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Trigger warning for those who are affected by stories of failed treatment. This isn't a story to sap you of hope but it is a story of a crazy attempt to fix this thing that didn't work. Read it as a cautionary tale, I suppose.

I'm a male in his 20s from Australia.

When I was 14 or 15 I started getting horrible health anxiety that eventually led to a strange detachment from the world, fatigue, and a loss of enjoyment in things. I didn't know what it was at the time except perhaps some transient consequence of the anxiety & shame I was feeling.

Although these feelings continued to confuse me life was going pretty well until about 4 years ago when I had a breakdown about my condition and developed horrible fear that I was very sick and that my condition would deteriorate until I became a hermit schizophrenic. This was without a doubt the most horrifying time of my life. I know you have all been there.

I commenced a year of in depth investigations to try and learn what it was that was actually affecting me. I didn't know if DPDR and all anyone could tell me was happening was a combination of anxiety and chronic fatigue syndrome. The CFS kind of made sense given that I have brain fog, unrestful sleep, and low endurance for exercise with a long recovery period. I knew I was atypical of CFS, but this became my de facto diagnosis. So my obsession about this illness turned towards CFS and how to fix it. With gritted-teeth and reckless determination I told myself I would give myself a year to figure out the the cause and treat it.

During the research I was doing I came across the link between the microbiome and a whole host of human illnesses. I had some very minor digestive complaints but no where near bad enough to warrant getting a faecal transplant. No, for me this was all about my fatigue and my desperation to arrest what I saw as an inevitable decline into bed-ridden life. So I pursued.

I had a consultation in a reputable GI clinic about my condition and they willing to try it. Or, at least, to try antibiotics first to see if it helped with my condition.

A year later..... I had completed the standard 10 rounds of FMT with the clinic. At first the antibiotics helped with my bowel, but they also gave me chronic acid reflux which continues to this day. What's more, the FMT treatments must not have been enough to counter the wipeout of bacteria from the antibiotics because I now have mild IBS on the D side of things.

During this whole process I also learned that it wasn't Chronic Fatigue that was affecting me, but DPDR. All the symptoms fit right into place, and searching this forum showed that even some of the more obscure symptoms have been experienced by others here.

While the past 18 months since having the procedure have had a low level of anxiety (mostly due to starting an SSRI) the past three months have put me right back into the pit of anxiety. My reflux flared up to the point now that medication alone isn't controlling it, and my bowel symptoms continue to be troublesome to an extent that they never were before I took antibiotics for the FMT.

I feel like such a failure and an idiot for trying something that is as yet completely untrialled in mental illness. If I had taken an SSRI earlier on and struck on a DPDR diagnosis before this whole adventure then I feel I never would have tried it and now would not be fighting against chronic reflux on top of this dreaded state of DP. What's more, I have anxiety now about whether I have actually worsened the state of my microbiome and perhaps opened myself up to other illnesses to come (eg. autoimmune, bowel cancer, etc etc).

I don't think the whole idea behind manipulating the gut flora to treat this illness is absurd, but I regret my hubris thinking that somehow my flawed mortal self could overcome something so cloaked in mystery.

TL;DR I tried to refresh my gut flora to treat this illness, but it didn't work and now I have more issues than before due to the use of antibiotics in the treatment.
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