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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 Wendy on 31 August 2014 - 12:25 PM
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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: [email protected]
YOU WILL ALL OVERCOME THIS. I AM PROOF.
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 jd99034 on 22 December 2010 - 08:46 PM
Wow. I find it really sad that the only people who post positive things on this site get negative ratings. NOTHING the original poster said warranted negative ratings on his posts. He stated his beliefs, said that he respected others who didn't, and brought an overall positive message. If you don't agree, don't agree, don't passive aggressively lash out at someone who is doing something there is close to none of on this site, sharing hope and recovery.
Yeah, it's a little disheartening to say the least. It's funny, I've been getting negative ratings for talking about "spiritual" things as well. Though I didn't force my view, and made sure to say things such as "my experience," to clarify that they were "my views," not straight fact. Just goes to show. It's most likely the same few people voting down the positive or alternative posts because it threatens their personal beliefs. I'm not Christian, but I don't see how someone could be upset by what was posted here. When it comes to religion I say if it works for you, go for it.
I noticed my post about the power of intention was negatively rated 4 times... I don't understand how that could be offensive or viewed negatively which makes me think its not really someone who has a problem with the context, but most likely a different kind of problem.*waits to see the negative ratings*
edit: wow -21 so far? someones got a grudge?! lol... i sense a troll
Posted by Phantasm on 30 August 2017 - 01:46 PM
If you're new to the site, your first post will have to be approved by a moderator, then you'll be able to post freely and use the messenger. It's just to screen the boards from spam.
This is the introduction section. People do read and appreciate every story even if they don't always have a comment to make, so don't be discouraged if you don't receive a reply straight away. If you have read someone's post and just want to thank them for sharing then it's always a nice gesture to click on the like button.
Posted by S O L A R I S on 15 August 2010 - 02:26 PM
Posted by Unreal on 21 December 2010 - 11:32 PM
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 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 Ray46 on 30 April 2017 - 01:55 PM
I got depersonalization disorder in summer 2011 when I was 14 years old. I'm 22 now. It was brought on by an anxiety attack after I smoked weed.
In this study 30 active military service members with combat-related PTSD were offered a stellate ganglion block as part of their treatment program. Patients reported greatest improvement in the first week after SGB for the following symptoms:
irritability or angry outbursts
2 to 4 months later, patients reported greatest improvement in the following:
feeling distant or cut off
feeling emotionally numb
irritability or angry outbursts
It is hypothesized that trauma leads to an increase in nerve growth factor in the stellate ganglion. This in turn leads to a sprouting of sympathetic nerves, which increases the production of a number of neurotransmitters, including adrenaline and norepinephrine, which makes people anxious. Stellate ganglion block leads to a reduction in nerve growth factor and sprouting of sympathetic nerves, which helps reverse trauma/anxiety symptoms.
Here is the mechanism explainted in detail:
Here is some other stuff about stellate ganglion block and PTSD:
Posted by sebseb on 24 January 2016 - 04:58 PM
I will not write one of those testimonials with mountainous ammounts of symptoms, lamentations, weepings, etc.
The only thing I want you to know is that I have been on the absolute depths of this condition, I am absolutely out and I feel like I am one of the strongest person on Earth. As such, I will tell you what I have learned to help you overcome this in simple terms.
I don't exactly know what DP is. Some say deffense mechanism, others say is anxiety (Descartes - a famous philosopher who obviously had this condition and din't probably know - said it was everything he had: cogito ergo sum. Jean Paul Sartre, other DP sufferer, created a whole philosophy school out of DP: free will, bla bla bla) I have read, like you, tons of shit about this. After everything I have read, this is what I have learned:
- With DP your mind and your life both suffer a massive disorganization. To organize it again it is your duty to erase the disorganized thoughts (organize them) and find a new lifestyle. How? Don't interact with the thoughts and do more things/feel more concrete things and activities.
- Most of your thoughts are lies that your mind creates, you are not all your thoughts, and you should only think when it is necessary. As such, during your day you should FEEL the world and not be thinking all the time. This is the basic lesson of all those humans who were truly masters (Buddha, Jesus, Einstein, Pope Francis, and much more).
- People who have and had DP are extremely intelligent human beings. (Descartes, etc...) The problem is that because of that they have a tendency to think too much and create illusory stories on their minds and the silly mistake is when they try to solve the problems of their minds (family, money, existance, death, childhood problems, sexuality, etc) using their minds. Please, understand this: YOU CANNOT SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF YOUR MIND USING YOUR MIND: YOU MUST LOOK OUT, FEEL DO AND HAVE CONCRETE EXPERIENCES that change your life situation so that the problems of your mind disappear. Your mind cannot defeat herself: that's what philosophers try to do. Do you wanna be a philosopher? Are you sure?
