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DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

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DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby Spirit99 » Fri Nov 01, 2019 6:32 pm

I'd like to ask you to briefly tell your successful stories of solved depersonalization or derealization disorder cases by the help of a professional as a therapist regardless of his/her theoretic orientation. I'd appreciate if you tell your path step-by-step, I mean from the beginnings of your symptoms (age, triggering situation if any, etc) until your "lowest point" of desperation (if any) and then the choice of asking help to a pro and your improvements through the therapy to finally get your success.
I'd like to especially know what caused your DP/DR disorder, of course if you're sure of that: your therapist said that directly to you or you've got a diagnosis by a MD (psychiatrist) or you just think you suffered of DP/DR because you recognized the well known symptoms though your therapist said nothing about that (eg. Freudian oriented therapists are often laconic about a diagnosis). Moreover please try to show as may details dealing with the disorder as you can -and wish-, eg. if you got drugs, if now you still experience DP/DR moments just sometimes and what are the triggering situations that cause them and if you previously failed to fix these diseases by yourself or with another prof and, in this last case, what went wrong and why.
Thanks in advance.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Nov 02, 2019 8:25 pm

The way these forums usually work is that a person shares their own experiences and concerns because they are looking for support and advice. Once you have described why you’ve been experiencing, then others here can share similar experiences and tell you what they’ve found to be helpful. You have a lot of questions, and without knowing the reason why you’re asking them, I’m not inclined to share any personal information with you.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby Wally58 » Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:05 pm

Exactly. This is a peer-support driven forum.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby Spirit99 » Sun Nov 03, 2019 7:52 pm

I was a patient and I carried a long psychoanalytic therapy with a psychiatrist due to a probable DP/DR disorder though he never confirmed this diagnosis. I experienced the so called abreaction and, on this basis, I thought I identified a traumatic event in my early childhood that caused my DP and it was a near-to-death risk experience. I stopped my therapy some years ago and my DP disorder still goes on but now I'm thinking to start a new one with another professional. I read some books about DP/DR cases exposed by professionals of different theoretic orientations to get more informed though I'm not a psychology student but until now I've never found a good books/web source with a collection of solved DP/DR cases so I'm here. In other words my goal is to understand what are the "keys" that lead a therapy for a DP/DR patient to a "complete" success, I mean with the interruption of DP/DR symptoms and not only by understanding its cause. I see that my first request were very generic but I'm very curious about your stories anyway, if I've to be more specific, I'd like to hear and get deeper into solved DP/DR cases caused by an early trauma as mine to get now more elements to choose my personal path.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby Spirit99 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:00 pm

Wally58 wrote:Exactly. This is a peer-support driven forum.

No reply after 5 days. @Wally58 you're a moderator and you joined this forum since 2013 so I'd want to ask you if you know if there has ever been some member that solved his/her dp/dr disorder with prof help and wrote here about that, just to understand if nobody has answered just because there's nobody that solved this disease.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby Wally58 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:04 pm

This isn't an extremely active forum, but give it awhile and hopefully someone will chime in. Professional help can assist with certain cases I'm sure.
It all has to start with a confirmed diagnosis. Past trauma may or may not be the root cause. Many of us can get past grave traumatic experiences and move on with the help of medication and therapy. Keep exploring your options. Best of luck to you. :D

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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:27 pm

It's not a Sherlock Holmes kind of thing, where "cases" are "solved" by a professional.

This kind of disorder isn't helped by identifying the cause as if that's somehow a magical solution. It used to be thought that the helpful part of therapy was just talking about stuff--that if you spoke about it to someone else, then somehow that helped. Nowadays it's recognized that it's the relationship that provides the healing.

If that early experience affected you that way, it's likely because you didn't have a caregiver who gave you the support to process it--who neglected your emotional needs and left you to cope with the aftermath alone. You would need to find a therapist with whom you felt trust and attachment, and who could help you process the feelings related to this past experience.

I could be completely wrong, so I'm sorry if this isn't helpful. It's just that your approach and the way you're asking for information is very intellectualized and distant--not connected with the feelings that are at the root of the difficulty.

