Archive for July 29th, 2012

Feeling that Reality is Unreal


It feels like NOTHING is real, but…that doesn’t depress me. Shouldn’t it? For the past few months (and nothing I can think of significant has happened in the past few months, at least nothing out of the ordinary) i’ve begun to feel as if the world around me wasn’t real. But it’s not…depressing or scary…and the fact that its not scary, is a little bit odd to me. I don’t feel particularly unhappy or unsafe, in fact, you could even say that recently I’ve been happier than normal. But even sitting down in the living room typing this seems like it isn’t really happening. It’s like i’m just thinking really hard about things happening or watching some odd 3d projection of information pretending to be physical matter or light or whatever. Shouldn’t I be depressed? Why do I feel so strangely…I don’t even know how to explain it. Not euphoric, because that’s too extreme, just…disconnected. A sort of happy isolation. Am I crazy, or am I like…SUPER CRAZY? What’s wrong with me?

A. I would need many more details about your symptoms to know what, if anything, may be wrong. For instance, it would have been helpful to have answers to the following questions:

  • Do you have a recent history of substance use?
  • How often do you feel as though nothing is real?
  • When did these feelings begin?
  • Are you able to distinguish between what is real and what isn’t?
  • Are you engaging in any particular activity when these feelings occur?
  • Did you recently began taking a new medication?

There are several general possibilities that may explain your symptoms: a significant lack of sleep or the use of drugs or alcohol. If you have used drugs or alcohol recently, your symptoms may be a side effect of those substances. I receive many letters from individuals who have recently “smoked something” and subsequently feel similar to what you have described.

It’s also possible that you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Depersonalization disorder is characterized by feeling detached or estranged from oneself. Sometimes individuals with this disorder describe feeling as though they are in a movie or living in a dream. Some individuals who experience depersonalization worry that they are “crazy.”

On some occasions, individuals with depersonalization disorder experience derealization. Derealization is the experience of feeling as though the external world is strange or not real. Depersonalization disorder typically develops in adolescence or early adulthood (average age is about 16) and can be exacerbated by a traumatic event. Depersonalization disorder is categorized as a dissociative disorder and may be associated with other conditions such as schizophrenia, panic disorder, acute stress disorder, another type of dissociative disorder, drug use, or a general medical problem.

My recommendation is to have an evaluation by a mental health professional. An evaluation could determine if you should be concerned about your symptoms, if your symptoms require treatment and if you have a mental health condition. It is advantageous to receive an objective opinion from a trained professional when experiencing unusual psychological symptoms. Please take care. I wish you the best of luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Should I Have Thrown out my Parents?


I inherited a house I lived in for 12 years with my family, from my grandpa for taking care of him until his death. My parents constantly state that I stole the house from them.

My father lost his job and they moved in with us. They constantly verbally abuse me front of my children calling me improper names. My brother also moved in with his PitBull who attacked my 12 year old daughter and killed her guinea pig front of her. It took me 3 hours to calm her and my parents response was it was my daughters fault for holding her pet. I asked my brother to remove the dog.

We took my daughter on vacation so she can rest from he trauma; I asked my parents to please make sure the dog’s belonging is gone when we return. It was not; therefore I asked my father why very nicely and he attacked me. I had 5 witnesses and he swore that I will never be able to keep my house he will make sure of it. I asked him to leave the house and never came back. This is not the only time he has treated me this way. He hit me until I was 21 and when I was pregnant he cursed my child in my stomach hoping she would die front of strangers on the street. My mom also blames me for how my brother turned out. She says it is all my faoult because when I was 16 I worked too much instead of raising him right while she was at work.

I know I am abused but they always make me feel guilty and I forgive them. This time I am protecting my children who I raise with love and respect. Did I do the right thing by throwing my parents out? Also, I never asked my brother to leave but he broke many things in the house and told me he never wants to see us again. Should I report the incident to the police? Pitt-bull attack and vandalism?

A: Please listen to your own good sense. You are living in an environment of domestic violence. Just because these people are related to you does not, not, not mean that they are entitled to abuse you emotionally, verbally, and physically. You have been worn down to the point that you can no longer see clearly how badly you are being treated and you accept the blaming and shaming. You have nothing to apologize for! The abuse is now being extended to your daughter. Let the tiger-mom in you come out. She needs your protection.

You can’t just tell these people to leave. They will make you miserable. They’ve already shown they are capable of violence. You need support and legal help to separate you from this family safely. Please look at this website to learn how to go about getting the help you need.

If your family has access to this computer, delete this message and your inbox history and use the computer at your library or at a friend’s house to explore your options.

These people are dangerous. Protect yourself and your daughter.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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