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#1 Findmywayhome

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:35 PM

It's been three months since I've made a post on this forum, not the longest duration, but considering that I have only been mentally ill for seven months, it is perhaps a long time. 

 

Plenty has changed, to say the least. In late December to early January I underwent a perceptual shift that was more or less positive. I think it may have been the stabilization of the zoloft that gave me the push; I started to feel more indifferent and less aware of my disorder. I began to return to a more normal life. The last three months leading up to this radical change were spent in  my living room. I didn't want to be alone, I didn't want to leave the house, and I didn't want to look up from my computer screen. I spent the majority of the day sitting on the couch doing mind numbing activities on my laptop, consuming the forums, and enduring the nonstop thoughts and ruminations about my disorder.  

 

In January to late February things were looking up. I spent a lot more time in my room. I felt more independent. The activities I did felt purposeful; I felt more that I was genuinely enjoying what I was doing rather than using it as a way to pass the time. February was my best month since this illness. I had a nice birthday, I genuinely looked forward to hanging with my friends, I had a ton of motivation for school, and my disorder shifted to the background. Nonetheless, my DPDR was present the entire time. But because I was so unaware of my illness, and I would spend less than a minute a day thinking about it, the symptoms lessened. It's a testament to the fact that at least for me, DPDR is very placebo-like. Thinking about it makes it a lot worse. I felt hazy, fatigued, disoriented, floaty, and impaired. But these symptoms were elementary compared to what I felt during the first four months when I was constantly thinking about it. 

 

What I learned during this positive period is that I was wrong in thinking I had accepted the disorder. I thought I had already accepted my illness back in september/October, so I was losing my mind over the fact that It kept getting worse. What I completely negated during the time though, was how much I thought about it. I would write fucking novels on here about my illness, I thought about it constantly, I didn't FEEL anxiety sure, but the thoughts were reminiscent of anxious thinking. Low and behold, as I stopped ruminating about it, my disorder stopped getting worse. 

 

That is until now. These past three weeks I feel like I am slowly getting worse and worse DPDR. The worse I've ever felt. Ive started thinking about it more too, hence why Im back on here. If I had to guess why; I think it is because I have added a lot to my life. I skateboard and go to the gym everyday, Im doing school, etc. etc. I think I am getting burnt out from all the mental and physical strain of these activities. It isn't the first time a more productive lifestyle has made illness worse.

 

 

I am not exactly sure why I wrote this post. Things have gotten worse again, I guess I just wanna commiserate on here again. I also want to see if anyone can relate to this; At this point, I can see myself living with this illness with the rest of my life, and that's OK for now. I don't mind feeling how I felt in January to February. I don't mind feeling spaced out, out of body, things feeling distant, etc. But what I hate is this confused feeling that is hard to explain. I'm careful to relate this to the existential fears and ruminations that one might have with this disorder, because it isn't a thought, its a feeling. I guess it's like I can't ground myself in the fact that I am suffering through a mental disorder, that I am mentally ill. And it's not just that life feels unreal, but my very perception of it is fundementally absurd/ paradoxical. I know intellectually that I am mentally ill, but I want to feel with every fiber of my body the fact of, "I don't recognize myself in the mirror because I am depersonalized" but I can't feel that, I can't associate with being mentally ill. And I wonder if the only difference here is severity. Has anyone felt this way? and has the feeling gone away?

 

Hope everyone is doing okay.



#2 AnnaGiulia

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 07:19 AM

Hi Findmywayhome,

 

I remember your posts:) You are hyper-analytical and introspective, as most people around here, and for most part, as far as I can remember, your observations were correct.

 

There is perhaps one thing that you may have not yet taken into account - I know it took me a while unitl I understood that - and that is the dynamics of illness/recovery, as there can be a pattern in the way you are processing things.

 

I am at a good place rn, but it has been a fierce struggle, since the end of 2016. I would go to therapy, get better, live my life for a while (a year and a half), and get worse again. Then the same thing again: 6 months therapy, get better, live my life (approximately a year and a half, haha), and get worse. And now, I am at the end of the thirds 6-month therapy, it helped a lot. However, the difference now, that I know what I am dealing with, is that I can expect to deal with some of it again. I think that my mind has a way of activelly "attacking"  the issues that need to be dealt with in therapy, and it can go on for approximately six months, but then it needs time to integrate all that, recuperate, and then it comes back with: hey, guess what, lol? here's the new topic/problem to deal with, lol!

 

But that is ok. I appreciate all that I have done for myself in the meantime, and I respect my struggle. I recognize how difficult it was, and I do not compare myself to some unattainable standard. I am setting the standard for myself.

 

Sure, this may not be the case with you, but perhaps it is worth considering how our inner capacities for recovery work, and if there are some intervals that you can recognize as stages in your recovery.

