Identity, Depersonalization and Complexity

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by thinker, Oct 25, 2006.

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  1. thinker

    thinker Guest

    Hi all,

    I've read quite a few of the posts on here, interesting but not too disturbing to me. I have already made the rational decision to end my own life, yet at the same time I would encourage all of you here to educate yourselves and try every means available to you before making a decision of this magnitude. Basically, all you want to do is make your pain go away, and there are many other ways that you might be able to do that which you do not yet understand due to your limited awareness of what you are capable of doing.

    I think that I'm here to just get some thoughts written out in a place where there are a few people more similar to me than in other places...I think the only people who can relate to me are those who experience intense pain and inner disturbance as a general rule of their existence. Regardless of the cause of that pain, feelings themselves tend to be the same and there are degrees of severity. Also, you can only really understand the inner world I inhabit if you live each day as if on the brink of death- it changes your perspective.

    My own personal issue can essentially be reduced to the simple statement that I have become far too complicated and intense to be a stable, happy or fulfilled person. The only solution for me would be to erase (through a series of traumas) that which essentially makes me who I am at this point in my growth as a person, or to drug me up to such an extent that I am unable to contemplate the complex things I think and feel about which I feel are an essential part of what makes me, me. I do not accept simple explanations, but ironically that is what is required for happiness. I understand that yet I am unwilling or even unable to return to that normal human simplicity.

    I experience life now mostly as a person living outside of me, and simultaneously as many people and many identities at the same time. This is true of everyone to some extent, but with me it is much more pronounced, conscious and disturbing. I have many opinions and opposing feelings on any given aspect of life. I can eloquently and rationally argue (and feel) most sides of a given issue as if I were actually different persons living totally different lives with different values. It's difficult to determine whether I've detached from all, or whether I feel all at the same time. I think those things might be exactly the same. After certain traumatic events in my life I gradually developed an intense desire to understand the existence of others, to experience realities other than my own. This I feel have done to a magnificent degree, but not without a price...I've thought myself straight out of my own personal individual existence. It is possible even without drugs.

    I don't need your validation of my decision, but I'm interested to hear the opinions of others as to whether they believe they have a basis for coming to a judgement of drastic measures on my part to alleviate that suffering. I'm convinced that no such basis exists really.

    Also, I would like to commune to some extent with others who have a strong likelihood of ending their own lives and who wish to face their end with calm, resolve and dignity.
     
  2. Ned

    Ned New Member

    Reading your post was like reading the naration to my own life. I to have come to the same conclusion that the only way to be happy is to just except what they tell you. I cant do that because i already know its a lie and even if i could forget everything i dont think i would want to. It is our curse. 4 weeks ago i made the same rational choice as you. I took an over dose but it was not enough to kill me. So a week later i tried to cut my own wrists which i couldnt do. last week i took a huge overdose i really thought i had done enough. It is so hard to take your own life even though your mind wants it the body fights to the end. I am now at a point of no return i just need to dig deep and find the strenght to do it properly. I wish i could say somthing to chage things for you but we both know it wouldnt do any good ,the world isnt ready for us yet. Good luck.
     
  3. Syd

    Syd Guest

    I think about birth as an event beyond our control.. we're delivered into this world by chance, and are forced to exist within the environment of life. I think about suicide as something irregular and unbalanced. To take one's own life by suicide is to enter life by chance but leave by choice.

    However, if we live life until death takes us by a chance event, we'll leave life the same way that we entered. Entering life by chance, living, and then dying by chance completes this certain harmony. On the other hand, it could be argued that none of us chose to enter life, and it is not right to force people to stay here beyond their will. I believe it is up to each individual to choose their own path, though I consider life a gift.. and I stay to try to help others as a way to repay the debt of the gift I've been given.
     
  4. thinker

    thinker Guest

    Syd,

    I've had experiences and people in my life that I do consider a gift. Even my pain is a gift because it allows me to see and understand in a way most others never will. I don't have anything against other people living, or a desire to stop them from enjoying their lives. However, after a certain threshold of pain and over a long enough time, death becomes an irresistable lover whispering in your ear. Hopefully most people will never have to experience the irregular and unbalanced life I've lived, but if they do only then will they see so many things they could never see before.

    Ned, check your PMs.
     
  5. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    Thinker, you appear to be an intelligent individual that is dealing with things that are beyond your control. You say you have rationalized the decision to end your own life and are at peace with that decision, yet you encourage others to continue to strive for the answers to give them life. You did not say what brought you to this decision, other than it is a series of things and some may understand while others may not. I believe I can understand where you have been, as I have been in tumultuous situations myself. I would be willing to speak with you about some of these things. Maybe together a different light can be shed on your situation. I believe that your life too, can be worth living. Please continue to ponder things in your own mind. Take care and stay safe. PM me if you wish to speak to someone else.
     
