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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I think this is my first post on this forum. I recently started seeing a new psychiatrist, and after I told her about my various debilitating symptoms, she's not sure whether what I'm suffering from is Bipolar with psychotic features or simply Derealization. She put me on Paxil for the next 7 days to see how it would affect me - if it increases my anxiety, agitation and irritability, then it's likely I have a form of Bipolar. If it calms me and decreases my anxiety, however, I may simply have Derealization.

As for the topic title - does anyone else find themselves doing things they "normally" wouldn't be, prior to having a "breakdown?" (whether it's DP/DR, mood disorder, etc.).

I find myself nowadays playing video games and watching stuff on TV that I "normally" wouldn't. I also can't seem to grasp "deep" thought like I used to, and so books and 'deep' movies that I used to enjoy don't do much for me in my current state. Can anyone else relate? Reading books was also a big hobby of mine, but now I just can't muster the patience or interest to read much.

Finally, the only time I feel somewhat comfortable/safe is when I'm all alone, isolated at home. I don't feel comfortable even around my own parents in this state, nor my friends or strangers, let alone walking around outside and being in public. Can anyone relate?
 

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"I think this is my first post on this forum. I recently started seeing a new psychiatrist, and after I told her about my various debilitating symptoms, she's not sure whether what I'm suffering from is Bipolar with psychotic features or simply Derealization. She put me on Paxil for the next 7 days to see how it would affect me - if it increases my anxiety, agitation and irritability, then it's likely I have a form of Bipolar. If it calms me and decreases my anxiety, however, I may simply have Derealization."

This seems crazy to me, How can your reaction to a medication over 7 days provide enough evidence to diagnose you? Most people have an adverse effect to medication in the first few weeks until it takes effect.

I find myself nowadays playing video games and watching stuff on TV that I "normally" wouldn't. I also can't seem to grasp "deep" thought like I used to, and so books and 'deep' movies that I used to enjoy don't do much for me in my current state. Can anyone else relate? Reading books was also a big hobby of mine, but now I just can't muster the patience or interest to read much.

The very nature of this disorder/sensation is how consuming it is, you can't be expected to behave the same as you did before. If your mind is consumed with checking symptoms and sensations then you wont be enjoying the things you used to enjoy with a clear mind

Finally, the only time I feel somewhat comfortable/safe is when I'm all alone, isolated at home. I don't feel comfortable even around my own parents in this state, nor my friends or strangers, let alone walking around outside and being in public. Can anyone relate?

You are always going to feel better alone as you have nothing to challenge your perspective on reality, things cant seem as different and strange if you control everything around you. You have to move past this, it seems so simple but you have to free your mind of your obsessive rumination. You must live as if you had never heard of the words DP or DR and then your brain can learn to rethink the way it handles everyday situations. Fake it until you make it.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This seems crazy to me, How can your reaction to a medication over 7 days provide enough evidence to diagnose you? Most people have an adverse effect to medication in the first few weeks until it takes effect.
I told her the same thing. I'm guessing maybe if it were Bipolar, then the reaction would be quicker? Guess we'll wait and see.

You have to move past this, it seems so simple but you have to free your mind of your obsessive rumination. You must live as if you had never heard of the words DP or DR and then your brain can learn to rethink the way it handles everyday situations. Fake it until you make it.......
Believe, I've been trying to for over 3 years already. Anyway, besides the sensations I get (senses are acute, mind feels like it's on overdrive, fight-or-flight responses around people), it (what "it - this condition - is) makes me irritable and almost hostile. This is why they think it may be Bipolar with psychotic features - I've gotten into several confrontations and almost got into physical fights because I've become so sensitive. It's like I'm completely vulnerable. I feel like a kid now, instead of an adult, and helpless and hopeless because I don't feel in control. My self-esteem is completely shattered. Anyone else has this? I know this is also symptomatic of psychosis (or prodromal psychosis, which I thought I may have). They also say DP/DR is often co-morbid with other psychiatric conditions.

Welcome to DPSH!

Good luck with the paroxetine!
Thanks!

I also question the decision to look for "bipolar with psychotic features" unless you described psychotic experiences during your appointment. Discriminating between DP and psychosis is straightforward for a psychiatrist with experience.
I gave her a whole list of symptoms that I seem to be experiencing, and she says they sound "contradictory," and basically is not ready to diagnose me yet, which is why we're giving the Paxil a try. Funny thing is, the only time I had a "remission" - it was only for a day - was after I took Risperdal and became a zombie for a week. During that week I still had my symptoms, but I noticed my body and mind gradually becoming heavier and slower, respectively, and suddenly I woke up on the 7th or 8th day, fully back to "normal." My vision became "darker," so to speak, and everything seemed "farther away," like I didn't feel the external world and objects/people so oppressively close as I do now, again. I relapsed that same day when I was playing a video game in a dark room and was intently focusing on the TV. I actually felt my mind going back into this "overdrive" mode, where everything suddenly became "brighter" to my vision, and I knew I had relapsed. Not sure if any of this sounds familiar to anyone. So I wonder if I relapsed back into some kind of "psychosis" or simply DR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Rosa. The several different previous psychiatrists thought it may be Bipolar, with possible psychotic features, so it's all a bit confusing, it seems. So far the Paxil just makes me more tired, lethargic and sleepy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Does anyone else feel quite uncomfortable around people and in public/outside? Some kind of irritability or flight-or-flight response around people? Not feeling as "strong" and in control as before this condition?
 

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I can relate to that one. When I'm around people I feel like I'm in danger. It is like to much stimulants to my mind, very exhausting.
 

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Does anyone else feel quite uncomfortable around people and in public/outside? Some kind of irritability or flight-or-flight response around people? Not feeling as "strong" and in control as before this condition?
Totally. I often find people very irritating. People are now something I have to deal with rather than enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I wish I was still in the state I originally posted as being in, rather than in the state I'm in now. At least I was able to enjoy stuff before.

After I experienced a short period of "enlightenment," I no longer enjoyed movies, video games and so on. I simply enjoyed "being," which made me want to spend time outdoors. After the depression hit and the relapse into dp/dr, I eventually fell "into the void," and no longer enjoy anything. Maybe it's a kind of "dark night of the soul" I'm going through? I don't know, but I hope to regain balance and somehow rid myself of these distressing symptoms of dp/dr, and whatever else it might be.
 

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Something i do for sure that i wouldn't normally do, is isolate myself and skip pretty much everything in my life. Don't see the point, need to figure this thing out first etc.. second is that i'm very obsessive. Doesn't matter what i'm doing, but you can sure bet that i'm doing it in an obsessive manner. Whether that being playing video games, working out, studying, cleaning..................my mind never stops...
 

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I found that after a while I would be much less socially anxious than previously and give far less of a shit about approaching members of the opposite sex etc because it wouldn't feel like it was real and it was all some sort of game. One of the very few positive side effects.
 
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