I have read many posts on this forum over the years but have now just decided to create an account and make a post of my own, mostly because I feel extremely alone and am not sure what is going on with me anymore.
Anyway, I have had DP/DR three times prior to now, once when I was 12, again when I was 16, and briefly when I was 20. When I was 12 and 16 the DP/DR lasted about 6 months and then went away gradually, kind of without me even noticing until it was gone and I couldn't really remember how it felt. When I was 20 it only lasted a couple weeks and I completely forgot about the experience. Now I am 23 and have been experiencing what I think is DP/DR again and it started about 4 months ago.
The thing is, I'm not sure if this is DP/DR because my other experiences with it are so foggy and I can't remember how I felt the other times I had it. I've started convincing myself that this is something completely different and that I'm actually losing my mind or developing schizophrenia/psychosis. I just do not feel right and I don't feel like myself at all anymore. So, heres a quick explanation of how my symptoms started and how they are now:
Towards the end of my last semester at school I wrote a psych paper on DP/DR and witnessing abuse during childhood, both of which I have experience with. I got very into the paper and spent hours upon hours a day researching and working on it. I finished it at about 25 pages and my psych professor told me it was one of the best undergrad research papers he has ever read. I was really proud of it. However, soon after I began to feel slightly detached. It freaked me out a bit but I figured it would go away. I was in therapy at the time and mentioned it to my therapist. She suggested that it might be due to the domestic violence I witnessed as a child, and so we began talking about that violence in detail during one of our sessions. While I was talking about it I completely zoned out, it felt like I was there and it was like I could almost see it. I felt like that 8 year old kid, who I was when I witnessed the violence, and it wasn't until my therapist said "you look very detached right now" that I snapped back into the present moment and felt extremely disoriented. I told her I had to leave and from that point on I have felt very disconnected from everything.
For the next couple weeks after that session it started to feel like nothing was real and no one around me was real. I got obsessed with solipsism, but not because I believed in it. I got obsessed with it because I was scared that I would believe it. Also, I got scared because there is no way to prove that anyone else exists besides oneself. This was extremely disturbing for me and it made the DP/DR much worse. Eventually, I let the idea of solipsism go and began to obsess over the fact that I might be developing psychosis. This brings me to the present moment of how I'm feeling now.
For the past month or so I have obsessed over schizophrenia and thinking that I have it or am developing it. I started reading all the symptoms, all the stories of people who have it, all of the prodromal symptoms, and related myself to everything I read. I started to listen for noises at night, thinking I would start hearing things. Then, I became hyperaware of my peripheral vision, thinking I might start to hallucinate or see things. Then I started to fear that I might have delusions and started coming up with delusions and then thinking "oh no do I really believe that." But obviously, I never believed any of the delusions I came up with because after I stopped thinking about them I wouldn't even remember what they were the next day. Anyway, here is a list of my present symptoms:
- feel disconnected from thoughts
- feel like I'm on some other planet and or in another dimension
- feel like I'm not here or anywhere
- feel disconnected from life and responsibilities
- when I think of friends and family they feel really far away as if they don't exist
- surroundings feel strange and look different or off
- feel a floating like sensation
- feels like the world behind me doesn't exist until I turn around and look at it
- time feels like it doesn't make sense or like it passes differently
- days, weeks, and months feel like they don't make sense
- things feel like a movie sometimes as if people are just actors
- my voice doesn't sound like my own
- feels like I'm not controlling my body sometimes
- the world feels scary
- feel trapped, as if there is no escape from this
- feel like I'm going to lose it completely at any moment
- feel disconnected from my memories, especially ones from before I felt detached
- feel like I'm not as smart as I was before
- feel spaced out or zoned out sometimes
- vivid dreams and extreme tiredness throughout the day
- weird sensation like something is behind me, but I know nothing is
- night time feels extra dark and unsettling
- things sometimes seem brighter and other times seem foggy
- objects feel like they're not really there, like I would have to touch them to actually feel like they are there
- feel extremely anxious and depressed
- lost interest in things I used to enjoy
- feels like I'm barely holding onto my sanity
- feel overwhelmed easily by too much stimuli
- just feel really far away from everything
- feeling of impending doom, like something really bad is going to happen
I'm not even sure if that list covers everything, but I feel like it's the best I can do as of now. Anyway, please let me know what you guys think. If you guys relate to any of this or have any advice I would love to hear it. I just feel so alone and helpless and no one around me understands. They just say "relax" but it's really hard when I feel like this. It was like my whole life is over and I'm just going to never come back to my old self or feel better. Thanks for those who read this, and I hope to hear something from you guys soon.