  6. StPatty

    StPatty Member

    It sounds like you need... A CHALLENGE. Just something to focus your mind on. I know it's almost impossible, but I lived without using any electricity all summer (in a tent) and felt like my old self again after only a month. Spend that time thinking of something you're going to do that isn't connected to all the frustrations. Disconnect yourself from the things that make your life complicated, and maybe your mind would straighten itself out. Someone really important to me told me out of nowhere once, "stupid people are happier." These days, if you're given the ability at birth to have a very strong mind, I think it is very, very difficult to be happy. But in a simpler world, it would be possible. I'm considering getting out of engineering to become a carpenter. Preferably one that will eventually specialize in fine work--that would make me feel like I'm living up to my potential to do something that others can't. Listen to the radio all day with 3 other guys playing with blocks. What do you think?
     
  7. it is easy to say goodbye...

    now for a real challange move on...

    thank you for your post it has made me think that i too must move on
     
  8. thinker

    thinker Guest

    Very good perception there StPatty. You do have some understanding of the nature of the problem. The world in my mind is so intense and fascinating that the immediate physical surroundings pale in comparison. I rarely stop thinking because my mind is in a survival mode that never turns off, as if I were a general in a war, the war never ends. I feel that there are theoretical problems that need resolution, yet the more I learn the worse I've come to feel. I have an addictive, obsessive personality, but that is how I've come to know all that I do. I feel...posthuman.

    Yes, I have thought about just what you are saying. I had even begun to think about abandoning my civilized existence and moving out into the wilderness somewhere, living off the land, because perhaps if I were faced with immediate demands that require me to solve physical problems for my own survival I would not have the resources to think as much about everything else. The goal would be reduction of abstract thought. Then I realized that I am addicted to modern conveniences. I don't know if it would make things better, or worse.

    On the other hand I would be even more alone than I am now...at least now I go to work, but working as an analyst is a mentally stressful occupation where you don't really create anything that is your own. I am a part of a larger information-processing and abstract problem-solving machine. There was a time when I took off a few months from work...at that time I entered a nearly catatonic state of hyperreflection, which is another thing that made me question the wisdom of moving out into the wilderness. Catatonia is a possible outcome for someone like me. Had I not had certain demands on my time, I may have already been there.

    Engineering work can be a little more hands-on, but I understand why you would want to move to carpentry. I do remember when life was so much more SIMPLE. Things smelled and felt so good sometimes. My whole nervous system felt fresh and alive. Now there is a dulling of the outward senses. I was more simple back then, but I think I was always gradually moving toward where I am now although I did not know. The splitting up of my personality was a necessary adaptation to the traumas I had to face. It's really an amazing experience though in its own right.
     
  9. Blusnayl

    Blusnayl New Member


    Aye, I went through something very similarly to what you faced. I was not able to experience happiness unless I felt I came to a sound conclusion of everything I thought of. I could never relax, to even attempt to fathom ideas or question things would bring about a rushing feeling of fear and anxiety. I believe this was a result of, as you said, seeing things from many perspectives. As a result of seeing things in so many ways I could never be content in simply saying yes or no, because I felt that both yes and no could potentially be right. Mentally this caused me great pain, and this pain etched onto me physically...I was unable to sleep more than 3 hours a night for about a week, and I couldn't eat without puking.

    The way I found the path was to realize...that no matter what I think...no matter how complex anything is, the only thing that counts for anything in this world is what we feel. Does thinking a certain thing make you feel good? If so believe it to be true, even if there are numerous things tagging at it saying it's a lie and making you feel uncomfortable believing it. There are two simple rules I lived by to get through the hell I set up in my mind "1. Find happiness wherever it may be, keep an open mind to find it" "2. Avoid the negative as best you can, if you cannot avoid the negative feelings, simply exist until times are better."

    Another thing my friend...the primary thing that opened up my eyes to this was simply settling down and relaxing...it will be difficult and hard to tame your mind to simply settling down...but once you can settle down and enjoy things in what ways you want to enjoy them...as oppose to unwantingly attempting to solve them as a problem, it will open you to a new world.

    I believe this is how all great people are born...through the ability to appreciate everything in life...and simply relax and observe things that occur without feeling the need to pain yourself with pettiness of what our modern society deems to be correct in social situations..

    Well it's a tough one to try and swallow man, but essentially, just try and relax, read a book or watch a movie or something, slowly things will start to make sense. Things felt good in life before this nonsense happened, think back to your childhood memories and what made you happen then. It is no easy path...but remember, all you can do is your best, if you die, at least you did your best to find happiness, even if it could not be found.

