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Posted by RenZimE on 10 April 2010 - 04:08 PM
The Holy Grail of Curing DP/DR:
I've analyzed and experienced this fucking life consuming blackhole disorder for a longtime since I got it and have found the 10 most important steps in recovery:
2) Letting go
4) Tuning focus back on external world(reality) and interact with it
6) Facing your fears&burried surrows
7) Eating right
9) Changing your thinking pattern
10) Re-enter reality & Never looking back
Seems so easy and simple, in a sense it is and on the other hand it's not, it's hard work.
However it IS infact THE only cure that ANYONE with DPDR has used to recover. there will never be a magic pill, so take my word for it and cure yourself by the end of this year and live life happily ever after in REALITY.
This one is probably the hardest, one thing is acknowleding and being aware your suffering from DP/DR.
I think anyone who read this book with DP/DR acknowledges the fact they are fuckedup and got DP/DR.
The thing we however don't do is ACCEPT IT.
Infact we refuse it and fight it with all our energy and time.
Accepting seems like defeat like, damn, I'm fucked. But that's not the case.
Accepting means stop fighting it with all ur power, it's the first step in recovery (seems clich�) but it's actually true.
Before you can ACCEPT (again not acknowledge, but ACCEPT the fact that ur DP/DR'ed) you won't recover.
It's also the first step of letting go.
Accepting is not a easy process but it's a quick one. Just say it out loud a few times and really MEAN it:
"I accept I got DPDR, and I know I'm not insane, this is a temporary illness and I accept that I got it"
It wants you to give it attention but you got to accept it's pressence and don't give a fuck.
It's like the bully who picks on other kids in school, if they fight him/pay him attention, he'll keep coming back. If they ignore him, it won't have the same effect and the bully will leave.
It's kind of the same with Pure O thoughts and DPDR, so accept it and you'll soon be ready to let go of it
This is the next step in the process of recovery, managing to actually let go.
Letting go of the questioning, philosophing, worrying, thinking and wondering "WHAT IF" "COULD IT BE?" "BUT?" etc.
Letting go is different from ignoring, ignoring is forcing yourself not to pay attention which actually means your paying it attention.
Letting go means really letting something go without picking it up 10 minutes later again. I'm guilty of this.
The 3 persons I've interacted most with from dpselfhelp is curedone, ihavemessedupdreams & Fightingdepression, they can testify I had a enourmous amount of trouble with this "letting go" thing.
I couldn't, and I think I've read all the information on every topic there is on the internet, seriously.
Google is no longer my friend, but my enemy.
Letting go is ofcourse a process, it's not something you manage to do while you read these lines just by saying "OK I LET GO OF THIS IRRATIONAL FEARS" and then your cured. It's a process.
You must adopt a I JUST DONT GIVE A FUCK attitude to these thoughts and lable them as "my mind sending me false information again" and let them go.
In the beginning this is hard but after awhile it becomes easier.
it's the same in treating OCD and it's actually altering the thinking pattern in your mind thus also changing the chemical balance in your brain. This might sound like mind over matter, but it's not mind is matter in you brain and this have been scientifically verifyed and is realy ancient knowledge of buddhists.
Letting go leads to the next topic, distraction, which is essential in letting go, if you just sit around doing nothing, letting go is next to impossible. It's like trying to quit crack addiction while selling it by the kilos.
It's the most fundamental way of curing Panic disorder, depression, OCD etc.
Distracting is hard, ecspecially when your so not connected with your surrounding environment.
Distraction simply means shifting your focus from DPDR to ANYTHING, I don't care if it's singing
Britney Spears HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME or jumping in the shower with ice cold water on.
Distraction is the key to letting go which is the key to recovery so distraction is a key to the door of both your soul(self) & reality for DP/DR victims
Everytime you find yourself ruminating over some stupid ass philosophical questions GET UP, run around your house 5 times and do 20 pushups.
Throw a bucket of icecold water over your head and clean your room.
Put on a song and sing to it, watch a exciting movie(not a boring one which will lead your mind to think and not follow the movie)
Something / Anything which involves taking the focus from inward internal conflict of mind to the outward external REALity.
This would be the great time to start learning new things, get new hobbies etc.
I can not stress enough how important consistant 24/7 distraction from DPDR is to recover.
It's either that or your doomed, it's simple as that, honestly put.
Tuning focus back on the external world/reality and interact with it
Now that your letting go of irrational thoughts, distract yourself from DPDR it's time to enter reality and interact with it again. No more isolation, I bet most of you spend 6+ hours aday on the computer with focus on the screen then another 2 hours on the TV screen and the rest in bed.
How do I guess so right? because I've done it for the past year too.
Isolation is the worst thing, it's proven it leads to solipsism syndrome and derealization states.
NASA is experiencing this and studying ways to defeat it in space travel where astronauts surroundings are very little unchanging and they live in COMPLETELY controlled environment for safety.
Their currently finding ways to combat this by having plants which grow without human intervention, animals and random number generators etc.
In your home your in a controlled unchanging environment, which means no surprises, no changes, no challenges & therefore no feeling of reality.
It's when your fantasy/hopes/expectations are proven wrong by reality that you learn to deal and handle reality.
So how do we enter the scary "unknown" without breaking down and killing ourself or going insane?
First we watch this movie(ya'll spiritualist will love this one, but for atheists fuck the "God" part and just watch the relaxing and beautiful nature and the encouraging messages)
Now realize this is our fear, the beautiful nature and world there is out there for us to explore and experience.
You live rougly if your lucky 75 years. That means most of us 30-50%+ of that time is already up.
Another fact is that we sleep like 1/3 of our life so this means basically we cannot waste it on this stupid retarded disorder and sit alone in a room killing ourselves emotionally, mentally and personally.
I suggest starting slow, going outside, if your not in a big city, taking walks in nature will be great grounding experiences, hearing the birds sing, watching rivers floath, the trees swinging in the wind, feeling the fresh air and seeing the biiig biiig world out there which you got absolutely NO control over and is completely real and natural independant of your mind. (this is a fact I trust in after studying the philosopher Ayn Rand)
I know buddhists might disagree, but seriously, the objective world is primary, your consciousness is secondary and a direct result of evolution and natural selection.
It's mother earth, and we are it's children.
Feel the happiness of belonging, theres tons of smells/tastes outside too which will bring back memories and sense of self.
Anyway, staying in the safezone = controlled environment = increased belief in your stupid delusional thoughts(doesn't make them real,nothing ever will, but it'll appear more real, thus make you feel more unreal).
So get out, you need the earthquake of facing the scary uncontrolable REAL world to shake you back to reality.
Try not only observing it passively, instead feel the leafs, throw some rocks in the river, walk and feel the ground beneath you, see the changes in the sky, the surroundings etc.
Also I know humans seem strange to you at the moment, faces appear dead/cartoonish if your severily DR'ed and it seems like people got no mind, there's no persona in them it seems, but look at yourself in the mirror u cannot see ur own mind either.
Their minds DO exist and you'll be able to understand it again once ur back in reality and fully conscious and awake.
Start out small, it's great if you got animals, ecspecially cats as they are so self centered and dont give a fuck about you, you can see they got their own mind and do as they please and their cute as hell too.
I've found it easier to connect with animals in DP/DR moments, their so full of life and different and unpredictable from us.
Also try to move around to new places, something unpredictable and new is the greatest way of killing of DP/DR.
It's scary so you don't dare to do it, but it's the only goal your seeking, ironic isn't it?
DO IT seriously.
After you manage to get out of your house and trust reality again and start to see it's realness and randomness and you got no control over it, socializing is the next step and the most important of them all.
You will NEVER EVER realize that people exist by studying evolution, watching experiments and brainscans, you will know it intellectually but not EXPERIENCE AND KNOW IT in reality.
To do so you must socialize, with old friends and new people.
For some strange reason the more familiar the people are in reality more unfamiliar people look when your in the DPDR'ed state of mind.
I guess it got to do with the defense mechanism in your brain shutting off the self and "protecting you", but anyway, this is the most crucial and important step in the world for DPDR'ers, realize there really are others out there.
Your not alone, and this will bring back reality to you in so many ways, and is the greatest distractor of them all.
Socializing will also bring back common sense to you too, slowly but surely this will help you greatly.
Don't talk to them about your DPDR, if they ask whats up just tell them your a little depressed stressed and exhausted, don't go into details about it, when your with others try not to focus on it at all, try to focus on the present and REALITY not your deluded fearful fantasies.
Antisocial behavior and isolation while DPDR'ed is like playing russian roulette with all chambers of the gun loaded. It's straightup suicide.
Facing your fears and burried surrows:
The best analogy for this is : your stuck in a endless tunnel you've brought yourself into, every fear that has attacked ur mind that you have tried to fought and ignore has put you deeper into this tunnel. And you see no light at the end, and when you think you do it's a train.
Well ok, lets face that train(fear) then, let it kill you, you must die a few times in this process.
After awhile the train drags your corpse out of the tunnel and you'll rise from the ashes like a pheonix and the fears will no longer affect you and you'll be able to conquer and finally realize and see how irrational and nonexistant the things you feared actually is.
If you fear dying it doesn't mean go to the bathroom and slit your wrist so you can "FACE DEATH".
It simply means say "I dont care if I die", but you got to MEAN it, not just say it.
Death is real and its invetiable, but it's not in the present so don't worry about it.
The other existential philosophical nonesense don't even exist, so facing those is different, here you must either PRETEND their true for awhile until your mind realize it was wrong and you can finally let go or skip that and go straight to the "let go part"...
Let the thoughts occupy the mind, don't pay them attention, acknowledge them, don't agree or disagree, just let them be, starve them to death, everytime you attack them or try to resolve 'em you give 'em a big cheeseburger with fries on your expens(this being your life) so fuck that scavanger and let it die out from starvation.
Survival of the fittest. =P
If you've as me gone through traumatic events such as loss of loved ones or other similarly traumatic experiences facing it is a great therapeutic way of recovering.
The last time I felt reality and emotions was encountering my deep burried sorrow of my dad's tragic death which occured right before DPDR and was a big contributer to triggering it I suspect.
Facing it was like unleashing the emotions out of the cage and it was overwhelming but brought me back into my body and reality in a split second, even if it just lasted a few seconds this was the first "hope" for me in months.
A spark of light in the endless maze of dark empty tunnels of DP/DR.
Crying without emotion gives no effect, you need to bring up the emotional cause and unleash it.
Remember your brain has shut this down to protect you from the overwhelming emotions but it doesn't realize the danger is over and you can let it go so you have to remind it and poke on it until it do.
It'll be a hard but crucial process in your road to recovery.
While studying anxiety disorders and ecspecially Pure O I found that what we eat contribute a whole lot to our situation.
Our brains is basically billions and billions of neurons which are connected through myelin sheets, same as our nervous system is and anxiety / ocd / slightly schizophrenic / tourette syndrome etc. people got damaged and torn up myelin sheets which is the prime cause of this.
Eating right so that these can heal can be a great great contributer to your healing and recovery.
I suggest this eating regime:
Primrose oil: 2capsules in the morning with breakfast, 2 in the afternoon with dinner, 2 at night with supper. (Must be taken with a protein so it's absorbed up in your system for effect)
Primrose oil is great at rebuilding the myelin sheets and nervous system
Fish oil: 1 before sleep
Fish oil is probably the most known natural mental health supplement it has helped heal brain damage, help brain fog, schizophrenia etc. etc.
Vitamine complex: 1 pill in the morning
Vitamine B complex: 1 pill in the morning (vitamine B has been reported on several OCD forums I've been at as a great supp to lessen the thoughts and mind noise in their heads)
Zinc supplement: zinc is great for mental health and health generally, 1 capsule in the morning and one at supper is all that's needed.
Flaxseed oil: 1 capsule a day
I suspect in very few cases will this eating regime alone eliminate DP/DR(although SOME reports of people changing their intake of food/supps has magically cured their brainfog and dpdr) it will atleast help a great deal.
Also eating healthy is good, fruits, vegtables white meat etc, yeah this almost sounds like some sort of training gainweight/lose weight diet but, logically eating the healthiest will make you healthier.
You are what you eat is a fact in physics not just a setence.
Your body reproduces cells every fucking second, give it the best and it'll reward you for it.
After all, ITS YOUR BODY.
Avoid these: sugar, cigarettes and coffee
Again I'm guilty as charged in all of these, I used to be smoking 20 cigarettes a day and consuming gallons of cocacola (lot of caffeine and sugar).
Everything that ends with INE is negative for you and will make your situation and condition ten times worse, all INE's are stimulants and increase anxiety, pulse and heart rate.
I'm no preacher, but sorry nicotine caffeine amphetamine cocaine heroine is not good for DP/DR.
So if you like me loves cigarettes, this will be the greatest time to quit and when your recovered from DP/DR you'll be so glad you did it and now you got a GOOD reason to.
Another thing is that quitting cigarettes is a goal, it's dicipline, taking control over one of your bad habbits, which in itself is great selfesteem boost it's also a good way to start breaking other habbits like DP/DR thinking, isolation etc.
Plus it will increase your health enormously just the first months, just the first few weeks it'll increase your smell/taste and breathing and lower your chances of heart attack etc.
Sleeping & Exercising:
The reason I bring this up is because first:
sleeping pattern is very important in recovering, you must have a routine and sleeping pattern that is stricktly followed in recovery times.
After all sleeping is when your mind body and yourself actually get the chance to rest
I've been close to recovery many times but fuckedup just because of either lack of or over sleeping ONE day and I've completely relapsed.
8 hours is needed, no more, no less. It will also give your life structure and routine and give back sense of contact with reality in some sense, such as concept of time, dates, day/night structure and routines.
Exercising will help you get better sleep and rest, cause if your doing nothing but sitting in a chair all day long reading forums and symptoms and studying for the magic pill or answers to your endless questions your body is basically in a half sleep mode all day long.
Another important thing with exercise is that it'll help you reconnect with your body, you'll use it and thus identify with it more again and fee it as you did PRE-DPDR'ed.
Also getting in better shape physically is proven to help you mentally.
It's also a great distractor and way of reconnecting life, ecspecially if your gaining/losing weight, it'll be a little goal besides recovering and you'll see changes and be happy etc.
