Hey there! My name is Alyssa and I am a 20 year old college junior who has had DPDR for 3 and a half years.
My journey with DPDR has been a strange one. I woke up one morning after a party in high school completely dissociated and I have never been quite the same. The first year of dissociation was horrible, painful, and terrifying. I would just cry and panic for hours at a time. I remember sitting in my car crying before going to class because I didn't know how I was going to get through the day. I would stare at my hands, not knowing that they were mine, and feeling no sense of control over them. I had no idea what was wrong with me and I felt like a crazy person who would never function normally again.
Currently, I dissociate for about a week almost every other month. I'm only just now learning about the issue in depth and starting to fully understand what happens to me. I get extremely numb to all of my senses, feel detached from my body and my surroundings, and I get extremely anxious about my actions. Im really sketchy about driving and holding conversations with people. I feel so weighed down, like I'm not capable of doing anything. As a college student, it's super frustrating saying no to social events because, sorry, I have to go dissociate. As an employee, I find it hard to get anything done. As a person, I find it hard to move forward.
I think the most distressing part of it for me is that I can't blame it on anything. I don't know if its birth control messing with my hormone balance (I went off BC for about 3 months and it was the easiest dissociation I've ever had...). Or maybe I got it from smoking weed in high school. Maybe its anxiety. I know there is no trauma associated with my past. Although I am loosing my memory more and more every day, I know I had a great childhood. I think that is what kept me from trying to get better. I didn't have anything to put the blame on, so how would I ever fix it?
But I know that I used to have a very happy, full life. DPDR has given me anxiety and depression (confirmed by a health professional). I used to be someone who didn't even think depression was real (oh, how naive I was). Nowadays I struggle between wanting a full life and not wanting a life at all. I'm still a full time student who makes the dean's list each semester while working 30+ hours a week. I know that living is possible. I just want it to be enjoyable again.
I'm glad to have found this community so that I can connect with people who are experiencing the same things I am. It can be such a relief to know that we aren't alone in this struggle. I have tried talking to family and friends, but no one truly gets it. I feel like only people who go through this will. We all know it's not just a "bad day" or "feeling down."
I want to get better now more than ever. I have a plan to start eating healthier, exercising more frequently, talking to a therapist, keeping a positive mindset, etc.
If you have any questions, tips, or positive affirmations to share, please let me know! I'm here for anyone experiencing this scary disorder and I hope you'll be there for me too. Best of luck to you all.