Treatment for derealization
Man, this video is a long time coming. Derealization. Have you ever experienced this before? It can be so scary for the person experiencing this. They can feel so trapped like there is no other way out. Derealization is a mental state or an individual may feel detached from their surroundings. People, objects, things around them may seem on unreal. You are even so aware that something is wrong that this can often be an obsession on how to make it right again. How to feel attached again. Unlike something like psychosis or delirium, individuals no that there are in an altered state that something isn’t normal.
More than half of people will feel this disconnection from reality at least once in their lifetime.
Hi my name is Nathan Peterson…..I am the creator the online OCD and BFRB courses and release videos every week that can help give you different treatment strategies for what you’re going through.
Derealization is similar to Depersonalization. The difference is depersonalization will experience the same thing except for adding a detachment of their own body, thoughts, and feelings. Almost as if you’re watching yourself as an outsider. I will have a whole separate video on this.
Derealization usually happens in different pockets of time. Meaning that these symptoms may come in they may go. Some common experiences that people have are these:
-The sounds around them can feel distorted, they can even seem too loud or too soft.
- Often individuals will feel like they are in a dream state or have some brain fog.
- The world around sees pretty lifeless, useless, what’s the point, you can seem fake that everyone is just doing their own thing every single day.
- Objects around them can look wrong. They can look different than how they actually appear. Things may seem to sharp, others may seem too small or too big. You can even seem blurry.
- Some may feel like there is something separating them from the world around them almost like an invisible wall. This wall that they cannot just break through.
Some have experienced these for only a few minutes while others may experience this for months at a time. Individuals often feel like they are going crazy. They recognize that something is off. And all the brain is wanting them to do this is to find a connection again.
Many will ask me: where does this come from?
Guess what, every person is different.
Some say that common events that trigger the derealization is emotional abuse or neglect. Others say it’s completely random. Some say it’s only linked to anxiety or OCD.
There is not currently a medical way to see if this is something you are experiencing or not.
When derealization manifest as part of anxiety or OCD the treatment I typically do is exposure and response prevention. Individuals may obsess and continually think about how to get out of these experiences. Their problem-solving is so much that they’re allowing themselves to continue being stuck in these Episodes. With exposure and response prevention the whole idea is how can you take power away from the bodily response or thoughts that you are having. Instead of pulling away from the experience we are moving closer to it. Meaning if somebody were to go through this experience right now, would focus on all the threats the brain comes up with an essentially answer every single one of them with either an uncertainty answer such as maybe maybe not, or we completely agree with the threat.
If the brain says all know what’s happening what if you don’t come out of this. The answer is maybe I will maybe it won’t. Or I totally hope I don’t come out of this, man it be wonderful if I was stuck in this forever. When we agree with the threat it takes the power and value away from it.
Instead what people try to do as they had the thought oh no it’s coming but I don’t come out of this. Maybe if I sit down it will go away, maybe for drink much water it will go away. Maybe I don’t go to that event because all make it worse. Maybe for research on the Internet it will go away. If I just on that answer I can get this to go away. The brain is coming up with plenty of ideas on how to solve this problem.
We are no longer trying to solve this problem. We practice not doing compulsions. These are the things you are trying to do to problem solve yourself through this. You may experience the moment even mindfully. I don’t feel connected to the moment, cool what do I experience. What do I see, what do I feel, that it’s not to make sense of it all is to show yourself that your living life here in the specific moment.
When people practice this exposure and response prevention every single time they go through an episode the brain finally gets it. It learns that it’s giving you these thoughts and feelings and disconnection and when you’re not responding to it the way it wants you to learns. He learns that if it doesn’t have value then it no longer needs to bring this into your life.
You don’t give yourself a timeline of when this is going to go away. You allow it to be there regardless of what’s happening in your life. You allowed to leave if it wants to that you are not the person that is pushing it away. A lot of acceptance is needed with derealization. You will continue living your life the way that you want to live your life not changing anything because of this feeling of disconnection.
Often I see derealization connected with OCD, if you’re looking for a little extra help with your OCD I do have an online step-by-step course that takes you through treatment. A link that down in the description below.
Here is my question for you.
Have you ever experienced derealization before? What things of help to you what things make a worse?
Thank you so much for watching, and I will see you next time.
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Nathan Peterson specializes in working with OCD and Anxiety related disorders and has done so for the past 7+ years.