I posted this in a Lyme support group that I am a leader on. I hope this helps some people to understand yet another facet of Lyme disease.
The Google dictionary defines depersonalization as: "the action of divesting someone or something of human characteristics or individuality."
Yeah, my thoughts too.
So here is a better definition... Coming fromhttp://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262888.php we get this:
"Depersonalization is a dreamlike feeling of being disengaged from your surroundings - where things seem 'less real' than they should.
People who suffer from severe depersonalization say that it feels as if the they are watching themselves act from a distance without having a sense of complete control.
Even though depersonalization is harmless, it can be extremely disturbing for the person experiencing it."
My thoughts exactly. My life has been taken by depersonalization often, some times for long periods of time (I'm talking months) and other times, just an hour or two a day.
Usually, it's an occurrence that goes on for a few days to a few weeks at a time for me. It has been very hard to realize, and typically it is something that we don't realize until we are far into it, or have come out of it.
I am a mom of three little congenital Lymies. And until Lyme went full-blown in my body, I was always very active with them, and with life in general.
I was an in-charge person, happy, loving life, and ready to take on the next day.
Then Lyme took charge and left me, a pile of my former self, on the couch/dining room chair, ignoring the world around me, watching, through uninterested eyes, what my husband was doing (cooking the dinners that I used to cook, playing with the kids that I used to play with, etc.) and not really feeling anything at all.
I would say this is something highly linked to a form of depression. I'm not a depression expert, but I would say there's got to be more than one type! I bet, if there's not yet, one day there will be a "depression spectrum," like Autism.
I know that since Lyme has been center stage, I've numbed. I've grown to hate talking. I've grown to loathe phone calls. In fact, I typically don't answer my phone. Even when I know it is someone I love dearly.
I simply can't bring myself to speak to anyone. Just text me. Just email me. Phone or face to face is like climbing Everest most days for me. And I mean climbing Everest WITH LYME.
Not gonna happen.
I have the Lyme that would have probably gone in the direction of an MS diagnosis. My legs and arms are the most affected (ok, my heart is too). My muscles are fatigued 98% of the day, my knees buckle 5-50 times a day, no joke. Etc.
So that climbing Everest comment? Yeah. That's how I feel about talking on the phone.
Just like watching a movie, unless you're a fanatic... LOL you don't talk to the actors on-screen. You watch and let it unfold.
Watching my kids play, talk, do homework, watch Netflix, etc., and not interacting with them cuts open my chest and rips my heart out, figuratively speaking of course.
I feel like a negligent parent. When my two older girls were in school and my youngest had one year left before she started, she watched TV a majority of every weekday of the entire school year. She knew how to run the remote.
All I had to ask her was what she wanted for lunch when the time came. And I used to homeschool my oldest! For 3 years I did this. I am an actively involved parent! Until Lyme's depersonalization.
Sadly, that can be my life. And I'm willing to bet it can be many of yours' too.
What would you say to your depersonalization? What would you say to those around you? Maybe getting those thoughts down here, then copying and pasting it into a letter to your loved ones wouldn't hurt.
I was finally able to break down in a lake of tears, yammering on and on about how I have become the above case study to my husband. It actually was very healing.
It doesn't mean I have ceased depersonalization, but at least now he knows WHY and where it comes from.
So that's what I've got for you tonight. I hope it is helpful.
Peace, love, and cider mugs to you all in this beautiful fall 2013!