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d/p and d/r--do I have it?


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What is d/p and d/r?  I am feeling very cut off from the world, like I've got a sheet over my head, but I can see through it, or maybe confused about fitting into reality.  Please comment!!
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Yes. That is exactly what it is - more likely d/r.  D/p is when you dont' really feel like "you".  I had both early on. The d/p left and now I have only mild d/r.  It's just like that veil you describe.  It is supposedly a symptom of high anxiety. In our cases, it may not come from the actual "feeling" of anxiety or nervousness - but more the physiological state of not having enough GABA to render yourself normally grounded.


There are theories that d/p and d/r are "protective" mechanisms that keep the mind from feeling the intense anxiety that would otherwise be felt if it weren't for this disassociation.


I had one day where this lifted entirely in the past month and it was wonderful.  But it came back by the next day.


It's very distressing and I've written so many posts on it, but lots of buddies assure me that it went away as they healed.



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Hello ANewOne,



I saw you question and put together some information that may be helpful. I am the type of person who seeks to know what is happening and why, it brings comfort to me. I hope it does the same for you. Bliss Johns has suggested ways to manage these symptoms.



“Benzo-Wise, A Recovery Companion” by Bliss Johns, 2010


Depersonalisation:  altered perception, dissociated feelings, detached from self, feeling like alien in own body, disconnected


“With depersonalization, there is a sense of detachment and disconnection, as if the person is an outside observer of his or her body or mental processes.”


“This depersonalization experienced during withdrawal is not indicative of dissociative disorder or any other psychological illness. It is withdrawal-induced and, in that sense, is no different to muscle and joint pain, skin problems or any other physical symptom. As the nervous system begins to recover, the depersonalization usually becomes less intense and eventually fades away completely. “


“One way of accepting this symptom can be to regard it as an important self-protecting tool. When you think about the stressors and psychological trauma that some are subjected to during withdrawal, it would make sense that being detached and emotionless may, in the most unlikely way, lessen the impact. While the recovery process takes place, you may benefit from using positive self-talk and grounding exercises.”




Derealisation: altered perception, dissociated feelings, feeling of being distant, cut off, being in a dream-like state, surreal


“Derealisation causes one’s perception to be altered resulting in a sense of being in a strange or unreal reality.”


“Like depersonalization, this is a withdrawal symptom and nothing more. It does not need to be analyzed or treated as one would in the case of a dissociative or other mental health disorder. Again, reminding yourself that it is a result of your discontinuing the benzodiazepine and that you should regard it in the same manner as you would one of your physical symptoms, will lessen any related anxiety.”



"Your Drug May Be Your Problem, How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medications" 2007 fully revised and updated edition, by Peter Breggin, M.D. (a Psychiatrist)

Chapter 3 Your Drug May Be Your Problem-----But You May Be the Last to Know


Common Adverse Effects on Your Thinking, Feeling, and Behaving


Feeling “Out of Touch” with Yourself or Others. You feel disconnected, remote, or out of touch with yourself and your feelings, and perhaps with the feelings of other people as well. It's as if there's a dark glass or great distance between you and other people, such that you're not quite the same person you used to be. These reactions are called "depersonalization" or "derealization".




“The Ashton Manual” by Heather Ashton, 2002



Here is a copy of the Ashton Manual. You can print it out for free. Just print one section and chapter at a time. There are about 3 or 4 chapters.


The Ashton Manual





Depersonalisation, derealisation. “Feelings of depersonalisation and of unreality are associated with benzodiazepine withdrawal, although they also occur in anxiety states. They occur most often during over-rapid withdrawal from potent benzodiazepines and are, anecdotally, particularly marked on withdrawal from clonazepam (Klonopin). In these states, the person seems detached from his body and seems almost to be observing it from the outside. Similar experiences are described in near-death states when the individual feels that he is hovering above his body, detached from the events occurring below. They are also described by people involved in extreme emergencies and in individuals subjected to torture. They are clearly not specific to benzodiazepines.”



“Such experiences probably represent a normal defensive reaction evolved as a protection against intolerable suffering. They may involve a primitive brain mechanism similar to the "freezing" of some animals when presented with an inescapable danger. Like other benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms, these feelings resolve in time and should not be interpreted as abnormal or crazy.”




I hope this is helpful,


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Thanks for the info and the links.  I'm encouraged.  I feel less like I'm totally losing my mind.  (In the early to mid 90's I spent a lot of time in psych units, taking assorted meds, and having shock treatments, so I am REALLY AFRAID of repeating that again.  That's why I am so freaked out when I see my brain doing something funny.)
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