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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi my name is Steven (28 years old),

My first experience with what I think is DP is when I was a teen. I smoked weed for the first time and had a pretty traumatic experience where I thought I was dying. The next day I was at work when suddenly while talking to with coworkers I became hyperaware of everything around me. It suddenly felt so weird to speak/move. The following months I would spend my days constantly thinking about how strange I felt. I would walk around touching things to try to make a connection that I was 'actually here'. I felt like I was just watching a movie and I had no connection to the world around me. There were times where I would be driving and I would start having a panic attack because I felt so weird. I would have to pull over and there were times where I would work myself up so much I would vomit. For months after that I was sleeping all of the time in hopes that when I wake up I would feel "normal" again. I was prescribed effexor for depression symptoms.

My most recent bout with what I hope is DP explained below. I'm terrified because these symptoms are different from what I experienced before.

A few weeks ago I went through a weird breakup which caused me to lose the girl I was dating and the friend group I was associating with. The breakup hit me really hard because I felt like I lost everything and I was back at square one. After the breakup I was sitting on my couch watching tv when I became hyperaware once again. It suddenly felt so weird to take my dogs outside for a walk or to go to the grocery store because I just didn't 'feel all there'. I feel completely detached from everything around me, like the connection from my eyes to my brain is the only thing that is working. Like I can see everything happening around me, but my brain doesn't feel present. I started having panic attacks at work because it felt so weird to be in public. It's the worst when I'm sitting in a meeting and I find myself thinking "wow, I'm actually in this room I hope I don't have to speak".

I feel completely detached from everything around me. It feels like a piece of my brain "shut off" and isn't working anymore. I'm having memory problems where I can't remember much of what I did yesterday. I used to be able to recall most of a football game I was interested in, but I have trouble remembering the games I actually watched. I feel like my brain feeling 'shut off" and being detached from my surroundings is causing me to not hold on to memories because I'm not really experiencing them. The best I can describe the "shut off" feeling is I feel like nothing is going on in my head. Like if I were to sit down and meditate it would be easy because my mind doesn't wonder anymore. I feel like I'm on autopilot like the only reason I get up from a restless night of sleep to go to work is because I've been doing the same routine forever.

The most troubling thing I've been experiencing is I started having fragmented sleep patterns where I will wake up basically every hour on the hour. This has caused me to think it maybe something different from DP. My GP prescribed me ambien (still had sleep problems) and now i'm on seroquel which worked for a couple weeks, but I'm back to having sleep issues.

I'm terrified that It could be some form of Alzheimer's and I'm only 28. I'm really scared to post this because I'm afraid something is seriously wrong with me.
 

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This sounds like derealisation which is what I have. It feels like you can't connect with the outside world. It really resonates with me when you talk about how weird it feels to even take your dog for a walk. Mine has gotten so bad I pretty much stay in the house all of the time because of how strange everything feels. I dont think you have anything else wrong with you because I can relate to every word and I've had hundreds of tests done and there's nothing else wrong with me. Im sorry you have to feel this way, it truly is one of the worst most frightening feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This sounds like derealisation which is what I have. It feels like you can't connect with the outside world. It really resonates with me when you talk about how weird it feels to even take your dog for a walk. Mine has gotten so bad I pretty much stay in the house all of the time because of how strange everything feels. I dont think you have anything else wrong with you because I can relate to every word and I've had hundreds of tests done and there's nothing else wrong with me. Im sorry you have to feel this way, it truly is one of the worst most frightening feelings.
Thank you for your reply. I'm slowly trying to accept my current state, but it's really difficult. It's difficult mainly because of my lack of sleep and glaring memory issues.
 

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Your experience sounds very typical of people nominally suffering from DP / DR, though I couldn't tell for certain, of course. The fact that it came about as a result of 1) weed and then 2) existential crises (breakup/loss of friends), makes it more likely that that's what's going on. In the absence of these events, did you previously feel "all there"? Not even a little spacey or out-of-it? Your experience sounds similar to mine, except that I don't remember ever feeling "all there", but these events just made that issue much much worse.

Whatever it is, it's probably not Alzheimer's. Not only is Alzheimer's highly unlikely for a person your age, it tends to follow a very different course than what you are describing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your experience sounds very typical of people nominally suffering from DP / DR, though I couldn't tell for certain, of course. The fact that it came about as a result of 1) weed and then 2) existential crises (breakup/loss of friends), makes it more likely that that's what's going on. In the absence of these events, did you previously feel "all there"? Not even a little spacey or out-of-it? Your experience sounds similar to mine, except that I don't remember ever feeling "all there", but these events just made that issue much much worse.

