This is the question that haunts everyone who develops depersonalization: How long will this condition persist? Will I have to learn to live with it forever? I’ve heard of people recovering, but what if mine is different?
Is depersonalization permanent?
It’s the most frightening aspect of developing a condition like DP -- the possibility that it might last for the rest of your life.
I remember distinctly uncovering bits of information here and there (mainly on DP forums) -- and realizing that this overwhelming, debilitating condition that had hit me out of nowhere could actually be permanent. That no matter what I did, that I might never feel normal again.
That was a truly terrifying place to be.
And the fear that that could happen only made the condition worse -- worse to the point that I was enduring multiple crippling panic attacks on a daily basis. I think that of my two years with chronic DP, that was the worst time. I just could not believe that only a few weeks ago I had been completely happy and healthy -- but now my life had somehow done a 180 degree turn and I was in constant, unremitting fear.
It seemed impossible, and yet, there it was.
But when I look back at that time, from the vantage point of nine years of complete recovery, it seems almost ridiculous.
Why would it be permanent? How could it be?
It’s nothing more than an anxiety-based condition, and to imagine that it could cause some sort of permanent brain change is, frankly, ridiculous. But the fear that it had done that was like nothing else I had ever known. Worse than that, the fear of permanence is probably the single more powerful cause of prolonging the anxiety -- and therefore DP -- in the first place. It’s the cruelest Catch 22.
And what can make things even worse are feelings of guilt.
If you feel that you’re in a permanent condition that you have somehow brought on yourself (through weed or other drugs) -- Well, that’s a nightmare scenario. It’s one thing if you feel that you’ve just been unlucky, but if you sense that it’s actually your fault and you’re going to suffer for the rest of your life because of it, it’s even worse.
When this is all happening to you, it’s almost impossible to imagine that there’s some semblance of meaning to what you’re going through. But to the impartial observer, it’s actually quite a simple process. And in fact, the guilt and fear that you’re going through are highly likely to prolong what is in fact a very simple anxiety-based condition that most people experience at one time or another -- but that usually dissipates quickly and naturally.
Combine that with panicked research on various forums and it’s the perfect storm for anxious thinking and the incorrect belief that the condition is anything but temporary.
So -- is Depersonalization permanent? The answer is of course:
No, Depersonalization is NOT permanent.
There’s not a shred of evidence to say otherwise and it would make absolutely no sense for it to be anything other than a temporary - and quite common - condition.
It’s incredibly easy to start using the daily habits of behaviour that will start to reduce the DP immediately and begin the process that will stop it completely.