Depersonalisation and Derealization Disorder

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by jessiej920, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    Has anyone heard of DP/DR disorder or disassociative disorders before?

    I have been suffering from DP/DR due to PTSD and anxiety for the last 10 years. I am only 25. My life is a blur. My memory is full of gaps and holes in time. I feel as if reality is not real. I feel like I am detaching my "soul" from my very body. I wander aimlessly. I can't connect with the world around me. I feel like I am living in a nightmare.

    I would appreciate any advice, knowledge, or experience shared on this topic. I am very confused and very scared at times. I lose so much time that sometimes I can't even remember the simplest things; conversations, dates, times, places, names...sometimes even the people closest to me treat me like I am stupid or retarded even though I am very cognizant and intelligent. When I look in the mirror, I don't recognize my reflection. When I look at pictures of myself, I don't think they are of me. My past feels like a dream, like it happened to somebody else, and yet certain traumatic events I relive over and over again.

    This is not a psychosis. I am not psychotic nor am I crazy. I just have trouble understanding that reality is real and not a dream that I can wake from. People treat me like I am irrational and when I get angry about it I have to remind myself that sometimes I am a completely different person, who I don't remember being, and I act completely different then I usually would when not in a blackout state. I am not talking about completely seperate personalities or identities, but I do things I don't remember doing. I say things I have no recollection of. I do things I would never normally do if I was self-aware that I was detaching.

    Trying to explain this disorder is very difficult and frustrating. It sounds insane, but the worst part about it is that you are fully aware you might be, but yet know you are not, yet sometimes your actions seem irrational and crazy.

    What do you people think?
    Am I fucking nuts?
    Or is this real and I am just going through it?

    Does anyone have any advice on better coping mechanisms? Obviously detaching is the way I cope, but by detaching I no longer feel real and my experiences all become subjective.

    Help?? Anyone?
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  3. Kennyc Registered Senior Member

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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    No, but you say it's a byproduct of PTSD. What kinds of treatment have you gotten, and what did they accomplish, if anything?
    Are you able to hold down a job and support yourself? Drive a car? Maintain a bank account? Take care of life's essential business without a caregiver? How much education have you gotten? Do you have a few good friends? Are you able to be entertained--music, movies, sports, TV, reading, anything of that nature? Do you play any games? Have you ever been in love and if so was it returned? Sorry for being nosy, but those are some objective questions that will give us a measure of how well you're coping. I've been to enough therapists to have a pretty good idea as to how they figure out rather quickly whether you are genuinely "crazy."

    Do you have a dog or any pet? The relationship one has with a companion animal is much different than with humans. Many people with "coping problems" (for want of a more specific or scientific term) find that a small, utterly predictable friend who loves and trusts them but never asks any questions vastly increases their satisfaction with their life. I can make a case for a dog (we have eleven of them) but plenty of people do very well with cats, parrots, etc. People who forget things find that they never forget to feed their little buddy and it helps them feel better about themselves. Sometimes all you really need from a friend is for him not to be human.
    This sounds like the PTSD. I hope you've been working on that, it's without a doubt the key to everything. I assure you that you may have to try two or three or four or more psychotherapists before you finally get one who connects with you. I recommend a Jungian, which means he or she will not be an actual psychiatrist because medical schools are stuck in the 19th century and still teach Freud. That is very nice because someone who is not an M.D. cannot give you pills; they have to do it the hard way.
    I'm curious how you reach that conclusion, since you seem to be saying that your connection with the world and people around you is a little tenuous. Do they specifically say things like that, or are you attempting to read their innuendos and their body language? You might be misinterpreting them. If you are as forgetful as you say you are, anyone close to you has a right to be concerned, but that's not the same as thinking you're crazy, stupid or retarded. Do these people know about the PTSD? If they're dear to you they should be able to cut you a lot of slack for that, but they're still going to feel frustrated, sad and worried about you.
    That's certainly the PTSD.
    Yep, classic PTSD. I'm no expert and even I know that.
    PTSD. PTSD. There are huge pieces of reality about which you are understandably very upset, to put it mildly. We all block out unpleasant memories, that's a classic, standard coping mechanism. Most of us remember only "the good old days" and either remember the bad parts as being much shorter and less traumatic than they were, or else actually block them out. Almost everyone reading this has done this; and many of them will say they haven't because they have that much control over their memories. We all have bad stuff in our past that's much worse than the bad stuff we actually remember. It keeps us happy because we're not conscious of how bad life can get!

    Your problem is that there's something in your past so bad that you can't forget it, block it out, make it a little smaller, or do any of the things the rest of us do in order to live with our past. I occasionally have flashes of really awful things that I have completely forgotten, and they give me cold chills. I feel like sitting down and crying. And these are nothing like what happened to you. I know this because on the rare occasion that I share the memory with someone close they say, "Oh Fraggle, we've all been through something like that." You've been through something that is nothing like what we've all been through. Nobody has a coping mechanism for that.
    You have to understand that this lack of consistency scares people. They want the world around them--including, very importantly, the people in it--to be predictable. You have to forgive them for being put off by this, just as they have to forgive you for doing it.
    I will withhold final judgment until I see the answers to the questions I asked at the beginning of this post; and besides, I'm not a professional in this field so what I think is hardly authoritative. But based on what little you've been able to cram into one post I don't at this point think you're crazy. I think you have PTSD and you haven't gotten good professional help for it. Shame on whoever let that happen!!!
    I don't know what you mean by "this," but nothing you've said shows signs of being under the influence of illusions. You have just the opposite problem: There are parts of reality that you lose. You don't have any imaginary pseudo-reality that competes with real reality.
    The best advice I can give you is that you absolutely will not be able to solve this problem by yourself. Not after ten years!!! You simply must find a professional who can help you figure this out and help you devise coping mechanisms that will work. I'm sure you've been to five shrinks and didn't find their "help" very helpful. Well we've all been there. Sometimes it's the sixth one who connects with you, sometimes it's the tenth. You're under no obligation to have a second appointment with somebody who leaves you cold after the first appointment.

