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Andyman73

DSM-V symptoms...derealization/dissociation question

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Anybody have any idea or know anything about the part of the PTSD criterion relating to derealization and or dissociation? I experienced them both during my multiple MST events...still do.

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Hi Andyman73,

Dissociation is that hiding of things from yourself.  The classic dissociation event is driving somewhere and finding out that you drove home on autopilot.  PTSD has dissociative characteristics where most of us have blocked out parts of the trauma.  It's a bit like looking at a photograph that just doesn't make sense to you --you can't figure out what it is.  You stare at it for a long time, and eventually you realize it's a pretty horrible picture of a car accident.  Your brain couldn't accept it, so it wouldn't cognitively acknowledge what the picture was.

Depersonalization in PTSD refers to the feeling that events are happening "out of body."  That you can view them from a distance while your body endures whatever is going on.  There's a slowing of time feeling.

Derealization is when the world around you does not seem real.  You'll notice things like colors flattening out, feeling like you're behind a pane of glass while interacting with the world.  Or trudging through a desert.  You're detaching from everyone and everything and numbing yourself.  Many trauma patients describe that they feel this shutting down process before they finally decide to commit suicide.  Many others can go most of their lives with the derealization. 

HyperboleAndAHalf had a blog post that nailed derealization.  That post is an inspiration and an illumination for many of us.  I myself have been lying on the couch while the syrupy yoga instructor therapist goes on about knowing how I feel and stay strong it gets better.  And I've glared at her and wished her to Jericho.

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

It can get better.  But it takes a lot of time, distance, decent therapy, and willpower.  Willpower is really hard to muster.  I knew I was sliding into something really bad when my running wasn't keeping the endorphins up for a full day anymore.  I had been running in the morning before work.  But then, it was morning and evening just to stay feeling good.  And the time where I felt ok emotionally after a run got shorter and shorter until I couldn't muster the will to go running anymore. 

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@QuietNow, thank you for taking the time to write. I do experience all of these. 

So many other things are really mucking up the whole thing. Abusive wife, memories of child abuse and child sexual assaults and rapes. It keeps getting worse. 

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Sidebar addition to above conversation: I highly recommend the CPT program at the VA. Not only does it help, it benefits you by utilizing the techniques that are taught in future situations...invaluable. (for me) 

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On 9/12/2017 at 12:05 AM, L said:

Sidebar addition to above conversation: I highly recommend the CPT program at the VA. Not only does it help, it benefits you by utilizing the techniques that are taught in future situations...invaluable. (for me) 

I finally told my therapist about some of the CSA/R from my earliest years. I'm not convinced at all, that it won't blow up in my face, and cause my rating to be reduced.

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