Curing Depersonalization, derealization and dissociation
You suffer from depersonalization, derealization or dissociation. This causes extreme anxiety. You experience yourself as not real, non existent (depersonalization). You experience the world as not real (derealization), or you experience a distance between yourself and your feelings, body, or the world. (dissociation) You fear this strange feeling will stay forever. The impact on your work life or personal life is so large, it impairs normal function (and pleasure in being). You really want to cure this issue, and you can!
This website is devoted to resolving DP/DR. It offers background information, information about direct and indirect causes to give you insight, as well as discussing what works in curing DP/DR, and gives both tips, a blog and client experience stories.
Feeling estrangement towards yourself. Somehow you don't seem to be yourself, you feel very off. Disorientation, almost like you are out of place or lost. Feeling out of focus, almost dreamlike. You feel like you are not yourself, sometimes people say outside of yourself. When you feel you cannot wake up from a dream, it is still hazy. Like you cannot shake a hangover. You feel like a robot, there is an unreal character to it. Quite a few people describe they don't recognize themselves in the mirror. This comes with extreme anxiety, often powerlessness and depression as well.
The world looks unREAL, the very definition of deREALization. The estrangement is directed at the world, which somehow seems fake, or 2-D, as if there is no depth to it. There is a disorientation, like not waking up from a dream. Some talk about a glass or mist or brain fog preventing you from touching the real world. The mist does not dissolve. People feel fake, and you cannot seem to connect to them, like a puppet show. This comes with extreme anxiety, often panic attacks, sometimes depression.
You feel a distance between yourself and your feelings. This is also called flat-lining, having no emotion, being emotionless. You notice that others seem to be feelings and emotion and are acting normally, but you seem unable to join them. The feelings seem distanced and don't get to you, don't affect you. You look at them from a strange distance. You feel emotional flattening. Your body seems lifeless, and it may seem all pointless as you seem to be like a robot. Dissociation means not connected.
Hi, My name is Henk, I'm a 42 year old man suffering from DR. It consumed my whole life. I suffered from it for 8 months. I was not in my body any more, I felt like a robot. I worked full time, after the onset of these issues, I was at whole full time, sick leave. The DR was caused by several set backs life dealt me, a miscarriage, a friend of mine was murdered. My body was full of tension, it was in survival mode. I tried everything, I went to a hospital, a psychiatrist, a mental health clinic, and a psychologist, but nothing worked until I went to Ben, who provided me more insight in the nature of the issues, he taught me how to use several techniques, and helped me become more aware of what caused the issues. It took 5 sessions (Ben: and homework). I'm back at work, not full time yet, but ll get there soon. I know what I have to do. Thanks Ben.Henk
Depersonalization – Treatment of I. 19 yo. Start of Depersonalization. Two years ago I ate a hash/weed brownie at a friend of mines house, by accident, I had no idea there was any weed/hash in the brownie. The effect did not kick in immediately, but on the way home I started to notice it. Once I got home, in bed, I started to feel real bad and panicky. I spent 4/5 hours laying in bed sweating from pure fear. Thank God I fell asleep after that. The next day I had serious brain fog, I had the feeling all my thoughts were in a mist, I could not find them. This lasted a week, during which I imagined the craziest possible causes. After a week, the mist lifted and I was Ok until a few months later, when I decided to smoke some weed with some of my friends. The day after I had serious brain fog again, and after the previous experience I was not worried, because the first time it had cleared by itself in about a week. This time the mist did not lift, I spent the next year and a half with brain fog, some days were worse than others, some days were pretty mild. This stayed until I decided to try truffles. The first time it went Ok, and I actually enjoyed myself. The second time everything became much more personal and it went a lot worse. This brain fog stayed around for a while. I was stuck in the brain fog until I started blowing and I got into a serious fight with my father. From this moment, I really started to experience serious depersonalization/derealization. Everything became more difficult and I got panic attacks regularly because I had no idea what was happening to me. I