# Sometimes i feel alien

Once in awhile i'll be walking down the street, and for a brief second, my perspective shifts. Everything around me (the pavement, the houses, the cars) seem extremely surreal and ficticious. I feel like i'm walking in that model town from the movie "Beetlejuice". I get a flashback of this chaotic planet with rock formations, water and wind. The way the universe crafted it. Then i see what's in front of me. Buildings with such precise symmetry, cars that are so well designed. For a second i will see everything as for what it really is without being distracted by its mechanical ability. House = wood. Cars = metal. It's as though i'm walking through a massive human made sculpture. A fairy tale land. Even the way the pavement is layed out, seems so.. fake. As though i'm looking through the eyes of someone who isnt human. This feeling will last the same amount of time as a stage of Deja Vu might last a person. Deja Vu is the only feeling i can compare this too. Does anyone else ever have this feeling?

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The key is to take that out of place feeling and explore its meaning, for lack of a better word, and to craft a way of thought around those experiences.

I have experienced something perhaps very similar. although it did not change my perception to see city like a house of dolls, it seemed as if my ego was suddenly watching on myself and my close surroundings from as high above as possible, perhaps from the roof of the universe. and the reality suddenly seemed like fiction far far away, perhaps like a story 60 year old remembers he was told by his grandmother 50 years ago, and the main feeling that overcame me was the feeling of insignificance or perhaps helplesness. this happened when i was completely sober and healthy and in company of friends, and it lasted for about as long as that thought existed.

i dunno what this is, but indeed, the way it comes to you it is similar to deja vu.

Brickster said:
The key is to take that out of place feeling and explore its meaning, for lack of a better word, and to craft a way of thought around those experiences.
i know what your trying to say.. but if you had the same feeling ive had, you'd find it's impossible to get rid of. It's impossible to evaluate. I try, but even my evaluations become so confusing.. . as if my own thoughts are alien to my head

pocebokli said:
I have experienced something perhaps very similar. although it did not change my perception to see city like a house of dolls, it seemed as if my ego was suddenly watching on myself and my close surroundings from as high above as possible, perhaps from the roof of the universe. and the reality suddenly seemed like fiction far far away, perhaps like a story 60 year old remembers he was told by his grandmother 50 years ago, and the main feeling that overcame me was the feeling of insignificance or perhaps helplesness. this happened when i was completely sober and healthy and in company of friends, and it lasted for about as long as that thought existed.

i dunno what this is, but indeed, the way it comes to you it is similar to deja vu.
your experience is amazing.. I read it 20 times over and i still find it amusing.. when i get my "out of place" feeling, it feels like a sudden SURGE of super self-awareness.. to such extremes i cant even comprehend it all at once..

i've tried to do research on these feelings and i come up with websites full of reported LSD trips and such.. if i get this feeling (and so strong of a feeling it is!) when im sober, i'd hate to see what even a small dose of LSD would do to me. I'd probably go permanatly insane..

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you must know that every drug helps you discover a new way you can feel, or percieve, or think.

Alcohol, too. Sex, too.

But the point is that it does not cumulate, so the LSD would not build up from previous feeling and make you go insane, so you are free to try a *small* dose of LSD:-)

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Once in awhile i'll be walking down the street, and for a brief second, my perspective shifts. Everything around me (the pavement, the houses, the cars) seem extremely surreal and ficticious. I feel like i'm walking in that model town from the movie "Beetlejuice". I get a flashback of this chaotic planet with rock formations, water and wind. The way the universe crafted it. Then i see what's in front of me. Buildings with such precise symmetry, cars that are so well designed. For a second i will see everything as for what it really is without being distracted by its mechanical ability. House = wood. Cars = metal. It's as though i'm walking through a massive human made sculpture. A fairy tale land. Even the way the pavement is layed out, seems so.. fake. As though i'm looking through the eyes of someone who isnt human. This feeling will last the same amount of time as a stage of Deja Vu might last a person. Deja Vu is the only feeling i can compare this too. Does anyone else ever have this feeling?
@Erazman,i think i get wat ur saying.

