Yeh I'm the same as SongBillong, when you feel so disconnected and empty this is bound to lead to depressive symptoms. The two are so closely related. For me, when my DP first came about, it sent me spiralling into depression because I didn't know how to deal with what was happening to me, and it lasted for about 4 months.
However I've gradually recovered from the depressive period but unfortunately have the same DP issues. If I focus too heavily on these feelings it does get me down,.
I had a similar experience after a night out clubbing and drinking. I went through a similar situation in the evening where my whole world fell in on me. I felt like I was going crazy. I kept saying to myself, "don't worry, it will all be over in the morning". But of course, it never did.
I'm also 20 and this happened to me almost exactly a year ago. I can relate to so much of what you've said, especially the bit at the end about looking at your friends, family and memories like they aren't even yours. I've never had any history of mental illness (if this is what you can call DP) so to suddenly go through this change was a real shock to the system. For me I've just lost all hope, ambition, drive to succeed and general interest in most things in life. I feel so disconnected, like I'm just going through the motions of life with no meaning or attachment. Everything seems so pointless. I wish I could have my old life back.
Medicine may help with the feelings of depression that often accompany DP. Personally, I have never taken any meds and never plan to but for some people it helps them get through the day. It goes without saying that you should steer clear of drugs and try and reduce your alcohol consumption. Plenty of exercise, a healthy diet and social contact all help. However, I've been in this rut for over a year now and I'm still struggling to deal with the feelings of depersonalization. The only thing that has got better is the depressive symptoms that are a by-product.
I'm new to this forum so I'm sure there are other people who can offer more advice but just remember you're not alone mate, we're all going through this together....
That's the thing, it's not like I'm not attracted to girls, just lost any interest in pursuing a relationship or sex. Sharing any intimate experience with anyone is actually very difficult. It's almost like that emotional area has just been unplugged. For someone like me, who always used to be a bit of a "ladies man" this is certainly a shock to the system.
You know, I think I will just have to put my life plans and the military on hold till this is sorted, one way or the other. Travelling after university may just provide the stimulus to create a lasting-change. From a spiritual sense, this would definitely make sense. Like you say, visiting less priveleged areas really gives you a wake-up call.
It's comforting to know that I'm not a "nut-case" and there are other people out there who are going through similar experiences.
I wonder if this 'disorder' can suddenly switch off? If it came upon you and I so rapidly in extraordinary circumstances, who's to say that it can't disappear in a similar way? If medicine is struggling to provide us with answers, then holding onto the hope that you can wake up one day without feeling 'depersonalized' (and struggling with the depressive symptoms that accompany it) is really all we've got?
Yeh I'm 3rd year now too mate. This happened last year though, so after having such a great first year, it was a real disappointment to have this happen to me.
I think DP can be triggered for a variety of reasons, for you it was a spiritual thing, for me it was alcohol abuse/likely spiking. Those feelings were so alien to me at the start that they undoubtedly made me depressed. But after a while I think I just became 'used' to it.
"Been feeling like an empty shell of a man and have entirely lost my 'me', my 'self'. It feels like the humanity is being ripped from you, I know."
I can relate to this a lot. Sometimes I just look around campus and think, wow, is it really just me feeling like this? Nothing really seems real. Even when I was walking the camino de santiago, which is supposed to be a very rich and enhancing experience, everything felt very bare and disconnected. How do you find relationships if you don't me asking? I mentioned above that this has affected my libido, similar situation with you?
Yeh a lot of the time partying seems pointless. Plus I find alcohol can often worsen the symptoms and can make you feel depressed the following day. I used to be believe that 'everything happens for a reason' and this phase will eventually pass. And afterwards, we will appreciate the wonders of life so much more. But for me its been going on for a year, for you two by the sounds of it. The thought of living the rest of my life like this is unbearable. Even when I'm making plans for travelling after uni, I'm like what's the point? All these beaches and mountains should appear spectacular to me, but there's just this void inside inside me that doesn't allow any form of connection with such things.
Being sociable definitely helps, as does exercise and a good diet. Laying off the booze is a great idea too. And making plans is important, even if you know you may not look forward to them, always have something to aim for otherwise you could end up spiralling down...