I'm Jake, and I've been dealing with this pretty awful affliction for about 9 months now.
I decided to make an account and post on here finally as I need some insight into other people's experiences.
I just want the reassurance of not feeling alone in my symptoms.
Brief background so you know a little of my story.
Last July, it was in the afternoon of a long day at uni.
Walking to my last class when bam.
Suddenly it felt like the space around me expanded and the world felt immediately quiet, empty and unfamiliar.
Only a few seconds after noticing this, a fierce panic attack came on.
I had experienced both panic attacks and very brief moments of dp/dr in my life, so I was not entirely alarmed at any of this.
Instead I felt I was overtired, and had been working myself too hard and not getting enough sleep.
I got through the rest of the day and went home and had a good night of sleep.
But the next day the feelings remained.
I put up with it for a good 3 days before I collapsed.
I felt constantly on the edge of panic, constantly detached, confused about the world.
I felt like anything could happen and I would be unsure if it was real or not, but alas I am yet to hallucinate.
I stayed at home, too afraid to leave the house for a good week or so, and after about 2 weeks I felt like I was getting better, so I went back to uni and work.
Then after another 2 weeks, things started to get worse again, occasional panic attacks would worsen my dp/dr, and it would remain at that new worse state after the attack had passed.
This pattern continued until I finished uni, which I thought would be the point where I could relax and, having less stress, finally recover.
But it was the opposite, having suddenly endless empty hours plunged me further down.
More anxiety, more dp/dr, more panic attacks, depression.
I got help at this point, starting with a psychologist.
It was rough for a while, but eventually I started to feel some relief, I thought I had this thing beat.
But then I had another panic attack, this time plunged me into an even more intense set-back, my psychologist had gone on leave for the holidays, and I couldn't find anyone else who was available.
I lost the ability to take care of myself and had to live with my girlfriend for 2 weeks.
Went back home to the family for a week too.
Started with a new doctor, tried Lexapro for 2 weeks, gave me insomnia, which worsened everything.
Got off that, got a new psychologist, who is great and I am still seeing and I have felt as though I have been getting better for the last three months.
Until now, I am having another huge crash and I am struggling with it greatly.
The symptoms I experience are distressing and difficult, I feel quite constantly like something is going really wrong in my brain.
I feel confused about everything, at the worst it feels like the whole world makes no sense to me at all. The world around me takes on this horrible terrifyingly unreal quality. Feels like a cartoon.
My brain feels so scattered, my memory seems to be failing me in some ways.
Things feel awful and weird in a way I don't entirely understand.
I have intrusive thoughts that are sometimes disturbing, and my mind seems to fade in and out of daydreams without my control.
I find myself worrying, like I'm sure many of you do, that I am developing psychosis or some serious mental illness.
I can calm this fear down sometimes, but then something happens, symptoms change, I have some troubling thought, and I'm spiralling down, feeling insane, feeling like it's all slipping away.
The trouble I find with these thoughts, is that, I find myself terrified of them, and in my terrified, scattered state, I can't seem to determine if I am afraid because I believe the delusion, or I am afraid that I will believe the delusion and what that means for my condition.
For example, I was sitting in the lounge room the other day, and my housemate was there.
Out of the corner of my eye, it looked like she was filming me with her phone.
I thought that was a weird thought, why would she do that, and I turned to look at her and clearly she wasn't filming me.
Suddenly I felt panic coming on, and I couldn't work out if I felt afraid of her filming me, or if I was afraid because I thought I was starting to believe something irrational like that.
I knew intellectually that, the situation was irrational and unlikely, and I even looked at her to confirm that.
But I started to have intrusive thoughts about the possibility, and I started to feel a little afraid of her.
I pictured her sitting in her room on her computer, doing stuff with footage she had of me.
And as much as I knew that that absolutely wasn't the case, I felt so terrified of the image, and I couldn't tell if I was terrified because I believed the image and was scared of what she was doing with the footage, or if I was scared of the possibility that I was starting to believe and fear something irrational.
None of the professionals I have dealt with have expressed any concern that I might be developing schizophrenia, and I am sure I'm not, but I'm just so scared and confused by all of this, I really just want to hear if anyone else experiences this sort of thing.
I just want to feel the relief to know that this is part of dp and anxiety that others have experienced.