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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is probably going to be long and very rambling, but please bear with me. Some of this is copied from a post on reddit by what feels like the only other person out there experiencing what I'm experiencing. They stopped posting a while ago though, which feels foreboding.

Starting about two years ago, this weird symptom has been completely ruining my life. It's so difficult to describe but I'm going to try. I get these very specific feelings or 'vibes' by seeing things, smelling things, listening to songs, watching movies, or even sometimes entirely unprovoked. Again, they're very specific and hard to describe. It's weird, they feel very familiar in a strange way, almost like memories. They're not like any regular or particular emotion, nor is it deja vu. They range from being pleasurable to downright horribly awful to experience. They're also accompanied by images, most of the time just random scenes, sometimes pulled from distant memories or sometimes just totally random. Like a train station at night, or an apartment building, or a skyline at night by a river.

These feelings/vibes can be really really intense and consume my whole reality. Sometimes I'll spiral and have a week-two week long period where I am completely overwhelmed by the vibes and basically non-functional, and it feels like utter hell on earth. That's what really started my downward spiral two years ago, and nowadays it feels like I just live my life trying to avoid these vibes. Again, sometimes the vibes aren't bad- but these days, most of the time they are,- and sometimes I feel like that's just how I live life, everything has a vibe connected to it.

It's really destroying my life because anything can be a trigger and it leads me avoid a lot of stuff. I used to love long drives but now I avoid them because they pretty much always trigger bad vibes these days, just looking out the window during a drive feels 'dangerous' because a building or neighborhood could trigger a vibe and then I'm completely consumed by it, and it runs the risk of spiraling into an episode. I'm afraid to get a job because what if the place I work at triggers these vibes? Same with going to school. I basically don't leave the house much, and I avoid watching movies or listening to too much music to avoid triggering a vibe. I'm afraid to do anything new in case it triggers a bad vibe.

The other issue is that when something becomes connected to a bad vibe, then that thing is 'contaminated' and exposing myself to that thing again makes me refeel the vibe. Like if I'm experiencing a bad vibe while listening to a song, then listening to that song later will make me experience the vibe again.

I know this doesn't make much sense, and probably sounds crazy if you don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm hoping someone on here understands what I'm going through and can shed some light or offer advice.

I've become really worried that this is a sign of something very serious, like some form of brain disorder or something. It just feels like the way that I experience life itself has become screwed up and I can't make my mind go back to the way it was before. Paired with the fact that nobody seems to feel the same way or get what I mean, save for one person on reddit who vanished, I'm afraid that this is being caused by something horrible and won't stop or will get worse.
 

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One thing I noticed in your post is that you talk a lot about these “vibes”: when they show up, how intense they can be, that they can be pleasurable or disturbing, and that you then associate these “vibes” with other things or activities. But unless I misread your post, I don’t think you actually said what these “vibes” are. I know it might be difficult, but can you try to be more descriptive and tell us what a “vibe” is? Can you describe that experience in a bit more detail?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
One thing I noticed in your post is that you talk a lot about these “vibes”: when they show up, how intense they can be, that they can be pleasurable or disturbing, and that you then associate these “vibes” with other things or activities. But unless I misread your post, I don’t think you actually said what these “vibes” are. I know it might be difficult, but can you try to be more descriptive and tell us what a “vibe” is? Can you describe that experience in a bit more detail?
Each one is very particular so I'll try to be broad, but these 'vibes' are intense and very specific feelings - not "feelings" in the sense of happy or sad, but just these feelings. Like I said, they're all particular and each feel different. And there's a strong sense of familiarity, almost like they're memories, even though they aren't. There isn't really language out there that can describe them, so I'll try to use approximation to my benefit.

You know how dreams have very specific feelings? Again, not like in the sense of feelings like happy or sad, but just like these vibes, or shades, or tones to them. They can feel good or bad, but not necessarily because they're tied to singular emotions like happiness or sadness, but just because they feel unpleasurable to experience. I don't know if this is just a me thing, but sometimes when I wake up from a particularly vivid dream, I feel really off, even if nothing happened in the dream, just because the 'vibe' is off. Sometimes it's the other way around, sometimes the vibe was enjoyable, but that's much rarer for me.

