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Got Dp/Dr at 16 years old


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#1 Findmywayhome

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Posted 11 October 2020 - 07:08 PM

Hello. Im a 16 year old male who developed Depersonalization/derealization at 16 about five weeks ago
Due to a massive panic attack due to stress. It would really make my day if someone replied with some optimistic-but realistic advice, or sympathy, or anything really.

My biggest question I have for anyone reading this is did it progressively get worse the first or the first few months you’ve developed it? Their has been days where it got considerably better but overall its been downhill. About a week ago it started exponentially getting worse. The first three weeks were relatively fine. I still managed to overcome the feeling by going to school, socializing, and i still found genuine interest in certain activities like skateboarding or movies. I could even fully forget about the feeling for at least half an hour at times. But as it progressively got worse, I slowly started to develop more anxiety, dread, and obsessive thoughts about the disorder. Now its really difficult to do anything. Today ive sat on the couch virtually the whole day. Today I also got the first panic attack since the one that triggered the episode. I feel disoriented. I have a slight lightheaded and nauseous feeling. Unless someone asks, I dont want to go in depth with my symptons of the dp/dr itself as I dont wanna trigger any negative feelings to anyone reading or to myself.

Any help or assurance would be appreciated. Thankyou.

#2 ReiTheySay

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 02:51 AM

Everyone's experience is different. I started getting DPD when I was 16, too.

I'm glad you still go on about your day and get things, and engage in activities! Keep that up

I feel like a lot of people who get DPDRD start developing obsessive thoughts which may be is one huge factor in feeling worse.

I would recommend reading about dealing with OCD, not saying bc you have it, but because generally people with anxiety can benefit a lot from learning how to deal with obsessive thoughts. Trust me on this.

I hate the disorienting feeling, too. I get the unexplained lightheadedness and nausea, too.

 

My advice would be, don't try to fight it, live with it. Take a step back mentally for a second, acknowledge how you feel, how your brain feels. After that, accept it; as in don't react much to it as much as possible. It may sound hard esp at the beginning but it's doable. Then, go on about your day. Let it accompany you when it insists. There's nothing you can do to change the way you feel, you are.

That, and learning from online resources how to deal with obsessive thoughts, especially helpful with getting panicked when you remember "it" again (I used to be that way so I know), a lot lies in the way your brain reacts at moments like that, and figuring that out eventually can help tremendously.

And compassion for yourself. You've got it.



#3 Mayer-Gross

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 04:44 AM

The cognitive approch in dealing with this is seeing as a anxiety disorder and partly a obsessive compulsive disorder. Because the outset is so very recent I would say that it could highly beneficial and might not be so difficult to see results . This site is very used as a tool to see it as a anxiety condition and there are written two books and also an app I think with both books in it as e-books. The books could be separate but anyway I would try that as it is such a recent outset. 
 

https://anxietynomor..._derealisation/



#4 Findmywayhome

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 11:43 AM

The cognitive approch in dealing with this is seeing as a anxiety disorder and partly a obsessive compulsive disorder. Because the outset is so very recent I would say that it could highly beneficial and might not be so difficult to see results . This site is very used as a tool to see it as a anxiety condition and there are written two books and also an app I think with both books in it as e-books. The books could be separate but anyway I would try that as it is such a recent outset. 
 
https://anxietynomor..._derealisation/


Thank you for the reply. I viewed your profile and you seem very well educated on this subject. I have a question:

Is it normal for the dp/dr to get consistently worse over a six week period? Should it have stagnated by now?

#5 Mayer-Gross

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:30 PM

I really cannot give you a qualified answer. I would have said that being aware very early when the state “comes into mind”, would in some way take some of anxiety away and put the process to a stop at some level. That not being aware it was depersonalization was a factor in it progressing to become worse. It could be that my assumptions was wrong. There is no research on the subject as most that have been seen by a psychiatrist and been part of research have had the disorder for close to a decade not being aware of the state they where in. Almost all have had a history of period of high levels of anxiety, mental hypochondritis, fear of losing control ect for a long period where anxiety levels falls with the cost of being more emotional numb. The cost of control over anxiety becomes the lost  of much of the emotions. But, try not to control the state and obsess about as it is not something you can get and the cost of trying will be being emotionally numb. 



#6 Findmywayhome

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 12:48 PM

I really cannot give you a qualified answer. I would have said that being aware very early when the state “comes into mind”, would in some way take some of anxiety away and put the process to a stop at some level. That not being aware it was depersonalization was a factor in it progressing to become worse. It could be that my assumptions was wrong. There is no research on the subject as most that have been seen by a psychiatrist and been part of research have had the disorder for close to a decade not being aware of the state they where in. Almost all have had a history of period of high levels of anxiety, mental hypochondritis, fear of losing control ect for a long period where anxiety levels falls with the cost of being more emotional numb. The cost of control over anxiety becomes the lost  of much of the emotions. But, try not to control the state and obsess about as it is not something you can get and the cost of trying will be being emotionally numb.


Thankyou so much for replying. Im sorry I still have more questions haha

I was immediately aware of what I was feeling when it first started, as ive always experienced brief dp/dr episodes since I was 7. Though the first week I was still consumed by anxiety and suicidal thoughts. But since that first week Ive been trying to live life as normally as I can. I think the reason it still kept getting worse was because of underlying stress and constant thoughts about it. Do you think this could be the cause? These past two weeks it has gotten even more worse as ive started to have underlying anxiety and panic attacks and depression.

