Depersonalization - Derealization

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Kjs, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I am reading about this. Both therapist and psychiatrist have now said this. difficult child has been feeling this since December.

    Most of what I am reading - - it never goes away. OMG, It hurts so much to think difficult child has to live feeling this way.

    Do any of you know anything about this?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I had it. It's one of the scariest symptoms I've ever had. But it went away with the right medications. Actually, Benzos helped this the most. I couldn't tolerate the feelings of unreality--the Benzos took them away. I will always be grateful for that.
  3. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    They are forms of dissociation. Everyone does it to a degree...when you're driving and suddenly realize you don't remember the last 2 miles, for example.

    It can and does go away with proper therapy. I would recommend a therapist that deals with dissociative disorders.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was told that depersonaliztion and derealization are anxiety symptoms and have chatted on a site for it when I had it. Therapy and even medications seemed to do no good for almost anyone. Most were at wits end. Many people had it forever. I was just lucky that medications worked. For me, it happens whenever I'm depressed. When the depression lifts so does the horrible feeling of "am I real or am I in a dream?" It's totally frightening.
    A lot of people get their first episode after smoking pot. That did not happen to me, but it is a very common trigger. I have no idea why, I just know it's true. And even if you never smoke pot again, once you have it--well, have fun. It doesn't go away fast--if ever.
  5. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I have a very good friend with severe dissociative disorder. There is hope.

    ETA: I dissociated a lot when I was depressed. I didn't know what it was and thought I was going crazy. Throughout all the years of therapy I have had, no one addressed it with me and I had no idea how to bring myself out of it. I think it's important that it's addressed with proper therapy.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2009
  6. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I am terrified. My heart hurts, like having butterflies...I am so scared for difficult child.
    He has been fighting anxiety, I know you have all read the many, many posts of things he is afraid of.

    difficult child does not smoke pot. He is afraid of drugs. He tells us of all his friends that do, and sadly most do. Not only pot, that isn't the scary part. it is the pills all the kids are taking. difficult child calls us to come get him when the kids he is with smoke. He won't even hang out with them. He says they are wasting their life and won't waste his time. I HAVE given him drug tests, many times and he is always clean.

    I read those sites too. That is what is so scary. He is sad, he is "sick of feeling like this", he is scared and he is afraid of everything. He is becoming less social. Not wanting to leave the house. He IS fighting this. He IS making himself do things, but says it just isn't fun anymore and sees no use in going anywhere. I am afraid of what might happen if he quits fighting.

    The most horrible thing is I think I caused it. As I stated so many times, difficult child and I butt heads. I lose control and I say many things I shouldn't. He is like a sponge and scuks it all up. I KNOW better. I KNOW he thinks about everything that is said.

    therapist said that he was distraught. He is afraid he isn't loved. Not only does he have me yelling at him about homework, now Dad is too. (I wanted husband involved in school and look what happens).

    WE tell difficult child we love him every day. difficult child worries about me and husband. (although there hasn't been any fighting/arguing in weeks) difficult child wants to know how much are salaries are, he worries dad will be laid off (possibility and he listens in on conversations). I TOLD him that he doesn't need to worry. HE will always be taken care of. Again yesterday, I hug him, tell him I love him and he asks how much money I make.
    My reply lately is he doesn't EVER have to worry about anything except what is right and what is wrong. If he knows that, he will be fine.

    But thinking I caused everything makes me hurt inside so much. If only I knew ten years ago what I know now. Knowing it may never go away, because of me. Loving him so much, wanting so much for him and seeing how I failed him, how I hurt him is destroying me. easy child was right. I did this to him. Everything. All these years. I wanted to help him struggle less and made him hurt more. I pray everyday that difficult child will feel better.

    I am so afraid for him I can't even put into words. He is so scared.

    If only ONE friend knew how much it would mean to difficult child to have a best friend. If only ONE friend cared enough about difficult child as he does about them, difficult child would be so happy.
    I am proud difficult child walks away when drugs are used. I am hurt that nobody cares what it does to difficult child. If only I could just talk to the few kids that don't do drugs. Tell them to call difficult child, tell them how much he admires them, if only I could do that I would.

    I think of difficult child every minute of every day. I am so afraid. I hope medication will help him over come these feelings. difficult child is NOT willing to try Paxil or Prozac or any medication that involves weight gain. I pray lexapro will help.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Anxiety and depression can cause one to dissociate. It doesn't have to be because of trauma. I dissociated frequently when I was severely depressed, but I don't now. It was the stress of the depression and your brain needs a break.

    Keep in mind that depersonalization and derealization are on the mild end of dissociation. However, if they are interfering then they need to be treated in therapy. He will need to learn soothing and calming techniques to ground him.
  8. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    therapist was teaching him relaxation techniques, however he said his anxiety is so out of control right now it won't work.

    therapist also does Bio = feedback. What is it and would it help difficult child. If so why hasn't he talked about it?
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I didn't have any big trauma. It was all due to excessive anxiety and depression. LIke I said, it went away with the right medication. I've been in therapy for twenty years and was never told this was a form of dissasociation--maybe it is though. I haven't had this symptom for a long time and back then they probably knew a lot less. At any rate, I didn't take drugs either. I was terrified to take drugs. I thought "I'm already crazy. I don't need to make it worse." There are a lot of kids who don't take drugs. I have two nieces who feel the same way as your son. They are 16 and think drugs are stupid. They are honor students. I think lots of kids don't take drugs and your son is to be commended. I'm very sorry for your pain. You are a very caring mother. He knows that and it does help him, trust me. I didn't have that and that only made everything worse. Here is the site I used to go to about depersonalization/deralization (or however you spell These are real people who suffer from it. Maybe your son can join the site and find "friends." I found it VERY helpful and comforting and was happy to see I wasn't crazy or alone.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Flutter, from looking at the site appears you're right and I'm wrong (although it is an extreme form of anxiety). It seems it is caused by trauma and needs therapy. I didn't have ONE big trauma, but had a hideous childhood so I guess it came from that plus I was probably susceptible to anything in the anxiety department.
    KJS, just know it can go away. Looks like they have some cool help for this now too. And there's a book about it! Go to the site and be positive ;) Made ME feel better.
  11. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    It can be caused by trauma. But, severe anxiety and depression are traumatic in themselves. So, it doesn't have to be from an outside source.

    While my friend who is closer to the DID part of dissociation suffered horrendous trauma throughout childhood, I've known people who dissociate in times of extreme stress that have never suffered a traumatic event.

    It's not one size fits all.
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    I am afraid if he goes to the site he will see all the posts about lasting for twenty years and not getting better. That would make it worse. He is beginning to not do things he once enjoyed. He is beginning to not leave the house. He is still agonizing over all the thoughts of dying, and now this won't go away.

    I will copy some of the positive thoughts into a word document and let him read that.
  13. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Kjs, I have very little experience with this. When difficult child disassociated after her assault, it was brief and a bit different than what you are describing.

    Just wanted to send you some supportive hugs. Read up all you can, but don't overload on it.

    And try not to beat yourself are a very loving and caring mother and parent. You have advocated for him and taken him to doctors to help him all these years; you have fought for his future.

    Waste no time in trying to pinpoint the 'why' of this. Hugs~