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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Never fit in well at school, with friends, with peers, well..never fit in anywhere. Felt freaky, different, inadequate?.but underneath I also felt brilliant and gifted and had enormous fantasies of eventual fame and fortune. I couldn?t get the kids in the playground to like me very much, but I knew I could become an adored movie star one day (or a famous genius scientist ? the key was ?extraordinary?). Did fine in school, but was never recognized as the genius I thought I was.

Had a very very close relationship with my grandmother growing up, she and I were best friends. She was the one person I knew adored me, could count on her, etc. No one else in the world could measure up to her treatment of me ? no one else besides her saw my ?specialness.?

I hated my mother and adored my grandmother. Life was very neat and tidy. I always knew my own mind. Very well. I always knew exactly what I wanted and thought.

Second year of high school, the anxiety attacks started. Sometimes panic attacks, sometimes just horrible anxiety states. I was afraid I was dying, was having a heart attack, etc?I became very self-monitoring, checking my pulse constantly, babying myself, watching for signs that my body was betraying me.

One day, out of nowhere, dp arrived. I walked down my front steps on a bright sunny day and blamo! The world tilted, and my own self felt like I had entered a different dimension. Utter and abject terror. I couldn?t ?right? myself, felt myself vanishing, as if I was dreaming. That feeling came and went all throughout the day, and I was terrified to go to sleep.

That was the basic beginning of the end. For the next several years, I was a cripple. Terrified to leave the house, terrified even inside the house?.I found a psychiatrist who reassured me it was ?only anxiety? while I, of course, knew it was the beginning of insanity and nobody else realized it.

Got a scholarship to a very good college, went for less than 2 months. I couldn?t sit in a classroom, was living every minute watching myself, feeling dp and dr states wax and wane?.I had every symptom in the anxiety-book: panic attacks, chronic fear and worry, hypochrondria, morbid fear of losing my mind, obsessions, relentless ruminations, couldn?t sleep right, terrified of sleep, powerful dp where I felt like I literally no longer existed, that I had become something else besides a human, or that I had dreamed my entire existence, that nothing was real (the Matrix kind of thoughts) or that I was the only being in the universe and had invented everyone around me, or that I was already insane and having this reality as a delusion?.relentless.

I spent over a year not leaving the house, then slowly ventured out, taking lots of medications (trying different ones, anything that might help reduce the constant terror). There were days where I felt better, then there were days where I felt worse than ever before.

I was mentally ill. Clearly, I would live the rest of my life this way. Or worse.

Finally got it together enough to enroll in the state college (having lost my chance to go to the really good school), and took a few classes each semester. Dropped out a couple of times, failed some classes, got ?A?s? in others?every single day was a mental challenge. Some days I couldn?t get there, or tried and had to get off the bus and run back home. I lived in terror. The world could tilt for no reason, I could walk across campus and suddenly I was not in my own body, suddenly faces looked odd and the entire end of the world seemed to lie past the horizon. Went to college classes for 6 years. Never got a degree.

When days seemed better, I?d make grand plans. IF somehow, I could only get over my illness, I would be able to do anything. Joy was short lived, and usually the following day, I was positive I?d end up in a mental hospital forever.

I had a few friends (no boyfriends, or lovers, couldn?t handle it; insisted I didn?t want closeness anyway) but I couldn?t FEEL anything for anybody.

Moved to New York with one longtime friend, and had major ups and downs mentally for several years. Almost checked into a hospital on more than one occasion. My friend knew I ?was anxious? but I never talked about dp. It, to me, was proof I was really insane.

Got jobs, quit jobs. Lost jobs. Walked out on jobs. Walked out once during lunch, lol?.was too terrifed to go back into the building. Thought I?d be in the hospital by nightfall. Got more jobs. Quit more jobs.

My plans now hinged on my best friend who was an actress ? I was going to help her become a famous movie star (sound familiar?) and then she could take care of me, have money to protect me, etc. when the end finally came and I could no longer work. My life revolved around her and her career and our outrageous dreams. I was convinced she was destined to be the most famous star of our times. It never happened.

I was in and out of therapy, mostly to get more medication and to have somebody reassure me I wasn?t really insane. I was unmoved by the therapy experiences, and relied only on my needed prescriptions.

One day I stumbled into a new psychiatrist?s office in search of more valium.

That turned out to be the most important moment of my life. It took many years of intense psychoanalytic therapy with this wonderful fellow?.but it worked. He and I were a perfect ?fit? ? somehow against my better judgment, I managed to slowly open up to this human being and we formed a great patient/analyst relationship ? it was bumpy and scary and powerful. And it allowed me to find out about myself more than I really wanted to know, lol?.I came face to face with my own grandiose fantasies (and how I?d jump from being SO special to being NOTHING in my own eyes).

