Depersonalisization/Derealisation

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RoadRatt
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20 Apr 2024, 2:12 pm

Years of stress and bad diet led me to vitamin deficiencies. I was low on vitamin D and magnesium for years. The last 5 years I have been unable to function properly due to low/no energy.

I won't go into the hell I went through over the last few years. Other than to say, it was pure hell. My head is finally recovering, but the years of stress have left me with Depersonalisization/Derealisation (DPDR). I can no longer feel my emotions properly. I feel like I am a ghost of myself. Some days are worse than others.

I try to keep stress away by avoiding news on topics that might trigger stress. Staying away from arguments, etc. . And this has helped me to recover to this point. But I can't avoid the stress of my best online friend. While I was going through stress the last few years, they have been as well. And now they are in such stress that I am not sure if they will survive the rest of this year.

I am in no condition to lose my friend. They are the only person I talk to every day. Just having them away right now means I lose a daily routine, plus a friend. I will post another thread about my friend soon. I may need advice there eventually.

I was recovering well until a few events last month triggered my depersonalisation to become worse. It hasn't gotten much better since. And I am no longer sleeping well, yet again. I am a mess.

It took 5 years to get my head clear only to find out that I am now dealing with a disorder that may take months, or years to recover from. This was a gut punch to my system.

I have more trouble talking to people now than ever before. I can do my Qi gong, eat properly and stay as low stress as I can. But I am unable to break free from the derealisation. My biggest fear now is that, I will never break free from it.

This song says so much about the way I feel anymore.


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IsabellaLinton
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20 Apr 2024, 3:13 pm

Thanks for sharing how you feel. I hope you feel better just putting it out there for some support. What does your DPDR feel like when it's bad? You mentioned not feeling emotions, feeling like a ghost, and not sleeping well. I'm wondering if there are more symptoms you can identify or describe.

Have you talked to a doctor or mental health therapist?



Sending hugs and support in the meantime.


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DuckHairback
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20 Apr 2024, 3:57 pm

Sorry you've been going through all that RoadRatt. You and your friend.

You said you're not sleeping well. Do you find that makes the other stuff worse? I was just thinking about the depersonalization/derealisation bit and trying to imagine what that's like and thinking the closest I've ever been to that is when I have periods of insomnia. I just thought maybe if you focused on trying to sort the sleep out a bit it might relieve some of the other stuff a little?


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RoadRatt
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20 Apr 2024, 5:43 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Thanks for sharing how you feel. I hope you feel better just putting it out there for some support. What does your DPDR feel like when it's bad? You mentioned not feeling emotions, feeling like a ghost, and not sleeping well. I'm wondering if there are more symptoms you can identify or describe.

Have you talked to a doctor or mental health therapist?



Sending hugs and support in the meantime.


I can't feel emotions properly. I don't have a reaction to a bad call in a basketball game, or have a reaction to my team leading the game, nor much of anything the way I used to. But when I do have a reaction, usually empathetic, it doesn't feel right. It's hard to explain. When I look in the mirror I can't connect with the person I see in the mirror. I walk around feeling "ghost like", or disconnected. I have come to the understanding that prolonged stress can cause this condition.

I have talked to my doctor and my counselor. My doctor has me on vitamin D3 and it has helped. My counselor can only do so much. I am having to describe the DPDR to them. So it is clear they don't know anything about it.

Mainly the thing I come up with is, trying to stay stress free as possible, and doing my Qi gong. It's a moving meditation. I think it's a perfect workout for an autistic person.

Thanks. :)


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RoadRatt
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20 Apr 2024, 5:53 pm

DuckHairback wrote:
Sorry you've been going through all that RoadRatt. You and your friend.

You said you're not sleeping well. Do you find that makes the other stuff worse? I was just thinking about the depersonalization/derealisation bit and trying to imagine what that's like and thinking the closest I've ever been to that is when I have periods of insomnia. I just thought maybe if you focused on trying to sort the sleep out a bit it might relieve some of the other stuff a little?


Thanks.

Not sleeping well makes everything worse. The sleep should sort itself out as soon as I can get stress free. Problem is, I can't get to stress free while I deal with my online friend. I will have to post a thread about that situation soon. Because it is the bigger issue, and the main reason I can't get my stress lower right now.

