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Hi all,

My name is Sotiris, I’m 29 and I’m from Greece.

I found that forum and I’ve been reading a little bit what you guys post. Trust me, I feel you 100%!

Since January, where I started my therapy (based on CBT), I’ve been diagnosed with GAD. When quarantine started here in Greece (mid Nov), I had to deal with a number of stressful factors, from job, personal issues, and so on, and being a stressful guy myself I had a total burnout and around mid of December, voila, I fall into the loop of anxiety! At first was so weird that I have constantly had those weird feelings with major issue being my total absence of emotions (the switch was turned off). I thought I was going crazy, I thought I would never come back, I thought I was losing my mind. I started therapy where she told me I have GAD and I’m not going metal, with slight symptoms of depression (well, anxiety and depression are two sides of the same coin).

I remember one night I went to sleep at 2am and I just woke up at 5am with so much fucking huge anxiety. I was so stressed up, irritated and hopeless that I went to ER and the psychiatrists there told me the same, it’s GAD, so don’t fucking be afraid, and advised me to see also a psychiatrist to prescribe me a medication.

I visited a (totally crazy) psychiatrist who prescribed me an SNRI (Cymbalta). First two weeks were so-so but better than before, however when I increased dosage I could not ejaculate AT ALL!! I remembered I was calling the shrink to tell him that and he was like “ok what do you want me to do?? If you want then stop taking them!!” and he meant cold turkey!! I wanted so bad to punch him but also I was despaired. I called my therapist who suggested a psychiatrist she works with, I visited her and she prescribed me an SSRI (Luvox). Oh boy…that poison…that poison gave me DP/DR!! First three days I was waking up in the middle of the night with horrible panic attacks and she used to tell me “it’s logical, that’s happening with this kind of meds at the beginning” so I said to myself stop being a pussy and give it a try. Well, in the 4th week I started have existential crisis, horrible DP/DR and suicidal thoughts. I fucking got off of this poison and I decided that I will fight it naturally and all by myself.

Now, I would say that I’m better than when it started but not absolutely good. With 1 being super good and 10 being for mental hospital, I would say that I am now between 6-5.

How I fight it:
-Running: it has saved my life (literally), I run for 30’ and I used to do it every day before gyms opened here in Greece, now I do it every other day. I set a goal regarding the kilometres and it really has become my best relaxing therapy and my best ally accepting this shit
-Acceptance: people who have done their research on that, they know that this is the no.1 thing in order to recover from all that. You should accept this thing. Let it be. Let it go through. I know, I know, this is SOOO FUCKING DIFFICULT, but if you have this state of mind and keep accepting EVERY weird feeling, it gets better day by day. And don’t be afraid of the setbacks!! When you have two awesome days in a row, and it only takes a moment to fuck up your week, don’t give up! Remember this is a part of your recovery.
-Eat healthy and take supplements. I am not sure if this is really working or it’s the placebo effect but anyway, I take multivitamin, omega 3 and magnesium. Also I eat eggs, a lot of protein (chicken, salmon, tuna etc), I eat oatmeal and nuts, and before I sleep I drink chamomile and linden tea. And plenty of water!
-Meditate: it helps folks! Even 10’ per day makes a difference. At first I was so irritated, I could not concertante, I had heart palpitations and fast breathing where I thought I would have a panic attack but you need to remember to just stay still and concentrate. You get used to it as you got used to the fucking anxiety and you fight it now. I do almost 30’ per day and it makes my day every time I do it. I always looking forward to it, so I thinks that’s why it helps.
-Therapy: tbh it hasn’t helped me to the extent I thought it would. Maybe it’s the therapist I work with (luckily I am changing to another one next week, so let’s see!). Maybe it’s I am “resistant to the therapy” as she says… The most important I think, is that she is not an expert in anxiety and DP/DR. When I first told her that I think it’s DP/DR she was laughing because she thinks (by what she says to me) that DP/DR is something much different. Believe me guys, I’ve made so much research on that so I know exactly what DP/DR is and what I go through. I only suggest therapy because you should talk to someone and express your worries and feelings. It’s much better to say this kind of things to a person you acutally don’t know rather than your partner. I could never say to my gf that I’ve had suicidal ideation, that would destroy her. And if you find a good therapist who has knowledge in anxiety-DP/DR, then you’re fucking lucky guy!
-Go out: if you experience panic attacks, or you have the fear of experiencing one then I know it’s hard. But you should go out in order to bring memories to your mind. Now it’s full of stress and anxiety and it’s hard to come back without some stimuli. You should bring images to you mind by places, persons like friends (old friends, regular friends), go to your favourite restaurant again and again, at first you will feel weird because it would not give you the pleasure it used to but remember this is because of anxiety. Keep going and your memories will resurrect like the fucking phoenix, lol!!
-Read self-improvement books (I read the “Think like a monk” of Jay Shett), sometimes I also listen to Jay Shetty’s podcasts, MUST READ: DARE of Barry McDonagh, he also has some interesting videos on YT, and he has been through DP/DR himself. In general read (mainly books) of people who have been through that, you may take some tips and put them in practice in order to see if they also fit for you

Don’t do’s:
-don’t search SOOO much on the internet. Of course I do it myself very often, I look for the reassurance and that everything is ok, and I also look for someone’s saying “I recover by counting to 100 and back” which deep inside I know there is no “magic filter”. However I know that in the long term it doesn’t really help.
-don’t panic: this is actually funny, but yeah, you should not panic. One day you’re gonna have so much fun, you’re gonna drink your ass and feel so wonderful. And the next morning you’re gonna be like a dead man walking, without feelings, without emotions, feeling like you wanna cry but not even your tears coming out, your DP bangs you up your ass, you look at your colleagues or your partner in 2D and you feel this knot in your throat, you’re like “wtf” but at the same time you’re ABSOLUTELY FUNCTIONAL. You touch yourself because you cannot understand that this hand is yours or you keep staring in the mirror in order to remember who is this mf you look at, you try to bring some memories in your head to remind that this mf is you, the person who two years ago was a fucking president of a club, or he had a relationship with three girls simultaneously, or who was a champion in muay thai!! And now you cannot even breath normally!! And after all these thoughts, you go out with your partner, you have an amazing lunch, you laugh till you die, you enjoy riding your bike, you go for shopping, you do everything and even more things than you used to do before this shit!! And that is living with anxiety-dp/dr!!

So to sum up, I know very well how frightening and overwhelming is this. The shallow breathing, the heart palpitations, the brain fog which does not help you see and think clearly, the fucking knot in your throat which does not fucking let me speak, the knot in your tummy, the tensed muscles, the numbness in hands and feet, the fucking intrusive thoughts which make absolutely no sense, that shitty nihilistic depressive feeling which comes like tornado-paralyses you and just go…I know so fucking very well how it feels. I don’t know if ever goes away, but I’ve seen there are also good days. I try to focus on them. I live for them.

I am also here for some tips as regards the depressive feeling I get sometimes. Mainly when it’s raining. It really paralyses me, I keep thinking that nothing matters, I catastrophize and nothing can make me happy. This could last up to 5-6 hours and then goes away, but as long as it lasts it really fucks me up. Don’t know if anyone else goes through that, but if so, I would like some advice!

· Administrator
1,119 Posts
Well it does seem that you've really improved your lifestyle. I would recommend to continue your journey as you are already doing. Keep with the positive activities, and you'll be ahead of most people, DP'd or not. I would advise for you to find enjoyment in the simple things of life.

The depression part I don't have much experience with. But like all things you can always say: This too shall pass!
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