-Because of your stupid habit of overthinking (this is: trying to solve the problems/lies that your mind creates using the same mind that created them), and because you are an extremely intelligent person on what concers to conceptual thinking, you eventually fell on the traps of this condition because of some problem in your life: DP sufferers feel like they are trapped on a mandatory philosophical nightmare, everything looks unfamiliar and they feel like robots. This is because you fell so deeply ond the nets of your conceptual thinking that you ceased to FEEL. With DP, you no longer FEEL your movements, you only think about random, nonsense ideas and problems that your mind has created. You then try to solve those problems using more mind and coming to this Forum to find more answers and to try to find a solution that cannot be found on a sentence nor a philosophical explanation. This Forum - this was always my opinion and we should unite and talk with the creators of this forum - should only have a "Recovery Stories" section. That's it. But no: DP sufferers like to think (that's their drug) and they come here every day inventing new stupid and useless argues on pointless and useless sections of this Forum that is filled woth negative people who I love but are very frustrated and will post the most negative, stupid, mind and anger based comments to all the recovery stories. The only useful part of this community is the Recovery Stories section. You cannot beat DP if you come here every day. You should read the recovery stories that fit better on your soul and then fuck off forever and recover. Eventually come again to write your recovery story.
- The solution/cure: when I found it out, DP went away within a few months. It requires hardwork. Every recovered person here tells the same thing I will tell now but in different words.
So: you are ultra-intelligent. Problem: since your childhood, you probably always thought too much. (I bet 500$ that you are that kind of person who everybody says, with irony, is a day-dreamer who forgets his umbrella everywhere and his house keys on a friend's party). Solution: learn to think less by FEELING MORE. Look out to the mountains and houses, try to feel your breathing, touch the walls and feel the texture of everything, don't be analyzing with your mind everything, FEEL everything, smell the flowers, eventually it will bring thoughts but don't develop all the thoughts, drink a cup of water with lemon and feel how good it is, experience the different sensations of it on your mouth, if your are hardworking on university feel what your are writing, think about it and when you leave the task feel tha external world and dont think all the time, dont create thoughts of everything, let them be, unhappy thoughts and stories that your mind creates (example: I am weak, everything bad happens to me, life makes no sense, life is shit, I will never recover of DP, OCD, I will always be poor and unhappy, bla bla bla) THIS ARE ALL LIES AND ILLOGICAL, IRRATIONAL, IMPROBABLE ILLUSIONS AND LIES THAT YOU, ON YOUR UTTER STUPIDITY OF BELIEVING EVERYTHING THAT YOUR MIND CREATES, DWELL ON, BELIEVE IT LIKE IT IS ALL TRUE and then you can't break the cicle of DP.
To cure this you must FEEL again and learn to never have DP again: I promise you that if you become a person who feels 80% of his day and thinks the other 20% (rather than 90% thinking throughout the day and 10% feeling like you have done since you were a child who never was taught this basic lesson) you will never have any depression, dp, anxiety disorder, etc. Of course, you will have the normal tensions and grieves of life, but you will no longer create lies and stupid stories with your mind because you simply have changed: you no longer let your mind convince you about the fassades and depressions it creates. Depression and DP cannot be cured using the mind because the mind is the creator of them. You only should use your mind when you have to deal with CONCRETE LIFE PROBLEMS AND SITUATIONS THAT LIFE BRINGS (work, fixing a wardrobe, univeristy essay, organizing your sister a birthday party, writing a novel, tell a joke to a beautiful girl...) and not the problems your mind creates (what is life? what is the universe? what is depression? what is God? am I going to be unhappy forever? am I going crazy? but...? and..? how..? is there Fate? do I have free will? if my father died then my life is shit? is the world real or unreal? what is life? am I a hybrid of extraterrestrial and human? (lol...), OCD thoughts). These questions are random theories that have no answer. Your mind can't understand this questions because it is a limited tool. When they arise, acknowledge they are there, don't believe them, let them be, dont try to answer them, they are provocations, start doing a concrete task and feel it 100%: look ath objects, feel them, breathe, and eventually the difficult questions and DP will fuck off. Only FEELING is unlimited.
Curing DP and depression can only be done if, day by day, step by step, with hope and tranquility, feeling your breathing, looking out to the colors of the world, feeling food, feeling your dog's hair, talking with new people, going out, not believing all the lies you mind says (your mind will even say: "with DP, I am no longer able to work, make love, have a girlfriend or study". LOOOOL!!! this is the lie that many DPers believe the most.) Don't be scared of nothing: create a healthy routine and do everything you remember was normal/right to do on society. This was a great strategy to me. Feel the air. Breathe in. Breathe out. Only do things that you FEEL are right to you. You know exactly what you FEEL, you just have to look inside. This is the only situation where you should look inside: to know what you FEEL about a specific situation. Go swimming and feel the water, feel your movements, look at your house and feel it: remember your relation with it: remember this or that situations when you laughed inside of it (this is thinking but with a healthy strategy). Feel, do not think. Thinking is a very limited language. The language of love and health is FEELING. Feel your anxiety and your panic attack: be there and acknowledge your mind (thoughts+emotions) is creating a panic attack, but dont develop it or try to solve it with the mind. Dont create a big story or theory out of it! Let the thoughts be and right away start to feel something: grab some eggs and go cook, sing a song and FEEL it, feel the tomato that is cooking with olive oil, smell it, look to your brother as you never looked before: look at the details of his eyes, look how beautiful a human being is, feel him, feel his eyes, talk with him about interesting stuff. All the DP symptoms will unbelievably fuck off gradually and normalcy will be normal again. I didn't believe also by then. Every unhappy/wrong/uselesess/disturbing/problematic thought that arises should not be believed. It is random mind working. Only the thoughts that YOU want to have are the right ones, about concrete situations in life.