That's sort of as close as it feels like I can get. I find that there's a big overlap between these vibes and dreams, and sometimes dreams are the creation point for some of my more disturbing vibes that pop up. It gets the old hypochondria going when I think about that, because then it makes me afraid that maybe something is wrong with my brain and I'm just half dreaming all the time and that's why I don't realize it.

To shed some more insight onto what it's like to actually experience one of these moments, here's an example of one that just happened: my friend and I were talking about Amish communities in the Midwest(completely random conversation that just cropped up), and an image popped into my mind of the sun setting on a rural road among cornfields in Amish country. Accompanied by that image was one of these vibes, one that felt very intense and dysphoric to experience, and there was that sense of familiarity that I talked about, almost like I should know more about it. It wasn't dysphoric because it felt on the face of it sad or depressing or anything, it just felt bad to experience. I just did not like experiencing it at all, and it felt very consuming. Now, unfortunately, that vibe is tied to the subject matter(in this case the Amish), and I'm not sure I'll be able to think about it anytime soon without recalling the vibe.

These vibes also sort of infect memories, where memories can also have an unfun vibe to experience even if I was enjoying myself in the moment. I also know that I've accidentally connected vibes to memories that were entirely unrelated, and in the process 'overwrote' the memory with the vibe, basically in the process destroying the memory.

Chances are this doesn't make any sense to you. I don't think this(the concept of 'vibes') is something that's actually new to me, I think this was an experience I always felt on the periphery of how I interpret my world, it just didn't become an issue until about two years ago. I have memories of watching videos and movies that I had seen before and then turning them off, not because I disliked them, but because the vibe was just not fun to experience, even though they weren't connected with a bad memory, just one that had a vibe I didn't like.
 

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There are a couple reasons why this conversation is difficult. First of all, internal experiences are by their very nature difficult to describe to others because there is no objective way to know whether my understanding is the same as yours. Kind of like the question: do you see red the same as I see red? Although in that case, we do now have the ability to objectively understand color, I suppose. And the second problem is that most modern languages, including English, are just generally lacking in terms that refer to internal feeling states.

With that said, I can’t say I fully understand what it is you are claiming that you are experiencing. I think it might though be broadly classified as a type of “sensation”, perhaps?

From what you have related to me, I don’t see any reason to think it is a structural issue (though it wouldn’t hurt to check, if you’re concerned). I’m thinking it might be more of a semantic issue. The way that you talk about these “vibes” makes me think a little bit about the experience of nostalgia. There’s a certain indescribable quality to that type of remembering, but because it is a very common experience, we all know what that is even though it might be difficult to describe in words. And of course, there is no reason to think that there is something wrong with you when you are feeling nostalgic, right?

But nostalgia is usually a pleasant or bittersweet experience, and these “vibes” seem to be making you suffer quite a bit. I would say that your problem would be of keen interest to psychoanalysis, but I’m not sure how many psychoanalysts still exist today. There are a few, though, but they can be expensive too. It might be of interest to you to read some things psychoanalysts have written that might be relevant to that topic (I would suggest steering clear of Freud though, lol).

I think one of the first books that Thomas Szasz wrote was called something like “Pain and Pleasure: a study of bodily feelings” or something along those lines. I don’t know if that book contains anything relevant to your experience, but it might be a place to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
There are a couple reasons why this conversation is difficult. First of all, internal experiences are by their very nature difficult to describe to others because there is no objective way to know whether my understanding is the same as yours. Kind of like the question: do you see red the same as I see red? Although in that case, we do now have the ability to objectively understand color, I suppose. And the second problem is that most modern languages, including English, are just generally lacking in terms that refer to internal feeling states.

With that said, I can’t say I fully understand what it is you are claiming that you are experiencing. I think it might though be broadly classified as a type of “sensation”, perhaps?

