Dissociation, depersonalization symptoms etc.

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by SuZir, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I had a long and good talk with difficult child and he did share more about his daily struggles and how he feels and thinks. Especially his descriptions of his dissociative symptoms rattled me. I tried to not show it to him and he himself seems to take them quite matter of factly. And it seems his therapy is helping him a lot with these. There was a lot of 'therapist says', 'therapist taught to do this or that to control it' etc. This are also not new to him, but now he has a name and explanation to them which seems to make him feel much better. Apparently before he just feared he was going crazy, so name for it and telling him he is not losing a touch to reality has made him feel more at ease. But for me they still sound scary. Do any of you or your kids have experience with these and are there any solutions?

    difficult child does have quite a lot both depersonalization and derealization symptoms and he also loses time. And often they happen all at once and on the other hand he has bit similar experiences when he is actually over-focused, in the flow-state and not dissociative.

    He often feels 'odd' or that everything is foggy, that he can't think clear or control himself, or that there is a disconnection between his brains and making things happen. He also has very convincing out-of-body experiences when he is anxious. Or he feels that he is going on autopilot and he can't control any of it, that he is trapped inside his brains and that autopilot has taken control.

    His common deralization symptoms are either about everything, or most things, being foggy, or loosing all colour or sound. Or things or people getting smaller or bigger. Also time can grow shorter or longer in whim or get all wonky. This causes him most problems. For example if he feels he is 'ganged up', he often begins to see those people growing bigger and himself getting smaller and even though he does know it is his mind playing tricks, it makes it very difficult for him to evaluate the situation correctly and act accordingly, so he often freezes or lashes out much too harshly. If he is yelled or scolded, sounds often start to act up and in the end he can't understand a word. There is also lots of synesthesia involved and apparently he lives part time inside some kind of world best described by abstract modern and post-modern art.

    When he loses time it seems he doesn't behave oddly or untypical manner. For others he may seem unfocused or daydreaming, but he does act and answer mostly appropriately. He just doesn't remember it afterwards or remembers just bits and pieces (like when really drunk, he says.) Unfocused, 'not quite there' is also how he appears to others when he is having other dissociative symptoms like depersonalization or derealization. I too have seen that and wrote it up to poor attention or even attitude.

    While some of the symptoms are hallucinations and really strong and lifelike, difficult child does know reality and these symptoms apart. He does tell that at times it can be difficult and he has to think hard or check to be sure (for example touch to check a size of things, 'close' the sense that is giving him wrong information and trust others etc. And sometimes he can't make it stop. He says it feel same as those dreams, where you know you are dreaming, but can't make yourself to actually wake up (I'm sure most people have those at times), but he knows he is awake, and experiencing things that are not there or things that are there crookedly, but he can quite remove the fog from his brain.

    Apparently there are techniques and tricks to do that and his therapist is teaching him to use those, but some he finds too embarrassing to use if there are other people present and at times if he gets too anxious he can't focus enough to do so. And that he hates.

    On the other hand he has some rather similar experiences when he is in the flow and hyper-focused. For example when he plays his sport and in there it actually helps and doesn't hinder him at all. He also often doesn't remember game that well afterwards but it is more bits and pieces till he goes through his performance from video. That doesn't bother him at all and he considers that normal.

    To be frank I'm little freaked out. I have never understood that his experience is so different. And how on earth is he suppose to control and change his behaviours, if he doesn't have control of his brain and can get 'locked out from the board room when it is decision making time'?
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Those are scary symptoms and I have mentioned before that Quin's seizure symptoms are similar in nature. He really hated it but like your son was able to strongly say he knew it was not real. The causes are different but I think the effect on them must be scary in some ways. It truly helped Q to know why and I bet that relief was good for difficult child too. I'm glad he has such a good therapist, yes indeed there are ways to ground himself and help get through those times. I have not had to live it but I think there are some here who have and I bet they can describe it better than I ever could.

    It sounds like he is motivated to improve the situation and that is half the battle, I'd imagine.

