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#1 mrdata

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 01:38 PM

Hello DP Community, 

 

I am a 36 year old man with no previously diagnosed or treated mental illness prior to November 2019. I had some OCD tendencies in my teens that I grew out of without medical help (checking things), suffered significant anxiety and stress from being gay and closeted for most of my teens/early 20s and had high levels of stress from work and relationship with anger and low moods in my mid 30s from a few life disappointments. 

 

Long story short, in 2017 I developed a chronic physical illness (that has disappeared since my mental illness popped up - completely disappeared - I think it was stress related and no I don't have stress).

 

In 2018 I lost my job, a long-term relationship ended (wasn't making me happy, of course I was upset but also relieved) and moved back to my home country. My situation didn't improve really when I got back- hard to find work, few if any friends, family health issues (parental dementia) and my younger siblings progressing in life compared to me (marriage, children, house, permanent job etc). I muddled along for a year or so unconcerned and yet concerned at the same time, drinking more than I perhaps should have been and doing catchup sexually. I was becoming somewhat unstable emotionally. It was enough for my ex to suggest I see a doctor but I waited it out a few months while continuing to engage in self-destructive behaviours, including one where I was almost assaulted but only realised afterwards (I first thought it was kinky).  I became romantically involved in a somewhat toxic relationship and almost became obsessional about the breakup and issues around it and why no-one would like me. So decided to improve my life, went vegan for 3 months. However, I had a skin breakout  and lost a large amount of body hair (beyond regular shedding) which caused me to go back to old diet. I still didn't apply for jobs at this stage yet had a hang-up that no-one would hire me. A month or two later I had a seriously stressful situation where I had to contain my rage and stopped midpoint between lifting a bowl to throw at the wall and stopping myself (I think this led to my current condition). I woke up about a week later with 100% sexual dysfunction (complete) (I should note the day before I action 3 times).  Initially I thought it was an STI as it was so extreme the effect, I went to ER and also STI clinic and they found nothing. I should also point out that during a kiss, a few days before that, i noticed no response but didnt think much of it. 

 

Gradually, I began to realise I was not responding to emotional stimulus as I would normally. This scared me to be honest I fell into a dark mood very very quickly over say 2-3 weeks. Within 3 weeks of the 'incident' when I held in my rage midpoint and felt brain pressure I was hospitalised. I told eval team that I could not feel my emotions (happy, sad plus more), had no stress or anxiety ,couldn't feel my body sensations, could not feel other people's emotions and could not think deeply. I said it was like i was depending on my intellect to function. I was in a severely distressed state. I was very detailed and gave a load of examples such as the feeling of water on my body from a shower felt 'off' or how I could not feel physical pain.  I even said I feared I would not know if I needed to use the loo. I was so aware of something so weird. They said I was delusional and was suffering thought disorder and mania. I was never so sad and upset up to the point leading up to my visit.  I was giving alot of information in a way they considered very fast  and maybe jumbled or mixed. They said I had bipolar and was put on Olanzispine 5 daily. I was released a week later and continued on the olanzispine for 4 months (monthly appointments) with no improvement at all. In January, the doctor said my emotional numbness was due to medicine but I said that was what I presented with. My sexual functioning returned but in a way not like before. Porn had no effect. 

 

During the start of Covid, my appointment was cancelled. I decided to stop the olanzapine on my own as I did not feel any improvement and was sleeping a lot and gaining a lot of weight. About 3-4 weeks after stopping, for first time ever I had thoughts of death, my first crying outbreaks since the hospitalisation, they would last 10secs or less and never brought relief and slowly developed insomnia and lost my appetite. I suffered like this for about 2-4 weeks before making a crisis appointment.   By the time I saw my pysch doctor, these weird symptoms had passed but he started to focus too much attention on them and not on my initial symptoms. He put me on Sertraline and said I was depressed and to contact him if I went into a mania. I highlighted how I has no stress hormones, no flight or flight response, no sensation of body such as heart pounding, lost my ability to sweat (although I still smell sweaty) etc. This was in May. A follow-up appointment took place in July right after doctors rotate change takes place. So for follow up a new doctor called me and said he would see me in 3 months and posted me a Rx for Sertraline despite me saying the new medicine had no impact. I even told him i had insect bites and could not feel the pain, the sting or the pleasure of scratching. I barely was able to say I had lost my ability to do maths in my head before he cut me off. 

