Okay so I’ve just started depersonalising (it’s usually an anxiety thing, but sometimes it’s a bit random) because I was looking through old photos of me, my brother and my boyfriend. I’m going to try and write what I’m thinking as it’s happening.
I looked at a picture of my boyfriend running through a field in Cornwall, and it was just his expression, like I couldn’t remember if I’d seen it before, and then conversations we’d had, expressions I’d seen on his face started to wobble and sort of fade out like they weren’t real. So this time it’s like I’m convinced other people don’t exist rather than myself. It’s like half my memories with my boyfriend have blurred out and gone misty, so I can’t trust the real ones. My rational side is saying “don’t be stupid, he exists, you’re just being weird” but anxiety isn’t rational.
Okay the physical feeling. My arms are sort of tingly, like inside not goosebumps. I can feel a sot of pressure in my chest, and it’s like it’s forcing it’s way upwards and outwards. There are 3 kinds of depersonalisation type experiences. One is where it feels like I don’t fit inside my body anymore and I’m pushing to get out, one where it feels like I’ve shrunk to a minuscule size within myself, and one where it feels like I’ve completely left my body and I’m watching from a third person. It’s worst in the 3rd kind, and that usually leads to a panic or anxiety attack. At the moment it’s the first kind, which is probably the easiest to deal with. I have to find a way to release the excess me, which usually means screaming into a pillow (very effective), playing loud music and dancing (quite effective), punching a wall (usually try to avoid because it hurts) or a combination. Sometimes writing it out and waiting for it to pass helps, which is what I’m doing now. General distraction is very useful. I can feel myself sort of shrinking to a sensible size again.
It’s a weird thing to experience, and even writing while going through it it is hard to explain. It sounds a bit crazy and probably like I’m making it up sometimes (my beliefs and perception get very skewed during these depersonalisation periods) but it’s what happens and it is not at all fun.
P.S Here’s an illustration of how it feels when I shrink inside myself (my black pen ran out of ink, hence why there’s bits that are not filled in)