young I had no idea what was happening to me. I thought I was dying... this began my DP/DR. It also triggered my narcolepsy to make things worse! Night terrors, sleep paralysis, lucid dreaming, sleep walking, ect. I couldn't stand to be alive and the thought of sleeping terrified me. All I could do was cry and hide away. I couldn't walk outside without feeling like I was unreal and disconnected... I hated people because they looked alien to me.
I thought I was going INSANE and began questioning if I was even real.

Somehow, someway I was able to get better.
I wish I could remember how but I did it. .
4 years later..  here I am today.

A month ago I started getting severe headaches, to the point all I could do was cry. My ears always ached and I experienced terrifying ringing in my ear.
That caused me to go into a panic attack. I kept getting this fuzzy warm feeling through out my head that made me very uncomfortable.
One day I was smoking marijuana and out of no where I lost hearing and got ringing in my ear..suddenly my entire body and face went numb. I began fading out and this sent me over the edge.
I constantly kept psyching myself out that I had a tumor...

I went to a doctor and she said I was "fine" and that I was experiencing migraines. That I should also go to a dentist and sent me on my way.
Dentist said wisdom teeth were impacting and to take ibuprophen.

Everything I tried FAILED.
I was miserable.
I began slipping into DR/DP faster than I could imagine. NO ONE could understand what I was explaining. Everyone told me I was just being paranoid and I began to feel so hopeless. I cut the marijuana off cold turkey (bad idea since I had been smoking constantly for 9 months straight) this caused me to have even worse DP/DR .

I thought maybe I should smoke a little to get routine back... it only got worse. I began taking vitamins and trying to calm myself down. When I began trying breathing exercises it only triggered my constant obsession with breathing like it did when I was 17. I forgot how to just breathe on my own. Everything combined I have been an emotional wreck. I have researched and studied everything I could have and nothing helped me. I decided to go to the doctors one more time...turns out I had a severe sinus infection that I was oblivious to. (As well as 1st dr.)
I am now taking antibiotics in hope this will relieve the pain.

I was at a dead end until I found this article.
Reading it has given me more hope than I could have ever imagined!!

I plan to set myself up for success and move forward with my life. Thank you for this amazing inspiration. I will recommend this to any and every one I meet who feels this way.

It feels good to know I'm not alone.
It feels even better to be able to share MY story to people who understand!

Avatar universal
by Francesk3, Jan 11, 2015
This is the best article I ever read about this horrible condition. I was reading all the messages and I would like to say also thx to englishborn for his amazing support to lot of people.

My apologize for my poor english. I have been with DPDR from my 18 years old, I am 33 now. Yes a ******* ethernity! I learned a lot, I visited lot of professionals without any idea about what was happening to me... Then as lot of u I ve a master in the condition. Now I know and I understand that this is anxiety, but even knowing it I cannot Stop this monster. It is allways there to say me good morning and to say me good night.

At the beginning after 2 years thinking that I was crazy I started with meds bcz I found a dr who told me that this was pure anxiety: paroxetine 20mg and rivotril 0.25/0.25/0.25 it reduced at 0 the DPDR. After these 2 years the nightmare came back to stay, I reduced the rivotril and I was just in 20mg parox with good months and bad months.

When some stress was there, problems with girlfriends, too much alcohol, problems in general, work, etc the DPDR allways came back with me. It was also quite normal to have it just when I was in holidays.

Tired of meds I decided to try to stop taking them 2 months ago and here I am... Back 24/7 in Matrix, feeling alone, desperate, gelous of normal people. I miss my life! I am doing meditation 15min 2 times per day. Also running, but sometimes it also creates me anx.. Is that possible? Is a sport... What else can I do? How can I be back without medication?

Someone tried this med Lamotrigine?

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Jan 12, 2015
Hi francesk3

I am sorry you have been suffering for such a long time. Stressful situations as you describe are one of the main reasons dp/dr increases or returns.

The reason you feel more dp/dr when you exercise is because the effects of exercise, such as heavy breathing, punding head, blood rushing around the body are all symptoms of anxiety and therefore dp/dr. You notice the way your body is and unconciously you tell yourself you are becoming more anxious and you start "watching" yourself waiting for the dp/dr to get worse, this in turn makes you more anxious which brings on the dp/dr worse.
The meditation hopefully is giving to a bit of relief, keep at it and keep telling yourself no matter how bad you feel it is all anxiety created from irrational thoughts, but currently you are unable to  them as irrational.

I am unaware if you have seen a CBT therapist but I would strongly recommend it. I will add that I have spoken to a number of people who have come out of dp/dr after many years when they finally managed to make the difficult step of learning to not fear the feelings of dp/dr and start the process of not obsessing over the symptoms and your anxiety.

All the best

Avatar universal
by Francesk3, Jan 13, 2015
Hi Englishborn and to the whole DP community, thanks for your fast answer and your great support.

About CBT as you can understand after all these years I tried everything, but the problem is that it is almost impossible at list here to find a professional who know about this condition and can help. When you explain it to some "professional" ussualy they look at you with a poker face having any idea about what is going inside us. Some professionals are going a step further but I didn't meet any CBT therapist who has knowledge about this condition and that can help me. I was thinking in printing that web and bring some of the books I have to some therapist and try to put some interest in them but it didn't work. I think the only people who can help us must be therapist who have been through it before, as you know this cannot be explained by words you have to live it to understand it.

In reference at running, when I was in 20mg paroxetine I realized about the same problem but I also realized that doing it constantly I was feeling fine. How can feel fine again doing sport without meds? Do you suggest me to do not run? and do other activities? Even walking hard for ours make me feel dizzy and as you said my unconscient connect it to DP and the cycle starts.

I read a book that you suggested in one of your comments in this web, called " At Last a Life ". Awesome! No words!

I am trying to follow all the advice of the chapter 14 "Coming through despersonalisation" to resume it for the people who read all the posts I will remark some points:

1) Accept that we have Anxiety and DP. We are not mad, we are not going to lose our mind. (this is easy for me and already done)

2) Do a normal life (also done)

3) Stop worry about the condition / stop the obsession. (not completed :-( )

About nº3, I am doing my best to do my complete normal life... I work, go with friends, I have travels for business, I have important meetings, parties with friends, travels, excursions, etc but the feeling is allways there. I try to don't thing about it to ingore it but HOW CAN WE IGNORE IT if it is there 24/7? I found the answer in the book, and is accepting that we got DP with stress and anxiety and understanding that if we keep providing more stress bcz our DPDR we will never go out.

My next thought is, ok I do that I ignore it, I life with it, etc but how can I be sure that doing it I will be better someday? how can I not stress myself... How can I stop thinking about the "pink elephant" every morning when I wake up?

Today 14/1
Wake up in one other country for an exhibition. I had been here now 3 days feeling every day dizzy, confused, and with DR during almost all day at high levels. I try to accept the feelings, go on with the work, etc. But constantly I have thoughts telling me: why I am not normal and can enjoy having my work, why have I to spent so many energy in a simple conversation, why why why... I answer myself saying there is no why, learn from it, go on, keep working, keep been busy and it will dissapear. But will this be enough? What if the stress of the work also help to have de DP?

Too many questions, too many words, sorry... I think I am close to start fighting this condition as I must do it SURRENDING to the enemy without conditions. Stop smashing my broked leg to be recoverd as you can read in "At last a life".

Avatar universal
by Ocularr, Jan 15, 2015
Hi, I am currently suffering from anxiety/OCD and I believe I am experiencing depersonalization. about 3 years ago, I smoked so much marijuana that I felt like I was stuck in some dream like state that I could not escape. I also suffered from OCD and anxiety at this time and prior to it. I had the feeling for a few months then I suddenly snapped out of it. As years went on, i felt myself again, completely normal. However, since I have been at university my anxiety has started up again, worse than ever. Ive been at school for a few months now. I always have something to worry about and cant stop thinking about it. I go through fazes where I'd  worry about something: for ex. for a few weeks I would worry about getting schizophrenia because I heard a story about someone that has it, and for another couple weeks I'd worry about getting amnesia because I watched  movie with someone that had amnesia in it. I would be scared of turning homosexual. I have had these fears that I look back to now and think; "how ridiculous", right?

As of a couple weeks ago, I haven't really been worrying about things to do with my health or that would put me in danger but more existential thoughts as I did recently. I began thinking about the meaning of life and the existence of my body, and whats after death. I also think deeply about how my mind operates my body and how its connected. Ex. As I lift my arm or as I'm walking, I think, "how am I moving my limbs, how is my mind controlling my body through nerves and muscles. My arms or legs feel foreign in a way when I think of it. "What if I forget how to use my limbs?". This would generate anxiety and I cannot stop thinking about it. I also started thinking about how we know how to talk and think. Is thought and memory material or spiritual. What If I forget how to talk. I know all these words associated with objects, places, or people etc and I recall them as I perform a sentence, how do I know where to put punctuation/grammar, how do I remember these things. I also thought about why humans are formed the way they are? And what muscle am I using to breathe. Its like imagining having a third arm. All of these ideas I over think and it gives me anxiety. I cant go a day without thinking how am I walking right now or speaking. Even as I type this.

Are my current existential thoughts and anxiety, actually DP? Because it isnt necessarily the feeling I had a few years ago after doing drugs, its not a visual alteration or physical feeling, its more ideological and thinking about how my body and how life works. What do you think?

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Jan 19, 2015
Hi Ocularr

From what you are saying it seems to me (not medically trained or anything) is you suffer from health anxiety with general anxiety disorder that helps latch it onto other things.

I would also say you are not dp/dr as you would be mentioning certain symtpoms, however I do think because of your health anxiety it has allowed you to develop into an existential crisis, most dp/dr sufferers develop this thanks to the symptoms of feeling unreal but that doesnt mean you cannot undego one without dp/dr.

My advice is to say to your questioning " you cannot forget how to move your arm nor forget how to breath as that is in the part of the brain that does things automatically. If we were to actually be able to control that part of the brain we wouldn't be alive as it would require too much time to control such things"
Allow yourself to not be in control of all parts of your being and that is alright and perfectly natural, all that is happening you are asking HUGE questions that we can never know the answer to and it worries you that we dont know, when in fact it is ok not to know.

Have you ever sought professional help? I do think it will help you, and as ever I suspect CBT will very helpful as it helps you understand your thought processes and how it scares you.

PS. worrying about going mad or being schizophrenia is the most common worry with anxiety, but oddly the easiest to rationalise......simple put: People who are mad or are going mad don't know they are mad/going mad. Therefore if you are worrying about going mad you actually cannot be.

Avatar universal
by Ocularr, Jan 19, 2015
Thank you so much Englishborn :)

Avatar universal
by Francesk3, Jan 21, 2015
Hello community of Matrix :-)

I am learning something, I have been now 2 months without meds with lot of bad feeelings and lot of DPDR. Confused, with lot of difficulties to talk with customers, friends, etc. Also without feelings, so focused in the feelings and well... all of you know what I am talking about.

The reason of this post after my first questions to Englishborn, is that I can see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. I have been meditating now 15m morning and 15m night following mindfullness exercices. I realized that this is helping me to reduce a bit the stress and what it is more important to be able to allow all the thoughts to go away and not be a slave of them. Is not easy, and If I look back the progress is so slow, but I can see some progress.

I think, well I am sure now that what is happening to us is absolutely inofensive, it cannot go worst. We are strange, unreal, but we are having just an anxiety symptom and a tired mind.

Then what I am doing now is this:

I let it happend and refuse to analyze any more over it. Is not easy and somedays is impossible but I keep trying and I can see that I am doing some progress in the let it go. I think we need lot of patience as this doesn't suddenly make it go away. I keep practicing ignoring it, I will keep all of you informed about the progress. I can tell after 15 years with this condition that is the first time I can see some solution and now I am sure that meds are not the answer.

Is inoffensive, really anoying and a completely **** but comon we can try during months to ignore it and live with it without check it every second and without fighting. I think this is our door to a free and real world.

Avatar universal
by Freddy_fred, Jan 25, 2015
Englishborn, I'm in need of help.

Firstly, thank you for all your time and effort. You've been a huge help to those in need of answers so thank you. My life changed on January 2nd of this year. Upon entering a grocery store, I was suddenly entrenched by the feeling that I was loosing a grip on reality,loosing my identity, and suddenly felt as if I was living my life through a new level of consciousness in which all that I've known and took joy in, were of no interest to me anymore. This same day, I lost the will to live, lost all my appetite,lost my ego and my confidence, and just felt like I was not my self. I feel like I'm a stranger to myself. Most of all, which is my main question, I've become hyper-emotional about almost any unpleasant subject, especially about a traumatic breakup I've never been quite over that took place over 10 years ago. Before this happened, I was able to stomach crude humor, violence, and everyday sadness that is common among all of us. With me, I feel like crying everytime I think of my past and current problems. My question is, is it common for someone who is experiencing depersonalization to be hyper- emotional and not take joy in the simple things they once liked? Will I ever be able to be myself and enjoy comedy, stomach violent movies, and not be so emotional about everything? I've been evaluated twice, and in both occasions they just say that im depressed  and push pills on me ( which I haven't taken). However, they seem to ignore the depersonalization aspect of it. I've read your suggestion on CBT therapy and am scheduled for some sessions soon. Could depression ans stress trigger this? Like I said, I had a traumatic break up 10 years ago and the life changing event of fatherhood at 17 which has depressed me for the last 10 years. I've battled with alcoholism since the age of 14 until 3 years ago when I decided to quit. Since then, I've been busy at school and am finally getting an AA in march and a transfer to a University in the fall. This change in particular has be over stressed I must admit since I never envisioned myself going from sitting in jail cells to attending a university. Could all this "baggage" and stress could have caused depersonalization? Anyway, this has crippled me emotionally and physically. Ive been bed bound since this began, having to be fed by my mother, force feeding myself at times, and unable to so simple task like bath and go places without feeling like I'm going to pass out. I've lost 15-20 pounds in two and a half weeks. Im scared and desperate for help. My future looks bleak if I don't improve. I apologize for the rant, but feel like I should let you understand key events that have led to where I am today. Should this reach you, thank you for your time.

Avatar universal
by Hopeful12309, Feb 03, 2015
Thank goodness I found this forum which I see dp is a common illness. I think I've developed with dp October of last year. i went abroad in holland for a couple of months, perhaps it was bad weed that triggered it. I tried to be open minded to try out new things over there, maybe not a good idea to try weed as it is a harmful and illegal substance in the states.
Ever since I got home from the trip, my grandparents passed away and my mom moved out of the house. Many events has happened to me, I feel like it is too many negative situations happening that I don't wanna face the reality of it. Every day I just don't feel like how I normally would, hyper, active, sociable, organized, outgoing, friendly.... Instead I feel like a slug, always bed bound, loss of appetite, loss the pleasure of doing things that I used to enjoy:doing makeup, socialize w friends, mall trips; I can't focus, I'm forgetful, I feel like a ghost which my physical body is here but I'm mentally not here. I would do one thing but never get to finish with it. I get frustrated easily over the tiniest little thing, I cry easily as well. For the past 3 months I've been isolating myself from my friends bc I feel the anxiety from being in a large crowd of people, even at family parties. Thankfully  I'm home now where my dad has been taking care of me, not in holland where I had to absolutely deal with everything on my own which I did not anticipate it would be that stressful.
I'm also seeing a social worker which she said my symptoms are all common symptoms of depression. The thing is that I'm not depressed though, I'm feeling just fine after everything happened, just a bit numb to see that my life is not the same as before I left for my trip. i had suicical thoughts last month bc of this strange dp feeling that I'm not myself but this month i haven't had those thoughts.
After seeing the comments above, the only way of recovery is to accept dp as it is and try to concentrate on doing daily things rather than keep on thinking about dp. I also see that it helps to take vitamin supplements and exercise. I live in the new England region of states and it's been a harsh winter, snowstorms coming in after snowstorms, it's impossible to go out on a nature jog or walk. I've been staying in the house the past months and doing as much work as I could to help out at home. I have high hopes that this feeling would go awa in a couple of months, for now I'm unsure how i could not let dp disrupt my daily life.

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by bremaze11, Feb 11, 2015
I'm going on about 1.5 years since I've started experiencing Dp/Dr, and it has gotten much worse over time. I'm 16. I have experimented with hard drugs but I have been depressed for years since I was maybe in the 6th grade after my dearest uncle had passed too early in his life. I have a boyfriend of 2 years and I live in a house with my mom, dad, and brother (and 2 dogs).
I've come to terms that it's not going to go away for a long while. It's hard for me to feel things that would usually be exciting. In some situations, I take action aggressively because I do not realize what I am doing. Every day is very hazy and I honestly cannot remember what it was like to feel normal and perceive the world normally. I do not understand how it is because it's protecting you from anxiety-filled situations, because I could be sitting in my room, as I am now, and it could be at one of its worst stages (for me). My Dp/Dr is continuous, although I find being in the dark helps slightly, although it's never really gone. I cannot go in public comfortably (I go anyway, though) because the bright lights and the tall ceilings of places (such as grocery stores) increase its intensity. I really wish that I could see the world again; I want my eyes to really open. What is a life worth living when you aren't actually alive?

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by bremaze11, Feb 11, 2015
And to add, my Dp/Dr affects my communication/relationships with people. It is hard for me to talk to people, even online. It's not that I care about how they think of me and what I say, it's just that I can't find the words to say, as if my mind was a dictionary and had all of its pages ripped out except for 2. I'm left with basic words in that very moment and sometimes take about 10 minutes thinking about how to respond.

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Feb 15, 2015
Hi bremaze, thanks for sharing with us, I know sometimes it can be hard.

When in the depths of dp/dr we can feel emotionless and therefore struggle to react to things how we would expect., this can lead to us trying to overcompensate and force an emotion or reaction in order to vainly kick start a sense of emotion.
The haziness is all part of dp/dr, we are on full alert and full of anxiety that our mind get confused and are interpreting out senses oddly, this creates the hazy feeling. None of these senses are dangerous to yourself and oddly are not to be worried about, in fact as soon as you learn/are able to stop worrying about the senses the quicket your recovery will be.

you feel better in the dark because when your anxious your eyes take in more light because your anxious mind is on alert looking for dangers, when in the dark you notice the extra intake of light by your eyes less and therefore reduces your anxiety and therefore your symptoms.

Your mind is in overdrive and yet very tired, this is why your ability to think and communicate is reduced currently, which scares you but makes sense when viewed in the context of your very tired and anxious mind.

I strongly recommend reading At Last A Life as a first stepping stone to understanding your anxiety and symptoms which hopefully will allow you to start recovery. If you feel you can therapy will be extremely valuable in resolving the root cause of your anxiety, which seemingly is very closely related to your uncles death.

Avatar universal
by Mr_Dr_Professor, Feb 15, 2015
Thank you, to whoever wrote this great post. Until very recently I found out that I was suffering from this, and possibly nothing else. I believe my habitual use of cannabis last year triggered it, but also everyday stresses, and anxiety and depression. At first, I thought there was something really wrong with me, like schizophrenia or something, but I know the biggest symptom I feel is DP/DR.
I've been experiencing a lot of the symptoms that are mentioned here, like the existential questions, and entertaining thoughts where I question whether I'm actually alive or if this is just some computer simulation or crazy thoughts like that. Part of me of course didn't want to believe things like this, but the DR just makes part of you believe it, even if you struggle against it.
I found last week that smoking cigarettes made my symptoms disappear, but I am not allowing myself to see that as a viable option, instead I am just trying to move on with my life and not focus on the symptoms, and hopefully, I pray, they will go away at some point.
For my part, I am trying to avoid caffeine, drugs, and sweets, but also to exercise, focus on my work, and eat healthy. Caffeine in particular induced a sort of panic attack, for me that triggered everything.

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by 7ofnine, Feb 22, 2015
Thank you for such an optimistic and informative post. I'm getting closer to recovery but I have a burning question that I just haven't found an answer to anywhere, and this seems to be a responsive thread.

For a bit of background info - I've had feelings of DP/DR my entire life, starting from when I was very young. Anxiety and bits of depression and OCD have been obstacles throughout my life. I have been questioning my existence since about the age of 10, and that is around when I had my first episode of DP/DR. I used to just explain it to people as being "overtired" and I was sure it was something everyone felt. Then, I realized it was part of anxiety, but I was convinced my anxiety was different from others' when they felt nervous for a test. Mine was tied to hyper-awareness of self.

For a great period of my life, I would experience DP/DR rarely and had decent control over it. I was enrolled in a philosophy class (always had a love for philosophy) and always felt like I was comfortable with not knowing answers to big questions.

Recently I smoked weed for the first time, and this essentially triggered months of intense DP/DR. It was a gradual process in, but once I was there, I seriously experienced the worst of it every single moment of every day. Now I am distracted most of the time, but there is one thing that concerns me.

Here's where my question comes in. I would like to ask if it is common for someone with DP/DR to be able to completely bring on every bit of DP/DR through thought alone. I see a lot of people say that it is something out of our control that just happens to us. However, I have always been able to bring mine on with any existential thought. It is an immediate response. My biggest problem lately is that it's just hard to quiet down. Before smoking the weed, I would basically just distract myself and the thoughts would sort of go away.

Thanks to anyone who reads this for your time.

