Hello, I am new to this website and I guess I am new to this whole experience. I would like to share my story, I will try to make it very brief. I am hoping that by sharing this story I can be helped and it can help someone else.
It all started (majorly anyway) about 8 months ago. Actually, I can remember the exact day - It was the first week of October on a Wednesday in 2015. It was around lunchtime and I was working (River Island Retail). I work on the mens department on my own so I regularly get up inside my head (I always day dream, I'm an introvert mostly, I spend a lot of my time in my room on my laptop. Although sometimes im an a massive extrovert. I am loud, jokey and when there is a large crowd, I don't mind making myself known. I am certainly not quiet). All of a sudden the thought of me going home and thoughts of me not having anything to do once I would be there, I started to get anxious, a little panicky. Other thoughts such as 'what am I doing with my life, what am I going to do in the future, your 22 years old and your working part time in a clothes shop, what am I doing with my life!. I think I was scared of those type of thoughts, I thought that this may be the start of depression, which is probably what spurred the anxious feeling. I had these moments a couple of times over the previous months but it would usually last around 10 minutes, then I would be fine. This time it seemed much stronger, it lasted longer, but then I calmed myself down and all was back to normal. The rest of the time at work distracted me and those thoughts didn't come back..... until the end of the day. I was getting worried again and now I knew I was going home I had nothing to distract me of these thoughts, which itself spurred the anxious feeling again!
That was it, the moment I left work, I just felt numb. I felt kinda empty; this feeling was chronic. I felt detached, emotionless. I was completely convinced that I had depression.
A week went by, I was ruminating, trying to accept that I was now depressed, I told myself to open up to someone because bottling things up was the worst. So, after a week I told the only person I felt I could talk to, my mum. It felt good talking about it and Im glad I didn't bottle it up. I was immediately on the phone to the doctors. I felt I was already in a good position because people with depression don't usually open up, they unusually keep it hidden for years, but here was me ready and willing to talk, I was proud.
I was also forcing myself to be positive, I was meeting up with a large number of friends I met when I worked abroad in a couple of weeks to which I forced myself to be excited (to an extend I actually was). I'm not sure if this had anything to do with what happened next....
About a week before I was due to meet up with them (It was in another city, it wasn't casual, it was one big massive reunion bash!), things changed. The 'low mood' somewhat lifted around 50%. I had some feelings and I felt a little happier, not 100% but an absolute welcome improvement. However, at the same time as this sort of mood lift, coincidentally I had an unbelievable increase in constant anxiety like never before. I have always had anxiety, but never so bad that I felt like I needed to go to the doctors. (Although in the last couple of years, I would avoid certain conversations that made me feel anxious, relationships, the future etc. I guess avoiding those thoughts and conversations probably wasn't healthy).
The anxiety was so bad that I thought I was going insane, develop schizophrenia. Any little sound I would hear I was convinced it was in my head. It was so bad that when I would lay in bed, the smallest of sounds, I would have to check if they were actually there or it was in my head. Sometimes I could hear the TV on (really really faintly), so I would go downstairs to check only for the TV to be off. My peripherals would scare me, and I was just terrified that I was on the way to becoming crazy. I just felt vulnerable, I would stop myself staring at creepy looking soft toys just incase my mind was going to start hallucinating. (Still today faint sounds worry me, my peripherals still keep me on edge my sense of sight seems kinda weird. I will see movements in my peripherals. Best way to describe it is when you got the flu or when your hungover and your just a little jumpy.)
Despite all this, when I went up to Manchester for the reunion, I had an amazing time. A lot of alcohol I might add but the weekend was great! I still felt anxious, my numbness or low mood wasn't gone 100% but I can honestly look back and say that was probably the last time I felt really happy. This was November 2015.
The 5 hour journey on the way home was horrible, alcohol is an anxiety inducer in itself, plus the heightened anxious state, the whole journey back and that night for that matter was not pleasant. I thought I was going crazy again, nothing to distract me, no friends for me to forget those thoughts. Then shortly after (days maybe weeks), I started feeling numb again, the detachment became stronger once more, the anxiety seemed to have lessened.
It seems to me that the detachment and the numbness is the result of my brain trying to cope with the anxiety. Isn't it a coincidence that when I didn't feel so detached, the anxiety was up, when I felt more detached, the anxiety when down dramatically?
