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Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

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Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby M00nShad0W » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:36 pm

Do any of you recognise this??

I have had this all my life I think, and I really struggle with my identity because of it. I feel like each time my life falls apart I lose myself. I never become the same me as before "things went wrong". And I feel I am just so many broken parts of me, so many parts of me too painful to connect to or return to, because of memories of that specific period and the losses involved. I'm not sure why it all falls apart each time, it feels like some kind of disappointment each time which triggers it, but when it starts I cannot stop it and I feel really powerless and fragmented because of it :(

Researchers Have Investigated “Derailment” (Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self) As A Cause And Consequence Of Depression

We move house, change jobs, begin new relationships, yet most of the time, most of us still experience a thread of inner continuity – a constant feeling of me-ness that transcends the various chapters of our lives. Indeed, there’s evidence that having a stable, constant sense of self and identity is important for psychological wellbeing. However, this thread can rupture, leading to an uncomfortable disconnect between who we feel we are today, and the person that we believe we used to be – a state that psychologists recently labelled “derailment”.

Article:

https://digest.bps.org.uk/2019/06/03/researchers-have-investigated-derailment-feeling-disconnected-from-your-past-self-as-a-cause-and-consequence-of-depression/
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Re: Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby 2ost » Fri Sep 03, 2021 9:51 pm

Never thought about that. But I perceive my past selves as different from my actual me. I have all the memories and can dive into them, but the farther I go back, the stranger my older self assumes to me. — Isn't that normal?

PS
M00nShad0W wrote:I never become the same me as before
We never are the same, as before. —> Panta rhei!
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Re: Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby M00nShad0W » Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:12 pm

Most people say it is normal actually. Just wondering if anyone else struggles with it like I do.

I always thought it is an identity disorder or weak ego or something which makes me never really know who I am, feel internally fragmented etc (I have psychotic disorder dx so it could be linked to weak ego not sure), but because of this article I wonder if maybe I got bipolar :| they did kinda check once (with a 10 question list :roll: ) because they thought maybe I got bipolar due to my energetic adhd like and highly associative talking. I am just not sure. Ah. Not sure of anything really.

And since I either got autism (officially diagnosed) and/or developmental trauma (not diagnosed but my current psychologist does think I have attachment trauma plus subsequent traumas) panta rhei just scares me, I need stuff to remain the same or not change suddenly to feel safe, or, I should feel in control of the change :mrgreen:
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Re: Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Sep 04, 2021 8:30 pm

What you're describing sounds a lot like one of the major dissociative disorders (DID or OSDD). There are often many misdiagnoses along the way to getting accurately diagnosed with DID/OSDD, and the most common ones are a psychotic disorder (often schizophrenia), and bipolar disorder, and ADHD, and autism (although many people have both DID and autism together), and of course any of the other diagnoses can co-exist with DID, but more often DID explains ALL of the previous diagnoses--it can resemble so many other disorders because of the changes in identity.

A main cause of DID is attachment trauma--usually there is disorganized attachment, and then more traumas on top of that.

Some people don't have much (or any) amnesia--if there's no amnesia, that's more consistent with OSDD. Different identities plus amnesia are the criteria for DID, and the change in identities can be serial, like you describe.
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Re: Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby M00nShad0W » Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:51 pm

Thank you! I have considered OSDD too, I do have the experience of having parts (eg occassionally I am just convinced I am 100% male, or I feel much and much younger and I just feel the adult self is fake and I'm actually a child pretending to be an adult). Okay now I wrote that down it definitely sounds like OSDD/DID :?

But I have never seen the serial identities described anywhere. And I also feel that those are just very different, I'm not sure why, perhaps because they feel so "lost" to me. And I cannot really "switch", I can only "re-experience" via music or images or things I kept from before (I keep everything, drawings, writings, poems, tiny reminders from my entire life as a kind of external memory because I have all my life been terrified of losing myself, being forced to change, and forgetting who I really am...) :shock:

Do you know of any info online about serial identities? Most I found on OSDD and DID is about switching in the present.

