I am a long time sufferer of Depersonalization/Derealization disorder. If you don't wish to read of another long term case, I'd suggest not reading further, lol!
Anyway, I have had DP/DR (more so derealization, which is more immediately noticeable) pretty much 24/7 since April 2007 (over 13 years as of writing). It was triggered by many many months of intense anxiety - OCD, intrusive thoughts, social anxiety, being socially rejected at school etc. I was 15 years old at the time. I was constantly monitoring my thoughts and seeking reassurance from my parents and later, my therapists. I had to check with them if each and every one of my thoughts were "normal". I had some really unpleasant thoughts about being a really evil person. I watched the film Se7en and convinced myself I was as bad as the Kevin Spacey character. Of course, I had never murdered anyone or anything but I believed myself to be terrible nonetheless.
Eventually, my body could no longer bare the non-stop obsessing and anxiety I was feeling so one morning, I woke up and everything looked flat and unreal. Everything sounded slightly distant and I just kept staring at my hands trying to make them look real again. I always had problems with concentration but now it had become several times more difficult to focus. Looking at myself in the mirror had become frightening because it was like looking at a stranger. Yes, I know, this all sounds such a cliche to anyone who has been through this disorder.
Once I had been to my doctor and they suggested DP/DR, this became my new obsession which replaced the old obsessions about being evil. I spent months searching up everything about DP/DR and I remember coming to this very forum and reading about someone who had the disorder for 30 years and was just now beginning to have brief moments of coming back to reality. So my new obsession revolved around the idea that I will have to wait 30 years until this DP/DR goes away. This was 2007 so at the time I was thinking "So this disorder can last as much time as has passed since Disco and Saturday Night Fever!". I found some dusty old newspapers in my loft from 1979 and was thinking, even then, two years would have passed since the DP/DR began! I would still have 28 more to go!
Anyway, to cut a long story short, 13 years have passed since the DP/DR began and things have happened since then which barely register. My father, grandmother, aunt and a few pets have all died during that time and it just doesn't sink in that it really happened and it doesn't even feel like they were really my relatives.
However, I do every so often get a split second where it suddenly sinks in, just for one tiny moment. I get a sudden realisation that yes, my dad did die and I will never see him again. Usually, I only understand that academically, as a cold hard fact, I don't feel anything. But in the split second moments, it causes me to completely freeze up and a sharp pain rushes into my fingertips (nerve pain?). It is overwhelming and of course, my body and mind can't cope with the truth/reality and so it quickly subsides and I go numb again.
So my question is, does anybody else get this sudden rush of emotion accompanied by pain in the fingertips which then subsides very rapidly?
If anybody has seen the film Rosemary's Baby, I think the quote from the horrible conception scene sums up my feelings in those moments perfectly: "This is no dream, this is really happening!"