Zyprexa helped a lot with my panic attacks. I wouldn't get used to taking xanax if I were you. It adds a new layer of anxiety where you fear not having it in your system. A new anxiety of getting anxiety if you will. Consider switching to the longer-acting Klonopin, or consider if you can survive without a benzodiazepine.
Hey guys... Maybe someone remembers me. I haven't visited DPSH in the last several months. But I didn't want to be one of the members who just disappears after getting better without telling the community.
A bit about me: Got episodic and then chronic severe DP/DR at age 15-16 (not drug induced). Suffered deeply for years and couldn't function at all. Whatever symptom you can think of, I had it severely. Mostly recovered from DP/DR symptoms gradually around age 21-24. That time the key to me was to stop fighting it and realizing it was all rooted in fear. After recovering from the worst of it I could no longer remember what it even had been like. Several years later, 2 years ago, I got over-confident in my mental stability, succumbed to peer pressure and started smoking weed for the first time in my life. That triggered a psychotic episode one night, and some DP/DR in the days and weeks after. Around 6 months later I started doing trauma treatment to treat the anxiety/post traumatic symptoms that I'd had for many years. After a couple of months of that I started feeling better and worse at the same time. Got near-psychotic symptoms reminiscent of the weed-triggered episode and also DP/DR symptoms again. Suffered from DP/DR from about August last year until around spring this year. Had loads of panic attacks for a while and all sorts of alarming symptoms.
I thought I might be stuck with my second bout of DP/DR for a long time... but I'm now better again. I still suffer from some depression, anxiety, and low level DP/DR symptoms, such as poor memory and sometimes 2D-ish vision or not fully believing I'm part of a physical world, but the "unbearable" symptoms are gone. My life is quite screwed up in many ways, mostly because of my DP/DR ruining my teen years and young adulthood but these days I often feel okay about just being alive.
Shit that helped me this time, possibly: low dosage olanzapine (good for sleep and against panic), yoga, meditation, journalling, self-compassion, listening to my body and mind's signals (such as not playing certain video games when I felt it was making unreality worse, etc) not dwelling on DP/DR - reading DPSH daily might fuel the fire.
I rarely feel "groggy and out of sorts" from meditation, but it happened today after I meditated for longer than usual. Felt good after meditating through a guided body scan, breath meditation and body meditation, then started feeling weird when meditating on sounds and thoughts. 45 minutes may be too long in one sitting for some of us. Sitting completely still may lead to tension in the neck/head area for me, which leads to symptoms.
Overall meditation helps me though. Maybe try a different type, like a body scan? Or a different position.
Yes! It was pretty sweet. They say it is normal to fall asleep in them, but I never managed to relax completely. Though I got more in touch with my inner, buried feelings and desires. I'd recommend it.
I used to have all that, the "full mind", racing with chatter. And the imagining of conversations and situations. I always thought that was related to not getting enough social contact, as if the brain tried to compensate somehow.
No, not in my experience. I'm tempted to say that philosophical/existential thinking and rumination is almost like a virus of the mind. It can steal your attention and keep you going around and round and deeper and deeper, but I don't see how it can be useful. Becoming obsessed with existential thoughts was one of the reasons I got DPD in the first place. But I wonder if it's a chicken/egg situation. Do people who are already developing mental illness start thinking like this, or can the thoughts in themselves start/worsen DP/DR and other disorders?
Great post, Autonomic Space Monkey. I like the image.
I appreciate the fact that you can't see any light at the end of the tunnel right now Alex - that's how depression and other mental illnesses work, they blind you to the alternatives - but all I can say is that I was at an extremely low point in DP/DR and I pretty much recovered. If it could happen for me, it will happen for you. I believe that. Do you have any opportunities to try a different form of therapy? EMDR or similar?
I got DP/DR after a relationship with a person I loved with all my heart ended, with the last few months of it being especially tumultuous. She was a person I loved dearly, but I failed to see how harmful she was to my emotional health. Along with that, there were some events that happened during the time in which we were together that also greatly impacted my emotional and mental well-being. After we broke up, I felt like I was broken. I also felt like I would never love again and that I didn't deserve to feel love. It's been a rocky two years (broke up in 2014) dealing with DP/DR and more, but I no longer feel the want to crawl back to her. I also feel like I really am going to recover from this hell of a disorder.
Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience, Path. I can relate to what you're saying about the thought "I must be okay because I am still sitting perfectly still with my eyes closed--if I was in serious trouble I would not be able to do this." I have the same dissociative tendencies. I've been considering a 10 day retreat as well, but concerns about how it would actually be for me stopped me.