    I can attest to thinking many of the same things you have. Keep in mind your emotions, serotonin, and synapses are all going through some crazy things...it just takes time for your brain to balance itself...and for you to find what you believe in.

    Best of luck to you man, just remember to do what makes you happy, if death lies around the corner, why do anything else?
     
  10. Blusnayl

    Blusnayl New Member

    One more thing to the OP. Try to keep your mind off of over-complicating the predicament you are facing. My mind was so inclined to over-complicating the simplest things, that I thought I'd unraveled a new world...and the truth is I had. However this new world only brought about pain. The fact of the matter is...there are multiple truths in the world...it's simply what you personally would like to define as truth, that will be truth. My suggestion is that you try to not be alone as much as possible, try and go expose yourself to the world in as many ways as you can. What's happened I believe, is that your mind has be so subjugated to small specific things in life, that it has dramatically over-complicated these things and made them seem incredibly complex. If you show your mind all the things of the world, it will get out of the maze it is trapped in. Just try and expose yourself to other things so your mind takes an interest in something other than trying to solve itself.

    Once you are out of what you are going through, you will realize your mind was engaged in a small little maze where the only exit is to realize you should stop running, and just experience and try to enjoy life the best you can, while putting all this over-complicated stuff behind you.
     
  11. hessbz12

    hessbz12 Member

    I have been going through depersonalization and derealization for many, many, many years. I have no past of child abuse or anything. As far as I can remember my childhood was fine. But over the last year my mind gets scared when I think about or picture myself. I can't connect to the external world either. I am scared to be alive and to be a person. I don't feel mentally attached to my self or anything around me and it's the most disturbing and debilitating thing ever. Just recently I've started to think about suicide. I have great parents, a great brother, great friends, a college degree, a decent job (though very boring), am in good physical shape, and like I said have no past trauma or anything, but I have extreme DP/DR and depression. I have been on many medications and have seen different therapists. I just don't see it getting any better for me. I am exhausted right now mentally. I can barely get through the day. The only thing that keeps me alive is that my parents, brother, relatives and friends love me so much.
     
  12. AWT

    AWT Member

    I've been waiting for a thread like this..

    I have contemplated my existence in minute detail since the age of six or seven.. I remember crying at night because I couldn't accept that my lifespan was finite and that I would never have time to see everything, to experience everything.
    I'd spend hours looking at clouds moving across the sky and wishing that I could be like the air.. Surrounding everything and beyond the human cycles of birth and death.

    These feelings were manageable though - States of mind that I could 'take out of the box' and experience when I chose to. I enjoyed the feeling that I was one of the 'special' people with a gift of perception beyond the mundane, trivial aspects of life.

    Probably not that unusual, but in my early twenties I got into smoking leaf cannabis with a group of friends. I found to my delight that we all had these existential questions when 'under the influence', but one fateful night I tried LSD for the first time.

    Words can't describe the barrage of 'nasty truths' about myself that came into excruciatingly sharp focus... I'd traded spontaneity for rumination all my life and failed to develop any depth of personality - I'd never 'appreciated the trees' for 'thinking about the forest'..

    Twenty years on, and I'm married with children. My turmoil is still ever-present and no secret to my loved ones - I've tried medications and counselling. Although my wife accepts me the 'way I am', I still alternate between wanting to die and taking one last shot at a new life.
    I hate to say it, but in my darkest moments it's only thinking about the effect of my death on my children that keeps me here.


    "When I consider the short duration of my life, swallowed up in the eternity before and after, the little space which I fill, and even can see -- engulfed in an infinite immensity of spaces of which I am ignorant and which know me not, I am frightened, and am astonished at being here rather than there, for there is no reason why here rather than there, why now rather than then. The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me..."

    - Blaise Pascal -
     
  13. xan

    xan Chat Buddy

    I think that it would be a shame for someone with such a seemingly logical grasp on the wrold, from my point of view at least, would believe that removing themselves from life was the only way they could cope. Few people truely have the ability to empathise to such an extenet that they can place themselves in numerous peoples perspectives simultaneously. I hope that perhaps you could find happiness or at least some reason to go on living, it is a shame that once you are able to grasp a concept you can not return, i think the term ignorance is bliss seems quite fitting.
     
  14. hessbz12

    hessbz12 Member


    Not sure if you were referring to me or not. I am not like this. I feel detached from myself. I don't feel a part of myself mentally. I have lost all interests in things I used to enjoy. I am unable to get myself to do them anymore. I also feel very detached from the world around me and feel like I will lose it or go insane at any given time. It is hard for me to be around people, in public areas, etc. because it has become so uncomfortable.

    Maybe I don't have depersonalization or derealization in the sense that most people have it, but it is the closest thing I have found to match up with what I experience. Always trapped in my head observing things.

