Hey, I've been lurking here for a while now and I feel like it's time to tell my story.
Since I am not a native speaker, I apologize for any linguistic errors.
My story of struggling starts circa 2 years ago after i finished school.
Then i went on holidays for about 2 weeks and got a job right after. 4 days into the job, i got immense dizziness in the form of feeling faint.
The feeling of getting faint strangely always accured when i had to speak or listen to someone close up (but i wasn't nervous or anything, everybody was super nice) or watching TV, playing computer games.
Concerned about my health, i quit the job on day 4.
After weeks of struggling with the dizziness, i got very anxious and wasn't able to leave my house anymore.
Because of it getting worse and worse, I finally went into a hospital. They put me onto the internal medicine station, where they did some blood tests, neurologic checks and an MRI of my brain.
The doctors told me that everything was perfectly fine and that i just should do some sports.
I got released from the hospital after 3 days of not getting better and having extreme motion sickness.
After some more weeks of struggling from the dizziness passed, I reached out to a psychiatrist.
2 sessions into it, he diagnosed me with prodromal phase of schizophrenia and suggestet me to try a low dose of risperidone. (which i denied)
Arriving at home on the same day, i started googling about schizophrenia like crazy and i feared that i might get or already am psychotic and whatnot. You can imagine that my anxiety levels went through the roof.
At night, the moment I laid down in my bed, still obsessing about the terrible thoughts of getting schizophrenic, it hit me like a truck from one moment to the other.
In this moment, I experienced DPDR for the first time. (Of course I didn't know I had DPDR back then).
I noticed something was very wrong, but i decided to go to sleep, with the hope of the weird feelings being vanished by daylight.
But suprise, they didn't.
Waking up the next morning, i felt completely numb. I went to the bathroom and paniced about the things I did automatically. Turning on the heater, getting the towel, picking up my toothbrush and so on.
I was immensly terrified. My vision, flat and blurry. (more on this later)
Still living with my family, I told my father to drive me to the psychiatry.
At the psychiatry, participating in several therapies for about 2 weeks, they diagnosed me with moderate depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
And I was negatively tested on schizophrenia for the time being.
They told me that I am probably having those issues because of a "getting an adult" crisis. But at this point, i never worried about the future, so for me the diagnose didn't really fit.
Oh, and also they put me on the lowest dose of sertralin. I only took it for 2 days tough, because i had the worst side effects of it.
So, not wanting to take any drugs anymore and my father being super optimistic in telling me that doing some sports would surely cure me, I left the facility and started exercising for about a month or two.
I think now's the time to talk about my symptoms. As many of you do, I experience(d) literally every single symptom of DPDR. (I wont go into detail of each and every now, as i dont want to trigger anyone!)
For me personally, being depressed for years now (without even knowing), the numbness is the most acceptable part of the DPDR. Also I can handle the depersonalization really well, altough it's very scary sometimes. But being a little bit claustrophobic, derealization is hell on earth for me. Since DPDR kicked in, my vision always feels flat (2D), like everything sticks directly to my face.
But as if that wasn't enough already, my eyesight got so much worse. Up to this day, everything seems blurry and fuzzy. It feels like i can see every single dot of light that hits my eyeballs and all those dots are like "circling" around. You could describe it like constantly seeing through fog.
Also, I am not able to drive in the night anymore. My nightvision turned to zero. That's probably why I am more anxious at night, everything looks even more unreal.
So, continuing with my story, having the mentioned problems with my eyesight, I went to an ophthalmologist.
Since I am wearing glasses and my dioptrin increased pretty much over the past years, I thought i had found the problem.
Long story short, I went to different ophthalmologists, they made some minor adjustments to my glasses and I got about 7 new, different pairs of glasses. Nothing changed.
Every single ophthalmologist told me that my vision was completely fine, even though my eyesight still felt very very bad.
Obviously I was pretty frustrated that changing my glasses was not the solution to my problem.
Anyway, going on and experiencing some more horrible weeks of not knowing how to deal with my condition and having increasing fear of myselfe going crazy (in believing everything was a dream),
I went to psychiatry again.
This time around, I spent 9 fully weeks there. My mindset was like "I aint going out there with me still experiencing these crazy things".
So again i participated in every therapy and got put on a new medication. (citalopram + trittico for sleeping)
Citalopram really helped me with my numbness and I experienced literally no side effects of using this drug.
But after taking Citalopram for about two weeks, my derealization became even worse. (i am not sure if it was just a coincident or because of the drug).
When i was walking, i consistantly felt like I was walking towards a wall. It pretty much felt like the feeling you get when you are moving around with your eyes closed and you know there are obstacles around - it makes your feets feel extremly uncomfortable.
In the times outside of the therapies, I started to resarch my symptoms by myself, because I felt that noone took them seriously.
Finally, having found out that i most probably suffer from DPDR, my psychiatry therapist told me that if i really had DPDR, I would not even be approachable and I would just live in my head, not knowing whats going on around me.
Still taking Citalopram and having no improvement to my symptoms, those 9 weeks passed very quickly.
Even though I didn't like to have to get up so early and the therapies already repeating itself,
I still didn't want to leave the psychiatrie because it gave me a feeling of safety.
But since they had so many acute patients and they didn't see any progress in my mental state anymore,
they (understandably) pretty much forced me to leave the hospital.
In those last 2 years until now, i
- went to a rehabitilation facility for depression (which was nice but they couldn't help me out either)
- tried some sports for about a month or two
- played lots of computer games
- changed my medication several times
- was in therapy multiple times and saw no progress at all (one therapist even told me that he thinks DPDR is caused by watching Anime) LOL
- moved from home to my own apartment
Today I feel pretty exhausted and broken.
Most of the time I am feeling anxious and without even knowing why (maybe still scared because of the DPDR - which i try not to).
I've read all those nice recovery stories, telling us to not fight it and not obsess about it. I really try to follow this advice, and in my opinion, I am not fighting the DPDR anymore.
But how can you not obess with something that's literally always in your facial field?
So, thats pretty much it. One thing I'd like to ask you, are your vision problems also THAT bad? Like, i know I am repeating myselfe, but everything just looks so extremely foggy.
I want to thank you for reading this, kind stranger! Im with each and everyone of you, hang in there.
Because for some of you it might be interesting which supplements im currently taking:
- Fishoil (Omega 3)
I also tried vitamine B supplements multiple times, but for me they increased my level of anxiety noticeably. Oh, and I am currently
on a gluten and (mostly) dairy free diet.
Note: For the next couple of days I will continue editing this post, adding details, make my story more readable and so on.