There's tons of good reasons why exercise is great but it's almost essential in DPDR to quicker and better recovery I think.
Changing your thinking pattern:
This is the biggest and maybe most important part of your recovery (think I've said that about 5 times now, but it's true).
This one goes for PureO/OCD/Panic/Depression too.
The cause of your irrational thoughts and fears lies within your brain chemistry & mind.
So by changing your thinking you'll alter your brain chemistry, this is a well known factor in buddhism called mindfulness.
This will take about a month before you really start noticing that the fears/thoughts aren't as intrusive and VIVID anymore but it'll happen if your consistant.
First realize these thoughts are directly a result of your temporary condition, not braindamage/any truth in the thoughts.
Then you gotta learn to let the thoughts go and refocus on something else, everytime one of these thoughts come, realize its your mind on crack giving you false information and no matter how anxious you become let the thought be, don't fight to ignore it, just let it be, "Be the witness of your thoughts" but don't interact.
Humans got approximatly 64 000 thoughts a day, 90% of them is pure bullshit and most are not even consciously aware of most of them.
If these thoughts came to you in your sleep you wouldnt give a damn and just label them as subconscious nonesense dreaming, do the same here, cause it is EXACTLY what it is.
Immediately change your focus outwards and try thinking of something else, something RELEVANT to your life & the present moment and immediately DO something.
This is VERY important in changing your behavior, kind of what CBT is about I guess.
Re-entering reality and never looking back
Getting to the point where you start re-entering reality means getting outside the house daily again, socializing, letting go.
It involves more than just stepping outside your house, it means getting into reality again.
You need to get your hobbies interests back again, cause this is what forms your life.
Anyone can go around as a numb observer of the world, but participating in it is the only way to recover.
This is all subjective experience of the objective reality. The objective reality itself won't give you any meaning. It'll give you inspiration, but it's you subjectively who choose what destiny and path of your life will be.
Now taking something as simple as playing cards means this for you: "moving your hands and picking up some cards with symbols on it and try to get certain cards to win".
Thats your DPDR'ed non meaningful dereality, when your emotions come back it's a GAME again, a game that the purpose is to WIN, and the winning gives you a feeling of luck, happiness and achievement.
Even if it's just something as small as a fucking cardgame.
You've got to let go of the notion that reality will just SHOW IT'S GRAND MEANING AND EXISTANCE to you again, cause it's you who create your OWN experience of reality.
The best way to realize this is maybe by watching a child, he can pick up a branch of a tree and play with it all day long, it's giving him a meaning in his life because he LETS it and is dedicated with it.
Thinking and analyzing why people are as real as you won't make you suddenly EUREKA THEY ARE REAL. No, engaging in social life and activies will do this.
It'll become just as obvious to you that these people are conscious as it is that you are.
Analyzing people while thinking "are they real, do they got minds" etc while looking at someone will do you no good. You need to stop analyzing and rather go out and experience, then it will be revealed and obvious again.
Once your starting to recover and get out of the thick DPDR fog, you must NOT look back.
Just a little thinking about it in the first period after recovery is like smoking weed again(if this is what induced it for you). It'll bring it back in seconds.
i've had numerous experiences where I've become a little better for a little while then have a little relapse and it has sent me straight back into it fully if not even worse for months.
When your getting out, theres no turning back, for some REALITY just suddenly is there again, and this is a shock.
It's like you've been trapped in this dark tunnel for so long and when your out the bright sun light is a shock on your eyes. in the same sense is reality to you when your realizing it again.
You go from being deluded almost asleep passive observer of what you hope to be reality to suddenly BAM being in it again fulltime, everyone around you is real, NOTHING is under your control, the world is there, existance is there again. Too some this can be overwhelming and frightening at first.
The good news is that it'll take you maybe 1-2-3days to fully be ok with it again and feel normal. After all THAT IS reality you've lived in your whole life. It'll come back to you quick and you'll be so happy and excited, but don't let the excitment ruin the recovery for you.
You need to go slow, but not too slow.
If you have a relapse and feel DR/DP'ed, quickly distract yourself and not let the fear get hold of you, you've been down that road, it leads to more anxiety, more dp dr, more waste of your life.
When I say quickly, I mean like RIGHT AWAY, don't lock urself up for a day or two just to "feel cool" again, do it IMMEDIATELY before it takes over your mind.
It'll be hard, but it's the only way you'll keep recovering...
If you suffer added PANIC DISORDER, I suggest getting some anti-anxiety(not too strong) pills in emergencies, just incase when your out of your home and safezone get a panic attack you can take a pill or two just to calm down and keep distracting yourself.
DP/DR do's and don'ts
Participate in life (self explainatory)
Get new hobbies and interests (change is very advantagous to cure this disorder and it'll refocus your mind)
Make new friends (again change factor, plus new friends mean non predictable/controlable events)
Have sex (sex is the most fundamental emotional and instinctive of all human behavior so enganging in it should bring fourt the human in you)
Fall inlove (this is hard while DPDR'ed, but if you manage you'll be cured faster than anyone)
Make music (if your an artist, self expression through music is the best way to spark emotions and unleash your own)
Listen to music (if your NOT an artists listening to others will do the same, music is played on instruments by the creator but plays on the emotions of the listener)
Make art (drawing/painting is another way of self expression so if your good at it, do it, if your not good at it but want to be, pick it up as a new hobbie and learn it)
Express yourself (every person feels the need to EXPRESS themselves, find someone who listens and take a long chat with them, very therapeutic and also connecting, to others and therefore yourself again.
Distract, (already explained)
Make socializing your second nature (explained before)
Stay occupied. (explained)
Party (but without drugs, if you manage alcohol without increasing DP/DR great, it's a good social event and also drinking increases social behavior and let your guard down a bit)
The list is endless....
Isolate yourself (staying in the tunnel)
Dwell on DPDR (dwelling is burrying yourself alive)
Think deep thoughts (just increasing your DPDR and anxieties)
Study shit that scares you (it won't lead to anything good, trust me)
Spend more than 1hour on the computer a day(not even on dpselfhelp) (computer is a way of "escaping reality which is the opposite of what we're trying to do)
Letting this disorder take over your life (self explainatory)
Do drugs(yeah it sucks but ECSPECIALLY if your DPDR was drug induced stay the fuck away no matter if you recover, you'll kill yourself and never forgive urself if u recover, do drugs and relapse.)
Some exercises that'll help you on your quest to sense of self and regaining reality:
Body scan meditation:
This exercise was brought to my attention by a member of dpselfhelp: LostSoul.
It's basically a exercise to reconnect your body and also "the present" according to LostSoul who's managed to temporarily "recover" using this technique a few times.
The trick is however when you manage to enter your body again NOT to get too excited as it will "shoot you up in your mind" again.
This is what you do:
Lie on your back with your legs uncrossed, your arms at your sides, palms up, and your eyes open or closed, as you wish. Focus on your Breathing, how the air moves in and out of your body. After several deep breaths, as you begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, direct your attention to the toes of your left foot. Tune into any sensations in that part of your body while remaining aware of your Breathing. It often helps to imagine each breath flowing to the spot where you're directing your attention. Focus on your left toes for one to two minutes.
Then move your focus to the sole of your left foot and hold it there for a minute or two while continuing to pay attention to your breathing. Follow the same procedure as you move to your left ankle, calf, knees, thigh, hip and so on all around the body. Pay particular attention to the head: the jaw, chin, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, nostrils, throat, cheeks, eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, forehead, temples and scalp.
Do this for 15-30minutes twice a day.
Increasing/training your senses:
Again thanks to LostSoul
This is a Buddhist technique, used by buddhist munks to train their senses and awareness of their environment.
In the sense of DPDR what this will help is take your inward focus and turn it OUTWARD to the reality again.
You do this by taking one sense a week
Let's start with the ears:
My suggestion is that you spend 30minutes a day this first week going outside somewhere your not disturbed and close your eyes and try to focus your hearing on different things outside.
The greatest spot will either be out in nature or some balcony in the city, try to distinguish and focus on different sounds.
Also listen to music, but not with headphones on as this will feel "isolated", so tune up the speakers and put on some of your favourite music you used to love and try to pay attention to the melody, try to follow it with your ears.
This has a double effect, first increasig your hearing and hopefully spark some memories you have of that specific song/music.
Next week take the eyes which might be the worst impairment of DPDR, your visual perception:
This one you can do all week actually, but atleast dedicate 30 minutes a day to REALLY do it.
Try watching moving objects, such as cars, flying birds etc, follow them with your eyes intensively.
Another is the in and out focus, place a finger infront of your eye and focus on it, then focus on the "background", by doing this you stimulate the eye muscles.
Also try looking around you all the time, don't just look dead out in the air as your sleep walking or something.
You must really try to focus your vision on the world again.
Then it's smelling:
Same here, you can do this all day, all week, but atleast spend 30 minutes a day.
Here only your imagination can stop you, try smelling everything, flowers, perfumes, food, aroma's, soap, chemicals, anything that'll stimulate your sense of smell.
A fellow contributer and DP sufferer at DPselfhelp told me she temporarily felt normal again by the smell of burning leafs and aroma therapy.
So maybe it'll also spark some memories and reality recognition in your head.
Another infinite possibilites, I suggest buying tons of fruits and different food this week.
Touch everything, try to feel different objects, nature, animals, don't ponder it's diversity, just feel without question.
If you got a girl/boyfriend, feel/touch them a lot to.
Again, you'll have to use your fantasy, but go further than touching yourself ok?;P
"I am" mantra exercise:
This was handed to me by my psychiatrist actually it's a very simple exercise.
You basically just sit still and take deep breathes and while inhaling say "here I am" or "i am me" or "here I *your name* am".
Then exhale and feel the air leaving YOU.
The point of this is to locate yourself and body again.
Looking in the mirror:
This "technique" is really just something I've come up with the last few weeks, it's nothing special but i think it might be effective.
Basically it just means looking at your reflection through out the day(not bdd obsessively) but just so you see yourself objectively(cause in DPDR you've lost sense of objective reality and objective thinking)
So seeing yourself objectively over and over again might spark memories etc.
Another thing you can do is care for how you look, try playing "dress up" game or wtf you want.
Get some variation in your looks and take care of it, connect to your ego again.
Also try standing beside a friend/relative or something in a reflection and see that ur just the same, ur not alone, this is hard to "figure out and see" from a first person perspective.
Basically find some photoalbums from your childhood, social events etc.
Look through them and try to remember how it was, try to connect with the event as it was.
Try to spark the memory of it
This is a way you can try to wakeup your SOUL and YOUR relationships with people and the world as it once was.
Staying with friends and talking about the past is probably the best way to connect with memories of your real life, one thing is to sit alone and think about it, but when your with others they'll bring up memories you've forgot and can share them and it hopefully will spark some parts of your memory which is currently out of reach, but it is permanently intergrated into your mind so don't be afraid, it's not lost.
Posted by nuncle on 10 January 2014 - 04:24 PM
This is going to be a bit long, but my intention is to provide some hope for those who are recent sufferers and more longtime sufferers. If you want to skip ahead to other sections, please refer to the table of contents.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Words of Hope
Summary of Events (Acute Phase)
Early Coping Strategies
Early Healing Plan
Advice on Fastest Way to Heal
Commitment to Health
WORDS OF HOPE
DP/DR is recoverable. I have done it, others have done it, you can do it too. No one escapes life without painful challenges. For some it’s cancer, for others it’s severe injury…for you and I - it is/was DP/DR. Be grateful that you do not have anything terminal and that there are things that you can do to begin the process of healing. You are not psychotic and will not become psychotic. This scared me for some time, I was sure I was done for. Someone who is psychotic is not aware of their own psychosis. Your awareness of your condition is itself a recognition that your sanity is quite intact! Your process of healing is a process! Much like a watched pot never boils, so too a constant awareness of your symptoms will inhibit the speed of your recovery. Your symptoms are not you! What you are experiencing is the mind/body in shock - when you begin to heal, you realize that nothing you thought about yourself during this time was true (I am depersonalized, I don’t exist, etc. etc.). It’s not true, it only feels true, but those feelings can and will go away! You never lost touch with reality. Yes, it feels that way, everything feels fucked up, but you never stepped outside reality. You are still there, suffering very uncomfortable perceptual changes that are resulting from a shocked system. Heal the system and the perceptions return to normal - don’t look for reality to ‘snap back.’ Your senses and perceptions will feel normal/real when you begin to do healthy things for your mind and body. Start making very small steps towards ‘normalcy’. Go out to movies with friends (I remember seeing inception following my episode and being freaked out, anxious, dissociative, and emotionless - I went anyway….and it wasn’t easy). Do other things that you would normally do; the pain and discomfort will persist in spite of your actions in the beginning, but it is setting the stage for your recovery. Start implementing lifestyle adjustments (see Advice on Fastest Way to Heal) that will move you towards health and away from suffering. You need to help give your body and mind the conditions that are conducive to health and healing. Stay the course - continue to do ‘normal’ things and reengage in your life, while becoming healthier and healthier using some of the methods I discuss below. Very slowly, but steadily you will start forgetting the symptoms and pains as they go away. Join me in making 2014 about health and recovery. I will commit to lifestyle changes in my own life and we can walk the path together.
SYMPTOMS (Immediately after use and during acute phase ~ 6 months - 1 year):
Diagnosis (self) - DP/DR, extreme anxiety, PTSD
Diagnosis (psychiatrist) - extreme anxiety (refused to validate dp/dr as a separate disorder)
Cause - Discontinuation Syndrome (coming off anxiety meds too quickly)
I won't go into too much detail about the ups and down of my most acute tales of suffering, but I will break down my symptoms for you so you can relate this story to your own. Reading symptoms on the web used to scare me shitless, because I thought I would never be normal. Don't fret, because all of these symptoms have been 100% cured =), so stay put.
