We worry non-stop when we are depersonalized. Understanding the real reason behind this worrying can help us break out of this mode. It can help us calm down and be free of intrusive fear thoughts.
We are mammals. And just like every other mammal on this planet, we crave the feeling of safety and security.
Most of us are fortunate to have had security in our childhoods and in adulthood. Warm, loving parents help us feel safe in this world. Growing up in a safe neighborhood means that we don’t have to waste unnecessary mental energy worrying about our survival.
But when we go through depersonalization or derealization, it attacks this sense of safety. Suddenly, we think we are in danger. We fear losing our sanity. We think something dreadful might happen, all the time.
This is when you are said to be in SURVIVAL MODE.
The Great Worrying Machine
The mind is a wonderful problem-solving computer. It always tries to come up with solutions to any potential problems we may have, whether it’s now or in the future.
This is great for, let’s say, when you are trying to problem-solve whether you need to move to a different city or not, weighing the advantages and disadvantages. Or when we unfortunately lose our jobs during a recession. The mind can get to work and try to come up with a solution that will make our lives better.
On the other hand, when we are depersonalized or derealized, our mind falsely assumes that our survival is under threat. Now, this becomes the BIGGEST problem for our minds to solve.
Nothing is more important to us than our survival.
The mind problem-solves by first foreseeing the various ways in which things can go wrong. Then, it tries to find solutions to make those things right.
When the mind is unable to figure out a solution to a problem, it starts to worry.
Worrying is basically the state where we don’t yet have the solutions to the problems we foresee. So, we think about the problem over and over in the hopes of coming up with a solution.
In survival mode, the mind tries to come up with various scenarios that can be a threat to our survival. It tries to foresee every possible scenario that can potentially be harmful. The mind asks:
“Is this schizophrenia? If so, how can I prevent it?”
“Am I going insane? If so, how can I get out of this situation?”
“Will I always be like this? How can I redeem this situation?”
And on and on. You are basically trying to find a solution to every possible dangerous situation you may encounter because you think your survival is under attack.
Because we are unable to come up with a solution for all these potential problems, we shift into worry mode. We worry about our sanity, we worry about developing schizophrenia. We worry whether we are going to be depersonalized for the rest of our lives.
This is why your mind can be filled with so many obsessive, intrusive worry thoughts during depersonalization. Each of those thoughts is a simulated scenario. It can be a scenario of losing one’s mind or being stuck with DP/DR forever, etc. etc.
The mind is trying to find a solution to them all. It will never be able to find a solution though, because none of these problems are real.
Knowing This Truth Will Help You
The reality is that there is NO REAL THREAT TO YOUR SURVIVAL.
Even acknowledging this fact and re-iterating it over and over to ourselves can help us calm down significantly. It can start to make us feel safe again.
What we don’t want to do is to pay attention to these worry thoughts. That will send a signal to our minds that it’s doing the right thing.
If we actually agree with our mind and start to believe that our survival or our sanity is under attack, then these intrusive thoughts are never going to stop.
We must ignore these worry thoughts or just acknowledge them and move on. Don’t spend any time going down the rabbit hole of following a worry-thought.
We will never be able to find a satisfying solution to any of these problems that we can think of BECAUSE THESE PROBLEMS ARE NOT REAL.
How can we find a solution to something that doesn’t exist?
If we want to be free of such worry thoughts, we must attack the root of this problem: the notion that our survival is under threat.
Here’s What You Have to Do
When you start to realize what your mind is actually trying to do, you get to see the incessant problem-solving nature of the mind.
To get a break from this incessant problem-solving, we have to start believing that we are safe. We have to start believing that there’s no threat to our survival.
When the mind starts to think, “What if I go insane?” or “What if this happens or that happens?” then we should stop believing those what-if thoughts. That will only strengthen them.
Instead, we must keep reiterating to ourselves that there’s no real danger. Even writing down some calming affirmations on a small piece of paper and having it with you can help.
Take the necessary steps to make yourself feel safe. Once you feel safe and secure, these thoughts will automatically stop.
It’s kind of weird when that happens. You’ll think to yourself, “Where are these thoughts now?” “Why was I so worried about everything?”
Once you feel safe and secure, there’s no need for your mind to problem-solve your survival. It will move on to other things.
It will try to think about what people normally think about: how to be happy, how to find love or sex, where to have fun. It will get bored, and then it will get excited about something, and then it will want to worry about your finances and so on. You know, the usual stuff.
Understand the nature of worry and see the truth behind your intrusive worry thoughts. There’s actually no need for them. Save them for a rainy day when your survival is really under attack, like if a mountain lion is trying to chase you down. Hopefully, that never happens!
All images are from Pixabay