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Hello! My name is Leah! I'm 19 years old and I live in the USA.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed with PTSD and (possibly bipolar) depression. I spent about a year being a complete mess, isolating myself and not leaving my room from a few days up to two weeks at a time. It was a rough time, but it also gave me time to figure myself out and who I was as a person because I realized that I didn't know who I was. I had no real opinions of my own, no goals, no direction because I felt like I wasn't here. I was just going through the motions in my life and repressing anything that I've been uncomfortable with.

My derealization began when I was about 4 or 5. I don't know if it's normal to have an existential crisis at that age, but I strongly remember staring at my hands and starting to cry while asking my oldest brother, "Who are we?"

Then there were many times I would tell my mom growing up, "Do you ever get that...there but not there feeling?"

But as of now, I just want to improve and learn to make it go away. It was frustrating going to therapy because my therapist only said, "It's just a symptom of your ptsd." but I've been struggling with it since I was little and my trauma only started when I was 7. This is getting in the way of my ability to trust myself to drive a car or even to form close relationships because I'm rarely there. I'm always too afraid to do something new or go to new places because my head is instantly put in a fog and I'm nervous until my body shifts to autopilot. Or I'm having a great time with my friends and suddenly I'm just...gone.

I don't want to be on autopilot anymore.

I want to be in unison with myself instead of feeling like a puppeteer.

I think by reading everyone's stories on here and their experiences will help me out a lot because I have no one else to talk to about it without making them thinking of me differently or calling me a robot (which a former friend told me that really hurt my feelings). But yeah, I have high hopes! I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone!
 

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Hi Teddileah!

Yes! I totally relate. You are right about reading other people's stories. When I first came here I lapped them up because I was so excited that I wasn't the only one with these thoughts and feelings. I finally started learning the name for the symptoms I had for years! It came as a relief. I started focusing on the recovery stories a lot and started implementing the optimism and ideas that I drew from them and although it is a process (and sometimes one that feels like it will never get better) I know now that there is hope and an almost 100% chance of a full recovery.

If you ever need anything or have any questions, let me know. Glad that you are here! :)
 
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