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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's hard to know where to begin. Before I first experienced DP I'd never had any experience with any sort of abnormal mental health problem, or none that I knew of at least. And I guess you'd have to know about it for it to be a problem!

I was always a creative kid and a daydreamer, but a bit of a joker as well. When i was learning to write I was ambidextrous, an ability I've now lost, and I also occasionaly used to write in mirror image, but I dont know if that's all that rare. I know Leonardo da Vinci did it, but that was on purpose if I remember right. I was always good at drawing from an early age...I remember being at infant school drawing and wondering why all the other kids would draw the sky as a blue line at the top of their paper, as though there was a gap between the sky and the earth. Why didn't they just draw it as they saw it, I thought and why did the teachers all think I was something special because I was doing it properly?

I soon realised this kind of talent was a good thing to have cause the other kids would get me to draw for them, so I was always well liked.
I was pretty good at most things, except sport which I found boring. I liked to be active, like tree climbing or playing on my BMX, but not playing organised games. I liked to read a lot and I was always writing stories and comic strips. I wanted to be an animator..I was gonna be bigger than walt disney.

When I got bigger, I picked up one of my dad's guitars and my life became a million times better. I think at least 50% of my time since that day has been spent with a guitar, or other musical instrument in my hand. I only ever learnt 3 or 4 chords from my dad and didn't bother asking for any more help. I taught myself all the rest. And I rarely learnt other people's songs, that wasn't the point for me. I became a songwriter, not out of choice, but because writing songs for me felt like brushing my teeth or breathing...it was in my nature. Now i cannot imagine what life would be like without writing songs. I dont know how other people can live without doing it. But anyway, the point I'm making is, I've always had a creative nature and a fulfilled existence. I always had this romantic spirit that saw the world as a magical place.

When I grew up and went off to uni these feelings just became stronger and I became more confident as a person, not that I'd ever been anxious, but I became more laid back than ever and felt totally in control of my destiny and content with life. Sometimes too much. Especially one semester when I decided I didn't need to go to my poetry class. I'd just turn up on the last day and hand my coursework in. Needless to say I failed the module! But things like that didnt shock me, I just learnt fom my mistakes. And the financial hell I was in I also just took in my stride. I think I was one of the few working class people amongst thousands of rich kids at that uni. The bank and the accomodation people were on my back the whole time. And I would live off packets of wotsits, though somehow I still managed to find money for booze and partying, as you do! All in all it was a fantastic experience and when I graduated in 99 it was just the best year. I'd made real true friends (mainly in my 'experi-mental' band called Abigail Salmon) and felt ready to make my fortune from my talents. I decided to be realistic and try to get work as an illustrator to start with. The following six or seven months when i got back to Brighton I basically cracked on with painting and drawing for my portfolio but I still went out socialising with my friends so I didn't totally become a recluse.
It was in March 2000, 2 days before my 22nd birthday I was sitting in a pub with my friend Neil. We'd not long got there and I'd not long cleared the head off a pint of guiness when, all of a sudden the world changed. Everything seemed distant, flat and not quite solid, like it was a dream. Like i was half asleep and half awake. Of course, I felt totally freaked out and I told neil I wanted to go home and lie down because I thought I was gonna pass out. So we got back, and I laid down but I couldnt sleep. I just felt wrong, like I was an empty vessel.
The next morning I woke up, but didn't wake up. I was still stuck in the weird feeling. I made my way home and told my parents. They said it was probably because i was getting older, joking.
When it didnt go away after a few days I went to see the gp and he said he thought I was suffering from stress. Stress!! I had the easiest life in the world. Well, that's far from the truth, but what I mean is it would take a very serious present danger to ever make me go into worry mode. But I had my own ideas to what my problems were. I thought that I was too sedantary, so I decided to get more exercise and started to jog twice a day. This definitely helped, but it would still creep up on me every so often that the world was still not quite right. I still felt like a different person, no matter what change i made to my lifestyle (btw I totally stopped smoking dope after march 2000, not that I thought that was the cause because I didnt have any in the days leading up to that) and this would occasional fill me with real moments of worry. What if this ruins my dreams? I thought that because along with the feeling of unreality I was constantly feeling tired....mentally and physically, despite my fitness regime.
This persisted on a steady course for the next 3 years. I had a job, a mindless dull job, but I didnt let it bring me down too much. I still went out a lot.
March 2003, one day before my 25th birthday I went to see the Two Towers with my friends my brother and my mum. I was a bit hungover from clubbing. I felt strangely emotional watching the film...things about honour and loyalty always stir me. And Gollum was reminding me of my friend who had developed schizophrenia and we were gradually losing to self destruction.
On the way home I was on the bus, i noticed my hands go clammy and every now and then my heart was doing extra beats. I thought it was odd, but I guessed i was just shagged out from partying the night before. But then, a friend of the family with 'learning difficulties' and a speech impediment got on the bus and sat in front of me...his face was freaking me out as my vision started going funny. He was talking in his slooow slurry voice and I swore he said 'Gavin, I've been trying to kill myself.'

