20 years since my first proper nervous breakdown which left me with major DP and DR, although I had them both long before then. Getting better, clearer and understanding things a lot more in the last few years. Ah, the lament, "If I'd known then what I know now." Wish I could go back and guide myself.
I think it depends on inner resources, the strength of them and the pressure involved. It's all relative. So if a person has an essentially strong or stable persona, then they may recover naturally from, say, a panic attack from weed, which is quite common, using distraction techniques etc.
If someone has had a traumatic background/upbringing, they may not have that mechanism to kick in. We don't like to admit it, but we're all subject to the influences in our lives, positive and negative, especially in our formative years. Some of this influence is explicit, such as bullying or abuse, some is wordless, like neglect.
Of course we don't know any different than our own experience, so it can take a long time to realize that things could have been better.
Fortunately we can change our stars, by not siding with our bad influences but challenging them and breaking them down. This can be a long and difficult process, but if we persist we cannot lose, because they are old recordings saying the same old thing, while we are vibrant and living and have something new to say.
Well mine started at the age of about 15. Was having a great time smoking some,hash with friends. Then the crap hit the fan. Felt like I was separated from my surroundings. And instead of brushing the feeling off I ran with it. I must say though mine has not been continuous but it always seems to come back
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