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Builder
Posts: 2,077
Registered: ‎01-09-2016

Dealing with Depersonalisation

Hey guys Smiley Very Happy

 

So I know that a while back someone made a thread about depersonalisation, but I want to talk about it a little more because I think I have it and aagh. So like for a few years I've felt kind of 'spaced out' (I think that's the best way to describe it) and I thought that this was normal. I thought that because it started when I was twelve/thirteen it was just a normal change, and kids feel more connected and present to everything than teenagers do. Then I watched this video and I was like 'WOAH that's a thing? You feel that too? It's not normal? Huh.'

 

Sometimes I have it real bad and sometimes I don't but it's usually somewhere in the middle. It's like I'm kind of on auto-pilot, and I'm kind of not really here - like I can see what's in front of me and hear all the sounds and stuff but like. It's weird. I looked it up on the internet and it said that most of the time it's caused by a traumatic event, where you like pull out of reality, and then that turns into a dissacociative disorder. Except I don't know what that event would be, cause nothing like super bad has ever happened.

 

I know that mindfulness is a good way of dealing with it. I find it really hard though, because it's much easier and much more interesting to think about stuff than to not think about stuff.

 

It's more frustrating than anything else, and I don't really know what to do.

Mod
Posts: 995
Registered: ‎26-08-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

Hey @roseisnotaplant Smiley Happy

I think a good way to think about trauma is that it is about how the person is affected by the event/person/situation or the impact it has on them, rather than how bad the event/situation actually is if that makes any sense.

I totally think I get what you are saying about mindfulness - do you mean that you find it kind of boring in comparison to thinking about things? And the boring factor makes it really unappealing to prioritise? Or am I on the wrong track here?

Have you seen a psych or a doctor about how you've been feeling?
Uber contributor
Posts: 2,497
Registered: ‎28-05-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

Hey @roseisnotaplant

 

First off, it's great that you've been able to do some research and figure out what's going on! Props to you Smiley Happy 

 

Depersonalisation is often caused by a traumatic event; even if there hasn't been one majorly traumatic event in your life, sometimes trauma can occur over a longer period of time when there's a pattern of ongoing low-level trauma. 

However - depersonalisation, (which is a type of dissociation btw) is also really common for people who have depressive and anxiety disorders, whether or not we've experienced trauma. It's specificallly linked to panic and anxiety attacks. I depersonalise sometimes, and I don't have a trauma history, for me it's just a symptom of anxiety/depression. 

 

One really cool way that I was taught to use to deal with it is called the game of three. When I'm dissociating, I actually say it out loud while answering the questions. This is the basic format:

 

Look around. What are three things you can see? (E.g. I can see a bird on the roof, I can see my computer on the floor, etc)

Now listen. What are three things you can hear? (E.g. I can hear myself breathing, I can hear an aeroplane going overhead, etc) 

Noticing your surroundings, what are three things you can feel? (E.g. I can feel the floorboards under my feet, I can feel the fan blowing on my face, etc)

 

Next you you find two things you can see, two things you can hear, and two things you can feel. 

 

Finally (I think you can guess this step! Smiley Tongue) you identify one thing you can see, hear, and feel. 

 

The other thing that helps me is to identify something that makes me feel a lot of emotion - like a favourite book or song - and that helps me to start to feel something and feel like myself again. 

 

There's also an article here that could be helpful - http://www.anxietycoach.com/depersonalization.html Smiley Happy

 

How are you travelling today? Smiley Happy

 

Builder
Posts: 2,077
Registered: ‎01-09-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

Thanks @DruidChild @May_, that's really helpful Smiley Happy

 

@May_ I don't know if it's that I find mindfulness boring, so much as I find it really hard. Like I think A LOT. And it's kind of hard to step away from that and focus on one thing, or focus on nothing. I haven't seen a psych or doctor about it.

 

@DruidChild Those are some cool techniques, I'll definitely try them out. I'm doing much better today - yesterday wasn't a great mental health day.

Uber contributor
Posts: 2,497
Registered: ‎28-05-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

I'm glad you're doing better today @roseisnotaplant! Smiley Happy

Mod
Posts: 995
Registered: ‎26-08-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

@roseisnotaplant oh okay sorry I misinterpreted that. Mindfulness meditation is really hard when you first start or aren't in a habit of doing it. I'm not at the moment and when I try to do it I feel like my mind is racing. It takes quite a bit of practice to be able to ground yourself a bit more - and a large portion of it is accepting yourself for how you are at that moment. Eg when your thoughts are racing and you are trying to meditate you can say to yourself that it is okay - those are just thoughts and you can focus on your breathing when you become conscious that you have become lost in a thought. Thoughts will come and go and that is part of the experience Smiley Happy

Do you think seeing a dr/psych about it is something that you could see helping you feel better?

How have you been going this week? Smiley Happy
Builder
Posts: 2,077
Registered: ‎01-09-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

@May_ I think I'll try getting in the habit of meditating and see how that goes, and stick with it even if it's hard. Idk about seeing a dr/psych, it doesn't seem too bad most of the time? Hmm.

I've been doing pretty okay this week, its fluctuates Smiley Happy
Mod
Posts: 995
Registered: ‎26-08-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

@roseisnotaplant awesome Smiley Happy I should really do that too....let us know how you go with it Smiley Happy

Hmm when you are in one of the bad stages do you feel like you want to see someone about it?
Uber contributor
Posts: 2,497
Registered: ‎28-05-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

How have you been doing lately @roseisnotaplant? Has the meditation been helpful? Heart

Builder
Posts: 2,077
Registered: ‎01-09-2016

Re: Dealing with Depersonalisation

Ngl, haven't been doing much meditation lately @DruidChild (although I have been trying some mindfulness techniques like the one you suggested). I should probably make a specific time for it so I don't just forget about it. I've been doing okay? Not super great, but not terrible. Thanks for checking in Smiley Happy

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