I wish I could focus on other things. But that is near impossible with autistic empathy, and my friends current situation.


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jogashill
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21 Apr 2024, 4:15 am

i am sorry to hear about this distress you describe. it seems agonizing for you, and difficult when issues compound upon one another.

a few questions:

is your friend also receiving help in some way, and can you accompany them? you say they are online - could you both join a counseling session, or something else (like support group?) together? from how you describe it, you both have been each other's support, and perhaps a joint session could help, and also make you feel a little less "helpless" about it.

your own counselor - most have colleagues/supervisors they can discuss situations with to gain more insight/help, so hopefully they are asking someone for more support to help you. have you asked your counselor for more ideas, giving them "homework" for your next sessions?

i hope you have some resolve soon of at least one of the issues you describe, so that the others can also lessen in intensity.



RoadRatt
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21 Apr 2024, 5:34 am

jogashill wrote:
i am sorry to hear about this distress you describe. it seems agonizing for you, and difficult when issues compound upon one another.

a few questions:

is your friend also receiving help in some way, and can you accompany them? you say they are online - could you both join a counseling session, or something else (like support group?) together? from how you describe it, you both have been each other's support, and perhaps a joint session could help, and also make you feel a little less "helpless" about it.

your own counselor - most have colleagues/supervisors they can discuss situations with to gain more insight/help, so hopefully they are asking someone for more support to help you. have you asked your counselor for more ideas, giving them "homework" for your next sessions?

i hope you have some resolve soon of at least one of the issues you describe, so that the others can also lessen in intensity.


My online friend lives 4 states away, so I can't accompany them. They do have a counselor but can't get medication that was helping them very much, ever since they stopped prescribing a medication they were taking due to it's link to dementia. There is no way to join a joint session. I have never used any media that allows for me to do so.

I am sure my counselor is consulting with supervisors. Maybe they will have more ideas next time I have a phone session with them. I have never owned a cellphone nor used any media for joining groups online. So that doesn't leave much left. I can't even join a live group of people due to covid-19 concerns.

I will see if I can post a thread about my online friend later today. I could really use help there as they live alone and are most likely autistic.

Thanks, I am up early. Woke up too early, yet again.


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__Elijahahahaho
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21 Apr 2024, 6:18 am

One piece of advice that seems to come up again and again is to notice the symptoms, but not view them as bad.

For example in anecdotes I've read about a woman with schizophrenia, when she viewed the voices as something
bad, they got worse, she got "help", but this created more stress and a long period of suffering. Eventually she learned to recognise the voices as a signal and helpful coping strategy from her body, and live with them.

This is similar to the concept of mindfulness - noticing your feelings, but not trying to suppress them or see them as bad.

This is also similar to anxiety. You and other people mention that a big part of the anxiety is the anxiety of the anxiety itself, it will "last forever" or because you fear the anxiety this will make more anxiety etc. The key is to recognise the response as something helpful and move through it.

Talking out of my ass a bit here, but maybe it helped. good luck



RoadRatt
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21 Apr 2024, 8:26 pm

__Elijahahahaho wrote:
One piece of advice that seems to come up again and again is to notice the symptoms, but not view them as bad.

For example in anecdotes I've read about a woman with schizophrenia, when she viewed the voices as something
bad, they got worse, she got "help", but this created more stress and a long period of suffering. Eventually she learned to recognise the voices as a signal and helpful coping strategy from her body, and live with them.

This is similar to the concept of mindfulness - noticing your feelings, but not trying to suppress them or see them as bad.

This is also similar to anxiety. You and other people mention that a big part of the anxiety is the anxiety of the anxiety itself, it will "last forever" or because you fear the anxiety this will make more anxiety etc. The key is to recognise the response as something helpful and move through it.

Talking out of my ass a bit here, but maybe it helped. good luck


Thanks. It seems like very logical advice to me.

When my stress is low I can manage to do this. When stress hits, my illogical side takes over and all of it goes out the window. After years of stress, I am in a situation where it doesn't take much stress to send me backwards.