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by Outrospective, Feb 25, 2015
Hey guys, I've been having dp for a few years now, though I only just learned what it is yesterday. I went 2 years fighting it thinking I was going insane which is probably the main reason I still struggle with it, because I've spent so much time training my brain to think about it. The thing is I've always been very competitive and hard on myself, so when these feelings of dp came over me I told myself things like "this is all in your head, remember who you are" but it only made the situation seem worse and I felt like I was losing it. Trust me I know how it is to remember "feeling normal" and want nothing more than to have that back. I've often wondered if that is what true happiness is, "feeling normal" or like your old self, but it's not. It's best to just let go of that and be who you are now. It's scary, I know, I used to have such a solidified idea of myself and my consciousness and lately it feels like it's all come unravelled. Dp sometimes feels like you've come to some horrible realization that no one else can comprehend because of their simplemindedness, but we have to stop thinking that way, instead we must know it's just our anxiety acting up. It *****, it does, to have to resort to distracting yourself all the time but my hope is that eventually I won't see it as distracting myself I will just see it as being myself

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by Outrospective, Feb 25, 2015
Also I wanted to share an intense experience I had, because last year for the first and only time I passed out from dp anxiety. I was hanging out with some buds, we were all tripping shrooms and drinking (yeah no wonder I passed out right?) and I was actually feeling pretty damn good but then we went outside and smoked a blunt which was what did it. I could feel the dp getting louder and I knew I was going to faint from the overwhelming thoughts, so I walked inside without a word to my friends and barely missed the couch lol. We laugh at it now but it was super scary at the time. This was before I even knew what dp was so the only way I could explain it to my friends was that I felt like I was dying. It was quite an unpleasant experience but I'm not sharing this to scare people I just want ppl to know that you probably shouldn't do drugs or alcohol if u have dp, I know it's hard trust m, I've smoked weed every day since freshman year of hs (I'm 20 years old) and it became a safety habit to get high even though I haven't enjoyed it like I use to in years.  Just recently quit drinking/smoking so I'm praying that will help me get rid of dp once and for all.

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by JoePinto77, Mar 06, 2015
I have being having dp for two months now...guys englishman explains stuff as if he was in my mind exactly wat goes in ma mind...wat i notice abt dp is that is a learning process to deal with stress and make u much stronger....i try to live with it can u be normal if u dont go out there n be normal ik its difficult sometimes due to the scary nature of it...just live your life no matter how it is being normal tells ur scary mind..hey!!!! Theres nun to worry...pray and read the bible as well it helps

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by michhh, Mar 26, 2015
I just want to say my dp is 99% gone i am on my way to my first choice college and i have  found myself again as abetter happier person. It was so hard i wanted to die every moment and i could barely breath through all the fear and pain that was suffocating me but i made it and so can you. Every moment of the day was pure torture, an indescribable pain that was drowning me from within for 9 months. I will never be able to explain in words the horror of having dp, the alienation so strong that you weren't even in your own company, the feeling of floating above everything and everyone until you were nothing. its far worse than death. It completely dehumanized me and my case was very severe. but don't give up i found God and I found myself on this horrific journey. I AM ONLY 17 and i thought my whole life was over. i couldn't feel any spark of emotion and i just wanted to set myself on fire to feel again, but i refused to give up and when my life had no meaning i made it meaningful. Thats how you defeat this demon, make your life meaningful again. This will be the hardest bravest thing you will ever do in your life, but you will be so so strong. I believed in God and i believed in myself and once i started to love my self again i became myself again. I like to look at life like it's a garden. A garden is much more than flowers and dirt. It's the center of life and we each are buds of roses who will eventually bloom into something breathtaking and indescribable. You live in a garden and so do I. With our wilted daises and withered daydreams. But remember that the sun and the rain will rebirth you once again. You may be petals and dirt now but I promise you, you will once again be a beautiful flower who loves the sun and takes the rain in stride. Life is a garden, a beautiful garden and you my dear will bloom and be beautiful once more. when the rain falls harder that never just know that means the sun is going to shine even brighter when it's over. I love you all and im so sorry you have to go though this but i am very grateful for my experience. If you scroll to the earlier comments you can see how much of  a wreck i was how distraught i was but now i look back and i cant even believe that was me because i've grown so much. It has made me appreciate life on a whole new level and to recreate my self into someone i will love truly and wholly. Keep fighting. -Michaela F

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by Tymmo222, Apr 02, 2015
To michhh, I read all the comments from top to bottom and when I was reading your early comments I was hoping to see you at the bottom to tell us about your recovery, I'm so happy for you, I've been in the same hole as you fell in before and it's been 7 months for me, but reading your story made me appreciate what I'm experiencing way more. And I can't wait to see the light again and feel alive, I've been isolating in my room with the lights out all this time (literally) and I really don't know how I'm gonna get back on track, even talking to my family is hard for me but I barely feel any stress, it's just the pressure in my head and I feel like I'm on acid all day long...

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by Meovinatoq, Apr 04, 2015

I have read the article and read the comments from start to finish and I was hoping I could ask you a few questions seeing as you look like you know what you're talking about. I guess I'll start with a brief history lesson:

I'm currently 25 years old, I got into a relationship with an older man when I was 15 (he was 22) and I stayed with him for about 7 and a half years. During those years he was extremely abusive - Physically, emotionally, mentally. When I was about 17 I had my first experiences with anxiety and panic attacks. I was put on Novovenlafaxine. It didn't really help. Especially the fact that he would make fun of the fact that I was on the medicine and say thing to me like "Go pop some more pills you ******* psycho" and so on and so forth. Thus, I stopped taking the pills. I went to self medicating. I smoked pot instead and proceeded to smoke pot for many many years (I started smoking when I was about 13 and continued until I was 22). The initial social anxiety "went away" when I was about 18ish, almost 19. I found ways to accomplish things and it just seemed to slip into the abyss. I wound up having two children with this man, left him while I was pregnant with the second child because he beat me up while I was about 5 months along. I got my own home and continued to let him see the kids. He continued to use the time as opportunities to belittle and abuse me. Then one day he got worse and worse and I finally cut the cord. I wound up with someone else and had a child with him - meanwhile this man was not good for me either. I leave him while I'm pregnant as well, same reasoning.

Anyways, fast forward - I wind up getting a Psychiatrist.
He tells me I have PTSD, I've been having therapy with him for a year an a half now - no anti anxieties needed.

Then back in November of 2014 there is a week of "hell". So first off I had a tooth abscess, I was in excruciating pain. I get a prescription of Emtec 30, oh happy day, the tooth pain will go away. I took the maximum allotted amount (2 pills every 4 hours) and it wound up having an adverse effect on me. I called an ambulance couldn't even properly get out my address - I was terribly frightened, literally though that I was going to die from lung depression. Ever since then I have "generalized" anything to do with pills. Won't touch regular over the counter Tylenol, I'm even afraid of taking Omega-3's.

Then, the next day after that hospital visit was family court against my first ex that I mentioned. He literally tried to attack me in the court house in a closed room with just myself and my lawyer there. Scared the hell out of me and brought back all those feelings that I'd been going to therapy to get over.

The day after that was tooth extraction day (it was a wisdom tooth that was abscessed). I go into the Dentists, he shoots me up with freezing all throughout my mouth and yanks that bad boy outta there. The room kinda got white, like how it does when your vision fades out and in when you're gonna faint or whatever. I heard ringing and got dizzy. I asked him if that usually happens when someone yanks a tooth and he just told me to stay seated and wait then I'd be good to go. So I do just that an I'm on my way. Shortly after that I start to feel ill... and I mean ILL. Vomiting, sweating, the works. I opt out of going to a birthday party (adult oriented) because I figured I'm getting really sick. I mean I'm just puking and puking, the cold chills/hot flashes, and my neck! the pain was so intense! Anyways, I figured I was just sick and could sleep it off.

I wake up the next day worse, I ask my father to come get me and take me to the hospital. I wait in the hospital for 8 hours and they start questioning me about Meningitis. They made me strip to inspect me for the tell-tale Bacterial Meningitis rash. When they don't find one they send me home and suggest I just stay in bed and away from people. So I do that, the pain in my neck persists. I couldn't lay on anything, it was like laying on jagged rocks. I'd stay awake the whole night and not be able to sleep at all. So, what do I do? I turn to the one thing that I was sure could make me fall asleep - pot. I had one bowl and then BAM! My hands get clammy, my heart rate goes up, pain in my left arm - this had never happened to me before. I was certain that I was having a heart attack. I called my father, who has had multiple heart attacks, and ask him what one feels like. Everything he described I was feeling - and it scared me. I decide to go into the hospital. They ECG me, do all sorts of blood tests - nothing. The doctor tells me that the likelihood of a woman in her 20's having a heart attack is almost a complete zero. They tell me to take an Ativan, after my experience with the Emtec's I just couldn't. I was crying and telling them no, I can't, please don't make me. So they left it at that. Once I was cleared, they sent me home.

The next day I woke up and my vision was still messed up. It was like being stoned times a billion. things were blurry and hard to focus on but they had that look of what the world looks like when you're stoned. Not to mention that over time I slowly got very unbearably paranoid about things. like putting ANYTHING in my body. I was living on water for the first 5 days. Then I got reeeeeally hungry. So I started eating sandwiches. I lived on water and a single sandwich for months because I was scared of anything making me feel the way that caffine did and that the Emtec's did. Everything was associated with these bad experiences.

I was also afraid to be awake during the night, for some strange reason. It just felt less safer than the day did. So I'd go to sleep every day at like 5pm hoping to wake up the next day and "be normal again". Over and over I'd wake up still the same and feeling defeated! I stopped talking to people, I closed myself in. Talking about the way that I felt made my symptoms worse. Also, some people just didn't understand. They'd tell me I was irrational and not thinking clearly and I'd feel insulted. Even though I felt this way I still did what I needed to do. Take my kids to school, to functions, that sort of stuff. Paid bills, went grocery shopping. The thing that bothered me the most was that things I took joy in were no longer pleasant. For instance, grocery shopping. I'd go down the isles and instead of being able to scan out of the corner of my eye and be like "Oh! they have that, I didn't know that was there", everything looked like one big massive blur. Colours blended into one another, nothing seemed real, nothing was normal. I also would have this tingling in my hands, like a numbness or something - constantly.

Take into mind I was still very sick for a long time.
I took my kids to a birthday party at Chuck-e-Cheese. I couldn't eat or drink anything cause it all scared me - cake, pop, pizza. I had a glass of water. While I was there it was so loud and unbearable. My neck was in so much pain. But the mother of the kid whose birthday it was is my really good friend so I couldn't disappoint her. While I was there I fainted because of the lights and the noise (I later found out it was called photophobia). Every time I spoke "too loud" I'd get dizzy. My friends father drove me home at the end of the night and trying to talk to him was embarrassing because everything I said sounded slurred. It was so difficult to find the right words to retain a conversation. I felt like some drunk punk trying to seem "the norm" to their parents or something. After that I was so pleased to be home, went inside and slept.

I had a psychiatric session a few days after where I for the first time ever since seeing him was literally hysterically crying. I told him everything and he diagnosed me with depersonalization. He told me that everything I had experienced stressed me out and with my history of Anxiety, PTSD and Panic Attacks he was actually surprised it didn't happen to me sooner. I begged him for something to make it better so he prescribed me cipralex. Though, with what happened with the Emtec's, yet again, I was afraid. But my fear of what was happening was worse - so I bought a pill cutter. I took a quarter of the pill, lol, 2.5mg. I was trying, it was hard but I wanted to try. My psychiatrist told me that doctors and psychiatrists are like two hands, you never want one hand doing all the work for the other. He told me to get a physical and get my thyroid checked. So I did.

Then, a few days after that one of my best friends died, I had a lot of trouble dealing with it.

I made a doctors appointment with my family doctor promptly after that and went in to see her. Explained all the symptoms and she diagnosed me with Viral Meningitis. Said it was most likely that I got Enterovirus 71 and that it mutated into Viral Meningitis. The Meningitis in itself in debilitating, I still haven't completely recovered from it. I'm constantly hearing a ringing in my ears. I also went to the hospital again in hopes to see a specialist about my eyes. Got a referral and saw an Opthalmologist. There I was told there was nothing wrong with my eyes. Which leaves me with more questions.

I guess my question is based around the vision, everything else I can deal with - I just want my eye sight back. I remember thinking to myself "If this is the way that things are gonna look forever is it even worth living". I didn't tell anyone about the pot just because for some reason I clammed up. I could tell him now (my psychiatrist) and not "be in trouble", I just don't want him to doubt me in the future.

So my real question is this: Being as when I'm with people I'm feeling like I'm on the outside looking in even though I'm very much involved in what's happening. Just the way things look is so distressing. So I want to know if in fact pot caused my DP? If it was "the tipping point" so to say. If all these stressors just added up and added up and then ka-blamo! I'm left picking up the pieces of a very fragile, very shattered state of being? If so, is it with pot induced DP to see the world like you are still high? I don't feel high and I haven't smoked pot since that night (and never friggin' will again, omg). But the fact that I'm aware that this is NOT all normal, the fact that I'm so distressed, it's definately DP, right? How long does it usually last? I've heard from some places it's hours, others it's days and from this forum in perticular it could take years. I guess what I really want, no -NEED- to know is that this isn't going to be my cross to bare. I need to find some solace in my affliction. I read in the original post that I shouldn't feel guilty and I haven't ruined myself but really I'm constantly worried about that. I have an appointment to go get a referral to see a neurologist cause I was like "I just totally ruined myself". I thought since Viral Meningitis is a brain infection, brain infection + chemicals to the brain = ruined brain function. Correct me if I'm wrong - no really, correct me - but I just have trouble seeing the light peering in from the top of this huge hole I've dug myself into. I really wish for everything to be normal again and I feel I've made strides but my vision is still pretty bad. Not nearly as bad as it was but it's not "normal". My memory is really bad too. Sometimes I can't even remember what I ate in the morning, or if I took my Omega-3's (I know, big accomplishment, talked myself into taking them). That being said I've started to forget what "normal" looks like.

Any feedback would be appreciated, I'm kinda at that point where I'm just going to have to give up trying to figure out the problem and just be happy I'm not blind. It's true what they said, you don't know what you've got until it's gone.

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Apr 06, 2015
Hi Meov, I am glad you found this forum and has given you some information on dp.

From reading your story I think it is very fair to say you were on your way to being dp/Dr due to the abusive partners and your social anxiety and therefore your tendacy to be critical about yourself, and the pot just pushed you over.

Everything I read from you describes symptoms of anxiety and dp and dr, the vision issues is part dp and anxiety. When anxious our eyes widen to take in more light in order to take in more information in order to see the "threat". Of course the threat can't be seen, so we get worked over how everything seems brighter and less real, coupled with the sensation of watching yourself this has become a threat by itself and works to keep you in and anxious state.

You are full of fears, your anxiety is latching onto a lot of things to be fearful about such as taking any sort of pill. It is very importent for you to start get your rational part of the brain going again to challenge the fearful thoughts. Ask your physiatrist about this and maybe the option of CBT in order to help counter the anxious thoughts and bring them back into the real world not your anxiety based world.

You are not going to be like this forever, but it may take time and it is different for everyone, for some days for some months for some years, it doesn't matter how long, don't let your anxiety make you think it does. When you start breaking the cycle of anxiety and fear then you will slowly start to recover, but in your case I think it is vital to address the cause which is the PTSD and abusive partners, as there is no doubt your mind hadn't let these bad things go and is effecting your ability to think healthy.

Avatar universal
by psalm107, Apr 09, 2015
Thank you so much for all of this. It has been incredibly insightful and helpful to read this. The best article and discussion on dp\Dr I've found.
I've experienced 24\7 dp for several years (not an exaggeration - I wish!), with isolated episodes beginning in my childhood. I wasn't abused, have never used any drugs or ever even been drunk. I've simply had this horrible mental condition for longer than I can remember. I can't even imagine what it would be like to not have it. (I have dealt with anxiety since childhood as well). I am 22 now. I am a Christian and I trust in God fully to heal me. The misery and loneliness of this condition has been beyond words in my life, but He is my anchor. I could go on about my testimony for days...but I wanted to ask you a question. I've had moderate to severe insomnia since childhood. You talked about sleep affecting dp and I can totally relate to this. When I do sleep I dream constantly (usually anxious dreams) and I wonder if this means my mind isn't reaching deep sleep and isn't able to really rest and repair itself? I wake up from dreams often and rarely if ever do i wake up NOT from out of a dream. I'm working hard to deal with my sleep issues but it's been very difficult. Do you have any additional insights on the link between sleep deprivation and chronic long lasting dp? Do you have any additional advice for someone like me who's been suffering from dp for SO long that it seems impossible for the brain to ever function differently?
Thank you again so much for your valuable time.

Avatar universal
by psalm107, Apr 09, 2015
Thank you so much for all of this. It has been incredibly insightful and helpful to read this. The best article and discussion on dp\Dr I've found.
I've experienced 24\7 dp for several years (not an exaggeration - I wish!), with isolated episodes beginning in my childhood. I wasn't abused, have never used any drugs or ever even been drunk. I've simply had this horrible mental condition for longer than I can remember. I can't even imagine what it would be like to not have it. (I have dealt with anxiety since childhood as well). I am 22 now. I am a Christian and I trust in God fully to heal me. The misery and loneliness of this condition has been beyond words in my life, but He is my anchor. I could go on about my testimony for days...but I wanted to ask you a question. I've had moderate to severe insomnia since childhood. You talked about sleep affecting dp and I can totally relate to this. When I do sleep I dream constantly (usually anxious dreams) and I wonder if this means my mind isn't reaching deep sleep and isn't able to really rest and repair itself? I wake up from dreams often and rarely if ever do i wake up NOT from out of a dream. I'm working hard to deal with my sleep issues but it's been very difficult. Do you have any additional insights on the link between sleep deprivation and chronic long lasting dp? Do you have any additional advice for someone like me who's been suffering from dp for SO long that it seems impossible for the brain to ever function differently?
Thank you again so much for your valuable time.

Avatar universal
by foreign15, Apr 09, 2015
That was the best text I head about this subject. I'm still feeling scared but I will try to think positive! Today I'm having "my bad day" but tomorrow I will feel better! Thank you so much (I'm 17 years old)

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by mawilla, Apr 11, 2015
I'm still in the early days,I hope making the changes will help,I've been inspired by those recovering thank you.

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by Rohitarora123, Apr 12, 2015
Hello everyone I found this forum today DP started a week ago when I was on a trip with my friends I smoked weed that time first time in my life and felt normal next morning again I smoked weed to have a better feel of that bcz it didn't hit me last night and this time it dint hit me too...I drink some whiskey with that too and went to sleep and came back home next day ...since then m feeling like this...
Everyday I start my day with the hell like feeling ...mornings are the most difficult time to spend it all seems unreal or a dreamlike situation I sometimes think it won't go away ever and this continuous feeling made my life hell.I can notice the behavioural changes in me.I can't talk much with my parents and concentration power is too less then before..does anybody have any solution for this ?

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by simonlebon, Apr 13, 2015
I would just like to share that the few times in life I've experienced this is when I was trying to go off of my antidepressants that I take for anxiety disorder. Not sure if anyone else has experienced it at these times, but then as I start taking the meds again, the DPDR slowly starts going away.  I'm also doing CBT, healthy diet , exercise etc, but some people also need medication.  Thanks

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Apr 14, 2015
Hi Psalm

First of all it is more than likely your mind will function as it once did again, as that is the normal state of the brain and cannot be forgotten, you are just current trapped in a cycle of worry and negative thoughts that keep you there.
Lack of sleep is one of the big factors that can keep a person's anxiety levels high, sleep allows our minds to rest and recover from the days activities, it also processes all our memories of the day. When we struggle to sleep we are unable to get that rest and process our memories correctly and so the mind stays on a higher alert than it should.
Getting anxious dreams is common when you have anxiety as we dream about things important to us, I am sure we have all had a dream about waking up late to an interview or exam when one is looming.
It is important to make sure your bed is for sleeping only, dont watch tv or use a laptop/phone whilst in there, keep the room at a cooler temp as we sleep better when we are snug in bed vs a cooler room. Do breathing exercises before you go to sleep to help calm you down so you more likely to get to sleep.
Have you ever been to see a sleep councilor?

Hi Foreign
Really glad to you found this post, keep thinking positive and keep telling your self "this is only anxiety and if I do the right things I will recover".

Hi Mawilla
Again really glad you found this post. The early days are usually the hardest as you will be very confused by the horrible feelings and your mind will reach inaccurate conclusions like "I am stuck like this!" or "I am not real" based on false evidence, just keep telling yourself it is only anxiety and cannot harm you.

Hi Rohitarora
Smoking weed is a common cause of anxiety and DP/DR, it triggers anxieties that start a negative feed back and since you are not used to the feelings you fall deeper into them. Mornings are always the worst as you hope it will be gone when you wake up, so depression can add to the feelings. Part of DP/DR is the loss of emotions and interest in hobbies and life, don't beat yourself up about them, it is only a symptom of anxiety which is a natural reaction to danger in our minds, problem is it has been triggered by something that isn't truely a threat (usually some sort of stress).
Make sure you have told your friends and family how you feel, how you react to things, tell them what the condition is called, let them research it. Follow the advice given on this post and comments and strongly consider seeing a CBT therapist. Recovering alone is the hardest thing to do, so dont do it alone, pull in the strength of friends family and never ever be ashamed to seek help.

Hi Simonlebon
It seems from what you are saying the antidepressants help calm you down and therefore move away from the level of anxiety that induces DP/DR in some people. When you come off them your anxiety increases as whatever is the root cause of your anxiety has yet to be addressed (low self esteem or social anxiety or trauma...etc), when this has been identified and faced and accepted you should not need the medication, but for the moment it is helping you stay away from stronger symptoms. Maybe try again when you feel the CBT has made some progress on the anxiety causes.

Avatar universal
by Rohitarora123, Apr 17, 2015
Hi englishborn and all the ppl following this article...I have successfully recovered from dp state within 10 days and now m completely recovered it was the worst 10 days of my life I hope u guys also get well soon .. Have faith on Jesus ...and love life...