- Visual distortions, ghosting/trailing, floaters, 'blurred vision'
- pane of glass phenomenon in vision (like I was separated from everything)
- sensation of loss of self, could not find it, normal self-sense was not there, existential paranoia
- Extreeeeeeeeme anxiety, paranoia, fear of going insane or losing mind
- Frame by frame sensation, as if the world were existing in cut-frames and not fluid
- Forgetting names, normal things, difficulty conceptualizing/abstract or critical thinking
- This was so frightening, I thought I would never be smart or normal again
- Tendency to stare at things, knowing I should know what it was, but unable to 'feel' it normally, or think of what it was called
- This happened with people, places, and things (even people I loved, this was very hard)
- Extreme sense of sensory detachment from world, self, feelings
- ZERO short term memory (literally forgetting things seconds after they occurred)
- No sense of time continuity
- Constantly becoming aware of symptoms and reacting to them with anxiety/paranoia
- Constantly fearing I would never be the same again
- Hating God/Life for making me suffer so extremely
- Difficulty with coordination and speech
- Weight loss - I weigh 160 lbs normally, I was down to 120 during the worst...
- No positive emotions, only anxiety, fear and paranoia
- Fluorescent Lights felt terrible!
- Couldn’t drive a car (for some time) because my perception was $%^&*’ed
- Probably a thousand more….
I was like this for 1.5 years with EXTREME symptoms. I used to read people's posts on dpselfhelp and freak out because mine sounded way worse. My attempt is not to diminish others, but to help you realize that my symptoms seemed more severe than most by description and as of now I typing this from a place of peace, happiness, and increasing wisdom. Additionally, the period of severe diffulty in my life has given me tremendous sympathy for other people facing difficulties in their life and I have a new understanding for the importance of compassion and non-judgement towards people suffering and in pain.
SUMMARY OF EVENTS (ACUTE PHASE):
Extreme psychological fallout. I could not pull myself from rock bottom. Every day was the most excruciating physical and mental pain I could have never imagined. I did not know it was possible to feel that bad. Difficult time staying functional in my job working for a big company in New York City. Decided after a week or two to see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist started treating me with a variety of different medications (paxil, zoloft). None of them worked and only made my symptoms worse and I refused to stay on them. I felt that this psychiatrist did not have enough experience with these symptoms so I decided to see someone who had seen these symptoms before. The new psychiatrist decided to put me on Bupropion and Xanax to start. Xanax took some edge off, but was nowhere close to being sufficient enough for any sort of normal existence. Bupropion helped me sleep a bit better and brought back some appetite, which was good because I was losing so much weight. I didn't want to take these medications, but my doctor and family said that I had to ride it out to get them to therapeutic levels before making any decisions. He also began to taper me onto Effexor XR. My symptoms got worse at first with Effexor, however, they went back to normal levels after being on it for a few weeks (that was a very difficult time). The cocktail of Effexor/Xanax was not a CURE, and I knew that it would never be, but it was something that I hope would bridge me out of the most difficult phases and give me some breathing room where I could start to implement other healing modalities.
I finally convinced my family that I needed to come home because my symptoms were so severe I could not hope to recover in my current environment. I went on short term (paid) leave (provided by my place of work) and when that was exhausted, I went on long term disability for some time (unpaid). I spent that time with my parents, which helped to instill some hope for me, knowing that home was the best place for me to heal.
EARLY COPING STRATEGIES:
During the early stages, there was very little (read: nothing) I felt I could do to feel better. Additionally there was tremendous amounts of fear triggered by uncomfortable thoughts and perceptions. My self-awareness of my anxieties and symptoms was so high that it was a feedback loop of symptom recognition, and anxiety/freakout. I read on the web that distraction was an important part of healing from these symptoms, so I decided to lose myself in something. I chose video games (Starcraft II) because they were very absorbing for me. The pain was intense, but I could play for hours and it helped me feel more normal. I also ate so much ice-cream for the eating pleasure and got so constipated I didn't poop for weeks! - I don't recommend the ice-cream strategy =).
THE EARLY HEALING PLAN:
After some time feeling like there was nothing I could do and wanted to do, I decided to implement a healing plan using a variety of sources. I inundated myself with information, knowing that the more I knew, the better off I would be. Here a few things that I did in the beginning:
- Ordered ~ 10 books off amazon dealing with nutrition, diet, PTSD, DP, recovery, miracle recoveries/mindfulness meditation, spirituality (ill get to mindfulness later)
- Searched web for positive healing stories across a variety of illnesses
- Crazy, Sexy Cancer (one of my favs)
- Searched dpselfhelp for positive posts and recommendations (made lists)
- IGNORED posts that were negative and fatalistic
- Refrained (not outright stopped) from reading dpselfhelp. If I did read, they were only in the recovery sections
- Physical activity (very light at first, knowing how weak I was)
- Maintained relationship with psychiatrist, eventually came off xanax (knowing that it's incredibly addictive and unhealthy to be on for long periods of time). Eventually only was on (and still am) Effexor XR. I am currently on a slow taper down program.
- Note: Just because my recovery was concomitant with my use of effexor, I cannot say that it did or did not help. Simply stated, as I recovered, I was on effexor, so it may have contributed, but I'm certain most of my recovery came from other things mentioned herein.
- At this point, I am almost off an Effexor XR taper that I extended for 6-8 months with a very slow taper. I have had no discontinuation symptoms because of how slow I have been doing it
- Absorption - involving myself in activities that did not allow me to DWELL on my symptoms.
- Note: this was not perfect, I would still get stuck in my symptoms again, but in my life I was engaging in new activities and friendships. Eventually, as I started feeling better, my focus would increasingly go to normal things and away from my symptoms
- Spiritual/Religious guidance - books/personal reflection
In the beginning it was very difficult to implement the appropriate steps because the overwhelming pain was incredibly difficult to move through, over time, however, things became easier and easier, although at a painfully slow pace. knowing I eventually needed to re-engage the world, I decided to get a job working outside to kill some time, keep my mind off things, and socialize. This was SO HARD in the beginning because I felt so awful, but I kept pushing myself knowing that wasting away in my own suffering was not going to heal me. Our environments and the normalcy of that environment is a critical healing factor. While we feel far from normal it is important to strive towards normalcy - it builds hope and helps you heal. During this phase, I was working (despite feeling terrible and detached) and met a new group of friends. Through one of them I was introduced to my current girlfriend. We have been dating for 2.5 years and she has helped me tremendously regain a sense of normalcy. She helped me take my mind away from the symptoms and onto every day things. After about of a year of suffering, I decided that I needed a plan to get back on my feet or something to work towards. I ended up applying to graduate school, but at the same time was extremely anxious about whether I was psychologically ready for something like that (Keep in mind, I was nowhere close to feeling better at this point) Moreover, I though that my intelligence had been permanently damaged and that I would feel normal again. Since that point, I got into a top 5 engineering graduate school and with some hard work, finished with close to a 4.0!
ADVICE ON FASTEST WAY TO HEAL:
There is no magic bullet CURE for DP/DR/Anxiety. The mechanisms in the body/mind/psyche are far too complex. From my experience I believe STRONGLY that DP/DR is the product to EXTREME shock to the brain, body, and mind (psyche, personality, worldview) and this shock has a chemical and biological component that throws the health of your organism way off balance. The BEST way to alleviate these symptoms is to STOP searching for a magic bullet cure and to start making choices in your life to energize and heal your body and mind. I believe that our Mind/Body will heal given the right conditions. To do this, you have to start thinking of healing over the long term and not expecting to eat some magical chocolate bar or take some pill that will cause you to 'wake up' one day. The way towards alleviating these symptoms is to give your body the best chance as possible to heal by being as healthy as possible.
Here are the cornerstones of what I found to be the most powerful healing modalities for recovering completely from DP/DR. If you are to continue to do what you have been doing you will continue to get what you have been getting. You must change these aspects of your life.
- Eliminate junk foods from your diet. You are preventing your body from healing by providing limited nutrients and probably compromising it by ingesting synthetic chemicals the body was not intended to metabolize.
- Eliminate heavy consumption of red/meat. I am not saying you need to be vegetarian, but drastically reduce your read meat consumption.
- Vegetables, Vegetables, Vegetables - seriously, there is no better medicine
- Start Juicing (mostly vegetables, some fruits) *SO IMPORTANT*
- (See "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead")
- (See "Raw for thirty Days")
- Eliminate heavy caffeine use
- No drugs/Alcohol - it will set you back, perhaps completely.
- Book: Chris Carr - "Crazy Sexy Cancer” (Great Health Tips)
- CDs: Tony Robbins - "Living Health
Cardio: In the beginning I was too weak to do this a lot, but I started in small increments and over the long term I definitely felt better. As I increased my energy, I felt like things began to heal faster. This doesn’t happen overnight. The idea is to get the body back into a state of better health and keep it there. As you maintain this higher level of health, things begin to heal faster.
Yoga: I took up Yoga after about a year or so of suffering. I felt the yoga helped ground me and clear my mind. Again, this was not overnight! I stuck with it and slowly things got better. I think this helped me further feel grounded and present (i.e. I exist!)
Note: I didn’t get into weights, but I cannot imagine that would hurt. I do think some form of cardio is one of the best things you can do for yourself though.
- Mindfulness Meditation (Breath Mindfulness)
- Eliminate Toxic Relationships
- Do Normal Things! (i.e. what others refer to as distraction)
Mindfulness Meditation: This was a MAJOR factor in helping me recover. In the very beginning I was so distraught that I could not sleep. Literally, the suffering and pain (mental and physical) was so INTENSE I couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep at night. I knew that I had to somehow relax, even if it was just a little bit more, to get me to fall asleep. I bought a meditation pillow and would try to sit for 20-30 minutes and focus on my breath (Book: Mindfulness in Plain English). This form of concentration helps to create peace, but for me all it could do was take the edge off my pain. I had no other choice but to do this before bed each night if I had any hopes of getting ‘rest’. Moreover, the mindfulness meditation made me feel more ‘present’ in my body. This helped me feel less like I was just floating eyeballs and made me feel again like I had a body!
Forgiveness: If there are aspects of your past or present that you are holding anger and resentment towards, you must find a way to forgive to create some space for your own recovery. Know that any suffering that you experienced from others (friends, family, etc.) is at some level caused by their own suffering. Recognize that we all want happiness and that when others do mean things it is because they are unhappy or suffering at some level. Forgive them. This will help them heal as well.
Eliminate Toxic Relationships: The best environment for healing is one where their is support and understanding. If you have relationships that are hindering your ability to recover, forgive them, but then consider saying goodbye!
Do Normal Things: This will be hard at first, much like it was for me, but over time this sense of normalcy helps to make you feel stronger and healthier. This is a critical component of your recovery. If you do not start to engage in normal activities (even if they are painful/uncomfortable) your sense of doubt and hopelessness will increase. When you start re-engaging your normal life, you will slowly loose focus on your symptoms as you feel better from the other lifestyle choices you have put in place (physical, mental, diet, etc.)
COMMITMENT TO HEALTH:
I want to feel vital. While I have recovered from my symptoms, I still would like to feel as good as I can. I know you do too. If you are interested, let’s create a plan together to commit to certain lifestyle changes that will increase our health in 2014. I will do this with you. In fact, we can all do this together. Reply in the forum if you are interested in creating a health goals together and creating some mutual accountability. If this sounds like something people are interested in, we can decide about the best way for us to work on our health goals together.
Thank you to others in this forum that have helped me by sharing their stories.
Posted by SupportYou on 12 June 2010 - 08:04 AM
But it began to decrease in its strength. The sheer fear of the illness itself began to fade as I researched more, took my SSRI, and avoided any illegal drugs of course. Time is what healed me. I always believed the SSRI helped to alleviate the anxiety, but time is what truly got me over this. It was an extremely slow process...as if someone took the recovery remote control and hit "Slow". And as I was shifting slowly back to myself, I was no longer the little teenager that it started with. I was a grown young lady now. Along with my slow ass recovery process, I learned the virtue of patience, the precious opportunity I am given to live my life, my talents, the goodness in people around me, being responsible for MY mental health, and some nifty research skills to boot. I realized how relentless and resourceful I can be, and that I was brave. I also realized human beings are really amazingly resilient when faced with adversity. In a way, I'm thankful for the experience (when I'm not pissed at the amount of years I wasted). Well, not all was lost. I spent my entire 7 years researching my illness and also learned I had HPPD (Hallucinogenic Persisting Perception Disorder) from the E and weed, which caused the visual distortions (that too gets better only with time!)
The good news is, once you feel this veil lifting, you are so overjoyed that you forget how bad you felt. Life just falls back into place. You pick up the pieces are continue on.
I made it a PRIORITY to find the best therapies and meds for me. I would never sit back and deal with it. I was a fighter. You must be too. FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT! IT'S NOT FOREVER!
To feel like myself and even better than before, unfortuntately, takes some time. Some take months; others, years. Time is against everyone individually, but we all will experience our outcome one way or another. I made many friends on the forums and even was sent a gift from New Zealand from Mother Hen! You don't forget the journey, but when you do recover, you will find it extremely hard to recall this awful feeling of DP/DR. It's as if it truly was all but a dream. Feel free to drop me a line: beautyDFM@gmail.com
YOU WILL ALL OVERCOME THIS. I AM PROOF.
Posted by SolomonOrlando on 31 August 2014 - 12:25 PM
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Posted by StacyCecilia on 22 October 2012 - 06:28 PM
This is a fairly long post, as it needs to be. I have attempted to be thorough and clear in every recommendation and encouragement. I truly hope this helps you, even if all it does is offer a moment of hope. A prior warning- I try not to sugarcoat anything and I am very straight forward and honest (often times vulgarly) about things I have tried so you do not waste your time with "cure-alls" that are not successful. This takes time, it takes patience, and it takes strength and courage.
Before I begin, here is a little background on my own story.
In 2009 I was 19 years old. After a traumatizing year of panic attacks and a horrible anxiety-inducing relationship, I smoked pot one night and had a terrible panic attack. The next few days was the onset of my DP/DR. It remained with me consistently over the next few years. I found it difficult to work and go to school. I yearned to go out with my friends and enjoy my life, as this was the age you were supposed to take advantage of being young and dumb…but all I wanted to do was lay in bed and wish these feelings away.
I used to come onto this site religiously while I had both DP and DR. I was one of those worst-case-scenario members, or so I had thought at the time. I thought all hope was lost, I wanted a recovery and I wanted it now. I was constantly refreshing the "Road to Recovery" forum for something- anything- that would lead to an instantaneous recovery.
