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On my blog you will find the below entry as well as my journal entries and other things I have found helpful.

I am happy to say that for the past few days many of my symptoms of DP/DR have been less noticeable or less bothersome than they have been since I started experiencing them. I truly believe that my effort and the strategies that I have employed truly have worked for me and that many if not all of them will be helpful for other people. Below is a list of what I have done to get to this point. Just a quick recap of my symptoms at their worst: I felt as if I was not real, I have felt and continue to feel detached from my environment at times, I have and continue to ruminate about the nature of my existence and ask myself questions like "what am I? etc.," I have felt like I was in a dreamlike state, I have felt like my actions were automated, other people have seemed and continue at times to feel strange or unusual, I have been fearful of going outside, I get afraid/uncomfortable around dusk, I have had and continue at times to have the feeling of being in a play or a movie, I have felt foggy and as if there is a veil over my experience, I have formerly felt hopeless and unable to enjoy anything about my life, in addition I have felt very anxious and moderately depressed. As I said many of these symptoms are much better, some are non existent anymore, and a few I continue to work toward eradicating. Here is my list of what has helped me improve and what I think will help others:

1. STOP RESEARCHING what you have, what your symptoms are, and if you are going crazy. If you have the presence of mind to research and think deeply about what you are going through you are not going crazy. Also, "crazy" is not a term that I know to be used in the field of psychology, so I would encourage you to stop thinking of it this way as there is no such thing as "crazy." You can't be diagnosed "crazy." As far as the researching goes, it DOES NOT HELP AT ALL. In fact researching makes your symptoms worse as a major component of DP/DR is obsessive thoughts. The moment I stopped researching what I have is the moment I can point to my experiencing some relief. There is nothing the internet can tell you that will give you a formal diagnosis. Think of it this way, even the most experienced mental health clinician would not even dare to diagnose you over the internet. So what makes you or me capable or qualified to diagnose ourselves in the same way? I promise you that researching made me feel way worse and when I stopped I felt better in many ways.

2. Seek out all the help you can get. Think of your recovery as a "it takes a village to raise a child approach." If you had cancer, or were in a car accident in which you lost function of a leg, or if you were trying to build a house in your community you would not do it alone. The symptoms of DP/DR are confusing and isolating enough as it is without you and I choosing to isolate ourselves by not seeking out help. I have assembled a team that consists of my therapist, my psychiatrist, my yoga teacher, my girlfriend, other friends, and most importantly myself. If you are not on board with your recovery program how can you expect to heal? Although we can not all afford to get the help of professionals it is imperative to seek the help of others. Remember that your symptoms are merely symptoms. The world is not different, but rather our perceptions of the world and ourselves have changed. I implore you to set aside your fears and embarrassment about your symptoms and seek out help from other people. I have recovered slowly with the help of others and so can you.

3. Take every opportunity you can to help others. Remember that each individual's suffering is not unique and that your pain, or my pain, is not any more important than anyone else's pain. We are all together in this and if you can find a way to help others I know you will feel better. I was fortunate enough to be contacted by someone who is experiencing symptoms similar to mine and it has really helped me to help this person by giving him advice about the strategies I have used. Helping this person has also given me a sense of purpose and a perspective to look outward rather than just focusing on how bad I have it. If we concentrate more on helping others we will naturally focus less on our suffering. This has truly helped my recovery. Look for any opportunity you can to spread love, joy, peace, and compassion.

4. Have patience. The symptoms we are all experiencing are happening for a reason. We cannot change the onset of our symptoms. They exist and the will end eventually. Nothing lasts forever in this world and our symptoms will eventually cease to exist. However, I have found that when I stopped "pressing" for them to end I started to feel better. I have committed myself to a path of acceptance rather than resistance. I have chosen to stop wanting to get better right away and have started to accept that these symptoms are essential for my becoming who I will become.

5. Meditation has significantly reduced my anxiety and has offered a respite from my obsessive thoughts. It does take some practice and I would suggest consulting a person experienced in meditation before beginning, but meditation has changed my life and offered me more peace.

6. Consulting with a psychiatrist. I have been taking Zoloft for 6 weeks now and have been at a 150 mg dosage for two weeks. After 3 or 4 weeks my anxiety was essentially non existent and this subsequently reduced my obsessive thoughts and discomfort with my existence. I can not promise this will work for everyone, but I am grateful for the help of my psychiatrist. I will end by saying that my psychiatrist promised me that I would feel better and recover after the first meeting. He said that DP/DR is well known in the medical community and very treatable.

7. Spirituality. I will only say that since I started meditating and practicing yoga I have felt more connected to God and to my higher self. This commitment has given me purpose and comfort.

8. Routine. In order to hold myself accountable for doing more than just laying in bed or sitting on the coach all of the time I made a schedule for every moment of the day or at least most of them. On this schedule I would be doing things that required my attention and most importantly distracting me from my symptoms. My routine usually looks like the following: Wake up, pray, take my medicine, let the dog out, eat breakfast, take the dog for a walk or to the dog park, yoga and meditate, shower and apply triphala oil to feet and ears, journal and read, take care of chores or errands, go to work, come home and meditate, make dinner, journal, read, connect with another person through email/phone call/face to face, make my schedule for the next day, turn off all distractions, wash feet and face and apply triphala oil, read or meditate, go to sleep.

9. Spending time with other people. No matter how uncomfortable it felt at times I found that going out with friends and being in public would help and has helped my recovery. The symptoms are isolating enough as it is without deliberately staying away from other people.

10. Affirmations. I made a list of things I wanted then I rewrote them as if they are already true. For example I wrote "I want to feel more connected to my environment" then I changed it to "I appreciate how connected I am to my environment." I have about 20 affirmations that I recorded using my phone and I listen to them every day.

11. Find anything I can to relax me. I have found that classical music, reading, taking the dog to the dog park, rubbing lavender and triphala oil on my skin, yoga, meditation, drinking coffee, learning have all helped me relax. I encourage you to find any way possible to relax as this has really helped me.

This list isn't exhaustive, but these have all truly aided in my recovery. I am much more able to enjoy life these days and I am grateful for the symptoms because they have helped me get started on some positive changes in my life. Good luck and please reach out if you have any questions or tips!

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