 

Good luck, and take care,

A.



#3 lost235

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 04:42 PM

Hi!

I also think that your setback could come from your lifestyle-changes. But it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have them on your way to recovery. Even though setbacks are frustrating and disappointing, they’re more or less necessary on the way to “recovery”.

Setbacks are particularly common when you’ve had a major break-through. Like doing something that previously made you anxious, and overcoming an obstacle. So you having one doesn’t at all mean that you’re back on square one or that you’re stuck with this forever. It just means that you’re body is reacting to the changes, and obviously you will be able to overcome the feelings again if you’ve done it before! But if you feel like this setback is worse than it was before, it can obviously be a bit harder I guess. With that said don’t feel like you can’t take a step back and calm down when trying to go back to normal life. In my experience the setbacks are more likely to happen if I live my life as stressfully as I used to (because I’m not really ready for that atm I guess).

I’m relating a lot to what you’re saying about not really being able to associate with the depersonalisation. I recognise that everything looks weird from time to time, and I don’t feel like myself at all anymore. But it’s like now I’m not so much freaked out about it because I don’t know what I feel towards it. I have a feeling of depersonalisation but not so much any feelings or thoughts towards it, and I’m not being able to recognise it. And I also really want to feel 100% like every little bit of me knows that it’s dpdr, but rn I’m not really able to. But in a way that’s helped me quite a bit because I don’t obsess about the feelings all the time, which has led me to being able to focus on other things I want to do. At the same time it sucks to have that empty feeling that you’ve almost sort of “turned into” the depersonalisation. At least that’s what I’m feeling right now.

I’d give you the advice to not fall back into the constant obsession about what you’re feeling and experiencing. Analysing why you feel certain things are great, and it’s alright to sit around for a while and be anxious. But don’t stay there for too long and let it continue to the point where it’s taken over your life again. Accept that the feelings are there (maybe easier said than done I guess), and just tell yourself that it’s no more than built-up stress and anxiety.

Wishing you all the best!

#4 Findmywayhome

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 10:15 PM

In response to AnnaGuila, I absolutely feel as though my ability to deal with my disorder is sort of 'rhythmic'. It's like 10-14 day periods of feeling fine, sometimes even getting to the point of feeling like my symptoms have lessened. and then I fall back into a pit of misery and feeling like my disorder got worse. rinse and repeat. I have certainly noticed this, and it helps me to stay positive in that I can understand that it's evident my times of misery are temporary, so thank you for reaffirming that. I will say though this time just feels different, as I was doing okay for almost two months, not ten days. Idk. 



#5 Findmywayhome

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 10:21 PM

But it’s like now I’m not so much freaked out about it because I don’t know what I feel towards it. I have a feeling of depersonalisation but not so much any feelings or thoughts towards it, and I’m not being able to recognise it.

 

... At the same time it sucks to have that empty feeling that you’ve almost sort of “turned into” the depersonalisation. At least that’s what I’m feeling right now.

 

Yes! That's exactly how I feel. I feel like I'm gone, and I have been fully consumed by the DPDR, I feel as though I can't recover because there is no "me" that even exists to recover. And I can't be scared to it, because it's like there isn't a part of me that can even fully process it. 

 

I don't have anhedonia whatsoever, which im greatful for, but it's weird. I can experience emotions, but yet I feel like I don't even exist. I simply feel like there is no self, only consciousness. The idea of it just seems so permanent. Like the part of my brain that6 enforces my existence and feelings of connection is shut down forever. Like I have psychologically died. 

 

EDIT: this sounds way more dark than I wanted it to be. For the most part I am ok, I still do feel like there is a tiny tiny part of me left. 



#6 lost235

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 03:32 AM

I don't have anhedonia whatsoever, which im greatful for, but it's weird. I can experience emotions, but yet I feel like I don't even exist. I simply feel like there is no self, only consciousness. The idea of it just seems so permanent. Like the part of my brain that6 enforces my existence and feelings of connection is shut down forever. Like I have psychologically died.

EDIT: this sounds way more dark than I wanted it to be. For the most part I am ok, I still do feel like there is a tiny tiny part of me left.

Yeah I feel like that too. My emotions are somewhat left but when I feel happy it doesn’t quite feel like “me”, the emotions doesn’t feel like they used to. I’m pretty much numb to the sadness and anxiety which sucks, since feeling empty is much worse in my opinion. Same thing with not really being able to be scared, because I can’t really comprehend what I’m feeling.

This is also sounding pretty dark lol but it’s like you said, I’m okay for the most part, I’m able to work through my anxiety which I wasn’t before. Still at the end of the day I kinda feel like there’s no point because I don’t see myself ever feeling something real again. “Psychologically died” pretty much sums my current state.




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