Depersonalization Support Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

· Registered
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

If you are not interested in the actual events of my life and want to make it really short, skip to the bold passages.

This is my first post after 10 years of DP & DR feelings (not sure about the disorder tag)... I mean, I've never been very fond on tagging because it is kind of drawing a boundary, and when you do that you run the risk of letting important things out and/or including things that are not meant to be there.

Anyways, the DP & DR feeling is kind of unmistakable once you've experienced it so... I'll admit that much.

This will be a full account of my life and 10 years with anxiety and DP & DR, and it's full of insights and things I learned the hard way that I hope will be useful. I guess for those whose dp was triggered by a substance (with an otherwise happy and fullfiling life) this will be of reduced use because my story is one of sustained trauma (not VERY traumatic events but a mild sustained trauma) and lackings and misinterpretations of life's messages, even if my dp was also triggered in a period of alcohol and weed abuse.

I always thought my childhood was fine, but it turns out it wasn't. I was very fragile emotionally, also shy and introspective. I don't know why, you could call it an inborn attitude or temperament.

Now, I'm sure if somebody around that time had a "sensitivity detector" in hand the little screen would have showed "DANGER, DANGER, this kid will probably learn the wrong messages and it's at a high risk of living a very unhappy life... unless given the proper care and psicological education and strategies".

Unfortunately, McGyver wasn't there so nobody knew. I didn't know my father and I never thought that was a big deal. I was raised by my mother and my aunt and as far as I can tell everything was just fine about that...
I'm saying all this because I'm trying to make a point, but I'll try to make it as short as possible.

So as far as I can remember I've been afraid in social situations, but not quite in the same way. There were different reactions when I was a child, when I was a teenager (with and without dp), and now that I am an adult with dp.

When I was a child, my shyness would grant me some brief horrible minutes at the start but then I would get used and be completely normal (until confronted with another situation). Being a child, this basically means fear of being left alone at school, scolded by teachers or teased by other kids.

I tried to make that moments of unconfortable shyness as brief as possible and I wasnt willing to pay any attention to them (and I didn't know I had to find a way to fix them either). As far as I was concerned, I was that way and that was all.

The biggest fear for me was about girls. I was naive and that didn't help either. Girls were something unknown that would make me very nervous. I thought they were big deal. I thought I had to keep everything secret. I didn't experience an innocent kiss, a playful handshake or touch. It was willing to, in the inside, but I couldnt get through the feeling of nervousness-big deal-rejection and I didn't want to make a situation. At school I was bullied (not heavy stuff) and left alone and emotionally abused (not always, either), and that didn't suit very well my temperament. It was a combo for disaster.

I'm focusing on the things relevant to the point I'm trying to make, but that doesn't mean I didn't have a couple of good friends and was never happy. I remember being quite happy, actually, although always fearful of moments that would put me in the spotlight and where I could be scolded or rejected or made fun of.

I used to spend much time with my brothers instead of friends and read a lot.

So, in childhood, I was learning this message from the world, and saying it to myself almost every single day: "The world is mean to you, kids can hurt you, authority will fall upon you, and you just have to accept it."

Being a teenager things started getting SLOWLY worse. Slowly is the key here because I think the body and the mind are very resilient naturally and even if was feeding my mind with shit it was still working properly and I couldn't feel any strange symptoms.


slowly I started having the feeling inside that something was wrong with me, That I was being left alone, that I was reaching some point where there was no comeback.

The same stress situations: social (in the classroom, with unknown people, with girls when it was something about 'love'). A slightly different reaction: a deeper fear that would make me sweat, an anxiety in normal levels, horrible to feel but temporary and not so difficult to cope with it. I felt like I wasn't up for the job, that I had some quality inside that would make me fail miserably (those were the semi-unconscious messages I've been bombarding my mind with as a child).

So I reached 18 with an apparently normal and happy life outside (not something I was willing to tell everybody, I was ashamed and I kind of unconsciously thought that if it was kept secret, maybe it wasn't real after all or maybe it would all straighten out in the future and I could forget that path of misery), a big bunch of the wrong messages and a lack of normal experiences like could be: the feeling of being accepted, really belonging to a group, innocent flirting with girls, a first girlfriend, etc.

So, as a teenager, I was learning this messages from the world, and saying them to myself every single day: "You are weird, you are being left alone because you are a weirdo and you don't deserve getting what everybody gets, you will probably be always alone with no girl by your side".

And with all this mess inside, I had to decide what I wanted to do with my life. What to study... obviously I didn't have the foggiest idea nor I could feel any vocation. All my worrying capacity was making extra hours in other things. So I followed some well-intentioned advise and took a year off in England (I'm Spanish) to think it over.

Lots of new people, lots of new situations, lots of responsabilities (it was social work volunteering). Not that I wasn't in the mood, but I had a lot of emotional lacking that got in the way. That, and the weed.

