Derealization and Depersonalization: Perceived Madness | Part 2

How do I stop feeling depressed

Derealization and depersonalization: “Yikes!” Am I right? We got our three-part series rolling yesterday, as we defined both of them and reviewed possible causes. But we have much more to discuss, so let’s get after part two…

So, off go the sirens because the sensations experienced as a result of the mind’s work to protect itself – in this case, using derealization and depersonalization – are causing the alarm circuitry to freak-out.

As I observed in part one, derealization and depersonalization (DD) are two of the most horrifying phenomena within the realm of the emotional and mental health disorders.

Over the years, I’ve experienced way too many episodes of both. I’m grateful they’re no longer an issue.

Before we get started, as I said in part one, don’t assume it’s inevitable that DD will be knocking on your door. That’s simply not true. And if you’re dealing with them right now, don’t talk yourself into believing you’re going mad, or they’ll always torment you.

Derealization and Depersonalization: The Mind Protecting Itself

As a veteran of DD hocus-pocus, I view their intense perceptual alterations as the mind’s self-protective reaction to what it interprets as an unmanageable state of overload.

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

how to make derealization stop

“I am MegaMind! And I’m here to protect you.”

Yes, it’s the mind in a powerful state of protection – 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.

The last thing it needs is more stimuli. So, it chooses to filter – to the extreme, block – the sensory input streaming in from one’s immediate internal and external experience.

And, for the purposes of our series, it uses derealization and depersonalization to pull it off.

Fear Circuitry and Sirens

Now, unfortunately, the mind’s fear circuitry is chugging along very independently and just as efficiently as its filtration system.

So, off go the sirens because the sensations experienced as a result of the mind’s work to protect itself – in this case, using derealization and depersonalization – are causing the alarm circuitry to freak-out.

I mean, 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 balance, control, and comfort. But that only makes things worse because it totally interrupts the mind’s immediate mission of managing thousands of cars at rush hour.

Stuck in Traffic

So, now 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. Without intervention, 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 the traffic jam itself that 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.

Ready for Part Three

Okay, to complete our work, we need to dig in to one more article. So, come on back for part three. We’ll wrap things up with some fascinating and helpful insights from neuroscientist Dr. V.S. Ramachandran.

We’ll also swirl around some things we can do to establish a sense of comfort within a mire of derealization and depersonalization.

By the way, if you’re up for even more mood and anxiety disorder-related reading, hundreds of Chipur titles are waiting for you.