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Dissociation as a form of gender dysphoria?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by EverDeer, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. EverDeer

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    Hi there,
    I just wanted to know if anyone else has ever experienced dissociation / depersonalization / derealization as a cause of frequent gender dysphoria or depression. Feeling estranged from your own emotions or body, feeling like you're floating slightly outside of your body or that your senses are dulled or nonexistent, feeling as though you're in a defense-mode with another personality that is anxiety-induced to protect you, or feeling as though you're convinced the world around you is fake or a simulation. I've dealt with this before due to depression and heavy anxiety, though it's started to come back since I realized myself and when I think about gender a lot. It makes me hyper-analyze how I act and am perceived, and sometimes I get so upset that no matter how I *think* I'm expressing myself, no one else sees it that way, and then all of my emotions become numb and I sort of turn into a social-chameleon, taking on the traits of the first thing I/ person I deem as "safe" again.

    Sometimes I'm not sure if I feel this way because I get so worried about my gender and hyper-aware of how I am and it causes me to get overwhelmed and dissociate from myself, or if I just get depressed / anxious and dissociate which makes me question my gender and how people read me. Though, I guess either way it kind of comes back to me questioning my gender so..

    I dunno. How do others deal with this? I think it could be because I'm scared to admit I might like using masculine pronouns to those in my real life relationships. I'm so worried about causing trouble or confrontation or "making a big deal" about my gender because I'm afraid people will just see me as a special snowflake or something... and also that I'm scared if I end up liking my male name / pronouns more I won't want to change back and just settle for being "okay" with my birthname and feminine or neutral pronouns... because then I'll feel even worse being called that all the time, as opposed to just indifferent / numb which is how I feel now.
     
  2. Saminthenile

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    I get the "feeling like the world is a simulation" feeling a lot, and didn't really know what to call it until recently. There are days where everything feels artificial and fake and nothing is real and it feels like I'm just on the other side of a barrier that I can't feel or see to whatever is the "real" reality we live in. It's very confusing and disorienting. I have spent a lot of time faking being ok while in this state, but mostly it's just brushing off people's concerns with "i'm just tired" (the ultimate excuse for everything ever.)

    I'm not sure if what I experience is related to gender, or the overall theme of anxiety and depression that laces throughout my life. I want to say the latter, because it's only gotten worse and more tangible in recent years.

    I also understand that slippery-slope feeling you're fighting with. I have been tackling my personal identity conflicts one at a time - I switched to a masc/andro name while still outwardly identifying as cis, and while it's been confusing for some people, most of them come around, or they feel too awkward to ask questions about it but as long as they use the name, idc either way. Maybe taking it slow and one step at a time would make you feel more sure of yourself along the way?
     
  3. DoriaN

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    Nope.

    The closest I got to that was after getting high. Becoming paranoid, people seeing me in a different perspective than what I saw or comprehended etc.

    I've been clinically diagnosed with anxiety, GID, depression, and a few other things, but I've always felt like myself, felt in control, and I don't really care about gender much.

    To me dysphoria is the feeling of experiencing 'phantom' limbs, and a dissociation from genitals (dysphoria strongly manifests/ed at puberty), with some small social interaction. It's how I know it's a brain wiring thing, because in my soul I'm me, but my brain is sending strange signals that directly conflict.

    There are cases of people with crossover mental conditions or afflictions that incorporate a gender aspect. I firsthand lived with someone that had borderline personality disorder, and the way they saw the world itself and themselves was inaccurate; they identified as MtF but their narrative seemed largely constructed (Examples are she felt she was a highly mature and smart individual, but she was just the opposite, incredibly immature and had trouble comprehending abstract concepts outside her view. She thought her father hated her but her father loves her and just wants her to be safe. The person in question was in an an LGBT news article but I won't link it for privacy's sake; the narrative in the story is mostly fabricated as well).

    Honestly, if you're feeling such things it might be good to seek a doctor/counselor; if you aren't already. They would provide better service and you don't want to mess around with identity or reality politics. =[
     
  4. DrummerGirl2000

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    Hello, personally I do not experience gender dysphoria, but I frequently struggle with depersonalization/derealization from bipolar depression and anxiety (I'm also borderline). I'm not sure how it relates to gender expression psychologically, but if I had to take a guess it sounds very possible that the two would be related since depersonalization/derealization is a form of disassociation which is developed as a defense mechanism, it would make sense that experiencing the gender dysphoria could in a sense trigger the depersonalization. I haven't ever met anyone else who feels the depersonalization/derealization, so I will explain how it feels for me and hopefully it will feel validating or help minimize the alone feeling aspect of it. Honestly I was kinda thrilled to see the title of this post because most people don't know what it is or don't understand.

    When depersonalized, I feel disconnected from all emotional connections that I have to people and I feel disconnected from myself and my limbs. I will move my arms but it is like I am just going through the motions; I know that I am doing it, but it doesn't feel like I am doing it. My arm doesn't feel like it is mine or like it is part of me, because I don't feel like I am a part of me. When I look in the mirror, it feels like I am not me; like I don't recognize me as myself. I know that I am still me and that the person I see in the mirror has my name and I refer to them as I; but there is more separation than merely a reflection between myself and my reflection. What I experience most often is the feeling that I am in a dream and nothing is real, sometimes it is hard to convince myself that I am awake and am still in reality because it feels like a dream that isn't quite vivid enough to feel real. I become very apathetic and depressed sometimes when I am in this state because of the unreal feeling; it feels like nothing matters because nothing feels real and brings me back to the whole "what's the point?" mentality. I used to feel a desperation to escape the feeling and saw death as waking up from the dream (I was depersonalized for several months at a time) and so now I am very careful not to dwell on the feeling because it only perpetuates it and separates me from myself further. Sometimes, I just enjoy it now and use the detachment as freedom in order to see it in a more positive light.
     
    #4 DrummerGirl2000, Mar 14, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2017
  5. Saminthenile

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    Interesting idea - trying to use that detachment as freedom, as a tool. I'm not sure how one would go about it, but it's an interesting thought.

    "I become very apathetic and depressed sometimes when I am in this state because of the unreal feeling; it feels like nothing matters because nothing feels real and brings me back to the whole "what's the point?" mentality" I feel this 1000%.
     
  6. Irisviel

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    get a therapist, don't try to cure yourself on the internet. Even if gender dysphoria is causing other issues (it frequently fuels depression after all), those issues are not dysphoria and they should be adressed. So no, it's not a form of dyaphoria, and anxiety related problems can mess with your life enough to not ignore them.
     
  7. Mihael

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    Dude I don't even understand what is bad about depersonalising and derealising. Everyone does, all the freaking time. Look up derealisation disorder and you'll see that the only difference between a healthy and ill person is if you freak out about it. What you're describing is perfectly normal. You probably need to fix your relationship with other people, though, because you say you hyper analyse how you're perceived and then turn into a social cameleon, and that you're scared of confrontation, and that - is bad. And. Like Irisviel already said, that might take a therapy to fix.