I have had 'sort of' similar experiences.
This only happens when I'm outside, with a crowd of many people, or with loud sounds (particularly people's voices) coming to me from many directions. I begin to feel 'out of my own ego, escaping it but still there, yet enough to be aware of myself...'
And it just feels unbelievably strange... so strange that words can never explain it, because it's just something phenomenal... And I become afraid of these sounds, as if they're not real, they sound warped, or from a vortex, or something I feel as though I will never survive... almost at the presence of death, yet nothing happens; I possess a fear that is totally an illusion. I fear of everything around me. And everything seems 'fake', as you mentioned earlier.
And the instant I return home, 10-15 minutes later I slowly 'get my ego back together', and feel what I did once before.

Odd, this. I read somewhere the brain can become imbalanced/a lack of particular chemicals, such as serotonin that cause these sort of effects.
You enter an area, such as the street, a pathway that 'triggers' something in your head to create this sort of 'reaction', thus you gain that feeling/unbelievably strange perception/whatever you want to call it. You have mentioned yours lasts a couple of seconds, what do you mean by that?
Do you mean, a second and then nevermore? Or does it go on and off, on and off, fades, comes back, then finally goes away?
Mine could be described as a 'neverending' feeling that does end, but in a period of a few hours. During this time frame, I feel out of myself, just crazy, and experience 'deja-vu' type feelings along the way that seem to come back and fade in a cyclic manner.
It is important to note that I only feel like this once I think of a particular thought - I can't pinpoint it exactly, but I'm sure it's one thought - the leads into this 'phase' I have. The thought is like a path with one dimension, you can't follow any other thought processes once you've thought of it because this one is taking over everything else... and once I feel like that I regret I thought that thought.
And I only think like this when I'm around people... it's a paradox almost.

edit: test yourself if you've felt like this by yourself at home, doing an activity you do usually every day. Do you still get the feeling sometimes? If you're into what you're doing, do you ever get it?
If you never do, it could be hypothetically said that you only experience this feeling due to a situation you think differently in - and hence this causes the chemical reactions in your head to react in a different way...
NOTE: I am not here to give a theory lesson. This is only what I believe, my observations...

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devil-fire
i got a feeling that i would discribe as you guys have already. i felt like i was sort of an observer of my body, like the sensations and vision did not belong to 'me' but that i was only an observer or some other third party. i was in woodshop class and i understood communication differently. its like every gesture and change in the tone of voice of every word each had clear cut defined meanings and i saw exactly what the person was trying to communicate.
the feeling lasted about 5 minutes but i had more then enough of it so when i feel it comeing on i try to focus on something else. i feel the edge of it maybe once every 3 months or so.

i remember reading the symptoms of an epeleptic seizure not long ago and recall it sounding like it might apply.

(after searching some)

symptom: mood changes and intense feelings of fear or deja vu (the feeling that you are encountering circumstances or a place that you previously experienced
associated with: withdrawal from alcohol or drugs

my 2 cents

Erazman the feeling you are describing sounds similar to something I've experienced from time to time. I've always found it rather relieving, actually. Almost like a euphoria, it's energizing like being younger. When I enter this state of mind it feels as though all the doors in my mind have been opened at once, like there is a barrier I've grown accustomed to which has been removed, allowing access to a greater wealth of knowledge and understanding. Nothing seems out-of-reach in this state of mind. It is both overwhelming and humbling, but can be taken as a curse or a gift. I often take these times to sit down and watch the world go by.

I gave up trying to write during this state of mind, as I found that if I focus on one word for a moment too long, the whole english language becomes as a second language to me. I begin to think "is that the way this word is spelled? that sounds awful strange to me, it can't be right." Very easy to lose focus and begin pondering questions which, at the time, seem vastly deep. Performing my usual entertainment functions (watching TV, playing games, etc.) just don't appeal to me anymore, and even the idea of staring at the wall imagining what's on the other side seems vastly more interesting.