From what you have related to me, I don’t see any reason to think it is a structural issue (though it wouldn’t hurt to check, if you’re concerned). I’m thinking it might be more of a semantic issue. The way that you talk about these “vibes” makes me think a little bit about the experience of nostalgia. There’s a certain indescribable quality to that type of remembering, but because it is a very common experience, we all know what that is even though it might be difficult to describe in words. And of course, there is no reason to think that there is something wrong with you when you are feeling nostalgic, right?

But nostalgia is usually a pleasant or bittersweet experience, and these “vibes” seem to be making you suffer quite a bit. I would say that your problem would be of keen interest to psychoanalysis, but I’m not sure how many psychoanalysts still exist today. There are a few, though, but they can be expensive too. It might be of interest to you to read some things psychoanalysts have written that might be relevant to that topic (I would suggest steering clear of Freud though, lol).

I think one of the first books that Thomas Szasz wrote was called something like “Pain and Pleasure: a study of bodily feelings” or something along those lines. I don’t know if that book contains anything relevant to your experience, but it might be a place to start.
I think it's the sort of thing where if you experienced what I do, you'd probably know it. The only reason I say that is because I've now been able to scare up a handful of posts on reddit(and one or two here) that describe the same thing, and while the descriptions probably wouldn't make any sense to someone without this experience, they're very familiar if you know what to look for.

Still, this all remains a mystery to me, which is part of the anxiety. Sometimes I wonder if my OCD is at play here, because I know that these experiences get worse when I'm more afraid of it, i.e. when I start worrying that this is serious brain condition(which has been worsened by the fact that a number of people on reddit who seemed to have experienced the same thing abruptly stopped posting, one of whom was actually concerned it was a brain issue and got an MRI) or prodromal schizophrenia, and they get better when I feel like I have hope, i.e. when I think I've found a non-scary explanation for it. One person I reached out to on reddit about this gave the recommendation to stop obsessing over it, and that the thoughts prolong the dread and the painful experience.

Likewise, somebody else said that they've tried to stop engaging in behaviors like dwelling on it and asking online to seeing if others feel the same way. It's hard to believe OCD is the only thing at play, since I've had OCD pretty much all my life and my experiences with that prior to two years was infinitely more manageable, even though I didn't know it at the time.

I will try to bring this up to my therapist, which is something I've avoided in the past both because of how difficult it is to describe and not wanting to seem crazy(because I am keenly aware to how strange this all sounds to an outside party).
 

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I would have to agree with the other people on this one. If these “vibes” are particularly disturbing to you, the best (and perhaps the only) thing that you can do is to change the directional focus of your attention. The more you focus on it (and this goes with any experience), then you will continue to experience it, and with greater intensity.

I have addressed the issue a number of times on this forum and elsewhere, but it’s always baffled me when people talk about their fears of having a serious brain disease, or schizophrenia. Perhaps I just think differently than most people do, but whenever I went to doctors or psychiatrists to try and determine if what I’m dealing with is this or that condition, they interpret my inquiry as “worrying” about having that condition, and they then try to “reassure” me that there is nothing wrong with me, thinking that that is going to make things better. But it doesn’t. I don’t go to doctors because I’m worried about having a problem, I go to doctors because I DO have a problem, and I would like to know what that problem is so that perhaps I can do something to improve my life. And so when doctors tell me I’m perfectly healthy, I am not reassured by their assessment, I just become more frustrated that I just have to go back to my parents house and distract myself with crappy tv and video games forever instead of having a meaningful life like I worked so hard for.

I just realized I started making this post about me when I shouldn’t have, lol. Sorry about that. What I was trying to get at is that worrying is a pointless activity. It is better to try to correctly identify the problem you are trying to solve and seek out reasonable solutions to it. And, although it might be difficult, especially for someone with obsessive tendencies, try not to concern yourself with sounding “crazy” to your therapist. If he is halfway decent at his job, then he shouldn’t consider “crazy” to be a valid construct. And if he does consider you to be “crazy”, then it’s good that you know that so you can fire his ass and not waste anymore time with him.