People use dissociation when feelings are intolerable, and young children can be easily overwhelmed by strong feelings and turn to dissociation as a coping strategy if they are given no other way to regulate their emotions. If that is a pattern from early childhood, then they develop avoidance of their feelings, and then an extra layer of avoidance of the feelings about their feelings. (For example, having a strong fear about feeling or expressing anger--the fear would be the feeling about the feeling of anger.)

So perhaps you can look for a therapist who specializes in the treatment of dissociative disorders (and doesn't only say that they do--unfortunately there are many of those), and with whom you can start to build trust and attachment.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby DaturaInnoxia » Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:57 am

Welcome,
Unfortunately a lot of the sub-forums have become quite dead.

Spirit99 wrote:I'd appreciate if you tell your path step-by-step, I mean from the beginnings of your symptoms (age, triggering situation if any, etc)


As long as I can remember; my history is too long and broken up with too many other psychiatric symptoms to be able to say.

Spirit99 wrote:your "lowest point" of desperation (if any)


I've had many lowest points of desperation and although depersonalization has been fairly rare, the stress of ongoing derealization can lead to psychosis for me.

In the past, I've been reduced to a shell of human, barely able to talk, but presenting as normative and able to function in the eyes of others, and thus not qualifying for the extra mental health assistance I needed; a prisoner within myself.

Spirit99 wrote:and then the choice of asking help to a pro and your improvements through the therapy to finally get your success.


For me, improvements came with treating my depression and managing stress.
^
They're the biggest contributors to derealization (I wonder why we don't have a sub-forum for derealization). I need my psychologist's help with this.

Hopelessness leads to stress, stress leads to panicking which leads to more stress.
^
I've found making sure I relax and get a lot of sleep is essential if I'm experiencing this

There's a ton of information on how damaging stress horomone cortisol is, and there's research even debating how much damage from psychotic breaks is actually caused by stress rather than the psychotic break itself.

Processing / integrating emotions and what's going on in my life is essential too. Also need psychologist help with this.
^
My psychologist is bemused that I actually compartmentalize the process of "feeling my feelings."

I just tried talking about this a while ago, so I'll copy and paste:

"What I lack is the ability to discern which feelings I have, and often, I don't know I have them, nor do I know why I have them until I'm flooded.
^ Unless I set aside time daily (which I do) to try to figure out if, what and why.
It helps for me to ask myself what's happening in my life and what I should be feeling - or if I know I'm uncomfortable, than ask myself why it would make sense that I'm uncomfortable."

Grounding/ being present is also important to learn how to do and where I struggle. Really need psychologist help with this.

I never realized I'm never fully "in my body" until a couple years ago, and I feel too threatened to stay whenever I try to be that present in the moment.

If I chose to, I could spent almost all my conscious time in daydream, but if I do, it seems to make derealization worst.

Spirit99 wrote:"successful stories of solved depersonalization or derealization disorder


There's no magic wand, and progress seems to be made from a compilation of small changes that work for you rather than one easy to follow concrete path.

It's success to me because derealization doesn't often cause problems in my life anymore
- Although sometimes I'm left feeling like I'm living on "borrowed" time.
Who knows if I'll get sick again, or if I'll make it out, but I try not to think about it since I can't do anything about it.
They collect information to stock pile in their souls, saying, "I will tuck this into my subconscious for later use."  ~ unknown
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby Spirit99 » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:11 pm

Hi DaturaInnoxia and thanks to share your experience. Can I ask you what school does your psychologist belong to? I read the "long term" paths are to prefer to solve/improve dp-dr disorders therefore psychoanalysts are better.
I'm looking for a psychotherapist skilled at depersonalization disorder in my area so I googled a while using words such as "curriculum psychotherapist depersonalization" and "filetype:pdf" but I got no result in my area, only psychotherapists. I don't know on which base to choose. I could have 1 session with each therapist but I'm not the kind of person that "feels" anything at the first Date, my "instinct" is almost zero.
Wally58 wrote:Past trauma may or may not be the root cause