If it makes you feel better....
While suffering with DP/DR, I eventually graduated summa cum laude (that's the highest honors with a 4.0 GPA *kisses self*) and got a great job AND met the man of my dreams. Yes, all of this was possible while having DP/DR. So don't think you're an emotionless, uneducated blob. You're not. You're pretty and people love you. And you're smart. Unless you weren't that smart before the DP/DR then you're just as average as you were before. You may feel less intelligent, or you may feel like you can't feel, but that's just your brain being an asshole. It's like the placebo affect- if you tell yourself you're a dumb loveless monster then eventually...well you know. You gotta get out there. Whatever you have to do to snap yourself out of this dull foggy mess in your brain, just do it. Go out with friends. Get drunk. Say lewd shit to total stranger. Take a cold shower. Punch a window. Drive a sixth of the way there in the wrong direction Lloyd. Adopt a dog. Learn ballet. Whatever it takes. (note: do not do all suggestions in the same night please)
My Opinion on Why We Develop DP/DR
I am a self-proclaimed chronic googler. I can’t watch a movie without googling every character and I cannot suffer through any ailment- whether it’s a sore throat or anxiety- without educating myself enough on it that I could probably score higher on a medical examination than an actual doctor. I have researched depersonalization and derealization to the point where I almost dropped out of my program of study (business) to take up psychology.
So through all of this unofficial research, and reading stories here, my opinion is that DP/DR affects a select group of people (us) that all share similar characteristics. For the most part, I feel the majority of us are (or at least were) outgoing, creative, happy people at one point. We are an intelligent, and judging from most photos, attractive group of people. I also feel that the majority of us have suffered some way or another- whether anxiety, depression, a traumatic event, or just lots of stress.
Our brains are not equipped to handle such high amounts and frequencies of stress and emotion and it shuts down in a way- that is what we feel when we experience DP/DR. It is our brain’s way of protecting itself- by putting itself in a bubble so it cannot be harmed any more. That is why we feel distant, foggy, slow, lost, lonely…our brains made a barrier to mend itself. However, unless you give your brain the proper time and custom attention it deserves, you will continue suffering with DP/DR. Your brain cannot heal itself if you are constantly worried and stressing and anxious over the DP/DR feelings- then your brain is trying to deal with the DP/DR stress and cannot work on dealing with the prior stressors that led it to this point.
I swear by my advice and suggestions below…you need to give your brain and body time to cope and eventually heal. Time, space, understanding, patience, and hope.
If you’re like me, you want this instant cure- you want advice that you can follow and feel better tonight. It doesn’t work that way! Don’t let this get you down; keep in mind it will go away, maybe in a month, or next week, and for some of you- tomorrow! Nearly all of the things that helped me during my DP/DR are advice that I read about a million times on this exact forum, but a lot of them require time and patience and we don’t have time for that! But eventually, once you’ve tried all the cure-alls, and you still feel like shit, you will finally start to do the things that take a little more time but they do work. Most of the following advice takes little effort at a gradual pace to feel relief. If you really want to feel better, you need to help yourself.
1. BE ACTIVE! I for one hate exercising, I smoke cigarettes, I am thin but not fit, and honestly I couldn't afford a gym membership and had no motivation to even go if I had one. So when I say "active" I don’t mean join an body building team and sign up for a marathon. I really mean just don't lay in bed all day wondering why you're feeling the way you are. I personally took a Pilates class at school, and for one hour one day a week, I had an hour of freedom. Of course my DP/DR was still there if I thought about it, but the thing is, I wasn't thinking about it, I wasn't thinking about anything- I was relaxed and happy and ready to take a break from reality.
I also just sat outside, if doing nothing else but reading a book or listening to music. Just being in the sunshine and breathing fresh air was better than laying in a dark room with closed windows feeling like a baby bird hatching from an egg whenever I stepped into the sunlight. I promise you when I say it will take your mind off of it long enough to realize it's not so overbearing as you thought, and any time away from feeling in this sort of brain fog is worth it. Also, sunshine = Vitamin D and Vitamin D = happy brain.
2. RELAX! Quite contradictory to my first tip, but also very important. If you want to sleep all day or lay in bed all day, fine, I understand the lack of motivation when suffering from DP/DR. It takes a lot more to get out of bed than just thinking "I should get out of bed." But if you're going to make your bedroom your own personal oasis- be productive!
Don't stare at the ceiling with tears streaming down your face wondering "WHY ME" over and over again (like I did for a few months…). Watch a happy movie or TV show. Buy a sketch pad and some colored pencils and draw or scribble. Buy crossword puzzles or play games on your phone. Let your down time be spent doing things that occupy your mind- don't let DP/DR take over your brain!
Also, even if you don’t feel too energetic, keep your room clean. Clutter and disorder can make brain fog feel even heavier. There is nothing better than climbing into a made bed with clean sheets and not having to worry about where that smell is coming from (usually a week-old cup of coffee under my bed).
3. STOP WHINING! "I can't, I hate this feeling." "I will never ever be normal." "I want to go back to how I used to feel." "I can't live like this anymore." You need to stop saying these things. Seriously. Being recovered and remembering what a whiney baby I was makes me wish I could travel back in time and kick myself in the face. It's not a disease, it’s not cancer, your brain isn’t damaged in any shape or form. It's all in your god damn head! That is SO important when it comes to healing yourself! You are normal. You are perfect. Present You just needs Future You to come back in time and get kicked in the face. The more you tell yourself negative things, the more you start to believe it, and that is more unhealthy than anything. You need to give your brain some space and give it time to heal. I started by reminding myself, This is not forever. You are still the same person, you just see things differently for the time being. But nothing is different. You will be back to normal eventually. Not right now, but someday, and you will look back at this as some weird chapter in your life and what believe how unmotivated and discouraged you were with yourself- like I feel now.
4. BOOKS & APPS THAT HELPED! I don’t want to sound like a sales rep for the Apple Store or Kindle (unless I get approached by Apple or Amazon and am offered money for this) but after hours and hours of researching ways to cope, I found some books and apps that truly helped my brain get that down time it so readily deserved.
For those of you who like to read- I found a book called The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I can tell you right now that while the entire book is amazing, I must have read the following excerpt over and over again. It always made me so happy, like he knew what DP/DR was and this was the most encouraging thing I had read during my few years under my dark cloud:
I have little use for the past and rarely think about it; however, I would briefly like to tell you how I came to be a spiritual teacher and how this book came into existence. Until my thirtieth year, I lived in a state of almost continuous anxiety interspersed with periods of suicidal depression. It feels now as if I am talking about some past lifetime or somebody else's life. One night not long after my twenty-ninth birthday, I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread. I had woken up with such a feeling many times before, but this time it was more intense than it had ever been. The silence of the night, the vague outlines of the furniture in the dark room, the distant noise of a passing train - everything felt so alien, so hostile, and so utterly meaningless that it created in me a deep loathing of the world. The most loathsome thing of all, however, was my own existence. What was the point in continuing to live with this burden of misery? Why carry on with this continuous struggle? I could feel that a deep longing for annihilation, for nonexistence, was now becoming much stronger than the instinctive desire to continue to live. "I cannot live with myself any longer." This was the thought that kept repeating itself in my mind. Then suddenly I became aware of what a peculiar thought it was. "Am I one or two? If I cannot live with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with." "Maybe," I thought, "only one of them is real." I was so stunned by this strange realization that my mind stopped. I was fully conscious, but there were no more thoughts. Then I felt drawn into what seemed like a vortex of energy. It was a slow movement at first and then accelerated. I was gripped by an intense fear, and my body started to shake. I heard the words "resist nothing," as if spoken inside my chest. I could feel myself being sucked into a void. It felt as if the void was inside myself rather than outside. Suddenly, there was no more fear, and I let myself fall into that void. I have no recollection of what happened after that. I was awakened by the chirping of a bird outside the window. I had never heard such sound before. My eyes were still closed, and I saw the image of a precious diamond. Yes, if a diamond could make a sound, this is what it would be like. I opened my eyes. The first light of dawn was filtering through the curtains. Without any thought, I felt, I knew, that there is infinitely more to light than we realize. That soft luminosity filtering through the curtains was love itself. Tears came into my eyes. I got up and walked around the room. I recognized the room, and yet I knew that I had never truly seen it before. Everything was fresh and pristine, as if it had just come into existence. I picked up things, a pencil, an empty bottle, marveling at the beauty and aliveness of it all. That day I walked around the city in utter amazement at the miracle of life on earth, as if I had just been born into this world. For the next five months, I lived in a state of uninterrupted deep peace and bliss. After that, it diminished somewhat in intensity, or perhaps it just seemed to because it became my natural state. I could still function in the world, although I realized that nothing I ever did could possibly add anything to what I already had. I knew, of course, that something profoundly significant had happened to me, but I didn't understand it at all. It wasn't until several years later, after I had read spiritual texts and spent time with spiritual teachers, that I realized that what everybody was looking for had already happened to me. I understood that the intense pressure of suffering that night must have forced my consciousness to with draw from its identification with the unhappy and deeply fearful self, which is ultimately a fiction of the mind. This withdrawal must have been so complete that this false, suffering self immediately collapsed, just as if a plug had been pulled out of an inflatable toy. What was left then was my true nature as the ever-present I am: consciousness in its pure state prior to identification with form. Later I also learned to go into that inner timeless and deathless realm that I had originally perceived as a void and remain fully conscious. I dwelt in states of such indescribable bliss and sacredness that even the original experience I just described pales in comparison. A time came when, for a while, I was left with nothing on the physical plane. I had no relationships, no job, no home, no socially defined identity. I spent almost two years sitting on park benches in a state of the most intense joy. But even the most beautiful experiences come and go. More fun damental, perhaps, than any experience is the undercurrent of peace that has never left me since then. Sometimes it is very strong, almost palpable, and others can feel it too. At other times, it is somewhere in the background, like a distant melody. Later, people would occasionally come up to me and say. "I want what you have. Can you give it to me, or show me how to get it?" And I would say. "You have it already. You just can't feel it because your mind is making too much noise." That answer later grew into the book that you are holding in your hands.
I just think this entire passage is so beautiful and motivating. I do recommend reading the whole book. I purchased it on Kindle for a much cheaper price than in store, but my library also carried many of his books so check out there too! The book makes you realize who you ARE and what you're FEELING are two totally different things. He can explain it better than I can, so if you really want some encouragement, I suggest you get the book or at least download a free preview on the Kindle website and see how you like it.
For those of you who don’t like to read or would rather listen to a Scottish hypnotist lull you into a deep sleep, another purchase I made that really helped was Deep Sleep by Andrew Johnson, an App available for the iPhone. It is basically a Scottish psychiatrist/hypnotist saying wonderfully encouraging words for 45 minutes (although I am usually peacefully sleeping after 15 minutes) over an amazingly composed soundtrack of blissful music. I was the most skeptical person alive when I downloaded the free sample…imagining myself laughing at this ridiculous accent and then crying myself to sleep like a teenage girl. But I promise if you let it, it will certainly help you fall asleep on those hopeless nights and wake up refreshed and not in a state of worry like many of my mornings. His apps are $2.99 but he does have a free one called Relax with Andrew Johnson, which is vaguely similar to the Deep Sleep app. I'd recommend trying out the free one first because a lot of people don't like his accent- I find it wonderfully soothing- I wonder what that says about me. I have also purchased a few of his other apps such as Stress Free, Don't Panic & Move On, all equally helpful although the Deep Sleep is definitely my favorite- if I ever wakeup shortly after falling asleep to it, I feel like I just had an IV of Valium and you really can’t beat that for three bucks.
5. THERAPY AND MEDS! Yes they can help…but no you don’t need them! I can give advice from both ends of this controversial spectrum.
Med-wise, I have a prescription to Ativan (Lorazepam) taken on an as needed basic. The good thing about having anxiety in my case, is that I have anxiety about becoming addicted to benzos so I am able to regulate the amount and how often I take them. They helped on those really rough nights where I was due for a good sleep or couldn't stop crying. Otherwise, Tylenol PM or 1.5mg of Melatonin worked for me every so often.
Despite my infrequent benzo intake and my OTC drugs, I recovered SSRI-free as I was capable of going days or weeks without taking any meds of any sorts. It is possible to not rely on anti-depressants. I have heard that sometimes they help with DP/DR, sometimes they worsen it, and other times there is no difference. Basically what I am trying to get at is for those of you who have a prescription, you might as well try it out. And for those of you too scared to take drugs or can not afford it, don't stress it. I did fine without them
I was in therapy for one year, request of my mom (who, god bless her, is so supportive but also virtually unfamiliar with and immune to any sort of anxiety or depression, I am convinced she is not human), and I was on the fence about what I really got from my sessions. I immediately hated this lady because first session in, when I told her the DP/DR set in after I smoked pot she interrupted “YOU. YOU SMOKED POT?” wide-eyed and judgey like I just told her I was a cannibal.
Anyway, I went mostly for anxiety and depression, not so much DP/DR...I was almost embarrassed of it because nobody knew what it was, whether I was trying to explain it to a doctor or friends or family. Explaining DP/DR was like trying to solve a Rubix cube. Color blind. In the dark. Drunk. With one hand. And no fingers. I always called it a "brain fog" because it sounded less nuts than saying “I feel like I’m in my body but it’s not me and my brain feels funny and my eyes see weird and who am I and what is life” because that’s like a one-way ticket straight to the psych ward. But our conversations never got anywhere because she never really knew what I was feeling. Probably the most frustrating thing about my therapist was that she didn't know what DP/DR was and didn't know how to help, so in turn, she rarely touched upon it. She didn't understand it no matter how hard I tried to explain it, so I just stopped trying to make her get it.
However, whenever I first arrived to my one hour therapy session, I initially felt anxious and sad, but whenever I left I always felt hopeful. She was good at encouraging me to do better in my life and always congratulated me sincerely when I did. She was the only person I could talk to about relationships and family and depression without feeling like I was being judged. I also told her "NO MEDS!" on the first session to make sure she wouldn't try to push me towards drugging myself into a cure. I stopped going after she moved to a different office an hour away. Regardless, talking about it out loud and having her react casually to it made me realize, Hey, I sound fucking crazy. But I guess I'm not that crazy if she isn't reacting as surprised as I thought she would. It made me realize how silly some of my feelings and thoughts were by announcing them out loud. So I don't want anyone to think they need therapy, but at the same time, those of you who are considering it or are currently in it- it won’t hurt, and hopefully you could find a therapist who wasn’t a judgmental nerd like mine and be much better off.
