Most people struggle to get rid of depersonalization. What they don’t realize is that the secret to being free of depersonalization lies in not wanting to get rid of it in the first place.
So many people suffer from depersonalization (DP) and derealization (DR) disorder in the world. This disorder makes us feel extremely confused. The symptoms can be unpleasant, weird, bizarre and frightening. They may ask “How long will DP/DR last?” What’s even worse is that we are unable to get rid of DP/DR disorder through medication.
If you are one such person, then let me tell you that you are not alone. When we initially become depersonalized, we desperately try to get rid of it. Sometimes, even after many years, we may fail to do this. We feel depersonalized throughout the day, day after day, and it seems like there’s no end to this saga.
But what if the very act of trying to get rid of DP/DR is what is keeping it going?
Where We Go Wrong
Alright, I want you to think about something for a moment. Just kick back and think about what you are usually trying to do when you feel depersonalized or derealized? Most likely, you are desperately trying to not feel these feelings, right? You put up an internal fight and resist these feelings and symptoms.
This is understandable, who wants to feel these eerie and bizarre symptoms? They are so weird and scary. You simply want these DP/DR symptoms gone quickly!
But what is happening when you fight these feelings and resist feeling them? The answer is that you invariably stress yourself out.
What you are probably not understanding is that this additional stress is what’s causing your DP/DR to stick around longer than it needs to.
You’ve got to understand that stress and your nervous system play a very important role in the onset of your depersonalization. I wrote an article explaining the connection between stress, your nervous system, and depersonalization, it’s definitely something I’d recommend reading and understanding.
The short summary is that the more we fight feelings of depersonalization and derealization, the harder it becomes to free ourselves from this illness. Fighting creates additional stress and stress is what keeps the DP/DR going.
You gotta understand that by wanting to get of rid of depersonalization, you are actually forcing yourself to fight these symptoms and feelings which prolongs the DP/DR. Is that making sense? If not, please go over this paragraph and the linked article above. Understanding this is crucial to your recovery.
Can We Ever Get Rid of Depersonalization?
You might be wondering if fighting DP/DR is what keeps it going then is it ever possible to win this battle against DP/DR? Can we ever truly recover from DP/DR?
The answer is YES, we can cure ourselves of DP/DR, but the cure doesn’t look like what you think.
Here’s what you should keep in mind: you cannot get rid of depersonalization, depersonalization will leave you once your nervous system resets.
This means that you cannot fight your way out of depersonalization. In fact, there is actually no battle against depersonalization. Depersonalization is just a protective mechanism you experience when stress overwhelms you.
Right now, you are in a state of heightened stress. Something stressful in your life has produced these feelings of depersonalization and derealization. Maybe you developed DP/DR from a panic attack that resulted in trauma. Maybe it’s a result of constant stress from overworking or a history of childhood abuse. There are so many causes for someone to develop to depersonalization and derealization.
But worry not, the route to recovery is more or less the same regardless of your cause. We must aim to de-stress and let our nervous system return to normalcy. For that to happen, we must not constantly fight and resist these feelings. If we do so, that just adds more stress, which just keeps to DP/DR going.
Given this is the case, then what can one do? Because we shouldn’t fight or try to get rid of DP/DR, we must aim to do the opposite. That is, we must accept and allow these feelings and symptoms. You probably think I must be crazy to suggest this, but it’s what worked for me and the many people I have helped recover.
In case you are wondering how acceptance approach can cure DP/DR, then you need to read the following articles I have written:
Thank you for this article! I have been daily ‘fighting’ for 17 years and when I don’t fight, like you said, I grit my teeth and dreadddd the DP, hoping it will go away. Today, while putting up our Christmas tree, something that usually makes me sad because I feel like I’m dreaming, I told DP it could stay as long as it felt like it needed to. Thank you so much for your help and your site!
Swamy G says
Way to go Nicole. That’s the right attitude to embrace.
The experiences are really scary!!! How to look at it in a positive way
Swamy G says
If you’re finding it hard to see any kind of positivity associated with DP/DR, then at least, don’t interpret it as a negative event. See it merely as an event.