    Must be sad for your mommy heart though, each time you hear how he has to struggle to get through this. I think about him a lot.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I can only guess or imagine how unsettling this revelation must be for you. on the other hand, it is truly wonderful that he feels safe enough to share these intimate details with you. Likely you are the only one he shares with in such depth. I think if I were in your shoes I would visit a psychiatrist to discuss what this means and get input on the appropraite response to such symptoms. Obviously I would not interupt the flow between difficult child and the therapist but as the Mom I would need to have the professional confidentiality available to me so I could feel comfortable with new mental health issues. difficult child#2, for example was diagnosis'd as schizo-affective some years ago following a full neruo/psychiatric evaluation. I just didn't feel like I "got it" to the point of being comfortable and our psychiatrist was hugely helpful in helping me get my arms around the new diagnosis. It did not cure the problem but I felt more competent in parenting.

    Sending very sincere supportive hugs your way. DDD
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SuZir, I would feel a little odd too about those symptoms. What helps me to get my balance back after a bit of a shock like you just experienced, is to get as much information as I can. Once I have all the information, I can deal with all of it much better instead of scaring myself with thoughts and feelings that may not be appropriate or even real. Can you speak to his therapist about it? I am not certain what the propriety is when kids are older, if you can get info on their health, but perhaps he would give you permission to talk to his therapist for your own peace of mind, to find out exactly what all of this means and what is the prognosis.

    I can imagine how this all feels to you, however, he seems to be doing quite well with all of it, he's learning how to cope with it with the tools he's been given. Wishing you peace and sending you hugs...............
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I have had both derealzation and depersonalization. It was the worst, scariest symptom I had. I didn't know what it was and it wasn't as severe as your sons because I didn't see things big and little or without color, but I did feel like I was behind a wall and the world was a dream. I would look at a tree and it would scare me because it didn't look real. Or I'd look at my hand, attached to my body, moving on it's own and think it didn't seem real. And I'd then get scared and think I was losing my mind. It's a horrendous feeling. He has kudos from me that he can play a sport and function while experiencing these symptoms. I am not sure losing time is part of dep. and der. I didn't have that either. I had no hallucinations...are you certain there is nothing else going on too? Has he ever seen a regular psychiatrist? Anyhow back to the dep./der....

    The only thing that helped me was medication, at least when I was younger. I think working with dialectal behavioral therapy (mindfulness) is another good idea. That's learning to focus in the now ALL THE TIME. However, really, only medication helped it for me and that was Valium. Benzos were good for me for depersonalization/derealization. I haven't had it for a long time, but I'll never forget it. It often starts because of pot use.

    I wish all of you luck. Hope the explanation helped.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    DDD, thanks, that is a great idea to have a psychiatrist appointment to ask information and make questions about the condition in general. I have known that difficult child is dissociative and I have been looking for information and reading about it, but either it has been rather general information, some description in medical literature that seem quite a lot severer than difficult child's symptoms or support board posts from people who often seem to have much worse symptoms than difficult child too. Dissociative symptoms were mentioned in the psychiatrist report for applying funding for the therapy which difficult child showed me last fall. His official diagnosis is PTSD with dissociative symptoms. He doesn't qualify for separate dissociation diagnosis because his dissociation is considered to be caused by PTSD and because, once again, his overall functioning is too high. Those issues are only diagnosed separately if impairment for every day functioning is apparent. His therapist is specialised on trauma patients so this should be right in his alley.