I need more time to recover. Just need to manage through somehow.


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IsabellaLinton
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21 Apr 2024, 10:44 pm

Are you diagnosed with MDD as well, or do you think you might have it in addition to DPDR?

I'm curious because I've felt the same way most of my life: not connecting with the person in the mirror, feeling like I'm in a bit of a dreamscape, and not having much emotional engagement with things because of Alexithymia (but also MDD, trauma, ASD, poor interoceptive awareness, etc.)

Again - hugs.

Thanks for explaining as much as you have, and I'm sorry you're feeling so low.


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blitzkrieg
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21 Apr 2024, 10:52 pm

I relate to some of what you have said, RoadRatt.

I had significant derealization/depersonalization issues in my early twenties, though luckily for me, those issues have mostly subsided for me, as I have gotten older.

I was a lot more stressed in my early twenties, as an undiagnosed autistic existing in a hostile living situation, so that may have had something to do with how I was feeling?

The following song I find is relatable to this topic:



RoadRatt
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21 Apr 2024, 11:22 pm

IsabellaLinton wrote:
Are you diagnosed with MDD as well, or do you think you might have it in addition to DPDR?

I'm curious because I've felt the same way most of my life: not connecting with the person in the mirror, feeling like I'm in a bit of a dreamscape, and not having much emotional engagement with things because of Alexithymia (but also MDD, trauma, ASD, poor interoceptive awareness, etc.)

Again - hugs.

Thanks for explaining as much as you have, and I'm sorry you're feeling so low.


Yes, I have been diagnosed with MDD. But what I have been feeling is worse than I usually feel with depression. I had to figure out what was going on. It took re-watching a video on DPDR for me to realize that it was what I was suffering from. It is very common with prolonged stress, which I had been under for many years. My stress is lower now. But my friend is my biggest worry these days.

I read about Alexithymia before I found DPDR. It fit but didn't explain everything I was going through. I find it amazing how many conditions there are that I had never heard of before my autism diagnoses.

I am sure I have poor interoceptive awareness. After looking it up online, I would think that many of us ASDer's do.

I know that I need to keep my stress as low as possible and I will most likely recover eventually. I am already feeling the DRDP feeling less today. It will just take a while until I get there.

Thanks for the hugs. :)


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RoadRatt
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21 Apr 2024, 11:36 pm

blitzkrieg wrote:
I relate to some of what you have said, RoadRatt.

I had significant derealization/depersonalization issues in my early twenties, though luckily for me, those issues have mostly subsided for me, as I have gotten older.

I was a lot more stressed in my early twenties, as an undiagnosed autistic existing in a hostile living situation, so that may have had something to do with how I was feeling?

The following song I find is relatable to this topic:



Oh my does being undiagnosed make life tougher. Even after my diagnoses, nearly 10 years ago, I didn't fully understand how it affects me. After this experience, I fully understand how it does. Which has helped me a lot.

I think that being an undiagnosed autistic does lead to more stress. Figuring out your own autism and how it affects you
makes life much better, even if life isn't always going so well.

Awesome. I love that song. It is what made me buy their only album I have, Welcome To The Night Sky. Great music! :heart:


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IsabellaLinton
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22 Apr 2024, 12:45 am

I don't want to divert the topic too much, but you mentioned taking D3. Do you also take K2, because they should generally be taken together for better absorption. I've been seeing a Naturopath in the past year and found a lot of benefit from Omega 3s and methylated B-Complex as well as a few others. They seem to perk me up and improve my mood even when I'm under considerable stress.

Sorry if that's a derail. These are things you'd need to discuss with your doctor of course, if you're interested.


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jogashill
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22 Apr 2024, 3:45 am

thanks for sharing all that you have, RoadRatt.

glad to hear that yesterday was better.

in the times between your Qi gong sessions, have you tried some simple bilateral movements? for me it is knitting if i find myself super anxious, other times when i can it is walking or biking. some people like tapping. some people like drumming, with sticks or your hands.



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22 Apr 2024, 4:06 am

When it comes to stress and anxiety I get some tangible relief from CBD oil. It just takes the edge off for me, I'm still stressed and anxious but not quite so desperately.


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