ive been a member of this site for a few years but havent been on here in a while.
A lot of stuff has happened and also not really happened since my last updates..
Ive definitely gained new insights but im still pretty stuck and could use a fresh look at my situation.
Im gonna start from the start.
First going over my experience with dpdr and anxiety and then over what ive learned about possible causes and treatments.
I gradually developed derealization around age 7-9. I just noticed that things would look "as if im looking through a camera".
It came on gradually and never left me, im 25 now.
For most of my life it used to be more of an annoyance rather than life destroying, although it still sucked ofc.
I just always felt that things arent fully really happening, not completely unreal but definitely "dreamy".
I also had regular crazy fucking obsessions/hypochondria episodes that would "seemingly" come out of nowhere.
My mind would just latch on to some random scary thing and obsess to the point of complete terror and despair until it eventually just stopped or i would be convinced by a doctor. Things i worried about: brain tumor, all types of cancer, asbestos, not being able to play guitar because my fingers arent perfectly straight, not being able to skateboard because maybe my legs arent exactly the same length, not being able to sleep because i have a rare sleep disorder, once i feel in love to an INSANE degree after seeing someone for literally 5 minutes on the street, that lasted 3 years etc. etc. etc.
Now 3,5 years ago i was doing mindfullness meditation for a few month which actually made a MASSIVE difference in my mental health. My mind was SO much more calm and present. The spacing out largly stopped but i still had the visual disconnect to an extend, but that didnt really bother me.
Also my baseline stresslevel dropped significantly, i wasnt even aware of how stressed i was before. I also had my first girlfriend at the time.
Now once again one of those episodes began, and this was the worst one yet.
It would start with a crazy obsession about "everything being inherently meaningless", then switch to "free will doesnt exist"(those thoughts were inspired by spiritual stuff i had been into at the time) and then to the most retarded one:
WHAT IF I GET DEPERSONALIZATION AS WELL? (which ive NEVER had before)
Long story short, i obsessed myself into DP, destroyed my sense of self and ended up in a psychward twice for several weeks. Complete vegetable, utter panic 24/7 for at least 1-2 years.
Now 3,5 years later, the self induced dp is not an issue anymore. Its not there unless i start obsessing again.
However: The preexisting DR has been absolutely horrendous ever since my breakdown and my stress and anxiety levels have also been severely elevated since. I pretty much feel stuck in a loop.
Things ive "tried" over the years:
Neurofeedback, diets, fuckton of meds (including naltrexone, lamotrigine, benzos), somatic experiencing therapy, 2 years of trauma therapy(ill go into the trauma stuff in a bit), bought glasses to correct heterophoria, had eegs and mri done, tons of self reflection, a lot of shit i probably dont remember rn
What i think might be underlying all my issues:
So most likely my dr started because of my family breaking up, the stress at the time and then the weekly switching of households, my abusive stepdad. 99% sure that this is the origin of it all.
My obsessions are probably a way for my mind to gain "control". I think that perhaps an old familiar feeling of deep fear/sadness/melancholie comes up every once in a while when im not distracted, and then i start obsessing over something to distract from it and also gain a sense of control. At leats subconsciously thats plausible.
Also, maybe a belief was created in my childhood that "the world is fundamentally unsafe/things are fundamentally wrong and fucked up". because thats kinda what it felt like when my family broke up.
Reading about trauma, i tried to process the shit out of it all and also went to therapy for 2 years specifically for that.
I can recall i think a good amount of what happened and i can feel the feelings at the time, but they arent overwhelming and i dont feel like im processing shit.
SO maybe going back and "reprocessing" isnt what needs to be done. Perhaps this is more so a matter of reprogramming this deep underlying sense of unsafety in the present. Through a lot of practice and stuff. I dont know..
Fact of the matter is: The more safe i feel, the less spaced out i am.
So the end goal is create a deep sense of safety. And im sitting here writing that while feeling this utter sense of doom and despair.
From all the "interventions" ive tried, the only one that has shown to be helpful is once again meditation.
The worst part of my derealization is the horrific zoning out/not being present with anything. Meditation seems to help with that but only when im not too anxious and if i stick with it consistently....we will see hat happens and i will keep you updated.
Also, i had a qeeg done which most notably showed high slow wave activity in the frontal region, which would fit the constant spacing out.
Maybe you guys know how to analyze this stuff...
But fundamnetally i just struggle so hard still, every day is exhausting as hell and not really being here is so painful...
I know acceptance is the first step, sometimes im better and sometimes im worse at it. But i always seem to fall back and make very little real progress...
Now with all this information, maybe you guys have some suggestions or even just encouragement for me.