Anyway the real reason I am posting a response is because I think not enough people take interest in understanding themselves. I think this question you've asked is most likely more important to you than any question you asked (or will ask as the case may be) throughout high school! It won't help you do math or speak properly, but to understand oneself is to understand all things in nature. Unfortunately, we cannot give you the answer, because there is no answer. There is merely discovery leading to revision of the question.

Pergatory said:
I begin to think "is that the way this word is spelled? that sounds awful strange to me, it can't be right."
Oh my, that is so true to me, it scares me that you have picked up this thought in exactly the same way I have.

[

i've tried to do research on these feelings and i come up with websites full of reported LSD trips and such.. if i get this feeling (and so strong of a feeling it is!) when im sober, i'd hate to see what even a small dose of LSD would do to me. I'd probably go permanatly insane..[/QUOTE]

or you would go permanatly inlightened!!

I was browsing to web looking for exactly this words "out of place", that is how i found this forum, i think my experience is not exactly the same as the one referred to by ezraman, well sometimes it is; but the truth is i feel sometimes as if i didn't belong, as if i was able to see trough the ilussion of every day life, work, study, eating, sleeping, and found out that our motivations are uselees, is not the physical world that appears fake, but everything else, has anyone ever felt like this???

I have some news for you all, the world we layed down over the top of the natural world, is fake. We can't even really see it. Let me explain. Our eyes are round, and they really can't see all these straight up and down lines skyscrapers, bridges and buildings. We have to use our internal software, to interpret what we are seeing and make rectilinear perspective. Yes, we have to work like dogs to see this world we have crafted, it is tiring, that is why nature is relaxing, we don't have to work to see it, we can see it as it is. We nevertheless still flatten the image somewhat, visually. So occasionally we tire of it, or let go, in the middle of a stroll, and it seems incredibly unreal, because it is, and it is not in individual scale, but on the scale of the masses. We just haven't been civilized that long, to have an automatic psychic fit, in this concrete and wire, nightmare thing, we have created.

I get this feeling too, it's a symptom of my post traumatic stress disorder.

Erazman said:
Does anyone else ever have this feeling?
and sometimes I feel like a new woman, but my wife would kill me if I tried following up on that feeling!

it has been two years since i made this post and i just recently diagnosed my problem. It's called derealization. But depersonalization also goes hand in hand with it. This article really hits the nail on the head for me..

cut/paste...........
Depersonalization : A frightening and/or disturbing experience of not being within one's own body or of being in immediate danger of vanishing/separating from reality – often described as the sensation of living inside a dream. Although cognitive functioning remains intact, the sufferers feel disconnected from their sense of self and often interpret it “as if I am losing my mind.”
“ My hands feel like they're made of paper, or like they belong to someone else.” “My own face in a mirror seems foreign, like I have never really seen it before this moment…” “I cannot feel my body, not truly numb, but it is as if I have disappeared into myself, beyond my own flesh and blood…”
“Sometimes I literally wonder if I am already dead and existing as a ghost…it feels like my soul is trying to leave its shell and I am fighting with all my strength to hold it inside this body. I don't know if I'm dreaming or awake; I must be going insane…to feel my self wafting away…I know it is only a matter of time…”

Derealization : A state of consciousness that creates a sense of detachment from all environments, fogginess, as if a plate of glass is in between the mind and the physical world. Any concentration requires tremendous effort, and the harder the sufferer tries to focus, the more disconnected they become. Often including feelings of déjà vu or jamais vu. Familiar places look alien, bizarre, and surreal – as if they are part of a Salvador Dali painting. In fact, the more familiar the surrounding, the more foreign it seems to be.