went to my GP and he had no idea what it was, so I ended up with talking to the mental health emergency services, who told me my situation was not serious enough because "I did not feel depressed, angry, or sad enough". DP/DR became too much for me to bear, so I started actively searching what in the world it could be. After quite some searching, I figured out I have DP/DR. I started to look for a therapist specializing in DP/DR, and I found Ben Meijer. Depersonalization. I want to shortly explain what DP/DR is. It felt like I was distanced from my body, and as if I was not in control of my body. It was like I was a puppet of myself. There was "something" between me and my body. This something felt like a thick cloud, a turbulent storm that made my life into a hell. Sometimes the clouds would clear for a very short moment, and would feel some emotions shortly, this was at most a second long. Therapy for depersonalization. Ive had 5 sessions with Ben, where we first treated my biggest trauma, the first hash brownie. I felt improvement very directly and immediately, like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Unfortunately, I was still in DP/DR. In the next 4 sessions, we treated the symptoms and my "traumatic garbage". With Ben, I got insight in how my mind and more importantly my spirit works. After the third session I had a very bad week, like I could not bear all the emotions. So much shit came up. I spent 3 days crying. While this may sound very negative, it was a milestone for me, i felt like I was dealing with my own feelings, and that felt good. After these 3 days, I felt very relieved, like the clouds had retreated and cleared. The week after that I made another huge leap, during the therapy session I really reconnected with my body. I'm still amazed how my subconscious mind translated the issues for me. During the EFT I focused on: I'm making contact with my body. And it happened. I saw how I fell down, as if I was a wooden doll and I grabbed onto a rope that went straight to my brain. When falling into my body, I reconnected the rope where it was severed. This was also my last session. After the therapy, I started to think about my youth a lot, about my personality and the family I grew up into. For me this was the key to further integration in my body. I felt blockages in my youth. I figured out that my DP/DR is directly related to how my father related to me. I don't want to go into details. It was important for me to truly take some rest. No watching TV, that worked counter to healing. I meditate and try not to judge. In this manner I found out that derealization is an OBSESSION, which is very important to know. When I figured this out, I started to starve if the attention it always got, which is very hard because it was always nagging. I started sports, paying attention only to the movements of my body, which is an awesome feeling. I stopped eating sugar and sweets, which helps also. I try to avoid as many passive activities like watching TV. TV makes me feel bad. I draw a lot, play sports and even game intensively. Outside of therapy, I must be honest, its hard work to get rid of DP/DR, it takes discipline. Therapy also, can also not be a walk in the park, you have to adapt to this illness. The way I feel now, after completely losing half a year of my life due to DP/DR, is amazing, I've picked up my life again, I'm still vulnerable to DP/DR, but it bothers me about 10% of what it used to. I can focus on living a full life again. I have noticed that, however awe full DP/DR was, it has made me a better person, it has motivated me to really strive to make the most of my life and accomplish my goals. The only thing I can say, is keep your head up, by working hard, there is a way out.I.
Im a 24 y.o woman, and i feel like I've had issues with depersonalization/derealization all my life. This caused lots of fear and panic attacks. The fear has actually always been there. The panic attacks started when I was 16. During more intense periods of my life (around 19 y.o.), the fear and panic was so debilitating I could not function normally. I saw a psychologist for 2 years, was on anti depressants for 1 year. Nothing helped. After yet another period of serious fear issues, i decided to look for help again. I found Ben, and after the first few therapy and training sessions, the worst of my panic was gone. The therapies were very useful and simple to do on your own. Fears stopped dominating, and I got practical tools that really work when I did them on my own at home. After several sessions, my DP/DR seriously decreased. I'm very happy with that result. In total I had 7 sessions in the span of 3 months, and my issues are as good as gone. The trainings and therapy really work, and I would recommend them to anyone suffering from derealization/depersonalization. It changed my life. K.K.