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by frenchborn, Apr 27, 2015
Hi everyone. I can read that this article is helping many people 'suffering from' DP. I would like to share my own understanding of DP, by supplementing this article with a few things that helped me recover. I hope this will help you as well. These teachings became the foundations of my life after DP, helping me to handle life in a more comprehensive way in our material and spiritual worlds. I had DP when I was 19, in cycles lasting 4 to 6 days happening every two weeks, for an overall period of 8 months. First, we don't win against DP, we win WITH DP. This is very important to understand that DP is not a disease, it is self-triggered, and actually acts as a self-best friend trying to heal something deep in self. When one understands this, when one takes ownership of that DP feeling, when one accepts DP and all the consequences stemming from it, a big chunk of the anxiety should vanish right away. In addition, to make myself clear, DP is NOT a self-destructive state, but rather a psychosomatic disturbance self-triggered for search of self-awareness. DP is a door, a door onto which questions are written, questions which are asked by self-subconsciousness. If one wants to open the door and get rid of DP, he or she will need to answer these inner questions. DP is a powerful FEELING, occurring in a hyper-activity brain state, BIOLOGICALLY TRIGGERED by the brain (A), further ENHANCED BY PSYCHE (B). Let's focus on the biological explanation (A). The human brain is composed of two brains, (1) the cortex and (2) the limbic brain. The cortex is the center of human intelligence and consciousness, while the limbic brain is the center of emotions and instincts. Our brain structure is similar to animals, except that animals have a smaller cortex (animals' brain system is mainly relying on the limbic brain - also called the reptilian brain, the 'instinctive' brain). In a normal state, the human brain balance is mostly driven by the cortex (95% of brain activity) with the limbic brain being passive (5% of brain activity). This brain balance, mainly relying on the cortex, allows one to use Judgment and Reason in order to behave and act as Rationally as possible. In this state, emotions are low, anxiety and fear amongst them; this is the 'normal' balance or chemistry of the brain. However, shifting around the brain balance, with 95% of activity driven by the limbic brain, and 5% by the cortex, the human brain system is in PANIC balance. This brain shift normally occurs when experiencing a 'crisis', for example an aggression, a car accident, a bomb blast or an earthquake. This panic shift, is most of the time UNDERSTOOD by the cortex, as grounded by a REAL experience of a 'crisis' or a 'trauma'. This panic shift, helped by the cortex, will slowly fades away as the brain chemistry returns back to its 'normal' balance. Let's now focus on the psyche side of the DP feeling (B). This panic brain shift may be triggered WITHOUT a tangible experience of a 'crisis', which is, when compounded with anxiety (which can stem from the experience of a trauma IN THE PAST, or from subconsciousness), may yield to the Depersonalization feeling. Indeed, DP is a feeling, not a state. The state is the Panic shift of the brain, and the feeling is Depersonalization. We will call this panic shift the "Irrational Panic Brain Balance" (IPBB), as not justified by a REAL or PRESENT experience of a 'crisis'. IPBB can be triggered by a variety of inputs: (1) hormonal changes (happening through life), (2) subconsciousness (questions on existence, trauma experienced in the past...) or (3) drugs consumption (as they have a temporary organic impact on the brain). In both, Panic brain shifts and IPBB, the brain secretes adrenaline which is spread across the body. Adrenaline flowing through the body members and brain is the MAIN reason of cerebral hyper-activity and the feeling of depersonalization, as it gives the sensation of not owning the body anymore. Now, extrapolated by EMOTIONS (driven by psyche), adrenaline and IPBB give the perception of being part of an unreal world with unreal persons, or being in a dream from which we cannot wake up. This 'out-of-reality' feeling further increases anxiety (driven by subconsciousness), which further enhances IPBB, which further secretes adrenaline. IPBB and DP are then 'working' in a virtuous cycle. I hope this explanation is helping you to rationally understand what you are experiencing. I am 100% confident that anyone reading and understanding this, and what follows, is on the way to a full recovery, paved with future strong physical and psychological foundations. He or she will then 'thank' DP for raising them to this new state of self-awareness. Now, a few words on how 'healing from' DP. Healing from DP is a steady, gradual, natural and personal process, which requires one to tame DP by working on those two fields: (I) strengthening the brain chemistry and the body harmony and (II) identify the questions asked by subconsciousness (which feed inner anxiety) and find answers (even partial) to them. The first point will reinforce the brain system and will make it stronger to efficiently handle natural 'attacks' from subconsciousness, and the second point will give a sense (or answers) to one's own subconsciousness which will then decrease the overall level of anxiety. Tackling those two points is a very insightful path towards self-understanding and the meaning of existence, which can initiate unexpected interests for fields like art, philosophy or sport. It is very important that one does his/her own research on how to solve these two points. The question to answer in order to solve the first point (I) is: how can I tame my fear, harmonize my body and reset my brain chemistry in order to have it in a 'normal' balance, and feel alive again?! One will have to find his/her own answer, but I can give a few tips: sport (heartbeat and breathing rate will help the brain to slowly reset ; it has to be quite intense to really feel short-term relief), smile and eye exercises (stimulate the cortex, and calm the limbic brain), talking and writing about what you are experiencing (talking to people who are open-minded enough to understand) and reading about human biology and psychology (activate the cortex in a rational way). All these will definitely help, but the definitive and long-term healing will come from the second point. The questions to answer in order to solve the second point (II) are: What is my subconsciousness chasing? What are the underlying reasons of my inner anxiety? What reasons could explain this subconscious need for interrogating myself so deeply that I trouble my brain and organic balance? What are the answers to these questions asked by my subconsciousness and anxiety? This is your quest, you will have to answer your inner questions, in a POSITIVE and RATIONAL way. I can give you a few tips from my own experience. I  have been answering my own questioning (still today!) thanks to reading about philosophy (I am an existentialist, I believe in the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre: the Existentialism), thanks to my acceptance (and understanding) of my sensitivity (built throughout childhood) and spirituality (music in my case). With my own key, I could then open the door of DP to a world of spirituality that will never leave me. Today I feel strong in this REAL and material world, physically and psychologically. Experiencing DP has been a chance in my life, a chance to understand myself better to give a sense to my existence. I wish you all the best recovery.

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by englishborn, Apr 28, 2015
Hi Frenchborn, lovely and informative post.

Would it be possible to edit your post and put in paragraphs as it is a little hard to read without spacings, otherwise a great post for those learning to accept DP for what it is.

13483596 tn?1430185919
by frenchborn, Apr 28, 2015
Hi Englishborn. Thank you for your comment. I edited the text at the following link:

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by yoomi626707, May 05, 2015
Hello englishborn,

Great post made me feel better about what is going on with me. I have 2 questions, 1st: I don't feel like i want to do anything specially go to work so do you think I should force myself to go to work? or should I quit already?

2nd: Is it normal that I don't feel tired as in really tired? even if I didn't sleep at all for 2 days straight?

Thank you xx

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by Stacexx86, May 08, 2015
I have really bad dp at the moment and thoughts of suicide, do I even want to be here, life scares me etc is this normal with dp? I don't feel like I have the strength to over come this and feel like I will be stuck like this forever. I lie in bed all day wondering if I will ever feel normal again or If I even want to. Please tell me this is normal I do want to get better but just can't see how. I talk to people and I'm not even concentrating on them talking as all I'm thinking about is me. I can't feel happy or sad I fel numb. Please someone help.

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by collegelover, May 08, 2015
Hey englishborn

I just thought I had to comment to seek answers, don't know if this is right or wrong. (feeding anxiety or not)

So I had DP last month for my friends birthday, we had a somewhat stressful situation and then I experienced a bad trip myself, after dealing with DP for like a week. My birthday was a few weeks ago (after my friends bday) and I had some beers, and some cigarrettes, I acknowledge I felt somehow weird after being aware of myself feeling weird, however I didn't let that stop me from living, however I feel not completely into the experiences. I feel I am fine as of today, but I feel the anxiety is still there (by feeling fine I mean I don't question myself anymore, I don't have philosophical questions about my surroundings or my person, I'm keeping up with life normally and dealing with college at a decent level (I've been doing good). Throughout the weeks I've noticed I've had a few "impulses" within myself of "small panic attacks" but they are barely feel-able now.

I stopped questioning if whether or not I am in myself becase the day to day basis has reassured me that everytime (still building). What I do realize is that after the trip my heart rate has been noticeable. Like I can feel my heart beating when I didn't use to before the trip. I think I have barely shaky hands compared to before the trip (also can feel the pulsation of my heart throughout them)

I'm currently sorting out some numbness and distraction of my world. i.e. I feel I'm not smiling as much as I should and I'm not feeling as much reactions as I should (I guess), sometimes I question wether If I'm faking this or not because I've forgotten how I felt that I actually think I may be feeling normal as always but this awareness of anxiety is still over me, which that started since the bad trip. (Note: I knew I was an anxious person and I self-realized I had OCD way back as a teen). When I read I can't concentrate fully because I get easily distracted with my "do I feel anxious/I don't" but then I just concentrate on classes and socialize a lot (cause that's how I've always been). I know as you said "these are just irrational fears created by nonsensical trains of thought".

However I just have these grievy feelings that somehow life can fall apart as in I start thinking about how disastrous should it be to drop out of college because dropping out of it is so not me or thinking that these awareness of my anxiety is actually marijuana addiction or thinking that leaving for another country is a considerable idea to "feel better", which I know are irrational because those are not things I planned before the bad trip. Sometimes these trains of thought are driven by words (i.e in music or surroundings) or on my somehow low-appreciation of the surroundings. Note that these are just like small jolts of thought that cross my head but then I manage to discard them for being irrational with my goals in life and keep on with whatever I'm doing.

My goal is to enjoy college life and be great at it and do great things in my profession but my brain sometimes just have it. I was on a great vibe before the bad trip and I'm out of that great vibe track now which I'm trying to get back on (not necessarily by smoking, just by living and feeling). For example I was digging a cool Spotify playlist but after the bad trip I can't have those "happy or creative vibes" I used to have before it.

I sometimes worry that I can't drink or smoke tobacco cause those are the normal things I used to do before the months of smoking weed. I know alcohol and tobacco might make my anxiety worse now that I'm aware of its alteration but I somehow want to do it.

How would you say I am? CBT is kind of difficult to access for me, only counseling or psychologist are available

Avatar universal
by englishborn, May 09, 2015
Hi yoomi626707,

Glad you found this forum and finding this thread useful and helpful.

Not feeling like doing anything, including work is perfectly normal when you have anxiety. Your mind is so concerned about the feelings of anxiety (the threat) you cannot bare the thought of doing anythign else as you MUST fix yourself. in reality doing all the normal things you would do starts to actually tell your mind there is not actually anything to worry you (beyond what initially started the anxiety the root cause). My advice is to go to work, force yourself to go to social events, it helps so much.

You dont feel tired because you are full of adrenaline because your mind is stuck in a state of looking for a threat. Evolutionary this is a very good thing, in the modern world where we generally dont have tigers hunting us it is not a good thing. Dont be worried by the lack of sleep or feeling tired, just tell yourself it is anxiety,

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by englishborn, May 09, 2015
Hi Stacexx86

You are describing how I would explain what DP/DR feels to someone. People feel like objects and you cannot "connect" to them as you feel you once did.

All the things you describe are absolutely normal for a DP/DR sufferer. You will not be stuck like this forever, however you have to be proactive in your recovery, if you lie in bed waiting for it to happen it wont. You need to start forcing yourself to do things, get out of bed do small tasks to begin with but quickly you must start socializing again, do things that used to being you fun, even if it doesnt now do it anyway, your mind will slowly recover.

Are you seeing a therapist at all about your dp/dr, the worst thing we do is keep it all internalized and all that does is make it worse.

Avatar universal
by englishborn, May 09, 2015
Hi collegelover

I would advise against consuming alcohol or taking any recreational drugs at all, all they do is increase your anxiety and make it harder to recover, of course when recovered things will be different (I would stay well away from drugs for good however). You may feel like you are missing out, but having fun with friends should not revolove around drink and other substances, just have nice soft drinks, I did this for over a year and slowly started drinking again. Whilst I might have felt a bit left out of social events to begin with, I know look back and am so pleased I went teetotal as it meant I can now have a couple of pints without the worry how I will feel later.

It does seem like you are doing a lot of the right things you need to do in order to aid your recovery though.

I remember having a huge sense of loss and grief over my lost self, but that was greatly misplaced as it wasnt lost at all, all that was happening was I was so concerned about how I felt I could not help but be very withdrawn. It was so silly now I look back with a more rational mind, I was full of anxiety about how I felt and then worried about how I was unable to "feel" the outside world, ignoring that I couldn't feel the outside world because I was looking internal far too much. I was worrying in all directions and not giving myself a rest.
It is very important to not let irrational thoughts take over, but it is also important to challenge those thoughts with a more rational thought (this can seem hard and pointless) as it stops them from taking over.

I think generally you are doing well and have the right frame of mind which is great, it is not easy at all to do the right things but they do become easier and the dp starts to drop off, you may not even notice it dropping.

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by collegelover, May 09, 2015

Thanks for the feedback! I'm currently not going to the gym until next week but I'll sort that out. Is it okay to have coffee WITH milk and sugar? I know fun doesn't revolve around alcohol and I get what you're meaning. I've drunk less than what I used to drink before.

Could you give me an example of rationalizing those thoughts? Sometimes the trains of thought tend to develop but I quickly shift my attention to something else, is that good or am I letting the bully prey on me for that?

I'm planning on playing some videogames and well I thought for a while that I had depression because all this grieveness I feel is like my brain saying don't do stuff but I find it pointless to have depression because I have the most important thing I want in my life rn: college and great friends

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by englishborn, May 10, 2015

Personally I cut out all caffeine as well, but if you feel it brings you pleasure go for it (not too much though, caffeine can effect your sleep which is important to recovery.

I will use examples from when I was at my worst:

"I don't feel real, oh god that must mean I am not!" This was a bad one for me as the feeling of Derealisation was strong for me more then Depersonalisation.
So I slowly had to learn to say "This feeling is a symptom of anxiety, it feels horrible but my mind is jumping to the worst conclusion ignoring the visual, smell and hearing evidence I am getting to prove I am real and the world is real. I have worried for days about if I am real and I havent yet gone "poof" in a cloud of smoke. Therefore even though I dont feel like things are real I know it is just a state of flight or fight causing this"

Long winded but it forced me to engage the rational part of the brain and not listen to the older "fight and flight" part as much, and slowly it helped calm down that part.

Depression and DP/DR are bed fellows, you will feel depressed because you feel your mind is broken and full of worry. How can your mind NOT get depressed when all you do automatically worry for yourself. There is nothing shameful about getting depressed over this, everyone at some point will feel the gravity of depression in their lives, just ours will be deeper than most as the pit for us seems too deep.
Let yourself feel depressed, and know it is expected even with things in your life being good. Let people know you are feeling down don't hide it, talk about it with people and most of all dont give into the feelings of doing nothing.
Computer games I found very helpful to distract me, but it was a balance to play games and not do it as a way of avoiding the feelings of dp/dr all the time.

honestly you seem to be doing a lot of correct things, but I know we cannot help but worry we are doing things wrong, we become hard on ourselves.
Does your college offer help for mental health issues? Also may I ask what country you are from as I do have some info on charities that help anxiety suffers in a few countries.

Avatar universal
by collegelover, May 10, 2015


As of right now I'm feeling so much better, I'm feeling associated with my life at a 98% rate. Mother's day was good overall, went to church too.

I'll keep the good habits and will return to the gym next week. Won't do alcohol or tobacco after a while. Lesson learned.

Thanks a lot, your post helped me in the recovery proccess.

Off to best at all.

Avatar universal
by collegelover, May 10, 2015


As of right now I'm feeling so much better, I'm feeling associated with my life at a 98% rate. Mother's day was good overall, went to church too.

I'll keep the good habits and will return to the gym next week. Won't do alcohol or tobacco after a while. Lesson learned.

Thanks a lot, your post helped me in the recovery proccess.

Off to best at all.

Avatar universal
by collegelover, May 10, 2015


As of right now I'm feeling so much better, I'm feeling associated with my life at a 98% rate. Mother's day was good overall, went to church too.

I'll keep the good habits and will return to the gym next week. Won't do alcohol or tobacco after a while. Lesson learned.

Thanks a lot, your post helped me in the recovery proccess.

Off to best at all.

Avatar universal
by Moltedice, May 11, 2015
I have never had a traumatizing expirence so could this be from smoking weed? Because I have had this for about 4 weeks now and it really *****

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by Tulsi7777, May 14, 2015
Hi Englishborn! AND whoever else can help me,

Thanks for all your insights on this forum. I bought your book a few weeks back but was not able to read through it all.

Still it was heartening to know about existential thoughts during DP.

I had severe depression and panic attacks in Jan and Feb this year. Was told to get onto anti-depressants but I refused it as I was too overwhelmed to deal with side-effects of any drugs and thought this phase would go away soon. I didn't even take anti-anxiety medication, and I don't know if I should have. I wonder if it might have helped me avoid the DR/DP that followed the severe incessant panic attacks. I was seeing a CBT from very early on which helped me get hold of some of the anxiety, but then the DR was coming on too and when I described it to my therapist she was still dealing with it rationally. I have now learned that she knows nothing about DR/DP !!

Anyway, It was so very disorienting and scary. That was followed by the DP and that was even more scary than the panic attacks had been as it made me lose my sense of self.

Through this all, I kept up with different supplements, healthy diet, (I don't smoke or drink and have never done drugs), exercised, journalled, talked to my therapist and anyone who could help. Also started breathing exercises and meditation, affirmations and suggestions. Tried hypnotherapy but that didn't work much. And just trying to keep open to everything else.

The DR/DP lasted for about 3 months. I had to struggle to remind myself who I was or what was normal. There was this hyper-vigilance about myself and my existence, my body, my eyes, my face. I would get fixated on faces and that would make me nervous. I then got fixated on eyes-others' eyes, my eyes... on the fact that we are always seeing, and always thinking. Everything was freaking me out so much !!

I would say the worst was losing my sense of who I was and what was normal. There has been so much focus on myself and my thoughts that I started wondering who this "I" was ... how do I know I am me and all such philosophical and abstract thoughts that I have no desire to know answers to but that just keep going round and round in my head.

In the past few days, much of the earlier fogginess, disorientation and hyper-vigilance and stuff has gone. I get involved and feel normal about something and then the thoughts come back and make me feel strange again about being human, about being myself, about seeing etc.

I have to remind myself I always was human with this body and mind and eyes and face. Sometimes it works, at others it does not.

Would you say all these thoughts are part of this condition of DP?

Would you say I am recovering? Why do these thoughts cause fear?

What else would you suggest other than not focusing on myself... which I am trying to do but since I don't have a full-time job or much family, I still end up thinking about myself even when I am doing something else ....

Avatar universal
by Lockerby, May 15, 2015
Dang man, that post was great. It explains a lot. DP has been hands down, one of the scariest if not the scariest thing I have ever felt. It helped knowing that while you have it, strong or light, it's there's and it's hard to remember things you've done while you had it. Which to me has been maddening because I absolutely hate not being able to recall things. It makes me feel like im going crazy! Once again man, thank you. I'm sure I will re read this more than once.

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by thejuiceman, Jun 02, 2015
I had it for a month and couldn't stand life. Suicide was a daily thought. I got do/dr from a drug I took out of a vaped, mixed with stress. After accepting the disease, and living life to the fullest, despite having it, I have made a HUGE recovery, and am almost back to normal! Don't worry!

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by thejuiceman, Jun 02, 2015

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by thejuiceman, Jun 02, 2015
@michhhh how did you do it?! I need help NOW please

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by Lumberjackgirl41, Jun 05, 2015
@tulsi7777 I feel very similar to you and I'm so afraid I will never go back to the way I was! Sometimes it's so overwhelming I feel death is the only way out and that is the LAST thing I EVER thought Id say. @englishborn, thank you for this site and thank you for replying to everyone, I saw your site almost a month ago and it made me feel better. I'm still struggling which is why I decided to post on here now. I will try to keep it short. Back in dec I started having panic attacks and then worrying all the time about them and I had some tragic things happen to me over the past 6 yrs, all of them involving death and great loss. So I can only relate the panic attacks coming from that, otherwise Idk where all the anxiety came from. It got to the point where I was nervous 24/7 could not control the physical sensations no matter how hard I tried, although there wasn't a particular thought that caused me anxiety at this point. I tried 2 anti depressants and I felt like I was on drugs! So I found a dr who prescribed me natural supplements, He told me to take l-theanine 400mg 3xs a day which I thought was a lot so I didn't take as much. It helped at first but then it would wear off and I start feeling an overwhelming sense of panic. It got to the point where I was absolutely terrified and had no idea why, the theanine would help to only take a slight edge off. It was making me worse the more I took it. So I stopped. I started feeling like something was missing from myself, less like myself and so scared that I ruined my brain. I had racing thoughts I could not shut off, I felt as if I was going crazy, I would cry constantly from being so scared. I started feeling like my own voice sounded weird to me and felt like I didn't know who I was, I hated looking in the mirror. It got so bad I checked into the psych hospital. I think that made it worse, from being so scared. I started taking celexa, which helped some w the racing thoughts but I still had ruminating thoughts of never being ok again and constantly focused on my symptoms, being over aware of myself,feeling out of body and as if I wasn't controlling my movements. I upped my dose and I swear it made me feel more like I was in less control of my movements, my voice sounded like it was on a radio delay in my head almost. I started to cut down my dose and I no longer take anything, I was only on it 3/4 weeks. I feel that looking in the mirror doesn't trip me out as much, my voice doesn't seem as weird to me and most of the time I feel like I'm controlling my own actions. But I had become horribly aware of my own self, like my own brain, that I feel like I can't remember how U used to feel and it scared the hell out of me from there I started feeling as if I didn't exist before, like I just woke up in this body and I feel unbelievably scared. Sometimes I feel as if I'm trapped in my body and looking out of my eyes not feeling totally connected as one like I used to. I feel almost brand new in this body, although I can remember all my past memories and things like that. I feel like it is impossible for this way of thinking to go away since I'm so over aware of myself, I don't know how I will possibly be ok again. I keep myself distracted and it sort of helps... Atleast once a day (sometimes more) I get terrible knots in my stomach of hopelessness and feel as if my only option is suicide and I do NOT want that! Sorry this is so long. Please help if you can I truly appreciate!

