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Has anyone had a similar onset? My story

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#1 Findmywayhome

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 12:39 PM

Before i explain my story. It is important to note that Ive actually experienced dp/dr (mainly dr) episodes since I was 7. But they lasted for only minutes to hours at a time, and grew increasingly more infrequent over time to where I could go several months without experiencing them. That is until now.


THE TRIGGER

Im a 16 year old male who developed constant dp/dr six weeks ago. It started with a short depressive episode. All the stress and worry I had for the upcoming school year seemed to slowly accumulate until I eventually fell into a depressive episode that started during the first week of school.I went to talk to my mom about what Was going on. I guess me verbally admitting that there was something wrong with me made me extremely anxious, thus a panic attack induced. This was the most horrible feeling ive ever experienced in my life. Aside from the intense anxiety, my mom suddenly seemed extremely alien to me. It was as if she had died and someone else possessed her body. I thought the only way out of this feeling was to die. Ofcourse,It eventually subsided.

AFTERMATH

At this point, I wasn’t exactly sure if the dp/dr went away. I was too focused on the fact of me being depressed. Oddly enough, I found myself subconsciously not wanting to look at my mom in fear that the sensation would happen again. Looking back, I dont think it went away after I first experienced it from the panic attack. But having dealt with dp/dr before, I wasnt too concerned with it and thus the feelings and thoughts of my depression usurped my awareness of it. On sunday I began to feel alot better. The depressive had acutely subsided dramatically. No idea why. But once the depression left. I slowly started to become more aware of the dp/dr. Not being too worried or bothered by it, it sort of came in waves of awareness, it was extremely mild. I woke up the next morning for school still feeling it. I was still not worried. I told myself that all I had to do was engage and interact with the world and it would eventually fade away within the day. Spoiler alert: it didnt. The feeling could subside for several minutes at a time, but it would eventually come back. My anxiety and depression finally catalyzed when I read online that dp/dr could actually be a chronic disorder. And according to Wikipedia, only 1 out of 3 cases are episodic. I didnt go to school the next day. The depression immediately came back accompanied with moderate anxiety. I felt extremely suicidal. I thought I wouldn’t make it through the winter without killing myself before then. The following weekend I discovered the abundance of recovery stories that exist online. This gave me the greatest sense of hope ive ever felt, I almost started to tear up with how many stories there were, and how applicable they were to me. As im writing this, I cant help but find it hilarious on how spiratic my emotions were during this time. This made the following week very easy to cope with it. I had an underlying sense of hope and motivation that I could come out of it. I was able to distract myself and not think about it for hours at a time. In a sense, I was pretty much back to normal emotionally. However, later that same week I woke up feeling a greater sense of detachment from myself. Normally I would have to look at my limbs or my reflection to feel a sense of disconnection. But now i just constantly felt it.

THE PROGRESSION

Weirldy, it seemed that the dp/dr would get worse in intervals. Despite me contuining to live life, socialize, practice my hobbies, and genuinely enjoy things, and also see a therapist, every third or fourth day it got much worse to where I couldnt manage it. But the following day I could function as a combination of me becoming rapidly used to the increased intensity of the sensation and it also being slightly less intense than the previous day. There were still days where I could say it got better, but overall it was going downhill. The Depersonalization seemed to progress faster than the derealization.

FREEFALL

About a week ago it started it exponentially get worse. It started with derealization. I woke up on Saturday feeling incredibly derealized. Its hard to describe, but it was a lot worse than before. Things that normally relieved me didnt alleviate the symptoms as much. Going for a run only helped a little. I felt very depressed and unmotivated. The difference now is that it didnt get worse in intervals, every day it gradually got worse. The following school week was very difficult. It was hard to be genuine when socializing, and I couldn’t pay attention in class if my life depended on it. Each day I found that moments of genuine happiness and presence (however present one can even be in this state) started to decrease in frequency. It feels like now that every next moment is infinitely disconnected from the previous one. Immediately after an event occurs it didnt make sense in my mind that it actually happened. I remember i was reading one story of a person describing that they felt like they’re consciousness was constantly being reborn. This is a pretty accurate description of how I feel. Things dont make a lot of sense anymore. Being a human doesn’t really make sense. At this point my anxiety and depression have increased tremendously. I dont want to do anything out of fear and demotivation. Running makes it worse. My memory is extremely impaired, my mind itself is extremely impaired. Even acknowledging that this all caused by dp/dr doesnt really make sense. It almost seems like the disorder has a mind of its own. It seems the voice in my mind had been quieted. Its like a lost leverage over my thoughts.

