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Update after being Cured


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#1 keat0

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 01:37 AM

This stuff worked for me and my assumption in sharing this information is that you're like me. It's possible you're not, but something tells me that you are based on getting to know other DP sufferers by reading posts. Please read this with an open mind

 
I feel like the unfortunate thing is a lot of times when people no longer need to go to places like this, they vanish. Once you're cured you want to move on right away from the dark place you were previously stuck at. So I feel the need to share at least what worked for me because I know DP is like being in a darkness with no light in sight and how bad the suffering can get. I also know DP can fuck up your ability to focus and digest large chunks of information
 
So here are my best cliffs notes wisdom in bullet-point form:
1. modafinil + mirtazapine is a great drug combo bandaiding this illness. I am now off of this combo, but I don't know how I could've coped with life while actively going through DP without it.
2. propranolol was great for my panic attacks. I had them in social work situations that would be awkward to leave or when presenting. This drug at only 5-10mg was a life saver
3. Sleep apnea may be preventing your recovery by messing up some emotional/identity integration that happens while you sleep. Also, I was initially misdiagnised as only having "mild" sleep apnea and was told it's better not to treat it due to the inherent difficulties you trade off using CPAP. I don't think I reached deep sleep during an in-lab study and I suspect the at-home study I had showing that I had severe sleep apnea was more accurate, because getting surgery for sleep apnea changed everything
4. DP (for me) was probably caused by unprocessed trauma, denial, and some level of self-deception that I felt I wasn't strong enough to cope with as well as getting stuck in a nihilistic/solipsistic void
5. "Chronic inflammation" is probably a multiplier for the severity of DP as anything that lowers systemic inflammation seems to also treat DP
6. Look up 'lifespan integration therapy'. I think this works incredibly well for unprocessed trauma. Writing a personal auto-biography like Harris Harrington suggests also helps structure and integrate your unprocessed trauma into the narrative structure of your life which is important for self-concept
7. Self neglect makes things worse. Practice caring for yourself. Figure out a way to consistently practice this (especially going easy on yourself)
8. Find your inner-voice. Some point in having DP I lost my inner monologue and as crazy as it sounds it's useful to speak outloud, know what your voice sounds, then internally sub-vocalize using this voice. I feel like it's something I had to "re-train" myself to do
9. Have faith in yourself. You're probably pretty smart person and not only that, but if you let other people do your thinking and deciding for you you won't grow out of this. You have to learn to be strong enough to trust yourself. Trust your inner wisdom. Trust your intuition.
 
I suspect the root cause of the severity of my symptoms came fro severe sleep apnea (40+ events/hr), I suspect that chronic shitty sleep causes our emotional/identity integration systems while we're dreaming to shut down or significantly dysfunction - I've been in awe at the amount of dreams and emotional processing that I've had since I got a surgery that brought my sleep apnea down from 45 events/hour (tested) to 5 events/hour (tested). The insidious part of this condition is I think that it co-developed with DP and both exacerbated each other creating a positive feedback loop to hell. The second half of how insidious it is is I had previously ruled out sleep apnea due to the fact that I had "only" an AHI of 10 in an in-lab sleep study, but in a home study (pulse oximiter + chest belt + nasal cannula) I was able to actually achieve deep sleep where the apneas really showed themselves. I also was not significantly overweight when I believe sleep apnea got worse in my life (5'11" 180lbs), but eventually I gained 20 lbs which is also a positive feedback loop with sleep apnea making things even worse. It's also very hard to lose weight weight sleep apnea even without the addition of dealing with DP and anxiety.
 
I should also mention that coincidentally I am an HSP(https://hsperson.com/); credit again to Harris Harrington for figuring this connection out. I know mentioning this may trigger some as it sounds like some unscientific self-help categorizing somewhere on the spectrum of meyers-briggs to zodiac signs, but please approach this with an open mind as it may be just coincidence that you fit this category as well as I do. I think DP happens to people that are similar in a lot of ways and it may literally be the equation: interpersonal unprocessed trauma/codependent relationship + sleep apnea + high sensitivity. There may be other "types" of DP since I suspect there are other ways that emotional processing at a deep-brain level doesn't happen than being things being "stuck" with sleep apnea.
 