6. NO MORE GOOGLE! Okay, given that if you hadn't been using google, you would've never found this site, but it's too late to change that. I can not push on everyone enough to stop googling symptoms and vocabulary and all that shit that you know is just going to psyche you out and scare you.
I have read my fair share of posts on this forum of people saying "I've had this for thirty years" and it made me want to cry and give up and just feel hurt and broken down. Stop. I was one of those people who thought I could never be cured, and here I am less than 4 years later without a worry or DP/DR thought for MONTHS! Try not to check this site everyday, but if you do, make sure you are not letting the negative things people are saying bring you down. Please. I feel like people who’ve head this for so so long are not giving their brain the proper rest and time it needs to heal from a traumatic or just super stressful period.
7. A GLIMMER OF HOPE! I remember reading posts on here about people who "snapped out" of their DP/DR for a second or a day or a week. It was so encouraging, so I thought I would share my story. Before I was completely cured of my DP/DR, I had what I often refer to as "a glimmer of hope." Since I my DP/DR came about, it had not relented even for a minute, it was constant, always with me, sometimes bearable but many times awful. I was dizzy and out of it and lost and scared and anxiety was my only outlook.
One night, laying in bed in the dark, I felt a sort of "zap" in my brain. It startled me, and normally would've led me into a full-fledged panic attack, but I noticed something. My brain felt clear. It felt as if a curtain had been lifted.
It was like, imagine you’ve been driving around with mud all over your windshield. You can see the road and street lights, but not that great. Everything on the other side of the windshield looks different because it’s so dirty (foggy, if you will), but you know it’s the same as always. Well imagine you finally bought that windshield wiper fluid you’ve been putting off buying because you’re lazy, well that’s what my glimmer of hope was like- my windshield was instantaneously clean.
Everything was the same as it had always been; I was, my room was, my life was- but I felt different. Better. Happier...I felt like I did before this cloud of DP/DR shadowed over me. I didn't jump out of bed and turn the lights on, I didn't scream out for joy, I just laid there, staring into the darkness, smiling, happy inside my heart. I fell asleep immediately and when I woke up, my DP/DR was there again- but I had this new found hope. I was so happy and excited when I realized that once this "sickness" wears off, I will be the same person I had always been. It hasn't changed me one bit. It hasn't ruined my life. It was encouragement and faith in the most amazing way. I experienced this "glimmer of hope" two or three more times, each time laying in bed in the dark, and every time it just restarted my "You're okay" cycle in my head. And it felt so good.
By now you're probably wondering what my cure-all answer is. That's something I want everyone to understand. There is no one solution. There is no set date. Everyone (including myself) says I want to be different and happy, I want to be myself again, but rarely try anything that isn't immediate or guaranteed. You need to realize this isn't going to happen over night- it could, but for many people it won't. It takes time, it requires you to stop feeding it all your attention. Stop letting the DP/DR control your life. When you feed something, it makes it stronger and more powerful. You are feeding it every time you let it decide what you're going to do tonight, every time you lay in bed depressed and hopeless, you are feeding it when you even think about it. That needs to end. You need to starve it, and let it die. Ignore it. You are so much stronger than anything going on in your brain.
For me, minus my glimmers of hope, my DP/DR disappeared so gradually over time that it wasn't a "ZAP" like the first few times. It was just me being happy and carefree one day and thinking, Oh my God, I'm all better! It was a wonderful realization. Somewhere in between getting my degree and being broken up with by like 23875 different guys and quitting jobs and being broke and considering just being a cat lady and living in a robe forever, and having hard days at work and fun times with friends, my DP/DR sort of...evaporated. It didn't just disappear, it gradually lessened over time. I still have my down days as everybody will, but knowing I have beat it once and can do it again is the most exhilarating, encouraging thought. You can do it.
I strongly welcome ALL questions on my recovery. Can you relate to my story? Did you try any of my suggestions? What worked? What didn't? I will try my hardest to respond to everybody, I really dislike when people post "I RECOVERED" yet fail to be more detailed or answer important questions. I want you all to feel the fantastic feeling I have inside my bones right now. It is wonderful, and you will feel it someday too, and I pray that when you do, you come back to this forum and tell your story with vigor and enthusiasm and help those who helped you. You're all strong, amazing people and we're like a family here- we understand each other, we support each other, and we genuinely care about one another.
Posted by Tommygunz on 20 October 2009 - 09:21 PM
ACETYLCHOLINE - is the neurotransmitter in the brain that is credited for memory, learning ability and concentration. here is a list of symptoms that can result from low acetylcholine. see if they sound familiar. Difficulty remembering names and faces after meeting people, Difficulty remembering peoples birthdays and numbers, Difficulty remembering lists, directions or instructions. Forgetting common facts, Trouble understanding spoken or written language, Forget where you put things, Making simple mistakes at work, Slowed and/or confused thinking, Difficulty finding the right words before speaking, Disorientation, Prefer to do things alone/social withdrawal, Rarely feel passionate, Feel despair and lack joy, Loss of creativity/lack imagination. here are a few things that can lead to low acetylcholine levels. Choline deficiency, B1 & B5 deficiency, Chronic stress, Inadequate sleep, Elevated blood sugar/insulin resistance, Mercury, lead, aluminium, PCB’s, fertilizers, pesticides and EMF exposure.
DOPAMINE - is a neurotransmitter that controls the flow of information in the brain, primarily pertaining to movement, pleasure, motivation, and cognitive function. a lack of dopamine activity results in reduced ability to feel pleasure, apathy, lack of enthusiasm, depression, lack of motivation, loss of interest, lack of urgency/procrastination, lack of attention span/concentration, slow learning, lack of libido, craving uppers, introverted/shyness, mentally and physically fatigued easily, prone to addictions, oversleep/trouble getting out of bed, weight gain. things that can result in low dopamine are a family history of alcoholism/ADD/ADHD, STRESS, specific antidepressants, cocaine, amphetamines, poor nutrition, poor sleep habits, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar. vitamin deficiency's that can decrease dopamine are C, D, B6, B12 and zinc.
ANIRACETAM - is a nootropic or "smart drug". It is lipid (fat) soluble and is known to have cognition enhancing effects. it has also been proven to have anxiolitic effects. it's anxiolitic effects are shown to be in response to stimulation of acetylcholine, dopamine and serotonin receptors. it's cognitive enhancing effects are due to selective modulation of AMPA receptors which are responsible for a significant portion of cognitive abilities like memory and learning. basically it clears up brain fog and reduces anxiety significantly. it does a great job at burning through acetylcholine though so it must be taken with an acetylcholine precursor like alpha GPC to avoid side effects. while it's sold as a nutritional supplement in most countries. it is prescription in europe and parts of africa.
ALPHA GPC - is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. unlike other choline sources it can easily cross the blood brain barrier to directly increase acetylcholine. in conjuction with DMAE and Phosphatidylserine it is a very powerful yet safe combination for increasing acetylcholine. in many studies it has shown marked improvement in memory and concentration as well as learning ability.
DMAE - is also a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. DMAE is very effective at increasing the overall level and activity of acetylcholine because of it's ability to cross the blood brain barrier and to assist in the conversion of alpha gpc into acetylcholine. DMAE claims to improve alertness, mood and cognitive functions. in the time i took it i noticed improvements in each one of those areas.
PHOSPHATIDYLSERINE - is an important fatty acid in the cell membrane known as a phospholipid. PS increases communication between cells in your brain by increasing the number of receptor sites for receiving messages. PS modulates the fluidity of cell membranes (essential to your brains ability to send and receive chemicle communications efficiently). PS will improve memory, learning ability, concentretion, and mental acuity (by increasing acetylcholine), reduce stress (by regulating cortisol), improve mood and DP/DR itself (by increasing dopamine). it has also been shown to increase alpha brain waves 15-20%.
B VITAMINS - are the all around must have vitamin for anyone looking to combat an anxiety spectrum disorder. they are crucial to energy production, healthy metabolism, cell division, and nervous system health. some are necessary for the conversion of amino acids into neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine. not all B supplements are created equal. many contain synthetic B's that the body doesn't properly utilize. always be thorough when selecting a B vitamin and go for the natural forms. an example of synthetic is B12 cyanacobalamin. which has a cyanide base. sounds yummy huh? whereas the natural form that an apple would contain is methylcobalamin. so apple or cyanide? kind of a no brainer. look for coenzyme B complex's as they are the natural form of the B vitamin with the coenzyme added so they are ready for the body to put to use immediately.
UNDERSTANDING DP/DR - What happens in DP/DR that allows it to become such a dominant part of your life is you notice it. when it triggered you may not have been aware of any immediate danger. you may have been under alot of stress at work, or just smoked a bowl with your friends. as far as you knew though you were well within your ability to tolerate the situation at hand. subconsciously though you couldn't handle it. whatever action that you took was one action too many. this action sent a signal to your brain that you had overdone something and that you needed to dissociate in order to avoid any further stress/trauma/toxic influence. so your brain triggered the fight or flight response. a state of mind that makes you essentially hyper aware so that you can better defend yourself from any threats. now as far as you were aware there was no threat. as far as you knew, you were in control just moments ago. you had nothing to fear. but now your brain is telling you that there is an immediate threat, but the only thing out of the ordinary is the way you feel. so you send the message to the brain that the threat IS the way you feel. well, now you have confirmed with your brain that there is a threat, so it maintains the fight or flight response so that you can stay in a heightened state to protect yourself. do you see where this is going? Because the feelings that come with the fight or flight response are interpereted as a threat, the threat does not cease. everytime you think about it or notice how you feel, your brain gets the message that the threat is still there. it gets locked in a self sustaining cycle.
HOW TO BREAK THE CYCLE- ignore DP/DR. move on with your life. forget about how you feel. get out and live a little. basically it will only go away once it is no longer perceived as a threat, so don't let it threaten you. don't be afraid of it. find distracting activities that allow you to not think about it. outdoor sports are a great distraction that help you relearn social skills and are a great source of exercise. go for nature walks and bike rides, go to the grocery store, out to dinner, to the movies, the book store, the library, the park, your friends house, your parents house, or even the coffee shop down the street. get out of the house, off your computer and live your life. think about the person you were before DP/DR. don't sit there and wallow, wishing that you could be that person again, remind yourself that you ARE that person. i understand that it is hard at first. it doesn't get better over night. but it won't get better at all if you don't make a move in the right direction. you have to forget about DP/DR in order to recover. not really forget it exists but forget that you have it. once it is out of your mind and no longer your focus, your mind will receive the "ALL CLEAR" signal. it will see that the threat is no longer there and begin to halt the feelings of DP/DR.
THE SUPPLEMENTS - to assist with moving on from DP/DR,i have created a list of supplements that help to reduce the symptoms. they are very effective when used in conjuction with each other. it is unlikely that they will take your DP/DR away completely but to date this regimen has had a high success rate at reducing symptoms and allowing people to get back to their lives.
Aniracetam - JL Nootropics, Two 750 mg capsules daily, 1 morning, 1 afternoon
Alpha GPC - Jarrow Formulas, Two 300 mg capsules daily, 1 with each Aniracetam
DMAE - Jarrow Formulas, One 150 mg tablet daily
Sharp Thought - Country Life, Three capsules daily for 1 week, then reduce to one a day
Coenzyme B Complex - Country Life, directions vary upon your sensitivity
Any USP Certified Fish Oil, high DHA content 2,000 - 5,000 mg daily
I would like to thank every member of this community for being here for me when i needed you, your help and support was crucial for my recovery and without you guys i never would have had the drive to find the answers that i have. there were times when i could have given up on myself, but i could not and will not give up on all of you.
WARNING - THIS TREATMENT IS INTENDED TO BE DONE INDEPENDENT OF ANY MEDICATION. I CANNOT BE CERTAIN OF ANY POTENTIAL INTERACTIONS. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW THIS TREATMENT COULD AFFECT ANY MEDICATION YOUR ON PLEASE ASK YOUR DOCTOR OR PHARMACIST!!!
This regimen will always be subject to modification due to new findings. which there probably will be.
Posted by Walkingzombie on 14 March 2014 - 03:16 PM
Yo Guys, I wanted to lay down some things I've learned since recovery. Some points that might help you in gaining some perspective, clarity, or at least something you can relate with. I struggled with DP for probably about a year and a half in total, but found my way out with family, friends, and a drive to better myself. The answer lies within you and often times it's not something you search for, but appears out of the actions that you take. So much of DP is spent searching for "that answer" that will somehow arrive to us after hours of intense reflection only to find ourselves no better than we were before we spent the hours in existential debate. I'm no stranger to obsessions and rumination, but much of this is just anxiety based fear. OCD simply stated is "fear of thoughts". We fear the very action that makes us human because of what we MIGHT discover. Discover it. I've learned that any self-discovery, be it good or bad, is essential in growing as a person. The bad allows us for an opportunity for change while the good can be looked at as a checkpoint of sorts, a moment for us to savor and then continue on learning from. Take these brief moments of honesty and learn from them. Self discovery isn't always about finding out what is good within ourselves. If anything, it can be more about turning the negative into a positive. At the end of the day, only you have control of your own journey. Everything else just influences it and how you choose to interpret it is up to you. I'll leave you with some points I found to be helpful to me.
- You're never as fucked up as you think. Racing thoughts? Take a moment to chill. Read a book, grab something to eat, work out, play a video game or an instrument. Feeling anxious? Know that it will pass. It always does. Sure, it's uncomfortable. Sure it sucks and it's scary, but the more you allow it to occupy your mind the more it will occupy you. Most of what you experience is just a symptom of the root cause of your DP, whatever that may be specific to your situation. I know mine came from a lack of a concrete identity and social insecurities that were repressed my whole life. Whatever it is, you're probably not as bad off as you think. No, I'm not downplaying your situation, but much of what is crafted in the DP mind is nothing more than an over-active imagination creating the worst possible situation imaginable. How often does that situation happen though? How often do people REALLY know we are DP'd? Sure, they might think we can be a bit odd, but they have no understanding of your condition unless you openly tell them about it. We fear what we don't know or perceive to be true. Perception is reality. If you think you're never going to get better then you won't. Plain and simple. Stop inviting everyone to your pity party that you don't even want to be a part of it. Why would anyone else?