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by Lumberjackgirl41, Jun 05, 2015
@englishborn I get so overwhelmed sometimes I feel as if I'll never be happy ever again, the only thing that gives me some sort of comfort is my animals. I'm either extremely scared or sad all of the time bc of these thoughts. I truly wish I could rewind time as I'm sure all of us do. I have such a wonderful life I was blessed with, I just want to enjoy it desperately like I used to.

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by piiuuvagas, Jun 10, 2015
I have this I'm 7 months postpartum I was told I could never get pregnant and it was a shock to me, my whole pregnancy I had anxiety because I was afraid of dying during birth ;( this all started 6 weeks after I gave birth. Sometimes I feel it so strong I can't even focus right, my vision gets really strange, I go outside and everything looks so fake and unreal. As if I'm in a comic movie or something. I'm afraid of looking for a job because what if I can't do it with this dr? I know like 3 other girls who have this and have had it for 2 years :(
What do you guys recommend?? I know it's not dangerous but I'm so scared to go crazy or to not be able to remember how my little girl is right now :( and I forgot how normal feels like too

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by Faithlove777, Jun 21, 2015
Englishborn or anyone else; less than a week ago I was drinking for my bday and I drank about 4 or five beers a margarita and smoke a little bit. The next day I woke not hungover but feeling out of it. I began to feel like I was in a dream like state and couldn't figure out what the difference between real and fake. This is casing me major anxiety and I am flipping out. I know that this feeling was induce by alcohol which really depresses me. I've had this feeling before in the past and it went away after some time. But this time I want to find a faster way to feel normal again. Last time I had it it was induce by smoking this time it's liquor. Please help !!! Last time I got it, it didn't stay long at all but I freaking out now. Tmmrw I will start to work out and I'm drinking more wafter I'm also starting to take vitamin c and b. I'm trying to overpower my thoughts so this can go away. I want to cry every time I don't feel normal which makes it worse PLEASE HELP SOMEONE!! Thank you God bless

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by mary_91, Jul 01, 2015
Dear englishborn,

Thank you very much for your post. It is very optimistic and helpful! However, I have a specific question that I hope you can help me with…

In my case, I have been suffering from severe anxiety and DP for 2 months.. I used to have panic attacks but I haven’t tried any medication.. I took three sessions of CBT but I didn’t really like the therapist therefore I stopped the therapy… I didnt find her very helpful, although I’ve heard that CBT can have very positive outcomes…

I’ve figured that there are 2 things that fuel my anxiety : hypochondria and the fear of existence.  I find it easier to deal with hypochondria.. But when it comes to existential thoughts and the fear of consciousness, I feel terror! I don’t look for any answers concerning the universe, the people, our purpose… It’s just a very strange and scary feeling of being alive and conscious. It’s like i was unaware my whole life, and now I realised that I’m a living being. That me is me.. It sounds so logical and but really scares me, makes me feel alone and gives me panic attacks… Even though my family is very supportive, the fact that « I am me » and that nobody can experience my life except me is so scary… I think that while being anxious, I did too much introspection and this is how I got DP….I try to distract myself as u suggested and to just go on with my everyday life…  I no longer have the feelings that everything seems unreal, that I feel detached from my body… I’m not even sure if this is still DP or something else..

But  it’s like I was leaving my whole life on auto-pilot and now I’ve discovered that I’m conscious and I have to take control of my life… It’s like I’ve learn something and I can no longer UNlearn it not matter how hard I try….  I don’t like to look at is „awakening“ because all the spiritual stuff scares me even more…

So I was just wondering  could this be DP? And can anxiety really cause a fear of existence? I feel trapped in my body and I want to disappear…My mornings are the worst! I get this feelings and thoughts as soon as wake up… And I can’t seem to break this pattern.. Every morning is just really bad!.... And I’m very scared of the future.. I recently got married and now I panic everything I think about having kids , etc.. Because being here feels so wrong! I am by no means suicidal, but I constantly feel the need to disappear from here…  I fear that I might get depressed and become suicidal, even though I’m NOT… It’s just these thoughts and fears that keep poppoing in my mind…

Please, let me know what you think about all this…  Is there a recovery from all this, or will I just learn to cope with this feelings..  ? :(  Has anybody been through something like this? ?
Thank you in advance!

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by mary_91, Jul 02, 2015
@Lumberjackgirl41 I'm feeling exactly the same way, when you say "Sometimes I feel as if I'm trapped in my body and looking out of my eyes not feeling totally connected as one like I used to. I feel almost brand new in this body, although I can remember all my past memories and things like that. I feel like it is impossible for this way of thinking to go away since I'm so over aware of myself, I don't know how I will possibly be ok again...! "

I feel that my main symptoms of DP are gone...I didn't pay much attention to them, because what scares me the most is this feeling of being "hyperaware" of myself, my own conciousness.. I don't see I can ever forget about this and get back to normal... Although I keep saying to myself to it's due to anxiety..

Avatar universal
by Chumby24, Jul 03, 2015
Can someone help me? Idl if i have dp/dr or none. So everytjing started 2 months ago, I smoked weed with some friends. Next day, everything normal. 5 days later, I went to a 4-day school trip to Puebla (on plane). There was when I started to feel a little weird. But it just lasted a few hrs, than faded away by its own. When I came back, I started getting that feeling 24/7, AND IT HASNT STOPED.
My symptoms:
-i feel like I'm always tipsy/drunk/stoned
-a lot of fatigue/weakness
-fear of going out with friends
-fear of sleeping
-a little insomnia
-scared to be alone

So idk if this is dp, because i really havent felt lots of anxiety symptoms, and I dont feel that "im not real", or "like nothing is real", and also I only have had one panic atack.. But i went with a therapist and psychologist and they insist is anxiety/dp, and im currently on meds (antidepressants).

Also, my dad felt like this as a kid, and has had depression all his life, always on meds. He has a little bit of OCD. Her sister has OCD. Her mom is also depressive.

So do I have dp? :/

Avatar universal
by Manlytearz, Jul 09, 2015
@Chumby24 Im no professional on the matter but i know it can suck and even be scary to feel that way IF you have DP. I've only felt like this for a couple weeks and its already getting better everyday but ill just tell you which of your symptoms don't really sound like DP to me.

I haven't really felt dizzy during the entire experience, just not whole/normal. I feel tired quite a bit but I've never been fatigued or weak per say. I've also never had insomnia, I've been able to sleep fine through the entire experience, I actually kinda look forward to going to sleep because its the one time i don't feel the DP. I think you would definitely know if you had DP, the "unreal" feeling is very apparent especially at first.

Hope this helped a little bit! Good luck!

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by Eddieddie, Jul 13, 2015
This lengthy post (lol) has saved my life and I'm so very thankful.
The thing is, I'm no longer afraid of my symptoms, and it is a great relief. But when I feel I'm slipping back to my old me, I be afraid that this "losing touch of reality" (aka psychosis). I know this is an anxious thought, but anything you have for my reassurance?
I have had anxiety associated with derealization for 2 months as a result of a traumatizing incident.
One more question, with all this improvement in few days without any therapy or outside help, how good am I doing? And am I close to recovery? (Because I feel I have almost fully recovered).
Thank you a lot!

Avatar universal
by corazoncontento, Jul 15, 2015
I had a bad reaction to smoking weed, almost like an allergic reaction. Immediately after smoking it I had a panic attack. This was in mid June. I finally got it worked out of my system through juicing but am left with DP/DR which has me a nervous wreck because I return to work soon. My doctor diagnosed me with anxiety disorder and from reading about my symptoms online I concluded that it is DP/DR. I read the book, "At Last a Life" which really helped. He basically is saying the same thing as this article. I actually feel like there is hope, especially as I can see there are others with the same problem. I guess I need to quit thinking about work and fill my days with lots of activities. Isn't it crazy how we have to quit thinking about it to cure it? I find myself tensing up all over and not being able to relax.

Avatar universal
by nawsmaws, Jul 20, 2015
Thanks very much for this. I've read in a lot of places that the key to recovery is not thinking about it but haven't really read any real evidence of it, but you are proof. I always think that the world is something I made up (is that normal? does anyone else ever think this and has anyone who's had this thought ever got past it?) but I'm trying to tell myself that that is just a symptom of my anxiety. Gonna read this when times get tough.

Avatar universal
by Rachel198, Jul 24, 2015
I've had anxiety for years now but I lost my dad in February To terminal brain cancer and I went straight back to school and did my GCSEs and all the time I think my anxiety has been in the back of my mind bubbling up. I started getting really bad constant tension headaches and I obviously I started panicking about them. I was convinced I had a brain tumour. I kept getting these headaches the last months and I started feeling a bit out of it and weird. I instantly started panicking thinking about this and went a bit Google mad. I found so many scary things and illnesses that I started panicking and worrying even more. All the time not feelin like myself and like I'm losing my mind. I feel trapped in my own head like I'm looking out of my eyes but I don't know who I am!? When I talk it's like where is my voice coming from? I don't particularly feel like I'm in a dream I just don't feel like myself anymore! I have constant existential thoughts about everything and it's driving me mad! Is this normal wth depersonalization? Please any replies will be so appreciated thank you

Avatar universal
by nawsmaws, Jul 27, 2015
Hey Rachel198 I just wanted to say that you described what I'm going through perfectly. Everything you're going through is completely normal and you're not alone, so many people are going through the same thing. I try to tell myself that it's all just a symptom of anxiety and I'm trying to make myself believe I'll be okay and I try not to constantly worry (though this is difficult) I've read up so much on recovery and it's always the same answer: don't overthink things, carry on as normal and remember that recovery is a gradual process. Be patient, you get better bit by bit not all at once.

Avatar universal
by Rachel198, Jul 28, 2015
Nawsmaws thank you so much for the reply. I think it's just knowing that if I let it be and not pay it much mind I will get better and one day not think about it? It's weird because I just don't feel like myself I feel like I'm forgetting who I am? And the trapped in my head feeling it's just so hard to ignore it when it's always there I always feel like I'm

Avatar universal
by Rachel198, Jul 28, 2015
Not really there? Also I get really bad existential thoughts? Like what is everything and like what is life and I don't even know? Ehenever I think about them I get super uncomfortable and feel panicky even more? Is this normal and do these feelings go away when I leave them? I see life as so hopeless and I'm struggling to see any hope in my future :( I also get constant tension headaches is this normal? This depersonalization seems to have actually been triggered by tension headaches I think because I panicked about them and become over aware of how I was feeling? Is this possibe?

Avatar universal
by nawsmaws, Jul 28, 2015
Rachel198 I am by no means an expert, and I can't say I have a lot of experience with depersonalization/derealization because I've only been suffering for a few week, but what you're saying sounds extremely normal from what I've read and from my own experience. I feel them same. I feel like I don't know who I am or who I was or why I do anything and it's horrible. I'm struggling myself and I'm hopeful I'll get through just by carrying on with my life. The existential thoughts are normal too, I get them and they're the worst! I find myself wondering why any one does anything and it feels like nothing makes any sense to me, but I tell myself that I'll never ever get any definitive answer for any of them so I need to just try and accept that and move on because what else can I do? Someone said that when you recover you'll remember the thoughts you had, but not the feeling. Normally if we had these thoughts whilst not going through dp/dr we'd probably just brush them off like everyone else does but because of dp/dr we focus on until we get an answer (which we'll probably never get)

I am nowhere near recovered but when I think about it I think I'm a bit better than the previous week so that's good. I'm just trying to be patient and trying not to over think and I keep trying to tell myself that it's all just a symptom of anxiety (although this is really hard sometimes)

What you're saying is normal, what you're feeling is normal, you will be okay and I'm hopeful that we'll get to a place where we're okay eventually! Just keep moving forward and keep trying. You're not alone.

Avatar universal
by germanborn, Jul 30, 2015

This is a really great thread, and as someone who first experienced DP/DR during childhood, I definitely agree with a lot of what has been said in the original post. But there are also some claims I'd like to comment on because my view on them is  a bit different. I'm not an expert, but just someone who knows the condition from her own experience.

First of all there is the claim that DP is not even close to the risk associated with most other conditions. I'm not sure how someone can get to that conclusion when there simply is zero data about DP/DR and suicide. In this thread alone, many  commentators sound extremely desperate, and we simply have no idea how often the condition has already made someone take his or her own life.

The next claim is that there is absolutely no underlying brain damage or change in brain anatomy in chronic DP/DR. Unfortunalety, new research seems to suggest something quite different:


Patients with DPD are characterized by extensive, but circumscribed alterations in brain anatomy rather than large-scale morphological aberrations as seen in patients with schizophrenia. The central finding of our study is the grey matter volume reduction in the thalamus and the caudate-2 key nodes of cortico-thalamo-cortical networks required for the emergence of sensory awareness and consciousness.'

Of course I'm not a neuroscientist but extensive (!) grey matter alterations in brain regions required for the emergence of consciousness doesn't really sound that good to me. Maybe DP/DR is indeed more serious than previously thought. Of course more research has to be done about what is wrong in the depersonalized brain, but the result of this study is highly interesting. They say that they are not sure if these alterations are the result of the illness or a risk factor. If it's a risk factor then this might explain why some people are so much more vulnerable to DP/DR than others. I believe that in all mental illnesses there is a very bad psycho-biological vicious cycle and to understand whats wrong in the brain is highly important.
Maybe someone who has a brain which is structured that way is much more prone to extreme  and terrifying dissociation in stressful situations, and then that terrible psycho-biological cycle you describe sets in making the illness become chronic.

Another claim you made somewhere in this thread is that DP/DR is not hereditary. Of course we have no proof that is is, but again we can't be entirely sure that there isn't some genetic link to the condition. When a woman and her son experience not only some vague form of anxiety but a very specific syndrome with very specific symptoms not experienced by the majority of people and not even experienced by most sufferers of anxiety disorders, then that is something of interest for further research. In the book 'Feeling Unreal' they say that there are some reports that the condition runs in families. Of course we don't know why this is the case.

I don't agree either that there are no different kinds of DP/DR. I first experienced attacks of DP/DR when I was about eight or nine years old. This mostly happened in situations of joy and excitement combined with lots of perceptual stimulus, for example at the fun fair. So basically any kind of perceptual and emotional overload seems to be able to cause it, not only trauma and negative emotions. The condition became chronic after I had a classic nervous breakdown when I was twelve and it lasted for about seven years. I also experienced chronic fatigue and brain fog. It was the mid nineties when the internet was still in its infant days so I was basically alone with. Some neurologist told me something about a defense mechanism of the brain, but I was never told a name for my condition. As I didn't have any good explanation for my bizarre symptoms, I of course got scared and I started focusing on it, trying to understand what was wrong with me. So basically the psychological mechanism you described started kicking in. It indeed got much better when I somehow managed to turn my focus away from it and stopped fighting it. I can't say that I got back to 100% normal, but in my case i's very difficult to tell what is normal as I hardly remember my life before the illness. I was still so young when it all began. I don't really suffer anymore, I have learned to adapt to the condition and transformed it to my normal state of being. There is still some little bit a numbness left, but the chronic fatigue and the brain fog have gone away completely. :-) Yet there are some situations in which I realize that I simply have a predisposition towards the condition. Sleep deprivation, migraine and PMS are all triggers of DP/DR symptoms. The symptoms are usually quite mild, so I can get out of them quite easily. Today of course I understand whats's going on, but it is not only that I'm informed about the condition which helps me get out of these DP states so much quicker. The symptoms are much milder, and I believe that the DP symptoms definitely run along a spectrum of severity. If the symptoms are less severe, then it is simply much easier not to focus on them. A spectrum of severity can be found in any mental disorder, and I don't see why DP/DR should be an exception.

I don't understand, by the way, why some people refuse to call DP/DR a disorder. A defense mechanism which has gotten out of control is clearly pathological.

These are just some of my thoughts and I don't claim to be right. I absolutely agree with you about your ideas about how psychological factors contribute to the disorder becoming chronic, but there is still so much more about the condition that has to explored. It's great that today we can all get together online and discuss all about this bizarre condition.

14827106 tn?1439239732
by Eddieddie, Aug 09, 2015
Please Help!
I have developed anxiety after a drug toxicity and then sustained it due to a traumatizing fear of HIV infection (altough it is actually impossible), but got tested few days ago anyway and they turned out negative.
All my anxiety symptoms have disappeared except one MAJOR symptom: I feel like treapped in my body or my mind, which makes reality very scary for me. I'd get sudden intense bout of being aware of my existence (with questioning it and all) and then get a full-blown panic attack as a result. I feel like Im all trapped, that death seems better than life for me now. The fear is unbearable. This has made me really confused thinking about life and my family (my mom is the love of my life) and a so forth.
I'm 20-year-old medical student and have suffered from this anxiety disorder for about 3 and a half months.

My question is: is this normal to have (like isn't it any other serious mental illness?) And any advice on how to manage it?

An answer to save me and bring the active, waky me back will me much appreciated.

Wish you all a speedy recovery and wish those who recovered an everlasting fine quality of life.

Much love,

14827106 tn?1439239732
by Eddieddie, Aug 09, 2015
PS: sorry for all the mistakes. I didn't revise. ^.^

Avatar universal
by mary_91, Aug 11, 2015
Hi Eddie,

What you describe sounds very similair to what I’ve been going through. I have had this extreme anxiety for 4 months and even though all the physical symptoms are gone, the hyperawareness has lingered. I feel like once you’ve learned about it and felt it, you can’t unlearn it anymore.

From what I’ve read, this symptom is very common with DP/DR… When everything seems unreal, you start questioning your life, your existence and this deep instropsection is what keeps the existential thoughts coming… But you shouldn’t fear it.. You should simply change your perspective about it…
Let’s say everytime you feel weird and start questioning your being, tell yourself that this is just another symptom of anxiety and don’t give it much importance.

Distraction works pretty good for me and I think that if you stop paying attention and fearing these thoughts, they will lose their power. Because their are just THOUGHTS.

Remind yourself of the person you used to be before you got anxiety. You were the exact same person, with the same brain and the same reality. The only reason why you are scared of it now, is because you have experienced DP/DR as a result of anxiety. As soon as the anxiety subsides, these feelings won’t bother you anymore.. You might still get the same thoughts (because once the thoughts have been planted, it’s really hard to break the cycle) but these thoughts are not going to scare you anymore.

14827106 tn?1439239732
by Eddieddie, Aug 12, 2015
Thank you so much mary_91 ! It really did help.
Please make sure to read the coming post I'll share on here

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by Eddieddie, Aug 12, 2015

Whoever suffering from DP/DR and all its bad complications, read this plz!
I got it from some awesome website and hope it won't be considered plagiarism (lol)

I only wanted to share something as well, I called a psychiatrist today and I'd may think about some sessions with her. She's so nice and all. She told me not to worry whatsoever the symptoms are; and that anxiety is anxiety - that it doesn't turn into something else. And psychotic people don't even know they're thinking wrong, so don't worry about ur irrational thoughts because they are all monitored by you. But do pay less to no attention to them at all.

Hope it makes you feel better! xoxo

The Holy Grail of Curing DP/DR:

I've analyzed and experienced this ******* life consuming blackhole disorder for a longtime since I got it and have found the 10 most important steps in recovery:

1) Acceptance
2) Letting go
3) Distraction
4) Tuning focus back on external world(reality) and interact with it
5) Socializing
6) Facing your fears&burried surrows
7) Eating right
8) Sleeping/Exercising
9) Changing your thinking pattern
10) Re-enter reality & Never looking back

Seems so easy and simple, in a sense it is and on the other hand it's not, it's hard work.
However it IS infact THE only cure that ANYONE with DPDR has used to recover. there will never be a magic pill, so take my word for it and cure yourself by the end of this year and live life happily ever after in REALITY.


This one is probably the hardest, one thing is acknowleding and being aware your suffering from DP/DR.
I think anyone who read this book with DP/DR acknowledges the fact they are fuckedup and got DP/DR.
The thing we however don't do is ACCEPT IT.
Infact we refuse it and fight it with all our energy and time.
Accepting seems like defeat like, damn, I'm ******. But that's not the case.
Accepting means stop fighting it with all ur power, it's the first step in recovery (seems clich�) but it's actually true.
Before you can ACCEPT (again not acknowledge, but ACCEPT the fact that ur DP/DR'ed) you won't recover.
It's also the first step of letting go.
Accepting is not a easy process but it's a quick one. Just say it out loud a few times and really MEAN it:

"I accept I got DPDR, and I know I'm not insane, this is a temporary illness and I accept that I got it"
It wants you to give it attention but you got to accept it's pressence and don't give a ****.
It's like the bully who picks on other kids in school, if they fight him/pay him attention, he'll keep coming back. If they ignore him, it won't have the same effect and the bully will leave.
It's kind of the same with Pure O thoughts and DPDR, so accept it and you'll soon be ready to let go of it

Letting go

This is the next step in the process of recovery, managing to actually let go.
Letting go of the questioning, philosophing, worrying, thinking and wondering "WHAT IF" "COULD IT BE?" "BUT?" etc.
Letting go is different from ignoring, ignoring is forcing yourself not to pay attention which actually means your paying it attention.
Letting go means really letting something go without picking it up 10 minutes later again. I'm guilty of this.
The 3 persons I've interacted most with from dpselfhelp is curedone, ihavemessedupdreams & Fightingdepression, they can testify I had a enourmous amount of trouble with this "letting go" thing.
I couldn't, and I think I've read all the information on every topic there is on the internet, seriously.
Google is no longer my friend, but my enemy.
Letting go is ofcourse a process, it's not something you manage to do while you read these lines just by saying "OK I LET GO OF THIS IRRATIONAL FEARS" and then your cured. It's a process.
You must adopt a I JUST DONT GIVE A **** attitude to these thoughts and lable them as "my mind sending me false information again" and let them go.
In the beginning this is hard but after awhile it becomes easier.
it's the same in treating OCD and it's actually altering the thinking pattern in your mind thus also changing the chemical balance in your brain. This might sound like mind over matter, but it's not mind is matter in you brain and this have been scientifically verifyed and is realy ancient knowledge of buddhists.
Letting go leads to the next topic, distraction, which is essential in letting go, if you just sit around doing nothing, letting go is next to impossible. It's like trying to quit crack addiction while selling it by the kilos.