Hi, my name is Miles and Im 16 y.o., I got depersonalization after I smoked some weed at at party. That evening I did not sleep. When I biked home in the morning I still felt very much under the influence and I felt emotional flattening. It felt like I had no connection to the world, and the by who biked next to me seemed very far away. It really frightened me. I thought I was still under the influence so I went to sleep. When I still felt like that 3 days later, I had a panic attack and locked myself in my room. Then I started looking and I figured out is was derealization. I read that it could go away, and that reassured me. It got less several times, however, it never went away, it always came back. After 4 months I finally told my mother, after I had a panic attack on the soccer field. We ended up going to Ben Meijer, after my mom had called, and he explained it could be cured. That was very reassuring to me. The first sessions were about processing the memories like the panic attacks on the soccer field. The sessions after that were about removing fears like the fear of DP/DR and not wanting to feel certain emotions. I really got to know myself, I had to confront so many things that were unconscious. After all the traumas and fears were processed, the next part of the process was to get back into my body. This means you get to feel inside your body again, and live in the now. The derealization got less right in the middle of the sessions. After about 2 sessions, the DR was only 30 percent of what it was. When I was done with all the sessions, the DR was virtually gone. Unfortunately, the DR came back a little sometimes at school, but that has passed too. When I needed to have surgery, the DR came back a little as well. After doing the exercises, it was gone again. It took about 6 sessions. Ben Meijer is a great guy to talk to, and he hits the nail on the head. I recommend you contact him if you have DP/DR.Miles
Ive seen a lot of therapists for my depersonalization/derealization. Ive suffered for more than 10 years. Previous therapists, in spite of their best intention, unfortunately did not really know what depersonalization/derealization was and they could not really help me. After some googling, I found Ben Meijer. After the first session, I had the feeling he really understood me and the how these issues actually work. That was great and a relief. The best way to describe what happened is that he taught me to feel again. All the feelings I was afraid of, we treated during therapy in a safe and comfortable fashion. In the beginning, I did not understand how the therapy worked, but Ben quickly taught me to trust my feelings, and my feelings told me that I was getting better. Stronger, more peaceful. Ben Meijer is very empathic and caring. Every session I noticed improvement. I'm not going to lie, it is very hard work, and it still is. All the feelings you have not dealt with and have pushed away need to be dealt with came up, and making time and room for the process is something you have to do. But, good guidance is very important, and I got that from Ben Meijer.M.
Hi my name is Rob, Im 56 y.o. and I work as a financial advisor. In 2014 I got a huge burnout, with all the symptoms. Hyperventilation, sweating, panic attacks and it was like I distanced myself from the world, it was as if nothing was real. After I spent 17 hours a day in bed for two months, I looked to a psychologist for help. This helped me gain perspective and get rid om my hyperventilation. Slowly but surely I started to feel better. The biggest problem remaining was that strange feeling in my head, and the unreal feeling. The psychologist said it would need/take time for that to heal, and that he could not help me with that. I thought I would have to learn to live with that. On a scale from 0 to 10, I felt a 3 or a 4 (10 being max). End of 2017 I decided that I could not go on like this any longer and I started to look on the internet. I quickly found out I have/had derealization. I was happy that it had a name. in January 2018 I found Ben Meijer's website, and it really spoke to me. I live in the middle of the country and I had to drive an hour to get to Apeldoorn, but that did not phase me, I really wanted help badly. During the first conversation I was very nervous and my derealization was off the scale. It was like I was going to black out. Ben put my fears to rest and firmly took to the task. He helped me step by step. He listened to my issues, gave me exercises and explained how man and nature work. I had 6 consultations, and felt better slowly but surely. At the moment I feel a good 7 out of 10, and I feel I will still improve more. I feel more sure and happier. Some days I feel a little worse, but i'm not worried at all. Recently I called Ben to ask about some things I wasn't sure about, he got me, and could help me. Sometimes some of the derealization comes back a little, never as badly as it was, and it is never as severe, and applying the exercises works to clear it quickly.Rob
The experience of M. I went to Ben for (mild) derealization issues, which I had been suffering from for several months. After just one session, the world felt a lot more clear (the color seems brighter, sounds were closer). After 3 sessions, the DP/DR dissipated. I want to add that the derealization had not been around for very long yet, and I did not have very deep traumas at the heart of my derealization issues. Im very happy that I took the step to going into therapy (which I found quite a scary step to take). The world around me feels normal again, and I have moments where the world is super sharp (maybe even more bright than before the derealization.) The therapy is not a miracle cure, you will be confronted with your fears and nasty feelings, but it has been so very worth it. If you are considering following therapy at Ben's, do so, but specially do the homework. I made great progress when I was with Ben, but the biggest progress was at home doing the exercises. I will continue with those homework even now the derealization has completely gone away because of the positive effect on so many aspects of my life. I barely get anything that can trigger my old derealization issues any more, but if I do, I know how to find the cause (in my case certain kinds of stress or nervousness in specific situations), and I can resolve those myself.M