I learned the stuff about myself that all my symptoms had been trying to hide from me.

I learned to look at alot of stuff that I'd known and not known at the same time. I saw my grandmother differently, and my mother differently. I revised the way I saw my younger life. Things WERE unreal, because I'd tried so long and so hard to keep viewing everything one way.

I learned to see the complexity in all relationships. I shook up my own status quo. And that status quo was being threatened back when I first go the symptoms - rather than having break with reality, it was actually all the result of Reality trying to break THROUGH. I didn't want to see. I wanted everything to stay frozen. And the symptoms had arrived.

And as I learned and explored and changed?as I truly allowed change to happen inside me, the symptoms simply went away.

At times they?d try to return, and I learned how to force my attention away from them, to not empower them by turning myself upside down.

It?s been about 11 years since those changes occurred inside me. I?m well, symptom free. Do I still have some neurotic issues? Sure, lol?.I?m no model of mental health.

But I no longer have dp. I no longer have anxiety states or obsessive thoughts that ruined my life.

I am free.
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Are you HAPPY ?
Do you have a personal definition what happiness is and can you embrace that EMOTIONALLY?

Can you FEEL yourself ?

Was your aim to be symptom free "only" or is it eqally important to be HAPPY ?
Does being free of symptoms mean being HAPPY ?

These questions might be too personal, but I couldn't resist asking.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, nothing's too personal for me, lol....I've written a memoir of my treatment, etc..and it hides nuthin'

I'm remarkably happy. And I must add this though: I really never suffered from depression. I had depressive times, or episodes, but even in the worst of times, I would somehow manage to regain SOME temporary level of happiness (it would fade quickly, but it was regainable)

I'm happy now because I feel fulfilled (and that word used to confuse me, lol...couldn't even figure out what it meant). I am a writer, have a form of art/work that is deeply satisfying, have good and pleasure-inducing relationships, and I feel a curious sense of both very much ME (strong ego) and a simultaneous sense of being interested in the world to the extent that I often "forget" me.

I guess I feel "whole" or ....Real. And I never had that feeling, even as a child, even before the breakdown.

Another feeling, and I believe this is true for many long term sufferers once they get well, is that I feel like I've gotten a Second Chance at life. That in and of itself is rather exhilerating!

Peace,
Janine
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks janine.

You know, these are questions I actually ask myself and I can't really answer them for me so I thought maybe you are able to answer them to give me some sort of encouragement .

And your answer definitely is an encouragement for me.

To be honest I was surprised about your point on that because I can't imagine being happy and even if I was symptom free I doubt if that would bring happiness. So actually I thought probably nobody knows what happiness is, but since you do, there must be something like this for me too and that is encouraging.

Maybe I am depressed, but I tend to think who's not facing dp.
The thing is that I additionally suffer from great somatic (psychosomatic) pain and I take medication against the pain rather than against the dp.
So I can't imagine being filled with something different than pain which takes in my whole body at times.

Thank you for being happy and telling me that, I mean, seriously.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Janine,

Your story is a powerful one!!! It gives me hope. I had dp/dr after the birth of my now 2 yr old and am doing well. I still have slight episodes with dp/dr but they are not bad. If I feel like I am getting into muddy waters, I don't hesitate to take a Xanex, which brings me back to earth.

You are one couragous person!!! Thank you so much for sharing you story with us!

Carla :D
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Janine-

I was wondering how you finally got through it. It is hard functioning, when you feel like you aren't here???

Thanks

Rachel :roll:
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took Paxil for 10months and it put me in a funk, slightly reduced my DR about 5% out of 100%, and then I couldn't stand being on it anymore.

Now I am on Zoloft, and it makes me 100% worse. I went to 100mg's and I couldn't stand it. Not only was I lightheaded but also my DP / DR are worse than ever now.

I take Klonapin too, that helps about 10%. I know I am depressed because of this. Anxiety is what started my whole Cycle.

Has anyone taken Effexor for DP / DR? I am trying to find another med. I feel so lost right now.

Thanks

Rachel
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
(((Rachel)))

I wish I could give you a HUGE hug!!! I wish you werent suffering so badly. One good thing is that there are so many other things to try. But in the meanwhile, every second can feel like an eternity when you are in such a bad place, I REMEMBER WELL!!! What does your Dr. say about how you are doing?

Hang in there, girl. You will get relief.