I took CBT with an open mind, I only took a 3 week course. It was and is still beneficial. However, after hearing stories and other people talk about their depression, something wasn't quite right. I felt like I could relate a little, but not completely. I then started telling the CBT therapists and my GP that the way I feel is different. The way I described it was that my feelings were physical and not emotional. I didn't feel suicidal, I didn't have low self esteem, I was never confined to my bed (actually the way I felt motivated me to get out more and go to the gym more). It felt physical in a way that I felt physically detached. Like I felt like I was in a dream.
My GP first started talking about schizophrenia, my anxiety went off the charts, but I kept explaining that I was being metaphoric. 'I feels as though', 'it feels like'. Not, I 'believe I am in a dream' etc. After a couple of months, he had told me that he believes that it was a state of mind I was in rather than an illness. When I finally got to see a psychotherapist, after assessing me, she told me the same. She believed that It didn't seem that I had a clinical illness and it didn't sound like I had depression. She explained that it is the anxiety and that I told her that I am in a crossroads in my life, worried about the future and worried about growing up. She believes this is spurring the anxiety and the way I feel. A normal situtation but I am just struggling with a normal fact of life; growing up. It's true, I'm kind of freaking out about my life right now.
I have felt the same ever since. I was convinced I had Depersonalization/ Derealization dissorder way before I took CBT. Upon seeing the psychiatrist it pretty much confirmed it for me. Results from google based on what I have searched pretty much tell me this is anxiety induced DPD/DPR. However, this feeling is chronic, it has been 24/7 since the day it started, and not when I just feel anxious, I have also never had a panic attack I might add.
I have always been optimistic, somedays not, but when I breathe and calm myself im 90% convinced I will beat this.
I recently discovered Harris Harrington (what a name, it's almost as if he made the name up....). I downloaded it and I am open minded. I'm sure you are all aware that his method is based on parenting and childhood etc, and not that its a symptom of anxiety. (Currently on part 6 and all it is, is him reading and talking, no recovery methods shown yet!).
I would quickly like to share some key moments in my life that may be relevant.
My parents broke up when I was around 8ish. It was a bad brake up. It was very aggressive, the shouting scared the shit out of me and my bro. I remember screaming and crying hearing them go at it. My dad would sometimes push and shove etc.
I first took it out on my mum, all I saw was him being taken away by the police (civil, he was never dragged away lol). As I grew up I then became much more closer to my mum. I was a little shit, I was angry and weird as fuck. From then on I had a rocky relationship with my dad. We would argue so much, he would get a bit psychical. The amount of times I would run to my mums crying or in rage.
To be honest, the only memories of when my parents were together is when they were arguing. I actually don't have any memories of a happy mum and dad!
Problem is, I didn't get on well with my step dad. We would argue and it would get physical (very rare and nothing shocking). So sometimes I would run to my dads.
2013-2014 I worked in Malia, greece. Alcohol, sex, you name it, I was at the happiest in my life. I would still argue with my parents when I came home. I would sponge off them and have no job. When I returned to greece in 2014, I had a bad accident. Short story, I was wasted, got angry and punched a glass door. Cut my tendons and an artery. My life was saved by people in my apartments and I was rushed to hospital. I had a major op to fix myself up. The whole time I barely panicked (I should have been way more worried than I was). Thank god I was pissed up when it happened.
I didn't have a working arm for about 6 months, I had to take physio therapy to get back to normal.
Fast forward to the beginning of the summer 2015. My arguments hadn't been nowhere near as frequent since I got back in july 14. However, I ended up having a major row with my dad (It was his fault I would add), I went to my mums in rage. Since then I moved out of my dads house and currently live with my mum full time. For a while I didn't speak to my dad at all. Then a couple of months had passed, I would see him now and again, said sorry and things are fine between me and him. Although to this day we don't see much of eacthother. (He has told my brothers he thinks I don't care because I don't contact him, I do and I wish I could see him more which I will try to do). Things remained like that until october 2015 and all of this has happened, with this mental disorder which plagues my life 24/7.
Im sorry for the massive story but I want to get everything down that is relevant. I really hope you guys can dissect what I have written and let me know what I'm going through, what I can do to recover from this bastard of a disorder and I would also hope people can relate to my story so they are not alone and we can beat it together.
I have three older brothers. The oldest share a different dad and their dad died in a car crash when they were really young. The second youngest (Im the youngest) is closer to my age and we both share the same parents. At the end of the day, all four of us have been through the same boat, so why is this only happening to me?
Feel as though I am in a dream
My 5 sense seem distant and watered down
Over thinking, constantly thinking about politics, philosophy.
Feel like I a on autopilot.
Kinda feel like my body isn't my own
Feel like I have no real identity.
The derealization is much more stronger than the depersonaliztion btw.