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Prior to being diagnosed with dp, I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with a very wavering/unsteady sense of self? Meaning that you have worn many different hats in life, and seem to be like a chameleon? Blending into different social situations and feeling drastic changes in how you feel inside? I have struggled with this greatly and even feel different depending on the type of clothes that I am wearing etc. I know that we can often be affected by our environment and the situations we are in, but I am wondering if experiencing this waveringness so extremely is a precursor to dp?

I have been dealing with extreme dp now for close to 5 months and have only recently come to have a diagnosis. I am 36 years old, and most of my life I have pushed myself very hard in every way. Over last winter, everything in my life started to collapse and feel totally out of my control. I lost an ex-partner who I had been recently reconnecting with. For months I felt so raw and in shock, but lately, I have just been feeling so numb to it. A few months after this loss, I started to deal with major anxiety and panick attacks. My life continued to fall apart, and I had to completely give up working and everything I have been involved in. Including my social life and most of the things I enjoy. I also had to deal with moving right in the middle of things getting really bad. It's felt like everything is speeding up towards the end, and I feel like I have aged so much in the last few months. Before all this started, I dident really give much thought to getting older, but now it has become this incapacitating fear of growing older and of what lies ahead. I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with this fear as well?

Everyday I feel very different, and farther away from the life and the self that I have known. My body does not feel like mine, my voice feels different and nothing feels familiar. I recently went on anti depressants and feel like they are making some difference. I am wondering if anyone else is taking anti depressants or any other medication for this, and if so what is your experience/feedback? I am also desperately looking for any tools/resources to manage/reverse this condition?

I appreciate any feedback and I am sending a heartfelt embrace to all those out there dealing with this devastating condition!
 

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Hi there!

I can strongly relate to this, and growing up I questioned whether it was "normal" or not. I knew that teens, for example, experience problems with "establishing their identity" and such, but this felt much stronger than that. My mood and energy and personality were always highly, very highly, dependent on the present environment, which made things like thinking about future careers and "who I really am" very difficult. Eventually I just spaced out completely, though I still do think there is physical source for at least some of my symptoms.

I remember feeling this way growing up, and going to a therapist and being prescribed anti-depressants. I thought "is this what depression is"? And then I told people about it and they would say things like "I wouldn't go on anti-depressants, they make you feel like a zombie", which made me respond, "i thought depression was when you feel like a zombie? If not, what is depression, and what is this mess that I'm feeling?" Anyways, I've been on many antidepressants over the years and I've never noticed any differences that I can confidently attribute to the meds. I sometimes noticed that I felt better after taking meds, but I believe this is more because I was simultaneously entering situations that gave me more energy and high mood states (like going back to college, or getting a job with fun coworkers). That is the variable that changed, as meds have not worked at all since I became an adult and everything has become boring and/or stressful with little reward. Sorry, I get long-winded sometimes. From what I've read, statistically, ADs alone don't usually do much for this condition, but combined with an anti-convulsant (usually lamotrigine), people have observed relief.
 

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I think having a different self for many different situations is normal for many people. Examples are like when im with family, im carefree and sometimes even confident. Around friends, its a whole other story and i act like the wierdest goof ever. Around a person im crushing on or dating is similar but more reserved or insecure. Around coworkers, i become like a super nice, responsible person whos super afraid to do wrong. School was similar except with friends. And strangers i meet vary depending on the gender and first impressions and my mood but definently reserved.
But it was after depression hit when i questioned who i was and who my true authentic self is. Im still figuring that out. Some people have a solid mold for their whole lifes and others have different selfs to fit a particular situation or people.
It could contribute to dpdr as its a partial or total loss of sense of self and/or life. Everything feeling unfamiliar or foriegn is normal in dpdr.

Im very sorry for your loss, thats very difficult, i can relate as i got my recent bout of dpdr from the loss of my father. Death definently hammers home the feeling of no control and anxiety and the fear of the unknown. Im also in the process of moving too.
 

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Also here are some good posts explaining dpdr and tips to help recover.
https://www.dpselfhelp.com/forum/index.php?/topic/26267-dpdr-cure/#entry222777

https://www.dpselfhelp.com/forum/index.php?/topic/20892-the-holy-grail-of-curing-dpdr/
Im pretty much recovered with some left over feelings here and there throughout the day. Honestly it just takes time, alot of understanding, self/life reflection, a drive to live like before and figuring out what to do if its driven by anxiety or depression or both.
In the midst of my dpdr, i found things like journaling, talking to loved ones, hanging out with friends/going out to do stuff (despite how inredibly hard it was) meditation or guided meditation all helped alieviate symptoms.
 

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I've never had a strong sense of identity long before dp started chronic, I'd act different in different groups of people and I've never really known what I wanted to do with my life ,still dont and I'm 34.
Sometimes I've wondered if I had borderline personality disorder my head doctor few years ago said I have most the symptoms but not enough to actually diagnose at the time .
I do think it's pretty normal for anyone to change how they act around different people. I dont think that means your sense off self was always not strong .
How ever I think if it always affected you in ways that caused trouble in life then it may signal a problem.
Truthfully I felt pretty normal before DP
 
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