Hyperawareness OCD and Depersonalization Derealization

In depersonalization disorder we are often hyperaware of our bodily sensations and our environment. An important component of overcoming DPD is mindfulness, but sometimes mindfulness can lead to hyperawareness OCD, where we become aware of our own awareness and develop fears about this.

This most commonly manifests itself in sensorimotor OCD where a person becomes very aware of their breathing, swallowing or blinking and then is distressed, usually developing a catastrophic fear that this “will never stop and I’ll never be able to function again”.

Hyperawareness OCD is basically when our own mindfulness process becomes hijacked. The real solution is not to distract ourself (avoidance) but to actually amplify our mindfulness of these thoughts and realize them for what they are: just thoughts (exposure).

This topic is not well understood by even most therapists, and it can be a little confusing. It’s a bit of a long video, but well worth it if you want to get a really good understanding of this issue.

Hyperawareness also relates to the “existence phobia” of DPD, where we become afraid of existence itself. I think this video will really help people who experience distress from the very nature of their hyper awareness of reality. Depersonalized people are often frightened by being aware of how “automatic” human nature is, and this awareness, when faced, and when mindfully accepted, can help us overcome this day to day distress.