-Action, not thought, will guide you home. The hours spent in your room in existential angst, crying, feeling sorry for yourself, or the multitude of other things we do when in a Depersonalized state will only further keep you in that state. It is only when we break from routine and challenge ourselves that we embark on a path of discovery. Always wanted to learn how to skateboard? Do it. Thought about picking chess back up again? Do it. Put your instrument down because you haven't been motivated to play in a while? Play it. There is no greater satisfaction than rediscovering what we once loved and falling in love with it all over again. At first it will be difficult, scary, anxiety producing. Use that as your motivation to continue. It's been proven that the more we do something, the better we become at it. The better we become at, the more we enjoy it. The more we enjoy it, the bigger the part it becomes in us. For me, that was rediscovering guitar. As someone who gets depressed, I can find myself putting the instrument down for months at a time. It is only when I pick it back up, sing, and write/learn new songs that I wonder why I ever stopped in the first place. There should never be a reason to stop doing something that you love. Don't create one. Time spent in unnecessary thought can be used for so many other purposes. It is through new action and experience that we learn or else we are forced to replay old memories in our head until we completely change the original memory to suit our liking. Walk down to the pond, skip rocks, swing on the swingset, enjoying the sight of the young and old living together in harmony and know that YOU are part of that. Action without conviction is not action at all. When out with friends, be out with friends. When swinging on a swing, swing like the child you once were. When playing an instrument, create new chords just for the sake of curiosity. You can truly can do nothing wrong, but learn from the experience. DP is not about creating a new you as we so often believe it to be. "If only I do this, I will become that". There is no magical pill or instant solution, but what you put into your recovery effort will help to shape the person you want to be. You don't have to create a new you. You are fine just the way you are.
-Don't compare yourself to other people, especially those on the forum. Now this one may seem to be a bit strange coming from the fact that this whole forum is based upon community and the joint process of recovery, but knowing that someone else has the same symptoms as you does not make your own disappear. It can be initially comforting knowing that you are not alone in experiencing DP, but what are you going to do to change it? This other person could live on a completely different continent and share nothing in common with you but the fact that they have similarities in the Depersonalization experience. Don't take satisfaction in knowing that you are better, worse, or even with someone on the forum. This will not do anything to aid your recovery. It's a mere checkpoint based on subjective experience. You truly don't know who is better and who is worse than you based on a mere matter of a few sentences on a message board. Their experience is different than yours and therefore irrelevant to your recovery. Recovery is a choice you must make yourself. You can take all the advice you want, read all the posts, and still completely ignore them. You can even read this post in it's entirety, feel a sense of motivation, and lose it completely. Anything worth having takes time. In a world filled with fast food, Netflix, and instant gratification we so often want something and we want it now. Recovery is not a "now" based activity. It is a process with ups and downs. Learn to roll with the punches.
-Face your fears. Afraid of talking to cute girls? Talk to them and fail miserably. Understand that your temporary rejection does not define you. Chances are they'll forget you 5 minutes after you leave and from that experience you have learned. There is no such thing as failure, but learning lessons. The things we fear the most are often the things we should do. I was crippled with Social Anxiety for over two years, afraid to open my mouth for fearing of saying something stupid and being judged for it. Most people aren't listening anyway, but rather waiting for their turn to speak. It is only when you place yourself in a state of vulnerability that you can grow from the experience. My mom always used to say "I'm not going to let you sit up in your room with the covers over your face. Go out and do something". Truer words have never been spoken. Sitting in and hoping you fears will just disappear without action is like expecting to lose weight without working out and eating right: It's not going to happen. It is only when you realize fear is a product of the mind that you are free to do whatever you want. If you're gonna make a mistake, make it big.
-Meet new people. We don't learn things when we speak. There is nothing to be learned from speaking of what we already know. We learn when we listen. In the words of Jimi Hendrix, "Knowledge speaks. Wisdom listens." Open yourself up, set yourself up for rejection, and know that not everyone wants to nor will be your friend, but those that like you for the weirdo you are, are the ones to keep around. For me, this was discovering an acquaintance of mine from High School again. We were not particularly close in High School beyond occasional small talk and the exchange of pleasantries in the hallway. I can say with absolute certainty, that he has influenced me more than anyone I have ever met. He has challenged me to be a better musician, a more caring person, and a better friend. We are now a part of a 3 man band with original music written by myself and look forward to playing more gigs as the warm weather approaches. Had I rejected him for selfish fear, I would have never made the best friend I have today. Everyone needs friends. No one is a failure who has friends to call his own. Meet new people. You'll be surprised with what you discover. Groups are the building block of society. It may sound cliche, but no man is an island. We are social creatures and thrive off social interaction. Even though I'm much more outgoing than I once was, I'm no natural extrovert. I'm an introvert with a good sense of humor which can sometimes give the illusion of extroversion, but I find that most people with DP are of the introvert personality type. Don't beat yourself up if you're not the center of attention. Let the other person make a fool of themselves. There is a place in this world for the quiet, sensitive type.
-You are capable of change, but only if you want it. This is the last point I'll leave you with, but anyone is capable of curing themselves. You just have to "want it". What does that mean exactly? It sounds like a catch phrase for a Nike commercial, but there is truth in the statement. It's easy to give up. It's easy to turn to drugs and alcohol, but there is something to be admired in the person who faces life and the difficulties it presents with a smile on their face and determination in their heart. At the expense of sounding preachy, you are capable of much more than you are handling right now. Take that extra class. Run that extra mile. Talk to the stranger at the bus stop. You can live a good life, not a life of constant happiness, but a a good life if you choose to make the decision to do so. You will fall down in the process. Have the courage to stand up, brush off your knees, and continue on your run. The finish line is worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
Posted by S O L A R I S on 15 August 2010 - 02:26 PM
I would say that DP is more challenging that DR. I do not really care about my external environment as much as I care about having deep emotions and connecting with myself and my experiences.
Posted by jujuelephant on 12 November 2013 - 02:35 PM
Hey everyone! First off, I would like to say you are all amazing, sensitive, imaginative, wonderful people, and you deserve to live, happy, fulfilling lives!!!!!! DP is a pain in the ass, but it is NOT permanent, and it is DEFINITELY curable. Hang in there, PLEASE.
I know the horrible, horrible hell that life with DP can be and the pain and indescribable discomfort that this state can cause. I am not a doctor, or a counselor or any sort of expert, but I have spent 2+ years living (well, more like numbly floating through life) with DP and all of its debilitating symptoms. I was convinced I was losing my mind, slipping away into an irreversible insanity. I felt so disconnected from everyone, my family, friends, activities, the trees, the earth, EVERYTHING. The worst part though was how disconnected I felt from my own self...my mind and my body, my image in the mirror, my thoughts, my gestures, the words coming out of my mouth. Also, I was paralyzed by the constant obsession I had with analyzing where my thoughts and movements came from, who this person that I am really was, what is a person, what is life itself, etc, etc..in short an obsessive and debilitating existential crisis that I'm sure many of you experience in addition to the discomforting, lifeless, and hazy state that DP already creates.
AAANyway, I am now living DP-free, and the brief moments when DP does make an appearance in my life, it is fleeting and completely manageable. Maybe my personal story will help some of you so I'll try to point out the major things that eventually led to my complete recovery from DP!
First and foremost, I would say: Accept the feeling of DP and try not to be scared by the sensations and thoughts that you experience—being scared and anxious about what you’re experiencing only makes these sensations grow stronger. If you remind yourself that DP is just an intense state of anxiety and mental exhaustion (one that will eventually pass), then you can hopefully grow less scared of the feeling of numbness and unreality that comes along with it. Instead, try to imagine DP as a sort of tool that your mind and soul use to rest while your physical body continues to go about your daily life. Your emotional and mental self must have reached their limits one way or another, maybe it was severe stress, anxiety, life events, whatever; the point is, your psyche needed to take a break so it cut itself off from the rest of yourself for a while, it took a break; it went into a sort of “hibernation mode” for a short while. This doesn’t mean that your sense of “self” or your full emotional and mental capacities will be gone in this state forever, they will be back; they just need some time off right now to regain strengths. Really, in my experience, the sort of “breakthrough” thing that helped me at least move in the right direction out of DP and into my old self was accepting the feeling of DP (and all of the uncomfortable and frightening thoughts and sensations that came along with it). Basically, I urge you to please understand that while you may be feeling like a zombie, terrified and confused, you are not in any danger and you will not have any sort of permanent damage, mental or otherwise, as a result of DP.
In addition to this, I would advise you to get out and express what you’re feeling or experiencing, whether this means talking to someone about it, writing about it, going to a therapy session—really, sharing with someone who you trust (or can learn to trust like a psychologist). I know how helpful this can be because for the first five or six months of my own experience with DP, I pretended like everything was fine and I was afraid to even tell anyone about the strange and crazy feelings and thoughts I was going through; I was sure they would think I was crazy and they would dismiss whatever I was saying. However, I learned that finally letting people know about my inner life and actually being open to receiving love and help from others was SO beneficial to my eventual recovery. I had never been to a psychologist or a psychiatrist before but I really did find this helpful. Also, just talking to a family member or a friend who loves you can help. I learned that no matter how crazy the words that were coming out of my mouth were sounding, the people around me really did come through and remind me how much they care about me. It really took some opening up though for me to realize that I was even cared for so much. Really, being vulnerable and open to others really CAN be tremendously helpful.
I would also maybe point out that as far as quick-fix remedies for DP go, I found that getting immersed in some activity that you enjoy really helps—for me especially it was listening to music. If nothing else, music helped to drown out my anxious, existential crisis thoughts for a while. Also, I’m not going to suggest you become an alcoholic, but having a glass of wine or a bottle of beer seemed to calm me down quite a bit. My psychiatrist also prescribed me citalopram, which seemed to help out with the obsessive fearful thinking and the depressive states that come along with DP.
Anywho, what I’ve learned is that most people with DP are great, sensitive people, who simply reached some sort of limit of emotional functioning and had to be disconnected from the world and from their mental processes for a while. It’s a defense mechanism and nothing more. So I want to say good luck to all of you, hang in there, YOU CAN RECOVER! 100% J
Posted by Xerei on 18 May 2010 - 06:10 PM
First of all, u HAVE to accept it, u got DP, in my country its a common symptom to anxiety, just tell yourself that you have NOTHING to fear, unpleasant - yes, dangerous - no, no and NO!!!
Think about it as little as possible (stay distracted..), might be hard at times, but every second you dont think about it, it's a great step to recovery.
Walk straight into what triggers your DP a couple of times, just for the fun (just kidding), go into it to see how strong your DP can get if you dont think about it a lot, (and that aint gonna be bad) now, as your DP goes strong for a second, look back to when it was weak compared to it, it will then seem like no problem at all, then go out of the situation, and calm down.
Socialize, just to rub the following message into DP's face: U DONT CONTROL ME, ITS MY LIFE, ITS MY TIME, BITCH! U AINT GONNA GET A SHIT OF ME.
Yep...thats how it works, give it NOTHING absolutely NOTHING.
Force yourself to look in the mirror a couple of times each day, and say this to the 1 staring back: this is me, my face, my hair, my eyes.
Get the sleep you need, because sleep deprivation can actually be the cause for short-term DP.
Understand this: The DP isnt a part of you, its not a part of your life, you as a person, or your own unique personality, its a part of your thoughts, and thoughts change.
Stay optimistic and dont you fuckin give up on me, if you give up ill be really disappointed.
Dont focus too much on yourself, focus on what happens, instead of looking for the pain inside.
Slow down and stop thinking every once in a while.
Dont rush through everything you have to do, that just makes it worse.
Loose yourself in something, a nice hobby, a game, maybe chess?
Eat and drink whatever you WANT to eat or drink, what you WANT is often what you NEED.
Remember that your not alone.
Dont feed the DP, just like you dont feed the internet trolls (i used to be a troll aswell, and if i get no food i stop).
Have fun, smile and be happy, meditation and praying helps btw.
When your starting to reach the point you want you may be a little confused by the emotions you havent felt in so long, but that passes quickly.
Also: I know that it may seem dark where you are sitting at the moment, but ive been there, many people have been there, many people are there now, but there IS a way out.
And if any of you have any questions or whatsoever, contact me, come to the chat, (and dont google it..that just gives u unwanted information)
And id like to thank tommygunz for helping me through the recovery process.
PS: if it goes slow, dont try speeding it up, just liev at the moment, let past be past, dont worry about the future, it hasnt arrived yet.
Oh, and if your DP comes back by any chance, repeat the simple process.
May peace and God be with ya all.
Posted by yoloking on 20 March 2015 - 03:21 PM
I am nearly 100% recovered and would like to share my story and offer my thoughts/experience/insight to hopefully help others.
First, my story with DP/DR. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a 19 year old student from the UK.
My DP/DR was triggered by a panic attack from being too drunk/high in a crowded train car on New Years eve. It was the most intense experience I have had: the world seemed to slow down to a complete stop; I felt like I had fallen into some kind of void of consciousness. Anyways, everything was fine until a few days later when I began to feel "high" again (it is important to mention that I was also going through a very stressful period in my life). I tried to resist the feeling but doing so only made it worse. Almost immediately, the classic symptoms appeared: panic attacks, emotional numbness, 2D vision, floaters, visual snow, after-images, tormenting existential thoughts. Unfortunately, like a lot of people I thought that I had either triggered schizophrenia or somehow fucked up my brain with drugs. The first month was absolute hell. Most of my time was spent sleeping, crying or mindlessly surfing the internet. I did not have the nerve to tell my parents or seek help or treatment. I constantly had mild panic attacks in class and could not concentrate on anything. It got so bad that for a while, I contemplated dropping out of uni...