 

That 3 month appointment happened last month. I outlined all my symptoms again which I will do below, and he has continued me on Sertraline with next appointment in 6 weeks. I asked to try a new medicine and said in the UK it was best practice to switch antidepressants if there was no effect after 4-8 weeks (I will be almost 6 months on Sertaline) or to add something extra to it. He only offered to go back to olanzapine which I refused. I also used this opportunity to say I should have been given Valium when I was hospitalised as I was distraught rather than thought disordered.  I mentioned again the lack of stress hormones in my body (gave example of a wild dog running towards me and I just look on, no sweat, no shock, no tremours, no calmdown after), my body hair and beard falling out and the complete absence of my flight and fight response to anything dangerous. I pleaded for an appontment to see an endocorgnist and a neurologist. I cannot understand how I have such symptoms when they say pain is increased in depression.  

 

 

My main symptoms are under 3 headings - emotional, physical and mental. I have noticed the mental one are getting worse in the last few months. 

 

Emotional - no happiness, no sadness, no anger, no rage, no stress, no concern, no worry, no sex drive, no sex interest(horniness etc). I do sometimes feel a deep sense of unease or gloom. I also have no resilence to problems, when faced with a problem I get instantly tired and/or my legs get weak. I do not feel it emotionally., 

 

Physicals - no fight or flight response (no heart beating, no tension), no feelings of body (itches), no pain (i can hit hand of wall with no pain - i demonstrated this in Novemeber), no sex fucntion (sorry to women reading this but I can still masturbate with a semi soft  but with no pleasure or physical sensation - however it took 3 months for precum to come back after complete loss in November). My skin feels like cardboard and more importantly, I have this sense that I cannot feel my body, i give the example that if i close my eyes I poke my finger into the wall or my chest, its the same feeling - my finger doesnt know its touching my chest, and my chest doesnt know finger is touching it). I can however feel pressure and temperature. Too hot doesnt hurt me (it feels like a frozen ice sting) I do not sweat at all.  I have also lost my body heat generation. I do not feel hot or cold, but I no longer radiate heat. I gave the example where I would normally in the past showered and remain wet in a towel and surf the internet for 10 mins, and be dry or damp. Now i am completely. No body heat. I also think this has contributed to the weight gain. 

 

Mental - no thoughts fly in my mind, no memories in head (apart from the odd memory that pops in), i told them this differs from my ability to remember things like the name of this planet or the year etc. I cannot do maths in my head, or hold a thought or a step in head. I have notified in the last month or two, I spell out different words that I think in that moment, and I get stuck in middle of spelling. I also have what can only be described as complete mental blocks to recall certain things, and even the ability to remember something similar that might jigg my memory is blank. My language skills have regressed. And more importantly, I do not know if I know I am right and wrong. I am beginning to doubt myself. I cannot say for certain if I know I have made a mistake. If these mental problems dont get fixed, I fear (i say this in an intellectual manner) I will be a lost case. 

 

I notice that sometime in the afternoon/evening I get more normal (no feelings) and by midnight I am functional (and at my best). Sometimes I do not want to go to bed because I feel ok (not better). 

 

What is fundamental is that for all of the above that I've outlined is extremely weird, it doesn't distress me in the slightest, not one iota. Naha, nil. I am like I just say it. I don't panic, I don't worry, I don't get upset. 

 

The symptoms are more but I think you get my point. When I rang an emergency helpline the therapist said I was dissociated and she called my the mental health hospital but as above they have kept me on the Sertraline. 

 

I did a test and it seems I might have DP but certainly not DR. But my doctor has never referred despite what the therapist communicated to him. I got 6 emergency consultations from the counselor funded from a charity. 

