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I have been suffering from depersonalization for over 20 years. I was mentally abused by my ex husband for 28 years before I finally got the courage to get out. I've been divorced for almost 13 years. I thought for sure when I got out of that situation my depersonalization would get better. I am feeling worse.

I've been to every type of doctor over the years, thinking for sure I had something physically wrong with me not mentally. I've tried everytype of medication, i've been to numerous therapists, tried hyptotism, accupuncture. Nothing is helping. I also had a few years of extreme hunger which made me physically unable to function. I ended up quitting my job after having a nervous breakdown.

I've had a couple more nervous breakdowns since and feel totally hopeless that I will ever feel normal again. I've come to terms that I will have to live with this forever.

I'm currently on prozac, trazadone for sleep and clonazepam for my anxiety. I am also seeing a therapist and she is telling me the same stuff I've heard for over 20 years. I truly don't know what to do.

I have a great job, 2 beautiful daughters and 2 grandsons. I have so much to live for, but don't want to anymore.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
 

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Hi Cyndyrella, sorry to hear you are struggling. How long have you been on prozac? Do you find it helps?

It may be worth trying a new antidepressant as we had a recent poll where a lot of people found fluoxetine unhelpful. I had the same experience.

People often try escitalopram or clomipramine. I am on imipramine which is similar and am finding it helpful. It helps me sleep and has improved my appetite. It's only been 5 weeks for me but I feel with better rest things will continue to improve. Maybe you should have another talk with your Dr?
 

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sorry that you are going through this , but you should know you are not alone

my dp got better by doing a few simple things (but still not gone) I will list them later because I cant focus right now because my tooth hurts

so see you later . I wont forget to post
 

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Hi cyndyrella, I'm really sorry for what you've been through.

Our minds are sensitive and we absorb information and feedback from those around us. When we're subjected to an abusive personality the things they have said and done can stay with us, even many years after we have escaped that situation. It's like negative conditioning and becomes automatic thoughts.

I think the key can be to not identify with those thoughts and distinguish between them and who you are. So if someone has made you feel bad, instead of saying "I am bad," you challenge and correct that idea by saying, "other people/events made me feel bad, so bad I thought I would be rejected or attacked, but I'm not bad and never was, I'm a good person."

It takes time and repetition, as your mind will need to consider this new information, but gradually it sinks in and that abusive programming starts to break down. I think dissociation can sometimes be where we actually feel pushed out of ourselves by too much aggressive negativity from other people that's taken root in our own thoughts.

Therapy is generally a good idea, it can just be hard to find the right person with the right approach for you. Perhaps you can find something more specific to surviving an abusive relationship, be it therapy or a support group.
 

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I think the key can be to not identify with those thoughts and distinguish between them and who you are. So if someone has made you feel bad, instead of saying "I am bad," you challenge and correct that idea by saying, "other people/events made me feel bad, so bad I thought I would be rejected or attacked, but I'm not bad and never was, I'm a good person."
The above is very true actually. I used to think it was nonsense, but there are very good therapists (I guess that's what they are) in the uk called 'The speakmans' and they literally cure phobias and all kinds of hard to cure OCD's and anxiety literally just by identifying the problem and challenging those beliefs with more positive ones. It is worth working through what feelings come up for you and trauma's that may have caused them.

Also something my therapist said is to imagine a pie and slice it into who should take the blame for what happened to you. 90% would go to the person that abused you, but there are other factors, such as society, our friends, parents, and ourselves but these would only be minor slices. Not that blaming ourselves is positive of course, but seeing you were perhaps ignorant in some way to how cruel people could be and the lessons you have taken from that experience.

Jordan Peterson talks about taking SOME responsibility for our trauma's. Of course the perpetrator is to blame, but that won't help with PTSD etc. He said that the reason we get flashbacks and memories is because our subconscious is making us readdress the past because we haven't learnt what was necessary from the experience to protect us from it happening again. We cannot change how that person acts, but we can change who we interact with and trust. Once those beliefs are in place can we start to feel safe and the sympathetic nervous system (adrenaline etc) can start to sooth itself
 

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Yes, I also used to dismiss this kind of thing as "soft psychology," until I started doing it and found I was healing. Nothing else would work for me until I started to address this core sense of self.

I've seen the Speakmans on TV. They're pretty flash, but seem to get results! I googled them once but wasn't very clear about what method they were using. That's interesting to hear they use a similar approach.
 

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Lol Yeh I remember when I first saw them and thought it was ridiculous and nothing is that easy. It wasn't until I saw them cure someone of a serious phobia for the 10th time until I thought there was something to it. From what I understood they seem to pinpoint when a phobia was triggered and then literally explain it in childlike terms. And then get the person to say it out loud and you literally see them change just like that... unbelievably simple but seems to work for a lot of people
 

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Several of my major depressive episodes took me into "failure"., ie - nervous breakdown. 6 months down, and 18 months to get back to 80% of what I was before I went in.

That was the blueprint for my depressive episodes. Multiply that by 5 episodes, and you realize that you have been battling mental illness for 10 years out of the 40 years you have lived as an adult.

The in between time was spent dealing with ocular migraine headaches, spells of panic, dp and dr. I saw the therapists and psychiatrists, and a neurologist. None were of any real help.

