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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. Just a heads up that this will be a long post because I want to give you insight to how DP/DR all came about, and I hope that my story can enlighten and help many of you.

I'm 35 years old and I clearly remember in detail the day I first experienced anxiety. My parents divorced when I was 3 and my mom left and my dad raised my brother and I. It was in 1987 I remember my dad driving with a then girlfriend of his and they were talking about a little boy that was my age that had died from choking on a peanut. Fear immediately came over me I was scared to eat peanuts because I didn't want to choke and die either. That one action transpired into having a fear of death and I became a hypochondriac at a young age. I remember I couldn't swallow food for a period of time because I didn't want to choke. Sounds weird but this is what led to how I am now.

A few years passed and it was 1993. The boy who lived next door to us had passed away from cancer, so I thought I was next. I missed a bunch of school I became really clingy to my dad because that's all I had. My dad was my life saver. He would always reassure me that I was okay. I had to force myself through school with bad anxiety and this constant fear that I was going to die. At the time my dad would watch these shows that used to be on TV like Rescue 911 and that show would freak me out, because anytime I would see something bad happen to someone on the show, I would think it would happen to me too.

So this Constant fear and anxiety always followed me as I got older. As I got into high school, especially my later high school years my anxiety seemed to fade because I was hanging out with friends, talking to girls and then I started smoking weed.

It was the end of 1999 and I was a senior in high school. Stress started building up in my life because my step mom became the ultimate bitch, and she had causdd problems in our house and I left. I moved into my grandparents house temporarily and out of nowhere my anxiety flared up. This time a new form of it came about which I never knew had a name until recently. I developed OCD. Not OCD that people throw around (being anal about stuff), I developed racing thoughts and all I did was ruminate on these bad thoughts for days. This problem stuck with me for a while, then like my previous bouts with anxiety it faded away. Fast forward a few years later and the OCD thoughts returned. I had to ride it out for several months, trying to figure out what was going on. Back then this was now the early 2000's so there wasn't Google and the internet wasn't where it's at today so I couldn't do any research. I had to deal with it in silence because I didn't want people including my family to think I was losing my mind.

Fast forward to 2008. Before I forget I am an entrepreneur. As this goes on you'll see why I mentioned that I'm an entrepreneur. So in 2007 I launched my first company, and a year later my company was invited to an event overseas. I had traveled numerous times and never had any problems traveling prior. So I hop on a 14 hour flight from my home (San Francisco) to head to the overseas location. When I get to my destination I arrive at my hotel. In the hotel lobby there was a huge globe. I looked at the globe and found where I was at currently and I seen how far I was from home. I had a bad anxiety attack which then converted into my first ever panic attack. I made it through my trip and went home. Since that incident I've had a fear of traveling to new places. I forced myself (my wife) forced me to travel since and every time I get to the destination where we are going I have anxiety attacks and want to go home.

That hasn't changed. Until today I am extremely anxious when I travel.

Now we move into 2014. By then I created multiple businesses and I start a new one, then a year later in 2015 my first baby is born.

Having a baby was a huge blessing and I love my baby so much. The only thing was with a new baby comes new sleeping patterns. I lost sleep and had new sleeping patterns. My anxiety flared up and now I'm trying to figure out how to be a new dad, continue being a husband while building a new business. Extremely difficult.

Jump forward to 2017. My baby is getting bigger and I launch 2 new startups. Two more startups means more stress.

Now here's where the DP/DR starts. It was on my birthday, and that morning I woke up tired because my baby had cried a few times the night prior. My wife took me out for lunch and she decided to drive that way I can relax on my birthday. So I was in the back seat with my baby while my wife was driving.

As my wife was driving I was looking at the window and I looked at the mountain and said to myself "why do mountains exist", then I started thinking deeper about the world and why the world is the way it is and it freaked me out. I began to feel as if I was living in a bubble. Looking outside and seeing the blue sky meeting the horizon made me feel like I was in a bubble. I started to question things like "what if I am living in a bubble" and "does the outside really exist if I'm in a bubble". Some real off the wall self questions.

So that's been going on for a few months now. Since that began I started going to CBT with a psychologist and I started acupuncture.

Then two weeks ago one morning I was extremely stressed out and out of nowhere I started questioning things that I was doing in the kitchen like "did I just eat oatmeal" and "do I actually exist", and it put me into a major panic attack. It lasted for hours and I was drained. I put a yoga mat down on my bathroom floor and slept on the floor. The sound of my bathroom ceiling fan is relaxing for me so the bathroom is like my comfort zone.