    Hard for me to even be awake.
     
  15. make_me_bad

    make_me_bad Well-Known Member

    I'm schizophrenic. I used to feel (close to) the same way, and now I take 6mg of Risperdal a day. That's enough to knock out someone with a regular brain.

    It's great.

    I sleep ten hours now instead of six, my mind is calm to the point that I can think about one thing instead of everything. Have you tried seeing a therapist? One as intelligent as you are? If you're insured, I suggest seeing a therapist and a psychiatrist who will communicate with each other. Have them put you on something like Risperdal or Adderal and give that a month.

    To be honest I didn't really put my mind to this before posting, my problem might not even approach yours. I read everything you said to the best of my ability and just skimmed over all the responses with poor grammar. Excuse me if my suggestion was out of place.
     
  16. thinker

    thinker Guest

    AWT,

    Great Pascal quote...his words run through my veins, we're kindred spirits in some way, you and I and he. I began to understand my own experience of life in a new way when I had some conversations with some people who used a lot of cannabis or other mind-altering drugs. Though I've always stayed away from drugs, I've found that some of them have had somewhat of the same experience...just totally escaping from whatever the previous boundaries of your mind were and entering an extremely disbturbing and abnormal inner experience.

    hessbz12,

    I believe xan was referring to me and a few comments that I made in attempting to define myself. I sounds like your experience is at least very close to the depersonalization I'm referring to. It really does not depend so much on how well things are going around you, I think it is just something that can happen in your own perceptions and thus feelings too.

    xan,

    You're right, it would be a shame. I think I have much to offer to the world in my own right. You are right, I do empathize to a much greater degree than others. It's not that I do more, it's that I feel more, so much that it crushes me. For this reason I feel personally responsible in some way for most people who die early. How am I to measure myself, or define when I could have done more to help others or not? This is something that also gets programmed into you to some degree, where we somehow tell ourselves that sometimes it's our fault, but most of the time it's not. How many millions are dying constantly as we enjoy our own luxuries and our own lives? Why do we deserve to live more or less? We in developed lands are especially part of a complex system that is taking from others and giving to ourselves. Read, "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins, an economic eliteman.

    I remember reading a book of someone who said, "When my mother first told me, 'eat your food...there are children starving in Africa', right then I knew this whole thing was a scam."

    She is right, if we care about "people", why aren't we all getting on a plane to save those people from starvation this very moment? It's because we only really care about some, and the others we just don't worry too much about. We say, "there's nothing I can do". It is random and at the same time it is a function of the universe itself, of life on earth, of our nature to follow a specific program on the whole.
     
  17. thinker

    thinker Guest

    make_me_bad,

    I was diagnosed with (this is exactly what I was told) "really complicated depression possibly including Bipolar II".

    Basically this can be translated as "you're really sad and I don't understand why so I'm going to throw in a label for good measure because I have no idea what I'm doing besides prescribing antidepressent drugs for which I'm getting great kickbacks from huge pharmaceutical companies".

    Basically, I can go to five different psychiatrists and tell my story five different ways and get five different diagnoses. I could engineer the diagnosis in advance, depending on how I explain the situation from different perspectives, all of which would be truthful in its own right. I don't really want to go any further with being their guinea pig.

    I did try using some prescribed antidepressants, until I realized that all I was doing was drugging myself so that I will not be able to think as clearly as as I do now. The only that works for me is to take high doses which also kills other parts of me besides just complex thought. I don't deny that it can work to some degree, I just choose not to change myself that fundamentally anymore.
     
  18. amicus

    amicus Antiquitie's Friend

    Dear Thinker,
    I have enjoyed your recent posts and find them quite enlightening. Having some experience with DID myself, I was wondering what your thoughts were on False Memory Syndrome as an opposing viewpoint?
     
  19. thinker

    thinker Guest

    Hi amicus,

    Regarding DID and False Memory Syndrome, I have read extensively regarding this debate before. Essentially I think sometimes there are false memories and sometimes there are not in these cases where "strong" or "true" DID is diagnosed purportedly due to repressed memories/trauma. It is really nearly impossible to know for sure in most cases but both sides have a good argument.

    In my own case, there is no "true" DID because of the fact that I am continously aware of what is happening and it is more of a dissociative inner state that swtiches around rather than the formation of a distinct and complex outwardly observable "personality" that arises and takes actions outside the control of other personalities. That I'm sure is even much more disruptive to an organized life.
     
  20. amicus

    amicus Antiquitie's Friend

    Thanks for your response,
    I agree with your statements. In strong cases of DID do you believe all the compartments of the personality can truly be integrated? Are you familiar with Dr. G. Ganaway here in the states and some of his work? If you are, what do you think?
     
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