I just would like someone to respond. Has anyone experienced dp/dr to this degree? Does it get better over time? Should I still run and excersize even If it makes it worse?

#2 lost235

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Posted 12 October 2020 - 02:38 PM

Hi! You’re really not alone in this. I’m a 16 year old girl, and my whole life has turned around since my dp/dr started. I’ve also always had these moments where I’ve felt disconnected ever since about 6th grade maybe. But they didn’t last long at all and I didn’t put any thought on it. Since the beginning of July this year I’ve experienced extreme dp/dr, and so many symptoms.
I would say this whole thing also started from a depressive episode and a lot of anxiety. I’ve always dealt with a lot of anxiety before but in June I was extremely depressed and suicidal. As I said, I’ve dealt with a whole lot of symptoms ever since. It seems as though most people on this forum think they’re symptoms are the worst, but honestly we’re all just going through this horrible thing. Your whole description in ‘AFTERMATH’ is exactly how I’ve felt! It’s this whole mix of depression, anxiety, dissociation, fear etc. Some days are hopeful because you read motivating things on the internet, some days are worst because your whole vision of the world is fucked. For me, my house seems unfamiliar, my parents look like aliens (just as you described) so I honestly also don’t want to look at them anymore because it’s so freaky. I can’t even go out anymore without a constant fear of going insane or doing something weird or having a panic attack, it’s horrible. My memory also sucks, and I can’t recognise myself in the mirror or personality-wise. Some days are better like you said, but suddenly you’re hit with this horrible feeling that everything around you is unreal. A lot of the times I’m convinced I’m dreaming. And I can’t even see any pattern, there’s no reason to why it suddenly gets worse, it just does. And everything you explain in “FREEFALL”, I feel the exact same. It’s crazy how much I relate to you honestly. I’ve also been struggling a whole lot in school, there’s no way for me to get my grades up with this disorder.
So I’m sort of in the same boat as you, and I don’t know any better, but just know you’re not alone. The symptoms you described is what dp/dr is.
From what I’ve read, it does get better over time. Dp/dr is the brains reaction to anxiety and depression, it’s built in us from our ancestors. It’s a way of the fight or flight response, and is not life threatening or anything, even if it’s unbearably uncomfortable and scary.
You should for sure still exercise and run! I wish I could honestly. It’s great for the mental health and a good way to distract yourself. If you expose yourself to the things that are hard, it will eventually feel better, or at least less scary. I don’t know if you’ve talked with your therapist about your dp/dr, but mine have given me some good tips!

• When the dp/dr gets really, really bad (for me it’s when I leave the house on my way to some place), try and point out as many things as you can see, hear, smell or feel as possible. But do it one at a time, really think about everything you see for a good few minutes, then move on to maybe what you hear.

• Listen to podcasts. For me anyway, it’s really helped to listen to podcasts when I for example clean or cook, because I concentrate on what they’re saying instead of what I feel.

• Drink green tea! This honestly sounds ridiculous, because tea obviously won’t solve all your problems, but it really helps to calm down anxiety.

• Keep being social. Don’t quit hanging out with people. I isolated myself and it became a lot worse. Just keep doing what you usually do and eventually it will feel less scary. (Believe me I know it’s easier said than done but it’s necessary)

• Don’t look at the negative posts on this forum. A lot of them will stress you out, such as people who says they’ve had it forever. It will most likely not be the same for you. Instead, look at recovery stories and “managing dp/dr”. You mentioned that those motivate you so just do that, don’t look at anything that can make your anxiety worse.

I don’t know if this will help you, but it makes me sad that someone else is feeling as shitty as I am. If you’re feeling suicidal, just keep going. I myself just want to give up, but you have to believe that this will past, and there’s so many reasons to stay.
(Also sorry for my shitty grammar but I’m writing this in a hurry and English is not my first language lol)

I hope things work out for you! Just remember you’re not alone and this is not something unbelievably weird even if it feels like it. :)





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