Since two weeks ago it's been an up and down ride. I'll have bad moments when I think about my existence and how life works and there are days when nothing happens.

I learned this method of breathing that helps that I recommend you try out when you start feeling your anxiety or DP/DR creeping in. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth where it connects with your front upper top teeth. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold it in for 7 seconds then exhale with your tongue still touching the roof of your mouth behind your top front teeth for 8 seconds. Repeat that about 5 times. I was told that this breathing exercise has been proven to be more be in helping with anxiety than medications. And I've been doing it and it has helped.

Speaking of medication, I never took any meds for my anxiety and I won't. I've always been against any medicine and there's no way I'm taking any medication for anything psych related. I'll stick to natural healing methods.

Sorry for the long post and if there's any typos along the way. And also sorry if it seems like I was jumping around in my story however I am trying to give you the best scenario of my situation and it's 31 years of compiled BS that put me in the spot that I am at now.

Being a father, husband and entrepreneur running multiple companies has been tough but also has kept my mind free from randomly thinking about negative thoughts.

People have asked why do I do so much and honestly this is what I enjoy. I had a rough life so I'm working hard that way my baby doesn't have to go through what I went through. I am doing everything in my power to make sure that my baby doesn't have to deal with anxiety and other issues that come with anxiety.

Thank you for reading my story and I hope that my story helps some of you out there that are dealing with the same problem. We are in this together and we will all be okay.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or would like to chat. It would be great to connect with some of you that are also experiencing the same situation as me.
 

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Interested read. And sad. Most of your dp seems to be from stress, no surprise given your monetary status bud. Please please rest easy, there is no easy answer. I hace no answers for you. But weird as it sounds, find time for yourself. And time away from your little one. Find time to be on your own.failing that, confront it or see your doctor. I wish you the very best. Be strong.
 

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It sounds like you have a rich and fascinating life. Sorry, to hear you have been struggling with anxiety for so long.

We wish you the best, and welcome you to the forum.
Thank you I appreciate it. My life might be fascinating but I don't know about being rich. This is why I was nervous to share my story because I was afraid that people might not care because they'll think differently about me because of what I do in life. I'm far from rich, I just work extremely hard so that I can give my baby a life that I couldn't have which is what has been causing me huge amounts of stress. The only reason why I mentioned what I do is so that maybe someone can relate to my situation in any way. I'm just like everyone else. Thank you again for your comment and I hope that we can all heal from dp/dr
 

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From the sounds of it you have a solid idea what triggered your panic attack and then DP, which is a good place to start from. It would help you to define why you found the fact that you were far from home hard to accept. Is there an event from your past or childhood where something bad happened to a loved one when you left home? Were you not there for someone and feel guilty for that? I can't know the reason behind it, but I am sure there is one.

Defining the trigger makes it seem smaller as words put limits and boundaries on things. From there you can start to work with it and logically redefine that experience, or that things about it are not currently happening now. It is important to work on yourself and face your fears, no matter how busy your personal or professional life, you should always find time for yourself

Edit: Yeh it looks as though you had an issue with peanuts and the boy next door dying of cancer. It is good that you had a supportive father throughout this, but was he ever overprotective? This can be an issue as well as lack of identity with DPD (IMO)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for your response. Like I told my therapist, I'd give it all up to get rid my anxiety, panic attacks, stress, dp/dr. Some might call that crazy, but I'll take great health and happiness over business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
From the sounds of it you have a solid idea what triggered your panic attack and then DP, which is a good place to start from. It would help you to define why you found the fact that you were far from home hard to accept. Is there an event from your past or childhood where something bad happened to a loved one when you left home? Were you not there for someone and feel guilty for that? I can't know the reason behind it, but I am sure there is one.

Defining the trigger makes it seem smaller as words put limits and boundaries on things. From there you can start to work with it and logically redefine that experience, or that things about it are not currently happening now. It is important to work on yourself and face your fears, no matter how busy your personal or professional life, you should always find time for yourself

Edit: Yeh it looks as though you had an issue with peanuts and the boy next door dying of cancer. It is good that you had a supportive father throughout this, but was he ever overprotective? This can be an issue as well as lack of identity with DPD (IMO)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much for your feedback. It means a lot. I'm not sure how I developed that fear of being far away from home. I think from what I researched was that I have agoraphobia. Maybe my parents separating at a young age had something to do with it.