About three months later, I am calmly writing this. I haven't had a panic attack in about two weeks (despite the stress of essay deadlines), and nearly all of my symptoms are gone (still have floaters and slight emotional numbness and strange thoughts)! I also still have some unresolved relationship issues I need to deal with, but I am certain that a full recovery is around the corner and just wanted to share my experience before I move on with the rest of my life. In short, you will recover. Let me explain why:
My thoughts on "DP/DR":
If I am like anyone else going through this, the big question for people seems to be: "what the fuck is the cause of depersonalization/derealization?" While there are many different theories, from childhood abuse, chemical imbalances to spiritual enlightenment; I have come to the unscientific conclusion that DP/DR is:
...merely a symptom of accumulated trauma/anxiety
- I believe that for at least 98-99% of people, DP/DR is simply a temporary defense mechanism to deal with accumulated trauma. This trauma may be anything from childhood abuse, "unprocessed" trauma, PTSD or even accumulated stress and anxiety. The panic attack or drug use is simply a trigger for the defense mechanism to engage. Once the root cause, whether it be trauma and/or anxiety is dealt with, there is no need for the defense mechanism (experienced as DP/DR).
Do not let symptoms/feeling/fog of DP/DR generate more fear and anxiety, as they can quickly (probably have already) developed into a cycle. DP/DR is "protecting" you from the perceived dangers. If you perceive a symptom such as 2D vision or anxiety as a danger, this will fuel the cycle. You need to break the cycle by "letting go", also known as "not giving a fuck/learning to ignore the symptoms/thoughts".
original trauma(s) -----> trigger -----> DP/DR -----> fearing DP/DR -----> DP/DR continues ----> fear continues
In short, you most eliminate both the original trauma and the DP/DR cycle. This is MUCH easier said than done, however this will probably cure 98-99% of people! This can be done either alone or by seeing a therapist/psychologist/counselor. Also, I am not against taking drugs for anxiety, if a doctor recommends it.
Sadly, there seems to be a very very very small percentage of people who seem to have DP/DR as a "disorder". I am not sure why but I suspect that most of these people also have other severe issues as well (chronic OCD, depression, anxiety) which complicate DP/DR. I honestly hope that they to will recover, but I recommend you leave this forum as they are not exactly encouraging...
"congrats, you got the short term version..."
"I have felt like this for last 25 years..."
"DP/DR will never go away, deal with it..."
I also wanted to add that it is highly unlikely that drugs, particularly recreational use of soft drugs (marijuana) altered your brain structure or create a permanent chemical imbalance. Likewise the fear of developing schizophrenia is equally irrational (if you were developing schizophrenia you would not be able to realize it, the fact you think you are developing schizophrenia proves you aren't).
1. stop fearing DP/DR
2. socialize as much as possible, make new friends
3. quit researching symptoms or DP/DR
4. sleep at least 8-9 hours
5. eat a healthy balanced nutritious diet
6. go to the gym and/or run regularly
7. develop a positive attitude towards life
8. CBT therapy for anxiety (if needed)
9. have sex/intimacy/human contact
10. temporarily minimize the stress in your life
11. taking multivitamin/fish oil
12. take up old and new hobbies/interests
13. learn how to properly process traumatic events (don't let it accumulate)
14. quit "reality or recovery checking", it is a very slow process
15. reflect on your life, what you are doing, what you want to do
16. learn to live everyday like it was your last
17. improve your relationships with your family
18. leave this site forever
19. distraction is key
20. do things that force you to be "in the moment"
21. take long reflective walks
22. interact with your surroundings
23. write down and share your thoughts and feelings with others
I did not include this to the checklist, because this probably won't help most people, but did help me:
I started to wear a mechanical watch again (Junkers 6060-5). This actually helped me realize that reality still existed in intense DP/DR moments as the watch would help "ground" me in reality and helped with distorted time perception of DP/DR... This also renewed interest in watches!
Lastly, you have to stop over thinking everything, particularly existential thoughts. This was really hard for me to do, but I came up with an answer: just live your life, there is nothing you can do about your existence. Live life, many of these questions do not have answers. Let the thoughts happen but don't give them value. Again I realize, this is easier said than done.
Remember not to be hard on yourself. Do not blame yourself for getting DP/DR, it was not your fault. Even if it was drug-induced, there was no way to predict that drugs would trigger DP/DR! As you recover, you may find some of the "recovery steps" very difficult. Just remember that this is totally normal!
In addition, stop worrying about how long it will take to recover! Everyone's DP/DR is different and everyone's circumstances are also different. It took me 3 months to get where I am here today and I am probably 90-95% recovered. It just depends on the person. Think about it like this: it's like when you were a child and you keep asking your parents "are we there yet? are we there yet?" Did this make the journey any shorter? No, if anything it made it feel longer! DP/DR is the same way, you have to try to stop constantly monitoring how you are feeling and thinking about how long you have had or will have DP/DR.
Also, wearing sunglasses helped me deal with the visual symptoms (particularly light sensitivity and after-images).
Things to avoid:
-spending excessive time alone/prolonged isolation (this is very important)
-drugs (yes, even the sticky icky...) as you WILL relapse even once recovered
-alcohol (only after you recover, while it may provide some relief, DP/DR is a joke in comparison to alcoholism)
helpful links: (the only "research" you should be doing!)
DP/DR did not change me, if anything it made me realize how beautiful life is and the importance of helping others, even if they cannot do anything for you. You realize that it is relationships, not materialism that make you happy. Sorry if this sounds preachy or cliched but it's true! Also, once you recover you will be mentally stronger than ever! Once you conquer fear, you can conquer anything!
This basically concludes my post, I hope this helped. I try to answer questions for a while, but eventually must leave this site and so will you
UPDATE: I am on holiday and will probably not respond to any questions for the next 2 weeks or so! So if you do have any questions, just post them below and I will try to answer them when I can. See you in 2 weeks or so! Stop analyzing and start living!
Time will heal! DP/DR are just symptoms of anxiety/trauma. Recovery is slow, non-linear journey. It may get worse before things get better. Just remember you will recover, and this won't change who you are. Almost anything can be overcome if you put your mind to it!
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself" - FDR
Posted by Optimist on 12 June 2013 - 02:02 AM
After spending about a horrible year in the midst of this so called "disorder", I can say I am entirely 100% out of it. DP has shown no trace for months. Everything feels normal, nothing feels alien or unreal. I don't do those existential thoughts anymore. Everything in my life feels exactly like it did before DP hit me. My emotions are absolutely back to normal and exploding. The most important indication that I have conquered this is that I don't even remember how DP feels like. It feels like I've been normal all long, even during the times when DP was at its peaks. It's funny how your brain works. When DP'ed, you will feel like you've always been in that state, you even start questioning how you were before DP, or whether or not you ever were even normal. After recovery, it feels like you've always been normal, even when in the middle of DP struggling. You will even start laughing at yourself for suffering this long.
I remember back then when I was suffering, I would read the posts of those who recovered and said "it's all in your head, you're all normal to earth, just live a normal life and you will recover". My reaction would be: " screw you, this all can't be just in my head !! You obviously have no clue what you are talking about." I used to believe that I have an illness and I am fucked in the head. This made me waaaay more stressed, and thus dp would get worse. I always thought those who recovered had a DP that was milder than mine, or theirs was somehow different altogether. Somehow i knew that I won't recover like them. yeah, all the negativity, no wonder DP lasted that long. Somehow, everyone believes that their version of DP is the worst.
Now, to the main question, how to recover.
The answer: NOTHING. yep, nothing. Other than to fully accept it. Some would say: but I tried to accept but DP still lingers for years. Well, I've been there, you weren't actually accepting it deep down. Believing that you have accepted it doesn’t mean that you actually have successfully accepted it! There are two different levels of acceptance: accepting on the surface, and accepting deep down. Do you want a proof that you haven’t fully accepted your state: what the hell are you doing on this forum? and why are you reading my post?
You aren't on this website unless this condition is bothering you, so tell me again how you have come to accept it? Well, you haven’t. To accept it is to actually live with it as though it exactly never exists. It should never bother you anymore. Even though I heard this advice once DP hit me, I only started to apply it successfully after about 10 months of suffering. It is that hard. You actually have to feel or show no emotions/reactions AT ALL whenever an episode of DP strikes. Here’s a list of questions, if you answer to even one of them with a yes, then you haven’t accepted your DP:
- Do you sincerely hate your DP feelings?
- Do you wish to recover from this and never have it again?
- Are you trying to rush your recover?
- Have you stopped practicing some of your activities or postponed them until after recovery?
- Do you constantly check on how your feeling, or rate your DP from 1 to 10?
- Do you spend hours researching the condition online?
- Do you wish you never had this condition?
- Do you think fate was unfair for you to have suffered with this?
- Do you think you are unhappy because of DP?
The list can go on and on, but I think that would be sufficient to convey my message.
I am sure that vast majority here would answer with a yes to all of the questions, or even add 50 more questions and answer them with a yes. If you do, then I suggest reconsidering that you actually haven’t even taken the first step into recovery. Stop moaning and start living !!
I repeat, it’s not easy to fully accept it. It’s hard to pretend that you don’t hate those feelings it brings. It’s hard to not think negatively and ruminate all day long when it strikes you. One word: distraction. No matter how chronic or severe your condition is, if you distract yourself for long enough without rejecting your DP in anyway, you will be on the right track.
Now, you all have to realize one thing, this website is TOXIC. Not only that it’s filled with negatively and people who halt your recovery, it actually forces you subconsciously to think about DP. Remember: thinking about DP even in the slightest means you’re not fully accepting it.
You don’t have to follow a certain lifestyle or take specific medications to get over this. Many different studies have shown that SSRI pills have the same effect as placebo pills. You don’t need them as they do more destruction than to actually cure you magically.
If you want to have a strict lifestyle for recovery, sure please do. If that works, good for you. However, This actually can work against recovery for some people. For example, some would say you have to cut down on coffee since it increases anxiety. Whenever I did that, I found myself more thinking of DP and rejecting the its feelings. In other words, it kept me away from accepting it. A strict lifestyle to get rid of DP means you’re trying hard to recover, which means you’re NOT fully accepting it. Though some people managed to recover following that. Not me however.
In my opinion, psychiatrists aren't the best to treat this. They will label you with a “disorder” and give you drugs that work no better than a placebo. This labeling alone can crush recovery for some people. You will start to think that you are different, unfortunate, and less than other people. Even though you aren't in any way. You will research online to only find stories of those others who got labeled and didn't feel better, and you will assume the same will happen to you. Labeling will force you to walk in a very specific way in life, even though you are free to walk wherever you want. Dark thoughts and pessimism will be planted in your head, and worse suffering is to follow. Even though their intention might be pure, I do believe a lot of psychologist and psychiatrists worsen the condition of sufferers. All of anxiety, depression, and many other mental disorders are still unclear to them even though they believe they know it all. However, when you ask those who actually recovered WITHOUT medication, and you will hear different approaches.
I have mumbled for a little while, I apologize for a long post. I even have not organized my thoughts before typing this. I just opened a new thread and said here whatever I had on mind. I just know how much I loved reading recovery stories back then. It lit my tunnel with hope, and I would like to do the same here. This is completely curable I assure you. I do believe that most people recover from this. However, we all leave forums for good and forget about it. That’s why you only see those negative people lingering around here and spreading false facts.
I will try to answer questions as much as I can. I will try to pull myself back to this forum from time to time.
All of you DP people, this will go away I assure you. Just never come back to these forums again and live your life to the maximum. FULLY ACCEPT YOUR DP, DEEP DOWN. Don’t just say that you do. There's nothing wrong with your brain. Remember that !!
Wish you all the best.
Posted by ThoughtOnFire on 17 December 2016 - 02:41 PM
1) Find enjoyment in the simple things; A cup of coffee or tea in the morning, a conversation with a close friend, a sunrise or sunset, a favorite song.
Posted by gmriefler on 05 April 2016 - 04:44 PM
In a previous post I mentioned that I was finally healing from dpd. dpd "started" in 1996, and has been absolutely chronic until within the past few months and especially the past few weeks. I have come to terms with my childhood emotional neglect (at least to some degree), and I have felt intense REAL sadness and anger during the past few months. I also had glimpses of joy, wholeness, and peacefulness but they were lasting for only a few seconds, and I also continued to perceive the world as flat, not very 3D, objects were not distinct from one another, etc. That was when I was taking Cymbalta (120 mg) and Klonopin (1 mg). This changed dramatically a few days after my pDoc put me on Geodon (20 mg at night), an atypical antipsychotic, two weeks ago. I was hesitant to try Geodon (I actually put off starting it for one month) because I was on Zyprexa and Risperdal back in 1996 and 1997, before I even knew I had dpd or that something called dpd even existed, and they did nothing but make me feel even more spacey back then. This time, a few days into taking Geodon, I began to feel real happiness for the first time in 20 years. Not just "surface" happiness or joy, but as if I was and am truly happy once again. A weight began to lift off of my shoulders. And finally last week (after 1.5 weeks of being on Geodon) my perception has gone almost entirely back to normal My friend and I were driving out of town, and while I was in the passenger's seat I was simply looking outside at the trees and nature. I realized that everything didn't look flat, but had depth and dimensions. Of course I cried when I realized this. That was last Friday, and my perception has continued to improve. Things seem almost (almost almost almost) back to "normal" again- I feel such peace and happiness. I feel as if I have "settled back into" my body, and I am not afraid anymore of dpd or life in general. My therapist couldn't believe what he was seeing last week (I have seen him for 2 years at least twice a month). I was alive, present, cracking jokes, witty, and unfiltered...the REAL ME.
One thing I am dealing with, as all of these great things happen to me, is the sadness of "losing" 20 years of my life. Surely they weren't completely wasted, but feeling disconnected from my "self" and my life all of those years is very painful to fully realize. I apologize to myself as I sob and scream about it in my car (when I'm parked away from people in my work parking lot). But it is something that is very sad and incomprehensible even for me.