Carla
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
JanineBaker said:
And it allowed me to find out about myself more than I really wanted to know, lol?.I came face to face with my own grandiose fantasies (and how I?d jump from being SO special to being NOTHING in my own eyes).
Do you mind me asking about the above? It rings a familiar bell. I've also seen that Monika mentioned it in her story. Did you learn anything about this aspect of your disorder in therapy? For you, what was its source?
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
JanineBaker said:
And it allowed me to find out about myself more than I really wanted to know, lol?.I came face to face with my own grandiose fantasies (and how I?d jump from being SO special to being NOTHING in my own eyes).
Do you mind me asking about the above? It rings a familiar bell. I've also seen that Monika mentioned it in her story. Did you learn anything about this aspect of your disorder in therapy? For you, what was its source?
 

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Your story has been inspiring Ma'am :D . Hopefully someday I'll be able to get there as well.

Just a quick query : Do you still feel a veil covering your vision? Or did the veil go away with the anxiety?
 

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Your story has been inspiring Ma'am :D . Hopefully someday I'll be able to get there as well.

Just a quick query : Do you still feel a veil covering your vision? Or did the veil go away with the anxiety?
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I said:
Are you HAPPY ?
Do you have a personal definition what happiness is and can you embrace that EMOTIONALLY?

Can you FEEL yourself ?

Was your aim to be symptom free "only" or is it eqally important to be HAPPY ?
Does being free of symptoms mean being HAPPY ?

These questions might be too personal, but I couldn't resist asking.
Oh my GOD.

:)
"I" I think you should become an alcoholic... I dont UNDERSTAND you.
Do you THINK like that all the time???

Wow.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm remarkably happy. And I must add this though: I really never suffered from depression. I had depressive times, or episodes, but even in the worst of times, I would somehow manage to regain SOME temporary level of happiness (it would fade quickly, but it was regainable)
Same here.
I wake up HAPPY every morning for some idiotic reason.
I've got "Dysthymia" too... long term depression.

It's confusing. But my mood has duality.

One day, out of nowhere, dp arrived. I walked down my front steps on a bright sunny day and blamo! The world tilted, and my own self felt like I had entered a different dimension. Utter and abject terror. I couldn?t ?right? myself, felt myself vanishing, as if I was dreaming. That feeling came and went all throughout the day, and I was terrified to go to sleep.
Did life get "too real" from the SUNLIGHT??? Did you feel "not allowed" to be in the spotlight or something?

I think... long term Psychological rejection by your Mother and kids at school had "programmed" your subconscious. Plus, you pressured yourself, with high-powered stressed out "self talk" (Genius, superstar etc).

The inner roller coaster of Janine's self talk and inner dialogue CLASHED with the re-inforced external messages. After months of high anxiety, maybe "bright sunlight", was an UNCONSCIOUS trigger, "programmed" into your subconscious as exposure and limelight was avoided...

You had been HUMBLED at previous times into "rejecting" the limelight perhaps, or feeling UNLEASHED on the world. Perhaps the DP was a "culmination" of lifelong subconscious conditioning.
Perhaps, DP/DR states experienced later at college involved subtle subconscious triggers to keep you "diminished" in your environment, hence DISAPPEARING as you walk the school campus. You had been subliminally programmed not to "manifest" perhaps???
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I had a few friends (no boyfriends, or lovers, couldn?t handle it; insisted I didn?t want closeness anyway) but I couldn?t FEEL anything for anybody.
Closeness yeah... who wants THAT.

Got jobs, quit jobs. Lost jobs. Walked out on jobs. Walked out once during lunch, lol?.was too terrifed to go back into the building. Thought I?d be in the hospital by nightfall. Got more jobs. Quit more jobs.
Ha Ha. I did that while I was seeing a new "Therapist" recently...
Halfway through a "Hypnotherapy" session, I leaped up and dashed out the door. 1 sec. A flash.
I walked in a blur until I got halfway down the block. Then I walked back to the Therapists house. She'd locked the front door.
She opened it and said something like "I think we both know..." and then closed the door in my face (She was smiling like the cheshire cat).

Wow. No hypno come down, nothing... I guess it was MY fault again...

I guess my brain is putty for people to exert will over.

My plans now hinged on my best friend who was an actress ? I was going to help her become a famous movie star (sound familiar?) and then she could take care of me, have money to protect me, etc. when the end finally came and I could no longer work. My life revolved around her and her career and our outrageous dreams. I was convinced she was destined to be the most famous star of our times. It never happened.
My brain feels full of "Christmas lights", it's always been a bit like that. But when my head split off in 1984 the Christmas lights feeling was a million times amplified.
I think in magical ways. I'm "out there". The Christmas lights thinking is IMPOSSIBLE to control. During DR of my head & neck, earlier this year. All was in alignment. The Christmas lights thinking got more concrete and correlated to better communication - I cant "step back".
With DP I'm thrown forth with no retreat. Insane.
Like ADHD and submissiveness on ecstasy.
I wish I could get DR again. I'm sick of myself. I'm embarrassing...
 
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