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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am a 17 year old that is experiencing the same issue as you all. I am new to this forum and I will be sharing my story in hopes of feeling more comfortable with my disorder and to seek out help/advice from those who have recovered already.

This is going to be long, so only continue to read if you are really willing to:

It all started this summer on July 4th when I experienced my first full-blown panic attack. It felt as if the entire world was collapsing in on me. I was certain I was experiencing a heart attack and would soon be at my demise. Prior to this attack, at the end of the school year I started to experience "brain-fogginess". This fogginess got so extreme that it caused the panic attack. I quickly became uncomfortable with everything around me. It was after this that I started to feel as if everything was not real. I felt as if there was a glass plane in front of me all of time, and that everything looked 2D. There was no volume to life anymore. I told my parents about how I was feeling, and they continued to reassure me that it was nothing more than my anxiety kicking in, but we went to the doctor anyways and he told me the exact same thing. I fell into a terrible depression, convincing myself that life had no point if I felt it was not real. I could not get out of bed, and even had suicidal tendencies (just thoughts, but no real intention ever of doing so). I had no motivation, even to play video games, which is WEIRD if you know me. During one family outing I had to go to in NYC we ate dinner at a dark, loud restaurant, and it was difficult for me to remain calm. I was so nervous, and I could not stop telling myself that everything looked fake. I could not pay attention to anything people were telling me, and it all bundled up into another huge panic attack. In the middle of eating I completely froze. After coming out of it, it felt like my entire body was numbing, so my mother rushed me to the hospital. The hospital tested my heart and gave me Ativan to relax me. Again, I felt certain that there was something wrong with my head/heart, but they could only tell me that it was anxiety. But I refused, I knew what anxiety was, and decided to google (never a good idea) what was wrong with me. It came up with DPDR and described what I was feeling to the utmost accuracy. I struggled throughout the entire summer with this, and forced my parents to get me an EEG and a MRI to make sure I did not have brain cancer or something. Of course, the results showed my brain waves were normal and I did not have cancer.

A big part of it for me was the reassurance that it was not something that could kill me, and once I got that out of the way I was able to focus solely on the fact that what I was dealing with anxiety-based/dissociative. I went back to a therapist that helped me in the past with anxiety issues regarding school and she helps, but only with the anxiety part of my problems. I no longer experience panic attacks (although mini ones loom around time to time, but thats normal). She also taught me about mindfulness and meditation which has actually helped me feel more in-sync with myself. The feeling that everything around me appeared to be video-game like or movie-like still bothers me, and I do not know how to get rid of it. However, I have gotten used to it recently. I am able to do things to distract myself, but once I say to myself "hey I am feeling okay" I start thinking about DPDR and feeling as if I am not real. I did get put on anxiety medicine which helped with the panic immensely, but I am still greatly irritated and disturbed/depressed that I cannot stop obsessing over feeling like I do not exist. I usually do not feel awful inside anymore, but whenever I step outside and attempt to take in all that surrounds me, I get overwhelmed, and everything feels fake. I sometimes feel as if I do not control my body, or that everything I do has already been done. Some really weird existential shit. My depression has caused me to begin binge-eating and I have gained around 20 lbs over the beginning of the school year as well. I am not in a healthy position, and it is still difficult to find motivation within myself. I am usually involved in athletics, but this year I am not, and I believe it is adding to my depression. I just do homework, eat, play video games, and sleep. I know it is so unhealthy, but DPDR makes me feel uncomfortable doing anything that does not involve those things. It makes me feel like life could just be turned off at any instant, and it is preventing me from enjoying life. I used to be so happy and optimistic, but now I just feel like shit all the time.

I would also like to add that I had some terrible experiences with weed. I have found that this has been the basis of many DPDR cases. I did not know what getting high felt like, and when I got there I was terrified. I felt like I had no control of anything, and even convinced myself that I would feel like that for the rest of my life. To be honest, DPDR at its worst sort of feels like being high all of the time, so in a way I do not think I was wrong unfortunately. I sometimes think that I have fried my brain permanently and I will be stuck in my DPDR because of it forever. I continued to do my own research throughout the year and I stumbled upon this forum and a website made by a guy named Harris Harrington. The website taught me about how DPDR is made of anxiety, obsession, and trauma. This makes sense to me, as I do obsess over the fact that I feel like I am not real, and I did experience trauma in the form of moving and my parents being divorced that summer as well. It felt like everything I knew about my life changed, so much to the point that I felt like I was living someone else's life. I believe it is a mixture of all of these things that led me down this path. It feels like I am stuck in a nightmare that I cannot wake up from. Life feels like it has less meaning, and I cannot convince myself that anything I am doing is real. My parents try to tell me, "so what if life is not real?" which is a valid point, but there is this physical feeling of nothingness (which makes no logical sense) that comes with DPDR, so that no matter how much you think otherwise, you cannot help but feel that you are not real. I want to feel real again. I want to be able to hang with friends and family again without thinking about if I exist or not.

