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I'm not even quite sure where my story really begins. Throughout my childhood, i thought of myself as happy... I never questioned reality and I thought I lived a normal life. Now that I look back I realize it wasn't quite normal, although the fact that I developed all of this seems rather strange. I had weird fears and anxieties as a kid.. for a while I went through a phase where I wouldn't sleep at night because I was convinced my house was going to be broken into. I created noises and squeaks in my head (which has been a trend that continues til today.. not noises.. but now creating SYMPTOMS in my head). I also had weird seperation anxiety from my parents and siblings.. always worrying about them when they were gone.. convinced someone would just snatch them off the street and take them away.

At the time I didn't realize my fears were a problem. I never told anyone about them.. my parents eventually found out about the breaking & entering one, as I would be up all night crying. The family one.. my friends commented a bit on how I was overprotective of my family.. but nothing out of the ordinary.

For a while, i didn't even have any fears as far as I can recall. I never really fit in at school.. I hung out with the so called "popular" group of people who are basically just jackasses to the other kids. I hung out with them but never really felt like I was PART of them. They liked me, and invited me places.. but it always lingered in the back of my head.. that if a person could invite 30 people somewhere.. id be on the list.. but probably the 29th or 30th person they thought of.

Then... my life changed. One day in the summer after Grade 10, I was sitting in a park watching a play.. when suddenly I started feeling.. weird. My body felt like it wanted to pull itself into fetal position.. my arms went numb.. i felt like my throat closed.. my heart started palpitating. I felt trapped.. and I had my first (and worst id have to say) full-blown panic attack. I ran out of the park in a complete panic. The doctor i saw the next day dismissed it as a small allergic reaction to the bug spray I had put on that night.

I calmed down a bit.. but i couldn't get those feelings out of my head.. the fear I had felt. 2 nights later another panic attack happened.. same thing. This time no bug spray. Now I convinced myself I was dying.. and this started a year-long run of hypochondria and health-anxiety. I was tense every minute.. constantly checking my pulse, checking my breathing. I went through fears of almost every disease in the book.. I had THE WEIRDEST symptoms ever.. my eyes went blurry, my face went numb, my legs wouldnt work right, my arms tingled, my throat felt like it was closing, my heart skipped beats, my head filled with pressure.

At first DP just came as a symptom of anxiety.. i had it then it went away.. I never truly questioned the existence of reality.. I just felt spaced out, things seemed fake. Then one day, about a year ago I was at a concert.. I guess I just had a sensory overload.. but the whole world went unreal.. things seemd to move in slow motion.. i couldn't take things in.. I felt like I didn't know what was going on.. I felt like I was perceiving the world from a million miles away.. I felt like I was outside my body.

The DP stayed with me after that night.. I went through phases where I felt like nothing exterior to me was real.. I went through phases where it didn't feel like I existed.. I went through phases where everything felt like it was fading away.. I couldn't move, I couldn't think.. but somehow I've always carried on. I went through every day a zombie.. and I didn't change one thing to let ANYONE on the exterior know that I wasn't myself. Some days I seem more spaced out then others.. it takes me longer to respond.. some days I tell my friends im lightheaded and dizzy.. but none of them think I am acting too weird.. when inside my whole world is twisted and upside down.

As much as DP made me lose myself.. In these past 2 years I gained friends... real friends... friends that I would do anything for and that would do the same for me. Just as my anxiety and Dp made these last 2 years the worst 2 of my life.. socially my life had been the best these last 2 years. I know where I belong..

Which brings me to now. I was finally doing a bit better in the summer.. no major issues. Until I moved away to University, 5 hours from home.. with NO one I know. i have 2 friends at a nearby University that I still talk too, but they are all i have from home. I now feel like my memory is deteriorating.. Im sitting here right now bawling my eyes out because I can't recall what I did 2 minutes ago. I remember big events, but the small little things ("did i take the elevator or the stairs to get up here") .. I just can't remember. Everything seems jumbled in my head too.. and once again I start to spiral.. like I did with the anxiety.. like I did with the DP.

... and I can't just get it through my head.. that my fears and social anxities as a kid LED to anxiety.. that my extreme anxiety was too much for my mind to take, which meant my brain wanted to disguise the things im scared of.. LEADING to DP.. that now my dissociated state, along with extreme anxiety lead to me being unable to concentrate on my surrounding, leading me to miss small details... HENCE the memory problems.

Nope... instead I sit here, positive I have some disease/mental illness and that one by one I'm losing my memories.. soon i'll have none left and i'll be locked in a mental institution as a vegetable my whole life.Or maybe the whole world isnt real anyways.. so anything can happen. It can't be DP/DR/anxiety I tell myself. I refuse to accept it.. so I sit here crying instead.. and I don't even know where to start to fix myself. I think of giving up again.. as I have so many times in the last 2 years.. I ruffle through the past thinking of old events to try and make myself happy.. and then realize I can't remember every detail.. who was there.. what happened first.. (and it goes on and on "did it even happen?" "why can't i remember what happened next").... and I freak out to put it simply.

Will I ever get better?? Fear is the worst thing in the world. Everyone here trust me when I say.. whereever you are.. I've been there.. or maybe am there too. Hang on....

-Matt-
 
G

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Yep, you are CLASSIC anxiety/dp/obsessional. I can promise you that it's possible for you to recover completely, Matt..and in the same breath, I know you find it impossible to believe.

NOBODY can fathom that anxiety and worry, etc. can create something like the mental implosion that we experience with dp and obsessive self-monitoring, but it is precisely that.

My story is SO similar to your, very similar experiences, childhood terrors, imagination, phobias, overly attached to family, etc. It's just classic. And I was also just positive that I was literally going insane or that something had HAPPENED to my brain, and that I could never feel normal.

The only advice I can offer is this: You MUST use every ounce of your will power to resist trying to recall/reconstruct your days. That "did I do this?" or 'then what did I do right after that?" is KEEPING those symptoms around. You're feeding them vital nourishment everytime you play along with their demands.

Are you in any kind of talk therapy currently?

Peace,
J
 
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