 

Also for one week in august, I felt a recovery come upon me. My legs started to itch, as did my lips, I started to laugh from deep in my belly (I even felt discomfort of muscles for a few days after), i smiled, and I saw the world in a good light, and also I woke up with a string in my step and with energy and a desire to eat. This all happened after I had a very difficult conversation about my parents health and childhood that triggered a cry that was from my belly and had a unusual green health food soup and changed my coffee brand. I told them all of this. 

 

I am sorry this has been a long post. 



#2 Findmywayhome

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 06:18 PM

Hey, sorry to hear what your going through.

Im no psychiatrist , but it seems to me that your Depersonalization is a secondary symptom. Your emotional numbness and anhedonia is the main problem, it could be major depressive disorder. It seems that processing your past emotions and truamas help you, I would certainly keep doing that.

I also find myself having more apathy towards my state. I can process the idea that I will be stuck like this forever and I might be more or less doomed to have a miserable existence but for some reason I dont feel anything towards that Idea except a very subtle feeling of uneasiness, its certainly not because I dont believe it, because if i didnt believe it im sure I would be a lot happier and more hopeful right now. I find myself losing my emotions more and more each day.

Anyways, I wish the best of luck to you. I know you can overcome this.

#3 mrdata

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Posted 22 October 2020 - 07:08 PM

Thank you Findmywayhome for replying. 

 

I have looked up everything about mental illness and for months believed it was indeed anhedonia of a severe type. I even said to them that antidepressants don't work for that. I think I might have had some form of depression for a while and a lot of stress hormones for the last few years.  I even thought I had double depression. I mentioned this and it wasn't really entertained like how they said that there was no such thing in their experience as olanzapine withdrawal (symptoms were masked yet I never had thoughts of death at the start of this). I also think I might have melancholy depression as I was always a bit melancholic.

 

I did NOT believe at the start  that it was bipolar because I have been for the last 36yrs relatively stable with maybe a bit moody that  lasted an afternoon or something. And the earlier depression in my 20s untreated never impacted my ability's to enjoy things and even might have increased my sex drive, although i skipped a year in college after a family death. SO when they kept saying a working diagnose of bipolar I was in disbelief. I took the olanzapine but no impact for 4 months on it. I read up about mixed bipolar and thought maybe that (with all bad symptoms - no feelings etc and only mania of energy and being talkative.  Eventually the doctor in May said it was depression with GAD. But I have never been as calm in my life as now. I am cool calm and collected.

 

I was on high steroids for 1 year in 2017 for a chronic illness (that has totally disappeared now) and with high stress of job and life and my addiction to large quantity of coffee (maybe 10 cups or more a day) I thought it was a hormone and glandular issue from overuse of steroids. But doctor says tests for this is not clinically indicated. This is despite my beard falling out and no flight or fight response. I also asked if it was caused by a brain infection as I had a sinus infection a month before this all happened in November 2019 and had orange and clear fluid leaking from my nose when I bent down which might have been brain fluid. If so, a small gap might have been between my infected nose and my brain and the inflammation gene might have travelled up. I know this is a long shot, but my condition is so unusual I have thought of every possible cause.  I mention this here because it was sinus that I had chronically and it just disappeared around the time I was hospitalized. It may have been a form of stress response and since I no longer have the ability to get stressed, I don't have it. However, my long-term tinnitus is still here and its regular volume. Thankfully the inability to get stressed means I dont focus on it.  Btw I lived with it since my teens and am happy to live with it again. I just want to be able to get worried about it. 

 

I looked up anhedonia treatment and see its as bad as DP, maybe ketamine or E or something with a V? voritizon? I would like to try that but my next appointment is in 2 months and he wouldn't change my Sertraline despite me saying it didn't work in July.  I understand if it is DP, all i need is Lamitical. I don't understand why they wont test me. Its a bipolar medication too. I am concerned if I keep suggesting things, that they will put me down as a hypochromic. They have already said I was a perfectionist (and I think they mean that I wont accept a half recovery). But I keep saying my august recovery was 5% when I was 0% for 10 months and I was happy with that.  The last appointment, he said I might not even be depressed as my eyes were sparkly.  I am now thinking he thinks there is nothing wrong with me. 