It's the most fundamental way of curing Panic disorder, depression, OCD etc.
Distracting is hard, ecspecially when your so not connected with your surrounding environment.
Distraction simply means shifting your focus from DPDR to ANYTHING, I don't care if it's singing
Britney Spears HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME or jumping in the shower with ice cold water on.
Distraction is the key to letting go which is the key to recovery so distraction is a key to the door of both your soul(self) & reality for DP/DR victims
Everytime you find yourself ruminating over some stupid *** philosophical questions GET UP, run around your house 5 times and do 20 pushups.
Throw a bucket of icecold water over your head and clean your room.
Put on a song and sing to it, watch a exciting movie(not a boring one which will lead your mind to think and not follow the movie)
Something / Anything which involves taking the focus from inward internal conflict of mind to the outward external REALity.
This would be the great time to start learning new things, get new hobbies etc.
I can not stress enough how important consistant 24/7 distraction from DPDR is to recover.
It's either that or your doomed, it's simple as that, honestly put.

Tuning focus back on the external world/reality and interact with it

Now that your letting go of irrational thoughts, distract yourself from DPDR it's time to enter reality and interact with it again. No more isolation, I bet most of you spend 6+ hours aday on the computer with focus on the screen then another 2 hours on the TV screen and the rest in bed.
How do I guess so right? because I've done it for the past year too.
Isolation is the worst thing, it's proven it leads to solipsism syndrome and derealization states.
NASA is experiencing this and studying ways to defeat it in space travel where astronauts surroundings are very little unchanging and they live in COMPLETELY controlled environment for safety.
Their currently finding ways to combat this by having plants which grow without human intervention, animals and random number generators etc.

In your home your in a controlled unchanging environment, which means no surprises, no changes, no challenges & therefore no feeling of reality.
It's when your fantasy/hopes/expectations are proven wrong by reality that you learn to deal and handle reality.
So how do we enter the scary "unknown" without breaking down and killing ourself or going insane?
First we watch this movie(ya'll spiritualist will love this one, but for atheists **** the "God" part and just watch the relaxing and beautiful nature and the encouraging messages)
Now realize this is our fear, the beautiful nature and world there is out there for us to explore and experience.
You live rougly if your lucky 75 years. That means most of us 30-50%+ of that time is already up.
Another fact is that we sleep like 1/3 of our life so this means basically we cannot waste it on this stupid retarded disorder and sit alone in a room killing ourselves emotionally, mentally and personally.

I suggest starting slow, going outside, if your not in a big city, taking walks in nature will be great grounding experiences, hearing the birds sing, watching rivers floath, the trees swinging in the wind, feeling the fresh air and seeing the biiig biiig world out there which you got absolutely NO control over and is completely real and natural independant of your mind. (this is a fact I trust in after studying the philosopher Ayn Rand)
I know buddhists might disagree, but seriously, the objective world is primary, your consciousness is secondary and a direct result of evolution and natural selection.
It's mother earth, and we are it's children.
Feel the happiness of belonging, theres tons of smells/tastes outside too which will bring back memories and sense of self.
Anyway, staying in the safezone = controlled environment = increased belief in your stupid delusional thoughts(doesn't make them real,nothing ever will, but it'll appear more real, thus make you feel more unreal).
So get out, you need the earthquake of facing the scary uncontrolable REAL world to shake you back to reality.
Try not only observing it passively, instead feel the leafs, throw some rocks in the river, walk and feel the ground beneath you, see the changes in the sky, the surroundings etc.
Also I know humans seem strange to you at the moment, faces appear dead/cartoonish if your severily DR'ed and it seems like people got no mind, there's no persona in them it seems, but look at yourself in the mirror u cannot see ur own mind either.
Their minds DO exist and you'll be able to understand it again once ur back in reality and fully conscious and awake.
Start out small, it's great if you got animals, ecspecially cats as they are so self centered and dont give a **** about you, you can see they got their own mind and do as they please and their cute as hell too.
I've found it easier to connect with animals in DP/DR moments, their so full of life and different and unpredictable from us.
Also try to move around to new places, something unpredictable and new is the greatest way of killing of DP/DR.
It's scary so you don't dare to do it, but it's the only goal your seeking, ironic isn't it?
DO IT seriously.


After you manage to get out of your house and trust reality again and start to see it's realness and randomness and you got no control over it, socializing is the next step and the most important of them all.
You will NEVER EVER realize that people exist by studying evolution, watching experiments and brainscans, you will know it intellectually but not EXPERIENCE AND KNOW IT in reality.
To do so you must socialize, with old friends and new people.
For some strange reason the more familiar the people are in reality more unfamiliar people look when your in the DPDR'ed state of mind.
I guess it got to do with the defense mechanism in your brain shutting off the self and "protecting you", but anyway, this is the most crucial and important step in the world for DPDR'ers, realize there really are others out there.
Your not alone, and this will bring back reality to you in so many ways, and is the greatest distractor of them all.
Socializing will also bring back common sense to you too, slowly but surely this will help you greatly.
Don't talk to them about your DPDR, if they ask whats up just tell them your a little depressed stressed and exhausted, don't go into details about it, when your with others try not to focus on it at all, try to focus on the present and REALITY not your deluded fearful fantasies.
Antisocial behavior and isolation while DPDR'ed is like playing russian roulette with all chambers of the gun loaded. It's straightup suicide.

Facing your fears and burried surrows:

The best analogy for this is : your stuck in a endless tunnel you've brought yourself into, every fear that has attacked ur mind that you have tried to fought and ignore has put you deeper into this tunnel. And you see no light at the end, and when you think you do it's a train.
Well ok, lets face that train(fear) then, let it kill you, you must die a few times in this process.
After awhile the train drags your corpse out of the tunnel and you'll rise from the ashes like a pheonix and the fears will no longer affect you and you'll be able to conquer and finally realize and see how irrational and nonexistant the things you feared actually is.
If you fear dying it doesn't mean go to the bathroom and slit your wrist so you can "FACE DEATH".
It simply means say "I dont care if I die", but you got to MEAN it, not just say it.
Death is real and its invetiable, but it's not in the present so don't worry about it.
The other existential philosophical nonesense don't even exist, so facing those is different, here you must either PRETEND their true for awhile until your mind realize it was wrong and you can finally let go or skip that and go straight to the "let go part"...
Let the thoughts occupy the mind, don't pay them attention, acknowledge them, don't agree or disagree, just let them be, starve them to death, everytime you attack them or try to resolve 'em you give 'em a big cheeseburger with fries on your expens(this being your life) so **** that scavanger and let it die out from starvation.
Survival of the fittest. =P
If you've as me gone through traumatic events such as loss of loved ones or other similarly traumatic experiences facing it is a great therapeutic way of recovering.
The last time I felt reality and emotions was encountering my deep burried sorrow of my dad's tragic death which occured right before DPDR and was a big contributer to triggering it I suspect.
Facing it was like unleashing the emotions out of the cage and it was overwhelming but brought me back into my body and reality in a split second, even if it just lasted a few seconds this was the first "hope" for me in months.
A spark of light in the endless maze of dark empty tunnels of DP/DR.
Crying without emotion gives no effect, you need to bring up the emotional cause and unleash it.
Remember your brain has shut this down to protect you from the overwhelming emotions but it doesn't realize the danger is over and you can let it go so you have to remind it and poke on it until it do.
It'll be a hard but crucial process in your road to recovery.

Eating right

While studying anxiety disorders and ecspecially Pure O I found that what we eat contribute a whole lot to our situation.
Our brains is basically billions and billions of neurons which are connected through myelin sheets, same as our nervous system is and anxiety / ocd / slightly schizophrenic / tourette syndrome etc. people got damaged and torn up myelin sheets which is the prime cause of this.
Eating right so that these can heal can be a great great contributer to your healing and recovery.

I suggest this eating regime:

Primrose oil: 2capsules in the morning with breakfast, 2 in the afternoon with dinner, 2 at night with supper. (Must be taken with a protein so it's absorbed up in your system for effect)
Primrose oil is great at rebuilding the myelin sheets and nervous system

Fish oil: 1 before sleep
Fish oil is probably the most known natural mental health supplement it has helped heal brain damage, help brain fog, schizophrenia etc. etc.

Vitamine complex: 1 pill in the morning

Vitamine B complex: 1 pill in the morning (vitamine B has been reported on several OCD forums I've been at as a great supp to lessen the thoughts and mind noise in their heads)

Zinc supplement: zinc is great for mental health and health generally, 1 capsule in the morning and one at supper is all that's needed.

Flaxseed oil: 1 capsule a day

I suspect in very few cases will this eating regime alone eliminate DP/DR(although SOME reports of people changing their intake of food/supps has magically cured their brainfog and dpdr) it will atleast help a great deal.

Also eating healthy is good, fruits, vegtables white meat etc, yeah this almost sounds like some sort of training gainweight/lose weight diet but, logically eating the healthiest will make you healthier.
You are what you eat is a fact in physics not just a setence.
Your body reproduces cells every ******* second, give it the best and it'll reward you for it.
After all, ITS YOUR BODY.

Avoid these: sugar, cigarettes and coffee

Again I'm guilty as charged in all of these, I used to be smoking 20 cigarettes a day and consuming gallons of cocacola (lot of caffeine and sugar).
Everything that ends with INE is negative for you and will make your situation and condition ten times worse, all INE's are stimulants and increase anxiety, pulse and heart rate.
I'm no preacher, but sorry nicotine caffeine amphetamine cocaine heroine is not good for DP/DR.
So if you like me loves cigarettes, this will be the greatest time to quit and when your recovered from DP/DR you'll be so glad you did it and now you got a GOOD reason to.
Another thing is that quitting cigarettes is a goal, it's dicipline, taking control over one of your bad habbits, which in itself is great selfesteem boost it's also a good way to start breaking other habbits like DP/DR thinking, isolation etc.
Plus it will increase your health enormously just the first months, just the first few weeks it'll increase your smell/taste and breathing and lower your chances of heart attack etc.

Sleeping & Exercising:

The reason I bring this up is because first:
sleeping pattern is very important in recovering, you must have a routine and sleeping pattern that is stricktly followed in recovery times.
After all sleeping is when your mind body and yourself actually get the chance to rest
I've been close to recovery many times but fuckedup just because of either lack of or over sleeping ONE day and I've completely relapsed.
8 hours is needed, no more, no less. It will also give your life structure and routine and give back sense of contact with reality in some sense, such as concept of time, dates, day/night structure and routines.
Exercising will help you get better sleep and rest, cause if your doing nothing but sitting in a chair all day long reading forums and symptoms and studying for the magic pill or answers to your endless questions your body is basically in a half sleep mode all day long.
Another important thing with exercise is that it'll help you reconnect with your body, you'll use it and thus identify with it more again and fee it as you did PRE-DPDR'ed.
Also getting in better shape physically is proven to help you mentally.
It's also a great distractor and way of reconnecting life, ecspecially if your gaining/losing weight, it'll be a little goal besides recovering and you'll see changes and be happy etc.
There's tons of good reasons why exercise is great but it's almost essential in DPDR to quicker and better recovery I think.

Changing your thinking pattern:

This is the biggest and maybe most important part of your recovery (think I've said that about 5 times now, but it's true).
This one goes for PureO/OCD/Panic/Depression too.
The cause of your irrational thoughts and fears lies within your brain chemistry & mind.
So by changing your thinking you'll alter your brain chemistry, this is a well known factor in buddhism called mindfulness.
This will take about a month before you really start noticing that the fears/thoughts aren't as intrusive and VIVID anymore but it'll happen if your consistant.
First realize these thoughts are directly a result of your temporary condition, not braindamage/any truth in the thoughts.
Then you gotta learn to let the thoughts go and refocus on something else, everytime one of these thoughts come, realize its your mind on crack giving you false information and no matter how anxious you become let the thought be, don't fight to ignore it, just let it be, "Be the witness of your thoughts" but don't interact.
Humans got approximatly 64 000 thoughts a day, 90% of them is pure ******** and most are not even consciously aware of most of them.
If these thoughts came to you in your sleep you wouldnt give a damn and just label them as subconscious nonesense dreaming, do the same here, cause it is EXACTLY what it is.
Immediately change your focus outwards and try thinking of something else, something RELEVANT to your life & the present moment and immediately DO something.
This is VERY important in changing your behavior, kind of what CBT is about I guess.

Re-entering reality and never looking back

Getting to the point where you start re-entering reality means getting outside the house daily again, socializing, letting go.
It involves more than just stepping outside your house, it means getting into reality again.
You need to get your hobbies interests back again, cause this is what forms your life.
Anyone can go around as a numb observer of the world, but participating in it is the only way to recover.
This is all subjective experience of the objective reality. The objective reality itself won't give you any meaning. It'll give you inspiration, but it's you subjectively who choose what destiny and path of your life will be.
Now taking something as simple as playing cards means this for you: "moving your hands and picking up some cards with symbols on it and try to get certain cards to win".
Thats your DPDR'ed non meaningful dereality, when your emotions come back it's a GAME again, a game that the purpose is to WIN, and the winning gives you a feeling of luck, happiness and achievement.
Even if it's just something as small as a ******* cardgame.
You've got to let go of the notion that reality will just SHOW IT'S GRAND MEANING AND EXISTANCE to you again, cause it's you who create your OWN experience of reality.
The best way to realize this is maybe by watching a child, he can pick up a branch of a tree and play with it all day long, it's giving him a meaning in his life because he LETS it and is dedicated with it.
Thinking and analyzing why people are as real as you won't make you suddenly EUREKA THEY ARE REAL. No, engaging in social life and activies will do this.
It'll become just as obvious to you that these people are conscious as it is that you are.
Analyzing people while thinking "are they real, do they got minds" etc while looking at someone will do you no good. You need to stop analyzing and rather go out and experience, then it will be revealed and obvious again.

Once your starting to recover and get out of the thick DPDR fog, you must NOT look back.
Just a little thinking about it in the first period after recovery is like smoking weed again(if this is what induced it for you). It'll bring it back in seconds.
i've had numerous experiences where I've become a little better for a little while then have a little relapse and it has sent me straight back into it fully if not even worse for months.
When your getting out, theres no turning back, for some REALITY just suddenly is there again, and this is a shock.
It's like you've been trapped in this dark tunnel for so long and when your out the bright sun light is a shock on your eyes. in the same sense is reality to you when your realizing it again.
You go from being deluded almost asleep passive observer of what you hope to be reality to suddenly BAM being in it again fulltime, everyone around you is real, NOTHING is under your control, the world is there, existance is there again. Too some this can be overwhelming and frightening at first.
The good news is that it'll take you maybe 1-2-3days to fully be ok with it again and feel normal. After all THAT IS reality you've lived in your whole life. It'll come back to you quick and you'll be so happy and excited, but don't let the excitment ruin the recovery for you.
You need to go slow, but not too slow.
If you have a relapse and feel DR/DP'ed, quickly distract yourself and not let the fear get hold of you, you've been down that road, it leads to more anxiety, more dp dr, more waste of your life.
When I say quickly, I mean like RIGHT AWAY, don't lock urself up for a day or two just to "feel cool" again, do it IMMEDIATELY before it takes over your mind.
It'll be hard, but it's the only way you'll keep recovering...
If you suffer added PANIC DISORDER, I suggest getting some anti-anxiety(not too strong) pills in emergencies, just incase when your out of your home and safezone get a panic attack you can take a pill or two just to calm down and keep distracting yourself.

DP/DR do's and don'ts


Participate in life (self explainatory)
Get new hobbies and interests (change is very advantagous to cure this disorder and it'll refocus your mind)
Make new friends (again change factor, plus new friends mean non predictable/controlable events)
Have sex (sex is the most fundamental emotional and instinctive of all human behavior so enganging in it should bring fourt the human in you)
Fall inlove (this is hard while DPDR'ed, but if you manage you'll be cured faster than anyone)
Make music (if your an artist, self expression through music is the best way to spark emotions and unleash your own)
Listen to music (if your NOT an artists listening to others will do the same, music is played on instruments by the creator but plays on the emotions of the listener)
Make art (drawing/painting is another way of self expression so if your good at it, do it, if your not good at it but want to be, pick it up as a new hobbie and learn it)
Express yourself (every person feels the need to EXPRESS themselves, find someone who listens and take a long chat with them, very therapeutic and also connecting, to others and therefore yourself again.
Distract, (already explained)
Make socializing your second nature (explained before)
Stay occupied. (explained)
Party (but without drugs, if you manage alcohol without increasing DP/DR great, it's a good social event and also drinking increases social behavior and let your guard down a bit)
The list is endless....


Isolate yourself (staying in the tunnel)
Dwell on DPDR (dwelling is burrying yourself alive)
Think deep thoughts (just increasing your DPDR and anxieties)
Study **** that scares you (it won't lead to anything good, trust me)
Spend more than 1hour on the computer a day(not even on dpselfhelp) (computer is a way of "escaping reality which is the opposite of what we're trying to do)
Letting this disorder take over your life (self explainatory)
Do drugs(yeah it ***** but ECSPECIALLY if your DPDR was drug induced stay the **** away no matter if you recover, you'll kill yourself and never forgive urself if u recover, do drugs and relapse.)


Some exercises that'll help you on your quest to sense of self and regaining reality:

Body scan meditation:

This exercise was brought to my attention by a member of dpselfhelp: LostSoul.
It's basically a exercise to reconnect your body and also "the present" according to LostSoul who's managed to temporarily "recover" using this technique a few times.
The trick is however when you manage to enter your body again NOT to get too excited as it will "shoot you up in your mind" again.

This is what you do:

Lie on your back with your legs uncrossed, your arms at your sides, palms up, and your eyes open or closed, as you wish. Focus on your Breathing, how the air moves in and out of your body. After several deep breaths, as you begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, direct your attention to the toes of your left foot. Tune into any sensations in that part of your body while remaining aware of your Breathing. It often helps to imagine each breath flowing to the spot where you're directing your attention. Focus on your left toes for one to two minutes.

Then move your focus to the sole of your left foot and hold it there for a minute or two while continuing to pay attention to your breathing. Follow the same procedure as you move to your left ankle, calf, knees, thigh, hip and so on all around the body. Pay particular attention to the head: the jaw, chin, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, nostrils, throat, cheeks, eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, forehead, temples and scalp.

Do this for 15-30minutes twice a day.

Increasing/training your senses:

Again thanks to LostSoul

This is a Buddhist technique, used by buddhist munks to train their senses and awareness of their environment.
In the sense of DPDR what this will help is take your inward focus and turn it OUTWARD to the reality again.

You do this by taking one sense a week

Let's start with the ears:

My suggestion is that you spend 30minutes a day this first week going outside somewhere your not disturbed and close your eyes and try to focus your hearing on different things outside.
The greatest spot will either be out in nature or some balcony in the city, try to distinguish and focus on different sounds.
Also listen to music, but not with headphones on as this will feel "isolated", so tune up the speakers and put on some of your favourite music you used to love and try to pay attention to the melody, try to follow it with your ears.
This has a double effect, first increasig your hearing and hopefully spark some memories you have of that specific song/music.

Next week take the eyes which might be the worst impairment of DPDR, your visual perception:

This one you can do all week actually, but atleast dedicate 30 minutes a day to REALLY do it.
Try watching moving objects, such as cars, flying birds etc, follow them with your eyes intensively.
Another is the in and out focus, place a finger infront of your eye and focus on it, then focus on the "background", by doing this you stimulate the eye muscles.
Also try looking around you all the time, don't just look dead out in the air as your sleep walking or something.
You must really try to focus your vision on the world again.

Then it's smelling:

Same here, you can do this all day, all week, but atleast spend 30 minutes a day.
Here only your imagination can stop you, try smelling everything, flowers, perfumes, food, aroma's, soap, chemicals, anything that'll stimulate your sense of smell.
A fellow contributer and DP sufferer at DPselfhelp told me she temporarily felt normal again by the smell of burning leafs and aroma therapy.
So maybe it'll also spark some memories and reality recognition in your head.


Another infinite possibilites, I suggest buying tons of fruits and different food this week.


Touch everything, try to feel different objects, nature, animals, don't ponder it's diversity, just feel without question.
If you got a girl/boyfriend, feel/touch them a lot to.
Again, you'll have to use your fantasy, but go further than touching yourself ok?;P

"I am" mantra exercise:

This was handed to me by my psychiatrist actually it's a very simple exercise.
You basically just sit still and take deep breathes and while inhaling say "here I am" or "i am me" or "here I *your name* am".
Then exhale and feel the air leaving YOU.
The point of this is to locate yourself and body again.

Looking in the mirror:

This "technique" is really just something I've come up with the last few weeks, it's nothing special but i think it might be effective.
Basically it just means looking at your reflection through out the day(not bdd obsessively) but just so you see yourself objectively(cause in DPDR you've lost sense of objective reality and objective thinking)
So seeing yourself objectively over and over again might spark memories etc.
Another thing you can do is care for how you look, try playing "dress up" game or wtf you want.
Get some variation in your looks and take care of it, connect to your ego again.
Also try standing beside a friend/relative or something in a reflection and see that ur just the same, ur not alone, this is hard to "figure out and see" from a first person perspective.