My name is Y. Ben Meijer asked me to share my experience with my issues and my recovery from depersonalization. I'm 31 year old woman, and I have, in fact, been suffering since I was 10 y.o. I grew up in a family with 2 brothers and my mother. My father has been absent all my life. When I was 10 my brother got serious anger issues, and there was aggression daily. It was just surviving until I was 16. When I was 16, I decided to follow my dreams (and that worked), I lived abroad for many years. When I was 28, I returned, back to the village I grew up in, and back to the family that still lives there. I returned because I was pregnant. In my family there is quite a bit of trauma. I was the victim of violence, my father was a very negative influence when he was around, my younger brother was committed to an institution because of psychosis in 2013. His father has removed himself from our lives. My mother is very introverted. My older brother was always distant and never a brother to me. At home we never talked about emotions or what happened with the violence. I never felt any normal family connection. Fear, anger, negativity and being closed was all there was. Of course, these are no grounds for a safe base. From a young age I learned to distance myself from feelings and emotions and go into the survival mode, where I started to help others (mother, brother) to feel better. What happened is that I ignored my own feelings, but instead I adapted (= depersonzalization) to others and wanted to "save them." It was a great relief to me to go and chase my dreams, far away from my family. I managed to create my own (positive) life. I noticed I felt so much better when I was abroad, the DP barely bothered me. However, I never learned to deal with feelings and emotions, and I found other ways of suppressing my feelings (men, going out). Back in the Netherlands, I noticed that DP was very large, and I noticed that my family was a huge trigger for my DP. It seems like a subconscious pattern, I did not see as I was a little girl. I did not want to face any of this for many years. (I faced thanks to Ben's therapy). Since my pregnancy, I had to start to deal with myself and my emotion. The pregnancy motivated me to become the best version of myself for my son. I started to look for help. The NHS Mental Health services came with the diagnosis - depersonalization. I started googling for a therapist specializing in DP, and found Ben. In one year I had about 10 sessions with him. I was scared to death to start the process!!! It is so painful to face the deep pains. Besides, I never talked about my feelings, because I had never learned to. The sessions with Ben helped enormously. I learned there were others with DP/DR (which was a huge relief to me). I knew I was always different, but I had no idea what it was. I lived so many years with it, that it had become normal. I kept adapting and changing into the helper, or just avoided emotions in several different ways. The fact that I became much more conscious of it, and that it actually had a name (!!!) made it possible to do something about it. However difficult it was, I was determined to face all of my past, I could not go on in the way I used to. Now that I had a son to take care of, I'm highly motivated to heal my wounds, and be as pure as I can be for my son, and not burden him with my traumas and limitations. The sessions with Ben, which I am grateful for, have shown me that I may feel everything, and it is not my responsibility to save other people. It has shown me that I am important, that I am allowed to show my feelings, and even allow the child in me come out to play with my child. Sometimes the sessions were so painful and confronted me with myself, but Ben made me fail safe, safe to express anything that was inside. He also said I can handle all the emotions, and that suppressing the emotions made everything much worse. I learned that if you feel THROUGH any feeling or emotion, and you are honest to yourself, this actually brings you closer to yourself. I have experienced there is a separation between head (thinking) and heart (feeling). In my personal experience, when I get into my head, I enter DP. When I feel and I am in my heart, I leave DP. When I am close to myself, I don't have to adapt to others. Ben used the words "from control to trust" and I will never forget that. When you are in control, you are in your head. The opposite is also true, when you are in trust, you are close to yourself. He also said, when you struggle with certain emotions (very sad, DP, fearful) or have resistance against them and therefor end up in my head, that is the price for NOT WANTING TO FEEL. Of course DP is not completely disappeared from my life, I still can experience DP in some family situations. The fact that I am conscious of how it gets triggered, also means I have the means to deal with it. When DP appears, I can so several things: I ask myself "What do I feel, how does this make me feel now?" and then a shift happens from head to heart, which makes me get closer to myself. Sometimes that does not work immediately, and then it is important for me to accept that it is what it is for now, It is OK. I have always been a person who needs time for myself. When I have time for myself, I take time to be close to myself, and sometimes to do the exercises, because they work. I am lucky that I can get centered and grounded pretty fast. When I cannot I need to spend some time having patience with myself, accept that it is what it is. DP is a part of me, and it is OK, I tell myself. In the past I spent so much time judging the fact that I had DP, and that only made things worse. I suffer from DP quite seldomly now, but judging has always been a pitfall. Also, nowadays I talk about my feelings much more often, and that really helps. I never wanted to bother people with my feelings, and I wanted to help others, but that was neglecting myself and my needs. I don't do that any more. It was a painful process in which I lost a lot of friends (the takers), but now I have so much more peace in my life, BECAUSE I AND MY FEELINGS SIMPLY MATTER, and I stand up for myself. Don't get me wrong: It is a learning process that goes with its ups and downs, but that is life, right?Y.