    RE: difficult child medical information is of course totally confidential from everyone he doesn't specially give clearance to release it. His psychiatrist or therapist can't even admit he is their patient, much less anything else. difficult child has given a psychiatrist permission to talk with his team doctor and during our latest crisis he gave his therapist permission to tell some of his recommendations (basically adding one more weekly therapist appointment for rest of the spring, now that difficult child is home this week, he has his appointment through Skype, and because of Easter he has only two appointments anyway.) And apparently he has allowed his therapist and his mental coach/sport psychologist talk and divide which techniques are taught by whom (both use a lot of mindfulness-type of techniques with difficult child.) Otherwise difficult child has wanted to keep his therapist appointments rather private and I certainly support that. I think it is healthy for him to both take ownership of his own therapy and also have firm boundaries that things talked in therapy stay between him and therapist. His lifestyle choices take much privacy out from his life (you really can't keep your private matters that private in that environment) but having a boundary for this is something I consider healthy for him. And that is why I haven't asked much about therapy. Just if he thinks it is beneficial, if he feels he clicks with his therapist or should he consider finding another therapist to use rest of the granted funding (no use to use the funding to therapy if it's not going anywhere) and things like that, not details. He has been much more open with his psychiatrist visits, medications etc. with me.

    MWM: Yes he sees psychiatrist regularly. psychiatrist was also the one to diagnose him last summer. Around here only MDs can diagnose or prescribe medications, so one has to see a MD for those. Often stable, long term mental health rxs are handled by general practitioners, but new, complex or needing regulated drugs cases see psychiatrist for their treatment. difficult child sees his psychiatrist every three months (and have had two emergency appointments on top of that during this year) and has next appointment next Monday. His basic medication is BuSpar. He has been given one diazepam (Valium) for panic attack and absolutely refuses to take another one. After that he has taken Xanax two or three times for the worst situations and while he likes it better than diazepam, he certainly is not liking that either, but admits that it is good to have that option for the absolutely intolerable moments. For sleep he has used Ambien off and on and Atarax to cut the building anxiety and help with sleep. Now his team doctor has forbidden Ambien for the summer from him (and apparently from his team mates too, they all use it quite a lot during the season) and for difficult child he prescribed 10 oxazepams to be used for sleep if he continues to struggle with insomnia during their few weeks break. He has struggled a lot with sleep lately.

    difficult child has all kinds of dissociative issues, flask backs etc. but of course depersonalization and derealization are kind of scariest because they don't really make much sense and feel so 'crazy.' Some symptoms he has been having long time, even before the incident three years ago (I think his PTSD has been long time brewing and can not be traced to just that one incident, but it's more work of years of brutal bullying and some innate sensitivity.) Well, at least it confirms me that qwhen i thought he didn't even hear me when I nagged him, he really didn't. For him me nagging changed to a sheep baaing angrily (I'm rather proud of myself that I didn't whack him on to head when he told that one ;)) For him someone yelling at him easily changes to alarm sirens and conversation in locker room to birds chirping. And because of his synesthesia, that again can change to colours, tastes etc.

    Synesthesia may have helped him to deal with this a bit. That is neurological, often hereditary difference, and it runs strong in our family. My dad is extreme, I have some, so does both of my sons, difficult child more so than easy child. And because of that difficult child is kind of used to the fact that he experiences world differently from others (and not only because of synesthesia but because his sensory issues) and hasn't been quite as spooked because of his dissociative symptoms he would had otherwise. But still a big thing for difficult child has been that he has been told that these symptoms are not dangerous, don't predict psychosis and he is not crazy, they are just anxiety symptoms.

