I saw at least six psychiatrists during my years of hell. They all kept insisting I wasn't suffering from a mental illness. They said it was 'only' depression and acute anxiety. After speaking to many other people from the depression groups I was attending, I knew there was something else wrong with me. I persisted to ask my doctor for second opinions, and I was finally diagnoised with Dp and Dr, after mentioning that I viewed the world through a fog.
I've found that all pyschiatrists seemed to want to control me, as if I was 'just another patient' of inferior intelligence to them. They didn't like it when I dared to ask them questions. Nobody seemed to care. I felt that nobody really listened. It was an extremely frustrating nightmare! I was already experiencing a complete loss of control, so the last thing I needed was somebody trying to control me, rather than help me. Even the psychiatrist who diagnoised me got very annoyed, when I asked him to write down the words Depersonalisation and Derealisation, so that I could look it up.
My psychiatrist wanted to put me on Sodium Valphroate, but I'd had some bad experiences with Seroxat and other drugs, so I refused. I was already taking 150mg daily of Imipramine and high daily doses of Diazepam. I still take the same doseage of Imipramine, but now I only take Diazepam when I have an acute anxiety attack, which is usually once every 2 - 3 months.
I haven't had any contact with the department of Dp in London.
All the doctors and therapists that I've met here in the UKhave all, without exception, dismissed DR/DP as a symptom of either anxiety or depression, which of course if usually is. Usually, they don't acknowledge the suffering these symptoms cause.
Most doctors I have spoken to don't have a clue. I've given up trying to explain, just say 'yeah I'm panicky' get my prescription and go. It was clear they weren't going to help me so I am helping myself. Or you need to find someone who is able to give you the time and therapy you need to help your individual problems, not necessarily a dp expert, but someone who understands psychological issues. Most gp's do not. In my experience anway.
As for the DP unit, I contacted them and they cannot answer direct questions, but they can send you a leaflet about what they do and a questionnaire which they use for their research. You need to be referred to the unit through a psychiatrist.
in my experience dissociation is recognised, ssris and benzos are offered. i didn't mention dp to the gp as i wanted his opinion on my feelings. i emailed what i thought was the london research unit at one point but didn't get a reply
my experience seems to be similar, ignorant Gp's and patronising psychiatrists, although I took the psychiatrists word as final and came home and tried to accept my change in experience.
When I first went to the GP I was diagnosed as depressed despite describing that I felt as if I never properly woke up and I didn't feel, (no really Dr I don't feel, not even depressed). I tried going back after a few months, spoke to a different Dr who thought the dreamlike feeling may be caused by the AD's (despite this being the symptom I went to the Drs with initially) so he reduced my dose and advised me to use a good reading light to combat my difficulty reading words on a page.
Simultaneously I had been reffered by my health visitor to the local mental health intervention unit as she was concerned I didnt have feelings for my children. This was more luck than design. The psy nurse who visited me agreed with me when I told him I didn't 'feel' depressed and scored me for a thing called dissociation. My score was high but the information that he could give me on the condition was very limited, I came away believing I must have been abused in childhood to have developed this method of mental escape. This wasn't helped by my absent memories.
I was also reffered to a psychiatrist. I spent several months of visits to a couple of different senior house officers who again either had limited understanding or If they did, I only saw them once or twice. One of these increased my AD's beyond their initial dose as he believed the dissociation was secondary to deppression. With no continuity I called to cancel any futher appointments because I became more frustrated trying to explain the unexplainable to proffessionals possibly not even specialising in psychiatry (I had to ask myself for whose benefit was I going.) It was then that I was given an appointment with the actual psychiatrist.
In a bizzare session she used analogies of carburrators to describe how different people feel, how blind people have to adjust to losing that sense and how perhaps if I would just accept my change in perspective I would begin to feel better. 'do you think you would like to see me again?' 'I don't think' so I said quietly.
Not long after I was discharged by the nurse, as unless I could explain how it was affecting my life or work there was not much more he could do.
That was a year and a half ago, and it has taken until now to understand that its not ok to accept the condition and that it does serverely affect the relationships I have with my children and my partner. How anyone with impaired perspective could evidence their own petition I'll never know. I accepted these proffesionals authority. Until now. I have pieced together a better understanding of my mental health with help from sites like this and the people who post on them.
Its best to make you aware that I still don't feel, not even anxiety so I don't suffer in the sense that lots of you do and Im fortunate in that but it makes me even less human and I desperately want to rejoin/regain life.
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