For quite some time my depersonalization has been really bothering me, it is something I can’t quite shake off.
So what is Depersonalization? How does it make me feel? Why do I have it?
Depersonalization is a sense of detachment within yourself and everyone around you.
Did you ever have the dream when you were little of jumping out of your body and viewing yourself sleeping in the bed? It is quite like this, it is described as feeling like you are observing yourself from outside your body or like being in a dream.
It feels like your consciousness isn’t quite with you, it feels like your body is just a vessel, it is doing everything automatically from your daily routine to your thoughts, you feel disconnected from yourself and others, you feel emotionally numb and disconnected in general. These symptoms can interfere with a person’s general functioning, including social and work activities and relationships.
My body has this response because of the trauma that I have undergone, it is a typical trauma response that is part of both my complex post traumatic stress disorder and my generalised anxiety disorder and also my major depressive disorder.
According to Mind, a mental health charity based in the United Kingdom, dissociation can be a strategy for calming down, to help a person cope in times of ongoing stress- neurologically, it may involve an imbalance in brain chemicals.
The last time I went to my doctor was 2 weeks after my laproscopy and I was really suffering with my depersonalization. He is a mental health specialist and explained to me in detail why I have certain symptoms during times of stress and how my body reacts.
Basically during times on ongoing stress (it doesn’t matter whether its various small stresses, or a major stressful event) my mind and body goes into a flight or fight response.
The depersonalization kicks in along with other symptoms because in a way it is my brain protecting me from the stress I am undergoing- because I cannot physically escape the stress, my mind does. It may also be worse as of late because of going back on anti-depressants again.
I have had a rough few months and I know it is going to take time for me to get better but the depersonalization is one of the symptoms that scares me the most. It is scary because it feels like my mind is playing tricks on me, I struggle to tell what is real and what isn’t, I feel more disconnected to everyone around me than ever, I struggle to understand what is me, who am I? and this throws of my anxiety and seriously affects my self esteem.
Some days I will be completely fine but then others it is really bad, I don’t discuss it with anyone because it is such a hard concept to even explain or understand myself, how can I possibly expect someone else to understand it.
I tried explaining it to my mum but the scared look in her eyes really wasn’t the reaction I was looking for.
I am hoping the more I settle into my new job and by finding ways of reducing my stress levels and the longer I take my anti-depressants that this symptom will dissopate.
I am planning to do much more reading on this symptom in the hope that I can understand it and with better understanding that I can cope with it better.
If anyone knows of any information please send it me over.
Here’s hoping that it will eventually go away.