Basically find some photoalbums from your childhood, social events etc.
Look through them and try to remember how it was, try to connect with the event as it was.
Try to spark the memory of it
This is a way you can try to wakeup your SOUL and YOUR relationships with people and the world as it once was.
Staying with friends and talking about the past is probably the best way to connect with memories of your real life, one thing is to sit alone and think about it, but when your with others they'll bring up memories you've forgot and can share them and it hopefully will spark some parts of your memory which is currently out of reach, but it is permanently intergrated into your mind so don't be afraid, it's not lost.

Avatar universal
by mary_91, Aug 13, 2015
Thanks for the post Eddie! This post is really good! But be careful with the DPselfhelp forum, and make sure you only read the recovery stories. Because some people are being very negative and at first it really scared me, because I saw there are some people who been posting there for like 10 years lol So I was losing hope that it will ever really pass.

Don't read about other people's symptoms because it is going to care you. And don't compare yourself to anybody else, only compare yourself to yourself, to see how much progress you've made.

Let us know how the therapy goes and if your psychiatrist gives any nice tips. Mine was being very unprofessional, the first word out of her mouth was psychosis so I stopped going lol

Avatar universal
by falloutgirl05, Aug 20, 2015
Hi I'm just new here and I just would like to know if it's normal to somewhat fear your own reflection in the mirror. You know, it really freaked me out to look at my own reflection, like I would get dizzy and confused just by looking at myself in the mirror. I felt like I was looking at somebody else. Is this normal if you have DP? I just would like to be informed so bad @@

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by shellyshelly19002000, Sep 02, 2015
TO ANYONE THAT HAS DEREALIZATION AND DEPERSONALIZATION, PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS.... ANYONE! OK, a best friend of mine was raped a few years ago. She fought back as hard as she could but the rapist was too strong and over powered her. She told me when she could not fight back anymore because he held her down and she could not get up. Next, he started to raping her. At the point , after fighting him but could not she said to me, All of sudden things changed.  I wanted to know all about it.

Well the way she explained it to me is 1st- her vision changed as if something was wrong with her eye sight! 2nd when her eyes do that and at the exact same time felt different too that she is DEATTACHED FROM REALITY! 3RD and that makes her freak out and feels strong paronia because 1st an 2nd. 4TH goes in full blown Panic Attacks.

I AM CONFUSED. Is it her vision in her eyes or is it her mind making her vision bad? She now has this same feeling.   She suffers with this D.P. AND D.R.  Derealization (likes look fake, surreal, detached from reality and sometimes detached with her soul coming out and looks at her body. When I asked her, WTF?! Soul coming out her body??? She said: "I look at my body and I feel like my soul is looking at it but not up in the air or away from her body. She could not really tell me BUT CAN SOMEONE TELL US WHAT AND WHY IS HER SOUL LOOKING AT HER? Now, she panic everyday because of everything feeling fake, unreal etc, and  she really, really wants to know about her eye sight looking at any and everything around her looks different. PLEASE HELP MY FRIEND . Remember , it started 1st when raped!  She said THANKS and so do I! She gets 8 hours of sleep a night but says sometimes feels like she starts to dream for 30 SECOND MAX during the day. She made me laugh because she told me she was thinking ABOUT BILLS ONLY and doing her bills, writing checks and felt just fine and all of sudden her mind started to dream Of a prince with a frog and they need to get on boat to fine the princess!! I laughed so hard. She said she was not even thinking of that but she said she went into a dream .PLEASE HELP HER UNDERSTAND WHY SHE GOES INTO DREAMS WHEN AWAKE AND FEELING FINE. TY TY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU PEOPLE THAT HAS DP AND OR DR! ALL COMMENTS WANTED :)

Avatar universal
by shellyshelly19002000, Sep 02, 2015
TO ANYONE THAT HAS DEREALIZATION AND DEPERSONALIZATION, PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS.... ANYONE! OK, a best friend of mine was raped a few years ago. She fought back as hard as she could but the rapist was too strong and over powered her. She told me when she could not fight back anymore because he held her down and she could not get up. Next, he started to raping her. At the point , after fighting him but could not she said to me, All of sudden things changed.  I wanted to know all about it.

Well the way she explained it to me is 1st- her vision changed as if something was wrong with her eye sight! 2nd when her eyes do that and at the exact same time felt different too that she is DEATTACHED FROM REALITY! 3RD and that makes her freak out and feels strong paronia because 1st an 2nd. 4TH goes in full blown Panic Attacks.

I AM CONFUSED. Is it her vision in her eyes or is it her mind making her vision bad? She now has this same feeling.   She suffers with this D.P. AND D.R.  Derealization (likes look fake, surreal, detached from reality and sometimes detached with her soul coming out and looks at her body. When I asked her, WTF?! Soul coming out her body??? She said: "I look at my body and I feel like my soul is looking at it but not up in the air or away from her body. She could not really tell me BUT CAN SOMEONE TELL US WHAT AND WHY IS HER SOUL LOOKING AT HER? Now, she panic everyday because of everything feeling fake, unreal etc, and  she really, really wants to know about her eye sight looking at any and everything around her looks different. PLEASE HELP MY FRIEND . Remember , it started 1st when raped!  She said THANKS and so do I! She gets 8 hours of sleep a night but says sometimes feels like she starts to dream for 30 SECOND MAX during the day. She made me laugh because she told me she was thinking ABOUT BILLS ONLY and doing her bills, writing checks and felt just fine and all of sudden her mind started to dream Of a prince with a frog and they need to get on boat to fine the princess!! I laughed so hard. She said she was not even thinking of that but she said she went into a dream .PLEASE HELP HER UNDERSTAND WHY SHE GOES INTO DREAMS WHEN AWAKE AND FEELING FINE. TY TY GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU PEOPLE THAT HAS DP AND OR DR! ALL COMMENTS WANTED :)

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Sep 03, 2015
Hi Shelly

ALL the things she has described to you are DP and DR nothing more. Her mind is in a very high state of anxiety, an wonder considering the truly horrible thing that happened to her.

Basically her mind has gone into "safe mode" but the fact she has noticed it in safe mode has made her even more afraid of the symptoms and so she keeps looking out for them and pays a huge amount of attention to them and trying to feel part of reality again. This is the worst thing she can do as she needs to become less afriad of the feelings and accept them as symptoms of anxiety, only then will she start to recover from the anxiety.

She will need expert help though to help her overcome the attack, as it has effected her mentally. When she starts to accept the symptoms and start to process the horrible memories of the attack and all the thoughts of blame and guilt she will start to overcome the anxiety.

Avatar universal
by sadrabbit, Sep 06, 2015
My story (sorry for the length but I wanted to explain clearly how I come to where Im now ) ...

It all began 3 years ago. For the sake of completeness: I was already suffering from obsessive thoughts for 7 years by that time and did take GLADEM against them. After a year of massive stress I had my first panic attack which made me feel like I was shifted in another dimension only hearing voices from far away and I was so scared and shocked of this impressions I thought I would die in this very moment. My wife calmed me and after an hour I got out of this shock.

From that moment on I started to have such panic attacks on a daily basis or at best every third day. Any of them made me feel similar to the first: like I was shifted into another dimension.

I can't remember when it actually started but I started to get this strange thoughts (leading to new panic attacks) like ...
- What if I'm currently dreaming?
- What if I'm already dead and in heaven/hell/or somewhere else?
These thoughts scared the **** out of me and the worst thing was that I couldnt calm down as I thought that I couldnt proof this thoughts being nonsense - I couldnt find a way to proove me everything's ok and real. I just didnt manage to get this "everything is ok"-feeling. However, any of this panic attacks lasted for about 2 hours and then it lost power and I came back to normal.

Back then I started to nipp myself when this thoughts arised to proof me I'm awake, but everytime I had such thoughts and a panic attack I needed more and more nipps to calm down.

That state (periodic panic attacks with these existential thoughts) lasted for two years and I decided to SLOWLY get rid of GLADEM as I thought it being crap anyway as it didnt make feel better, never.

In the beginning of last year I was clean regarding GLADEM and then I had a dream where I nipped myself within. I woke up and remembered that fact and immediately got shocked and scared: my reality check was ruined, so what else couldnI do to calm down? I tried to find some reality checks via Google but found an absolutely unhelping page on Wikipedia (dealing with a different topic) making everything worse - saying, you cannot check besides the fact that within dreams you usually experience things not being possible, physically or in some other way.

From that moment on everything got worse and worse! Day in and out I couldn't get this thoughts out of my head - "What if everything is only a dream or imagination?"
And I started to unconsciously automatically check my surroundings and the world for "impossible things" and trust me, a scared mind do find things that doesnt seem to fit in the first place. Things like "hey, I just saw someone going behind me - where is she now?" or "I just heared this sound a moment ago, where did it come from?" My mind started to trick me in ways like "hey, I'm sure I put this there and now it's lying somewhere else" - I have 2 kids and my wife, so the simplest and most probable explanations for stuff like this were "they put it there", but I couldnt easily believe in that, somehow I always had this what-if-feeling in the back of my head.

And then came the worst, I started to note that when I look at my wrist watch the hand fornthe seconds seemed to stuck innthe beginning. I got a massive shock that my thoughts really were true and I instantly lost trust in reality. I was ultimately frightened. However, I got out of this panic attack again but from this moment on all of my core trust in reality, myself and everything else was crumbling down, every day one more brick crumbled down with those periodicly "fails" (as I called those situations with lack of explanations as I mentioned before).

This year in spring I woke up and I didnt even know who I am and where I was. But I was aware of my "role" as ME - so I just "played my roll" through the day. Everyday this strange and frightening feeling stayed longer and longer but leaving me at night. So in the evening I usually feel good, but not 100% as I was before.

Now everyday I wake up in a world that seems not really familiar to me and I got that feeling not really knowing who I am or what I am getting better through the day, though. I'm pretty stuck on this and dont know how to ever become 100% normal again, getting all of my core inner trust in reality and ME back again, even though I cant really remember how I felt when I felt normal anymore.

I have to say that I found out that my traumatic experience with my wrist watch is absolutely normal and known as "cronostasis". However, it seems as if I cannot get back my trust in life and reality again and getting rid of those doubts in everything.

So, Im searching for some hope here as there might be one having a similar story and maybe some advices/hints for me how to fully get back to normal.

Avatar universal
by DontezK, Sep 11, 2015
i have the same symptoms you have sadrabit. i have wierd feelings that i cant explain and i get confused, and i feel like im in hell.a hell that is a life that is simulated like a video game i have scary flash thoughts that seem to control its self. i noticed i would only hit this dimension when i let my crazy thoughts and any out of the normal sensations i got, trick my brain into thinking they are threats. stress comes not only from your thoughts, but from chemicals in your brain. dp is when the both combine and distort your reality. i find that i feel better when i tell myself, my thoughts are not threats, and my symptoms of dp are not threats. your not in hell. hell is a place of torment with no joy, you can still feel joy in this life.

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by DontezK, Sep 11, 2015
so control your thoughts, to let your brain know theres no threat. also take some stress tabs, and take some vitiamins that help with anxiety.

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by norwayborn, Sep 21, 2015
Thank god i found this post in time, i have developed a form of dp that is hard to Get rid of, i smoke cigarettes too cope With it. I have this unbearable toughts about time, and that time will never stop. I cant Shake of this creepy feeling, but The feeling about thinkin about it sometimes Even makes it Worse.

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by Norbertoldo, Sep 28, 2015
Hey guys, allow me to start by saying this post was a relief. I wanted to share my story, so others can reflect on it and maybe give me advice. I'll try to write all the important parts down, sorry if its incoherent at time. Everything started when I moved from my country to the UK with my girlfriend. We had a hard time, we weren't prepared, our relationship was on a really bad track, we were really hoping to get some improvement out of it. We didn't know where to start, so we couldn't find a job for almost two months. Then we both found something to start with, not the best but it was okay. In april, my grandfather passed away, it wasn't sudden, he was sick, but my parents didn't tell me because they didn't want me to worry. So it hit me hard and sudden. My connection with him was very strong, I've always known he would be the first to pass away, and I was always trying to imagine how is it going to be without him. He passed away and at that time I didn't really have my girlfriend next to me (I had no real friends out here), she was with me but I could feel she is not with me mentally.We went home for the funeral, I was really surpressing my feelings so my parents wouldn't worry about me. Later as it turned out, my girlfriend cheated on me at that time. We were doing some coke and weed with our flatmates at this time (before that I wasn't doing anything like this, so I was sure it would cause some trouble for me). I was getting really fed up with my job, Few times I would wake up and I couldn't feel my arms, I panicked then I slept back, I didn't have a panick attack. But the constant thought was with me that this is something serious. So at one time the numbness got serious when I was awake, and that was when my first panick attack happened. I called the ambulance on me. I immadiately gave my notice, and flew home. Visited all the mental doctors to help me with it. My numbness went away, but I started suffering from panick attacks. I didn't know what caused it, I was looking for the connection. It took me time to realize that the less I look for connection the less it happens. After being constantly panicked for almost a month, it stopped. I said enough, I won't try to connect it to anything, it is just my braing playing games, I cannot harm myself, or if yes, the more I worry the worse I'll make the harm. Then I felt my brain going into this constant analyzing state, posing me the question "can I return back to normal now?". Then this feeling came that 'what if I would just die out of nowhere' this feeling of spontaneous death was really scary. Then I realized I can think while talking, so I was trying to seperate the two. Then the 'what if I stop thinking? can it happen?' thought came. Then I felt like I can send my brain behind things, I would look at a car and I was imagining what was behind. Then I started thinking 'how can I move my body? what if at some point my body wouldn't obey me?' All these crazy thoughts. It is hard to ease the anxiety because I'm still about to have a blood test and all that, I can feel my heart, when I'm lying I can feel it beat, it is hard to relaxe. Then I started thinking 'okay, I'm going to say I'm fine, nothing is wrong with me, I cannot harm myself' until I realized I'm not feeling it anymore.  I'm always reassuring my brain 'yes it is almost gone, calm down now' and it is working, but it comes back from time to time. At the moment I am afraid that I am schizophrenic or I have a blood clog in my brain which will cause stroke at some point (before I had a panic attack where I lost my balance then I panicked, before that I had a very strong headache and blurry vision for two weeks, I think thats where the thought of stroke is coming from), or that I have a heart arrythmia because of this (although the doctor said I have high blood pressure but my heart sounds okay) but I still feel discomfort in my chest and when I start thinking about it it just gets worse and worse. The other thing I realised when I start to think about my grandfather and that I have to deal with that he is not with me anymore, I immadiately start feeling that I am disappearing from reality. My only question is I know I have to deal with the death of my grandfather and this whole situation and everything that has happened, but if my braing reacts like that how am I going to do that? I started to think about it and cry if I have to and ignore these symptoms of DR/DP, which is sort of helping, but still I was wondering if someone could give me some advice on how to deal with all this. Thanks for reading it and for the tips in advance.

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by nithew, Oct 14, 2015
Hi I've been suffering from Derealization  for the past 7 months and seems to have gotten worse.Readung this as made me feel there is a light at the end of this so thank you. Is it normal for derealization to make the people I love look unfamiliar  to me? this is what keeps me in this bad cycle as I'm always worrying that I'm going to forget who my children are and who I am and where I am. Thank you anita

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by Packedsnack11, Oct 15, 2015
Hello team,

Helpful to see this post- does indeed give some sense of hope :). I have been dealing with depression since age 12 and started a dose of antidepressants a good 2 months back- this hugely increased my anxiety levels and caused me to overanalyse the heck out of everything; I was worrying about my speech, my actions and my thoughts and the entire world around me seemed dull, meaningless and unreal. I feel distanced from everything, like i'm an observer to the world around me, like I have no life and that someone else is literally in control of me. It's absolutely terrifying and no matter what I say to myself and how much I tell myself that it's a normal defence mechanism of the body, I cannot calm down no matter what I do. I feel spaced out, can't recognise where I am, can't recognise my girlfriend or parents and have no connection to my own house. Even my memories feel fake, as if they are all made up or something (despite photographic evidence that I was in fact there). I can never feel comfortable- even when doing things I usually enjoy (like gaming, playing sport or an instrument) and have even started hallucinating, and having panic attacks. This totally came out of the blue, like one day I was an average 20 year old enjoying life, and the next I was questioning everything!

So i guess my question is: Has anyone else felt similar- like to the point where they feel disorientated and that they were an observer to their own lives? LIke they're frightened to talk to their family or partners? Like they have no interest or are unable to focus on anything at all? It's terrifying it truely truely is and i'm trying so so hard to continue with my life and get on with things, but I can't even hug my parents or my girlfriend anymore without feeling weird.

I'm guessing that it's just a case of sitting back and constantly reminding myself that it's just anxiety and it will pass- but will the whole disorientation (not knowing where I am or having memories of my own house) return in time? Or is that a perception thing?

Cheers guys and best of luck for your own recoveries :)

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by irinhush, Oct 19, 2015
you know i think  i got it fromfloride toxicity wht the hell i can do

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by LiverpoolTom, Nov 02, 2015
HI english born. thanks so much for this, a very inspiring read. following this advice, would anti depressants derail my path to recovery? are they of any detriment to the plans you advised to get better/ forget about DP? i am soon to begin cognitive behavioural therapy soon also.

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by Dbbie, Nov 05, 2015
You are great. I know that you wrote this five years ago already and not sure if you will read this. But thank you. I thought I was alone in this nightmare I created and to know that others know what it feels like and also that it does not need to be part of your reality is such a relieve. Everything sounds so familiar and you gave some very helpful advise also. Thanks a million.

As for others suffering from derealization/depression/anxiety and feeling like everything that once was dear to you now is strange; I was there once, only for a short time and I got out of it. I know it feels awful, but it is just a temporary state and you will get out of it. The thing you will be left with though, is a traumatizing memory. I have learned that the more you let that memory influence you, the more you get stuck. I think people who have this experience already have some psychological difficulties in their lives, which means they are probably focusing on the negative. The more you can focus on love and the good things in life, the sooner you will forget the rough details of this experience. If you resolve real issues in your life instead and make it more pleasant for yourself, you will see that your unconscious has less reasons to make you escape from reality all the time.

All the best for everyone! I am sure you are all beautiful and strong people who will eventually be in control of this!

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by Dbbie, Nov 05, 2015
And do yoga!!

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by SanguineBooks, Nov 09, 2015
I've been reading through these comments and I am so relieved that I am not the only one. I am  sixteen years old, and I have had DP for as long as I can remember - one of my first memories was me running from my room because I was so scared of the fact that I am going to die, but I never brought up the fact that it feels like I don't exist in the first place. I always thought that how I feel was how EVERYBODY in the world felt. It was only when I talked to my sister that I realised it wasn't. I can't talk to my family about this; talking about it always makes it worse, because they make it clear that they don't believe me. I first talked to my mum about it when I was thirteen and the first words out of her mouth were "How much in doctors bills is this going to cost me, because if you are lying to get attention then you can forget it." The second time she thought I was suicidal and didn't want to hear another word about it. My sister thinks I'm making things up and never wants to speak to me about it, because apparently I lie about everything. Apparently, I have no idea about life. Apparently, I'm pathetic. Apparently, I am worthless. Yeah. Family's great. I can't talk to my dad, because he moved to the other side of the world with my little brothers and stepmother and hasn't bothered about me since, and my friends all think I'm crazy. I don't know what to do about my DP, and it's driving me insane. I think I'm losing control.

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by girlgirl12345, Nov 11, 2015
I couldn't thank you enough for posting this. I have had NO idea, that this was the reason I had so many strange and very unhappy experiences that kept coming up. I know for myself it was drug induced and linked to anxiety and a bad life style pattern with ruminating, but I could never put my finger on why exactly I had all these symptoms.  I blamed everything from being an introvert, to just thinking I was plain going crazy. But reading this totally resonated with me, in the way that you described. It is like a bully that constantly tries to push you into rumination, and paranoid thinking and I am so glad that this disconnected way I've been living can and WILL end. Thank you SO much, I know now I can focus on a positive lifestyle and look forward to recovering . Really this was the most insightful and well described way of putting it. I actually felt more myself and more calm as I scrolled to the end of the page.

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by irinhush, Nov 13, 2015
i feel like i am invisible and a ghost who living in a painting it hurts so much god take me :(

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by THEDUKE66, Nov 23, 2015
I like to think of myself as a "Manly Man" or a "Tough Guy" but 3 years ago i developed this feeling of Depersonalization and quickly figured out i wasn't. It is the scariest thing i have ever experienced. I am an excelent problem solver and it really bugs me that i cant figure out how to fix this. My doctor keeps trying to get me to take antidepressants. He says they will make me feel better and i would probably have to take them for a year. I did some research on these ssri's and they can cause feelings of dp. How much sense does that make????? I am going to try these ideas and hopefully end this hell i've been living for the past 3 years. Good luck to everyone with this disorder.YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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by Sydarnce, Nov 30, 2015
I've been dealing with this for probably three years, with probably a 4 month relief from it during the last 4 months of my pregnancy then it came back with my postpartum depression.

It has taken over my life!!! Please someone message me or get back to me... Maybe we could start a support group?!

Ps this article did give me a bunch of hope, happiness, I even cried a bit just because he really freaking pinned it on the head.

Let's not go through this alone, I know I don't want to anymore.