    But yeah, I absolutely hate it, that life has to be so very difficult for him all the time. Nothing ever seems to work out easy to him. And of course he does his life harder also with his own choices. I would just hope him to be happy and at ease one day, but that doesn't seem to be something that happens to him.
  7. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    When I read this post, first of all, I sympathize with how scary it must be for you these days. I would panic, but you are holding it together very well.
    The other thing I realize is how strong difficult child is. That may sound weird, but he has to cope with so much stress, which is probably helping to bring on some of these symptoms, but he is managing and coping fairly well. If I were him, I'd be a wreck. He's got more resolve than one would imagine. I applaud him for it.
    As you may know, I have one sibling, a brother, who is schizoaffective, and he hears voices all the time, and sometimes has visual hallucinations. He is very calm about it - he is 61 y/o now, and this has been part of his life since he's about 19. When he tells me about it, I recoil in horror, but he just copes and does pretty well. He is medication compliant, but the medications don't always help with the voices, etc. He hesitates telling me about the voices, because my reaction is typical, so he bears it quietly and with great grace, I think. It must be very lonely to have to cope with that stress.
    I know difficult child's situation is not like my brother's, but it is a lonely road to walk down sometimes, and I sympathize. Under the circumstances, and in light of recent events, I think difficult child has coped admirably.
    Your support must mean the world to difficult child. If husband can come to understand and digest some of what difficult child has to bear with, he may find a little more patience with him. I know it's hard for everybody.
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    CJ: To be honest my first thought when he started to talk about his dissociation experiences to this detail was run away into the woods screaming, (or in reality deeper into the woods, we already were in woods walking dogs,) and find a nice big spruce and make a nest under it. It helped a little that I have read and searched information about dissociation after he was diagnosed with it and I do know it really isn't as dramatic as it sounds. But still it is rattling.

    And it makes it again very real to me, that his troubles are not just him deciding to be impossible or making bad choices or being stupid and immature. He may be also all that, and is at times, but he also has some legitimate issues that are not his choosing. That is something very important for me to keep in mind. It is so very easy to consider him just obtuse, stubborn, choosing to be difficult and obnoxious, when you deal with him. He knows how to hide his deeper challenges and vulnerability well and he really has extraordinary talent on annoying stuffing out from people (I guess everyone has to be good at something...)

    You are also right that he does seem to have lots of certain type of stubborn strength. Like juniper my mom, who was fond with nature references, used to say, yields but doesn't break and gets back up again and again (my more plebeian mind came up with rats and cockroaches...) and I do take comfort from the fact that in his own way he is very resilient in the end.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2013
  9. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I did ask difficult child to talk a bit about this to his dad or at least give me a permission to tell him some of it. I don't think husband really gets how much effort difficult child has to put on to just make it through the days. difficult child declined from talking to his dad himself. He says that husband would just get spooked or frustrated or angry with him and this is not a topic he wants to argue with husband. He promised to think about letting me tell some of it. I do believe that it would help husband to be more patient with difficult child if he would see difficult child's struggles more real and less him choosing to be difficult. difficult child's strengths, his ability to compensate and him being very smart do really colour the picture so much that seeing his challenges real and not just something he chooses to do to annoy others even further can be difficult.

    Very uneven ability/functioning profiles are just difficult to get, when you yourself are more even. I, while being even myself, have life long experience with people like that, and while I don't really get it deep down, I have learned to accept it like it is. For husband that is more difficult. He knows it, but he really doesn't get it, that just because difficult child can do X, that may be very complex and difficult, it doesn't mean he can also do Y, that is simple and easy but different. And even if he somehow is able accept that, he certainly don't get, how difficult child can do Y, when it is a part of X, but not separately or when it is part of Z. Okay, that one frustrates also me to no end. "But it's not the same!", says difficult child. So yeah.

    difficult child has also talked with father in law about his and husband's relationship in some point recently. Apparently father in law has said that he sees husband and difficult child acting similarly. That husband too tends to lash out when he is scared and difficult child's issues make him scared for difficult child and his future. I think there is some truth in that and I do hope that thought would help difficult child to handle the tense situation between them and believe that his dad is there for him even if their relationship is rocky at times. It does frustrate me a lot how difficult it is for husband to accept hurting and vulnerable part of difficult child. It's odd how much easier it is for him to handle screwing up difficult child. When difficult child has troubles because of his own choices and screw ups, husband is most of the time very good with him. He can balance his disapproval and disappointment with encouragement to try again and do better and not to give up, well. But with difficult child's vulnerability husband is so totally out of his depth.
  10. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Maybe, if you and husband are still going to marital therapy, you could bring this topic up in a roundabout way?

