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So I have a bit of stuff to say on this it's really long sorry! It's worth a read though I promise.

I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety and panic disorder sophomore year of high school (I'm 20 now) because I started getting extremely severe DP which lead to some more severe DR. After about two months of horror, I got onto prozac and I was doing pretty good until last summer! Then some intense health anxiety triggered the DP again and they tried to up the prozac, which made things 10x worse. The best thing that happened to me after that was seeing an actual psychiatrist who put me on Zoloft and helped me cope and manage (I was briefly on Risperdol but the low dosage didn't really do anything and the side effects scared me so I got off of it)

Fast forward to the reason I'm in this thread; I'm a lot better now. Seeking help where I could and grounding techniques were life savers. There were many factors involved in my recovery, and I'm not even sure if I know what they all are. But now I want to talk about some thoughts I think are really important for people struggling and people in recovery to understand!

Mental Illness and recovering is a process. Most people don't wake up magically cured one day. It takes work and it takes letting others help you. Once you get better, you may relapse and that's okay. It's terrifying but at that point, you've gotten better once and you can again. Sometimes in really dark periods, the best thing you can do is cope.

It's okay to not be okay, but let others help you and take comfort in knowing you're not alone. Every scary thought you've had is something someone else has also experienced, trust me.

THERE IS NO "ONE CURE" FOR DPDR. I love reading stories from people who have found techniques and things that have helped them, but I also see a lot of these stories saying "here's how to get rid of DPDR." I assure you that there are hundreds of ways people have recovered, and a particular method may work for some, but not everyone. Just because someone's path to recovery isn't the same as your own, doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. You're not broken, you're just one of the 25% of people with a mental illness. So please take into consideration when you're reading/maybe even writing something that says "This is what you have to do to cure DPDR," that mental illness is extremely complex and there is no "cure all" method. It's amazing and beautiful that these people have recovered, but claiming there is a way to cure everyone suffering can be very discouraging, and make people believe that they will never recover (that's just not true!)

Please hang in there. It can be absolute hell, but there are so many things that can help. Even if it's slow, even if you relapse, even if someone's "cure all" method didn't work for you, keep your hope.

I'm not a doctor or a psychologist (yet, I'm actually working on my Psych degree!) so the things I've said are my opinion based on five years of experience with DPDR and a lifetime of anxiety. I hope this helps someone. I'll list some thing's that have helped me a lot in the past and still today. They may not work for everyone but I'd recommend giving them a try if you haven't. This is especially for people who get "DP attacks" and who have sudden bad bouts of them, but these can also help people who have more "all the time" DPDR (I had mostly episodic, but also mix of both at times)

Coping Mechanisms/Treatments that have helped me:

  • grounding techniques, such as concentrating on what I can feel and whats around me. Ex. "my hand is on a blanket. The blanket is blue and soft. My feet are on the ground. I see a brown bench with a chip on one side"
  • Telling myself my name, my age, where I am, and listing my friends and family in my head. This is for DP when I start to get really detached from my body and mind
  • In the worst of times when I could barely cope, watching youtubers/shows that usually make me feel a sense of comfort/happiness, and playing video games to keep myself as distracted as possible. I played a ton of Mario Kart
  • Medicine. This is a trial and error process, and not accessible to everyone but if you can, go to a psychiatrist. Your regular doctor will not be able to prescribe you the meds specific to your experience, or the right dosage, but a psychiatrist will. Because of that I'm functioning right now.
  • Writing how I feel when I'm at my worst, keeping a bullet journal/regular journal to keep track of my mood and organize myself
  • BREATHING TECHNIQUES. Seriously if you can remember them when you're really freaked out, breathing techniques are everything. It forces your heart rate to go down and relaxes you, scientifically this is a great way to bring the panic down a notch. If you can't remember to do this when you're having a bad episode, practice it on a regular basis so it becomes more of a habit
  • if i can think of more ill add them, but these are the one's that I can remember helping me the most
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