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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, everybody. I am in need of a little help from anyone here that might be able to relate to this...

I think I am suffering from derealization but I am not completely sure. To give some background on myself..I am 25 and I have had a problem with anxiety and panic attacks since I am 15. I used to have them very bad then for some reason they stopped almost to the point that they were gone for a few years but in recent years they have appeared again.

Since the beginning of May I have been dealing with these weird feelings. Basically I feel like I am not here but I dont know where I feel like I am. (If that makes any sense).Its what you would call an "unreal" sort of a feeling almost as if your not completely waking up from sleep at night and everything thats happening seems like its a dream. I really dont seem to be having any anxiety attacks though. In all the time that I have been feeling like this which is almost four months already I only had one very quick anxiety attacks that was over in a matter of seconds. I dont seem to have any problems with my memory or anything like that. As a matter of fact just the other day I was with a few friends and they were trying to remember the name of a restaurant that we went to 12 years ago and I am the only one that remembered the name. The thing that really freaks me out is that I have lived in the same house in the same town for my entire life but for some reason it feels like I am in a different place. Even my job that I have been at for six years seems like its different. On top of this I am having lots of trouble sleeping at night and when I do fall asleep I am constantly having dreams. Not necessarily bad dreams but its just that I dream alot and sometimes I even have this weird "unreal" feeling in my dreams. I have done alot of research online and it does seem like DR can be linked to anxiety and/or depression. The anxiey I know I have and the depression is a real possibility too because I have had alot of bad luck with things in both my personal life and my job the past few years and for the most part life isnt anywhere near as good as it should be for somebody my age.

The thing that most concerns me is that I have always been a person thats very health conscious and if I was feeling this way due to some sort of a medical condition then I would be the type that would just want to go to the doctor and have the condition treated. I went to my doctor twice back in June and he ran blood tests on me and gave me a check-up and says that everything came back just fine. Nothing showed up abnormal so in his words these feelings I am having are "nothing". But I am just not convinced. I used to have these feelings of unreality years ago when my anxiety was also very bad but back then I would only have the feelings during an actual anxiety attack and then when the attack ended the feelings would go away. This time around its like I have little if any anxiety attacks but just this constant unreal feeling. The only good news I seem to have is that I do think that overall I am feeling better then I was back in May. I dont know if maybe the possible depression that I have is starting to lift a little bit or maybe I am just so used to feeling this way that I am just getting used to living like this. I have heard people say that DR is considered to be a coping mechanism used by the brain to protect itself from the constant onslaught of anxious and worried thoughts but I also heard people say that you need to do things to get your mind off of it and thats what makes it better. Last night I went out to dinner with two friends and we were out for a few hours and its not that I really feel any better today.

So,anyway, sorry this is so long but if anybody else can relate to what I am saying and has anything to say that can make me feel better I would love to hear it.. Thanks everyone..
 
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You guys just tickle me. You can't go out to ONE dinner ONE night and then be concerned that it didn't make you feel better, lol...

The idea of focusing on OUTER things, the world, people, STUFF...anything but Self is that it is 1) very very hard to do; and 2) it takes a lot of time to make any changes.

I don't necessarily think that focusing outward is going to CURE anyone, but it, over time and done diligently and I MEAN DILIGENTLY, it can reduce the level of the dp/dr experience significantly. Once you've achieved that, you are in a better place to work on yourself and try to examine the thoughts/feelings/actions that are making you so afraid of life and of being a human in this world.

Yes, Matt....you are a classic case of dp/dr. There is nothing wrong with your health - that obsessiveness about one's health is a VERY common symptom that goes along with the type of person who will develop dp and dr.

we don't wake up one day obsessed with self. We WERE obsessed with the experience and consciousness of our own existence long before the symptoms started. But we had it "in control" - for awhile.

Once the symptoms hit, it's like we are being undone by our old habits and obsessions that once upon a time were almost soothing to us - then "turned on us" and we don't know HOW to get out of our self-obsessing once we desperately need to.

It takes many years of diligent dysfunction to get sick. And it takes a long time to UNdo the problems we unwittingly set into motion.

No quick fixes, guys...not with mental symptoms.

Peace,
Janine
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Janine, I guess the hardest part for me right now is trying to convince myself that what I have is all in my head because it seems so real. Another question I would like to ask you is about my inability to get a good nights sleep..does that usually occur with dp/dr? I feel very tired much of the day but then again if your not sleeping at night that could be the answer...what do you think?
 
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i can say, that i dream a lot..and dont get a good nights sleep. i can relate to that. i think i dream different then other people or...i just notice them more.. i dont know
 

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Janine, thank you so much for your guidance and insight. Putting my attention on something else, particularly a pet in my case, has been enormously helpful. Even doing a crossword puzzle can do the trick.

I'm sure it's no news to you that prayer somehow engages the part of the mind that is hijacking my reality, and in DP/DR attacks is not only no help at all but makes things worse...not that I'm anti-prayer by any means, just saying that the timing isn't good amidst an attack.

I haven't slept well consistently for the year an a half since DP became a part of my life. My attacks began when I was in an emotionally abusive marriage and awoke one night not certain if I had died...not certain if I had lost my mind...feeling away from myself...it was the most terrifying thing that has ever happened to me.

Since I got away from him the attacks have been less frequent, but they are still with me, particularly when I am under emotional stress from any part of my life.

And yes, I was diagnosed with clinical depression 9 years ago. As we all know, these conditions are often correlated. I can't say one way or the other that my SSRIs are helpful, as it would stand to reason that the attacks may be worse without them....and the prozac, effexor, lexapro (med of the month by my psychiatrist...) does a lot to hold them at bay.

Peace to everyone.
 

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i dont kow if his will help much but at times in my life when i've been having nightmares i've always believed that its my subconscious clearing out the bad stuff. and i've always felt drained and flat after which i've deemed to be a natural reaction.
 
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