 

I really think lesser people would have succumbed to what I have endured and although I cannot get upset about it, it is a form of suffering. I mentioned to him that it is like i have an enhanced torture threshold that would have broken someone who could experience the trauma of it. 

 

I just don't know. I am not right. 

 

The numbness is extreme. Like here is an example. If I was to get a pen and just poke my back with it, I would in the old me, find it enjoyable and relaxing, now its just weird pressure. I do not know to describe it apart from through examples. 

 

I have also noticed my body no longer has allergies or what not. I used to get itchy face and hives from smells and red wine or cosmetics (related to my chronic illness) and now its all gone.  I have never been healthier physically, in the last 11 months, I have no needed to take any pain killers or antifimmaroires. I even  had a swollen throat that was painfree but I knew it was swollen. I cannot explain that. 

 

Part of me would like to retain some of the numbness because it is liberating and makes me more direct and assertive. BUt I would like to be able to enjoy things, and get upset or mad or return my sex life. 

 

I even told them that I do not have the ability to feel drunk after a few drinks. Is that DP? 



#4 Findmywayhome

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Posted 23 October 2020 - 02:59 PM

It seems to me that your issue is very physical. It actually seems like you might not even have DP. Have you got your thyroids checked? Its pretty bizarre to me that your doctors didnt take this more seriously. Have u tried an eeg?

#5 RunToMe

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 04:28 AM

Hey MrData, I can relate absolute to your symptoms especially your emotional numbness like no fear or stress by danger etc. I took sertralin and olanzapine too and it made me number too. Good for you that you get a little better in the evening or night. Can you sleep or get enough tired to sleep? I have strong problems with that. Hope you will better or find the cause for that all.

#6 mrdata

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Posted 24 October 2020 - 03:21 PM

Thanks guys for replying.  I appreciate it. 

 

I had blood tests done when I was first hospitalised (not sure what for) and had machine some test in ER (wires attached to my chest and legs). My symptoms are physically but also emotionally, no happiness, no sadness, no humour, no anger, no frustration, no love, no passion. its all gone. 

 

Some days it is hard to show any interest and I force myself, while other days its easier to do things and comes more natural. 

 

I don't have problems sleeping thankfully, but I do find I don't feel tired but I am tired. It might sound crazy but at the start of it, I often wondered if I would know I needed to fall asleep. I dont mean that I had an abundance of energy, I just mean the sleepy feeling didnt fall upon me (I had the same feeling about the call of nature, like I wouldn't know I needed to go). 

 

The only time this sense of not feeling bodily functions was a concern was when I first started the sertraline. My doctor told me that it might make me sick for the first few days. I worried (without the panic, without the stress, without the concern) that I would get sick in my sleep and die (maybe this anxiety or after effects of olanzapine withdrawal). I dont know about you guys but I always had a 6th sense if I needed to get sick in my sleep (very rare), I would wake a minute or two beforehand, my mouth would get all frothy and I would get a cold feeling over me and I would just know I needed to get to the bathroom. With this condition I have, I dont think I have these sensations within me and so I worried I would vomit in my sleep. I understand many people do get sick in their sleep, so not everyone has this 6th sense, but I did. 

 

I did an online test for disssocation earlier and I scored 14. I am not a middle ground guy. I either have 0% or 100% for all the questions of symptoms listed (e.g. 100% physicals numbmess, 0% fainting), no middle ground like 2-3 times a week, its either not there or there constantly. It looked like a scientific questionaire, around 8-10 questions. 

 

But it says MDD usually have 8, Borderline Personality either 12/14, Post Trauma 14-18 or Dissocation Disoder 19. I fall into the higher range but I dnt think I have borderline personality disorder. Could it be Post Trauma.  Maybe MDD with Dissocation. 






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