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Hi Nadosa,

I'm so sorry to hear what you have been going through. I hope you can take some comfort in the fact that I have experienced such similar feelings to yourself. I remember that when I was experiencing the worst period of dp/dr I was weirdly terrified of getting better. That sounds so strange, but I was convinced at the time that I could never be the same/that I was damaged after this experience/that I would never be able to trust in life again, like I was marked in some way and my 'old' personality would be untraceable. I then realised that it wasn't that I was afraid of what I would become after going through this experience, I was just afraid of everything. The sky terrified me, my partners face, the feeling of air on my skin...and I came to realise that from the perspective that I was coming from - everything seemed fear inducing. However, this is in no way the case! Because as my dp/dr started to get better so did my perspective on everything else. I hope that makes sense, but working that out was a really big part of my recovery. Managing to stop fearing the thought of recovery was a huge step.

It seems as though since your dp/dr experience you have been left with obsessive/intrusive thoughts focused around time and also whether or not you are able to handle these feelings. I also have the same thoughts. I was diagnosed with OCD when I was seven and am 26 years old now. These thoughts are very much a theme of my purely obsessional OCD (pure - 0). They're very common thought processes in this disorder and can be managed really well through the use of CBT. The though of "what if I harm myself, or others?" is one of the most common obsessions for people with harm-ocd. I am in no way offering you a diagnosis! I just thought it may be reassuring to know that these thoughts are common and can be managed. What is boils down to is a fear of doubt and lack of control. It is this that feeds obsessional thinking -- "but what if?" -- "how can i know thats true" -- "time is out of my control" -- "but how do i know I wont hurt myself", etc.

For me personally, I find that reacting to these thoughts with logic rarely helped -- because they are immune to logical answers and just seem to always find doubt. What has really, really helped me are certain techniques.

For example, I may have the thought "things can never be the same again since your dp experience, everything is ruined, what if this breaks you?"(this was one of my most common obsessions during the months following dp). When I started having this thought I would do a few things:

1. Recognise the thought as an observer eg. instead of reacting like "oh my god i can't do this - i'll never get over this".. I would say "i am having the THOUGHT that I will never get over this", or "i notice that i am THINKING that I will never get over this".

2. I feel my feet touching the ground and move my toes trying to really tune into the sensation of this. I take a deep breath in and count to 4, I hold it for 2 (I really notice these moments in between breaths), I release my breath and count to 6, and hold it for 2, then repeat. I really try to feel the air in my chest and the sound of my breathing.

3. Another thing you can do it counteract the thought with a ridiculous statement. For example, my brain might tell me "you're going to hurt yourself", and I will say something silly in my head such as "I'm a banana". It works really well because it changes the vibration of the thoughts.

The idea is that it breaks the cycle and re-programmes your brain to not flag up certain thoughts. If you respond with anxiety or feel the the flag just gets bigger and it will keep returning, if you can respond with calm observation or humour slowly, but surely, your brain will start to care a lot less!!

You are not alone. You are so brave and strong. Nothing bad will happen to you. The emotions won't just come rushing out and overwhelm you or anything like that. It's a slow process and at the end is nothing but fearful, but instead a comforting feeling or familiarity and safety without constant intrusive thoughts or anxiety.
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