Whatever it is, it's probably not Alzheimer's. Not only is Alzheimer's highly unlikely for a person your age, it tends to follow a very different course than what you are describing.
Hi Chip1021,

I appreciate your response!

To answer your question I don't recall if I just got used to the weird feeling, or the feeling went away. I would say the former would probably be the answer.

I'm not convinced in the slightest that it's Alzheimer's, but it is always something in the back of my head. Today actually I went to the doctor to talk about my sleep problems that I was having and talk about my short term memory loss. Apparently Seroquel the medication I was on can cause an array of different side effects including memory loss, so here's to hoping that was my problem on that front.
 

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Yes, I'm experiencing the exact same especially the blank mind. It bothers me so much it feels like there's nothing in my head as if it's just filled with air or something.

Some people with dp/dr have the opposite which is obsessive never quiet mind. Btw do you feel emotionally numb?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes, I'm experiencing the exact same especially the blank mind. It bothers me so much it feels like there's nothing in my head as if it's just filled with air or something.

Some people with dp/dr have the opposite which is obsessive never quiet mind. Btw do you feel emotionally numb?
Yes absolutely, the only time I get a tad bit emotional is when I'm talking to my mom about my symptoms. Mainly I've been extremely frustrated with not being able to sleep.
 

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I wanted to add that sleep problems isn't linked to dp/dr (many articles don't list it as a dp/dr symptom). It can be caused by anxiety, panic disorder, trauma, etc.

https//:www.dp.manual.com/articles/why-does-depersonalization-affect-sleep-

Your other symptoms though are 100% derealization. Not being able to experience events fully and being in a fog are what make it hard to remember past events.
 

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I wanted to add that sleep problems isn't linked to dp/dr (many articles don't list it as a dp/dr symptom). It can be caused by anxiety, panic disorder, trauma, etc.
https://www.dpmanual.com/articles/why-does-depersonalization-affect-sleep-and-dreams/
Your other symptoms though are 100% derealization. Not being able to experience events fully and being in a fog are what make it hard to remember past events.
It's not quite as clear cut as you imply regarding sleep, even if someone with no medical background with a manual to sell states otherwise. There's a body of research that I found extremely helpful and led to me being able to embark on reducing the severity of my DP to a point where I'm satisfied with the outcome.

Here's a link to just one paper that I found very helpful:

http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2011-17693-001

Not sure if the mods would be happy for me to discuss how to view the whole article without purchasing, so I'll try to search for the whole article, rather than just the abstract and will edit if I find it.

Abstract

We conducted a longitudinal study to investigate the relation between sleep experiences and dissociative symptoms in a mixed inpatient sample at a private clinic evaluated on arrival and at discharge 6 to 8 weeks later. Using hierarchical regression analyses and structural equation modeling, we found a link between sleep experiences and dissociative symptoms and determined that specifically decreases in narcoleptic experiences rather than insomnia accompany a reduction in dissociative symptoms. Although sleep improvements were associated with a general reduction in psychopathology, this reduction could not fully account for the substantial and specific effect that we found for dissociation. Our findings are consistent with Watson's (2001) hypothesis that disruptions in the sleep-wake cycle lead to intrusions of sleep phenomena into waking consciousness, resulting in dissociative experiences. Accordingly, sleep hygiene may contribute to the treatment or prevention of dissociative symptoms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
 

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Well, I read nearly every dp article out there and never seen sleep problems to be a symptom of dp/dr. And the op said that it started after his traumatic experience (breakup). Also, sleep deprivation can worsen dp, so of course with it resolved, you feel less dp'd. What's the reason you have dp in the first place? Anxiety?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I read nearly every dp article out there and never seen sleep problems to be a symptom of dp/dr. And the op said that it started after his traumatic experience (breakup). Also, sleep deprivation can worsen dp, so of course with it resolved, you feel less dp'd. What's the reason you have dp in the first place? Anxiety?
Yes, I assume it was anxiety induced. I knew the breakup was coming and I obsessed over it quite a bit. It was the only thing on my mind for probably 2 solid weeks.