And I am also amazed at the disorganized attachment as a cause! Especially since the last time my life fell apart was very much about jumping from "trusting others, feeling like people care, needing others" to "people are untrustworthy, no one understands me, no one really cares, I am alone" :shock:

Still I'm in doubt. It does make sense, for sure. However, I did have psychotic experiences (I wasn't diagnosed with schizophrenia, as I don't need antipsychotics continuously). Also I have a lot of schizotypal pd in me, esp my interest in the occult, ideas not corresponding to those of the majority, experiences with altered states of consciousness without the use of drugs (self trance, and a lot of self trance resembles autistic repetitive behaviour), and I have a fear/distrust of others and I cannot have intimate relationships (not of the romantic/sexual kind, at least so far, I'm 40)

I was actually amazed they didn't diagnose me with schizotypal at some point. But I think that was because, well, at the time I was trusting, cooperative, social and I do have friends :roll:

In a way, maybe OSDD/DID does make sense of all of this. I will need to find another therapist I think, someone trauma informed to get this looked at. Thank you for telling me about the serial change in identities and disorganized attachment!!!
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Re: Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:55 pm

First of all, you're welcome!

Secondly, this is how switching in the present feels to me:
M00nShad0W wrote:I do have the experience of having parts (eg occassionally I am just convinced I am 100% male, or I feel much and much younger and I just feel the adult self is fake and I'm actually a child pretending to be an adult).
It can be fairly subtle like that. I didn't find out I had DID/OSDD until my mid-50s. In fact, I was sure I didn't have it.

People with DID/OSDD can have psychotic symptoms--they just don't have a psychotic disorder. And different alters can meet criteria for different personality disorders--that's fairly well known. Also, the capacity to dissociate is usually very strong, so self-trance can be common as well. Or a very traumatized alter can appear autistic.

As for serial changes in identities, it's discussed as serial changes in the host over time. And that's basically what you're describing--the "main" person changes.

I, too, hold onto reminders from the past. My husband brought down 6 or 7 boxes from the attic and I found they were things I had saved from high school and college--over 30 years ago and also across 4 or 5 moves to different places. Also, I take photos like crazy, and become upset if I forgot to document something important to me with a photo--it feels like it will be lost forever.

I wouldn't look for someone who is only trauma-informed or even someone who says they have experience with "dissociative disorders." They need to be experienced with treating DID/OSDD and familiar with the treatment guidelines (https://www.isst-d.org/wp-content/uploa ... ED2011.pdf). Please be sure to interview them about that--and I think that's fine to do even if you aren't sure that's what you have. Someone with the knowledge and treatment experience to successfully treat DID/OSDD also knows how to rule it out better than someone unfamiliar with it.

The ISSTD has a find-a-therapist function, but those people still need to be vetted since they don't all have experience with DID/OSDD: https://isstd.connectedcommunity.org/ne ... ofessional. I found mine by googling "expert in dissociative disorders [my city]" but I live in a large urban area, so that made it a little easier.

The DID forum on here has a wealth of knowledge and advice. It's been a little quieter recently, but when I first found out about my DID/OSDD, I read literally 1000s of posts on there over several months. There's a lot I can't relate to, because I don't have much amnesia and we're a fairly cooperative system, but I've learned a lot and gotten great advice there.
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Re: Derailment: Feeling Disconnected From Your Past Self

Postby M00nShad0W » Sun Sep 05, 2021 10:43 pm

O! Thank you!
Thanks for all the info! I found something in my country which is specialized in complex childhood trauma including dissociative (identity) disorders. I'm going to check if I can get referred for diagnosis. I saw they also work with the 3 phases model. I will read the article better later, just briefly went through it, has a lot of in depth info, thx for sharing! I'll also check out the forum, good idea.

And so happy you understand me saving stuff to remember :D great to know I'm not alone
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