Some weeks on this basic strategy (not believing your mind and DP thoughts and feeling everything without thinking much) are enough to bring new changes and you will forget DP, you will regain the FEELING of your movements (so, no longer be a robot lol) and your DP thoughts will vanish and all that will be left if normal life as it always was. If you have a serious childhood problem or sexuality problems, or anxiety disorder I recommend going to a psychologist who will help you not to solve those problems (because problems of mind have no solution remember? they can only be "defeated" if forgotten by FEELING the world and living more, this is, by looking outside rather than inside.) but will help you chosing new paths in life that allow you to FEEL better. Go drink a few beers with friends. Don't be an extremist. Be normal. Question society: we live on a consummers world nowadays. Read the news, participate on society, have political convictions, be a smart person. Don't expose yourself: don't tell anyone except a very close person that you have DP. Average people don't know what this is and will think you are mental. YOU ARE NOT. Every good, qualified pshychologist knows DP is one thing, being crazy is another, and that they are incompatible (there are those rare cases of extremely crazy people who don't feel and only think about a specific trauma and then become crazy, this is not your case.) You won't become crazy and DP is proof of that. Both are incompatible. If you were crazy you would't be asking yourself "am I going crazy". Simple.
- Cannabis, getting drunk, gamble, addictions, reading philosophy (if you read it to try to solve your problems - that can't be solved with language, remember?), reading too much, too much computer and internet, visiting this forum every day and thinking all the day are obvious things you should say Good Bye in your life forever. (Your mind might say "If I never smoke pot again then I life will be boring or less interesting. HA HA HA.) If you want take your B12, bla bla bla, avoid coffee bla bla bla, but this is will not solve DP. What solves DP is a lifestyle of not thinking and FEELing more. Live healthy and breake the addictions of internet, porn, cannabis, alcohol, thinking when you don't need, etc.) This will cure your DP, change your life, make you an adult and a very intelligent person who nedded to have a DP episode to learn how to deal with his mind, to learn that he should only do what his heart FEELS is good for him and that the best way to be happy is FEELING and create a lifestyle of being present feeling this moment of life . Happiness is a lifestyle: this is my DP quote.
- No, I don't want you to be a priest or a buddhist monk, not even Forrest Gump who started running and never stopped. I want you to FEEL more (95% of your day would be recommended) and only think when you need to set a goal or solve a concrete life problem (not mind problem/question/theory/nightmare). Your goal failed? Don't let your mind tell you that you will be unhappy forever because of that. This is the typical lie that results on DP episodes. Accept it, try to learn or change it, and if unchangeable set a new goal. Feel the new goal, feel life, breathe, feel your position on your chair, feel your hands and your heart and learn that there are no "bad persons". There are persons who have mind problems and defend themselves with arrogance, lies, bad humor, etc., and also by trying to use their minds. Pope Francis has a beautiful quote I read once (although I am not an active christian, I admire intelligent human beings like him or madre Theresa of Calcuta): "being happy and respecting the word of Jesus is like cleaning your eyes so that they can see a beauty that was hidden before, a beauty that is so so so beautiful that only by being a good person you can reach it." You can only be a good person if you feel and not believe the lies of your mind. You don't need to be spiritual to understand this.
Recovery/DP cycle break proposal:
Any sad/disturbing/DP thought arises --> Don't believe it (as you always did) --> Look at it and don't give it more power, don't try to understand that story, don't try to find an answer in your head, don't try to visit the forum/don't try to know other people's stories like mine --> Right away think about what would make you happy right now in your life --> go do that activity/hobbie/job and feel it.--> Any sad/disturbing/DP thought arises --> Don't believe it .......... (repeat this cycle the whole day).
Many people won't understand this at first. My appeal for you to go live your life and feel may sound contradictory when I tell you you can't feel for now. It is not. You can feel, but you simply are in a state where your thoughts are like a wall that is between you and Feeling. How to break it? Let the thoughts be and force yourself a little bit, step by step, to learn again how to feel (see, smell, touch, hear and listen to you inner voice that is your ultimate sincere opinion about everything). I won't even look at negative posts here of people who will never recover. I won't answer to replies here. I will only help people who are open and contact me in pm. I am more than available to help you all and explain you again 850 more times the same story (that you should try to FEEL more altough you dont feel now and learn to not think all the time because it makes no sense and will create depressions and dp). Please send me pm and do me a favor: be happy, ok? I love you all from the absolute depths of my heart.
