Personally I don’t think that Depersonalization Disorder exists and believe that this is just another symptom of anxiety that can in time be overcome. Depersonalization can be described as a recurring feeling of detachment from ones own body, as if being in a dream like state and not really ever in touch with reality. Many people complain of a fogy or hazy view of the world through their own eyes with depersonalization, and this symptom can not exist without anxiety.
How Does It Start and What Keeps It Going?
Depersonalization is caused by a mental shift in the part of the brain that is linked to the amygdala, which is the main organ responsible for anxiety. Cannabis, hallucinogens, antidepressants, caffeine and nicotine can all produce feelings resembling depersonalization, especially when taken in excess, It can also result from alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal. Daily life is turned into confusion at every corner, thoughts slow down, a persons response to a simple question can feel extremely challenging and the worst part of all this would be trying to explain the feeling to someone else who’s never heard of depersonalization or felt anything quite like it. There is a fine line between “wanting to get rid of the ‘unreality’ feeling” so much so that you can taste it, and tolerating it. The desire to get rid of this feeling can actually be adding stress and fear that actually maintains the feeling. Since our brains, i.e. our nervous system, can’t process all this stress at once and delays are inevitable, it’s important to think of the feeling of “unreality” as your nervous system FORCING you to relax and forcing you to slow down. In this way it becomes a protection circuit by the nervous system against further tension. But unfortunately we don’t see it this way, We experience it and assign an awful and horrible outcome to it, assuming it is a “sign” of impending insanity and loss of control.
What is the best way to approach these awful sensations?
Since we know that it is certainly related to stress, Would you feel “unreal” while lying on the beach next to a supermodel (male or female – your choice) who was totally attracted to you? I highly doubt it, Your “unreality” would not exist in that situation would it, You would forget about it and not be focusing so intensely on it and be completely in the moment. You can HATE this “unreal” feeling but acceptance is a must to break the habit of adding more stress to it. When you accept, you’re giving the signal to your mind that there is nothing to fear and this feeling is something you will live with for the time being, but remember that complete acceptance doesen’t mean you’re checking in to see how things are going every few minutes, complete acceptance means your focus has completely turned to other more important things and you’ve decided you will not give this symptom of anxiety anymore respect from this day forward.
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