I know that when I was trying to articulate the indescribable sensations I have to therapists and doctors, I often found it helpful to write it all down as best I could in preparation for my appointment and then just read that or even hand him my notes, because the words never come out right when I am in that moment, especially if I’m not (severely) experiencing the problem at that time.
 

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Hi there. First of all, I'm so sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms. DPDR is so much more than simply feeling unreal, and there are many, many different rabbit holes this insidious disease can bring you down. I would just like to let you know that I have, and still do experience the symptoms you are describing. You use the word vibe, I use the word atmosphere. I'm sure my experience is probably a little different, because these types of symptoms are very subjective, but I believe that you are describing the same feelings that I have. I know how hard it can be to put it into words.

For me, this started when I was abruptly taken off of Klonopin. In the beginning of my withdrawal experience, I would feel bombarded by the atmospheres of old dreams and memories, some of which I couldn't even pinpoint, at random. I would look out my window at my fathers house late at night and suddenly get atmospheric flashbacks to some place I couldn't quite recall, but at the same time in some twisted, nauseating way felt weirdly familiar. One specific experience that stands out to me was opening the door to my backyard in the winter time a few years ago and suddenly feeling like I was immersed in the memory/atmosphere of being in Alaska...except I have never been to Alaska. Trying to explain that to somebody who hasn't experienced that without sounding like you are suffering from severe psychosis is almost impossible. Another time that stands out to me is sitting at my kitchen counter and being hit by a ray of light from the kitchen window, and immediately getting taken back to a Chinese restaurant I used to go to with my grandmother. This would happen when watching movies too, I have a memory of watching Napoleon Dynamite on my TV and suddenly getting both an atmospheric and visual flashback to some far off place/"memory" that I just knew wasn't mine. I had to turn it off.

In the beginning I felt completely overwhelmed by any sensory stimuli, smells especially. A lot of times, however, I would simply wake up and the atmosphere of the world around me would just feel off like that. Often the world around me felt draped in the atmosphere of past points in my life, I would walk outside to get the mail in the middle of October and get the feeling that it was the fall semester of my senior year of high school. This experience is probably a little different than the intrusive memories, but to me they are all one in the same. Even though these memories weren't traumatic, they always evoked a visceral reaction in me. They just felt...tainted. I couldn't, and sometimes still can't look at photos from vacations or my childhood without getting these feelings. Lately the atmosphere to the world I live in feels off in a different way, like I'm living in some warped alternate reality where everything feels alien and strange in indescribable ways. When it's cloudy outside or the sun sets early in the winter time I quite literally feel like I'm on acid in ways that are again impossible to explain. Not sure if you also experience this but this has been my current struggle. Traveling, something that I used to love to do, has become impossible as unfamiliar places tend to make these feelings worse for me. Something that was deeply upsetting to me was going to my Mimi's house in Florida last year...my safe place. My happy place that I would go to mentally when I was feeling depressed. When I got there, the atmosphere felt completely different than what I knew and when I look back at photos from that vacation all I feel is that tainted atmosphere, and now it's hard to remember what it used to feel like. Memories feel ruined. To have that taken away from me is a hell of its own. I'll get to something about this at the end. Being outside is overwhelming and the only place I feel remotely safe and familiar in is my room.

