Depersonalization Recovery Tip
DPDR sufferers are always asking me for advice on dealing with the condition.
So today I’m going to share a great Depersonalization recovery tip. This will really help to change your perspective on DPDR, in a way that I found incredibly useful during my recovery!
So one of the most common experiences reported by Depersonalization and Derealization sufferers is the constant worry that the DPDR might actually be something else.
Or that even if it isn't, it could turn into something worse.
This was certainly a part of my experience. During the two years that I had Depersonalization, I was at different times convinced that I had every condition under the sun, including:
Multiple Personality Disorder
.....to name just a few!
You name it -- At some point, I was 100% sure that I either had it, or was developing it.
And every time I had that thought, it was terrifying.
But of course, I didn’t actually have any of those conditions.
And looking back on it now with years of recovery behind me, it’s actually quite interesting to see why I thought those things.
I’m not a medical health professional, but I do know with schizophrenia, for example, there are very clear and distinct symptoms associated with that condition -- Symptoms that are quite recognizable.
So recognizable, in fact, that any doctor would recognize them quite quickly. And not just psychologists and psychiatrists, but regular GPs and primary care physicians.
Not only that, but family and friends would almost certainly spot them too!
In my case, when I spoke to doctors and psychologists, they weren’t seeing any symptoms of schizophrenia.
In fact, they weren’t seeing symptoms of any of the conditions that I was so concerned about!
But did that calm me down? Not at all.
The anxiety and fear just kept going.
And not only was I sure I was going to get all of these conditions, but I was also 100% certain that I was going to do something terrible. I thought I might hurt myself or someone else.
For example, I was absolutely sure that my DPDR and anxiety would cause me to lose consciousness or control of my body.
And if this happened while driving for example, I would likely crash into a crowd of people, then drive over a cliff, and die in a massive explosion (!)
I catastrophized all the time that awful things like this would happen.
I would go crazy, I would develop some horrific condition, or I would lose control and hurt myself or someone else.
But here’s the interesting thing, and a great way to think about what’s really happening with DPDR.
Because when you’re actually going *through* anxiety and DP, it can be very difficult to look at it objectively. Why?
Because you’re seeing everything through the lens of anxiety -- even the anxiety itself!
But now that I’ve been recovered for many years, I can look back on my time with anxiety and DPDR from a much more objective point of view. And from that point of view, what’s the worst thing that happened to me in all my time with anxiety and DP?
Not what I thought was going to happen, not what I was worried or convinced was going to happen -- but what’s the worst thing that *actually* happened to me in my time with anxiety and DP?
And the answer is:
I had panic attacks.
And…. that’s it!
Now, don’t get me wrong -- Panic attacks can be deeply unpleasant.
But they’re also extremely common, they’re caused by anxiety, they’re temporary and they’re harmless!
Did any of the scary things actually happen? Of course they didn’t. None of those things even came close to happening!
Everything else I was worried about -- All the existential and intrusive thoughts, all the conditions I was sure I had or was going to develop -- none of them happened. Why?
Because the clue is in the question. I was worried about these things happening.
But that worry was not based on any evidence. It was based on anxiety.
Just like the feeling of Depersonalization itself, and just the same as with all anxiety-based conditions.
We worry that what we’re experiencing is terrible and dangerous, even though there’s no evidence that that’s happening.
But anxiety isn’t interested in evidence!
Anxiety is interested in jumping to the worst possible conclusions at all times.
Now, if you’re ever in a mortal danger situation, that could save your life. It's very useful!
But it’s less useful when you’re trying to make sense of anxious thoughts that you’re experiencing while, say, driving to the shops or watching your favourite TV show.
But what you’ll see as your recovery begins is that you actually have control over that anxiety.
As strange as it may seem, you’ve always had control over it.
You can turn down the volume on the anxiety and very soon, turn it off completely.
And when you do, all of the symptoms that came with it -- including the feelings of DPDR, all the baseless fears of developing all sorts of other conditions -- will also fade away and stop too, as if they had never been there.
And you’ll see, from an objective point of view, that despite all the fear and catastrophizing that came with the condition, in all likelihood the very worst thing that happened to you in all that time was… panic attacks.
Harmless, temporary, panic attacks.
Developing that strong objective point of view is such a wonderful and positive part of recovery.
And remember -- No matter how long you’ve had DPDR or what caused it, you can and will recover, 100%.
Start your recovery from DP today
The Depersonalization Manual is the oldest and most trusted text on Depersonalization recovery available today. Written by a fully recovered sufferer with over 15 years experience of dealing with DP sufferers, it's been the trusted DP recovery program for more than 25,000 people worldwide.