Depersonalisation/derealisation

Hi everybody, I'm pretty new round here. I've suffered with severe anxiety on and off for a while and just in case it helps anyone else here I wanted to talk about one of the symptoms of bad anxiety that scared the daylights out of me before I understood it better.

When i became so stressed and anxious, I began to feel disconnected from everything around me,almost like I was watching myself take part in life. I felt I was becoming more detached from things and wondered if I was losing it. Concentration became near impossible.

I was really shocked by these symptoms,scared and embarrassed too. Of all the many many symptoms of anxiety i had/have, this was up there with the most difficult to cope with. I sometimes had to rub an ice cube to my temple just to try to shake the feeling of being disconnected,as it seemed so unnerving.

But I've learnt that depersonalisation is an entirely normal symptom of severe anxiety,

and is really just your brains way of coping with severe stress.There is nothing to be scared of and no permanent damage done. If I had known that at the beginning it would have made a difference. The key to it is to force yourself to continue with everyday activitied,no matter how 'spaced out' you might feel. It does go,as it has for me,and if it comed back I'll recognise it for what it is.

Anyway,sorry for the essay, but i don't want anyone here to suffer like I did with this.

4 Replies

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  • Hi,

    It's always great to hear from someone who has overcome things like this, I can certainly relate to it. How did you overcome it, was it on your own or did you get outside help ?

  • Hi Paul, I suppose for now I don't suffer from it however one thing i have learnt is that recovery from anxiety is v unlikely to be linear,you are likely to have setbacks along the way but just truly accepting this makes things so much easier.

    In terms of what i did-

    1) Read about it, specifically anxietynomore.co.uk a lifesaver of a website.

    2) Resolved that no matter how difficult things got,the only way to make progress was to face the fears head on. Avoidance is the fuel for all anxiety.

    3) Talked about it- when the symptoms were at their worst,and I felt scared,shocked and out of my depth then talkinh through it all with someone i trusted helped take the edge of it and gave me encouragement.

    4) When depersonalisation was at its worst rubbing an ice cube on my temple or taking a cold shower helped jolt me out it.

    5) Keeping very busy-depersonalisation is fuelled by the fact that anxiety sufferers ficus is relentlessly inward,focusing on how you feel constantly because you dont undrstand whats happening. No brain can cope with this which is why it 'tunes out' to protect itself. Keeping busy mentally reduces the opportunity to focus on how you feel,and therefore reduces deprsonalisation (and othet anxiety symptoms)

    6) Ultimately by dealing persistently with the true sourcr of the anxiety.We all know ourselves what needs to be done.It can take a very long time but tackling the source of the anxiety head on,refusing to run from it,is the only way to go. Sorry for writing a lot,i sort of got into my stride with this reply!

  • Hi, I have experienced it as well and when you don't know what is causing it it is very scary. Hope some users of this forum are helped by your contribution. Best Wishes.

  • Is it true you can over one this because its ruining my life!

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