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Medical Suffered strong depersonalisation and varying degrees of derealisation

  1. Mar 6, 2006 #1
    Having suffered strong depersonalisation and varying degrees of derealisation with anxiety for a month, I'm wondering if the depersonalised state is the highest and most critical state of being one can experience.

    I'd love to hear the experiences of others with this state.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2006 #2


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    What do you mean by "highest" and "most critical"? In what ways would the experience lead you to characterize it in this way?
  4. Mar 7, 2006 #3
    What does it feel like?
  5. Mar 7, 2006 #4


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    Hi Zophras:
    Having come through a very stressful month myself, could you please
    describe what you mean by depersonalisation and derealisation? I have an intuitive feel for what you 'might' mean but I would like to know more precisely what you're referring to. Which behaviours characterize these two processes?

    Cheers, mrj
  6. Mar 7, 2006 #5
    hypnagogue: It feels like nothing is true. It's like as if I'm an outsider to myself and the world and am observing it externally. I also moved into the state while meditating on my crown chakra (bad idea).

    PIT2 & mrj: Wikipedia defines it as: "the experience of feelings of loss of a sense of reality. A sufferer feels that he or she has changed and the world has become less real—it is vague, dreamlike, or lacking in significance. A sufferer is divorced from both the world and from his or her own identity and physicality. Often times the person who has experienced this disorder claims that life "feels like a movie, things seem unreal, or hazy." Also a recognition of self breaks down (hence the name). When a person suffers from the disorder (or the symptoms associated with the same) he or she finds that when he or she looks in the mirror that his or her face is not familiar though logically he or she is completely aware of his or her identity."

    It's very unsettling, and thankfully I'm back in the "ordinary" state.

    Also, a very interesting resource: http://www.dreamchild.net/
  7. Mar 7, 2006 #6
    I haven't retained many "specific" memories from my early childhood. But this dream-like scenario happened to me at least twice. They occured both times when I was in kindergarden, at recess, and I reached this state where I just stood there and watched life like I was watching a movie. Why this is one, if not the only, memory my mind chose to remember? I don't have a clue. What I do know that I have tried several times in my life to self-induce this state. The only method that I've found that comes close is lucid-dreaming. But I don't just snap into a lucid dream state when I'm awake, like I did when I was very young. When it has happened, while I was awake, I attributed it soley to lack of sleep. (not going into the millions of possible factors that could result in someone not getting enough sleep). It never happens if I'm fully rested, which would be indicative of a disorder if it did. That's just my perspective on the experience.

    I've never considered those experiences unsettling, imho, because I am completely aware of what was happening, and I don't fear it. But it would be unsettling if I couldn't pinch myself back out of it (like my past experience with some drugs).

    edit, after re-reading what I just wrote I thought I might give you a sense of what I mean by "what was happening". I always knew somehow, that I was soley dependent on my physical body to actually have the experience in the first place.

    I couldn't comment on whether it is the highest state you could experience. To me, an orgasm is slightly better. I take it as just another thing I can do.

    Do you feel like you are unable to snap out of it?
  8. Mar 7, 2006 #7
    Of course, I was stuck in the state and it was unsettling as I thought my consciousness was just going to fade away into nothing. Everything that I looked at with my eyes seemed to be there, but also infinitely not there; an infinite blackness - like there was a pane of glass in the way. It's like as if reality didn't seem real enough.

    Then with the derealisation, things started to look terrifying for no reason - such as when I was editing sound waves in Audition (they looked dangerous and sharp) and people's faces, to name two things.

    I don't know why you'd like to induce it. Maybe you just didn't experience depersonalisation.
  9. Mar 7, 2006 #8
    That's what makes it so interesting.

    I don't know where I rank, skill level wise on lucid dreaming. I can only tell you that it helps me when a dream gets like you describe. I use that as a cue that I'm actually dreaming it in my head and not actually seeing it in real life.

    So when you're stuck in this state, you start to doubt you exist?
  10. Mar 7, 2006 #9
    Wait, do you think I'm talking about lucid dreaming and whatnot? Everything I'm talking about is when I'm awake.

    And yeah, it's like a state of being in which you're thinking and almost feeling pure existential questions... "Do I really exist", "is reality a dream", "am I going insane". I wasn't even thinking like that until I started having the DP, and the questions made it worse. I tried lifting weights in the hope that exercise would make everything seem real again, but no, damn.

    It eventually went away when I really stopped thinking the questions. Read the Wikipedia article, it's quite informative.
  11. Mar 7, 2006 #10
    No, I don't think you are talking about lucid dreaming. You asked me why I would want to induce this state. (because it was scarry for you) I brought up lucid dreaming as a possible parrallel to what you are experiencing.

    I read the article when you first posted it. Remember, if I experience it exactly as you describe, I would be suffering from a "disorder". I would do as the article suggests and seek professional help.

    I'm not trying to sound rude in my reply, so I hope you don't take it as such. I just don't know what you are expecting out of your OP. I thought you wanted to hear other's experiences. I had depersonalization exactly as described twice as a child. Lucid dreaming is the closest I have come to the same experience since. That's why I thought it was relevent.
  12. Mar 7, 2006 #11
    Oh sorry, I get you now. How old were you when you had the first experience? I can remember thinking I had issues with my vision when I was in primary school (11 or so), but really I think in retrospect it probably was DP at the time.

    Have you also had derealisation? And have you had anxiety and/or depression?
  13. Mar 7, 2006 #12


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    That sounds bad... it sounds like, well, you are on the edge of insanity. Its like you lost your mind and you can't find it.
    Oooohh that's exactly how I feel when, I've said before, I stare into my irises. Its very scary, I have to look away. Its like, I'm an outsider to myself and the world, and I am observing it externally. Like I'm observing it externally, but I'm still in it. I want to try and think when I am like that. How interesting, I think I might go try it even though I am fearful.

    A devout Hindu?
  14. Mar 8, 2006 #13
    I don't know exactly how old I was. I was in kindergarden. Maybe 5 or 6?

    As long as you realise those things are not synonomous. I had derealisation only in retrospect, never during the experience. Probably because I'm familiar with the sensation. Who doesn't get depressed sometimes? I can tell you I'm not clinically depressed.

    In my first post I surmised that lack of sleep has something to do with having awake dreams. Anxiety/depression are factors in why one would not be getting enough rest to begin with. Do you notice this correlation with you?
  15. Mar 9, 2006 #14


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    I think I suffer from severe anti-depression, due to my attitude. —> :smile: :biggrin:
  16. Apr 9, 2006 #15
    Sounds like anxiety disorder. Had it in my Jr year in college. Obsessive thought, depersonalization, felt like I was walking around in a daze (more than usual) all the time. I was carrying a math/physics double major and my GPA went from 3.7 (out of 4) to zilch. Thought I was going bonkers. Never got any help with it and it hung on for almost a year.

    About 12 years later, it started again - this time with a panic attack (imagine getting the physical reaction of 'standing in a nest of rattle snakes' for no apparent reason). Went to the doc who correctly diagnosed it. Got 30 day supply of Xanax which helped me over the hump...then he weaned me off em. Took about 90 days to collect my remaining sanity. Now I'm Napoleon only on weekends.
    Seriously, it never goes away completely, but it diminishes to the point you can eventually disregard it.
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