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as you can see this is my first post on this website although I've been an active follower for a year or so. I just figured that not getting too involved in the community and focusing on living my life would be preferable to my recovery. This will be a long, not particularly thrilling post, but I feel the need to let it all out. I've been experiencing DP/DR, anxiety and depression for the past year and a half, and I can proudly say I am recovered now. By recovered I mean feeling like myself again, enjoying life and all aspects of my personnality. Before getting into my recovery process and my current concerns, I'll give you a short resume of my story.

I am a 19 year-old male from Canada, and I think it's essential to say that I've always suffered from anxiety, mostly social anxiety, and insomnia which led to alcohol and caffeine issues. Although I haven't been formally diagnosed with it, I can say that my personnality has always presented aspects of ADD (2 of my siblings, as well as my dad, suffer from clinical ADD and dyslexia). I've also always had a tendency to day dream excessively, imagine scenarios and conversations in my head, and get lost in own little world, listenning to music, since I was a kid.

Until October 2013, I considered these personnality traits enjoyable, as they made me creative and funny. I never let the social anxiety stop me, and always been a fairly popular kid. However, it seems that these aspects of my personnality went overboard in the past year, and led me to develop a pretty bad case of DP/DR. It started when I joined a new college in september 2013. It was located in downtown Montreal, and me being a kid from the suburbs, I've instantly experienced bad anxiety going to school in that environnment, being exposed to a loud crowd that intimated me. Before that, I had spent a wild summer, drinking heavily almost everynight, getting no sleep, and running on caffeine to get me through the days. Lets just say that my sleep schedule was very fucked up when I started school, and I've had periods where I'd go to school 3 days in a row without being able to sleep (probably from alcohol withdrawal). I remember experiencing a few dream-like feelings, and the social isolation I experienced at that new college amplified them.

I was getting pretty depressed, and on the Halloween weekend of 2013, I decided to try harder drugs for the first time of my life, not really giving a fuck about myself. I did MDMA on the first night (1 pill) + drinking, and on the second night I tried cocaine (a few key bumps) + drinking. Following the cocaine I think I smoked a joint, then went home. The next day was, I think, the first time I experienced moments of DP/DR. I was at a restaurant, by myself, and suddenly started feeling very weird as the waitor was talking to me. I remember thinking 'Fuck that felt unreal'. It lasted a few seconds and I didn't really pay attention to it, and even went out that night with friends. Things then gradually went downhill, as I started experiencing these symptoms often, when I was tired or in social situations. My depression and anxiety got worse, and it got to a point where my family and close friends wouldn't recognize me, as I turned extremely quiet, awkward, and simply overall lost. I did not seek help, as I saw these symptoms as a weakness that I needed to fix myself. Over the winter I got involved in a student business project as a way, ironically, to challenge myself (even though I clearly needed a rest), that involved my own money. I failed tremendously, and lost a lot of money. By summer 2014, the DP/DR got pretty chronic, and I worked as a counselor in a day camp for kids. Although the atmosphere was fun, I can't really recall any memories from these two months. I surprisingly did well as a counselor, but I wasn't really mentally there, and sort off got used to the DP. I finally brokedown in August 2014, told my parents about everything I was experiencing mentally. In September 2014, I went back to my old college in the suburb, and started seeking professional help. I also did my own researches on DP, and pretty much self-diagnosed myself with it. I came to accept my condition and promised myself to never give up on myself. I had suicidal thoughts daily, and things were simply horrible. I couldn't hold a conversation properly, I was struggling in all my classes. Not to forget I was in debt from that shitty business experience.

I progressed slowly till December 2014, reading recovery posts daily, and simply living day by day, distracting myself constantly. I underwent an intensive cognitive therapy that started in December, which I still attend to this day. I also got put on SRI'S. The therapy did wonders for me. Got me to identify DP-related thought patterns and eliminate them. I've also started treating my sleeping issues and cut down on the partying, and I feel much better. In fact, I've been living normally for the past two months, got a girlfriend, reintegrated my circle of friends, forgot about the DP, and barely experience it anymore. I'm happy, well grounded in reality, incredibly grateful for life, and even though I can't humanly describe the amount of pain I went through in the past year, I think it's possible to look at DP in a positive way, in a sense that it gave me a will to seek for true happiness and fullfilment. If anyone has questions on my recovery, I will be glad to answer them. I just won't post the classic recovery guidelines as I pretty much followed the things mentionned in 'Holy Grail of DP recovery' and 'A very inspiring collumn about depersonalization'. Cheers to the people who wrote these posts.

HOWEVER, the last thing that sort off holds me back from making a full recovery, are chronic thoughts about the drug experiences from Halloween 2013. Even though I've red everywhere that when drugs trigger DP, it's usually the result of an accumulation of underlying bullshit that the drugs simply trigger, I can't seem to convince myself that the drugs aren't entirely responsible for this. It's been over a year and a half, and i know it's dumb but i still feel really guilty for doing drugs, even though I'll never know forsure if they actually triggered my DP. Its a dumb thought, as I am fully back to normal, but I don't know how to take that guilt away and make sense of it.I've always been paranoid about drugs effects on the brain (ironic cause I have a very addictive personnality), so that does not help. I would like to know if anyone who's been through that same kind of guilt regarding drug-induced DP has tips to overcome these senseless thoughts. Thank you for reading.

Nose Mouth Smile Ear Happy

Mar 17 2015 05:41 AM

Hey Felix.

That's a good story. I'm still experiencing DP and mine was also brought on during a drug experience. Like you, I have a very negative attitude towards drug but also have an addictive personality.

I like what you say about the DP potentially being a good thing to experience. I remain confident that I will get through this one day and when I do, I really think I could be a far better person for it. Whilst my mental health might not be as good as before, this condition has been a big wake up call for me and in an effort to give myself every chance of recovery, I have focused on controlling the things I can control. This means I know concentrate on a good diet, not allowing myself too much stress, not drinking anymore etc etc.

I will be 30 later this year and who knows, but maybe this experience will be the best thing thats happens for my outlook on life.

Thanks for sharing. Congrats on your success

Hair Arm Eye Jaw Gesture

Mar 20 2015 04:39 AM


My two common themes with you are guilt and drugs.But, my drug was an ssri..i clearly was having panic attacks..the ssri took all away, but left DP..However I feel DP is definitely related to guilt feelings..I think it is a distortion of guilt and shame..It is a result of doing somrthing against the very nature of our true selves..we are so ashamed of not living up to our beliefs/ didnt like drugs, but took them..i do not believe in abortion ..but had one..after we are left feeling like we betrayed our own true selves...
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