I know how overwhelmed you feel by the assault on your senses right now. I wish I had the answers to this, as I know how terrifying living in this can be. In the beginning I was completely convinced that I either had brain damage or had developed a mental illness that only I had. This was especially made worse when I didn't quite know how to articulate these feelings and could not find a shred of literature online. The alienation I felt then was honestly more terrifying than any of these feelings, to truly believe that you are uniquely insane in a way that will never be understood by anyone but the inner workings of your own mind. I can tell you, however, that I have gone through extensive psychiatric and neurological testing, and can confirm I am not experiencing psychosis or any physical abnormalities (a brain tumor or epilepsy). This is just another rabbit hole of DPDR and OCD. My therapist tells me that in a way this experience could be described as synesthesia. She also tells me that my experience of reality seems to exist in the hypnagogic state, with my subconscious mind interacting too heavily with my waking world. Your brain is on overdrive right now. It's possible that this is your brains way of coping/escapism within a reality which has been perceived as too traumatic to exist in. I will say a few things. First, I have had periods of time, sometimes as long as a year, in between episodes where I am symptom free. I hold onto the hope and belief that with the proper help I will learn to minimize this experience and be able to get to a base level I can function at. Second, you are not alone. Over the past 5 years I have met dozens and dozens of people who have experienced the same thing. Most just don't know how to put it in words, and some seemingly just don't think as deeply about it as you and I. Third, as far memories being tainted, it is only temporary to the experience. My therapist told me looking back from this point of view would obviously affect how I perceive memories, in the same way memories can feel depressing when you are in the midst of a deep depression. It is reflective of your current disposition. When I get breaks from these symptoms, the world around me feels normal again, and so do the memories I formed before and outside of this experience. All is not lost. Fourth, as far as coping goes, I honestly don't find that simply ignoring helps tremendously. Obsessing over these feelings certainly doesn't make my stress levels or mood feel any better, but the opposite has not brought me much relief while in the depths of this. I have not found the way out yet. I don't really have any coping skills I have found for this other than just pushing forward. The only option I have right now is to do just that - push forward - despite this in hopes of remission. I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel from where I am, but I know that it's there. It's been there, invisibly, before. I've been trying to avoid things less, however, as I've decided I'm not going to waste years of my life away by hiding from this disease. To do that is to essentially throw in the towel for me, I might as well be dead. And I don't want to be. That's not to say I don't pace myself and give myself a rest if my mind needs it, but I'm over hiding. This will not take my life from me. I refuse. I am going to continue putting in the hard work in therapy until I figure this shit out and address the root(s) of my problems. I hope you will too.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I'm more than willing to talk. Keep fighting,
-Brendon
 

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Hi, you have no idea how much it helped me to come across your post. I've been suffering from derealization since the beginning of 2022, I know the feeling of derealization and I know I'm not alone, but this was something else. I didn't feel alienated from reality, but the atmosphere was simply different. I can't describe it well and that's why it was hard to find people who feel something similar, thanks to your post I know I'm not alone with this feeling, neither are you. I used to get this feeling a few times a year for a week or two and then it always went away. The only thing that helped me a little was physical activity - walks, gym, running. And also spending time with friends or devoting yourself to your hobbies and work, in short to occupy your mind as much as possible so that this feeling is in the background.
 

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This is probably going to be long and very rambling, but please bear with me. Some of this is copied from a post on reddit by what feels like the only other person out there experiencing what I'm experiencing. They stopped posting a while ago though, which feels foreboding.

Starting about two years ago, this weird symptom has been completely ruining my life. It's so difficult to describe but I'm going to try. I get these very specific feelings or 'vibes' by seeing things, smelling things, listening to songs, watching movies, or even sometimes entirely unprovoked. Again, they're very specific and hard to describe. It's weird, they feel very familiar in a strange way, almost like memories. They're not like any regular or particular emotion, nor is it deja vu. They range from being pleasurable to downright horribly awful to experience. They're also accompanied by images, most of the time just random scenes, sometimes pulled from distant memories or sometimes just totally random. Like a train station at night, or an apartment building, or a skyline at night by a river.

These feelings/vibes can be really really intense and consume my whole reality. Sometimes I'll spiral and have a week-two week long period where I am completely overwhelmed by the vibes and basically non-functional, and it feels like utter hell on earth. That's what really started my downward spiral two years ago, and nowadays it feels like I just live my life trying to avoid these vibes. Again, sometimes the vibes aren't bad- but these days, most of the time they are,- and sometimes I feel like that's just how I live life, everything has a vibe connected to it.

It's really destroying my life because anything can be a trigger and it leads me avoid a lot of stuff. I used to love long drives but now I avoid them because they pretty much always trigger bad vibes these days, just looking out the window during a drive feels 'dangerous' because a building or neighborhood could trigger a vibe and then I'm completely consumed by it, and it runs the risk of spiraling into an episode. I'm afraid to get a job because what if the place I work at triggers these vibes? Same with going to school. I basically don't leave the house much, and I avoid watching movies or listening to too much music to avoid triggering a vibe. I'm afraid to do anything new in case it triggers a bad vibe.