    I think for all parents of difficult child's, there's a fear of acknowledgment that there IS an issue, and a fear that the difficult child will use the diagnosis as a crutch to get away with outrageousness that would not normally be tolerated. It's a tough balance for a parent to discern which is which. Then there's the disappointment with how difficult child turns out and the guilt that goes along with those feelings that the parent has to grapple with, as well as difficult child's fear of "screwing up" and thus disappointing the parent(s) further. It's like a never ending cycle.
  11. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    We are going to marital therapy still and that is going well. Maybe because we haven't much touched sorer difficult child-related issues. When we started there was two appointments to hash out the problems and make a therapy plan we have been following. And we decided to start with easier topics and those are the ones we have gone through till now. We started with things like communicating, chores, lifestyle change due kids growing up and having so much more time in our hands after very busy years, parenting easy child etc. With all that, we are doing very well but all the things difficult child are yet to be tackled. Doing it like this has also produced some rather guilt arousing thoughts probably common for many parents with difficult children. It seems quite clear, that if difficult child wouldn't exist we would be rather wholesome and happy family. And if he wouldn't exist, we wouldn't know what the great things we would had missed among all the heartache. And if someone would had let us choose beforehand a life with our difficult child or without him, I know we both would had chosen not to have him. I find it very lucky we didn't have that choice, but I don't know about husband. And that is one very big elephant in the room.

    You are right that balance between acknowledging issues and challenges and how hard they are and not accepting our difficult children to short selling themselves. It is so difficult to know the difference between can't and won't with them. Especially when it changes from day to day. And with my difficult child these dissociative symptoms make it again trickier. I mean, if he doesn't even comprehend what is said to him in certain situations, one can not expect him to act according to that. But then again, if he can't take any instruction or correction, he will have very limited opportunities in this world. So I think that only way to really handle these issues is to try to work around them. And for that, knowing and being open about issues is a key and one thing difficult child has to learn to do better is to advocate himself. Learn not to us his issues as excuses, but own up them, not to be so ashamed of them that he would feel the need to just hide them, but acknowledge them and come up with strategies to work around them with other people. Not a short order for one very immature whelp. Thank heavens he does have support around him to help him with all that. And he is motivated and stubborn. (And is it wrong that I would just like to put him into a padded box and hide from big, bad world...)

    husband has also agreed that it would be good for him to see a therapist privately to talk about his and difficult child's relationship. He just wants therapist to be male and to speak our first language. Finding one to fit that profile is easier said than done, but we have located one who may have an opening to a new customer for 5 to 10 appointments in May and June. Hopefully that pans out.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Could you present it to him as different wiring in the brain? Because even if his difficulties are caused by PTSD, and it sounds like they contributed along with probably a sensitive nervous system (trust me, I get it, I have one), that is still being differently wired. Maybe if he saw it as a clinical difference, which is it, rather than a weakness, he could assimilate it better in his mind. The fact is, your strong boy is dealing with a lot of scary stuff and, like one poster said, he has not given up. He is still going and it's good that he's in therapy with a therapist who understands and can help him cope.

    I know how you feel about talking about this to husband. I spent most of my life being unwilling to tell anyone the stuff I confide in you nice folks on this board because I didn't think anyone would believe me AND I heard a lot of people dismiss my very many mental health issues by saying "just get over it!" It is hard to come out of the closet, so to speak, with face-to-face people who are not mental health professionals. It scares people and pushes them away from you, and also makes people who are "normal" think "Oh, what a drama king/queen. He/she has got to be exaggerating." Or plain old "I don't believe it. What a lame excuse."

    This is a severe anxiety symptom. It is difficult to manage too. Actually, I was lucky medications took the dep./der. away because that doesn't always happen. And it scares the person who is experiencing the symptom...not to mention that depression also usually goes along with it. The first people I ever told about all of my mental health glitches was the other patients in the psychiatric hospital I was in and was shocked to learn that most of the people who were in there for depression also had dep./der. They would look at me in shock and say, "I have that too! I didn't want to mention it because I don't know how to explain it!"