I mean, at first it was great: a fresh start. I could make myself anew and pretend I was different, kind of in a healthy way, really. Let out parts of myself that couldn't find a way out back in Spain. It took me some months, but eventually I was feeling accepted and valuable. But girls were by then in the middle of my road, and in my rearview mirror, and they were the only thing I could think of, I wanted to have an experience so badly.

I had one, but it was of rejection. Not the best message to add to the stack. Feelings of inferiority and lacking were growing. I was smoking weed with friends twice a week if not more by then and I thought that I was "cool" and in the "right path" when I was actually as fucked up as before and putting some more pressure in.

I overdosed on psilocybin and I was tripping for a whole day. Shortly after I started having that "existence" and "what is the world" "what is life" "what is consciousness" thoughts, althought it wasn't that compulsive really. Let's say compulsion was being born, I thought about it more often than necessary.

I came back more troubled in the inside but looking more mature on the outside. It sounds strange, but again, I'm only focusing on the relevant/horrible stuff. From the outside and in general, I would look like a completely normal and even attractive teenager (I rejected some girls too, believe it or not, I didn't want to just "be" with a girl, not even to break my "curse", I just wanted it to be genuine feeling).

Got to university, whole new world of THREATS and SECRETS I thought I had to keep about myself. Now this is important. Somehow I had started thinking that I had a past to be ashamed of, that I was a person that was "marked" to be rejected, by boys and girls alike, and that nobody should found out about it so I could "pretend" I wasn't marked, and thus make my way into normality. Now this sounds sick, but altough I never did put it into words, that was the general feeling. But really it was a well-intentioned strategy gone sour. The real path would have been not to care about the past and accept it, accept that I could change (could I?) and start living without that anxiety. But was I ready to know that? Of course not. I was too deep in my world to see there were other options.

So anxiety was kicking harder in university and I took refuge in alcohol: lots. With alcohol came feelings of euphory and easiness and that brought girls to me: lots. But my little friend alcohol here made me forget about the genuine feeling part. I did not care anymore. I was hungry of experiences with girls, so to speak, and I just couldn't get enough. Every night I got out, I would try and have a girl, and the rate of success was a lot higher than expected. I had developed a personality that made me attractive to girls (intentionally?) like piano player, poetry writer, sensitive-intelligent and also sports guy. I was trying to regain the lost time, and boy I just did it as if there was no tomorrow. I did felt instant relief and like a knot untying inside me and thought I had, finally, reached my goal: I was normal.

Far from it.

I was an inside full of wrong messages and an outside of pretending. Does this makes sense? Very much to me. I was ashamed and I thought I had to keep my secrets hidden. Now that makes you fearful and threatened as well. All the ingredients for the anxiety cake.

As I wasn't really interested in university I stopping attending it but got by with decent qualifications because I'm a good learner and my studies weren't particularly difficult. Instead, I used that time (6 hours a day, basically) to be alone, and write and think or play with the computer. Usually, to sum it up: to be alone.

I was living in a building with other 100 students so there was plenty of time afterwards for social interactions. But that time spent alone skipping university took a goal out of my life, made me feel fake and ashamed again and made me go back twice a week to alcohol and girls to find a meaning.

Then, in a one year period, a couple of girls appeared and I had genuine feelings for them, and both rejected me. I was too nervous, I was still that child in that situations, that child that was told: girls are a big deal, you don't deserve them, you are a weirdo... so I couldn't be at ease and that would ruin everything. If I didn't care, I could get beautiful girls... If I started caring, it would all go to hell.

So after that second rejection, that was more sound than the others, DP & DR appeared. Anxiety was in the background, there's no doubt. I'm not sure wether anxiety caused DP & DR. I have DP & DR still today and I think I have moments of no anxiety and very low anxiety overall and the last time I took meds was almost 4 years ago.

After that, I've had two serious girlfriends but, even if I know that I should be feeling love, and I felt it, the feeling was partial and not as it should be. Is as if it would have left a message in my heart, saying "love was here, too bad you can't feel it". I'm definititely out of luck :D.

I dont want to say all the bad things and symptons and stuff that I went through, because we all know how it is, and it won't do any good. Again, and for the last time, I've been trying to make a point with all this, an I don't want to pass as a victim or anything. All of us have had more than our share of suffering, so lets skip that part.


Some getting betters and a couple of getting worses later




Being active.

Having friends and going out.

Not using alcohol, caffeine or drugs.

Little sugar.

Good sleeping habits.

Avoid spending time alone as much as possible, especially if you feel as if you should be doing something else


Motivational videos, speeches.

Avoid thinking too much.

Avoid getting too much of fantasy (as in films, books and games) and too little of reality.


Now, off the meds, apparently normal, I lead a "life" with much emotional background missing and some anxiety and mild seasonal depression, and a whole bunch of thinking habits that I have already acknowledged and accepted but that I can't remove. They are just integrated with me. After 30 years of life using them, can I cast them off and change them for others?

I'm gonna go for a YES.