At the moment I'm worried I have something else wrong with me because I simply cannot sleep and my memory issues are frightening me.
 

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Hey there defo not Alzheimer’s you sound exactly like me I suffer from more DR than DP now my DR is 24/7 and I like you most nights wake up every hour on the hour. I have been like this for 3 years I firmly believe and have been told by my therapist but the sleep deprivation and anxiety is what makes the DR stay
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey there defo not Alzheimer's you sound exactly like me I suffer from more DR than DP now my DR is 24/7 and I like you most nights wake up every hour on the hour. I have been like this for 3 years I firmly believe and have been told by my therapist but the sleep deprivation and anxiety is what makes the DR stay
Thank you for your reply!

I saw your post when I searched "insomnia", and it made me not feel so alone. My DR is through the roof, and I feel like it gets worse as the days pass. I'm doing my best to ignore it and go through the motions until I snap out of this. How did you DP/DR start?
 

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Hey Kenneth. I know how scary DR and DP is. right now I am going through a bad episode of both of them. I think you are in the right place. You are definately not alone as I'm sure you have figured out :)

I wish I could tell you how to make this horrid feeling go away but it sounds like anxiety is the cuprit. Are you taking anything to get the anxiety under control? It sounds like you have more DR than DP and I'm sorry you have to go through it. I just wanted to let you know that I don't think it is Alzheimers even though your memory is suffering from the DR. I also wanted to let you know you are not alone and maybe if you can get the anxiety down (anxiety causes my DP and DR as well) it might give you some relief. Keep trying. I know how difficult it is to live life. You don't really feel like you are living and I too have memory problems because I feel no connection with the world either physical or emotional. Its hell. stay strong and keep reading and researching as much as you can without getting obsessive. That is part of my problem. I get way to obsessive about the DR and DP which in turn makes it worse. Today was a little better for me than it has been for about a month so maybe I'm about to emerge back into the world soon.

Anyway, I hope you feel better soon. I hope we all feel better soon.

((hugs))
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Kenneth. I know how scary DR and DP is. right now I am going through a bad episode of both of them. I think you are in the right place. You are definately not alone as I'm sure you have figured out
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I wish I could tell you how to make this horrid feeling go away but it sounds like anxiety is the cuprit. Are you taking anything to get the anxiety under control? It sounds like you have more DR than DP and I'm sorry you have to go through it. I just wanted to let you know that I don't think it is Alzheimers even though your memory is suffering from the DR. I also wanted to let you know you are not alone and maybe if you can get the anxiety down (anxiety causes my DP and DR as well) it might give you some relief. Keep trying. I know how difficult it is to live life. You don't really feel like you are living and I too have memory problems because I feel no connection with the world either physical or emotional. Its hell. stay strong and keep reading and researching as much as you can without getting obsessive. That is part of my problem. I get way to obsessive about the DR and DP which in turn makes it worse. Today was a little better for me than it has been for about a month so maybe I'm about to emerge back into the world soon.

Anyway, I hope you feel better soon. I hope we all feel better soon.

((hugs))
Thank you for your reply :)

Currently I'm taking effexor for depression and seroquel for sleep. I think anxiety is the culprit as well.
 

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I am currently taking Effexor for depression as well, but so far am feeling not much relief even though I've been taking it for over a year now. I am also taking trazedone for sleep but it causes nightmares and I am now taking Klonopin for anxiety which does help I think. I am currently getting ready to change doctors because the psychologist I am seeing now doesn't understand anything I am going through with the DP and DR and keeps saying I must have had a traumatic experience happen to me like abuse growing up even though I keep telling him my parents were very loving and did not abuse me. I'm certain of that. but he won't believe me.
icon_rolleyes.gif
 

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I am currently taking Effexor for depression as well, but so far am feeling not much relief even though I've been taking it for over a year now. I am also taking trazedone for sleep but it causes nightmares and I am now taking Klonopin for anxiety which does help I think. I am currently getting ready to change doctors because the psychologist I am seeing now doesn't understand anything I am going through with the DP and DR and keeps saying I must have had a traumatic experience happen to me like abuse growing up even though I keep telling him my parents were very loving and did not abuse me. I'm certain of that. but he won't believe me.
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My psychologist kept saying it must be trauma as well along with my pdoc. I know it's not. The techniques she used didn't help one bit. Dp can be the result of many psychological illnesses. Drug use and head injury can trigger it too
 
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