What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Sylvia ()
Date: August 30, 2004 12:55PM

Hi people!

I have been thinking about dissociation and depersonalization for the last few days. Yesterday I was listening to a radio health show and a young man called in to say that he had been diagnosed with depersonalization syndrome when he was a teenager. He is now in his thirties and a new doctor he visited said he probably actually had painless migraines - Basilar Artery Migraine. These migraines don’t cause the usual excruciating pain that regular migraines do but they can include the aura, a buzzy or nauseated feeling in the stomach, light flashes and/or patterns in the eyes, hissing sounds (or other auditory phenomena), and deja vu or jamais vu (a feeling of UNconnectedness) which would account for the depersonalization. These migraines are related to partial seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy) and have symptoms that are similar to strokes. They can be precipitated by magnesium deficiency. On one web site I found an ad for a book - ‘’Magnesium Solution For Migraine Headaches’’ by Jay S. Cohen, M.D.

I have had pre-menstrual migraine headaches since I was about twenty. I don’t always get them, and I suspect that when I didn’t my magnesium levels didn’t drop as low as when I did. I read somewhere that magnesium levels drop in women before their periods. My headaches usually occur three days before my periods start, but sometimes they occur during my periods.

As for dissociation, I have become more aware of this in myself and others recently. It is difficult to avoid doing it. I learned somewhere that the brain can process information 8 times faster that most people speak. So, if you are listening to someone speak - TV, radio, in person - it is easy to space out and start thinking of something else. This reminds me of exercises I have seen where two people are communicating. One person makes a statement, then the other person must repeat what the other person just said. This is a reality check to see if the other person was really paying attention and that the message was received. How often do we assume that other people really heard what we said?

This reminds me of an instance when I was facilitating a Ropes Course ‘event’ (process, exercise). It was an event that was done in silence and individually. Instructions were given at the beginning of the event and the person went off on his or her own to complete the process. During the discussion afterwards one woman was distressed that she had forgotten one of the instructions. She said, ‘’I always thought I was such a good listener, but I guess not . . . ‘’ It was a realization moment for her. Men have gotten a bad rap for not listening for years, but women do it too. We just don’t realize it, maybe because we talk more and just can’t believe that we aren’t paying attention when we appear to be listening. Maybe it’s just PR that we are good listeners.

Corboy - About the feeling spacey after being on a computer for a long time, I have the same experience. It’s like the Zen ‘gazing at a wall’ thing. Focusing on a computer screen makes me feel like I’ve been cross-eyed for a while. I have to re-focus afterwards. I’ve been using a lap-top and sitting on my couch lately which seems even worse - looking down at an angle. Going outside and looking at things at a distance helps me a lot. Or, just looking up and side to side, if I’m indoors helps too.


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: August 30, 2004 02:55PM

Hi Aurora :

BTW, Dan Millman lives practically around the corner from me. He's a very unpretentious nice guy. I've spoken w/ him at the park when we're walking our dogs. He could afford to move to a more expensive neighborhood, but stays here because it's just a good cozy family neighborhood.

r.e. the floating/ disassociation stuff.... IMHO : I think that it becomes a problem when / if it interferes in your conducting your life. Most things in the DSM (e.g. obsessive compulsive characteristics) apply to many people sometimes... but become a disorder when interefering with life activities, responsibilities, etc.

Corboy would know more than me on this though. I just know that it feels (a little too) good, and I try to avoid it. :?

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 30, 2004 10:56PM

...not in any professional sense. Thats why I needed to get help FROM a professional (grin)

Thank you for mentioning this subtype of migraine headache. Just as we are discovering that many people experienced painless heart attacks, its very interesting that one can experience a painless migraine and have disruptions in the quality of conscious awareness. And (sigh) not all physicians would even know of such headaches, or when to refer you to a specialist...

Here is something else from the Google listserves. Found it by accident while looking for something else. I've had little
'white out' experiences when gazing at the wall during Zen practice. Always suspected this was neurological, and the article seems to give a convincing description/explanation. URL comes first, then the text


(partial quote)

'A cessation of mentation as a result of intense concentration _may_ be
a precursor to Awakening in some "accidental" enlightenment
experiences (e.g. Eckhart Tolle's, or John Wren-Lewis'), or in some
very thorough systematic approaches (like the Theravada), but it is
not Awakening itself: or, put it this way, it isn't a _necessary_
precursor to Awakening. In fact, Awakening is a BREAK in any form of
samadhi-like concentration (taking "samadhi" in its lesser meaning -
for it can also mean the Result itself, in some systems). It's at
complete right angles to anything you've ever experienced or imagined.
(I say this based on your writings - you may be playing a game of some
sort, but I am responding to your words as they stand.)

***It's like this: if you fix your gaze, the [i:5591add5d0]saccades [/i:5591add5d0](the little
jerkings about) that your eyes constantly unconsciously make cease,
and because the visual system normally sees things by noticing
borders, edges and differences, the visual system "whites out". (This
fact is taken advantage of in some Daoist practices, and some Dzogchen
Longde practices, if I'm not mistaken.*

Since the whole mental system works in an analogous way, by noticing
differences, I believe something analogous may happen if the _whole
mental system_ is "frozen" in a concentrative state - [i:5591add5d0]it ceases to
experience anything at all[/i:5591add5d0]. BUT THAT IS NOT AWAKENING.