There are different "levels" I had to work on to deal with this psychological illness:
1. Practical - how to survive while dealing with these issues: DP, panic, anxiety, depression, and fatigue
2. Inter-personal - I had to go into my subconscious and do work, particularly trying to figure out what I was in denial about in regards to my identity and my relationships
3. Emotional strength - I had to become a stronger person so that I could cope with the parts of life some part of me felt I wasn't strong enough to face
4. Spiritual - I grew up Christian. As with many millennial stopped believing in my late teens and had to deal with the void by making my own "map" of reality and learning from the wisdom of others while figuring out a reason to live and have meaning
5. Health - sleep apnea, trying different medications for depression anxiety, fatigue & other issues that sleep apnea causes (blood pressure, low GABA; etc.)
7. Had to find the courage to face what I was in denial about
 
If you're looking for a drug band-aid, then I recommend mirtazapinemodafinil. At least for n=1, me, I think this combo helped me cope way more than the many many other psych drugs/supplements that I tried. Ideally, you get to the root cause, but I wasn't severely traumatized in my life and I am not ruling out the idea that some people have been through things that are too difficult to face. That said, I think people are way stronger than they think and the demands of life, if you choose to cope, while dealing with this condition make you a very strong person. I suspect I will be able to deal much better with the death of my parents or any other tragedy or coping with something like terminal cancer because of the growth that has been forced on me. I've simply have so many more tools in my toolbox now to cope with life. 
 
A note on negativity:
People on here are suffering terribly. Sometimes people don't realize how they affect others when they are in catastrophic pain. As such, I've noticed that sometimes the tone of this forum can be very negative which I think people don't realize can turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy of not reaching a "cure" state. You HAVE to have an open mind to open doors you haven taken: if you keep doing what you've been doing you'll get what you got.
 
A note on faith:
An antidote to the above is having unwavering faith that you'll find your cure. You know this to be true because this the positive inverse of the above (people having "faith" that they're stuck in this illness). People want to think they're rational, but is it not logically equivalent to assume you'll find your cure as to assume that you won't.
 
Goals & Health
Even if you are a Taoist, I believe in the need for setting goals. Something to do with the rewards circuitry of the brain which seems to oppose depersonalization/drealization. It is humanizing and empowering to set goals, work towards them, and achieve them. And it's very self-empowering to be a success while coping with the heavy blanket of this illness. You feel really good about yourself when you see yourself making progress and then achieving your goals even with this illness.
 
Important ideas:
1. Something gets lost when people go from religious to atheist. I am not anti-rationality, but I think if you watch Jordan Peterson's Bible Series he points out the baby we threw out with the bathwater. To the best of my knowledge I believe Jordan Peterson is an honest intellectual trying to understand the truth, so for people worried they won't gain something out of this please have an open mind because it is all about how religion is something self-selected by evolution and contains abstract truths that don't require blind faith. I think you need to fill the void. I originally did with Taoism/Buddhism, but in the end I've developed my own "map" of reality through piecing together truths from many different domains/perspectives
2. It's highly possible you're a codependant aka you had to mold your personality to adapt to one or both of your parent's pathologies and codepedency = self-neglect which can lead to DP since you dissociate from the "invisible" self-harm you're doing to yourself. Truly emancipate yourself from mental slavery. Read books, listen to audiobooks, watch youtubes on codependancy
3. Running/cardio seems to treat DP over time by 1. providing a meditative space for the subconscious to integrate with the conscious 2. through bringing balance to the endocannabinoid and kappa-opioid systems
 
 
Shame and Committing Evil 
Just because you're an atheist doesn't mean your superego goes away and it's easy forget that you're carrying the burden of sin when you're an atheist. Meaning, you may have suppressed guilt which is aggravating DP because you've been in denial that you're a person that has done bad things. Apart from asking god for forgiveness sometimes you have to forgive yourself and the universe will forgive you if only to stop you from doing more evil. I suspect that there is religious circuitry in the brain so the equivalent thing to do would be to express silently your apologies for the things that you've done wrong to the people you've wronged and admit that you're a flawed person, which is true for everyone, and that you promise to be better over time.
 