    You are a great mom. You let him explain. And as horrible as it is to live with dep./der., it is not something that leads to insanity or really losing touch with reality. It is a form of disassociation, but it is not DID.

    You are pretty strong lady yourself, you know? Pat yourself on your back. difficult child is very lucky to have you so willing to listen to him, even when you are frightened. I'm sure he really appreciates your compassion and empathy.

    Tell him to look up "mindfulness" to see if he thinks it would decrease his anxiety. It's been fantastic for me and I feel he may like it too. Good luck to all of you!
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    MWM: That could be an idea. What I have read about dissociation it seems that proneness to it is indeed hereditary and 'in the wiring.' There are people who will not get dissociative in any case and people to whom it happens much easier than to most. It is continuum and considering that I do have lots of nonpathological dissociation experiences (spacing out while driving a car and not remembering later what happened during the drive, experiencing an altered time, when for example falling (it can be a really long part of the second it takes from feeling your foot to slip and before hitting ground), very vivid memories triggered by a smell or sound or taste etc.) and that I suspect my father may well suffer also PTSD with dissociative symptoms along with Borderline (BPD) (no, I don't know his official diagnosis for sure) and that both my grandpa and grandma (on my mother's side) have told about dissociative experiences and symptoms due wartime, it is not at all farfetched that difficult child is genetically disposed react the trauma he experienced with strong dissociative symptoms. That reacting that way is just part of his wiring and something he of course have to learn to deal with but still just a coping mechanism typical to him due his wiring.

    From how difficult child talked about this to me, I think that demystifying, matter of fact approach is important to him, when trying to cope with these symptoms. For him it seems to help when he considers it just an annoying way his brain does tricks to him when overwhelmed, nothing more. I think it is best if I (and husband) are able to take his lead on that and react the same way.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think your attitude is good :)
  15. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I did manage to get an appointment to psychiatrist who is specialised to anxiety and PTSD two weeks from now. Had a bit hard time to get a receptionist to understand that I'm not seeking help for my own issues or booking an appointment for my son but just want to have general information and consult. Will likely have same trouble also with the psychiatrist, doctors around here absolutely hate to comment anything of their colleagues work (so I think I should not expect getting any comments about medications etc. difficult child is having) and of course can not give any prognosis or comments without meeting the patient. So I think I will have to be very persistent on the information I want and that I do understand she can say absolutely nothing sure about my son's case, but that I want to know general information about how cases similar to his are. The basic information I'm able to read from medical articles. I have read official treatment standards etc. but I do want psychiatrist's expert opinion on issues surrounding cases similar to my son's. This is bound to be frustrating appointment.
  16. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Have not read all the responses, sorry if i miss something or repeat. My difficult child suffers from PTSD as well and the symptoms of dissassociation are a part of this. My difficult child does not express them to the same degree as your boy, but she has had some scary episodes that have caused her to bolt from situations....leave classes and even one of her jobs. She is very aware of the episodes coming on and still struggles to totally be in control. She does not do confrontation well at all and this can put her over the edge. She tends to run...either for hours or even days. She also goes to the place where she fantasizes that the sexual abuse never happened to her and she sometimes believes it. She tells me ithas been awhile for this. I personally find this all so scary that i just cant justify the "tough love" approach with her in terms of kicking her out at least. I hope your difficult child gets some good results from therapist. We have had a lessoning of symptoms since EMDR but nothing else has helped as much.
  17. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    difficult child's therapist doesn't use EMDR so that he hasn't tried. But it is some kind of structured specialised trauma therapy. To my understanding idea is to first stabilize the situation, then work on traumatic events in calm manner, go back to stabilizing and work again with trauma etc. Idea is, that it changes how person reacts to traumatic memory, change a feelings surrounding it. I really don't have words to explain this in English, sorry. In reality there seems to be lots of mindfulness-type of stuff in it.

    difficult child lives in Podunk city middle of nowhere and his choices with therapists were limited. In that area (within one hour drive) there was two therapists who use EMDR and neither took new patients last fall.