Xoxoxoxo YOU GUYS ARE NOT ALONE, I want to give you guys all huge hugs just because I know how freaking frustrating it is, it can literally take over your life if you let it. I'm determined to take my life back though! :)

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by taylorliddle, Dec 08, 2015
Hi i would like to say thanks for this and i am a little worried that i have HPPD i have visual snow after images from light and like stuff from computer screens  Eye floaters is this because i have dp/dr please help

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by 10029185j, Jan 14, 2016
Hi everyone,
I usually go on these sites like so many millions of others and never post a reply - I thought about it last night and thought I should try to add some value if any to the discussion. My twin brother was diagnosed with DP about 8 years ago, it was hell, he got it from lack of sleep and being taken off of Zyprexa by a stupid psychiatrist cold turkey. Even though there is no evidence to support this I know this is what happened. After numerous brain studies and psychiatry visits he was diagnosed in South Florida around 6 years ago. He is much better then he was before and has to take a cocktail of drugs to keep him functioning but sometimes he feels really detached and sometimes he does not, it is an life long battle as you all know.
Now to me, I have been on Lexapro for 10 years as well as Klonopin for about 6 years (the klonopin was given to me for atypical facial pain - sort of like tingling in your forehead from stress, somatic and no one could figure out why) the klonopin worked so I continued on it. I moved to Australia in 2012 and the doctors here are quite conservative, too conservative it you ask me. They are nice but they will not prescribe benzo's at all - I do understand there is abuse as there is with most benzo's but there are legitimate cases of people needing them. I went to doctors offices with letters from Neurologists from the States, my primary doctor from the States, with reports etc and no one would prescribe me benzo's. There is a huge stigma here attached to people on these medications which is horrible. I am Australian born but have lived most of my life abroad, sad to see people treated this way here.
Anyways for this reason and this reason only, I tried to taper off of Klonopin as I was tired of arguing with doctors to get a medication that did benefit me and I have never ever had to increase the dosage. I tapered slowly one quarter every month and got down to .25mg every morning (from .5mg) and to .3725 (down from .5) at night until I had a severe  DR / DP episode last weekend. I woke up went out with my GF and got some coffee went for a drive and next thing you know I didn't know who I was and was looking through fog.
It was scary so scary I went to hospital as I was having panic attacks left and right - the hard thing was to figure out what to attribute this too - it had been two months since I began tapering from the Klonopin and although I did have lack of sleep and so forth - what caused this sudden onset, I did not have any trauma??? The only thing I could attribute it to was the Klonopin so I decided to go back on it after speaking to my brother in the States.
I reinstated the Klonopin slowly a few days later and symptoms have begun to subside. I am always scared to change any meds due to what happened to my brother, given we have the same DNA and we react the same way to medicine and have the same ailments. So this is scary and I feel for anybody in this situation. What has helped is lots of sleep and certain supplements which I will list below, I am listing these and they probably have been listed before but I hope they help someone in need.

Acetyl L Carnitine 500mg x 2 morning
Alpha Lipioc Acid 600mg x 1 daily
Fish Oils 2000 x 2 morning
Multi Vitamin
B Complex (co enzymed) take at lunch
Sublingual B12 methyl form not cyan form - take around 4 or 5ish

Take Fish Oils again at night after dinner around 3000mg
Take Gingko at night
Take a Magnesium supplement at night (very important)


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by KingJatt, Jan 29, 2016
yeah i also suffer from dp and use to drink alcohal whn i feel fed up and this energy drink definately help me tp get rid out of from situation but only for overnight next day things started happen again :)

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by Richardthelion73, Feb 01, 2016
I have suffered for 25 years from depression and severe anxiety. I won't put up any negative thoughts I have had as they can be the root for other people's problems. We all know Dp and Dr are scary but on a positive you're probably more in touch with reality than others. I have had bad years and good years but because I never addressed the issues, when the Dp/Dr problems came back they would seem to manifest themselves more and more. I am now doing energy therapy which is hard but it's helping. This is the first time I have ever posted on a forum and I respect all your posts. My advice is to get to the root of the problem and sever the root. I am not spiritual but I have 25 years of experiences with dealing with this. Everyone is unique in their own way but most of Dp/Dr thoughts run along the same boundaries. I have been seeing my therapist for four years now on and off and he's highly accredited in all fields. It took four years for him to suggest this was the way forward and I have had several energy sessions now. Remember like I do, we are not crazy, we feed negative thoughts. Peace and love to all.

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by Shane1997, Feb 11, 2016
Hello, i really hope people still look at the comments section on this forum lol, anyways i've been suffering from DR since mid december after i had a bad experience with weed. I smoked way too much and got so high that my vision was spinning clockwise, myheart was pounding and i was thinking about 100 things at once. I was just sitting on the couch, anxiety spiking higher than MT. Everest, i was convinced that i was going to die, i literally just sat there accepting the fact that i was going to be like the first person to OD on weed. After a couple of hours it wore off, but i still noticed this feeling, things were kinda blurry and i kept asking myself, "is this real?" "What the **** is wrong with me?" Ect. It was awful. Later that month i went on vacation with my friends for new years, got drunk, needless to say i wasnt thinking about my symptoms at all, i was just focusing on having fun. But now its back, i noticed it come back when my sleep schedual was really bad, (i was going to sleep at like 4-6 in the morning because i was playing games with my friends all night.) and i cant stop thinking about it. Ive noticed it get bettee for a few minutes after i kinda calm myself down, i feel slight moments of releaf. But it always comes back. Fast forward 2 weeks and now im dwelling on whether or not i have schizophrenia, i read some stuff about DR/DP with schiz and ive just been dwelling more and more on it. I read that people with schiz hear voices and see crazy stuff, i havent had any of those experiences but i live in fear that i might, i walk into my closet and fear that when i turn on my lights there be some crazy figure there, or that i will hear someone whisper in my ear or something and then realize nobody is there, and then worry even more! Its so fustrating! A part of me knows this is just anxiety but another part of me thinks that i could be going crazy! I havent been exercising but ive been making an effort to eat healthier, im currently taking a fish oil supplement and a b12 supplement everyday, hoping that it will help at least a little bit. Any advice would be very very very appreciated! Thank you!!!!!

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by Shane1997, Feb 11, 2016
Also, to ads to this, ive had bad health anxiety in the past, 2 years ago i thought i had every type of cancer possible. I dont remember exactly i got over it but i did for a good 2 years and it was really nice.

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by Blazentrout, Feb 12, 2016
@shane1997 Im going through some severe Dp which is horrible with my pure o mindset and i can tell you your not going crazy man. I felt that i was going crazy myself but at the end of the day man were not crazy were just people who are scared ******** right now. I personally have only had this for a month and it has been the scariest month of my life its like waking up from what felt like a cozy dream and then your thrust into how scary **** is and realize theres not answers for everything. How are you holding up

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by Shane1997, Feb 13, 2016
@Blazentrout i'm doing okay, i have moments where i feel pretty good and happy and then i have moments where i feel more DP/DR and then i get fustrated and sad. I've been trying to eat healthier but i still havent gotten around to exercising. :(

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by Blazentrout, Feb 13, 2016
@shane1997 i haven't started exercising either but i feel like I'm slowly getting better. what helps me is reading, it gets my mind off of it. I used to be confident cocky and always telling jokes but now i feel like my brain did a reset and everything I've known was a lie but its getting better man we can beat this bs

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by Shane1997, Feb 15, 2016
@Blazentrout Yeah, the one problem with me though is that i always expect myself to get better really fast. I'll feel really good one day, go to sleep, wake up expecting to feel the same but instead i just think myself back into it. It's so hard to accept that this takes months to beat, not days. I hate it.

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by Blazentrout, Feb 15, 2016
@Shane1997 i have that same problem too man I'm very impatient which makes dealing with this that much more stressful.

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by Shane1997, Feb 24, 2016
Yup, it *****. I've noticed over the past few days that i've been feeling better, but then when i try to observe myself and see if i really am feeling better, ill start to think about all the symptoms again and fall right back into the cycle;(

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by Martiniracing, Mar 03, 2016
does anyone have headaches and migraines associated with this?

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by Shane1997, Mar 05, 2016
@martiniracing i have not. But my head does feel very like full and stuffy, but no pain.

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by Martiniracing, Mar 19, 2016

then I'm not sure if it's DR or DP I have, cause I have headaches, dizziness and this constant 'drunk vision'.  I had a week with mild 'drunk vision', minimal headache and dizziness where I could get on with doing things I like, but there's also periods that can last for weeks that are really bad, such as the last two weeks.  I can't take it anymore, I constantly want something to happen to me and just take my life away...  sigh...

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by Shane1997, Mar 21, 2016
@Martiniracing, have you gone to the doctor yet? By drunk vision do you mean like blurry/fuzzy vision. My vision was fuzzy for a while but that went away. Now my anxiety is just focused on my memory problems, which is most likely causes by my anxiety

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by Hero1992, Mar 24, 2016
I have dp/dr every time every moment i want to hear that it is possible to cure..thank you for this positive post..i hope i am able to win these feelings..i have these feeling over 4-5 years already..anytime i felt and feel pls tell me who ever experinced and cure this feckin dp/dr..sorry for bad english i hope someone can help me

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by Hero1992, Mar 25, 2016
I have dp/dr every time every moment i want to hear that it is possible to cure..thank you for this positive post..i hope i am able to win these feelings..i have these feeling over 4-5 years already..anytime i felt and feel pls tell me who ever experinced and cure this feckin dp/dr..sorry for bad english i hope someone can help me

Avatar universal
by Hero1992, Mar 30, 2016
I have dp/dr every time every moment i want to hear that it is possible to cure..thank you for this positive post..i hope i am able to win these feelings..i have these feeling over 4-5 years already..anytime i felt and feel pls tell me who ever experinced and cure this feckin dp/dr..sorry for bad english i hope someone can help me

Avatar universal
by Martiniracing, Apr 04, 2016

by drunk vision I mean it seems like my eyes are trying to get used to a new pair of prescription glasses, the depth is perception is always off.  another way to describe it is fishbowl effect.  did you ever get that?

I also have a lot of floaters and light sensitivity

have you been forcing yourself to memorize things?  I know I have a bad memory, so I never blame myself about that.  I hope you can get out of this! .  

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by LRyerson, May 05, 2016
Anyone that has DR or DP do you ever feel like you could faint? Sometimes all of a sudden when I'm walking, my feet start to feel heavy on the ground like I can't decipher where my feet end and the ground begins and I feel like I might pass out. I also have an extremely hard time standing still. I can't stand still, I have to be walking or moving or something. It helps the most to be walking. Places with a lot of people are impossible, I can't be around them. Work is miserable, the lights are so bright and it makes everything worse. I started feeling this way in July/August but it was on/off not 24/7, mostly in meetings and interviews (I was looking for a new job at the time) Then about 3 weeks ago in the middle of the work day, I was standing, and it felt like the ground swayed beneath me. Since that moment, I have not snapped out of it.

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by LRyerson, May 05, 2016
Also I am on Lexapro for about a week and a half now. I've been on it before for mind anxiety (nothing like what I am experiencing now) and I have an appointment with my therapist on Monday. I am bringing my boyfriend so that my therapist can help him to help me. I'm doing everything I can. I go to work every day and live my life as usual but so far I don't feel any better. This is complete misery.

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by Shane1997, May 07, 2016
@LRyerson, im right there with you man, although i do think i have been improving overall since i first experienced DR, it still *****. Just know you're not alone. As for the fainting and stuff, i reccomend you go to a doctor and get blood work and tests done, you could be low on b12 and other deficiencies. Best of luck! - Shane :)

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by Ncas17, May 23, 2016
@LRyerson, I have been experiencing the same "fainting" feeling that you described. It always happens when I am at a big grocery or department store, or at the mall. Especially if the store is crowded. For no reason at all I start to feel like my legs/body are very heavy and like I am very weak. I start panicking and thinking about what would happen if I passed out in the middle of the store and wondering if the people around me can tell that something is wrong. My heart rate and respiration quickens and I will start walking quickly and aimlessly until the feeling passes. It has always passed within a few minutes, but I always worry that the next time it won't pass and i will faint. I've noticed that it happens more often when I am stressed about work, relationships, family, etc.

My DP was triggered by a bad experience with marijuana when I was 16. I have struggled with it to varying degrees since then and I am 31 now. I have never seen a thereapist, but I am considering talking to someone now because the symptoms have gotten worse due to increases in my anxiety and stress. But I am afraid that they will prescribe something that will make my symptoms worse. Plus, I have never spoken to a therapist before and I am really nervous to talk about it.

I feel like I live in a fog, or that I am so consumed with my own anxious thoughts that I am not present in my own life. And then I have moments of detachment that come on without warning. Like when I'm driving, or talking on the phone, at work, out with friends, or out at a store.

What usually happens is a sudden wave of panic comes over me. My own voice and/or my body and mannerisms will seem unfamiliar to me. I start to worry that whoever I am speaking to will notice that I am acting strangely, so I panic but try to act normal. But it's like I can't remember how I act normally, everything seems strange to me. It does eventually pass, but while it's happening I will nearly hyperventilate, my heart starts racing, and I will sometimes have a full body blush, like face, neck, chest, even ears turn bright red.

There are also times that I will look in the mirror and my own reflection seems kind of unfamiliar to me. Especially if I wake up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and look in the mirror. I will usually lay in bed panicking about how I'm not myself for hours after an incident like this. I also have a really hard time falling asleep. I can lay awake for hours feeling uncomfortable and worrying about everything. I feel like I need to be absolutely exhausted before I can fall asleep so that my mind doesn't have the energy to think.

I haven't even spoken to my husband of 4 years about this. I'm so afraid that he'll think I'm crazy.
And I am particularly stressed out because I will be job hunting in July and I am terrified of having to go to interviews and having a DP/anxiety attack in front of a potential employer.

Good luck to everyone else struggling with this. I'm not sur how often this forum is checked but it has been helpful to read about other people's experiences as well as the original post.

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by Ncas17, May 23, 2016
Not sure why that posted as one long paragraph. I did break it up into separate paragraphs but it didn't space properly when posted. Hopefully it isn't too hard to read

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by drewc987, May 31, 2016
I know this is super late, and I'd be surprised if anyone still checks this post considering it's been about two years. About two months ago, I went through a minor stressful situation, that sent me into a constant cycle of irrational worries. I would constantly get frustrated at myself because I could recognize the situation was so minute, but yet I was still worrying over it. This only amplified my anxiety, and caused me to start stressing even more; with thoughts such as "what's wrong with me?!" "why would I worry about this?!" I became so overwhelmed all the time, and lost tons of sleep. Then of course, I started developing anxiety over sleep too, which made everything about 10000% worse. I finally snapped when I was in the middle of my AP English exam, when my thoughts were racing, and I suddenly got hit with this feeling that nothing around me was real. I freaked. I ran out of the exam room, and went straight home to tell my parents I had finally gone nuts, and that I needed to go somewhere ASAP. (prior to this experience I had seen a couple therapists, but they didn't seem to offer any more advice other than 'this is typical anxiety, breathe and you'll live') I then checked myself into a psych ward at a hospital, which at the time I thought was a good idea since I had no clue what was going on with me. The only thing that I knew was that everything didn't feel real, and that I was crazy. After seeing multiple psychiatrists in the hospital for about three days, the finally concluded that I had OCD, that dealt with constant intrusive thoughts that induced massive amounts of stress. This definitely took a weight off my shoulders, for about a week, just having a diagnosis. But then it hit me again, I had the unreal feelings, the thoughts about "why am I me?"
"how can I be positive everything around me is real?" "what is existence? consciousness?" these thoughts ruminated in my mind for weeks, and frustrated me because i took a philosophy class last year, and have had these exact same thoughts before! so why are they bothering me now?! I then started to feel like I wasn't real, that I was just the shell of myself, not the same on the inside. when I would look in the mirror I would just be riddled with anxiety because although I could recognize my body, I couldn't recognize myself. It even came to the point where looking down at my own hands gave me anxiety, and thinking about how my whole life is just a memory, or that I view everything only through my own two eyes, and nobody else's started to freak me out. the more I had anxiety over the thoughts, the more surreal I felt. When doing things I just desperately prayed to feel normal again, but it never came. If anyone is still on this site, and can offer any insight that would be great. I got set up with a really good CBT therapist, and started my sessions about a week ago. Are these feelings, existential questions a result of depersonalization? Will they go away? I'm afraid that I'll never be able to look at myself the same, or never UNthink the thoughts or UNfeel the feelings that came witht these thoughts. I just want to get better and get my life back so that I can go to college in the fall.  

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by drewc987, May 31, 2016
if by a stroke of luck englishborn is still somehow on this page, a response would be literally amazing.

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by drewc987, May 31, 2016
Did anyone who fully "recovered" continue to have these annoying thoughts all the time? Or when the thoughts quit causing anxiety, will they just start to dissipate?

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by drewc987, May 31, 2016

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by Dmo1218, Jun 19, 2016
@drewc987 the thoughts will start to dissipate it will just take time and moving your focus onto an everyday routine/living your life. Your focus on your thoughts will fade

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by englishborn, Jun 23, 2016
Hi Drewc

As Dmo says the feelings and thoughts all slowly fade away, to the point where you will be amazed you have forgotten to keep checking in on how you feel.

Before you reach that time you need to keep doing the correct things to take the fear away from the thoughts you have. Keep socialising, challenge the intrusive thoughts ("No I will not be like this forever, it is just anxiety, I am not mad...etc..) all this slowly clams you down and gives more space for your mind to recover.
This includes the existential questioning, these are just another form of anxiety thoughts, challenge them, remind yourself these questions are your anxiety talking in response to the feelings of DP/DR. Your mind is in desperate need of rest so start getting it into a stage where it can start to do that, keep it occupied, use rational arguments to challenge the thoughts, talk to someone about the questions it asked (when the question is said out loud to someone else it actually loses some power as it sounds less serious out loud.)

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by drewc987, Jun 26, 2016
@englishborn thank you so much. I've really tried to ignore it as much as possible, and go out and workout/socialize/be healthy in general, and I can feel the thoughts starting to dissipate, and my days don't seem nearly as distressing as they used to be. But I guess my last question is: is it normal to feel like you're trapped in your consciousness, or that something bad is going to happen to you soon? I understand it's been a month, and I'm not going to be "healed" that fast, but I was wondering if that is a normal feeling/will it pass as well if I just keep going along with it?

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by steve263, Jun 30, 2016
Hi all, just wanted to say thanks for this article. I always read it when I used to feel down and it helped me a lot. I feel like I am 95% recovered at this point. However, there is one thing that is still not right, it's like I feel different or off in a way, that is the only thing preventing me from saying I am 100%. Does anyone have any experience with this and any tips on how to get rid of that last 5% of DP?

I did read At Last a Life too and it was a great read. I believe he describes when he reached 100%, he just "knew it" and knew he was totally cured.

Avatar universal
by drewc987, Jul 04, 2016
@englishborn okay I swear this is my last comment as I'm ready to begin the long road to recovery. I just have a couple of questions to get answered from a sufferer to a sufferer to remind myself as I'm facing this all head on. First off my doctor and I concluded that I do not have OCD, and that because the anxiety stemmed from one specific "over the top" stressor that causes my body to dissociate, that causes the thoughts and feelings. So I guess that leads to this: I'm physically feeling normal again, and things look more colorful and lively, and I'm functioning, but some existential thoughts and about life and death etc. still hang around from time to time. Is it normal for these thoughts to linger/will they pass/will they stop bothering me? Second, when you were recovering how did you KNOW you were recovering, and how did you know that things were "back to normal"? I'm afraid that once I recover I won't actually notice it. And third, what were some healthy life changes you made to help you recover? Again thank you for helping so many people on here, I can't wait to recover!

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by dpdrone, Jul 10, 2016
Firstly, thanks for writing this article.

I am looking for some advice and was hoping someone could offer me some.

I have suffered from DR for 7 years, it was caused by smoking weed when I was 16. When it happened I was too scared to tell anyone and I left it undiagnosed until last month. I have had chronic DP ever since. The DP got gradually better until I stupidly decided to start taking some drugs again, again afterwards it gradually got better. Then around 3 years ago I took a pre gym drink, which I think contained some amphetamines or just a load of caffiene and that set me off again, since then I have made some improvements but nothing like the previous two occasions. I do not feel anxious but over the last 3 years I guess that the longest I've gone without thinking about DP is about an hour.

The questions:
1) Besides the things mentioned in the article (diet, thought monitoring, supplements) are there any meds which have helped people? A professional I saw mentioned prozac.
2) What is a possible explanation for why this time the recovery has been so slow. I definitely tried to fight it off when it came on. After reading this article that seems like it could have caused something.
3) I have told my parents and they have been very supportive and good about it. Is it beneficial in general to tell friends? I feel that it would be nice to tell them but I also fear that telling them and then repeatedly seeing them would remind me that they know ---> remind myself of my DP.

Thank you very much in advance for any advice or help.

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by Alihijazi, Jul 18, 2016
Hello everybody,
Ive been sufferimg from DR  3 years,my life is ruined,my social interactions is zero,i cant do anyhting only staying in bed all day, when DR hits me i automatically go to bed to sleep but am awake from the inside, please i need help

Avatar universal
by Alihijazi, Jul 18, 2016
I am obsessed with thinking about DR even i cant do anything am stuck in bed because im afraid from getting DR outside my comfort zone and cant be able to go to bed and relief,i also had severe panic attacks and recurrent panic attacks. I have DR all day and all week long without eating anything or using my phone or interacting with my family or watching i only feel safe and relief if i go to bed and lay my head to sleep but am awake and aware of everything happending around me. I feel pressure on my head and i fee the DR is threatining me all the time and controlling my life for the maximum depriving me to do my hobbies and all the things i love to do. I feel if i died i will be more comfortable than being alive like this because something i cant endure anymore.