The Machinist (movie - watch it!!) makes a great point about the above. It can also explain why even if you don't have sleep apnea you don't sleep well for the same reasons he does. 
 
Remember, it's just a ride - https://www.youtube....h?v=KgzQuE1pR1w
 
I'm getting tired so I'm going to stop writing. Sorry if this is disorganized. I have so much more info so if people find value and want more in any specific area I am happy to write more, but I will only write more if it vibes with people. 
 
Other important note: I did take LSD once while I was deep in DP. I figured that I was already fucked and my life was hell so why not try anything even if it's drastic. I think LSD permanently made me more open minded which helped me consider things that I hadn't previously considered which lead to me trying things, switching if they don't work, and trying some other random novel thing until I found my cure. So LSD overall did help. I also think marijuana/psychedelics can reveal the unconscious which can throw someone into a traumatic condition like DP or ... "when you're going through hell...keep going". I actually vape weed (1:1 THC/CBD) after my cure because I think it helps me heal even more. People may hate me for saying this and it may not work for you.



#2 James_80

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 03:37 PM

[Sorry, this should be in Recovery Stories. Didn't realize and posted here, I don't see a way to delete this]

 

I'll move it over for ya smile.png



#3 Where

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 10:11 PM

Interesting you had severe sleep apnea but attribute your stress to trauma. Maybe it's cumulative. Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling better.

I've tried both modafinil and mirtazapine, and I can say they're definitely not sugar pills.

#4 keat0

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Posted 02 February 2020 - 10:52 PM

I'll move it over for ya smile.png

Thank you!

 

Interesting you had severe sleep apnea but attribute your stress to trauma. Maybe it's cumulative. Anyway, I'm glad you're feeling better.

I've tried both modafinil and mirtazapine, and I can say they're definitely not sugar pills.

 

I know people on here frequently reject Harris Harrington for a variety of reasons, but I think Harris' neurobiological understanding of DP being a dis-integration between parts of the brain makes sense and it has to do with unprocessed trauma. I think more than unprocessed trauma, it also (for me) had to do with being in denial that I was being somewhat of a codependant slave to my mom who did a lot of thinking and deciding for me in my life long past the point of adolescence. I think that was a necessary ingredient where the sleep apnea just made things worse, but I could be wrong, it's possible I would've never passed a threshold of psychological stress that led into DP had I not had sleep apnea. The acute onset of DP was after having a panic attack while smoking marijuana, but these conditions were present in the background, it was probably just a trigger; I had transient DP before it became chronic.

 

I don't want people to think I'm misconstruing being in a constantly sleep-deprived state with DP. I think it significantly exacerbated DP, but the root cause was interpersonal trauma from growing up with a narcissistic parent and being a codependent while also being highly sensitive.

 

I'd be interested if DP sufferers are disproportionately Westerners as I feel like that could validate that there are some philosophical/spiritual components as well. Where my definition of spirituality of here is "meaning of life" and "reason to wake up in the morning". 

 

 

I wish I was better at writing. I'll try and update my post over time.



#5 nestor1917

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 03:32 AM

Thank you!

 

 

I know people on here frequently reject Harris Harrington for a variety of reasons, but I think Harris' neurobiological understanding of DP being a dis-integration between parts of the brain makes sense and it has to do with unprocessed trauma. I think more than unprocessed trauma, it also (for me) had to do with being in denial that I was being somewhat of a codependant slave to my mom who did a lot of thinking and deciding for me in my life long past the point of adolescence. I think that was a necessary ingredient where the sleep apnea just made things worse, but I could be wrong, it's possible I would've never passed a threshold of psychological stress that led into DP had I not had sleep apnea. The acute onset of DP was after having a panic attack while smoking marijuana, but these conditions were present in the background, it was probably just a trigger; I had transient DP before it became chronic.