It all started when I was 18, I started to have heart palpitations one night that were so bad, I went to the E.R. When I arrived there, the doctors told me I had hyperventilation and should not be worried. I could not sleep that night, and I felt really bad and I was not reassured. Since that night, Ive felt bad for several years, I felt fearful and did not want to leave the house any more. I was troubled by the feeling I was living in a dream, or that things weren't real. Later this turned out to be all the symptoms of DPS, probably started when I smoked a joint a few months before and panicked. In all those years, I tried a lot of things. I went to the G.P, talked to psychologists who told me that I had to learn to live with it, and that it was just panic attacks. I went to breathing therapy, a homeopath and I tried medication because I suffered from vertigo and my GP thought I was hyperventilating again, but this turned out to be from fluid in my inner ear. I felt like crap for 4 years, I got so sick and tired of it all, I got depressed of maybe burned out. Of course I had some good days, but there wasn't a day that passed without me thinking about it. I felt so misunderstood, and nobody understood what my issues were. I felt like I lived in a dream with strange fear of dying or fear of getting a psychosis and the fear of losing control. One day a patient came to our practice and told me that he worked for the NHS Mental Health Services and gave me his card, and told me I could call him any time. After two weeks of doubting, I called him and told him my story. He referred me to dr. Gerard Alderliefste the expert from the Drugsinfoteam. I told Gerard about the symptoms I had been suffering from for 6 years, and he understood me, which was a great relief, and he said that the symptoms I had been suffering from were DP/DR. He suggested I consult Ben Meijer to try a session there. I made an appointment immediately, and went the same week. I was so very nervous, he asked me a few questions, and we started tapping. I was asked to verbalize all sorts of fears, and we tapped them away. I can tell you that was a very strange experience. I was asked to tap away the fear, but the memory was erased as well. After that session I started to apply the technique diligently at home. It was a week of highs and lows, Ben said I could always send him a text message - so I did. After a week I had another appointment with Ben Meijer. Gerard Alderliefste, the doctor of the Drugsinfoteam (https://www.drugsinfoteam.nl/) was present at that appointment. During this session, Ben taught me the elevator meditation technique. This technique did a lot. In the beginning the technique felt strange, but when you notice that it works, that does not matter. After this week I felt a lot better again, and I was not thinking about the DP/DR all the time. It seemed like I was accepting. I just let the technique do its job, it was like that flipped a switch. The week after that, we explored my reaction to different people, friend, the environment and thing around me. That technique change the way I perceived things, It made me not take everything personally. During that session, I felt that very little dismay at thing that used to cause fear. None of those things bothered me. I'm so glad I was referred to Ben by Gerard. Ben taught me to accept the fear that goes with DPS. He showed me that it wasn't so bad, and could turn out OK. I hope that more people with DPS also go to Ben. He can help you. You can say anything, and nothing is strange. It has been 3 months after I completed treatment, and I forget what it was like to be so fearful. I'm glad I got to know Ben. Thanks Ben. If I ever run into another issue, I know how to find you. Warmest, L.L.
Hi, my name is Delara and I want to share my experience with depersonalization/derealization and with Ben Meijer. My DP/Dr started around February 2017. I had lots of stress and I started to use weed for that once a week. After a month, when I broke up with my boyfriend, something went wrong. I got a bad trip, it went really bad, and from the next day, I was in derealization. It was an awful feeling, everything seemed so fake, and I felt a strange light feeling in my head and a strange feeling in my abdomen, I seriously thought I was losing my mind. I called 2 doctors, and they said, don't worry, it will pass. Well it did NOT pas. So I called a drugs helpline, and they told me lots of people suffer from this. They also said it would clear up by itself, well I tried that and hell no it did not. Trust me, if you do nothing it will not go away by itself. Finally, I typed derealization in google and found Ben Meijer. I had 5 sessions with him, and you learn to dissolve your fears using tapping and the second technique. Of course it did not go away in 1 or 2 sessions, it took me a while, about 6 months before I got back in my body. After those 5 sessions, I felt better, but not 100 percent cured. You need to do the homework and use the meditation technique to finish the process. That was gradual, it took me 3 weeks of 15 minutes in the morning, and you really notice the effect.Delara