Then, through my own research on the internet, I found a case history in a British Neurological Journal that could easily have been of my illness. I recognized that I had been suffering from

an epileptic syndrome that was deemed "difficult to diagnose". I ordered the neurological tests which confirmed my own diagnosis. My life came into focus for the 1st time in 40 years.

I was ecstatic, but also very sad. My life could have been so much different...better..., if mental health providers and medical providers in general were not so incompetent.

An EEG was the key to understanding that my brain was physically damaged by epileptic seizures, and that damage had precipitated the episodes of major depression and other symptoms.
 

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sorry that you are going through this , but you should know you are not alone

my dp got better by doing a few simple things (but still not gone) I will list them later because I cant focus right now because my tooth hurts

so see you later . I wont forget to post
allright so I will tell you what helps me personally

first of all I want to say that I am not a fan of prozac personally . if it helps you then thats good but I didnt like prozac at all. I am taking effexor and it helps my anxiety a lot

ok now I will tell you what helps me personally to deal with dp/dr :

I am not a doctor and I will just say what I personally think and where I have it from :

I watched this video and it helped me a lot :

it is in german though so I will summarize the 4 tips he is giving to deal with dp/dr :


the 4 tips he is giving to beat dr/dp :

1. accept your situation and dont try to fight against it . dont be scared of the dp and dont see it as an enemy . it is a normal defense mechanism . see it as what it is . try to even laugh about it . anxiety and stress is giving dp food . accept the dp and dont rush it to go away even if you suffer from it for a long time

2. try to lower your anxiety and stress levels in general . he is saying that dp is actually a natural defense mechanism caused by / for extreme situations. however "normal" people who dont suffer from anxiety and who dont think too much about it will have the dp only for a very short while . but people like you and me who suffer from anxiety and maybe are analyzing things too much are feeding the dp with our anxiety . so try to lower your anxiety and keep stress away. also work on the trauma you have had with your husband ....maybe a new therapist with whom you work on the bad experienses that caused your anxiety will help . because it is important to work on the things that caused you to become anxious and that caused your dp

3. dont check yourself the whole time like "is this arm really mine " "am I the person in the mirror" etc. . and just try to not bother with it . stop the control habits. I know it is hard but try it

4. live your life as if you dont have dr/dp . try to have fun and live a good life and try to ignore the dp/dr . dont wait the dp to go away to live a joyful life but have a joyful life nonetheless . you can not wait for the dp to go away to live life but you have to live life as good as you can . by doing that the dp will also be better.

he is also saying that all people have dr/dp but that because of the fact that most "normal" have the 4 points I/he listed already in themselves and dont suffer from extra anxiety and/or dont analyze everything too much they quickly turn to normal

however keep in mind that the man in the video is not a doctor and neither am I . I am just writing roughly what he is saying and what he is saying makes sense to me

just accept the dp and dont be scared of it and dont fight against it . dont think too much about it and try to ignore it and bother with fun stuff etc.

you are not alone we all here on board suffer from it . we are with you
 

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I can definitely relate to you...36 years for me.
Honestly, if they had a pill that cured this, would we even know what life prior to DP was like? I don't think I would. We just learn to live with it. We get married, have kids, work, etc but we know something's just not right .
Maybe it's a cross we have to bear in this life.
Peace
 

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the 4 tips he is giving to beat dr/dp :

1. accept your situation and dont try to fight against it . dont be scared of the dp and dont see it as an enemy . it is a normal defense mechanism . see it as what it is . try to even laugh about it . anxiety and stress is giving dp food . accept the dp and dont rush it to go away even if you suffer from it for a long time

2. try to lower your anxiety and stress levels in general . he is saying that dp is actually a natural defense mechanism caused by / for extreme situations. however "normal" people who dont suffer from anxiety and who dont think too much about it will have the dp only for a very short while . but people like you and me who suffer from anxiety and maybe are analyzing things too much are feeding the dp with our anxiety . so try to lower your anxiety and keep stress away. also work on the trauma you have had with your husband ....maybe a new therapist with whom you work on the bad experienses that caused your anxiety will help . because it is important to work on the things that caused you to become anxious and that caused your dp

3. dont check yourself the whole time like "is this arm really mine " "am I the person in the mirror" etc. . and just try to not bother with it . stop the control habits. I know it is hard but try it

4. live your life as if you dont have dr/dp . try to have fun and live a good life and try to ignore the dp/dr . dont wait the dp to go away to live a joyful life but have a joyful life nonetheless . you can not wait for the dp to go away to live life but you have to live life as good as you can . by doing that the dp will also be better.

he is also saying that all people have dr/dp but that because of the fact that most "normal" have the 4 points I/he listed already in themselves and dont suffer from extra anxiety and/or dont analyze everything too much they quickly turn to normal
I think these are relevant when you have anxiety causing intermittent DP. However DPD is entirely different and the symptoms don't fade or alter regardless of your emotional state. I think with anxiety/panic attacks the amygdala is active and this causes temporary hypervigilence and symptoms of DP/DR.

I think either the amygdala/HPA axis or sympathetic nervous system gets stuck 'on' with DPD and this has to be switched off by more than a positive mental attitude. Especially if the trauma is repressed as is often the case so people can't begin to process that and switch off the fight/flight response.
 
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