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Derealization and Depersonalization: Perceived Madness (Part 2)

How do I stop feeling depressed

Yesterday we began a series on derealization and depersonalization (DD). We got off to a great start by defining both, and establishing how much fun they aren’t. And we got into some of the potential physiological contributors. But there’s so much more…

So off go the alarms because the sensations experienced as a result of the mind’s work to defend itself, which may include derealization and depersonalization, are causing the alarm circuitry to freak.

Today we’re going to continue our discussion of all things DD perspective and speculation (’cause unfortunately that’s all we have). But before we get going, I want to reiterate how important it is that you don’t begin to anticipate the arrival of DD if they’ve never paid a visit. Please don’t talk yourself into them.

And if you’re experiencing DD, please keep in mind they aren’t a permanent arrangement – and you’re not going crazy (though it sure feels that way, I know).

As a past sufferer of this hocus-pocus, I view derealization and depersonalization, intense perceptual alterations, as the mind’s self-protective reaction to the ultimate perceived state of overload.

It just seems to me that when the mind believes it’s mega-overwhelmed it flips the switch on a perceptual filter, believing even the slightest additional bit of stimuli may lead to various degrees of psychic meltdown.

Yes, it’s the mind in a powerful state of defense. Within this theoretical framework, the mind is trying to give itself a fighting chance to sort and process that with which it’s already wrestling, so it chooses to inhibit the sensory messages streaming in from one’s immediate internal and external experience.

Now, unfortunately, the mind’s fear circuitry is chugging along very independently and just as efficiently as its perceptual filter. So off go the alarms because the sensations experienced as a result of the mind’s work to defend itself, which may include derealization and depersonalization, are causing the alarm circuitry to freak.

Needless to say, DD aren’t sensations that would be interpreted as “normal.”

As a result, one flips into all-out panic mode, desperately trying to reestablish a sense of perceptual orientation and comfort. And that only makes things worse because it totally interrupts the mind’s immediate mission of managing thousands of cars at rush-hour.

And so one is left with this ever-building traffic jam caused by two vehicles: an overloaded mind perceived to be on the verge of meltdown and a very agitated and loudly rebellious fear circuitry. And no one’s going anywhere.

I might also suggest that derealization and depersonalization may present as a result of the mind being so consumed by its present overload, it simply can’t deliver perceptual accuracy in response to what the senses are bringing to the table.

Don’t ever forget – this is all about how we receive self and the world. And there’s only so much of the mind to go around. Yes, it does have its limits.

Okay, I need to add one more article to do the job right. So join us tomorrow as we wrap things up with some fascinating and helpful insights from the amazing Dr. V.S. Ramachandran.

And we’ll also swirl around some things we can do to establish a sense of comfort within the very ick of DD. Good stuff…

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  • Joan Hanna

    going with what is, hopefully without flipping out , waiting for change it always happens…
    body/mind seeks balance…breath in breath out…

    • Wonderfully simple, Joan. Need I say more than thank you?

      Bill