Depersonalization Forum

Please use this forum to discuss information directly related to Depersonalization Disorder. We welcome you to share your own personal experiences with others as well as any treatment or study programs you may know about. We have been forced to restructure the Forum so we could have editing access as needed and be able to Archive older comments once they disappear.  Sorry for the temporary inconvenience, but now we will able to post older material for reference.

Depersonalization Forum
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Deep Need to be Understood

I've had DP for 12 years now, and since the beginning I have had a strong need for my symptoms, this new type of existence, to be understood by my family and friends. My question is, is this because I have DP or is it just my personality? I remember seeing a therapist a few years back and she tried convincing me that it wasn't important and to try to accept that most people won't and don't want to try to understand. Thank God my mom and dad and oldest sister support me one hundred percent, the best they can. But other family members and friends don't seem to want to allow me to be sick. I can't tell you the happiness I feel when I talk about my DP to my parents or sister, and they respond to me in a way that I know that they remember my symptoms that I have to manage on a daily basis and the suffering that I have. I have always said since the beginning that I'd rather have cancer because at least I would get some feedback, some reponse, some respect for what I was going through, and probably sympathy, and possibly even empathy. Maybe I need the outside validation to remind me that what I have is an illness, and that this is not a dream, that nothing has changed but me. I guess it helps me connect to people. I stopped calling my best friend (from childhood)four years ago because I felt she wouldn't allow me my illness, and I couldn't accept that. I don't even miss her, which is sad, which is because of the DP. Fortunately (or really unfortunately) I don't even care. I sort of feel that DP is analgous to having Down's Syndrome. Like them, we have a common set of unique symptoms that seperate us from the rest of the population, both physical and mental. Because of the symptoms, they need special care and have certain limitations, similar to us (in general). I guess I just like to have "all my cards on the table" when interacting with people so I don't have to pretend anything, or so that other people can take my symptoms into consideration. The bottom line is, I think that if people understood the painfullness of this disorder, we would be treated with more love and care, and be given the sympathy that any sick person deserves.
Please respond with your comments, because I really hope I'm not the only person who feels this way, and as I said, I have a deep need to be understood, and if not by fellow DPer's, then who?
P.S. - My ex best friend actually called me yesterday out of the blue. It really was nice hearing her voice again. We are going to get together, and I'm sure it'll be like no time has passed. When I stopped calling her I was at a very low point in my life, and just couldn't deal with the weight of any more negativity. I'm much better now, and I think we can talk it out and I think she'll be a little more open to hearing about DP. I also feel that it's an answer to prayers because I have gotten to a place in my life where I'm stressed and very lonely, and I've been praying so much about this. What better answer to my prayers than to have an "instant best friend"! Just talking to her lifted my spirits so much, and she could ALWAYS make me laugh. Can't wait to see her again!
Thanks for listening!
Maureen