What I do know is that I for sure became a hypochondriac when I was a kid. Always fearful that something was wrong with me. As with the peanut situation and my neighbor, anytime I heard or saw something bad happen, I always thought that I was next.

As I got older, more stress accumulated. I guess that's just being an adult, dealing with more stress. My anxiety levels shot up and now with dp/dr this is a new form of anxiety that I'm trying to figure out.

derealization started first when that one day I randomly started questioning the world. Then just a few weeks ago depersonalization started. It seems like it's one thing after another.

I try not to think of it but I'll randomly have negative self thoughts and it's back to feeling terrible.

Thank you for your response. It's great to talk to others about this. I'm beyond thankful.
 

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No worries. I would think about when you first developed the fear and write about how you felt and thought at the time. Think about events that happened before and after that and how the fear grew rather than became more manageable. Separation is never easy for a child and they often blame themselves and... fear abandonment. Perhaps your fear worsens when you are away because you fear leaving your family or them leaving you. Only you can find out the answers here though.

I would question the business side of your life as well. It is great to have goals but you have to reach a balance with these things that reminds you of your priorities in life and what matters. Obviously financial support is something important to you as you lacked this when you were younger but in my opinion the best things in life are free (very cliche soz).

Disappearing into work may seem like a good short term solution to burn off/avoid stress, but you will pay in the long term. It is important to find that balance of when to stop and take time for yourself, to reflect on your relationships and how you interact, and what problems in your life seem to be repeating themselves. And then ultimately change something to prevent that. Find your triggers and work from there. And watch/read Jordan Peterson! lol
 

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Ive had chronic DP since around 1990....I have learned over the years that the best way to deal with it is to reduce stress in all areas of your life...Medicine actually saved my life and still continues to do to this day....But stress relief is vital in the long term...

Everybody has their own ways of recovering or learning to mange this crap...BUT if you dont reduce stress at all levels you simply wont get better...

The problem with the modern world is that we are told stress is actually good for us and can keep us on our toes...Unfortunately this is not the case for more sensitive human beings such as us anxiety and DP sufferers...

For people like us traumas can be much more subtle in appearance but can have devastating effects long term...

Subconsciously and at a less apparent level we as DP sufferers have learned from a young age to ignore and bury stress and worry and anxiety (otherwise known as dissociating)...We bascially ignore it and push it way down....Wrong way to deal with it unfortunately....The result is we start running from an early age and then find it hard to stop as we get older....The running becomes an escape...Some use work, some use drugs, some use alcohol, some use food, etc etc etc....The end result is we tend to forget who we really were in the first place because we hated living with ourselves (this is the essence of depersonalization)

For me learning to Repersonalize began when I decided to stop running away from myself and to stop escaping from myself via external things (it was alcohol and drugs for me) I found over time that by slowing down and lowering my own personal bar and by accepting who i was, not what i was has reintroduced me to the true me and as a result my anxiety and DP levels fell dramatically...I now know who I am and my self esteem has climbed whilst my ego has been squashed...

I have found a balance in life between work rest and play and wouldnt swap it for the world...It is vital that we all start to accept that we are human beings with limitations and will make mistakes....I mean thats how humans learn...By f*****g things up on a regular basis and by using the experience to improve...But at the heart of it you have got to ask yourselves what are your motives when you have f****d up...where they good or bad???...If they were bad the result is guilt...And i can tell you from personal experience that a guilty conscience feeds DP like heroin feeds an addict...

Slow down people, lower your bars and clear your conscience...You then get introduced to your true human self....And they are usually nice people LOL...I know thats what I have found out about myself...That is actually also known as self love and that is how you learn to love yourself for who you are not what you are.................................
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have immense respect for people who start with limited resources in life and go on to build a promising future for their children. Having a healthy, loving family is true wealth, in my opinion.

The breathing exercise you suggested helped a lot. I wonder why the instructions involve pressing your tongue to your palette.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you! My family is why I do what I do. Actually, my family is my focus but I do the things that I do to help better the world and when I see not just myself or my family happy but helping other people, that's true happiness.

I'm not sure why you have press your tongue against your palette, but that's what I was instructed to do and it does help.

Thank you again for the kind words and I hope all is well with you.
 
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