“In a split second, the world seems to tilt. I am suddenly a stranger in my own neighborhood.” “Reality seems to vanish, or is closing in, as if the literally edge of the world is right beyond the horizon.” “Everything looks ‘off,' like it turned into a stage set or fake replica of how it should really look…” “The world looks like I'm dreaming, or like I have unwittingly taken LSD…”

Depersonalization and Derealization involve similar consciousness states, although psychiatric literature discusses them as two different symptoms. The major distinction is that the first is a distorted awareness of self, while the second is a distorted perception of the physical environment. Often patients experience both, simultaneously or alternately. These states of mind are accompanied by an obsessive need to self-monitor, to observe the self moment by moment. The sufferers describe an inability to experience their own lives while stuck in chronic self-observation (also feeling that identity is disappearing, or has already vanished).

Usually, but not exclusively, these altered states include debilitating anxiety and overwhelming preoccupation that a total loss of reality is only moments away. There may be pervasive beliefs of literally “willing oneself” to remain sane, along with a morbid fear of (and resisted wish for) total surrender to what seems to be an impending psychosis. Over time, the patients believe they are losing more of the self, and while actual reality-testing remains intact, the feeling of reality diminishes. There are increasing doubts about the actual existence of an external reality and the sufferers often harbor secret thoughts that they have only conjured up the world and their own being. Bizarre ideas may include a notion of being the only person in the world, or of existing merely as a thought without a body. Thoughts can develop about being the singular author/director/producer of one's perceived existence (as is true in a night dream). Such ideas often lead to overwhelming ruminations on the nature of being human. The result is increased withdrawal into one's own mind, which encourages social isolation and enhances the feeling of alienation.

Sounds like you had a case of seeing The Absurd.

"Men, too, secrete the inhuman. At certain moments of lucidity, the mechanical aspects of their gestures, their meaningless pantomime makes silly everything that surrounds them. A man is talking on the telephone behind a glass partition; you cannot hear him, but you see his incomprehensible dumb show: you wonder why he is alive. This discomfort in the face of man’s own inhumanity, this incalculable tumble before the image of what we are, this 'nausea,' as a writer of today [Sartre] calls it, is also the absurd." -- Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus

I'm reminded, too, of the cases of individuals who believe their loved ones have been replaced by aliens. One explanation is that an individual somehow loses his/her emotional connection, and reasons "I have no feeling for this woman that looks and acts like my mother, therefore, it cannot really be my mother."

I think your experinence is temporarily seeing the world without meaning. It's a spooky place!

I think this expresses it nicely although it is from a philosopher
"It is remarkable that we should be inclined to think of civilization-houses,trees, cars,etc.-as separating man from his origins, from what is lofty and eternal, etc. Our civilized environment, along with its trees and plants, strikes us then as though it were cheaply wrapped in cellophane and isolated from everything great, as it were. This is a remarkable picture that intrudes on us.""

Evo
Mentor
Damn you LYN, you opened the gate to hell and now this gbig is coming into GD! :grumpy:

Ok, people, you are now in General Discussion. No more lalaland.

Evo said:
Damn you LYN, you opened the gate to hell and now this gbig is coming into GD! :grumpy:

Ok, people, you are now in General Discussion. No more lalaland.
I wondered who all these weirdos were

Evo
Mentor
mattmns said:
I wondered who all these weirdos were
It doesn't take much to spot the interlopers. I also have the power to see who moved a thread.

slugcountry
Erazman said:
it has been two years since i made this post and i just recently diagnosed my problem. It's called derealization. But depersonalization also goes hand in hand with it. This article really hits the nail on the head for me..