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 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 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 Springwell on 30 October 2013 - 08:45 AM
Apologies for the long post but I wanted to put in as much as I could explaining my experience. I am writing to tell of my experience of my last year and of my life before receiving CBT and my belief that I have recovered from a dissociative disorder stemmed from trauma.
In the last year my life has changed dramatically and this has left me in limbo, wondering what had been happening to me for a number of years, but it is obvious that I had been in some sort of altered state. I have visited a number of GPs, and mental health professionals to get an answer. One mental health doctor speculated that I may have been suffering from either a depression disorder, anxiety disorder or a mix and that I have shown dissociative traits, the doctor said that these illnesses overlap in symptoms and so make it even harder to diagnose. From my own research I personally believe that I had been suffering from a dissociative disorder, more specifically depersonalisation disorder.
Last year, I was seeing a CBT to tackle what I called my ‘shyness’. For a long time I had felt different from everyone else but I didn’trealise how different my life was to everyone else’s. I found life very alienating,distressing and frightening. From looking back now, I realise that the symptoms I was living with were not the norm.
My life with a dissociative disorder
My senses were completely numbed, including smell, touch and taste. I was living in a world where familiar smells, sights and tastes were lost.My sight before was very different too. It was almost like I had tunnel vision, if I looked in the mirror I would only see specific parts of my face not my face as a whole. Simultaneously things I would see would appear distorted and would change size.I found it very hard to concentrate even when doing simple tasks. My surroundings appeared very flat and lifeless.
Emotionally I was very numb. During moments when I laughed or cried I would feel like I didn’t have a reason behind it to cry or laugh, like I was just doing it for effect. There was no emotion with it.I would feel nosadness, embarrassment, guilt, happiness, nothing. I too felt nofear;nothing would startle me, or scare me. I wouldn’t react in fear or flight to shock at all. The only emotion I had during the years was anxiety and a lot of it. But it was mainly anxiety that was playing over and over in my head rather than feeling it. I felt so far way and different from people I couldn’t understand how everyone around me could get on and connect to each other and I couldn’t. I felt alone and unable to connect to anybody or anything. I didn’t recognise myself in the mirror or in photos of myself or recognise my family members and didn’t seem to react in any way to anything happening around me at all.
No thoughts come into my head
I chronically felt like I was not really living and felt cut off from everything. I felt like I had very little control over my physical movements and mental function, particularly my speech. My impairment of speechreally caused great anxiety for me over the years. I would always be in absolute silence around people and I would just watch other people interact with each other not be able to participate. At the time I just couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong, the closest I came to was that I was shy and had no social skills or that I was with the wrong people. I would find it incredibly hard to speak, I had always complained of having no thoughts come into my head and having no opinions about anything. My thought process was completely disrupted.I would have to manically concentrate and mentally struggle to think of something to say then it would be physically and mentally harder again to try and say it.My mind would just be completely blank. When I could manage to get something out, I would very often get strange looks, as I would say things that people would perhaps find strange and odd and sometimes people just wouldn’t hear me. I never really understood what was wrong with what I was saying. It seemed it would be hit or miss. I worried a lot about not understanding any social rules and complained of not understanding any ‘social etiquette’.The strange thing was sometimes when I had a conversation or an interaction with someone I would always remember that conversation in great detail, word for word what was said, and I would still remember nearly every conversation even from years ago. I furthermore had a racing mind;throughout the day I spent most of my time living inside my head.
Living inside my head
I would have a narrative voice in my mind all the time it wouldn’t go away. Often throughout the dayI would have periods where I would suddenly feel very suicidal in my mind.I would suddenly have to fight intrusive suicidal thoughts and even the will to stand up and throw myself out of a top floor window or in front of a speeding car. To help control this I would often listen to some music to get rid of the suicidal thoughts and try and stimulate new thoughts and numbed feelings.
I also had paranoid delusions, I thought people including my family and friends were against me, angry with me, laughing at me, sneering at me and talking about me all the time. This was incredibly scary and overwhelming and made just walking down the street a very mindfully busy and horrible experience and made me feel more alone, scared and on edge. I felt like I was on the Truman show and that everyone was watching me all the time, I was very aware of everything and everybody around me.If I was walking down a street and I saw someone walking towards me laughing or there was someone out of my view behind me laughing then it was about me and I would panic and feel scared and overwhelmed in my head. Together with paranoia I was very hyper aware of my own body. If I moved around or just moved my arms it felt like I and everyone was aware of it and watching closely. I would often have to build myself up to move my body around people.I always felt frightened of what seemed just about everything, I felt like I was on edge 24/7, I couldn’t make any sense of anything happening around me, everything around me was very bewildering. I couldn’t understand and interpret other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions.If people expressed strong emotions then I would just feel so scared. I was so afraid of my environment especially people, if they were near me or entered the room I’d be very aware of them.