I am trying my hardest everyday to fix this, and to those who have read this far, I am flattered, for it you who has probably gone through what I am talking about and genuinely cares about this feeling that I and others have had to go through.

Hopefully I will find some solutions here, but if not, I will continue to fight it off.

(For extra info, I have also heard that excessive mastubration and excessive time on screens (tv, video games) cause DP. Usually either provide me with comfort/escape from existential thoughts. Can anyone else confirm this?)

Thank you all,



  • Liam
 

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Hi Liam,

Reading your story above made me feel quite sad, as I went through hell with DP/DR a few years ago and nobody (and I mean nobody) could grasp it. Sure, people around me had experienced anxiety before, but their anxiety was always to do with 'real life', so they thought my anxiety and DP/DR sounded a little insane (which just further perpetuated the problem).

I was very fortunate to find a cheap supplement which helped me TONNES. I went from several months of severe panic attacks and subsequently DP/DR, to feeling 'normal'.

Try some 500mg of either magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate daily (glycinate is less likely to cause any stomach distress). I can't guarantee this is going to solve your problems, but given the drastic difference it made for me in just 4 days, I would strongly recommend trying what is a relatively cheap supplement. Please don't listen to anybody who says you're unlikely to have a deficiency, stress depletes magnesium stores very rapidly.

Other honourable mentions would include omega 3 and B vitamins, but I would try magnesium first.

In terms of other ways to help ease the feelings - Have you tried deep forms of relaxation? This can be personalised to whatever chills you out. It could be deep breathing, massage etc. I personally love a warm bath with a calming sound track in the background, any negativity vanishes within 5 minutes and it puts me into a wonderfully calm and contented mood. It may not be a cure, but it really helps give you some respite from the difficult times.
 

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Hello,

I am a 17 year old that is experiencing the same issue as you all. I am new to this forum and I will be sharing my story in hopes of feeling more comfortable with my disorder and to seek out help/advice from those who have recovered already.

This is going to be long, so only continue to read if you are really willing to:

It all started this summer on July 4th when I experienced my first full-blown panic attack. It felt as if the entire world was collapsing in on me. I was certain I was experiencing a heart attack and would soon be at my demise. Prior to this attack, at the end of the school year I started to experience "brain-fogginess". This fogginess got so extreme that it caused the panic attack. I quickly became uncomfortable with everything around me. It was after this that I started to feel as if everything was not real. I felt as if there was a glass plane in front of me all of time, and that everything looked 2D. There was no volume to life anymore. I told my parents about how I was feeling, and they continued to reassure me that it was nothing more than my anxiety kicking in, but we went to the doctor anyways and he told me the exact same thing. I fell into a terrible depression, convincing myself that life had no point if I felt it was not real. I could not get out of bed, and even had suicidal tendencies (just thoughts, but no real intention ever of doing so).
Isn't it weird how everyone who has DP has had this moment. The moment when life loses colour and the fishbowl vision starts

Sorry to hear about your plight. I have experienced things pretty much identically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Liam,

Reading your story above made me feel quite sad, as I went through hell with DP/DR a few years ago and nobody (and I mean nobody) could grasp it. Sure, people around me had experienced anxiety before, but their anxiety was always to do with 'real life', so they thought my anxiety and DP/DR sounded a little insane (which just further perpetuated the problem).

I was very fortunate to find a cheap supplement which helped me TONNES. I went from several months of severe panic attacks and subsequently DP/DR, to feeling 'normal'.

Try some 500mg of either magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate daily (glycinate is less likely to cause any stomach distress). I can't guarantee this is going to solve your problems, but given the drastic difference it made for me in just 4 days, I would strongly recommend trying what is a relatively cheap supplement. Please don't listen to anybody who says you're unlikely to have a deficiency, stress depletes magnesium stores very rapidly.

Other honourable mentions would include omega 3 and B vitamins, but I would try magnesium first.

In terms of other ways to help ease the feelings - Have you tried deep forms of relaxation? This can be personalised to whatever chills you out. It could be deep breathing, massage etc. I personally love a warm bath with a calming sound track in the background, any negativity vanishes within 5 minutes and it puts me into a wonderfully calm and contented mood. It may not be a cure, but it really helps give you some respite from the difficult times.
Thank you so much for the advice and listening to what I had to say. Really any advice is useful when it comes to DP. I am so glad this supplement was able to help you, and I will definitely ask my parents about it just to be safe. I have found that daily guided mediation and mindfulness has helped me to get my mind off of the existential thoughts a bit. I hope my story did not make you too upset :( Stay strong...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Isn't it weird how everyone who has DP has had this moment. The moment when life loses colour and the fishbowl vision starts

Sorry to hear about your plight. I have experienced things pretty much identically.
It is the absolute worst, and yes I do find it to be quite strange. Thank you, I hope you recover soon.
 
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