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#135086 - 07/14/06 06:04 PM depersonalization
thetraveller Offline

Registered: 05/29/06
Posts: 69
Loc: England
Sorry in advance for going on a bit.

During my least session with my therapist I asked about disassociation, what it was and whether I might suffer from this condition. She started talking about depersonalization, the feeling of being outside ones self and being emotionaly and physically numb. This is how I often feel inside sometimes for weeks or even months if I get real bad.

I have been doing some research on this and have found that the majority of people who suffer with this condition have a history of childhood trauma/abuse. I wondered if anyone else suffers with depersonalization/derealization?

Is it linked with my CSA or could it stem from my drug abuse? I took LSD when I was 15 and I freaked out and thought I was gong to die while I was tripping. About 2 days after I started to have panic attacks all the time, at least 5 times a day. It was a nightmare and I couldn't sleep. My behaviour became even more erratic and self destructive and I used drugs to escape which made me feel worse in the long run. You know the vicious circle. It took me until I was into my 20's to get a proper handle on things and stop the blind panic consuming me. I still have a substance abuse problem but its getting better.

I have been reading other peoples experiences and lots of them seem to have had their DP start after a bad drug experience and never had any abuse. My CSA happened before my drug abuse so could I have already had some symptoms and the bad trip just pushed me even more over the edge?

I am writing this more to try and make sense of it myself than expect anyone to really know the answers.

I guess that I'm just scared I am mentally ill. That there is a recognised condition I might suffer from. I have spent the last 15 years trying to convince myself im not mad, hanging onto my sanity by a thread, and now it looks like i am fucked up.

I just really scared and am hoping for some re-assurance from anyone else who may have these problems that its ok, you can get over it and things can get better.

Thanks for listening to me vent about my problems


#135087 - 07/14/06 08:36 PM Re: depersonalization
ForeverFighting Offline

Registered: 02/09/05
Posts: 1253
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Dissociation is very real. I used to do it all the time. It's a way we learned to push negative emotions so far away that we can't feel them anymore. Every once in a while it still hits me. I'll have an especially stressful week where things are too difficult to bear, and I'll go in the zone. Where everything is numb, and the barrage of internal criticism is silenced.

You're not mentally ill. As kids we couldn't control anything outside of ourselves, but we could control our view of events by putting ourselves in a safer, though imaginary, place. It was a way of saving ourselves. Who knows what would have happened to us if we hadn't had that tool. The difficult part is letting loose of those tools, because we don't need them so much anymore.

Talk therapy helped me. Dissociation is a common thing among abuse survivors. I'm happy to help in any way I can, Craig.

Take care of yourself.

"This search for the truth--it's not for the faint of heart."--Goren on 'Law & Order: CI'
"The former things will not be called to mind, nor will they come up into the heart."--Isaiah 65:17

#135088 - 07/19/06 09:47 AM Re: depersonalization
Jonathon Offline

Registered: 02/25/06
Posts: 74
Loc: New York
Your post really helped me as lately I have been dealing with and learning about dissociation etc. I was abused throughout my childhood and took to the drink/drugs at 13 . . . to essentially self medicate all the anxiety, keep the numbing going. When I got sober is when I started to think I was mentally ill . . . now I'm in therapy and beginning to deal with the abuse. It is weird to feel detached from all around me . . . even good friends. I look for a word to pull me back and then it gets better . . . or ask myself, if i notice it, whats happening. A chat with a friend or this sight is good too to get back in my body. It scares me that I have probably been numb for so long but feels good to know that I'm defrosting in some way. Good luck.


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