Hi, my name is Rick (pseudonym), a 21 y.o. boy who had space cake with some friends once. When I took it, I started to feel all strange after one hour, I started to tremble and I had a racing hart, I was very afraid. This took about 2 hours. After that I went to sleep. The day after that I felt out of it (kind of floaty feeling) and I realized what had happened the day before. When I wanted to go to sleep, the trembling came back, with sweating, high heart rate. I could not sleep after that. The months that followed, part of that feeling just stayed, and I had a feeling that something bad could just happen to me: like I was going to die, of be chased by some lunatic, or get a heart attack, or a stroke. I thought any such bad thing could just happen. When I thought these thoughts, the feeling of the bad trip just came back, making it so frightening. Depersonalization felt like a sort of fear about something you believed in religiously. It can be anything, and you don't have control over the fear, the more you think about it, the worse it gets. It gives you a feeling that all fearful thoughts could control you, and that you cannot get out of it. You think about it every day, and it takes over your life. The effect of derealization - Due to the fear of having a heart attack, I stopped exercising strenuously, as an increased heart rate triggered my fear of a heart attack. I could not study any more. I avoided alcohol for a while. After four months, I tried to get help from a hypnotherapist in the area. After 3 times, I was quite a bit more relaxed and happier, however the DP/DR did not get resolved. I became more depressed, because the hypnotherapist said it should be over after those sessions. After that I started to research what it was. That was a big step, and it scared me to look into it, I was afraid that maybe I was beyond hope. During my search, I found a forum about drugs experiences, and there was someone who had the same problem as I. In the comments, someone said that it was called derealization and depersonalization. I started to google Derealization and found Ben as therapist. I called him immediately to make an appointment. I had to drive all the way to Apeldoorn (I live in Amsterdam area), but, if I could be helped, it would be well worth it. The first time I saw Ben, he explained how the DP/DR problem worked, and I learned about the exercise to reduce the fears. The second time he explained more techniques, and I experienced no more fears the days after that. That was a HUGE step. The third time he explained the connection to empathy and how to deal with that. After those 2 sessions, I had enough information to deal with it myself. I did the exercises he taught me every day for 2 times 5 minutes. Quite a lot of things changed since those meetings. I don't have this strange feeling any more, I can drink alcohol again, the fears are gone, the reactions of the bad trip can only be triggered at maximum 1/10 of what it was, and I do what I want, I dare to live and do anything I did before it started. Hangovers still bother me a bit. I have to get used to things being normal again after 5 months of having been in derealization. I'm super happy to have found Ben. I would really recommend Ben if you have these DP/DR issues. I have one tip: don't avoid things because of the DP/DR. Don't assume it will go away on its own. And if you ever manage to get yourself in DP/DR, first accept it and let it come, (mindset is crucial) then gently just do the exercises.Rick
I wanted to credit Ben for not only helping me immensely when I had the worst of dpdr symptoms and wouldn't even leave my room, but also for being very kind, patient and accessible and a safe place to go to while I dealt with the worst of it. I had this shortly after losing my dad and identified many issues I had to heal from and with the tools Ben teaches, we did that for most together and the rest I continued doing myself too. I like how he doesn't make you dependent on him but helps you learn how to empower yourself and also how he has confidence and faith that recovery is possible in spite of it being all done online for me as I was in another country and time zone. Very approachable, genuine, knowledgeable and concerned about his clients recovery and progress. I'd highly recommend Ben to anyone wanting to heal from trauma, anxiety, dpdr and emotional issues. That too I felt massive shifts in a couple of weeks of therapy itself. I will be ever grateful to him for giving me back so much of what I thought was lost. Thank you Ben and good luck with healing many more who need it!anonymous
My name is Erin and prior to speaking to Ben I had been dealing with depersonalization for right around 3 years. During that time there wasn't a symptom that I've read from others that I didn't experience myself. I can't begin to verbalize the pain and suffering I was experiencing through every minute of every day for all those years because 1) it is too painful to revisit and 2) it honestly feels like a past life to me. I say all this to say that there is a life available to you while you are going through DP/DR and there is a life available to you after. For the better part of the last few months I've experienced little to no symptoms. I'm back to excelling at my job, in my relationships, and in the personal goals I set for myself every day. Having gone through DP/DR made me a stronger person and for that I am grateful. That being said, while going through it, I still showed up for my life. I still worked, remained by friends, and mostly just attempted to appear like a normal person. I think overall the fear of appearing different or off pushed me to still show up, which helped my recovery in the long term. What you are experiencing is your body's unfortunate way of protecting you. But the feelings/symptoms/sensations/thoughts are just that. They deserve the respect and patience that all your other feelings/symptoms/sensations/thoughts get. Ben helped me to realize that truly the only way out is through and he was the only therapist in this specialty that didn't deceive me into thinking that recovery could be achieved by some wild diet, mind trick, or any other off the rocker idea/philosophy. There might come a day when I experience these feelings again but I face that future very bravely as now I know that I can get through them.Erin