My sense of time was distorted. It felt by comparison like I was taking in my environment not in real time but at a really small frame rate. If I walked up the stairs and then walked through into a room I wouldn’t remember doing it. I wouldn’t remember each step I took or what I was doing before I walked up the stairs. Even what I had done during the day I wouldn’t remember much about it. My short term and long term memory was very poor. I wouldn’t remember what I did days before and it was like that day never existed or it was a dream.
I was often unable to cope with any amount of stress whatsoever. I had a short temper and loss my temper very easily. I was highly irritable and got stressed up readily, could feel my brain panicking and I would explode with frustration or panic.
I also had a raised pain threshold. About a month before I recovered, whilst using an oven, which was turned on to 200 degrees, I felt a light tingling sensation on my finger and I looked and saw that the oven shelf was lodged deep in my finger. I felt no pain and there was no ‘flight’ reaction to pull away. When I pulled my finger off I saw that the oven shelf had burnt a wound deep into the flesh. I didn’t feel anything and thought absolutely nothing of it until I came out of my altered state.
I was susceptible to bullying as well, as my mind before had no reaction to anything,that includes any taunts that someone had directed at me. So my mind wouldn’t understand the behavior and disregard it or ‘fight’ back at any bullying or taunts. I had no self-respect and I couldn’t feel any regard to my own dignity, I didn’t even have any self-identity. So if someone bullied me then I just took it and it would send me into an anxiety spiral with no way out. I never understood that it was wrong for people to do that to me. Because of my mind not being able to work things out and everything to me was bewildering and distorted, I was perceived as being stupid by a lot of people. This created a vicious circle that left me open tomore harassment and bullying. In addition because of my cold nature, as I was unable to feel apathy unlike I do now, I was treated with discontent quite a lot. I can understand that reaction, but they weren’t aware,as I wasn’t, of my inability to feel anything including a 200-degree oven burning through my skin,not to mention feelings for others,as I was chronically in a mental and physical state of total numbness due to traumatic episodes from my past. People giving me discontent only made my world much scarier as I was already finding it difficult to perceive warm and caring emotions.
Seeing a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
During the end of 2011 I had enough of feeling alone and scared soI decided to see a CBT to combat ‘my shyness’. During one session, I remember we were discussing what my own thoughts were on a past event and my therapist said, ‘no one can tell you how you feel’. This statement definitelystuck with me andstayed lurking in my mind.A few months down the line I had hit a real dark period, my life hadcome to a dead-end and I finally contemplatedsuicide. I gradually started to feel sadder and sadder, and I began to weep. I wept and wept for what seemed like hours. Though I felt little emotion behind it and I was very aware of myself crying and very consciousof other people hearing me but I just pushed myself to cry more and more, it was absolutely horrific.I kept crying until suddenlyI started having thoughts in my head.These thoughts were of a period of my life 6 years prior, and I started feeling emotion behind my crying,the emotion got stronger and stronger and this continued until it seems I had a catharsis and a huge stress relief escaped from my body like a gust of wind from my belly.ThenI just gradually stopped crying like there was no need to anymore and my vision suddenly had so much depth to it as if everything was ‘real’ and I felt completely joyous and free. I believe that at that point of the catharsis having blended the ‘no-one can tell you how you feel’ to a traumatic experience to my past, I had finally, properly,rationalized my own traumatic experience, something that had taken me over 6 years to do and this I believe has meant I have recovered from a dissociative disorder. I had always vaguely remembered the traumatic experience, but I never discussed it with my therapist. I’m certain as well that a year after my traumatic experience, during a period when a similar situation arose,I suffered from PTSD. That particular period and my first traumatic experience,I understand now, left me feeling and experiencing absolute hell. It was debilitating and extremely distressing. I never understood in my mind whilst I was dissociated what was wrong with my traumaticexperience and why it would be terrifying; to me there was nothing traumatic about it.So when discussing with family about it in the past they would say that it must have been awful for me and I would just nod and agree but I didn’treallybelieve it myself or fully understand in my mind why it was awful.What I learned after my catharsis about that time was it was a situation that made me feel bad inside and made me feel extremely stressed and traumatised and it was that which was awful. That night I think my mind fully realised that and so I finally rationalised and released the emotions behind it.
My recovery experience
Since that moment my life, my mind, my body and my world has changed beyond belief, and I have had the most incredible, euphoric and surreal experience. I remember one thing I said to describe my experience soon after my catharsis, which was that I felt like ‘Pinocchio who has turned into a real boy’. In the months after my catharsis I have had a huge amount of physiological and psychological changes taking place within my body. I felt all kinds of physical sensations, it was as if my brain and body was coming back to life; I could sense, feel and experience things in a very different way. It was as if I was re-connecting with my environment and myself.