    If you live in a big city contact the local chapter of the Jung Society and ask for a referral. At least that will weed out the MDs and all the other Freudians, and you won't have to worry about them pushing medication at you. Heck, these days there are a lot more Jungians than there were in my day so you can probably even find a couple in a smaller city.

    What you need is not a "coping mechanism," but a cure.

    Keep in touch, and if the trolls jump on you just ignore them. They're like that to all of us.
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  7. jessiej920 Shake them dice and roll 'em Valued Senior Member

    I have been to psychiatrists and therapists off and on, but in the last year I have seen 3 different people and none of them knew what to do with me...they looked at me like they didn't know what to say. One guy even told me that I should just go crazy...aka have sex, party, and go wild in order to "find myself" :bugeye: It was only the last therapist who decided I was probably suffering from a dissociative disorder due to the anxiety from PTSD.

    Haha...sadly, no...I work, but I can't seem to maintain enough hours or make enough money...

    Yes (I paid for it when I was 16), hardly (if I had money to put in it I would), and uh...honestly, no...I have always had someone who has taken me in, whether it be a friend, boyfriend, or family member.

    I graduated high school and I have my BA from the university...I graduated college with honors, but after that it all fell apart...after college I no longer had a positive focus and I lost it.

    A few. I don't trust many people, but I have a few close ppl who I have known for years...the rest of them are just aquaintences who I hang out with that know usually the person who is taking care of me (bf, bff, family member etc.)

    I used to be. I love reading, writing, AND movies...all three of my favorite things, but now especially it's as if nothing makes sense...I can't seem to see the plot in anything, it all seems so far away or unrecognizable and I can't relate...I can't even WRITE! And I have been writing all my life!

    I have had several people say they 'love' me, but I don't know if my love for them was ever really returned. I was in an abusive, toxic relationship for 7 years (16-24) and I pent the last year with a man who just cheated on me...damn, it sounds pathetic, but it's the truth. :wallbang:

    lol, I have three cats and they are my constant buddies! I have raised all of them from kittens and nursed them all to health...hell yeah I am attached to those furry little beasts! They seem more human to me then anything...maybe because they truly aren't.

    No one has truly helped me with my's terrible, to be honest. I jump at every loud noise (doors slamming, doors opening, loud voices, gunshots on TV etc.) If people come up behind me I jump out of my skin and then want to punch them for touching me. I can't sleep with doors open or my back to doors, I compulsively LOCK doors...christ, I could go on. It's very exhausting always being so "on gaurd", hence why I like to just stay at home with loved ones or close friends and relax. Crowds make me tired and, if I have to actually TALK to people, like at a social a function, it's always them thinking I am their friend and I just can't seem to feel a damn thing. It truly sucks for me because I don't even relate! I can't. Don't get me wrong...I can make "friends" with ANYONE, but they talk at me and I don't retain anything. I won't remember their names 10 minutes later. My short-term memory seems to be shot.

    No, no, no...don't get me wrong. My connection with reaity is very's just that 'reality' doesn't feel 'real' to me. I am completely competent, but reality is more like a dream to me. I lose time so quickly and memories can seem ages away even when it's only been a few days or vice versa...even all this doesn't make me less fact, it makes me MORE aware of the world around me and it's realities. It sounds SO weird, I know, but I don't know how to explain it. I can stare off into space for 13 hours and feel like it's been a minute and I can have 10 minutes pass and it feels like four hours.

    Sometimes they do. People tell me "You are being irrational" or they say I'm lying because I can't fucking REMEMBER what I said before. It's very humiliating. It makes ppl think I am stupid.

    Loved one's have "attempted" to understand, but no one truly knows how difficult it really is. People don't understand why I can't understand or comprehend things like 'love', 'trust', and 'commitment'. They don't realize that half the time, these things don't even EXIST for me. I don't feel them. I feel no remorse sometimes and then other times it's like guilt is poisoning me from the inside out. I don't think I am going to get any slack because I have made so many mistakes and it looks to my closest loved ones like I am doing these things on purpose, but I'm not. Really, it's that I feel I have no control.

    In the 'big picture' aspect my life might look peachy because I have always maintained a roof over my head and I have always had clothes on my back ( no matter how crappy) and I have only gone hungry out of pride, but things have happened to me...have been done to me...that I CAN'T forget. It's like cancer. I have seen things that have scarred me for life. Half my life is gone because my brain refuses to remember.

    Thanks, Fraggle. It really means a lot to me that you took the time to respond honestly and thoroughly to my post. It has been hell for me and that is not an exaggeration. You have no idea what it's like to wake up and not remember conversations and actions and/or's debilitating. I feel stupid, guilty, and awful. I'm getting better, believe me, day by day. I have had to be so strong on my own, but I am learning and I am slowly finding myself and getting myself back. I am thinking about going back to counseling once I get health insurance...I know I need to just talk it all out.

    Either way...thank you for trying to help and offering very sound advice and wisdom. Your response means more then you think

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  8. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Have you ever had your thiamine levels checked to make sure that you don’t have Korsakoff disease?

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