Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Is This Reality?

Truthfully, I can't remember how it all started, or when it began. It just suddenly came out of no-where, and since then, I've been on quite a journey, which has involved many bumps in the road.

For those of you wondering what in the world I'm talking about, it's derealisation.

"Derealisation (sometimes abbreviated as DR) is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems unreal".

I'm not entirely sure what triggered it for me, but I experienced a fair bit of trauma during my childhood, and early teenage years, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's one of the main reasons. I won't go into too much detail though, as that's a separate issue altogether.

Fortunately, I don't experience derealisation everyday. However, it has affected my every day life. I'm unable to deal with bright lights, much like the sort that you would find in supermarkets, or shopping centres. Even my school hall causes the same effects for me. I started recognising that derealisation was an issue when I tried going into my local Tesco a number of times, and I felt so spaced out, and anxious that I had to literally speed walk back out into the fresh hair to calm myself down. It was horrendous, and the people around me couldn't work out what was going on either. I probably sounded crazy!

I often sit in class at school, or in the hall for an assembly, but I feel like I'm not really there at all. I feel as though I'm in a dream-like state, a trance almost, and it's as if I'm watching over myself, because my body, and my mind are detached momentarily.

The derealisation that I experience typically comes from anxiety, paranoid thoughts, bright LED lights, tiredness, or even just on random occasions. Research suggests that it can be a characteristic of mental illnesses, such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or even schizophrenia.

In all honesty, it's a really tricky thing to manage, and live with, because it's quite unheard of within society, hence why I'm doing this post to raise awareness. I only know a couple of people from the internet that can relate, but now a few YouTubers, such as Dodie Clark, and Sarah Hawkinson, have made videos about it, which is actually quite a comfort to me.

Although there isn't much you can do, some types of medication, and even therapy are available, either on the NHS, or privately if you're living in the UK. Once you have worked out what the root cause(s), or your triggers are, then you can find ways to get through it each time you have an unpleasant experience.

Personally, I'm always with people that I feel comfortable with, I try to face my fears, and push myself out if my comfort one when possible so I don't miss out on any opportunities, I talk about my feelings, and I focus on my breathing.

I'd be really interested to know if any of you have experienced, or do experience derealisation, and whether you have ever sought help for it! Let me know either way.

Lots of love always,


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