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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I'm going to be very vulnerable, raw and open as I believe that information is needed to understand my situation. This might not be your everyday story and it is very intense, but it would mean the world to me if you can read what I've written below and see if you can help me with my questions. Okay, so let's start. :)

Currently I'm 28 years old carrying a few backpacks of extreme stress and trauma. When I was 3 years old, my dad got a brain tumor and 6 months to live. When I was 12 years old, my dad was still alive but severely and at that time my mom started to get sick with an unknown disease. I had no brothers or sisters so from when I was 12 I started to live with two sick parents. My dad finally past away when I was 15, while my mom further deteriorated. I had to start dealing with a home care team for my mom while still trying to be a kid. When I was 18-19 I moved to Amsterdam, I arranged a new apartment for my mom with home care as she couldn't live alone anymore and I went to study at university. However I had to go back every few days as she often fell down or ended up at the emergency, it was always a question how I would find her.

During that time I had started to feel extremely tired. I never cried. I felt as if a fog came over me, as if there was a glass wall between me and the world and as if I was totally numb not able to feel any emotion. While I had been playing tennis professionally for years, I couldn't keep up anymore. I started to lose the fun in life more and more and became more like a robot. After having been to tons of doctor and specialist, I got sent to a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with a depersonalisation and derealisation disorder and PTSD at age 19. As I said, I never cried, never really felt emotion and just dealt with all of that shit as if it was going to the grocery store. :???:

Things didn't get easier when my family put my mom in a home for alcohol addicts (while she wasn't, she just drank 1-2 glasses against all her pains) so she had full time care but was far away from Amsterdam where I lived. At the same time that this happened, I just my childhood love who I had been with for 6 years and who I thought was the love of my life, but even she couldn't deal with my depression and DP anymore (I was on anti depressives and due to that even sexually I couldn't perform anymore). Anyway, back to my family wanted to put my mom away in such a home, I ended up fighting a lawsuit against my family and instead of me or them getting to take care of my mom, someone special got appointed, who accepted her in that home.

I couldn't do anything and this person would make all this decisions for my mom, for the rest of her life. So she stayed there, while calling me every single day asking to please not let her die there. Over the next few years, she got worse and worse, until at some point I had to start talking about what to do if she'd had another brain infarct so badly that it was better to not reanimate anymore. At that time, I was so done with all the pain all those years that I actually believed it would be better if my mom died, because she was just laying in a bed unable to talk and not recognising me anymore. During those times, for one of the first times in my life I started to cry a bit here and there. It truly became to hard for me coming there into that room and seeing her lay like that. I had often come there to take her with me in the wheelchair and go to a restaurant, but this wasn't possible anymore. Right now while writing this however, I do have tears in my eyes and I can feel the pain in the past.

When I was 23 years old, while severely depersonalised already with extreme anxiety and stress for years, I was still pushing myself through law school, while running my own start up business, having a high paced social life, working out and visiting my mom on weekends combined with partying. The days were crazy. At some point in one week I had 3 exams, had to move houses, had issues with my start-up, financial worries and my mom got hospitalised after a bleeding in her brain. After I found her in the hospital with her mouth totally diagonal while peeing on herself as we were waiting to get her some testing, while I was calling with the banks for my start-up at the same time, something happened. The week after that I ended up getting neurological pains everywhere, as if my entire nervous system had gone mad. The time had come that I started to get sick myself after years of taking care of others, way too much trauma and continuous stress.

After getting diagnosed with first a burnout and later fibromyalgia in 2013, I did rehabilitation programs without any result. Then in 2014, my mom finally died after months and months of horrific suffering. Again, when I write this I'm having so many tears but back then I was still quite strong. After she past away I had to quit my study and my start-up as I didn't function anymore. I decided to take a trip around the world to seek alternative healing. I went from detox in Thailand to shamanic healings in the Himalayas and everything in between. In the end I didn't come back with healing but with a beautiful Canadian girl in 2015.

While being back in my country, I got more tired and tired and also ended up getting the diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I did another program for it without any result. As my Canadian girl was getting kicked out out of my country, I decided to do something stupid and leave everything I still had in my country and travel the world with her, to be able to stay together, while already being sick and with the purpose of creating a sustainable living. Although we did create some epic stuff, I was severely sick, hugely depersonalised and last April 2017 I fell down on the floor, KO, having no idea who I was or where I was anymore. Everything was gone for quite a while.

I had kept pushing and pushing for years and this was somewhat of the moment that I realised I had to stop. So we stopped traveling and went to Canada to be with the parents of my girl, as I had sold everything in Holland with only one backpack left. While the idea was to relax there and help me get better, the parents of my girlfriend (who was also my wife) didn't like me being there as I seemed 'depressed and sick'. As they got me more stressed and depersonalised, and as I felt sicker and sicker, and as there seemed to be a distance between me and my girl, I ended up taking a plane back home to seek more medical treatment.

