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Information for those with DP/DR, and my story!

this post is split up into a couple of topics, so read whatever you want!

- my story

- what i know about dp/dr (the brain stuff)

- how i think you can recover

- other stuff

My story

hello! my name is kay and im seventeen. i've dealt with anxiety and panic attacks since i was a child. random bursts of fear, thinking of death constantly, panic attacks galore and just freaking out over the tiniest things. as i got older, i feared death more and my panic attacks increased as well as lack of motivation. I would have my ups and downs, my high and low points. Then, on august 8 2018, i smoked some weed with my friends (i've been smoking since february). I didn't know that the weed was as strong as it was (it was my friends weed), and i smoked too much and it induced dp/dr/dissociation. i had a major panic attack and i felt like nothing was real, i was detached and time was distorted. it was absolutely terrifying. i knew what was happening as it was going on, i knew that i was dissociating and depersonalizing. i felt like that all night, and then when i woke up in the morning i felt very distorted and i was in a dreamlike state. still very scared. i did some research and realized what was going on. i felt like i was stuck. i was scared to go to work, see anyone, and even go outside. i didn't want to do anything. i thought it was going to last forever. i had a few episodes here and there of major derealization for a few days and then they disappeared a little bit as i started exercising and staying away from caffeine, but it was really hard to take my mind off it. i was okay for a few days, but then i had another panic attack one night and it all hit me again. i have my bad days and my good days, but i just want to be okay again. i want to enjoy my life and not have to worry. as i have previously said, i've dealt with anxiety since i was a child and depersonalizing and derealization made it all worse.

what i know about dp/dr (important stuff that might help you understand it!)

okay, so, every time i have an episode i go on these forums and look up stuff to do to help myself. a few hours ago, it hit me again, and i decided to look up other ways to help it go away. i found a cool website ( gave me some information about what your brain does that makes you depersonalize.

- depersonalization is a mode of self protection. your brain is basically numbing you when you have anxiety, stress or trauma so that you dont have to feel those incredibly strong emotions. when you go through chronic stress, your brain is trying to turn it off and keep you from feeling that way. dp/dr cannot harm you, it is only your brain trying to protect you.

- there is a part of your brain called the limbic system. that is where your emotions, awareness and senses come from. when you feel strong emotions, anxiety or stress, your brain shuts down your limbic system. that is the self protection. your brain is trying to keep you from feeling those bad emotions. unfortunately, that affects your awareness, senses and good emotions, causing you to feel like you arent real or the world around you isnt real. depersonalization is just your brain shutting down that system.

- you can definitely recover from it! there is a way out of this! please don't think you're going to be like this forever, and i know its hard to convince yourself otherwise but you have to try. it's a terrifying feeling, but you can do it. there is a way to recover. say it over and over again if you have to.

- dp/dr is caused by trauma, stress or the use of recreational drugs. basically, your brain is stressed out. that is what happened to me. i smoked too much marijuana and my brain could not handle it.

- you are not alone (thats why this website is here!). thousands of people experience this every day. you're not going crazy.

how i think you can recover

no, i have not fully recovered yet, but i am getting there! there are some things you can do to help you get on the road to recovery, the most important one being is to get help. seeing a therapist or any professional would be incredibly helpful, it's helped me. get with that therapist and address your trauma, stress or any anxiety you might have. try to work through that problem and take care of yourself and i fully believe this will go away. heres a small list of things that might help:

- figure out what is causing this dp/dr

- stay away from caffeine

- submerge yourself in activities that take your mind off of it

- make a small to-do list every day of simple tasks to complete if there are things in your life you need to get done if you're stressed out

- stay away from drugs and alcohol

- remove toxic relationships from your life

- understand that you are okay. you are not crazy and this will not harm you though it is an uncomfortable feeling.

- be in touch with your emotions, take a minute to think about how you're feeling

- try relaxation or exercise activities such as yoga, reading, meditation, running or waking

- learn as much as you can about dp/dr. being more knowledgable about this has made me feel better.

other stuff!

i am constantly afraid of having another dp/dr episode, and i know exactly how you're feeling. it sucks and it's scary, but i know we will get through this together! talk to someone who you trust or someone who is going through the same thing you're going through. just know you're going to be okay. im still trying to recover and help myself, and i learned some new information today that i wanted to share with you guys. if anyone wants to email me and talk, my email is [email protected]!
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