Feeling of taking off clothes when depersonalised.


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I feel chronic depersonalisation and derealisation, but when i experience depersonalisation more and to much more of a heightened degree, I feel as if I want to take my clothes off and even jewellery e.g earrings and my shirt etc. Even in my day-to-day, I really dislike wearing trousers, especially at home and even when I go out, I instead wear long skirts and no trousers underneath. I do this because I feel less constricted, but what I don’t understand is that it not wearing clothes simultaneously grounds me, but doesn’t at the same time. A way not wearing clothes grounds me is, that parts of my body brush up against each other e.g my legs when I’m walking, so it makes my legs feel real to me and it grounds me. However, sometimes not wearing clothes and jewellery DOES NOT ground me and I take my jewellery off to avoid grounding myself, for example, I take my earrings off when I feel a shot of anxiety through my body and I feel uncomfortable because I realise that I’m having a ‘body flashback’-the same thing happens with clothes too, when I feel a ‘body flashback’ as if I’m being molested again, I feel the need to take my top off because the clothes feel like an extra layer that is touching me and I DO NOT want to be touched. Does anyone else have a similar experience? I feel like I’m going mad.


I had chronic depersonalization and derealization but it was nothing like that. I would feel like I was surrounded by a soft fog, or that I was watching myself in a movie, or that I was floating above myself. I don't know that wanting to take off your clothes has anything to do with depersonalization or derealization. DPDR is about being less aware of yourself and dissociated rather than feeling bad. It probably has to do with body flashbacks.


i don't believe it is a psych symptom in my case, but i am a big believer in what ben franklin called, "air baths" where one allows the entire body to be exposed fresh air. i find it invigorating and refreshing. in your context, i find myself wondering if you are subconsciously seeking those benefits. just wondering. . .

historical footnote
one of ben franklin's claims to fame was taking his air baths during meetings with diplomats he did not especially like.
i have often suspected ben suffered ptsd. perhaps it was only another symptom?


the clothes feel like an extra layer that is touching me and I DO NOT want to be touched. Does anyone else have a similar experience? I feel like I’m going mad.
I’m ADHD, so, yep. That’s just a very normal part of life, for my peeps, dealing with sensory processing issues, and finding ways to work around them.

How I usually explain sensory processing issues to people without that as their normal is to imagine if that shirt sounds like nails on a chalkboard. Every second you’re wearing it, that’s what you hear. (And it’s not what one is actually hearing, it’s the same physical & mental/emotional response.).

Sensory processing gone haywire can make soft things feel like sandpaper, the gentle clink of silverware sound like cymbals crashing together, scalding hot water feels lukewarm bordering on cool, as the brain registers and values things wrongly.

There are a double handful of disorders that come along with sensory processing issues in various bents. Autism Spectrum & ADHD tend to have the most severe forms of it… but traumatized brains are also notorious for not being able to process all kinds of things (the written word, simple tasks, linear time, etc.), including sensory information. So if your clothes are in any way setting off your PTSD? It naturally follows that you’d avoid the “cause” of your symptoms by removing what your brain sees as the source.

Whether what you’re experiencing is…

- Paradoxical Undressing ((Common with prolonged hypothermia & prolonged anxiety, as the body can only keep its blood pulled to the core for so long… eventually, without surcease, the gates give way and blood/fluids perfuse back to the extremities & skin surfaces. It only takes about half an hour or so for the body to be able to yank it back to the core, but in the interim even someone dying of the cold suddenly feels crazy hot-hot-hot, meanwhile the swolled up everything (hands/ feet/ face/ throat/ mouth/ genitals/ arms/ legs) as fluids rush not only make clothes uncomfortably tight, but are certainly likely to trigger people with any history of physical trauma.))

- Hypervigilance + Dysreg ((Noises too loud, lights too bright, clothes too constricting, blood too pounding, movement too sudden, etc… as sensory input is all amplified, and then the emotional & behavioral overreaction equally discordant and off the charts… think take it off NOW NOW NOW or a “Terrible 2’s” level tantrum ensues.))

- Triggers / Stressors / Avoidance (see link for more on those) Stressor vs. Trigger - What Is A Trigger?

- Sensory Processing crossed wires as the brain is attempting to be in 2 different places (and times!) at once, IE flashbacks, and is mixing up both what information it’s “supposed” to be logging, as well as the priorities attached.

- Or some combo of any/all of the above?

… I really couldn’t speak to.

But it’s perfectly logical


Friday has the right of it. No matter what it is it sounds horrible. I had a service dog that would circle me when people got too close because I can't stand strangers touching me. Since she weighed 150 lbs people would back off. You didn't ask for advice but I'm thinking maybe some anti anxiety medication to get you through the worst of this. It might help although it might make the DPDR worse. Having a service dog would help too, I think, but I know that's not feasible for a lot of folks. No one should have to suffer like that, especially when they did nothing to deserve it.