Today I came across a post of someone saying that they have had 600+ days of constantly worsening dp/dr. But I guess it was caused by an adverse reaction to an ssri and an antipsychotic. And hes still on medication. A person replied to the post saying that they have also experienced 18 months of constantly worsening dp/dr after a weed induced panic attack. But over the period he also tried an unprecedented number of medications. He said he may have even taken adderall laced with meth?

Are cases like these extremely rare? Do you think the consumption of medication and drugs had something to do with these cases?

#7 Mayer-Gross

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:29 PM

At some point it will stabilize. It will not progress constantly over years but likely become more a chronic stable state. If you have had it for many years it becomes more difficult to come out of as the condition becomes a habit that is maintained. One obsess about it, tries to fight it ect. Depersonalization by itself is thought to be a hard wired brain response to a threat where you can not make a fight or flight response, - so the brain immobilize and makes a shut down that is also is experienced by the mind as contracting, limiting and very alienating. Think that a psychosis is under development, losing control Is very normal . So, you will due to anxiety end up in refueling this response to the brain. This is what the cognitive model of the condition is based on. So, you have a anxiety condition with these symptoms. As it is so recent there is likely much flexibility to your state. You have not going with this for years or decades unaware what it is. So, you have to address this as anxiety and believe that there is a flexibility to you state. If you have symptoms of depression prior to your outset or general anxiety antidepressants might be of some benefit. Panic anxiety by itself is not very responsive to medication. You have to address that might a more psychological approach. This site have this approach and follow the advice there is likely the best and most productive you currently can do. https://anxietynomor..._derealisation/



#8 Findmywayhome

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 01:52 PM

At some point it will stabilize. It will not progress constantly over years but likely become more a chronic stable state. If you have had it for many years it becomes more difficult to come out of as the condition becomes a habit that is maintained. One obsess about it, tries to fight it ect. Depersonalization by itself is thought to be a hard wired brain response to a threat where you can not make a fight or flight response, - so the brain immobilize and makes a shut down that is also is experienced by the mind as contracting, limiting and very alienating. Think that a psychosis is under development, losing control Is very normal . So, you will due to anxiety end up in refueling this response to the brain. This is what the cognitive model of the condition is based on. So, you have a anxiety condition with these symptoms. As it is so recent there is likely much flexibility to your state. You have not going with this for years or decades unaware what it is. So, you have to address this as anxiety and believe that there is a flexibility to you state. If you have symptoms of depression prior to your outset or general anxiety antidepressants might be of some benefit. Panic anxiety by itself is not very responsive to medication. You have to address that might a more psychological approach. This site have this approach and follow the advice there is likely the best and most productive you currently can do. https://anxietynomor..._derealisation/


You have been such a big help. Thankyou.

I think you are absolutely right. And yes the advice in that article is what Ive been trying hard to apply for the past five weeks. But its naive for me to think that I will truly be able to accept it in such a short time frame, I believe it will take several months. No one in my family has suffered from dp/dr but rather anxiety and depression. And they have all responded exceptionally well to ssri’s. So I believe there’s some hope there. Im currently trying to get a referral to a psychiatrist so I could be prescribed with meds. Im not too sure if i should be doing this so early. I dont think I will be able to get in to a psychiatrist for awhile anyway. My plan is if it keeps getting worse over the next two months. Then I will try meds. If it stagnates, then I want to try to push through without. I dont really know what Im doing. A lot of this is being decided by my parents.

If you’re still reading this. Do you care to share your story of dp? I saw that you joined this site ten years ago. What was the onset like for you?

#9 Mayer-Gross

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 02:16 PM

Fine you can use it. But, as I wrote there is no formal medical  treatment for depersonalization or panic anxiety. The approaches are purely psychological. But, if you have a depression with the outset of depersonalization and many do have that it can be very difficult to try cognitive approaches with that untreated in the background. So, there is likely one problem that can be addressed with medicine and one with depersonalization/panic that has to be addressed with more psychological approach. 



#10 Findmywayhome

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 03:57 PM

Fine you can use it. But, as I wrote there is no formal medical  treatment for depersonalization or panic anxiety. The approaches are purely psychological. But, if you have a depression with the outset of depersonalization and many do have that it can be very difficult to try cognitive approaches with that untreated in the background. So, there is likely one problem that can be addressed with medicine and one with depersonalization/panic that has to be addressed with more psychological approach.


I thought SSRI’s can treat generalized anxiety disorder? Yes I have panic attacks, but im still left with a moderate, consistent feeling of anxiety. And as Ive said, both my parents and my brother have responded well to medication. In my mom and dads case, it was purely anxiety. Are they some exception to the fact that medication doesnt treat anxiety?

#11 Mayer-Gross

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 04:13 PM

Yes, generalized anxiety is more a constant worry and irritable anxiety while panic is more sudden. There is a overlap between depression and generalized anxiety, while it is not the case with panic attacks. But, psychological approaches are also effective for anxiety often in combination with a SSRI.

https://en.wikipedia...der#Medications



#12 Findmywayhome

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Posted 13 October 2020 - 05:07 PM

Yes, generalized anxiety is more a constant worry and irritable anxiety while panic is more sudden. There is a overlap between depression and generalized anxiety, while it is not the case with panic attacks. But, psychological approaches are also effective for anxiety often in combination with a SSRI.
https://en.wikipedia...der#Medications


If you dont mind sharing, whats your story with dp?




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