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AnnaGuilia's Introduction

763 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  AnnaGiulia
Hi everyone, I am also a new member, so just hoped to introduce myself and my experience with DP/DR.

My name is Anna, I just turned 44.

End of 2016, I had a major episode of what was immediately diagnosed to be DP/DR disorder, accompanied by generalized anxiety disorder, depression, somatization disorder. World looked like a scenography, I felt like an automaton, and I could not produce any emotional connection to either objects or people around me.

It took me half a year of CBT and Zoloft to get really well. I did some of my biggest professional projects immediately as I recovered, but I guess it was my old way of coping using my workaholic skills.

Year and a half in, approaching the end of 2018, I started having panic attacks, generalized anxiety disorder's symptoms came back, but no depression, and no explicit signs of DP/DR. I was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia instead. I was put again on Zoloft, but this time the focus of therapy was on great chunks of time I was missing from my childhood before the age of ten.

At the beginning of 2019, I finally faced the memories of a repetitive childhood trauma that caused my DP/DR, as well as dissociative amnesia and everything else. I though that once I realized where the unbearable feelings were coming from, I would be healed, just as the last time. But this time, to face the trauma meant that my whole world, everything I knew and everything I believed in came falling down in tiny pieces.

I do not know whether this happened to some of you, but after facing the roots of my trauma that produced my disorders, I did not know who I am any more, and it felt very different to my initial experience of depersonalization. This time it felt as if different parts of me are holding different memories, emotions and even abilities, that I cannot access simultaneously. My therapist said that these feelings and memories that I experienced as if they belonged to other "parts" of me, were actually sheltered for a long time by dissociative amnesia capsule, and so they now seemed foreign and distant to me. He did not even suggest that it may perhaps belong to the DID or OSDD spectrum, and I know better than to give myself a diagnose.

However, that was more than half a year ago, and the feelings of having different sets of emotions and memories within me, that change from time to time, depending on a situation I am in, still persist.

I suffer a lot from this "not knowing who I am" feeling, but I keep myself intellectually busy all the time. I read and write a lot. I only find it hard to socialize with people who are not my closest friends, as I do not know what to expect from myself when I turn to a gathering. I was always so busy and productive, so many people looked up to me and took professional advice from me. I still want to be able to talk to people about this hard but still incredible journey I am on, but I can hardly ever find anyone who would even begin to understand what I am facing right now.

Anyway, thanks for being there, and stay strong!

Best, Anna
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Thank your for your comment, I know what you mean. Only ten years ago, I could have been mistakenly misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, because of all the strange feelings one experiences with DP/DR, when perceiving oneself and the world differently. It was such a relief, though, when my therapists offered a name for what I was going through, it gave me a sense of perspective, and for this I am very grateful. I just had to admit that there are limitations to therapy as well, and that apparently a lot of work has to be done on our own...
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