I plan on writing a book about my recovery to help the public and others to understand dpd from a survivor's standpoint. I have kept an email journal (emailing myself lol) of my progress for the past 3 months. Here is a section of an emai from early last week:
"It was raining a little bit today as I drove to work, but again I wasn't feeling disconnected or "annoyed" about it. I feel as if I am "back (or safe)" in my body, and I am not as concerned with the environment around me. It's as if my "self" has returned and is now concerned about how I am feeling and what is happening in my life in the current moment, and I am not feeling "oppressed" by the clouds and the gloomy weather. I was inside my car and safe, and my mind is with me, with its emotions, and my consciousness was not outside somewhere escaping my mind or emotions, or looking outside my "self" for some type of answer, direction, or emotion. I am comfortable and safe, and even better I am extremely happy. I listened to music and sang some karaoke in my car as I drove. My mind wasn't empty and in the clouds. I was present and I was driving to work and I was happy. I made sure that I breathed more deeply when I felt like I was holding my breathe unconsciously. I'm so happy to be alive and almost back to normal (I'd say I'm only 20% or so disconnected now, compared to 95% 3 months ago). I've come along way toward making a COMPLETE recovery, I have a few more steps to take, and I will never step back although I will realize that that was my life for so many years (this last sentence is making me cry hard right now)."
Take care everyone. You'll find the help you need to be recovered...it may take time, but you will find it!
Posted by derda on 28 October 2015 - 06:03 AM
Posted by Livedreamer on 07 April 2014 - 12:27 PM
This is to those who are in the begining stages of DP/DR ,which is the worst trust me it gets alot better. Right now you have many questions and are constantly obsessing about your symptoms. This is normal and no your not going crazy and your brain isnt (fried). Whether it was triggered by lsd,shrooms,weed, alch, natural, etc.. Its the same disorder; here are a list of tips that i found important in my recovery.
1.) Get informed on the disorder, yes you will encounter some information that can scare the crap out of you, but it is better to get your questions answered then dwell on them all day.
2.) Share your experiences, in the beggining stages we think we are the only one's going through our symptoms but its amazing how common alot of our symptoms really are. It is important that you feel that you are not alone and it is good to be reassured by others to help calm the anxiety which makes it a big deal.
3.) Control your research, I know its hard not to obsess about this but the more you dwell on your symptoms the stronger they become, now dont think oh shit i have thought so much im screwed most of us do thats why it has become a disorder its a process in the recovery. Do not read up on symptoms that you dont have you dont wanna pick up on other peoples symptoms. remember its all anxiety no schizo, no mania, no cotards. although theres many common symptoms you may not have what the other does and vice versa, which in a anxiouse state you can pick up these Bullshit ideas. Look specificaly for what you feel.
*4.) The elephant in the room. Once your questions are answered and you understand your not going crazy or whatever fear triggered your DP , mine was the thought that shrooms and acid fucked up my mind and I was now crazy. You have to move on DISTRACT yourself although you still feel it you have to try to not give it attention, you may no its there but try and proceed with your life like its not. Trust me with time it reduces the symptoms.
*5.) Time, talking about time you have to trust that this disorder will go away every hour you spend not thinking about it you are taking a step towards recovery there will be a point where you dont even notice the symptoms until you actually provoke those thoughts.
6.) Hope, dont give in and say i will be like this forever, hope is crucial.
*7.) balanced diet, stay away from cigaretts,weed, any type of caffeine. And stock up on watermelon this fruit calms your adrenal glands which helps reduce stress.
8.) Only come to this website if you need reassurance.after you know what you need to know stay away unless you NEED to know something dont just come because u want to know more, remember you want to forget about this disorder not spend your time obsessing.
9.) Express Yourself. You have alot of built up emotions inside of you, whether its to a trusted friend someone you met here, or to yourself cry your heart out when you feel it coming it is good it helps with the feeling of being detached or emotionless etc...
There are many more i have forgot to mention if you want to contact me my email is firstname.lastname@example.org , i am here if you have any questions or just want to talk you can send me messages but honestly i hardly ever come to this site just every once in a while to help people in the situation i was once in. Happy thoughts
Posted by Guest on 17 February 2013 - 12:26 PM
So here goes.
When doctors label you with a mental disorder, give you drugs for it, or even if you self-diagnose online, they/you are saying that "you are ill, you get this, you can't do that because of this", etc. So from the very beginning, from the diagnosis, you/medical professionals start putting walls around you, barriers, roadblocks. You now have a narrow path to walk through life on - the path of the depersonalised. So therein starts the "I am a victim of this horrible problem, I wish it would leave me." mindset. This mindset says you are powerless, you are afflicted, and you have to wait for recovery to come to you.
But it never does. And you wonder why, so you might google this or google that, ask people this and ask people that, looking outside of yourself for answers, all the while being reminded as you search - "I am ill". Because you wouldn't be searching for a solution to a problem if you didn't have a problem, right?
But maybe the whole time, the "problem" was magnified by your and others' labelling of it. You may have ended up conforming to it more, instead of actually relieving yourself of it.
And that is the key point, because all the while we look outside for answers, when really the power resides within ourselves. We don't have to be DP'd or panicked or depressed or whatever if we don't want to be. We are no victim - We have the choice. And if we say we have no choice, we are playing victim again. We do. We are giving our "issues" power - making them more powerful than even ourselves. More powerful even than our belief that we can do anything about them. This is so common, and it's tragic.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, sites that aim to help when actually they only exacerbate your disorder, or reinforce that "fact" that you are mentally disabled in some way, shape or form. And the mental health system, although aiming to help, as I said above, gives out the indirect message that "You are ill. You need treatment."
So really when you throw all of that away, you are simply a person, who gets the fight/flight dissociative response too often and in the wrong situations. So already you're problem has been bitten down to size - a good, manageable size! And see how the problem is not you - all it is is part of your brain (the sympathetic nervous system) firing into action a little too much.
So how you get it to work for you (see how already the situation has gone from being the victim to being in total control of the situation) is that you tell it that in the situations that you don't want it to be in, it doesn't have to fire. It is not needed and it is unnecessary.
To do this, you have to avoid attaching fear or emotion to the thought or feeling, or give it any significant attention. You may briefly notice the "I'm DP'd/anxious/feel strange right now" thought - that's fine, but you stop there. And just carry on with life. Let the feeling or thought be. Do this enough, and you will desensitise yourself to depersonalisation (or anxiety, or obsessive thoughts, etc) and slowly you will notice it disappearing.
It is then that you have to be open to change, you have to be courageous and face the unknown (because who you are going to become without the DP will feel a lot different, a lot more free, a lot happier, and it is hard to accept that noticeable difference when for so long you have been depersonalised (or anxious, or obsessive, or depressed etc) but you have to accept the person you become, because that is what gets you out of the loop for good. You may have setbacks, but as long as the steps of not adding attention to the thoughts/feelings are repeated, then you will not get back into the loop.
Then, you must congratulate yourself, because through courageous action, you have shown yourself that you are in control, you always were, you were just bluffed before you knew better.
You were the initiator and the complete controller of yourself, your body, and your own recovery.
And that's how I did it.
I must mention the "tools" that really helped me recover. They were the knowledge, I was the catalyst that acted upon that knowledge. I think they are brilliant, and I would highly suggest reading through them if you are serious about deciding on recovery:
Anything by Claire Weekes. I read Self-Help for your Nerves, but I heard that Hope and Help for your Nerves is the revised, updated version.
Nothingworks.weebly.com - a webpage created by a man who recovered himself, and he goes lightly into the biology of fight/flight (which I found not only fascinating but essential in understanding why we react in the way that we do) plus much, much more. I mean, I gave what I believe to be valuable information above, but this webpage trumps all online anxiety advice, in my opinion.
Panicend.com - again, more brilliant advice that is available for free online.
Go well and go bravely
Posted by Fluke93 on 01 July 2012 - 08:38 PM
It was brought on by weed and a panic attack i believe, (or possibly a moped accident but doubt that.) I just was in despair couldn't see how i could overcome this shit when every waking minute was torture. One night i was on chat talking to someone, (back when the chat was decent lol) and saying right im going to the hospital. Left the house and went up there on my own. Said i needed to see someone cause im having a panic attack and feel weird. Took my number down, sat in waiting room for 2 hours and cried while people gave me funny looks. And in the end left, and then the police called my home to check if i was home safe. Before i waiting in the waiting room i was interviewed or whatever you call it by some foreign guy. Asking if i was hearing voices. Reasonable question but at the time it freaked me out. I needed reassurance and my mum wasn't sympathetic at all, she doesn't understand what anxiety and psychological shit does to ya. I just remember thinking well this is 2010 and i feel like ive just come out of the 70s and we're in the dark ages still, which to be fair in a way we still are. After my mum found out she realized i was needed help. So i went to CBT. Helped a bit, to settle the mind. Then to a pych, she didn't have a clue. I requested pills, cause i knew i couldn't cope without it at the time. I had Citalopram and to be honest for me it helped immensely. It really was a life saver. I don't know about drug interactions so be careful but i also took b vitamins and magnesium and honestly i think that really boosted me.
After about 6 months i came off it. I was still feeling good. Then it came back for a while. And everything else that year was a burr. For the past 9 months ive been on the road to recovery and now am recovered. I forced myself out the house. Got off this website most of the time. Had a drink, didn't worry whether a coffee or a pint of beer or some antibiotics would make my symptoms worse. I didn't care. I changed my lifestyle a lot, and just tried to live healthily and generally started to forget about DP even though it was still hindering my life, i didn't give it the attention. Right now the only issues i have is slight OCD symptoms, depressive symptoms, but nothing major at all, and basically still quite negative at times.
I can laugh and feel it
I never ever ever feel weird anymore
I don't freak out anymore
I don't feel like im the only person in the world
And i certainly don't feel like I'm in a dream
You get people here who say ive recovered and then you go on to read and they say well 80% of my symptoms of gone. Well 100% of mine have gone . And i never thought that would happen. Ever. Ever. Ever. But it has. Despite people telling me im probably going to have to adapt. Which even if you do isn't all bad is it? I mean Ive adapted for 9 months, maybe longer, ive lived alongside it for what seems like forever. Does the whole experience feel like a blur? Nope. When my symptoms were not life crushing i can remember some of the greatest moments of my life being spent with DP. Its not a death sentence it really isn't. Whatever it is. If its something like well my memory is fucked i might have dementia. Ive just read a page and cant remember a thing. DON'T FOCUS ON IT! You're taking the information in trust me. Its like once i thought i forgot how to walk lol. I thought i had to think to breath. I couldn't take a bath without having a panic attack. The unreal feeling that was there constantly was just terrible. Everything looked like a video game. Wtf was that shit.
Try to live healthier
Get help if you need it
Get tested for any health issues
Take some supplements if you think they help you
If you really need it and are virtually breaking down and cant live you might have to go on some sort of meds. Do it despite what others tell you here.
Try and exercise
CBT can be very helpful (check other therapies)
Remember also there are setbacks, ive had 3 minor little breakdowns this year where i basically went of the rails for a few hours or at the most 2 days. It was nothing really, just negative thoughts and bouts of anxiety, and anger. Remember, you're not wasting your life if you think positive. Don't think "ive wasted 3 months, or 4 years of my life in this DP shit" cause you haven't. If you think like that it will only fuel it. You have plenty of years left, whats the rush to recover?
You know something? I recovered by trying not to recover. By living my life. With the help of meds at one point, and even hypnosis CD at one point, i eventually stopped it from ruling my life. The last symptoms (before it went) was brain fog. Lasted maybe a year. There is know quick fix. It will take months and maybe longer. Or it could take a day or an hour, who the fuck knows? I don't know how i recovered, cause it just happened randomly after living my life.
I'll be leaving now as don't want to remember anything about DP. Its in the past for me. This website was a lifesaver once, but as many others say its like a love hate thing. It helps but also can make it worse. Avoid the negative little fuckers who say you'll be here forever, because you know what they are talking shit. Stop looking for a cure. You cant cure this. What sort of a name is cure for a mental disorder? So fucking cringey some people.
Last words to the forum will be most people here are normal down to earth people and its so sad that us "normal" people get this shit. Its horrible. But think positive. I apologize this is probably the worst recovery and leaving post in the history of dpselfhelp haha. I don't belong here anymore and if you think leaving here or coming less will help, have a bit of self control and limit your time spent here. It will only make you worse if you spend hours in chat or hours reading posts and freaking out. Some very very good people ive met here, just listen to some of the long timers who are positive they know what they're talking about i wont names cause ill leave someone out, but theres a good few.
Thank you the people of DPselfhelp nice meeting you all I'm going to get a job, bust out some weights, get drunk now and then, and eventually hopefully find a girl i really like and try and date .
Just remember when DP ends you take advantage of feeling normal again, its just human nature. And when you do recover or at least start to feel better, even if it sounds corny, just remember people, theres always gonna be people who are better looking, stronger, faster, more intelligent than you. Just keep your head up and be true to yourself. Have fun, work hard, and find someone who will make your life worth living.
Bye everyone X
Posted by Amado728 on 15 December 2010 - 03:43 PM
I understand it is hard to not think about it when your mind is trained this way. But you have to train your mind out of the cycle of DP. You can think of it like this - the more negative thoughts you think, the worse your DP will get, while the more positive thoughts you think, the better your DP will get. Right now, if you have 24/7 DP, that is as bad as it can get, so you can only improve.
Please pay close attention:
Negative Thoughts - Any thoughts related to DP/DR or anxiety are the worst of any negative thoughts you can have. Any thought that brings upon fear (extreme violence, the unknown, etc..) is also a negative thought.
Positive Thoughts - Any normal thoughts pertaining to life or happiness, or pretty much anything besides those negative thoughts are positive. Thinking of doing dishes or normal life activities are positive thoughts because you are getting more involved with life and distracting your mind from DP. Occupying your mind (ex: playing a game) makes you not think about negative thoughts and is therefore positive.
Objective: You have to build your ratio to be at least 2:1 or better (positive thoughts vs negative thoughts)
If you're ratio is 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, etc.. then you are making no improvement.
How to raise your ratio:
1) Do positive things that you like or love to do and involve yourself with them constantly.
2) KEEP YOUR MIND OCCUPIED - this is the key rule to recovery. Things like playing games, watching movies and talking to people really help keep your mind occupied.
It is not easy to recover, it takes time and it takes dedication, but never lose hope. Know that it can and will go away, its not permanent.
I wish you the best