Here is an article on depersonalization, a form of dissociation.


and, here is an account written by someone who was convinced that he'd become enlightened. Compare his report with the depersonalization paper....


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: August 31, 2004 12:51PM

In my view, there is nothing at all wrong with practicing meditation, or other relaxation techniques.
Dr. Albert Ellis of REBT "explains" what people could be getting from these things.
Really, you can boil it down to Cognitive-Emotive-Physiological self-relgulation. And this is a GOOD thing, when you take out all of the Magical Thinking Metaphysics.

Also, there is a good new book called "Mindfullness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression" by Zindel Segal. (MBCT).
They are doing some good research on this now.

Bottom line is that basically all of the relaxation, meditation, and physiological techniques can be used in a healthy way.
I see nothing wrong with self-directed meditation.

But when it is used to escape from reality, or to "attain enlightenment", or all of that TM culty stuff, then it can all go to hell in a handbasket.

Deep breathing, yoga, calming thoughts and visualizations, even "prayer", and all of the other dozens of techniques are totally fine.
Its only when they are abused by the cultists that they can cause trouble.
Also, if a person is mentally ill, or obsessive, they can go overboard with these things.


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Sylvia ()
Date: August 31, 2004 10:11PM


I don’t see anything wrong with meditating either - for most people. However, it does raise serotonin levels, etc. Like people who start taking an anti-depressant when they are depressed and it flips them into mania, so meditation can do the same thing to previously ‘normal’ people, even those who have no previous mental health problems or family history of mental illness. Info is available on the following web sites:


or read ‘’Kundalini: Psychosis or Trancendence’’ by Lee Sannella. This doesn’t only happen to people in cults.


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Sylvia ()
Date: September 01, 2004 07:33AM

Cosmo and all,

Here is an excellent article that I found here on this site about relaxation induced anxiety caused by meditation:


It is under the mind control section on the home page. I read it a while ago and couldn't remember where it was until today. It is about the research done by Margaret Singer and Janja Lalich with many meditators.


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: September 02, 2004 01:21AM

I do agree that things like meditation can be abused and used in an unhealthy way.

I guess what I am referring to is the non-cultic, psychological use of various Relaxation techniques. These are not used in an obsessive way, or as a way to release your Kundalini powers, etc. (By the way, i do think what is called Kundalini is a type of psychosis).

I look at it as a way to create a similar feeling one might have if one is able to relax when in nature, or something like that. Just physiological and mental relaxation.

Of course, the cultists use this as a trick to hook their claws into people.

So when i refer to it, i mean it in the context of a psychological tool. A decent book is called "The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook".


Its basically just Cognitive-Behavioral stuff.

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Toni ()
Date: September 03, 2004 09:49AM

OK... you all could appreciate the warped humor in this true story....

I was hospitalized after a terrible car accident, 17 shattered bones. An old friend phoned, thoughtfully, to do "Reiki" (a form of psychic healing stuff) for me over the phone line. I understood he was trying to be kind, so I listened politely. You can imagine the plaster casts, lower body packed in ice, I.V. lines, etc that I had while semi-reclining in the hospital bed.

The Reiki-healer said to me "Your Kundalini is frustrated because you cannot sit up straight. You have to be sitting upright to allow it to rise up through your chakras..."

Amazingly... I healed up just fine regardless! :lol:

What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Aurora ()
Date: September 05, 2004 08:41PM

Someone suggested utilizing brainwave entrainment (BWE) as a way to heal/relax or self-induce trance. Is this really a science I wonder and is it safe?
This website below describes it a bit but I am skeptical. Should I be?


What has been helpful in your Recovery?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: September 06, 2004 02:43AM

This is simply just another in an infinite line of scams, that uses pseudoscientific concepts as a cover, to sell some piece of junk to people for profit. Notice how they use little tricks to get you to sign up on that webpage, saying...
"The entrainment techniques used in Brain Sound Studio are actually 2 to 3 times more effective than binaural beats. In a recent study, available through our Member's Area (in detail), every technique in BSS produced profound brainwave entrainment".
To be blunt, that thing is a total rip-off, run by scammer salespeople out for money.

If there are any "effects" these are from the PLACEBO effect, which is VERY powerful for this type of thing.

There is some legitimate research going on using electomagnetic fields to alter brain states by Dr. Michael Persinger, of Laurentian University, but this is very preliminary and experimental.

One must be very careful in this area of research, and use multiple sources of objective information, and proper scientific studies.

To relax, and induce "trance" we do not need ANYTHING, except our own Cognitions, thoughts, images, deep breathing, and massage, etc.


PS: Tony Robbins could sell a million of these phony devices. Lots of groups sell worthless electronic devices to their followers. Its easy money.

Someone suggested utilizing brainwave entrainment (BWE) as a way to heal/relax or self-induce trance. Is this really a science I wonder and is it safe?
This website below describes it a bit but I am skeptical. Should I be?


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