 

I don't want people to think I'm misconstruing being in a constantly sleep-deprived state with DP. I think it significantly exacerbated DP, but the root cause was interpersonal trauma from growing up with a narcissistic parent and being a codependent while also being highly sensitive.

 

I'd be interested if DP sufferers are disproportionately Westerners as I feel like that could validate that there are some philosophical/spiritual components as well. Where my definition of spirituality of here is "meaning of life" and "reason to wake up in the morning". 

 

 

I wish I was better at writing. I'll try and update my post over time.

Mate could you say the dose of modafinil you used? The scheme you used, how did you avoid tolerance. I'm one mirtazapine, planning kickin in some modafinil



#6 Phantasm

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 08:55 AM

Thank you!

 

 

I know people on here frequently reject Harris Harrington for a variety of reasons, but I think Harris' neurobiological understanding of DP being a dis-integration between parts of the brain makes sense and it has to do with unprocessed trauma. I think more than unprocessed trauma, it also (for me) had to do with being in denial that I was being somewhat of a codependant slave to my mom who did a lot of thinking and deciding for me in my life long past the point of adolescence. I think that was a necessary ingredient where the sleep apnea just made things worse, but I could be wrong, it's possible I would've never passed a threshold of psychological stress that led into DP had I not had sleep apnea. The acute onset of DP was after having a panic attack while smoking marijuana, but these conditions were present in the background, it was probably just a trigger; I had transient DP before it became chronic.

 

I don't want people to think I'm misconstruing being in a constantly sleep-deprived state with DP. I think it significantly exacerbated DP, but the root cause was interpersonal trauma from growing up with a narcissistic parent and being a codependent while also being highly sensitive.

 

I'd be interested if DP sufferers are disproportionately Westerners as I feel like that could validate that there are some philosophical/spiritual components as well. Where my definition of spirituality of here is "meaning of life" and "reason to wake up in the morning". 

 

 

I wish I was better at writing. I'll try and update my post over time.

 

I don't think anyone disregards what Harris Harrington says, it's just that he charges $200, or whatever it is now, but issues like toxic shame can certainly be significant. I always recommend Evolving Self Confidence, by Terry Dixon - alot cheaper - but welcome any other book recommendations that cover what HH does without the expense.



#7 Where

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 12:04 PM

I understand you. I've read that some clinics found a correlation between emotional abuse in childhood and DP. Do you think it's also possible you wouldn't have DP if you didn't have that bad weed trip? My severe anxiety and DP were triggered from a drug withdrawal due to an insurance change, which may have been prevented if any doctor I saw in those two weeks effectively cared for their patients.

#8 keat0

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 09:02 AM

Mate could you say the dose of modafinil you used? The scheme you used, how did you avoid tolerance. I'm one mirtazapine, planning kickin in some modafinil

 

Typically, just 100mg. If I really needed to focus I'd use 200mg. The first month on modafinil was amazing. I suppose you could say tolerance kicked in after that, but the change was going from the feeling that I had superpowers to usefully treating DP symptoms so I didn't take tolerance breaks or anything like that.

 

I don't think anyone disregards what Harris Harrington says, it's just that he charges $200, or whatever it is now, but issues like toxic shame can certainly be significant. I always recommend Evolving Self Confidence, by Terry Dixon - alot cheaper - but welcome any other book recommendations that cover what HH does without the expense.

I ordered it! Thanks for the recommendation. It is hard to rationalize someone having been through this charging so much for information. 

 

I understand you. I've read that some clinics found a correlation between emotional abuse in childhood and DP. Do you think it's also possible you wouldn't have DP if you didn't have that bad weed trip? My severe anxiety and DP were triggered from a drug withdrawal due to an insurance change, which may have been prevented if any doctor I saw in those two weeks effectively cared for their patients.