    In some ways my difficult child seems to answer well to tough love approach, clear expectations and no nonsense attitude. But he does better with small and quick consequences than just waiting and letting him dig a huge hole for himself. On other words he still answers parenting type approach quite well.
  18. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    This keeps bothering me. I really don't get how calmly difficult child takes it. now that he has a name and explanation, he seems to consider these symptoms mostly a minor discomfort. Of course he doesn't like them, but if it would be me, i would be panicking all the time. He seems to be mostly frustrated with practical difficulties they cause to him. He for example doesn't like to be yelled twice or thrice or more about the same matter. Especially because he tends to be punished after first time if he doesn't correct his behaviour. And let's face it, he is yelled a lot. Part of it is his line of work, part is him being him. As I said, he should learn to advocate himself in that kind of matters, but of course difficult child has to try to solve it his own way. I mean, I do get that he doesn't want to talk about his dissociative symptoms to his coaches. They would sound very odd to someone not knowing about the topic (and scary also if you know a little) and it certainly is his private matter. But they do know he has anxiety issues. He could very well talk to them, or ask his sport psychologist to talk to them, and tell for example, that he at times tends to get high anxiety when he is yelled at and then sometimes he misses the actual reason or correction. And ask either to be corrected more calmly or to get a written note with most important points with him to read later after scolding. Wouldn't even be lying.

    But of course difficult child doesn't do anything like that. He simply asks his team mates later what he was yelled this time for. And lies that he can't understand his coaches rather thick dialect. (Okay, in theory that could fly. It is very different dialect than one difficult child is more used to and it is not difficult child's first language.) I asked him if no one has asked how come he normally understand the coach just fine and decide not understand when yelled. Apparently not, but if someone does difficult child plans to claim that coaches accent get thicker when he is upset. And if there is no one he can ask for, then he just is yelled until coach either gives up or someone is there and difficult child can ask later and he feels there is nothing he can do to that.

    I have to say that is very difficult child way to handle things. Proactivity really isn't his strong suit. Then again, I have to say he is rather stoic dude for a whiny dramaqueen extraordinary he is. At least when he decides to.

    Well, these are his choices. But I really hate that he does to deal with this too.
  19. Dixies_fire

    Dixies_fire Member

    My husband has many of the same issues he was recently diagnosis schizophrenic tendencies because of the derealisation. They referred to it as hallucinations. He would "see" our infant fall out of his swing or fall off the couch. He can't drive because everything seems closer and faster than it really is and he has seen things like a fence bend over. They proscribed seraquil sp? Extended release and that has worked well for stopping the visions, it's a anti-psychotic he was on buspar for anxiety didn't work for him and the Xanax now is creating problems of its own he is also on 40mg Prozac which doesn't seem to be doing anything. Sounds like you have a good boy who's working hard to get better.
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    What I have read depersonalization and derealisation symptoms can be caused by many different things from sleep deprivation to drugs to epilepsy to different kind of mental health issues. Determining a cause is apparently important for successful treatment. My difficult child has seen neurologist twice during the last year to rule out the physical issues. Some reason his psychiatrist doesn't seem to consider psychotic symptoms to be a real possibility and they have not tried anti-psychotic to treat difficult child. Of course what I have read, anti-psychotic would not be very effective to these symptoms if they are caused by his PTSD.

    These symptoms don't interfere negatively to him actually playing his sport (those flow experiences there he feels he has more time to see and think the game and there he is so hyper focused he doesn't remember everything from the game clearly afterwards are apparently slightly different) or things like driving. Apparently it is more that he is triggered and then has them and if for example driving, he has time to pull over and compose himself before continuing if the symptoms are overwhelming. And if they are milder depersonalization symptoms that he has more, he can continue functioning with easy and familiar tasks even during them.

    Conflict situations he says are huge triggers for him and that is when he often has his worst symptoms. Other is during the night if he wakes up from nightmare. Also sensory overwhelm is a trigger for him (so it seems to play also to his old neurological issues.)