That was the last straw. I flipped and started saying to my mum, mum call an ambulance, I'm having a heart attack, I'm going to die! Luckily, my mum is pretty cool in situations like this, she said, Gavin, you're not going to die, you're having a Panic Attack. She got me off the bus and I laid down on a bench and eventually the cool air brought me round, in a pool of cold sweat. I was saying to her, how could it be a panic attack? I had nothing to panic about. But she'd seen enough of them before, from her sister, to know that they didn't come on invitation, that they were totally illogical.
Gradually, the attacks became more and more frequent, to the point where I couldn't leave the house. I took beta blockers and went up the wall. I became seriously depressed for the first time in my life.

Everytime I left the house I needed someone to hold me up. It was like i was walking through water. I got the doctor with a lot of effort on day and he put me on valium. I didnt leave the house for 2 weeks, just popping them and trying to eat, which was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I'd have felt less queezy putting the food up my bottom than in my mouth!

But I never gave up. Bit by bit I started to break out and leave the house, the orbit of my walks began to gradually spiral wider and wider, till I could go anywhere on my own again. And I started to try ssris, which all stopped the panic, but not the dp.
Now I'm on efexor and gradually tapering off to see if the wound has healed. I'd like to see the DP heal too, but I guess all I can do to help that is be persistent with my doctors to get everything looked into (though I think half the national health budget was spent on my tests last year!)
Also, I'm trying to get on with life as best as I can...like I always say. DP wont go away sitting there worrying about it. It may not go away by getting on with life either, but I know what sounds more fun. Also, I have to see the positive side. If I had never got DP I'd never found this website and met all you wonderful people, especially the wonderful Sleepingbeauty <3.

So therre you go, my story so far. Stay tuned for the bit where I make a full recovery, marry Sleepingbeauty and become a multi millionaire rockstar!!

:D

love
Gav
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It's hard to know where to begin. Before I first experienced DP I'd never had any experience with any sort of abnormal mental health problem, or none that I knew of at least. And I guess you'd have to know about it for it to be a problem!

I was always a creative kid and a daydreamer, but a bit of a joker as well. When i was learning to write I was ambidextrous, an ability I've now lost, and I also occasionaly used to write in mirror image, but I dont know if that's all that rare. I know Leonardo da Vinci did it, but that was on purpose if I remember right. I was always good at drawing from an early age...I remember being at infant school drawing and wondering why all the other kids would draw the sky as a blue line at the top of their paper, as though there was a gap between the sky and the earth. Why didn't they just draw it as they saw it, I thought and why did the teachers all think I was something special because I was doing it properly?

I soon realised this kind of talent was a good thing to have cause the other kids would get me to draw for them, so I was always well liked.
I was pretty good at most things, except sport which I found boring. I liked to be active, like tree climbing or playing on my BMX, but not playing organised games. I liked to read a lot and I was always writing stories and comic strips. I wanted to be an animator..I was gonna be bigger than walt disney.

When I got bigger, I picked up one of my dad's guitars and my life became a million times better. I think at least 50% of my time since that day has been spent with a guitar, or other musical instrument in my hand. I only ever learnt 3 or 4 chords from my dad and didn't bother asking for any more help. I taught myself all the rest. And I rarely learnt other people's songs, that wasn't the point for me. I became a songwriter, not out of choice, but because writing songs for me felt like brushing my teeth or breathing...it was in my nature. Now i cannot imagine what life would be like without writing songs. I dont know how other people can live without doing it. But anyway, the point I'm making is, I've always had a creative nature and a fulfilled existence. I always had this romantic spirit that saw the world as a magical place.