The other issue is that when something becomes connected to a bad vibe, then that thing is 'contaminated' and exposing myself to that thing again makes me refeel the vibe. Like if I'm experiencing a bad vibe while listening to a song, then listening to that song later will make me experience the vibe again.

I know this doesn't make much sense, and probably sounds crazy if you don't know what I'm talking about, but I'm hoping someone on here understands what I'm going through and can shed some light or offer advice.

I've become really worried that this is a sign of something very serious, like some form of brain disorder or something. It just feels like the way that I experience life itself has become screwed up and I can't make my mind go back to the way it was before. Paired with the fact that nobody seems to feel the same way or get what I mean, save for one person on reddit who vanished, I'm afraid that this is being caused by something horrible and won't stop or will get worse.
Hi Benjamin. This exact same thing happens to me. Do you have random images that pop into your head? Of places you’ve seen in real life or in a dream, or maybe you’ve NEVER seen? I get these and the “ vibe” of them throws me off completely. And then it’s kinda like ocd because I can’t stop thinking about these “ vibes”. Sometimes I can’t even watch tv or movies because I feel like I’m IN the movie. Sometimes people misunderstand this and say dpdr feels like they’re WATCHING themselves like a movie, but this has never happened for me. For me it’s like if I watch a movie that takes place in Greece, I feel like I’m in Greece after the movie although I’ve NEVER been to Greece. additionally, new places trigger this for me. Sometimes depending on the weather the “ vibes” feel off. Sometimes when I go to new places or new jobs the “ vibes” seem off and it feels almost like my perception of reality has switched. It’s like my brain can’t comprehend that there’s things in this life that I haven’t seen or experienced, and it gives me anxiety. Sometimes coming home from vacation I feel this way also, but surprisingly going on vacation to new places I’ve never been to before doesnt/ hasn’t done this for me. Additionally, sometimes after going to one place or doing something- when I return home or go somewhere different the vibes feel “ off” from where i just was. It’s so destressing. Nobody seems to get it and there seems to be no treatment. I don’t know what to do. I hope you rely because you are the only person who I’ve ever found online that is experiencing the same thing as me. And I’ve been reading about this for years. Please feel free to message me, id love to speak to u.
 

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Hi there. First of all, I'm so sorry that you are experiencing these symptoms. DPDR is so much more than simply feeling unreal, and there are many, many different rabbit holes this insidious disease can bring you down. I would just like to let you know that I have, and still do experience the symptoms you are describing. You use the word vibe, I use the word atmosphere. I'm sure my experience is probably a little different, because these types of symptoms are very subjective, but I believe that you are describing the same feelings that I have. I know how hard it can be to put it into words.

For me, this started when I was abruptly taken off of Klonopin. In the beginning of my withdrawal experience, I would feel bombarded by the atmospheres of old dreams and memories, some of which I couldn't even pinpoint, at random. I would look out my window at my fathers house late at night and suddenly get atmospheric flashbacks to some place I couldn't quite recall, but at the same time in some twisted, nauseating way felt weirdly familiar. One specific experience that stands out to me was opening the door to my backyard in the winter time a few years ago and suddenly feeling like I was immersed in the memory/atmosphere of being in Alaska...except I have never been to Alaska. Trying to explain that to somebody who hasn't experienced that without sounding like you are suffering from severe psychosis is almost impossible. Another time that stands out to me is sitting at my kitchen counter and being hit by a ray of light from the kitchen window, and immediately getting taken back to a Chinese restaurant I used to go to with my grandmother. This would happen when watching movies too, I have a memory of watching Napoleon Dynamite on my TV and suddenly getting both an atmospheric and visual flashback to some far off place/"memory" that I just knew wasn't mine. I had to turn it off.

