Does Depersonalization Come Back After Recovery?
When you recover from Depersonalization, how likely is it to return?
One of the most frightening prospects for anyone suffering from Depersonalization is that it might be permanent. Thankfully, that's not the case!
But even for people who have made a full recovery, isn't the prospect of Depersonalization coming back in future very daunting?
It may have been caused by weed, trauma, even a panic attack. If it's so random, what's to say that you won't have another panic attack and be back to square one?
Well, that won't happen, and here's why.
Your recovery from Depersonalization is based in large part on actually understanding what the condition is: a psychological self-defence system. It's your brain reacting to what it thinks is a ongoing traumatic or dangerous situation.
It's the same feeling that people regularly report when involved in car crashes, house fires etc. You need to get out of that dangerous situation without being paralyzed with fear, so your brain numbs your emotions and makes the world seem slightly dreamy and unreal.
And when you get out of that situation, the DP fades away and you get back to normal.
For people who get the condition from other causes, the experience can be very different. If DP appears because of a panic attack or, as is becoming more and more common, drug use (in particular, high-potency strains of weed), it's very common to think that DP is a standalone condition that has appeared without explanation.
And you focus on it intensely, which makes the anxiety worse, which makes the DP worse, and so on.
In these situations when you first encounter Depersonalization, it really feels like your whole life has been turned upside down. Since, relatively speaking, it's not a widely-known or discussed condition (yet), people who get it often have no reference for it.
They think that they must be going crazy, having a psychotic break, etc. I developed DP completely out of the blue and the first few weeks and months with the condition were just horrendous.
I was scared out of my mind, thinking I was in a dream, that I was going to disappear off the face of the earth, that I was in purgatory, etc etc.
This stage can be so horribly overwhelming that even when you eventually identify the condition and start to find rational information about it, that initial fear of it still remains. And of course, this isn't helped by the torrent of panicked posts on various Depersonalization forums that you inevitably encounter!
The bottom line is that there's such a intense fear of the condition ingrained in you that it can be difficult to overturn -- At least until you have a full understanding of what the condition actually is: a perfectly normal defense mechanism that happens that virtually everybody experiences briefly in times of trauma.
It's only when it's focused on that it forms a feedback loop with the anxiety that's causing it and drags on for longer than it normal. But it's still a temporary condition and will stop once that feedback loop stops.
When you understand that, you take away all of DP's power. Even the terror of the initial experience with it starts to make total sense. This calms your levels of anxiety and DP.
One of the main effects of recovery is to break the abnormal association between the two and allow you to have typical day-to-day levels of anxiety (i.e., going to the dentist, nerves before an exam, a job interview etc) without it triggering feelings of depersonalization and spiraling into a panic attack.
You see, recovery from Depersonalization isn't about hoping it will go away or worrying that it might come back. It's about understanding why it happened and recognizing that it's both a normal and temporary reaction.
Once you do that, you know that even if you do feel pangs of DP at times of particular stress in the future (which again - is perfectly normal and extremely common), you will recognize it for it is, know how to react to it, and allow it to fade away on its own -- which is exactly what it's supposed to do!
The core of Depersonalization recovery is understanding what it is. Once you do that it loses any staying power.
So does Depersonalization come back? It's VERY unlikely, but even if it does, you'll recognize it immediately and have the tools to deal with it quickly and effectively!