I would consider weed a psychedelic in the "mind manifesting" sense of the word and I think the problem is a lot of us have "stop signs" or partitions in our brain to help us cope with trauma. This can be part of the "ego", or self-concept, and when these barriers are stripped away forcibly by a drug it can be too much to handle so we go into a state shock and OCD-like obsession to distract us from these difficult things: what you've been through, the meaning of life, death, the loss of religion, our inadequacies, things we've done that we're ashamed about - a lot can flood in. I can see how drug withdrawal can put the brain in that state in the same way: "this is too much for me to cope". Imagine your ideal mother holding you in her arms as an infant rocking you back and fourth. See how this makes you feel safe and secure. Feel how light you are and how safe you feel in her arms. Feel how much she loves you and how worthy you are for your spirit and your existence. See how this is antithetical to how you feel during drug withdrawal? This is something useful to integrate and is practiced in Lifespan Integration.

 

I don't blame the weed I see it as a trigger. It seems like people who don't have trauma that they need to integrate don't get these effects from weed or from drug withdrawal.

 

I had a really good lifespan integration therapist that was maybe 40% of the cure. I didn't realize exactly how numb I felt until doing this therapy. Part of the therapy is you basically query your brain to bring fourth trauma to your conscious mind and then with your therapist you re-experience your lifespan timeline, or, go through a series of images of you as you've progressed through life since birth and the therapy helps reintegrate your traumatic experiences. It can even help uncover traumatic experiences at a young age. I'd leave therapy sessions bawling my eyes out but it felt so good because I could finally feel myself in the present moment.

 

After I had my sleep apnea surgery the same thing would happen in dreams. I'd wake up SO angry at someone from my past that I'd never thought about. I had a backlog of things my brain needed to process. Sleep apnea made it so I couldn't keep up. 

 

If I'd point at a succinct set of steps to cure DP it'd be: 1. get on modafinil/mirtazapine or modafinl/SSRI (lexapro seems to stand out among efficacy/tolerability studies) 2. find a good lifespan integration therapist even if it takes several attempts or send me a message and I'll give you the name of my lifespan integration therapist who does teletherapy 3. rule out sleep apnea by finding a good sleep doctor that can give you an at-home sleep study 4. try writing a personal narrative, what I did was make a document with all of my ages (1..2..3...) and then for each age I divided it by seasons and over time added memories to each season and then after a while I wrote a narrative structure to weave things together. I also recommend Jordan Peterson's future authoring program: https://www.selfauth...uture-authoring. I know he's controversial, but the program is good. 5. I would find a philosophy/religion to live by: taoism/buddhism don't require belief/faith in something with no evidence, but also living a vision-based life like something like the Master Key system is also cool. 6. Watch youtube videos and read books or listen to audio books (I liked this more in DP since it was so hard to focus) on codependency. This seems really common in DP sufferers. 7. If you can start exercising. Both jogging and weight lifting are super helpful and improve your quality of life over time. Morning exercise seems especially helpful for me and got rid of my insomnia.



#9 curiousmind

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 09:37 AM

I ordered it! 

Where did you order it from? I've been trying to get my hands on some as well. 



#10 keat0

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Posted 06 February 2020 - 10:44 AM

Where did you order it from? I've been trying to get my hands on some as well. 

 

I ordered the book he recommended. I was legitimately prescribed modafinil, it helps having sleep apnea as an excuse. On the other hand psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses are typically pretty compassionate in my experience and if you're open for the reason you want to try it the ones that I've talked with are pretty happy to prescribe modafinil. Seems like they're especially more comfortable prescribing it over something like ritalin or adderall. 

 

That said, if you need to order it online I don't think it's that hard to find a source on reddit, but I haven't explored that curiosity in a couple of years so maybe things are harder. I really think you should just try and get a legit prescription as I don't think it's that hard. One protip: I've noticed something if they think you're steering them they'll recommend you try a similar drug to the one you're asking for but not the exact one as a test, you can pass the test by saying that your preference is for modafinil, but you're open to try anything they'd think would help you. That way they don't feel like you're using them as a prescription pad. You don't need to manipulate competent ones and it's sad sometimes you have to do stuff like this to get the treatment you need.






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