TheGangsAllHere wrote:If that early experience affected you that way, it's likely because you didn't have a caregiver who gave you the support to process it

Yes, that was my "truth" I built after what I called my abreaction. My parents weren't a unite couple from their beginnings, I mean before my birth, and that emotional environment was very bad to build my sense of safeness and stability during my first childhood therefore I guess that trauma was mighty enough to "break my mind" though I was 5 at that time while the first symptoms appeared when I was 11-13 (I don't remember good now). So my parents were the very first "root cause" by my theory though my therapist didn't ever confirm that, he just said I had felt dis-united, disintegrated and maybe I had lived other "smaller" traumas before that main one, moreover he said my mother was depressed and I add my father suffered (and suffers) of a psychosomatic disease. Destiny didn't give me good cards to start to play with.
TheGangsAllHere wrote:Nowadays it's recognized that it's the relationship that provides the healing.

After my abreaction event I thought I didn't make any other step toward my path in psychotherapy just because nothing happened. At that time my therapist often said "you feel more authentic" and that was true but very far from a good quality of life or a "healing". Time passed and he often asked me to tell certain events more than once and I answered "I already told you" because I thought he was not interested and didn't listen to me the 1st time. Due to that I often thought I was just wasting time because there was nothing else he could do for me.
Then I read something about how to manage dp-dr disorders and I saw the importance of this relationship to cure it and I felt weird because I couldn't accept that, I mean at the beginning I went to my therapist and paid him just to "cure" me and not be my "friend" and when I read that suggested path to heal dp-dr I couldn't accept that, it was a sort of paradox for me.
TheGangsAllHere wrote:your approach and the way you're asking for information is very intellectualized and distant

You're not the fist one on the web that tell me that. A professional psychologist wrote it was a defense and I agree on another forum and I guess it means I'm very far from my real feelings.
Consider I accepted to go to a therapist just because I attempted to suicide, I mean it was my last chance to try because I was desperate and I didn't understand why. During the very first period I thought the sessions were something useless and I criticized so much him and that "mystic method" because all that was so far from my lifestyle, "intellectualized and distant" as you said. During that 1st period I thought to stop many times but I was desperate and went on then I "jumped/fell" to somewhere I couldn't know nor understand and without any protection (intellectualization), in other words it was the first time I trusted someone, maybe after my early trauma, and I think that was my key that brought me to experience my abreaction and get that success.
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Re: DP/DR cases solved with prof help. Experiences?

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:30 am

Just recalling and reliving the feelings of a traumatic experience (abreaction), does nothing to help a person learn to tolerate and regulate their feelings and to actually process the past trauma in the context of a warm, caring relationship.

"Abreaction has been associated with idea of reliving or revivifying trauma in order to remember. However, clinical observations have made it clear that the reliving of traumatic experiences in dissociative disorder patients without integrative mental action is merely retraumatizing. Instead, a much more modulated and controlled process should take place, in which the patient is helped to remain oriented in the present, i.e., to be certain that the current experience is a representation of prior event, and to share his or her experiences with the therapist. That “emotional release or discharge” could be, in itself, a therapeutic intervention for traumatic memory is contradicted by all that we now know about the nature of traumatic memories and the role of affect in trauma."

That is a quote from this article: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/ ... ration.pdf

A psychoanalyst is exactly the wrong type of therapist for a dissociative disorder, in my opinion. Just talking about past events to a "neutral" person isn't helpful to someone with relational trauma. You need a therapist who is open, warm, caring, and responsive to help with the kind of chronic early childhood trauma you describe. It involves changing core beliefs about relationships, and that involves feeling what it is like to be valued and cared about in a healthy way.

I applaud your willingness to try therapy again and it's good to think carefully about what you want and choose a new therapist wisely. I literally Googled "expert in dissociative disorders [my city]" and was fortunate to stumble across my current therapist, who is an expert in treating DID, and in the past 2 1/2 years, a lot has changed for me that I thought wasn't changeable.
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