Back home, after years and years of wrong diagnoses, we figured out that I had a late stage chronic Lyme disease, which basically means a totally compromised immune system and tons of opportunistic bacterial and viral infections spread through my entire body. I was happy to finally know what the problem was and after researching I also realised that I could have gotten this from my mom and that my mom probably could have died from this as well. Although I was happy for a bit, quite soon after

I ended up figuring out that my wife cheated on me while I was in Canada with multiple guys and told me tons of lies as if it was nothing. So there I was, extremely sick, with one suitcase, moving from place to place because I didn't have my own room yet, realising that the person I gave everything up for and who I considered to be my place of safety, fucked me over in ways that I could have never expected. Obviously there was more to the story and over the last 6-9 months I've experienced more traumatic stuff with her, discovering more lies and betrayal day by day, while feeling extremely alone and abandoned but still loving her and feeling like needing her.

Fast forward to now and the entire reason why I have started this topic. My depersonalisation and derealisation had gone totally crazy over the last year, however I'm not sure if it is depersonalisation anymore of that it could also be something else far more dangerous. For that reason I want to describe how these feelings feel and ask if you guys recognise these symptoms, ask for your opinion about my entire situation and tell me if it makes sense that all of this can be the result of years of trauma and chronic stress (my previous diagnoses all have an origin that needs stress to evolve as well as stress compromises the immune system and allow opportunistic infections to win terrain in the body). So let me describe to you guys all my current symptoms related to DP / DR:

1) not recognising myself in the mirror
2) not recognising my own hands when I typ
3) not recognising my own voice
4) not recognising myself when I see myself on videos of like 1.5 years ago (like I know that it is me, but I don't)
5) being completely out of the moment and constantly in my mind, which makes doing even simple things like cooking extremely difficult and nearly impossible
6) feeling like I'm going totally crazy for sometimes minutes or even thirty minutes where I seem to feel things happening in my head that make my feel like I am totally forgetting who I am for good, in these moments I truly don't seem to know who I am anymore
7) having huge trouble connecting to other people and even finding it scary to see other people as I feel my brain is just not able to process anything stressful anymore
8) extreme pressure on my head and especially my temples and huge anxiety with it that I feel in my stomach and chest

9) feeling like I am completely losing it sometimes in phone conversations as I forget who I am and who my voice is
10) just feeling like everything is a dream
11) feeling like my state of consciousness is just seriously altered that I'm not even really here in this world anymore
12) while I am walking sometimes I feel like I am floating somewhere and my body is walking but I freak out because I feel I'm not controlling it and start to be afraid if I'm completely separating myself from my body.
13) just an overall extreme tired and foggy feeling in my brain like not able to think properly

14) just being overstimulated by anything, like going outside is too much stimuli for me (but this can also be the PTSD)
15) just really not being able to connect to me as the person, not feeling who I am, not feeling my identity, not feeling any connection with myself
16) being totally disconnected from my own body, like I'm not feeling cold or warmth and I often hit something in where I live because I'm not moving properly

1) Do you guys recognise all this symptoms and can this all be DP / DR? (especially 6 makes me go nuts)
2) Do you have any opinion on my case and do you believe this can just all be the results of severe trauma, unexpressed emotions and years of constant fight or flight / survival mode?
3) Right now I'm actually also in an emotional crisis. I do meditations every day and tons and tons of flashbacks from the past pop up and suddenly I feel the emotions that I would have probably normally felt years ago while I pushed everything away and was too numbed down, probably by DP / DR which tried to save me and act as a protection mechanism. After I cry I feel a little better and a little bit more in the moment, but my state is still very severe then. Do you guys feel that DP / DR can also be the result of unprocessed emotions and just be the way of the brain to help you by creating all of this so you don't feel anything?
4) Over the last months I have had huge problems with my 'ex' girl, a crowdfunding campaign to save my life started which caused a lot of stress and I had a lot of issues on top of all my health issues AND my DP / DR got much much worse and is just going to the roof these days. I feel I have a constant DP / DR but with episodes within that are even extremer and totally make me lose my mind. Do you guys think that all of this could be the result of more extreme stress? (like yesterday I had an extremely stressful today and today during the day I had some of these episodes.
5) Link between DP / DR, burn outs and PTSD. I've had multiple burn outs and severe PTSD and I feel everything is related and triggering each other at this point. Do you guys agree and what's your opinion on the relationship between DR / DR, burn outs and PTSD?
6) Brain Chemistry. I feel that most of everything that's happening is just my brain chemistry having gone totally crazy. Obviously my amygdala (survival brain) is totally overly sensitised and sends constant fight or flight signals to the rest of my body. I can imagine that when I am constantly panicking and stressing that this makes DP / DR worse. Do you guys see a relation between your own stress, the working of the brain and DP / DR?

Finally, if you made it here I am so incredibly thankful for taking the time to read this and maybe also answering and helping me. I'm really at the lowest point in my life and could really use some insights and advice regarding all of this.

Lots of love :)

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