View Full Version : Depersonalization and derealization

26-02-04, 21:14
Anyone else suffering from derealization and depersonalization from panic attacks ?
Is there anything to do about it ???[:0]

Let us stop the panic

26-02-04, 21:52

This is extremely common. I used to get it with each panic attck and it would last several days and was soo frightening. I really thought I'd forget who I was. As my panic diminished it went and hasn't returned - even in anxious moments.

There are 2 main theories. One is that the brain is so awash with stress chemicals like noradrenaline, adrenalone and cortisol and it is one of the sideeffects of these.

The other is that the brain decides it's got enough going on and it's a self protection mechanism .


Watch your thoughts, they become your words...
Watch your words, they become your actions... Watch your actions, they become your habits... Watch your habits, they become your character... Watch your character, it becomes your destiny...

26-02-04, 22:43
Hi Radar...Yes I think in my case it is my brain trying to protect me from general trauma. I've had long lasting panic attacks and some turbulent times.

So you're advice is to stop the worry of these derealization and depersonalization feelings ???

I try to avoid all drinking/alcohole now and live a more quiet life, hope that might help too.

You could say I have led a sort of self-destructive lifestyle, a life on the edge so to speak. It makes sense to me that my brain has had enough of my recless behaviour and negative worry-thinking.

If you have any other advice I will be very gratefull.

This unreal feeling is scaring me...And then my body feels large or strange too. Extremely scary.

I need to tell my brain that things are safe again now, but how ???

Let us stop the panic

26-02-04, 23:37
Hi Nofear,

I have suffered constanly with depersonalisation for years.

I am now so used to feeling "unreal" that for me it has become the norm.

I am worst when talking to people face to face. They look all strange to me and I feel like I will have a freak out right in front of them.

I assume that when the constant levels of anxiety finally drop then the unreal feelings will diminish as well.

Even though I have had it for SO long, it still affects me and makes me panic.

But I can assure you that it is due to anxiety/panic and that no harm will come to you from it.

As with all our symptoms, the more we think about it and analize it, the worst it becomes!!

Anyway, hope this information has made you feel a bit better and try not to worry too much about it, just try and accept it as yet another anxiety thing!

Take care

Kate x

27-02-04, 04:00
Hello nofear

Not feeling real is the way I have been living for about 1 year now I have other symptoms too but they come and go derealization just kind of stays 24/7 just like kate I am so used to it that I just think I will never feel right again.

I have noticed that I do have better days now. I am able to drive a little each day and I go shopping all by myself so I know I am getting better because a few months ago that was a no no!

just hang in there you will get through it we all will someday.


27-02-04, 09:23
I've read somewhere that one should break the worry-cycle and ignore and distract from the depersonalization, derealization, self-trance, spaciness or whatever you want to call it.

I too have it in a severe way around other people, they look like aliens from another planet LOL. Seriously, they do look so strange it is totally horrible. It hurts the eyes, things are like being in a dream without being able to wake up.

Let us stop the panic

27-02-04, 09:32

Glad to see that you are now able to drive and go shopping alone.

That is great news!!!!

Nofear, you are right that you should try to distract from the unreal feelings.

When talking to someone, and you get that strange feeling come over you, try averting your gaze, just for a moment. It does help with bringing yourself back into the real world!!

Kate x

27-02-04, 19:46

Would you like to post what you've been up to in 'sucesses' - please.

Sounds like brilliant progress that you've just mentioned in passing !!


Watch your thoughts, they become your words...
Watch your words, they become your actions... Watch your actions, they become your habits... Watch your habits, they become your character... Watch your character, it becomes your destiny...

27-02-04, 21:01

Welcome aboard mate!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) Glad to have you here.

Sorry you are having a tough go at the depersonalization/derealization symptoms. They are very frightening are`nt they?

We all here experience or probably have experienced those symptoms at some degree or another.

I too suffer with these symptoms. However now with the help of this site and the folks on here I no longer really fear them. Like Kate mentioned it is best to just accept that they are related to anxiety/panic, and then once you accept this it really does take the fear of them away.

Distraction is the best remedy atleast for me. Like Kate also mentioned averting your gaze really does help.

Just keep reminding yourself that it is just anxiety/panic related and that it will not cause you any real harm. It just makes us uncomfortable.

I just wanted to congratulate you to for your change in lifestyle. That in itself is a great accomplishment.

Just keep trying positive thinking, and telling yourself that those feelings are not going to hurt you.

We will all beat this disorder together. Someday, somehow!!!!!!!!! I know we will. :)

I hope this has helped you a bit, and I wish you the best of luck.

Take care,

Diana xxxx

27-02-04, 21:06

Great news for you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad to hear you are driving a bit and shopping on your own :).

Keep up the great work, and positive thinking.

Keep us posted of your other successes. We love success stories!!!!!!!!! :). They keep us all motivated to beat this thing.

Take care,

Diana xxxx

29-02-04, 02:49
My friend Dave the CPN tells me that de-personalization and De-realization are very common.

People often describe it as a feeling unreal, disembodied, strange,
weird, foreign, seeing in two dimensions or even witnessing things as a 3rd person as if your own actions are in a film or on a TV programme with vivid colours or sounds.

People also say they feel as if they are cut off or distant from the immediate surroundings, objects appear to be unsolid, or they feel light headed.

He tells me it is nothing to worry about, it is all part of your anxiety and it's completely harmless. But I would advice that you don't try and cross a busy roads if you are feeling "weird".

Dave tells me that it is caused by too much oxygen in the blood stream and the best way to cope with it is to slow down your breathing and not to dwell on it.
Once your anxiety levels drop this feeling of De-personalization or De-realization will disappear.

I hope this makes sense.

I suffer with de-personalization and De-realization terribly, mainly when faced with traffic, either walking passed it and crossing roads or I have been out for the day.
I was told the best thing to do is stamp your feet or touch the ground, so that you can feel something solid.

Love, light and Best wishes
Liz xxx

[:p] Panic Monster & Scatty Eccentric

29-02-04, 23:40
What about people have depersonalization and derealization even when they do not have anxiety ???
The more I think about depersonalization and the more I worry about it the worce it gets so there certainly is a strong cognitive element involved in derealization/depersonalization.
As I understand it one should try to have a normal inner dialogue and not think about unrealness and spaciness.

I have derealization even when I have no panic or anxiety which I find a bit strange. It certainly seems more hard-wired in the mind than panic and anxiety feelings.

Derealization and depersonalization may be a primitive defense mechanism, like we constantly feel we are being attacked by snakes or something, certainly something very primal is involved here.

I guess when the fight or flight mode of feeling and thinking has broken down the derealization takes over.

So how does one calm down the primitive brain again ???

The new benzodiazepin anti-anxiety drugs will work on the amygdala (the emotional brain) and may be of use to us.

Let us stop the panic

02-03-04, 10:39
Ah, now according to my friend Dave, he tells me that people can suffer with the De-personalization thing even when they are not anxious. He tells me it is the sub-concious telling you that you are stressed out, even when you don't physically feel stressed out.

Love, light and Best wishes
Liz xxx

[:p] Panic Monster & Scatty Eccentric

02-03-04, 21:03
Good post Liz, very interesting stuff.

Good to know not only those of us who suffer with this disorder, have these symptoms. Not literally good, but atleast makes one feel not so indifferent!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here`s to hoping everyone is having a anxiety/panic free day :).

Take care all,

Diana xxx