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I also have a forum set up for Depersonalization sufferers needing help along with other topics
Depersonalization The Beginning
I haven't always had depersonalization.
Six years ago I had just finished my junior year in high school. I had my ups and downs but at that age I over exacerbated and exaggerated the problems I was going through. I was in a low place (or so it seemed) at the time (probably just worried what my future would hold and just standard problems teenagers go through.)
I decided one day over the summer to go against my better judgement and call up friend of mine to ask if he still had that marijuana that he got a couple of days ago. That weekend I went over to his house and smoked (I had been against smoking marijuana my entire life up to this point.) We started smoking in his garage. At first we were just sitting there on the garage floor just passing a joint back and forth talking and laughing at anything and everything.
Then it happened…without warning
My brain started not linking up with my body movements…and everything started to become delayed. My vision became that of a poorly done movie from the 50's where you can see frame by frame slides (the best way I can describe it is when you go into a club and they have strobe lights turned on). Everything became incredibly slow but then there were moments when everything became incredibly fast almost like everything around me was on fast-forward mode. There was no way of predicting when everything would be slow or when they would be fast it was completely unexpected.
There was a time when I was just standing in his garage for what felt like an eternity probably only 4 minutes just staring at a wall and then coming to and panicking and then going back to staring at the wall. (I'm actually having a hard time writing this because of the memories I have of that day.) It almost felt like I was underwater and couldn't breathe and once in a while someone would raise me up out of the water for a little air and then push me under the water unexpectedly again over and over again.
Existential thoughts flooded my mind.
"Is this real? Where am I? I'm on a planet floating in space!?!? This can't be real. Did I die? Am I dead right now?" I would have moments when it was as if I was dreaming while awake and not conscious of what was happening and then coming to all of a sudden and becoming conscious of what was happening around me and being afraid that I zoned out. I had no idea at the time how long I had been zoned out. I felt out of control with my movements. I had my first panic attack that I had ever experienced and I believe that this was the first occurrence (that I am aware of) where my body went into a depersonalized state to protect me from danger.
It was terrible and lasted for (if I had to guess) probably 2 hours maybe 3…
My friend was worried for me and kept asking if everything was alright. It wasn't. I tried to lay down on the cement floor of his garage and fall asleep thinking that it would go away but it wasn't working.
I would say that was the worst day of my life...
So hours later I came out of my high and went home and was so relieved. The moment I came out of my high I felt like scrooge in "A Christmas Carol" on Christmas Day when he runs around town grateful for his life again and for the people around him. It took him realizing how much worse his life could be for him to realize how grateful he was for the life he had.
I went back to my normal way of living and everything was back to normal…so it seemed until a week later when out of nowhere I began to feel high again. I started to panic and frantically went to my computer looking up what was going on. "Okay I probably had THC still in my system whew…" But after a couple months I still felt high. I started to become worried…"What was happening to me? Was I going insane? Have I done something to my mind that is irreversible? Maybe that marijuana was laced with something?" Thoughts flooded my mind.
Months and months went by and I still felt high and removed from my body.
I went to my computer again to find out that others were experiencing the same thing. It was Depersonalization. Depersonalization is a miserable experience that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I felt removed from my body constantly like I was dreaming all the time. I didn't feel in control of my movements and I questioned all of reality around me constantly. I became afraid of eating. My thoughts would go something like this "well if I'm not real then this food I'm eating isn't real so I'm not really putting it into my mouth and I'm not really chewing and swallowing it."…I lost 23 pounds incredibly quickly (probably in the first 2 weeks or 3 weeks from not eating).
I started to have to distract myself whenever eating any food (I always had to be watching TV any time I ate to keep my thoughts occupied.) This started to spread into other parts of my life. I started to have panic attacks in the shower and when I drove my car. So what did I do? I started to distract myself from my thoughts when I was in these situations. (I would play music really loud when I took showers and I would roll my windows down and sing as loudly as I could to the music I was blasting in my car.)
I began going to psychologists but they had no idea what I was going through and tried treating depersonalization like you would any GAD (General Anxiety Disorder.) "Maybe it was the psychologist I was going to" I thought but person after person I went to treated me and the issue I was going through exactly the same. My sessions started to become just me sitting down on a couch venting about my week and paying them to listen to me with little to no help in curing my issue. The more and more time went by the more and more I had researched about depersonalization and I became more knowledgeable in the subject then the "specialists" did. When they would recommend me to do something
I was now on their level and able to reason with them.
There was a point over the years when I was able to manage my depersonalization and it wasn't so prevalent in my life as it was in the beginning. Instead of 24/7 depersonalization I had random occurring depersonalization (this was because of my constant distraction methods that were exhausting.) But I never got to the root of the problem so it continued to stay in my life.
I was using tools/techniques I had learned over the years (meditation, no caffeine, changed my diet (I was a vegan at one time), no alcohol, how much sleep I was getting.) but these things never cured me. They only helped to lessen the depersonalization but I was never cured by doing these things.
Out of no where (at least that's what I thought at the time. I was stressed out of my mind and eating a terrible diet.)
I had the worst panic attack of my life
and my depersonalization came full force back into my life. 24/7 depersonalization again.
I became agoraphobic and secluded myself to my bedroom and away from the people around me and refused to go anywhere. After months and months of living a miserable life something came over me. I was so depressed and filled with anxiety that I decided I would do anything and everything in my power to finally rid myself of my depersonalization, derealization, and agoraphobia.
I compiled all of the notes I had taken over the years from my research and started to find similarities with agoraphobia, depersonalization, and other mental issues. So I slowly started to go about curing myself. It took months and months and months of patience and reassuring myself to keep going but I finally was able to rid myself of this terrible issue of depersonalization that I had been experiencing for 5 and ½ years.
I always told myself that if I got out of depersonalization and derealization that I would help others recover also. So that's exactly what I did. I took all the notes I had compiled over the years from my studying and research on the subject and wrote a book. The book that I had been wanting to read to help myself recover completely from depersonalization was written and right in front of me. (I could have saved myself years upon years of going to psychologists, psychiatrists, and all the trouble I went through if I had this book 5 and ½ years ago)
In the book I go through what depersonalization is, my story, tools and techniques (not cures), where I went wrong, and finally a step by step guide as to how I recovered completely from depersonalization and how you can recover too.
It's been a long journey but I'm grateful that I experienced it.
I think I had to go through depersonalization to help others struggling with this debilitating issue. I am a stronger person today then I was 6 years ago and I have learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of doing in my life. If I can help one person recover from depersonalization all of what I went through these 5 and 1/2 years will be worth it.
My book-Depersonalization How I Recovered and How You Can Too-http://amzn.to/2kZxUr0