In the first few weeks my body was constantly sweating as I was experiencing new senses and my environmentfor the first time in a long time. Everything was new. I had a lot of stress released from my body including my throat, arms, legs, head and neck. After which, I could move my body more easily. It felt like my brain wasconnected to the rest of my body and I could move my arms, hands my entire body instinctively and responsively. My hands feel like they are real and they are my hands, and my feet and my arms. So much stress has been released from my body the most significant is from my throat and chest. Because of this my voice is now deeper and louder, I’ve never had a deep voice before, I can now whisper and have people understand what I’m saying.
As well as when I talk it just comes out without any effort, I can now respond to other people and thoughts just popinto my head and before I even have to try to say something, I’ve said it! My brain feels like it’s connected to my mouth and I can think of something and immediately say it. I can have a normal conversation with someone and spontaneously respond to other people, so if someone asked for my help or just said hello immediately I would respond instinctively. It feels like I have a personality now. It was so surreal. I’m now getting to know myself including my actions, my responses to people and my environment.
My mind was suddenly completely calm; I no longer had a racing mind. I woke up in the middle of the night in the first week and my mind was just completely calm and all I was doing was staring into the dark but the difference in my mind being so calm and still and peaceful was absolutely overwhelming it felt euphoric.My suicidal thoughts have completely alleviated, and this was immediate after my catharsis. I can now get through the day without any battles with intrusive thoughts and I can sleep normally and not be kept up or find it hard to sleep because of my racing mind and suicidal fantasies.
Sensing my world again
Some other experiences since my catharsis included having returned feeling all over my body. I now feel like I’m living my life in high definition it especially felt like that in the first few weeks. My sense of smell and touch, taste has all returned. I have even noticed heightened hearing. I can sense smells that are instantly recognizable and have been lost for a long time and can take me back to periods or places in my past. This has been incredibly emotional. Like the smell of sweets in the newsagents, the rooms and the garden in my house, it’s like I can emotionally connect to my environment again and everything is familiar. I can feel my environment, I can feel textures, warmth and cold, my skin is so sensitive. I now have a normal pain threshold; if I were to make contact with a 200-degree oven now my body would instantly sense the pain and immediately my body or my hands and arms would pull away in flight mode automatically.My sense of taste has returned, eating food became a new experience my mouth was so sensitive. I could feel the textures of the food and tasting them has been very different. Some food brings back senses of familiarity they bring back feelings and tastes that I immediately recognise. I remember eating polo mints, which tasted so familiar, I just suddenly thought I recognise this taste, and they invoked feelings and memories from my childhood. My whole body has opened itself up to my environment again and its been very surreal, I remember in the first few weeks going on a train journey, which I’d done loads of times before, but this time it was so different. I could feel the motions of the train, it was as if it was new to my body and I have never been on a train before. Likewise I remember walking around and especially up and down steps was challenging in first few weeks because my body’s balance was readjusting itself. I can sense the space between me and everything else, I can sense how far away I am from the floor or the ceiling, so I felt very tall, like a giant in the first few weeks. I remember pouring a gravy jug and I really struggled to keep the jug balanced and hold it up, my hand and arm were shaking all over the place, it was so strange, it was like I was using my hands and limbs for the first time. Another amazing thing that happened very soon after was when I used a computer keyboard and my hands just typed out the words in a flash. I just thought of what I wanted to write and my body took over, I was suddenly watching my own hands write out the words, it took me by complete surprise. I can now perceive my world and body as ‘real’ I can feel my legs, arms and hands and I have complete control over them. I can now look at my world as being real and have the feeling of being able to reach out and grab it and feel safe.
Logic and reasoning
My brain now has logic working out my environment, and feelings and emotions. My whole environment isn’t always confusing and scary anymore. Everything is simple and understandable. Even written English makes sense to me and has logic to it. People’s emotions I can now understand, and situations around me I can understand. My brain now just has thoughts of logic pop into it that are comforting me and providing me with insight into what’s happening and what to do. I’m able to work things out for myself – things are clearer in meaning and invoke in-depth thoughts of what things mean, how they work and what things are made of. My brain just works out my entire environment as I see it in real time. My brain just reasons, analyses and cancels out any anxiety. If someone before was nasty to me before I would just watch them doing it to me and feel and do nothing. Now people having a go at me or showing strong emotions they don’t frighten me or send me downward anxiety spiral. My brain understands the emotion behind it and it is processing the emotion behind it and before I know it I’ve forgotten all about it. I can now understand and interpret other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions. It doesn’t stress me out anymore. I even sometimes have a ‘fight’ reaction and express strong emotions back to them instinctively.I am no longer easily irritated its like a valve has been placed inside my mind and is stopping me from having temper outbursts. What would have made me feel so easily irritated before just doesn’t anymore. Now instead, whilst I feel the annoyance, I no longer feel frantic irritancy and explode in temper instead with no effort my mind just calmly rationalizes the situation and my own behavior knowing that’s its wrong to lose your temper with people. This mental function and change happened completely in a flash, there was no gradual process, it was immediate, along with no longer having a racing mind or being chronically cut off.