Now what I think and the point I'm trying to make is:

All my life I've been learning the wrong lessons, reading the wrong messages, and as a result longing for but avoiding social interactions (especially with girls). That, along with my inborn sensitive-shy temperament, provided me with a lot of emotional trouble and lacking, and made me suffer so much. And one day, my mind said: I just can't take it anymore, look, I'm going to NUMB us so at least, even if we have to carry and suffer all the pain, we don't feel it that much.

So, is it my problem really DP & DR, or is this a well intentioned strategy to cope with my problems and suffering? Obviously the second, in my case. But, although well intentioned, it got twisted along the way. It's like out of the frying pan and into the fire. Worse the remedy than the illness.

And this leads me to think: I shouldn't be trying to cure DP & DR, nor the symptoms, nor the anxiety. They are here because something brought them. What? Those messages in bold, those experiences, and that inborn temperament. It was meant to be, in a way. I don't imply any giving up with this.

But, even if I accept my past and my situation, can I change a whole life of using the wrong strategies, of thinking the wrong thoughts? And even if I could, can that make up for all the things I didnt feel, all the acceptance and love and situations I didn't experience?

Because I know for sure that if I could, I would just break this defense wall that I built around my emotions and the world.

Again, Im gonna go for a YES.

If I use the proper reasoning, thinking habits, and do the right things and correct and use the right messages long enough, what will it happen? Maybe the same thing that has happened before. I will integrate them and used them effortlessly. What was meant to be in the first place. I honestly think that anxiety & depression will fade away completely and that DP & DR will disappear.

The "long enough" part is scary, though. Long enough could be all my life. But I have been much worse. It's worth a try.

Thanks for reading and if this turns out to be useful for anyone, that's great. I'd love to hear what you think, as well.

Big hug.

· Registered
2 Posts

When I read your post seemed like I read the story of my life. I can relate to all you said. I suffer DP/DR for more than 10+ years.

I have the same temperament like yours... but I don't agree with the fact that you said it's an inborn attitude. It's not inborn, you should find the underlying factors why you are shy (like me :). This is what my therapist said to me. I'm sure if we find the root causes of our DP we can recover and I don't think it will last an entire life. It only seems cause it's very difficult to change this attitude.

I just wanted to know how is your progress now ?

great post and good luck

· Registered
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks to both!

Interesting what you say, Milanisti. Maybe you're right, but I don't know why I was shy (I'm not sure if I'm shy anymore, nobody that know me would describe me as shy), what I remember now, is always being kind of afraid in that situations. Maybe that shyness became anxiety in my case.

Yeah, I can update. In fact I think I have been always feeling anxiety, but I have grown so accustomed to it that sometimes I just overlooked it. But I have all the obvious signs, I wanna eat all the time, I think A LOT, my mind needs food, anything is good to think about, I feel nervous always (some kind of background tensión) and I have trouble sleeping. So yeah, I don't know how to say it, I want to use the right words.... lets say that in my case,

I suffer from anxiety as a result of my life, and I suffer from DP as a symptom of the anxiety. But never in those 10 years (even under treatment) has DP/DR gone away, it could improve, of course, there are grades (but the best grade is still horrible) but it has never abandoned me. I believe it could be normal because during my initial treatments I indulged in a lot of alcohol even if I shouldnt be doing it.

So lately, afte writing the post, I had a conversation with my brother and he advised me to get some help, medication. I finally thought he was right. The doctor (the best in Spain, probably) put me on Sertralina and Risperidona; and benzos in case of heavy onset (very rare, I'm quite stabilized inside my condition). He told me I would recover completely and that DP/DR was not my illness but a symptom. After a month taking it I feel a bit more secure but still depersonalized. Anyway this doesn't go overnight, so I'm active, and hoping for the best.

My first post still is valid and everything I said was true, except the fact that I was probably overlooking anxiety. Anxiety is always with me, even if I hardly ever have panic attacks now. I'm going to see how this develops. I'm trying to do everything in my hand to help the treatment: sleep well, do exercise, eat well, stay active.

But yeah, what you said, it's very difficult to change this attitude.The attitude towards the events of my life caused the anxiety. I could have been very different with another attitude. I know there is another version of me somewhere, a version that is not anxious, that doesnt fear some situations, that learned the right lessons, and that could be inhabiting my body right now living a fulfilled life laughing at this kind of things if I had done things otherwise. The only problem is whenever I try to bring that side up, I feel like a traitor to myself, and scared of losing my identity. But one thing I know for sure: either I recover or I spend my whole life trying. Even as I am right now, life is still worth it. But I won't settle.

I came across a sentence I like that motivates me: If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got. So I'm changing. Slowly, but changing.

I wish you good luck, brother! Keep it up!

· Registered
2 Posts
Hello dontthinkso,

How are you doing ? How is your progress so far ?

The same thing that you described happens also to me. I have another part of me that has the right attitude to face the anxiety,

but when I use it I feel a completely different person like not myself at all.

But even we feel like that I think we should expose this part more because this is the part that we will get us to the other side

and we are not traitors of our selves. I think this part belongs to our true self :) because the old self was not functional.

Please PM me to speak more about our same issues :)

1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.