This is my recovery story of a battle with DP at 11 and 12 years old.
V DP STORY V
It's funny, the exact date used to constantly haunt me. December 19th, 2017. I was in my room alone. It was pretty late at night, and I was just scrolling through my computer and listening to music. It all hit me at once. There was no particular trigger. It just happened. The only thing that maybe could've caused it though, was the fact that I was given laughing gas that day as I had 2 of my molars removed. Even then, the event of depersonalization happened hours after. I'm not really sure to this day if this had caused it, so I cannot say for sure if it did.
As I said, it all hit me. A slap in the face. As I was listening to music, I suddenly felt that sensation that would be haunting me for months. I felt as if I was watching myself through my eyes. I was an outsider to my own body. I looked down at my hands and they looked and felt so generally unreal. My voice sounded foreign to myself. The world felt cloudy and it felt as if I was dreaming all the time. My own movements felt weird to me. Nothing looked real.
Of course, I didn't take this well.
As soon as I felt it I had an immediate panic attack (not sure if that's what I had though, I was kinda just crying uncontrollably haha). I instantly looked up "I feel like I'm dreaming" and other searches with the same wording. I read that it was just a short reaction to something and that it would go away quickly in a couple of days.
...Of course, it most certainly didn't go away.
It had been around 2 weeks at this point. I had been obsessively looking up my symptoms and constantly questioning my reality. I felt as if no one or anything was real. I had read online that people could suffer from this for months. What scared me the most is that people were suffering from this for years. There was a possibility I would be suffering this for years. For the rest of my life.
The ending of December and the entire month of January, February, and March were definitely the hardest months.
At that point in time I felt so numb and felt as if nothing would ever change for me again. I felt constantly terrified and horrified of myself. I didn't know who I was in the mirror, and that scared me so much. I didn't know who I was. I felt so numb emotionally. Nothing effected me. I was gone. I was just a shell of myself at that point. I had always been an extremely good student in school. I got really good grades and (sorry if I sound a bit eccentric here) had always been generally smarter than most other students. At that point in time though, my grades had flopped entirely. I had gotten from an A in most of my classes to a C. The brain fog was too much for me to handle. I tried to concentrate on my schoolwork, but I couldn't. It was as if there was something blocking the information to my brain. I couldn't process anything at all.
TL;DR: I got Depersonalization at age 11 and was feeling all the symptoms you are right now for 8 months straight.
V HOW I MANAGED TO SLOWLY GET BETTER V
However, at around April I can say, I decided to turn my life around.
I no longer lingered reading stories of people who have had DP for decades in fear.
I stopped lurking around forums (except the occasional look at recovery stories).
It was time that I did something about it.
The first thing I did was try to distract myself whenever I got an existential thought. I hung out with friends more. I tried to work on schoolwork (even though the brain fog was making it nearly impossible, I managed to pass all of my classes). I kept myself constantly busy.
It didn't work.
Constantly thinking that I needed to be distracted didn't work, because then whenever I was doing something I would be at the same time thinking that I was doing this to distract myself from DP.
The key thing was understanding there's no cure to it. There was nothing I could do about it. There was no magical cure that was going to suddenly make me feel better. There was no medicine. Nothing.
No matter how scary DP is, you have to accept it. Don't make your focus right now on getting rid of it, make your focus right now on accepting it. If you focus on getting rid of it, you're not accepting it.
I know how scary your thoughts are, I know how weird and unreal the world looks, I know how horrible the brain fog is, I know how scary it is not recognizing yourself in the mirror, I know it. I know how it feels.
Accept that you are scared. Accept you're terrified. A good thing to mention is that there's not a set recovery time. People recover at their own pace, so don't discourage yourself if it's not gone as soon as you want it to.
People get DP for years because they don't accept it. That's it. If they had accepted it, it would've been gone already. They wouldn't be writing about their "horrible 20+ years of this condition!", because if they accepted it they wouldn't care enough to write about it in the first place.
After you accept that you have this condition, you'll naturally start to distract yourself. You'll naturally grow to be more indifferent towards the condition until one day you'll realize that it perhaps wasn't as bad as yesterday. Maybe you'll start noticing that you haven't put a lot of thoughts toward it one day. Maybe one day you'll realize your symptoms weren't as bad and you were able to interact and put your focus towards something.
I only started having true DP-Free days in May of 2018.
Don't get discouraged if you realize you still have DP after going a couple hours/days without it. It means you're improving. It means you're healing. Don't insult yourself for still having it. Take the fall and get back up. Keep going.
I started feeling truly better and considered myself "recovered" from DP itself in late August of 2018. I put recovered in quotations because even then I was still slightly frightened by the idea of DP.
In my opinion, full recovery is being DP-Free and not giving a crap that you are.
I could get my DP back right now and I wouldn't really care.
I could be DP-Free for the rest of my life right now and I still wouldn't care.
I'd be functioning with or without it and I do not care about DP.
I truly recovered from DP in November of 2018.
TL;DR: The key to getting over depersonalization is to become indifferent towards it rather than put all of your thoughts and energy into it.
V CONCLUSION V
I am now 13 years old and depersonalization has made me into a stronger person.
I really hope at least one person sees this and this at least gives one person hope.
If I, as a weak and extremely sensitive 12 year old managed to get over the terrifying experience DP is, literally anybody can.
I believe in you all. I'm proud of you all for even visiting the Recovery page. That means you're considering helping yourself, which is the first step.
Good luck everyone!
If any of you have questions, I'd be glad to answer.
Thanks for reading this.