Knowing who I am
I have been getting my memories and self-identity back. Usually they return when listening to music I listened to in my past. The first time I listened to my old music my eyes frantically blinked uncontrollably and images from my past flickered through my mind. The music I was listening to was now suddenlyso familiar and in my mind it transported me back to my past. I could suddenly see my old house, and myself when I was little, it was so amazing!Soon, after getting some memories back I would get an intense tingling sensation usually starting around my forehead and it would spread to other areas of my body. After the first time this happened I felt extremely tired and ended up sleeping for 48 hours straight. During the course of the first 6 months, whilst listening to music from my past, this was a frequent occurrence and I would get new memories return to me every time and tingling in other areas of my body, after which there would be an increase in sensitivity there. I can now remember my past, my old friends, my old schools, my family, the sights, the smells, the sounds has all come flooding back. I now have a past!I can remember exactly what my bedroom door sounded like when I closed it, and can remember exactly what it felt like to sit in my old kitchen chair.I can remember everything as if I’m seeing it, feeling it, touching it, tasting it, smelling it or hearing it first hand. It was so shocking to realise that I suffered from some form of amnesia and I hadn’t even realised it. My short-term memory is verydifferent too. I can playback my day and I can recollect things I need to do, where I put things and things I have done during the day or the week. I can chronicle my past and remember the last time I was at a place and what I did. All my memories, whether short term or long term, can be stirred by sights, smells and feelings and vice versa. My whole world is familiar again. Before I would drive past places like my old school and I knew I went there but I had no feelings or memories of the place. It was like that period was from a past life not my life now. Now I do, I can remember my life at school, my friends, I can remember everything and along with it they bring a feeling of belonging and solidarity.I remember driving to see my family straight after I recovered, and it was just incredible, as I approached nearer to the town it felt like I was returning to an old place that I haven’t been to for so long, I saw the shops, the roads and the house and just felt like I knew this place, I remember this place, the whole environment that I was suddenly seeing was bringing back familiar feelings and memories, and this was an environment that I’d been living in for years and I hadn’t experienced these feelings before. Whilst the sensations of having these feelings were new the actual feelings and emotions were very familiar.
My perception of my environment and of other people is working properly again. My world and the people in it don’t scare me anymore. One of the most remarkable differences I’ve noticed is when watching movies and shows, which I’ve watched countless of times before. The characters and emotions are coming across completely differently. Their emotions and facial expressions and actions are not frightening. The scenes, emotions and tone of voice come across completely differently. Before the faces and emotions I sensed were much harsher, it was like my mind was painting stronger emotions over what was really being expressed. The biggest difference comes with seeing whole scenes in movies I’ve never seen before, even though I’ve seen the movies countless of times before. Interestingly the emotions or scenes that I never perceived before were showing concern, or kindness. One of the scenes I remember being very different was in an Inbetweeners episode, where they were all on a boat going out to sea when Simon steps up and Jay and Neil rock the boat causing Simon to fall in. What I watched next was something I never seen before, as soon as Simon falls in, I now see Neil reacting in shock and then Will reacting in concern and guilt and going to help Simon. Simon gets helped into the boat prompting Jay to give anunsympathetic remark. Before all I ever saw was Simon falling in then Jay saying his unsympathetic remark I never saw Neil or Simon’s emotions and them helping Simon out of the water.
All this new emotional perception further spread to my everyday life too. I suddenly perceived comfort in my whole world, which now feels much safer and less frightening. Just being in an environment full of people doesn’t make feel hyper alert of everyone. I can feel at peace and total comfort around people, and don’t feel them looking at me at all. The paranoia has completely disappeared. In the first few months I was learning to get used to my newfound behavior and reactions to my environment, so before, when I was dissociated, I would look at people like a hawk as I walked along but after my catharsis I would start to look at everyone but I then I adjusted my behavior as my perception and logic was kicking in telling me that this is unnecessary. So I immediately stopped doing it and I can walk through a crowd and feel completely calm and comfortable in my mind. This is such an incredibly relieving feeling and is really freeing. In addition I can now dissociate normally. I can be on a train full of commuters and dissociate from my surroundings by listening to music, reading a book or having a conversation and suddenly stop and come back into the room and realise where I am and that I’m surrounded by people, I have not had that happen to me for a long time. For the first time in a long time I feel comfortable and at peace around people and by myself.
