Just some random thoughts and experiences with dpdr, also how I reached 90% recovery and still improving.
I often wonder what a person is experiencing when they say they have DPDR. I've had this disorder for 3 years now and experienced so many different symptoms, intensities, and dimensions to DPDR that I can no longer assume what anyone on this forum is really experiencing. The first two years I had it, I basically just had some hazy vision and was stuck in fight or flight mode 24/7 which sucked really bad but wasn't anything too insane. I was always in such a state of fear that it was like I only had a "lower self" and my higher self, or soul, was completely gone. Everything was such a threat at the time that even if I was at home and I could hear my roommate clear his throat on the side of the house, some primitive part of my brain when pick up on that as a threat. My immediate reaction was basically that there's someone aggressive around me and I need to protect myself or I'm going to die. After dealing with that terrible state of consciousness for 2 years and failing to recover from dozens of cures that I tried, I finally decided to take medication. I figured what's the worst that can happen and asked to be prescribed Zoloft and Lamotrogine. This helped immensely with the anxiety I was experiencing, to a fault really, but other symptoms started to change and become worse. Things started to become more dream like and the boundary between my self and the world started to kind of dissolve, among other typical dpdr symptoms.
After a lot of experimenting with different meds and dosages, I realized that medication wasn't the cure I was looking for and got off of it. Getting off medication, even though I tapered off over the course of a couple weeks, was like pouring gasoline on a fire. My dpdr was pretty bad to begin with on meds, but after getting off them my dpdr just skyrocketed into a different dimension. It felt like I was tripping on multiple psychedelics at the same time 24/7. It would take forever to even try to fully explain, but it basically felt like I was in a black hole and I couldn't tell if I was ever even born. Things were happening and not happening simultaneously (mindfuck), things existed and didn't exist simultaneously (double mindfuck), time itself did and didn't exist because there was no past, future or even a present (total mindfuck lol). The present moment just felt like a movie that wasn't happening in real time. That was probably the weirdest symptom out of the 10 different symptoms that were all combining into one massive mindfuck that made everything seem unreal. This disorder should literally just be called mindfuck, i mean it's the definition lol. Anyways everything seemed dreamy and plasticy, people looked 2 dimensional and literally looked like they were wearing blurry rubber masks. Skin just turned into rubber, it was like I was in the twlight zone. I just felt like a camera with no body floating through a weird, unexplainable, non physical world. Reality and life was so fragmented and choppy that it was almost like I was being born every second. No memory of what's going on, so if I walk out my house, a second later the fact that I walked out my house just seemed fake and like it didn't happen. Existential terror at all times because I would alternate between feelings of being inside reality, outside reality, and then merging together with reality. Completely cut off from my personality and my brain power reduced to about 10% from all the brain fog. Everything looked so unfamiliar that it made me a total unfamiliar stranger to myself. Somehow the unfamiliarity of the outside world would reflect back to me and make me feel totally unfamiliar at the same time. Someone doesn't know what unfamiliar really means until they have dpdr at it's worst. Everything is so unfamiliar that it's literally like you're blind but at the same time you can see in a way that allows you to move around and function in the world. My family looked so unfamiliar that it was too scary to even look at them. Total alienation from the world and to yourself because none of it is even real anymore. Nothing had a "vibe" so whether you're in a Las Vegas casino or in the middle of the desert, you get the same feeling from both of them as if you were staring at a blank piece of paper. My emotions were in the shitter to the point that sometimes I would just lay in bed for hours, not even crying, but just moaning in pain from so much unhappiness. It was almost like having food poisoning because I was just laying there in agony, but it was just from stewing in a total lack of love or happy chemicals in my mind and body. I guess you could just call it depression, but I wasn't depressed about any particular thing. This feeling was pretty much constant but sometimes it was unbearable. The only symptom that wasn't really a problem after meds strangely enough was anxiety (fight/flight mode). That was one of the only symptoms I had when this disorder started about 3 years ago (this went away and never came back once I started taking zoloft/lamogtrogine). Anyways that's all I can really remember or explain about what happened when I got off meds about 10 months ago. Since then I literally noticed (very subtle) improvements every single day for 10 months and I'm still only at 90% recovered. I want to briefly layout the few things I've been doing everyday to consistently see improvements. Basically all I've been doing every single day is
-Exercising. Going for 2 hour long bike rides every single day and working out at the gym 3-5 days a week as well
-Staying busy. Mostly working on my laptop and just out and about doing things. Going out to eat, traveling, mountain biking, hiking, are some of the activities I like to do. Haven't done a lot of socializing because it's unenjoyable with dpdr, and corona had an impact on that.
-I just started taking a couple supplements a week ago and they both seem to help. One is Alpha Brain which has been talked about on here, and the other is 5HTP. Alpha Brain seemed to overall diminish the effects of dpdr just a bit and 5HTP helped my mood, depression, and mild anxiety.
-Not drinking alcohol or taking drugs. I wanted to stay away from anything that effects brain chemistry so my brain can just sort itself out without anything interfering with it. I was afraid to even take supplements for the longest time because I wanted to allow my brain to "do it's thing" and I was afraid of disturbing the process. Luckily the two supplements I've tried seemed to only help me improve 5-10% without aggravating my dpdr in any way.
That's basically it. Unless my recovery just suddenly plateaus, I should be fully recovered in about a month. My recovery has showed no signs of slowing down and I'm not experiencing any anxiety for some reason, which is kind of known as the fuel to dpdr, so this should be a thing of the past in no time. If you are experiencing intense anxiety, like I was the first two years before taking meds, I would first recommend trying prolonged periods of cardio. Try riding a bike, or even stationary bike, for 1-3 hours a day and see if that releases the right chemicals in your mind and body to reduce or eliminate your anxiety. The reason I adopted this as part of my daily routine is because about 10 months ago when things got really bad I came across this post My Ultimate Cure To DPDR.
These are my insights, let me know if you have any questions and I wish all you guys a speedy recovery! God bless