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Below is something I wrote up. It is not necessarily in perfect order but more or less is in the order that things have happened. As of this post I believe I've had DP for close to 2 months. I do not know why I am posting this out on the internet perhaps other than to raise some kind of awareness and to contribute to something i've read about from other people so much lately.

One thing to know is that apparently "Panic Disorder" runs in my family.

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I went through a long period of good and bad stress (about 2 weeks). I was as happy as could be at the time though.
The things that happened were both good and bad, but stress none the less.

Some of the stress included getting the Swine Flu, staying up late, relationship stuff, vacations etc... etc...

Its hard to say what came first and what did what since so many things happened in such a short amount of time. For instance when I was sick I took only 80% of one dose of Codiene for my cough. I stayed up late and at one point it felt like my hands were disconnected from me. but I've had this before from staying up late anyways. So I just went to bed. That night when I slept I felt really strange, almost moving in and out of myself. anywho.

Depersonalization - I believe this came first, although obviously after a lot of heavy stress. I noticed it after staying up late and then taking a long flight. But perhaps there were signs earlier on. For reference, this was about 3-4 days after the Codeine.

I felt removed and strange. My vision had a tunnel effect to it, but seemed more perception than anything. It was hard to say. I figured it was exhaustion and sickness. I started to notice back pain 2 to 3 days later. I tried to sleep as much as I could but kept waking up in the middle of the night completely awake and alert which never happened in the past. There is nothing really on my mind other than the thought that i'm awake and am alert only after 2-3 hours of sleep.

I was very positive/happy still and figured all would pass. I carried on but had to wonder what was going on. I said to some people "I think I messed myself up" etc.... I tried things for my back and results were off and on. Pain seemed to move around up and down my spine on dif. days. Caffeine seemed to frazzle me now.

Noticed some face tingling. My Vision is still strange
Vision: Light Sensitivity/Glare, Astigmatism Myopia, Halos, Star bursts, Lights trail, After Images, Floaters. (few if not all are probably part of light sensitivity).

Traffic lights at night are really bad.

I talked to some people and visit a primary and eye doc -Primary says it sounds like anxiety and give it a couple of weeks. I find that Panic Disorder runs in my family. I'm relieved but then only a few hours later i'm in a meeting with a large group of people and I got uneasy. People still look strange to me so I'm kinda shakey for god knows what reason. This was a big day. I rushed home after work and layed on the couch more or less freaking out for the rest of the night. I just tried to relax. Tried to nap. But I cannot nap.

Parasethsia and muscle twitching.

I start talking with people and looking into things - researching. I fixated on the vision aspect (eyes turn out to be actually fine) and my back. As I learned about panic I let the back and tingle stuff sort of go, which helped. But I can't get over the visual disturbances. I have 20/20 vision but I feel like i'm in a tunnel a bit. That removed feeling.

I start having a hard time with people as they seem to look weird to me. I really feel like people aren't who they were in a sense. Like a glaze across them. Light sensitivity does not help any of this as light can streak across people or neg/pos after images over peoples faces. (ugh)

Note by this point I believe I was running, eating healthy, no caffeine etc... Trying to fix things with out meds

BAM: I wake up in the middle of the night and have crazy zaps through my body. I start freaking out and arching my back. But I try to relax and go back to sleep. Because its best to hold strong. I cannot sleep.

Few days later i'm to the point where I lay on my couch all the time and try to nap. I cannot nap. Sleep is my ultimate goal. Fix the sleep and other things might follow. But noises make me jump. Its like the sounds hit me instead of pass through. I keep things dark and I don't like bright or artificial light. I am hypersensitive (sound, light, smell) I cannot watch movies or listen to music anymore. Loud music puts a lump in my throat and I can hardly follow a movie plot especially since the whole thing rattles me anyways. Anything that is fast paced rattles me. I have no focus. The visual stuff makes it really hard. Sounds annoy me or draw attention. I realize i'm not in the flow so to speak, so I try to get into the flow of life any way I can.

Lack of attachment.

BAM - Heavy/Severe Insomnia. I cannot fall asleep without panic attacks and vivid nightmares/dreams. I would wake up after one hour in an attack. Then it got to the point where I really couldn't fall asleep period. I started using Ambien. It works ok but started to wear off. Any time I try to fall asleep w/o it I get a body buzz. Sometimes I'll sleep for a little bit and then wake up in panic or just wake up alert. To stop any buzz I have to move around in bed.

At this point i'm working pretty hard to fix the problem, but finding myself agoraphobic and avoidant. I don't like it and try to change it, but situations in dept. stores etc.. only get bad. I don't know what to say to people when I talk to them. I think about the weirdness i'm having mid conversation. I try not to, but its really hard. The difference between the way I was before and the way I am at this point is vast, making things extra hard. People are noticing.

Depression and exhaustion kicks in from many factors. My head sometimes feels really light and lifted. Pain moves up my neck into my head. Aforementioned symptoms are still and always chronic but can vary in degree.

List of some things I experience

-Depersonalization (lack of attachment and emotions, odd perception of reality)

-Paresthesia

-Memory loss (short term and long term)

-Impatience

-Obsession (of it all)

-Heavy lack of concentration/focus

-Intrusive thoughts

-Don't feel hungry and don't feel tired

-Paranoia/agoraphobia/avoidance/jumpy

-Weight loss

-Vision problems

At this point I start anti-depressants and have to stop working. Ambien only worked for a while and hardly. I stopped Ambien and started Seroquel (yikes). I sleep sometimes on the Seroquel but I get hellish vivid nightmares.

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What you've been waiting for
:::: 12 Years ago I smoked weed for the first time (your probably sighing at this point). I didn't know how much I was supposed to so I just followed what my friend did. At some point I started seeing things in slow frames and almost like tracers around movement. I thought purple smoke came out of my ears for a second. I freaked out and went to bed where I layed "buzzing". I then thought my head was in my heart as everything went grey and my heart raced. I worried about being found out and about permenent damage. I watched the clock which bounced around. My friend messed with me saying I was high, and then that I wasn't which actually changed the buzzing intensity. Eventually it all wore off.

The next day I thought I was fried. Light seemed purple and hurt my eyes. I felt dull and dumb. I would say a few days later It went away.

I only smoked about 9 times after that across a year only to realize it wasn't for me (They were never that bad of an experience again, but always paranoid and introspective). It saddens me because to this day I've never smoked a cigarette and I've never puked from drinking (6 beer max for me). I simply didn't do anything including meds (until now ofcourse).

Now I look back and I understand that what I had was a panic attack and what I had afterwards was some level of DP or something. I can look back at other times in my life and realize it as well. When I was really young I used to stare and my vision would get strange. I had some sensitivity to light and sensitivity in general when I was a kid. Car accidents. Also I used to tell people about a couple of times where I had a dream where I was buzzing etc... Which I now realize where probably a bit of night panic.

I hold on to the fact that it can go away. I have a case that is pretty extreme imo. More so than others i've talked to. Much more. But people have had some luck and I'm sure many of you consider me lucky for not feeling like I do right now for the past 12 years.

Sorry for so much info. I could go on and on.
 
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