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by Bj15atkinson, Aug 08, 2016
I have had this mind altering thing since a very bad marijuana overdose on brownie. Massive anxiety attack with hallucinations all night. Next morning, traumatized and that constant dazed feeling. 5 months later, some better. I see a ptsd therapist for guided relaxation hypnosis, occasional xanax usage when my anxiety gets super high and the mental spaced feelings gets super scary. I still jerk awake every hour from hypervigilance if I don't use ambien or some form of sleep aid. There are times when after running/working out the DP lifts ALOT. The recovery isn't linear. I feel the best when I wake up and smile, thank the universe I can still function, and basically say to myself **** YOUUUUUUUU DP- you don't scare me, in fact give it to me hard as you can *****! Then my day is better, I ignore the spaciness. I can tell I'm slowy but surely coming out of it. :) I used to ruminate and be worried 24/7. But that is a mental trap. Trust me guys, just use the "Samurai method" with anxiety and DP. Wake up every day and DARE it to give all its got and then look it straight in the eye unflinching and chop off its head with your sword. ;)

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by IvanVilla, Aug 10, 2016
Hello all,

I've recently contracted Marijuana-Induced DP/DR because of a panic attack. (No, I do not have a history of anxiety.) It came out of nowhere to be honest! It's been about 3 weeks, and I feel like life is coming back to normal. Although, I do feel like there's still something wrong with me. Yes, I do recognize my hands and the actions I do when I do them, but I'm more afraid of what life was before my DP trip. In other words, I ask myself, "What is it like to finally be DR/DP free?" But, I relaxed myself and told myself that this is all in my head and that it was triggered by my anxiety. I believe that this post made me more comfortable with this disorder and learned to cope with it, as well as learn to eliminate it. The first week of this DR/DP trip was hell on Earth. Call my crazy, but The Lord has been with me every step of the way. Now is my 3rd week having it, and I feel 95% normal. Though, still some little  reminiscences of what I was feeling when I fully had DR/DP. But hang in there everyone. Weed isn't for everyone, and for those who have contracted it from anxiety problems, you will overcome this. The way I had overcome it, so far, was praying, exercising, and thinking that this is all in my head and that it was just a bad trip.

Avatar universal
by Morris3629, Sep 21, 2016
Thank you for this great write up. I suffered for years with chronic symptoms whereby I just wanted to go to bed because my quality of life was terrible. I have had success and improvement with a few blips the last few years and am currently having a blip. I read this tonight and ended up subscribing to site. Every now and then I look for inspiration from those who have suffered with these nasty symptoms. Regards to all. Thanks

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by Kipben, Oct 06, 2016
Thank you so much for this great piece, it couldnt have been put any better. For me, this absolutely describes me. I have been in this state of depersonalisation for over 12 years now and is still going on. I feel in a dream state constantly and it makes my research in school very difficult as am not able to concentrate, conceptualize, understand easily. My psyche and confidence are adversely affected. I have got some hope at least from the above article. Am really looking forward to when i will come of this condition completely.

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by UnrealRob, Nov 02, 2016
Calling all the unreal!

There's a good book called 'overcoming depersonalization and feelings of unreality' that has comforted me. It recommends keeping a diary and marking your dp/dr out of ten for different parts of the day. E.g driving 8, reading 3, meeting friends 7. It showed me how my feelings of unreality fluctuate, which I didn't realise before. It also taught me that I blame everything on my dp/dr! Remember you still have bad sleep, potential dizzy periods, depression independent of dp/dr, but because these things make the condition worse we tend to blame the condition for them.

I've had the condition around 8 months now, though what I have seems to be closer to to derealization (where the world looks dreamy and unreal and one feels somewhat numb and detached) than depersonalisation. It's been very distressing at times and has undoubtedly made life more difficult and depressing. I've taken the advice I've read in the great article above, and in other places, of cutting out drugs, alcohol and caffeine, though with a few slip ups. Isn't it typical that when you most need caffeine you can't have it! :) I exercise more now. I still feel it strongly though, but, like I say, if you keep a record you will notice it fluctuate. I actually recalled how it was zero out of ten when listening to a sam harris podcast in complete darkness! I also find that sunglassses help take the edge off. And proper sleep and a proper sleeping pattern, which I've always struggled with.

I have become somewhat dependant on valium as that seems to help (or at least makes me not mind as much) but am now keeping it at bay - 1 tablet a day when it used to be 3. When the condition first started (and I had no idea why I was feeling so strange and unreal) I had a panic attack whilst driving (the only one I've ever had) and for a few months believed I couldn't drive without valium. But now I drive without it every day. You will be surprised at how wrong your mind is when it says you can't do things. Just do them and you will rise to the occasion.

I also smoked weed most days for many years which I believe, along with anxiety and maybe inner ear problems, caused my dp/dr. I used to love weed but one day, soon after my dp/dr had started, I smoked some and had an awful time - dp/dr to the max. It was like I was tripping, in a very bad way, and so now I've quit. Maybe my dp/dr was my brain's way of saying enough weed. I also, until recently, lived in a bad and noisy neighbourhood so my anxiety levels were up and my sleep was always disturbed which must have contributed as well. I took acid a few times too which, though mostly very positive experiences, can't have helped my unreality. No more weed or acid for me, ever!

This is a hard condition to live with and most people have no idea what it's like. It can be lonely and frustrating. I went from being reaosnably happy to getting this condition and considering, or at least fantasising about, suicide fairly often. I feel a bit better now, after I stopped moping around and indulging the condition through my idleness, but I still usually feel pretty low. Life ahead does seem like a huge challenge and it's taken away any excitement I had about having a child or a future career etc... I now just think 'how best can I get through today when I feel so strange.' But I'm not going to kill myself, and I'm not going to let the condition stop me doing ANYTHING, no matter how bad it makes me feel. Another thing this book said - if the thing you fear most hasn't happened, then it probably won't. I used to always feel on the verge of passing out when this first started but then, after several months of not passing out, I took the worry less seriously! With dp/dr you're still capable of doing EVERYTHING you did before, it's just harder. Consider it a test of your mental strength and when/if you get out of it you'll be a stronger person. And remember this - people live with worse conditions than dp/dr. A friend of mine was paralysed and brain damaged in a motor bike accident. Does anyone feel like complaining to him about 'feeling quite odd today'? I don't mean to be flippant or dismiss your pain, but is hard full stop. Yes, this is a difficult condition but it's manageable. If you're still functioning then you are living proof of its managability! And I'd rather have this than debilitating vertigo, irritable bowel syndrome, or the loss of a limb etc...

I'm currently trying to see a psychiatrist as this book (in the last pages) mentions medication that can help (lamotrigine combined with citalopram). Apparently this helps 70% of sufferers. I'd love to recover without medication but I'm willing to try anything at this point. Unless you go privately (very expensive) you need a gp referral to see a psychiatrist.

Also there's a song that, if you read the lyrics, express a beautiful understanding of acute dp/dr - 'dreamin of you' by bob dylan. It's on youtube. Also apparently the move 'numb' addresses it very well.

That's it from me. My heart goes out to you if you suffer from this, and I wish you every success in your recovery, which I fully believe is possible. Apparently most people do eventually get out of it. Remember - stay strong, stay busy and stay true to the heart. Don't let this condition get the best of you.

Much love

Rob  xx

Avatar universal
by Magicianofdenial, Nov 30, 2016
Hello, my friends!

I am a 17 year old female, and I have been experiencing DP/DR for nearly a month. I have a poor diet, and I have begun taking vitamins and supplements, and making a concious effort to make healthy choices in my diet. I used to exercise in ample amounts prior to the onset of DP/DR, and I work to do so now when I am up to it (though not nearly enough). I am finished with school (thank goodness!) and I am currently a volunteer at a grammar school. I moved from central Wisconsin to northwestern Wisconsin two years ago.

I am here to say that this article has been fantastically helpful, and I was able to "rationalize" and enjoy a large portion of my day (by myself) for the first time in month. It's wonderful, and I am looking forward to having a goal to work towards -- I feel that boredom and the lack of solid goals was increasing my stress, among other things.

I don't recall having experienced DP for long periods of time, though I have been experiencing DR almost constantly (outside of sleep) for about a month -- since the 9th of November, to be precise. I was familiar with the feeling prior to its "extended stay" only because I typically felt it at the onset of panic attacks. In addition to this, I had experienced it for a few days when I had a bad experience smoking cannabis at the age of 14. That incidence cleared itself, though I wish that I had done the research that I had to at that time to learn how to handle stress, anxiety, and bad experiences effectively as I had a predisposition to DR.

It's come to stay with me now because of stress, simply put. I feel things incredibly deeply, though I tend to run from my problems by tapping into my fertile imagination and pretending as though they did not happen. This year, I was away from my family for a long while as I worked to graduate early, my first and only love broke off with me, my family and I were homeless for two months, a friend of mine passed away at the age of 14 due to SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy), and the cat that I had grown up with passed on, among other things. Up until the onset of my DR, I had thought that I was handling stress well -- philosophically, stoically. That is, unil I began experiencing very short incidences of DR -- which I associated with some sort of horrible physical condition: a brain tumor, MS, etc. Any strange pain or tension I felt was immediately attributed to an imagined terminal illness. I was, in fact, thinking about this when I experienced the DR that has not yet left me. Terrifyingly enough, I was on a bike ride, twenty miles from my home. I was badly scared, though I kept on and eventually returned home in part due to my surety that it would pass and in part because I was too prideful to call for a ride.

It stuck around for a few days, whereupon I was becoming very frightened. I researched the condition upon discovering what it was, and the first person who I read of having it passed away from a brain tumor two months after her first episode. Naturally, this terrified me! However, I was soon able to rationalize myself when I realized that I had no real physical symptoms, nor did the condition worsen beyond particularly anxious moments. Then, of course, my ever-spinning mind found something else to move on to: the onset of some sort of psychosis. This, too, frightened me as my family has a history of mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, addictions stemming from these conditions, etc), and I thought that a genetic predisposition to psychological problems was all the evidence that I needed of its absolute truth. I was worried I was dangerous, to myself and others, and I didn't believe my thoughts to be my own. I was worried that I would "snap" and hurt myself or the people I love. Not so, though I told my parents that I had been struggling at that point. I didn't know how to describe what I was feeling, so I left it at "panic attacks and depression." My father was sympathetic, though he told me that he knew something was going on. We attempted to visit an Urgent Care office near my home, though they did not treat psychological issues. My father then scheduled an appointment with his doctor (which resulted in a great deal of family drama that I will spare you fine people from), though I felt better in terms of the DP/DR that day and I decided to skip my appointment. I did more research, and, realizing that there was no miraculous medication that would help me within hours, set out to help myself. This article is a blessing. Thank you.

I must say, that I am doing a bit better than I was earlier in the month. I still find myself asking existential questions that will only prolong my recovery process, and I do especially poorly in the morning. I awaken to a "whole new world," which makes me question reality -- not my own reality, but that of the world around me. I know better, but to me it feels like a cleverly constructed dreamscape at times. This is frightening and frustrating, and set me back a ways. I feel this especially strongly when I am outdoors, which is very disappointing as I love nature and adventure. Things that I had found relaxing, such as going for long walks while listening to music, swinging at the play park, and exploring the forest now are incredibly nerve-racking trips into my own mind. It is this, especially, that troubles me. On days when I feel a bit better, and I have my "head in the right place" I'll suddenly wonder if I'll ever be able to enjoy canoe trips, walks in the woods, camping, etc., ever again. This upsets me and pulls me back into the DR. I wonder too if I will ever be able to feel exuberant, spontaneous joy as I once could, and allow myself to slip back into my imagination as I love(d) to do.

In addition, I'll begin to feel OK again, and then I'll pull myself back into the DR as my mind seems to be convinced that what I perceive to be normal is no longer normal. Ah, more illusions!

I now know to be patient. To stop reading stories about people who have been experiencing "perceptual purgatory" as I am. To know that I will be a success story, falling within the 95% who recover completely. It will take focus, time, and love, though I am certain that all will work out after finding this article. I will ignore the pessimistic ones who believe that they will never recover, and I will pray for those who have been suffering for years and years. I send my love to them, and pray that they will receive the guidance to help themselves.

I have a rich and beautiful life of adventure ahead of me!
Thank you, Chris.

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by Nutell4, Jan 10, 2017
Thank you so much for sharing this, you've just saved me, my health and my pocket :) p.s. I'm 10 days tobacco free(Was a proper smoker before).

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Feb 22, 2017
It has been a while since I visited here, but will answer a few things that have been asked over the last few months.


It is great you have been diagnosed with this as it gives evidence to yourself it is not something more, the previous 7 years do not matter now.
Meds can certainly help people, they can bring down your anxiety which brings down your dp/dr and makes it easier for you to cope and make the mental changes which will finally release you from anxiety and therefore your dp/dr.

The reason your recovery has been slow is because for 7 years you have been doing the wrong things. You have been worrying about a symptom of anxiety which has in turn fed your anxiety and kept your symptoms alive. Anxiety only goes when you start to be less anxious about your anxiety. This lets the old protective part of the brain start to calm down and not be in overactive mode. Initially you state you tried to fight it, which is the wrong thing to do, you do not fight anxiety you let it rage around you and get on with your life, you calm yourself down by telling yourself it is anxiety and nothing more and then moving on. Nothing more has been done to you, there is no brain damage there is nothing that is irreversible no matter how much it feels it is.

What you are describing with your parents is an irrational fear brought out by anxiety. Even if it was true you would be able to cope with it and counter it with rational thoughts until it loses its power.

I am sorry this has been with you for so long, but very glad you have found this lovely article that posted by another user. I would strongly advise you read a book called "At Last a Life" this was written by a man who was stuck in anxiety and dp/dr for over 10 years and how he came out of it. He started to realise it was all anxiety and irrational thoughts which slowly allowed him to completely recover and I know you can too. I would also suggest looking to see if you cna find a CBT therapist to help you.

I am very sorry to hear you are bed bound. I dearly hope since July you have been able to move on from there. If not you are going to have to be brave and restart in engaging in life if you wish to recover from anxiety and the dp/dr that has come with it.

Just a final point, a lot of people are asking "how will I know when I have recovered?" Recovery is when you no longer think about your anxiety and just get on with life. Currently a lot of you are thinking about anxiety almost all the time, someone who is not in an anxious state are thinking about what is for dinner, or thinking what happened on the tele last night, thinking of where to go on holiday. All of you will return to this state when anxiety is no longer controlling your lives and you will occasionally look back at your time in anxiety and be amazed how you thought about it so much.

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by fel49, Mar 05, 2017
Hello Englishborn

I have DP since 9 years started after intense stress on police school and or  trauma in this school. It is the first time I left to home house and separate from family and friends, hierarchy stres sme a lot and too much scare anticpation and intropsection.. I stopped this job many yearq ago but my DP is still present 24/7 My old Dr said when you will stop police job all will be fine but no my DP is still present.

I tried many things therapies excpet CBT thay i am going yo start onn May. What do you suggest? Any programs or books? Or very good therapy? I do sport fitness and listen music it help me a lot but my DP is still heard. It is because of the trauma or the fact to be scare of symptoms of DP (cycle of anxiety) go google or negativty forums each time  and I need to change my thinking behavior?
If i understand i need to live a normal life? But how when you can not enjoy parties with friends (pizzas, alcool, sugar...)
I wish toi be back to normal and drink normal alcool as my friends. If i recover it will be possible ?

So Emdr or CBT wich one is the best? My job is stressful (no very high stress) but must i quit my job?I do not think so. The atmopshere is great and if i quit my job no found a new one no socialize i will stay at home and be depress.
It is possible do you think to have a girlfriend meet girls if i have DP because of lost of sensation (no real feeling in love)?
In how months can i recover? Thnanks a lot

Avatar universal
by Markus55, Apr 17, 2017
Mark A
I have always considered myself a very stable confident person, but lately I seem to have gone to pieces as everyone here describes. I wake up fearful and can't de-stress and enjoy my life. I have made some drastic changes that could account for it except I got this feeling before I made those changes (leaving my technical career after 30 years, taking care of my elderly mother, clearing out my house of 25 years of accumulated stuff). But before any of this, I clearly remember asking friends, "do you feel anything strange going on?". I feel clumsy and even gravity does not seem to work for me sometimes. I kept telling my friend, even tape does not stick for me sometimes. I was at bakery counter that next day and the girl could not get the price tape to stick on the bag. She even said that was weird.
I have always been tuned to higher consciouness through a natural process that seem to have been gifted to me. I thought everything was in the bag. I was fascinated by stories of past civilizations like the Egyptians and Atlantis. I gradually came across articles about the attempts to ascend the planet as was the case with Atlantis, and previously Lemuria. This is no joke. We are caught up in one right now. Read about the Shuman Resonance. NASA and the Russian space programs details how it is essential to our health and mental well being. The Shuman response is also called the "heartbeat of Mother Earth". It is mechanically simulated in spacecraft to maintain mental and physical health in astronauts.
The ancients have known about the heartbeat for thousands of years. It has always hovered at about 8hz and remained constant for thousands of years. In maybe the last 10 years it has been ramping up - reaching 36hz in February of this year. Every living thing has coincided with this pulse to survive. We are now adjusting to the higher frequencies and it is causing  instability in our minds and thought processes. Anxiety is one major symptom. Google "Ascention Symptions" and "Shuman Resonance" and you will understand why so many around the world are experiencing these issues. And the posts coincide with the point at which the frequency has started to rise. So much to say about this.

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by happyhorse123, Sep 24, 2017
Lovely article. I'm on my way out of DP and have been suffering from it for around 1-1,5 years. I'll post some things that have helped me in my recovery:

- Wim Hof breathing. A breathing technique which help you reduce stress and get in contact with yourself, which for me was the biggest problem with DP, feeling detached from my "regular self". This have helped tremendously (to use trumps favorite word, damn it). Google it. You will learn to listen to yourself again.

Regular meditaiton - Little by little. Feeling your stressors help dissolve them.

Exercise in general - Breathing is always great. Working with your body is always great. Don't overdo it. Little by little. Great thing to work up and see progress in this to.

Massage - Just do it. It helps.

Trauma releasing exercsies - Great relaxation technique. Google it. Buy the book.

Also have done some Tai Chi.

Good luck. You'll get out from it.

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by TimeaBerta, Dec 14, 2017
how can you not think about it? to distract your mind? I have suffered a month of Dp-DR and I do not know how to make my mind think of something else. Please help me!

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by 3od, Dec 14, 2017
so helpful beyond words , life changing/saving . you should be proud of your self . much love

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by Lyrical123, May 22, 2018
I’ve been suffering from DP/DR for a while now due to panic attacks (not drug induced) and they are really the most awful feeling, but they are getting better for me over time. If you can remove the anxiety from the DP/DR thoughts, you can eventually think about DP/DR and existential thoughts without being anxious, and it will seem like just an interesting topic! People who go online to say that their DP/DR is permanent simply haven’t found the right treatment. There is always a way back to normal life, no matter how bad the sensations are.

Avatar universal
by englishborn, Jun 03, 2018
Lyrical123 - I am sorry you have been suffering dp/dr but I am delighted by your improvement. You are utterly correct about the fear of dp/dr and anxiety is what keeps it around. The hardest thing with DP/DR is accepting it and slowly getting the rational mind running again instead of the old fight or flight part of the brain commanding responses.

It really sounds you are on the road to recovery, there will be bumps along the way, and sometimes you will thing you think you have taken a wrong turn and are back where you started (you have not). Keep living your life and someday dp/dr will just be something you had, like a bout of the flu.

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by Freebily, Aug 23, 2018
Hi, I read this story With tears in my eays..  I struggel With dr/dp for 22 years, every day... I try to NOT worry about iT, but iT caused me my beautyfull life and I am so scared.. I know what you will Say” I do NOT have to”, but iT,s the story of my life ..can I recover fully, after 22 years?? Doctors gave me up, and I will give up... I am so tired... but on the other hand, I will life!!! Be strong... I need Some sleep and rest ... but my mind won’t keep his mouth shut..  With love judith 37 years woman...

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by Freebily, Aug 23, 2018
I am a dutch girl... so sorry if my englisch is bath..

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by Notsurewhatthisis7, Sep 01, 2018
@englishborn hi are you or anyone else who has recovered still active on this thread?

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by privatesully, Sep 03, 2018
To whom it may concern,

First of all huge thanks to the author, every single thing he wrote on his or her article is true. It did help me a lot through my journey.

Secondly, I got out of this!

Once I promised myself that when I will get out of this I will tell other people here about it. Honestly, when you get back to your normal state again you don't want to go back to blogs or other sites to write about it but I will.

Believe me if I did you can too. Stop reading any other thing on internet. Everything you read from this inspiring column is enough. You just need to be patient.

I got out of this because I realized the thoughts which were creating the condition in the first place and eventually I got better everyday. I did mediate too. That helped a lot but it is not enough, you just need to either find the thought or thoughts causing the condition. Or you need to mindful about all the thoughts and quit thinking all together. Practice mindfulness.

One day you will make it as well. God bless everyone! Much love and peace!

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by bachnar, Dec 24, 2018
I recently quit watching porn almost three months ago. It appears the drop in dopamine (as my brain re-adjusts to a normal dopamine baseline) caused anxiety that led to my DR and DP. Although it is now only fractionally as bad as it was, I decided to do something completely counterintuitive in an attempt to alleviate the symptoms...I embraced the dreamlike state for what it was and surrendered to it. I comically said to myself,"So this is what its like to be on drugs. Woo-hoo!"
Granted, I have never done drugs. Technically I have a glass of wine or a beer twice a week for the heart health benefits, but understand some classify alcohol as a drug. I have never been dependent on alcohol, and have not had any since DR/DP hit three months ago. Anyway, the DR/DP started to go away from that point on. I think once my dopamine has normalized, I'll be fine.

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by Carol_05, Oct 28, 2019
Anyone else still use this webpage? Help I feel the same way everyone does on here. Been struggling with dp and dr and now it has been gone just can’t completely let go. Randomly think what if this isn’t me and I give myself a horrible headache because I fight it! Please help! Advice please! I am trying to have my second baby and I am sure it’s causing stress to my body!

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