Why i feel like my hand is not mine?
Swamy G says
This is a very common symptom of DP/DR. It’s just dissociation. Once DP/DR goes away, you’ll feel normal again.
I have gone through it before and yes it can be very scary but like you said don’t fight it, accept it, don’t give it much thought and one day you will see a miracle happen, it’s gone ? if it comes back it’s ok, don’t fight it, it will leave again,FLOAT with it !! Face it, Accept it, Float through it ❤
Ive been dealing with consistently feelling not real worried thinking the same things over and over from the time i wake up till i finally go to sleep .im about to be 40 years old and honestly i fucken hate it what i do to make it bearable is i learned to control it keep myself busy of course its always there but im stronger then dpdr
Are you telling me that my brain will heal itself if you dont fight DPDR?
I AM trying to accept it but when i accept it, it doesnt feel like im accepting it in reality…
Swamy G says
Of course. Acceptance is simple, but not easy. Just because you accept, DP/DR won’t go away. Sometimes, it might even feel like the intensity will increase upon acceptance. But over time, you’ll learn to relax and not keep re-triggering your nervous system.
Nick Lee says
I’m currently going through this and I’m not as scared but this all just doesn’t seem real it’s so crazy
Joseph Hernandez says
Thank you so much for this. After reading the article I found my self saying “this is so beautiful” because I’ve never read anything I could relate to more. I’ve never heard of anyone having it for years until this article. I though I was just mentally insane. This has given me hope. I appreciate you to the upmost. Hope you are well.
I’ve recently began struggling with derealization and I’m not sure what to do anymore. I thought I could manage it myself but I haven’t been able to snap out of it for weeks maybe months now. I’m terrified. I spend nights crying because I fear I will never be able to feel normal again. I have no one to talk to about this because no one around could ever comprehend what I’m going through. I will try these steps and hope for the best, I also wish the best for all of you struggling as well.
Thank you so much for this. I have been reading alot on this in an attempt to really understand what is going on with me. Yours has been truly helpful. Thanks again.
Thank you so much for this article. I am going to work on accepting it instead of fighting against it.
While i am having a dpdr attack it always seems like i could’t get enough oxygen in 2 my longs this is what is always freaking me out, i always feel like i have to breath manual instead of automatic… i learned to deal with it so my dpdr will be gone and next week it is back.. and i know i should keep breathing slow but it just feels like i am not getting enough air in to my lungs
Swamy G says
Sometimes we get caught up about our breathing and then we try to consciously control it, this is when the problem starts. The trick is to just know that breathing is natural and we don’t need to be aware of it and just push it to the background.
I usually feel like that as well.
Aaah! I thought I was alone,I feel exactly like stated by colegues.I feel much better to know that this feeling can be (fought) and wine.
Kim Andersen says
I started struggling with this a year ago after my first panic attack. I went to so many doctors and got so many tests done. I started spiraling because I had no idea what this was. When I found out that depersonalization was a thing and it matched how I was feeling, it gave me somewhat a relief. I still have this feeling everyday but I’m working towards bringing down my stress levels and keep myself busy, in hopes , I’ll feel okay again. It’s a struggle but I’m hopeful.
Hello, going through this as well. I’ve went into depersonalization days after a weed induced panic attack. These panic attacks started my depersonalization, it never went away. From the time that I wake up, From the time that I go to sleep, the feeling is persistent. I’ve been depersonalized for a year now, my year mark has been reached last week. Within this year just like you, I’ve visited plenty of doctors but nobody can help me. Depersonalization is highly unrecognized to the point people think I’m crazy when I describe my symptoms. I’m just happy there are people out here that deals with this, and not just me! We will get through this with patience, peace, and time!
I have DP 24/7, I am starting to try and not fight it. Did you find it went straight away once you stop fighting it or did it take days, weeks or months ?
