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Hi all,

I am a 25 year old male from South East England - I have finally been able to convey my feelings, thanks to stumbling across this forum approx two weeks ago and learning about depersonalization/derealization. - I was never able to describe my symptoms up until now, so I just want to thank you all for opening my eyes, and the reassurance that I am not alone in this fight anymore!

I believe that I have been suffering from depersonalization/derealization 24/7 since I was around 12 years old. I recall being at school one day (I was being bullied at the time), and out of nowhere an intense wave of detachment and fogginess hit me. It has persisted until this day, I have always felt detached from my body and surroundings, and physically numb, like my sense of touch, smell, sight, hearing, etc have been rolled down like the volume on my stereo. I also suffer from visual disturbances, such as floaters, tunnel vision, flashes, and loss of depth perception (everything looks 2D).

I have carried on for 13 years without answers, thinking that I must be ill, that I must have a tumour, or nerve damage, or something. However, the years have rolled on, and I'm still here. In addition to what I suspect is DP/DR, I have a heart condition called Atrial Fibrillation. It took doctors five years to diagnose me, and my GP actually forgot to prescribe me potentially life-saving medication for three years. I only learned this during an appointment with my cardiologist, who was horrified that I had not been given my medication. Over this five year period, I have been through extreme hypochondria and health anxiety, in addition to intense pressure and stress in my personal life.

For the last year or so, I have been experiencing random episodes of extreme lightheadedness, depersonalization/derealization (Worse than the chronic DP/DR, during these episodes I literally feel like I've completely left my body), shortness of breath, narrowed visual field, chest pain, and feeling like I am literally about to pass out or die. It's a struggle to stay conscious during these episodes. They're completely random, I could be walking with friends, or just doing a spreadsheet at work, and BANG - it hits me.

In light of these episodes, coupled with my persistent health anxiety, I have had intensive medical testing via my GP, and have even paid a private laboratory for blood tests - Which, you guessed it, all came back normal! So, that leads me here. I am currently awaiting appointments with a CBT practitioner via my GP (They believe it could be related to a panic disorder), as well as with a private therapist, to help me discover whether these symptoms could be caused by something psychological, neurological, hormonal, etc. - In the hopes to get to the bottom of it all and recover. I just want my life back!

Apologies for the essay, it's just good to vent after all these years. Thank you all again, and I sincerely wish that all those stuck 'in it' like I am can recover, too, soon.

All the best,

Gomez
 

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Hey Gomez.

It's hard when you have no actual question but i'll touch base with you.

It's terrible how many doctors don't get this and even psychologists unfortunately...

To me this is one of the easiest replies i've ever read.

Trauma (bullying) -> Anxiety/ Dissociation from the trauma -> Health anxiety (hypercondriact which you aren't, if you don't know what's wrong with you it's normal and human to question) -> More DP

So basically DP + more DP you have never had a break from searching. CBT... go for it, but i'd seriously consider a PTSD class of meds to see how they do, I can only name Mirtazapine but i know the NHS has 3 or so for it, i don't know where you are from but basically a SNRI, am i saying you have PTSD? no. AM i saying you don't.. again NO. I am not a doctor, it did start with trauma and that style of medication would really help or should, can only say what i read and have taken. A fair few like low dose Anti Psychotic (forget the name, it means nothing) and SNRI.. Eddy talks about this a lot, very well respected member (shout out) if you are on nothing for DP after this time it's time to get yourself a Physiatrists. I know CBT and it's a coping mechanism, it's not a cure to anything, feel free forum to tell me i am wrong but that one I am pretty sure on, sorry to burst the bubble, they push that as magic, yet Kings College said talk therapy yielded no results... you should still do it and talk therapy, cope better and come to terms, but as for treatment, after this time.... medication
 
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