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Any people here who experienced derealization?

Just sharing it here because I think that devs (or other stressful desk jobs) are especially susceptible to it.

I’ve had the feeling that my perception of the world has been kinda „weird“ and unsharp for months but I always thought „I’m sure it’s because I drink too much. I’m sure it’s because I don’t eat healthy. I’m sure it’s because I don’t do sports. I’m sure it’s because I don’t sleep enough“ etc.

I knew about derealization but I always had the opinion that it’s one of those psycho diseases that are all made up.

When I started doing some research on it i learned what it actually is..
A „defense“ mechanism of the brain to protect the brain from shocks and stuff or just a mental disturbance and that it’s kind of a vicious circle once you actually notice it.
It’s only getting worse because you focus on it and check in on it if it’s still there..

Just a few days ago I started to ignore it and told myself „it’s fine, it’s a natural experience, just ignore it“. It changed things a lot..
I feel much better just because of the fact that I’m no longer afraid of it.

Enjoy your weekend, cheers!

Comments
  • 3
    You shouldn't fear it but you shouldn't ignore it (which would probably be unhealthy longterm).
    You could try things like meditation and mindfulness

    If you are "free-spirited" you could try psychedelics in small amounts

    Also look into "disassociation" if you haven't already. I think it's much more common amongst programmer types than derealization

    Good luck!
  • 0
    @simonblack ++for psychedelics
  • 3
    I'm not sure if it's similar, but:

    Due to physical abuse growing up, I experience varying severities of dissociation whenever I (or anything else) hits my head. The harder, the more severe, and the longer the dissociation persists.

    It feels like nothing is real, like I'm looking at everything from a distance through thick glass, and like everything is happening to someone else and I'm just an uncaring observer.

    Sometimes it takes many many hours to go away. It's awful, but while it's happening, it's happening to someone else and I can't really care. I hate it.

    The only things I've found that help (and even then, only a little) are strong pleasant smells and feeling textured things like spackle. Those feel real even if nothing else does, and help to bring me back, if only a little.
  • 2
    @Root luckily I’ve never felt detached from myself or my body. It’s just everything else. Especially what I see but also what I feel.

    Have you had this for long periods at a time?
    For me it doesn’t stop but I only notice it when I have a calm moment. Basically when I try to enjoy something.

    I don’t wanna sound self-pity-ish (i know that’s not a word), I’m glad that it’s not that bad in my case. I’m just curious about how other people feel.
    Also hope that you will get rid of it somewhen. Sounds kinda hard to live with.
  • 1
    @just8littleBit That's good. I'm glad it's something different.

    It's pretty manageable for me because it only happens in response to head trauma (even when it's very minor like bumping my head on a cabinet door). The longest it has lasted (outside of abuse-heavy childhood) was a few days, with the average being only hours. It ruins the rest of my day, but it doesn't last terribly long anymore.
  • 1
    When stressed out I tend to "stare in a void". Probably a disturbing sight, as people notice that quickly.
  • 2
    I've been told that I was "unresponsive to stimulus" on a few occasions when I was deep in the zone, which I think of as autopilot (screening out distractions). I know I do it when I'm just typing (no code) because housemates have made jokes about it. One time I was told (at work) about 3 hours of stuff that happened while I was debugging and I had absolutely no awareness of it at all. So... Kinda sorta maybe vaguely the same thing, but not as serious as derealisation. I understand what @Root is referring to.
  • 2
    @milkygreen I thought that was called concentrating. And you seem really good at it
  • 1
    @rant1ng Cheers 👍
  • 2
    I experience both DR and DP quite frequently - among other weird symptoms. It’s almost like a wave of thoughts that I’m not able to process or decipher hits me suddenly. I remember a period when all my memories were extremely foggy, so I came to the conclusion that life must be a dream, there’s no other explanation. I was convinced for days that this is just a hyper-realistic dream.

    At other times, I have paranoid thoughts coupled with these experiences.
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