When I grew up and went off to uni these feelings just became stronger and I became more confident as a person, not that I'd ever been anxious, but I became more laid back than ever and felt totally in control of my destiny and content with life. Sometimes too much. Especially one semester when I decided I didn't need to go to my poetry class. I'd just turn up on the last day and hand my coursework in. Needless to say I failed the module! But things like that didnt shock me, I just learnt fom my mistakes. And the financial hell I was in I also just took in my stride. I think I was one of the few working class people amongst thousands of rich kids at that uni. The bank and the accomodation people were on my back the whole time. And I would live off packets of wotsits, though somehow I still managed to find money for booze and partying, as you do! All in all it was a fantastic experience and when I graduated in 99 it was just the best year. I'd made real true friends (mainly in my 'experi-mental' band called Abigail Salmon) and felt ready to make my fortune from my talents. I decided to be realistic and try to get work as an illustrator to start with. The following six or seven months when i got back to Brighton I basically cracked on with painting and drawing for my portfolio but I still went out socialising with my friends so I didn't totally become a recluse.
It was in March 2000, 2 days before my 22nd birthday I was sitting in a pub with my friend Neil. We'd not long got there and I'd not long cleared the head off a pint of guiness when, all of a sudden the world changed. Everything seemed distant, flat and not quite solid, like it was a dream. Like i was half asleep and half awake. Of course, I felt totally freaked out and I told neil I wanted to go home and lie down because I thought I was gonna pass out. So we got back, and I laid down but I couldnt sleep. I just felt wrong, like I was an empty vessel.
The next morning I woke up, but didn't wake up. I was still stuck in the weird feeling. I made my way home and told my parents. They said it was probably because i was getting older, joking.
When it didnt go away after a few days I went to see the gp and he said he thought I was suffering from stress. Stress!! I had the easiest life in the world. Well, that's far from the truth, but what I mean is it would take a very serious present danger to ever make me go into worry mode. But I had my own ideas to what my problems were. I thought that I was too sedantary, so I decided to get more exercise and started to jog twice a day. This definitely helped, but it would still creep up on me every so often that the world was still not quite right. I still felt like a different person, no matter what change i made to my lifestyle (btw I totally stopped smoking dope after march 2000, not that I thought that was the cause because I didnt have any in the days leading up to that) and this would occasional fill me with real moments of worry. What if this ruins my dreams? I thought that because along with the feeling of unreality I was constantly feeling tired....mentally and physically, despite my fitness regime.
This persisted on a steady course for the next 3 years. I had a job, a mindless dull job, but I didnt let it bring me down too much. I still went out a lot.
March 2003, one day before my 25th birthday I went to see the Two Towers with my friends my brother and my mum. I was a bit hungover from clubbing. I felt strangely emotional watching the film...things about honour and loyalty always stir me. And Gollum was reminding me of my friend who had developed schizophrenia and we were gradually losing to self destruction.
On the way home I was on the bus, i noticed my hands go clammy and every now and then my heart was doing extra beats. I thought it was odd, but I guessed i was just shagged out from partying the night before. But then, a friend of the family with 'learning difficulties' and a speech impediment got on the bus and sat in front of me...his face was freaking me out as my vision started going funny. He was talking in his slooow slurry voice and I swore he said 'Gavin, I've been trying to kill myself.'

That was the last straw. I flipped and started saying to my mum, mum call an ambulance, I'm having a heart attack, I'm going to die! Luckily, my mum is pretty cool in situations like this, she said, Gavin, you're not going to die, you're having a Panic Attack. She got me off the bus and I laid down on a bench and eventually the cool air brought me round, in a pool of cold sweat. I was saying to her, how could it be a panic attack? I had nothing to panic about. But she'd seen enough of them before, from her sister, to know that they didn't come on invitation, that they were totally illogical.
Gradually, the attacks became more and more frequent, to the point where I couldn't leave the house. I took beta blockers and went up the wall. I became seriously depressed for the first time in my life.

Everytime I left the house I needed someone to hold me up. It was like i was walking through water. I got the doctor with a lot of effort on day and he put me on valium. I didnt leave the house for 2 weeks, just popping them and trying to eat, which was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I'd have felt less queezy putting the food up my bottom than in my mouth!

But I never gave up. Bit by bit I started to break out and leave the house, the orbit of my walks began to gradually spiral wider and wider, till I could go anywhere on my own again. And I started to try ssris, which all stopped the panic, but not the dp.
Now I'm on efexor and gradually tapering off to see if the wound has healed. I'd like to see the DP heal too, but I guess all I can do to help that is be persistent with my doctors to get everything looked into (though I think half the national health budget was spent on my tests last year!)
Also, I'm trying to get on with life as best as I can...like I always say. DP wont go away sitting there worrying about it. It may not go away by getting on with life either, but I know what sounds more fun. Also, I have to see the positive side. If I had never got DP I'd never found this website and met all you wonderful people, especially the wonderful Sleepingbeauty <3.

So therre you go, my story so far. Stay tuned for the bit where I make a full recovery, marry Sleepingbeauty and become a multi millionaire rockstar!!

:D

love
Gav
 
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