cut/paste...........
Depersonalization : A frightening and/or disturbing experience of not being within one's own body or of being in immediate danger of vanishing/separating from reality – often described as the sensation of living inside a dream. Although cognitive functioning remains intact, the sufferers feel disconnected from their sense of self and often interpret it “as if I am losing my mind.”
“ My hands feel like they're made of paper, or like they belong to someone else.” “My own face in a mirror seems foreign, like I have never really seen it before this moment…” “I cannot feel my body, not truly numb, but it is as if I have disappeared into myself, beyond my own flesh and blood…”
“Sometimes I literally wonder if I am already dead and existing as a ghost…it feels like my soul is trying to leave its shell and I am fighting with all my strength to hold it inside this body. I don't know if I'm dreaming or awake; I must be going insane…to feel my self wafting away…I know it is only a matter of time…”

Derealization : A state of consciousness that creates a sense of detachment from all environments, fogginess, as if a plate of glass is in between the mind and the physical world. Any concentration requires tremendous effort, and the harder the sufferer tries to focus, the more disconnected they become. Often including feelings of déjà vu or jamais vu. Familiar places look alien, bizarre, and surreal – as if they are part of a Salvador Dali painting. In fact, the more familiar the surrounding, the more foreign it seems to be.

“In a split second, the world seems to tilt. I am suddenly a stranger in my own neighborhood.” “Reality seems to vanish, or is closing in, as if the literally edge of the world is right beyond the horizon.” “Everything looks ‘off,' like it turned into a stage set or fake replica of how it should really look…” “The world looks like I'm dreaming, or like I have unwittingly taken LSD…”

Depersonalization and Derealization involve similar consciousness states, although psychiatric literature discusses them as two different symptoms. The major distinction is that the first is a distorted awareness of self, while the second is a distorted perception of the physical environment. Often patients experience both, simultaneously or alternately. These states of mind are accompanied by an obsessive need to self-monitor, to observe the self moment by moment. The sufferers describe an inability to experience their own lives while stuck in chronic self-observation (also feeling that identity is disappearing, or has already vanished).

Usually, but not exclusively, these altered states include debilitating anxiety and overwhelming preoccupation that a total loss of reality is only moments away. There may be pervasive beliefs of literally “willing oneself” to remain sane, along with a morbid fear of (and resisted wish for) total surrender to what seems to be an impending psychosis. Over time, the patients believe they are losing more of the self, and while actual reality-testing remains intact, the feeling of reality diminishes. There are increasing doubts about the actual existence of an external reality and the sufferers often harbor secret thoughts that they have only conjured up the world and their own being. Bizarre ideas may include a notion of being the only person in the world, or of existing merely as a thought without a body. Thoughts can develop about being the singular author/director/producer of one's perceived existence (as is true in a night dream). Such ideas often lead to overwhelming ruminations on the nature of being human. The result is increased withdrawal into one's own mind, which encourages social isolation and enhances the feeling of alienation.
Hi... this scares the **** out of me, because I have been experiencing it, mostly the depersonalization aspects. I've had exactly the sorts of thoughts that were described in the article, and the preoccupation with self-monitoring, and even the part about missing out on my own life because I am so obsessed with trying to stay sane.. I have these moments.. my god the way the article ends doesn't leave much to be optimistic about!!!

What am I supposed to do? I've already had thoughts that I am losing my sense of self...

I'm being serious, this really scares me =(

Evo
Mentor
slugcountry said:
Hi... this scares the **** out of me, because I have been experiencing it, mostly the depersonalization aspects. I've had exactly the sorts of thoughts that were described in the article, and the preoccupation with self-monitoring, and even the part about missing out on my own life because I am so obsessed with trying to stay sane.. I have these moments.. my god the way the article ends doesn't leave much to be optimistic about!!!

What am I supposed to do? I've already had thoughts that I am losing my sense of self...

I'm being serious, this really scares me =(
You need to see a psychiatrist. This type of psychosis might be controlable with the proper medication.

Danger
Gold Member
Erazman, I have no desire to be a party-pooper here, but... what you describe might--just might--be a symptom of epilepsy. Petit mal seizures can be quite similar to what you describe. It might be worth your while to get checked out.