In the beginning I felt completely overwhelmed by any sensory stimuli, smells especially. A lot of times, however, I would simply wake up and the atmosphere of the world around me would just feel off like that. Often the world around me felt draped in the atmosphere of past points in my life, I would walk outside to get the mail in the middle of October and get the feeling that it was the fall semester of my senior year of high school. This experience is probably a little different than the intrusive memories, but to me they are all one in the same. Even though these memories weren't traumatic, they always evoked a visceral reaction in me. They just felt...tainted. I couldn't, and sometimes still can't look at photos from vacations or my childhood without getting these feelings. Lately the atmosphere to the world I live in feels off in a different way, like I'm living in some warped alternate reality where everything feels alien and strange in indescribable ways. When it's cloudy outside or the sun sets early in the winter time I quite literally feel like I'm on acid in ways that are again impossible to explain. Not sure if you also experience this but this has been my current struggle. Traveling, something that I used to love to do, has become impossible as unfamiliar places tend to make these feelings worse for me. Something that was deeply upsetting to me was going to my Mimi's house in Florida last year...my safe place. My happy place that I would go to mentally when I was feeling depressed. When I got there, the atmosphere felt completely different than what I knew and when I look back at photos from that vacation all I feel is that tainted atmosphere, and now it's hard to remember what it used to feel like. Memories feel ruined. To have that taken away from me is a hell of its own. I'll get to something about this at the end. Being outside is overwhelming and the only place I feel remotely safe and familiar in is my room.

I know how overwhelmed you feel by the assault on your senses right now. I wish I had the answers to this, as I know how terrifying living in this can be. In the beginning I was completely convinced that I either had brain damage or had developed a mental illness that only I had. This was especially made worse when I didn't quite know how to articulate these feelings and could not find a shred of literature online. The alienation I felt then was honestly more terrifying than any of these feelings, to truly believe that you are uniquely insane in a way that will never be understood by anyone but the inner workings of your own mind. I can tell you, however, that I have gone through extensive psychiatric and neurological testing, and can confirm I am not experiencing psychosis or any physical abnormalities (a brain tumor or epilepsy). This is just another rabbit hole of DPDR and OCD. My therapist tells me that in a way this experience could be described as synesthesia. She also tells me that my experience of reality seems to exist in the hypnagogic state, with my subconscious mind interacting too heavily with my waking world. Your brain is on overdrive right now. It's possible that this is your brains way of coping/escapism within a reality which has been perceived as too traumatic to exist in. I will say a few things. First, I have had periods of time, sometimes as long as a year, in between episodes where I am symptom free. I hold onto the hope and belief that with the proper help I will learn to minimize this experience and be able to get to a base level I can function at. Second, you are not alone. Over the past 5 years I have met dozens and dozens of people who have experienced the same thing. Most just don't know how to put it in words, and some seemingly just don't think as deeply about it as you and I. Third, as far memories being tainted, it is only temporary to the experience. My therapist told me looking back from this point of view would obviously affect how I perceive memories, in the same way memories can feel depressing when you are in the midst of a deep depression. It is reflective of your current disposition. When I get breaks from these symptoms, the world around me feels normal again, and so do the memories I formed before and outside of this experience. All is not lost. Fourth, as far as coping goes, I honestly don't find that simply ignoring helps tremendously. Obsessing over these feelings certainly doesn't make my stress levels or mood feel any better, but the opposite has not brought me much relief while in the depths of this. I have not found the way out yet. I don't really have any coping skills I have found for this other than just pushing forward. The only option I have right now is to do just that - push forward - despite this in hopes of remission. I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel from where I am, but I know that it's there. It's been there, invisibly, before. I've been trying to avoid things less, however, as I've decided I'm not going to waste years of my life away by hiding from this disease. To do that is to essentially throw in the towel for me, I might as well be dead. And I don't want to be. That's not to say I don't pace myself and give myself a rest if my mind needs it, but I'm over hiding. This will not take my life from me. I refuse. I am going to continue putting in the hard work in therapy until I figure this shit out and address the root(s) of my problems. I hope you will too.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I'm more than willing to talk. Keep fighting,
-Brendon
Hi brendon, I know this is old. But could u message me? I’m interested in how you’re doing. I’ve really been struggling with this.
 
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