PROOF that Depersonalization Is NOT Dangerous
Note: This article is NOT a recommendation to take drugs, illegal or otherwise.
If you are suffering from drug-induced Depersonalization, do NOT take more drugs to try and alleviate the condition.
The antidepressant effects of Ketamine and other psychedelic drugs are well known anecdotally and increasingly being studied in controlled settings.
The scientific community, locked for decades into the mentality that SSRIs and Benzos were the only legitimate pharmacological treatment, is slowly coming around to the idea that there may be alternatives.
This has led to fascinating studies in which, for example, magic mushrooms have been seen to ‘reboot’ the brains of people with depression where standard treatments were failing.
Another two studies showed that a single dose of psilocybin could “lift the anxiety and depression experienced by people with advanced cancer for six months or even longer”.
I recently came across one particular study which explored the antidepressant effects of Ketamine. Like psilocybin, the drug showed strong anti-depressant properties in the days and weeks after taking it.
But the most interesting part was this: “Mechanistic similarities may exist between ketamine-induced depersonalization and antidepressant response”
Amazingly, this means that the more depersonalization Ketamine induces, the more the subject’s depression is likely to lift afterwards.
Another study goes even further:
“Among the examined mediators of ketamine׳s antidepressant response, only dissociative side effects predicted a more robust and sustained antidepressant.”
That suggests that the only reliable way to predict the antidepressant effects of Ketamine is to see how depersonalized the person becomes while on the drug. So the more DPDR you experience, the better you’ll feel afterwards.
Aside from this being a fascinating group of studies, it tells us something very important:
Depersonalization is not dangerous.
On its own, it’s not a frightening or damaging experience. It’s just a feeling.
DPDR can happen as a result of anxiety or trauma - but it can also be brought on by a drug. It’s just your body’s response to a stimulus.
There’s nothing good or bad about it. What’s important is what’s causing it.
If you have DPDR caused by stress, panic attacks, a bad drug trip -- that can be a horrible experience.
You can feel...
- Like you’re in a dream you can’t wake up from
- That you’re going crazy
- That you're a robot, not in control of yourself
- Like you’re high and you can’t come down
- Disconnected from the world, your emotions, other people
This drives your anxiety levels up, which makes the DPDR worse. It’s a frightening experience that can turn into Chronic Depersonalization, which is incredibly common and which I suffered from for almost two years.
But if the feelings of Depersonalization / Derealization are caused by meditation, tiredness, or a positive drug experience, they can actually be quite pleasant.
You can feel...
- Like you're watching your thoughts go by
- As if floating on air
- At ease with yourself
And with Ketamine, the feeling of DPDR even correlates directly with feelings of well being afterwards!
Let’s illustrate this with one more scientific study, for good measure! The results reveal that:
1) Meditation can cause Depersonalization and Derealization.
2) The meanings in the mind of the meditator regarding the experience of Depersonalization / Derealization will determine to a great extent whether anxiety is present as part of the experience.
This is the key. Almost everyone experiences Depersonalization / Derealization at some point in their lives, be it through trauma, meditation, medication, drug use etc. It’s perfectly natural and Depersonalization is not dangerous.
And if you allow it to pass naturally, as happens with positive experiences, it will disappear as if it was never there.
It’s only when you start to anxiously analyse the feelings of DPDR that it can trigger a spiral of self-analysis that becomes Chronic Depersonalization Disorder.
So there you have it. It makes sense, doesn’t it??
Three scientific studies that offer PROOF that Depersonalization itself is neither good nor bad. It’s just a feeling.
When DPDR is driven by a positive experience, it can be quite pleasant and temporary.
When it’s driven by fear and anxiety, it can be horrible and persistent.
But this also means, clearly, that Depersonalization is not dangerous and you don’t need to be afraid of it. It’s not some strange, weird condition.
It’s a perfectly natural reaction to stress / drugs / whatever -- and you can always stop it completely and get back to your normal, DP-free life.