Its varies depending on the person, but it usually takes months
I got it right now and I just wanna cry frl … I smoke some weed and had a panic attack on it … it happened on April 7th and now it’s April 13th I’m crying while I’m typing this and it’s my birthday month I can’t live like this and sometimes I blame it on weed but it’s just anxiety and depersonalization and derealization please I need help I’m getting braces and that doesn’t seem real and my birthday coming up on April 28th and I cannot afford to feel this way please I need help NOW
Depersonalization can be caused by weed and acid. I got it from weed about a year ago, but I still have it because I haven’t quit smoking yet, goodluck
Swamy G says
Those are not the only two causes of DP/DR.
I’m a 16 year old girl and I live in India I’ve been dealing with depersonalization since 8 months and it…..SUCKS as you might know indian parents don’t give importance to mental health and I dont have anyone to tell this too. Honestly this article helped so much…Thankyou!!!
Is just feeling mondane and seeing things but not taking in to account there actually there part of this…don’t really have much of the 3rd person bit though
John Doe says
I’ve been going through this for about a year and everyday waking up I would just think about it and it would stress me out. Lately I’ve been not really thinking about it and even though I felt the symptoms still I felt happier and like I was recovering ,happy to know now that this is a way to do that because I didn’t think there was a way to get out of this,this gave me hope and I’m going to be trying the course if it can help me get through this process
will i feel the same before i got dp
Swamy G says
You can recover fully, it takes time. But will you ever feel the same way like you did? That’s like asking will I ever feel like when I was 10 years old? Obviously, every experience changes you. But if the question is whether you can be free of DP/DR symptoms, then yes, you can.
I’m currently going through this and it’s terrifying to say the least. It’s been about a week now and I can honestly say that I’m struggling tremendously. Some moments throughout the day I feel great like when I’m not stressing about it but once I start doing activities like watching s movie it’s heightened. Nothing feels weird, it’s like I’m looking inside a strangers house but the house is actually mine. I don’t know what to do, Would medication help?
Real* not weird. Sorry
I have been dealing with depersonalization for almost 2 months now and it has been such a crazy journey so far. The first 2-3 weeks were so terrifying since all the feelings were so new and felt that much more stronger. Now I have been able to manage it way better and hardly have any panic attacks over it anymore. This has been a process that I have tried so hard to understand and am still trying to. Most important thing is to truly understand and recognize how much of a day to day process this is and that things slowly get better. I compare how I felt a month and a half ago as to now and everything seems to have settled a bit more. It’s comforting even though it is a bit scary feeling stuck like this. I can only hope that time will tell and heal 🙂
I’m pretty sure that I’ve had DP/DR for a couple of years now, maybe even longer, and I’ve never really realized it until one day when I just looked down at my hands and couldn’t believe they were mine. I’m really scared because I don’t feel real and I feel like I’m missing out on life. I haven’t told my family and I feel like I’m trying so hard to keep up a smile and pretend like I’m okay and it just feels like I’m a piece of yarn that’s being stretched from either end and I’m slowly unraveling. Even now, I don’t believe this is actually me typing this. I just don’t know what to do anymore and I’m afraid that it’s going to go on for so long that I might give up completely. But how do I tell people?
You literally explained how I feel perfectly. I needed that 🙂
Hi, I’m 15 and after my first panic attack I went into this state of complete panic (obviously) and it made me feel like my hands weren’t mine. Like I was watching a movie through my eyes. Sometimes I will walk in stores and I can’t even comprehend what I’m doing and it isn’t just sometimes it’s all the time. I’m not really sure what to do anymore. I’m going to keep fighting though because I know there are people out there that have recovered and I hope I can find others like me 🙂
I have been suffering from DP/DR for over 4 years and I have learnt to accept it, I have had therapy for 3 years of that time and I am barely stressed or have any anxiety. I have had trauma in the past that apparently might of trigged it but that was a long time ago, so why do I still suffer through this even when I don’t smoke or do any drugs, or alcohol etc. I feel like I’ve done everything I have to but this unreal feeling has still stayed with me even though it shouldn’t because I feel like I have recovered yet DP/DR hasn’t left. Can someone please explain?
i am currently 14 years old and have been dealing with derealization since i was around 5. I try to consult my parents about the situation but they fail to assist my problem by taking me to a medical professional, so therefore I intend to take initiative. No matter how hard i try it never goes away, and im afraid it will never go away.