Getting to know how I feel
I can now sense and understand emotions from other people, when they are happy, excited, sadand it will effect how I feel as well. I properly sense the vast range of emotions and the physical sensations they bring. When I’m embarrassed I can feel the sweat on my palms and my face getting red, when I laugh I can feel the laughing in my stomach and sense and understand the humour behind it, I can feel ashamed, I can feel disappointment and I can feel angry. I feel anxiety in the way that my body sweats and my body starts to tingle, I can feel sad and even distressing emotions and when I cry it feels so different.I can feel the emotion and the tears welling up in my eyesand I feel stress in the way that everything feels distant, everything slows down and I can feel fear and the adrenaline.I can feel my own expressions, my own face movements, when I feel and show emotions.I now feel like I have a conscience and I have thoughts connected to that, so I can feel a conscience to help others and a thought with how to help will pop in and I can impulsively act upon it.My change in emotional response to my environment and myself has been completely overwhelming. I remember in the first weeks I had a pair of trainers that I wore at the time which were well past their sell-by-date they looked terrible. Before my recovery I was wearing them all the time. After my recovery I was no longer cut off from everything and myself so I could see my trainers for what they were and felt very embarrassed to wear them and felt a desire and need within me to change them and buy new ones. It was a completely strange new sensation. I recently looked at old Facebook conversations I had with people in my years when I was dissociated and I can’t believe how apathetic, cold, rude and strange I came across, it’s very scary and I felt embarrassed and ashamed looking at them. I can remember writing them and at the time I know I had no idea that other people could consider what I was writing as hurtful or odd. The things I said then I would never say now, I would think and feel that it would be very obnoxious or strange to say those things.
Seeing things for what they are
My vision has completely changed. One of the first things I noticed was I could feel my eyes darting and looking around, side to side and up and down as if they hadn’t done so in a while and they needed oiling. I could also see my iris change size. When looking in the mirror once, I remember seeing my iris being so small, and it was so startling. I can see my goose bumps, blemishes, scars and the patterns on my skin. Seeing these after I recovered was like seeing them for the first time in years I could recognise old scars on my body again. My vision is a lot clearer and in focus, I can see in greater detail and I can see the ‘whole picture’ including my face as a whole when I look in the mirror. I can recognise myself from childhood photos and see which parts of from my mum and dad. And there’s no fear at looking at anything like I want to look away or my eyes just can’t take it all in. Everybody else’s faces and are being seen in greater detail their faces look very different. My vision is so calm and things don’t look distorted and change in size or shape. My peripheral vision seems so different too. I can now walk through a door and I can see the doorframe in the corners of my eyes as I walk through. I have noticed as well that I can focus my eyes to look at further distances. My perception of time has changed dramatically; time is passing normally now as if my brain couldn’t take in everything in real time, whereas before as if it found everything frightening and over whelming and so it was protecting myself from my environment. I am taking my environment in in real time and its like my mind has a larger memory storage and has a larger frame rate taking in my environment. Things are happening around much faster so my perception of my own reactions and reactions of others is faster.
People seem familiar
I can now feel emotionally connected to my family and friends and I can remember them from my past. I can recollect parts of my family and my friends faces, what reminds me of them is there again, whether its their smile, their eyes or their laugh, they will invoke feelings of familiarity and when I think of them I feel a warmth within me. I remember reading old birthday cards from my family and just reading themjust instantly filled me with emotion, and whoever it was from they would pop into my head and I can see them in my mind as if they are there in front of me. I have noticed too that I can recognise old idiosyncrasies. They have returned I’m sure of it. They way I move my hands and fingers, is so different and I can recognise them and see the similarities with other members of my family and feel like I’m really a part of my family because my hands, feet, look and behave so similarly. My relationships with everyone in my life are so different. Before I would just keep away from a lot of them or stay quiet or find a very constricted relationship with them. I was afraid of a lot of members of family and whilst I knew they were my uncle, auntie, cousins I never remembered them from my past and never felt any thing for them at all except fear and unease. The emotional connection to my past, my environment, my family and friends is just so strong. My feelings towards other people is incredible, I can now look at other people and feel so safe and feel like one of them, I can feel empathy for others and a real genuine warmth for other people. I never felt anything like that before. I just felt no feeling for anyone at all but I at the same time felt nothing from anybody else at all either because I couldn’t perceive it. I am now talking to members of my family and having conversations with members of my family I wouldn’t have had before. My family have been very emotional about my recovery, they were dumbstruck at first seeing how profoundly different I was, and they have helped me try to find out what it was that had reduced me to numbed state for so long. I’ve had to adjust to my family and almost integrate again and rehabilitate again into the family and form new relationships with them and my friends.
My search to find out what has happened to me and seeking help from mental health professionals has led me to a therapist who is helping me manage the transition from being so disconnected from my experience, others and myself to being connected to my experience, others and myself. My therapist has helped me become much attuned to my newfound thoughts and feelings and I am able to understand my own behavior, reactions and responses. I feel much in tuned now and much less frightened about becoming dissociated again as I begin to understand more and more about what and why this has happened to me. So I decided to write this and I hope this helps others,gives hope and maybe even what happened to me can happen to someone else too and they can recover from this horrific mental disorder.
Posted by sunyata samsara on 20 April 2011 - 06:01 AM