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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

My first bout or DR&DP was back in 2000. I had gone on a trip to Africa and took Mefloquine (an antimalrial drug). Turns out this is a beast of a drug that can have catastrophic neuropsychiatric side-effects. After my 5th tablet I had a massive seizure and when I woke up I was completely out of it. I thought this was a "seizure hangover" but it never went away. I researched and found that it matches the symptoms of DR/DP perfectly and I got a diagnosis from a psychologist at the time.

It was a horrifying experience, which I don't need to tell anyone here, but it slowly went away over the course of 3 years.

Until now...

2 weeks ago I had the mother of all migraines and BOOM it's back again. 24/7 full on DR....

My question/problem is that this time I am seeking treatment but having a hard time with it. The psych I am seeing specialises in dissociative disorders. She agrees I have DR & DP but is convinced that it must be linked to trauma somehow. The problem is, I can't find any trauma in my past at all, least of all in my childhood.

We are going to try EMDR but I kind of need a trauma to work on for this treatment.

I'm super stressed because if there is no trauma to treat, how can I treat my DR. I really feel like it might be neurologically based for me. That my brain got knocked around in the initial seizure and is now prone to DR or something.

Has anyone else got DR/DP that they can't tie to any trauma? And if so, have you had any success with treatments?

Thanks :)
 

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Hi MayDay!

That does sound like you've just described a trauma. A medical trauma that shakes you up very badly is just as valid as any other.
 

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Hello, welcome. Like you I'm pretty convinced my DP doesn't really have a trauma anchor and is neurologically based as I acquired it originally from a bad weed trip back in 2006. I think this type of DP leads to cyclical bouts of DP that you might experience every other year or so, maybe when you haven't been treating yourself so well. I know from experience I get my DP when I've been burning the candle at both ends, am particularly stressed about something, getting poor quality sleep, drinking too much. I think the bonus of this type of DP is that it is particularly receptive to proactive and positive life changes so I experience improvements when I get my sleep straight, drink enough fluid, go to the gym (when I'm able, gym makes DP worse when I'm highly acute, but better when I feel a little better), indulge in hobbies. Also I had great success a few years ago after reading Paul Davids' book 'At Last a Life', which I highly recommend, as it really does treat it in a neurological sense, rather than in a psychiatrists' chair "how does that make you feel" kind of way. From my experience with mental health professionals they're not really all that clued up on DP.. it IS a neurological malfunction and so by addressing it as such you are already ahead of the game. You just need to know how to play it in a way that works for you but correcting and tweaking certain life choices.

I take mirtazapine, olanzapine and diazepam which work wonders for the anxiety. More than anything now I suffer constant existential thoughts which make normal thinking difficult, have subdued my personality and I haven't been able to really shake for about a year.
 

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I didn't get depersonalization from trauma either I slowly got it for 3 years living in a house with toxic mold and I also have hashimotos. one of the reasons I think we have depersonalization is because are immune systems have been compromised, you having a vaccination can do that especially if you have an autoimmune disease. Do you know if you have an autoimmune disease?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't get depersonalization from trauma either I slowly got it for 3 years living in a house with toxic mold and I also have hashimotos. one of the reasons I think we have depersonalization is because are immune systems have been compromised, you having a vaccination can do that especially if you have an autoimmune disease. Do you know if you have an autoimmune disease?
Oh how interesting is that!! I have Type 1 diabetes which is autoimmune, as well as bouts of alopecia, which is also autoimmune. My Mum has had hashimotos since her 30s and her Mum had lupus, so really strong family history of immune dysfunction in my family. And yep, my immune system is very much compromised. I find my DR flares really badly when I get sick as well and for months afterwards. I had never pursued that line of thought before... I'll have to look into it.

Sorry to hear about your mould exposure, those mycotoxins are unbelievably harmful to the brain and CNS. :( Has yours reduced over time at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hello, welcome. Like you I'm pretty convinced my DP doesn't really have a trauma anchor and is neurologically based as I acquired it originally from a bad weed trip back in 2006. I think this type of DP leads to cyclical bouts of DP that you might experience every other year or so, maybe when you haven't been treating yourself so well. I know from experience I get my DP when I've been burning the candle at both ends, am particularly stressed about something, getting poor quality sleep, drinking too much. I think the bonus of this type of DP is that it is particularly receptive to proactive and positive life changes so I experience improvements when I get my sleep straight, drink enough fluid, go to the gym (when I'm able, gym makes DP worse when I'm highly acute, but better when I feel a little better), indulge in hobbies. Also I had great success a few years ago after reading Paul Davids' book 'At Last a Life', which I highly recommend, as it really does treat it in a neurological sense, rather than in a psychiatrists' chair "how does that make you feel" kind of way. From my experience with mental health professionals they're not really all that clued up on DP.. it IS a neurological malfunction and so by addressing it as such you are already ahead of the game. You just need to know how to play it in a way that works for you but correcting and tweaking certain life choices.

I take mirtazapine, olanzapine and diazepam which work wonders for the anxiety. More than anything now I suffer constant existential thoughts which make normal thinking difficult, have subdued my personality and I haven't been able to really shake for about a year.
Thanks so much for your reply! I agree psychs seem to not know too much about DR/DP as a stand alone disorder, they always want to tie it to trauma. Which I understand because I think most of the time that probably is the cause. For me though... I just don't feel anxious at all. Sure it sucks to have DR but it's not scary anymore for me, it's just boring at this point!! I just want to be fully immersed in life again because I really love life and am so excited by so many things, but I feel like I just can't "get" to them and it makes me feel like I'm missing out on the immersive experience of life. Which is so tedious!!

Thanks very much for the book suggestion, I just ordered it. :) Hopefully that has some practical advice to follow! Totally agree with you that it gets bad when you don't look after yourself. I'm studying my masters and it's getting towards the pointy end, so pulling lots of looong nights and not exercising or eating right at the moment. Which causes me to have a load of migraines as well (which I didn't have before my initial seizure). Maybe my poor brain is just more delicate now and needs extra care. Will start to work on that.

Can definitely relate to the existential thoughts... my first bout I was obsessed with those kind of abstract thoughts and would just go round in circles with them. What really helped me with those was practicing meditation and "observing" those thoughts rather than getting caught up in them. Just acknowledging them and then continuing with whatever you are doing. It took months of practice but it's helped me with a lot more than just DR.
 

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No reason to believe that yours or anyone else's DP/DR must be caused by (emotional) trauma.

There's a reason why your therapist seems to believe so though: when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
 
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