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I thought I'd Googled everything.

From whether my dog sees ghosts to lyrics from 90's tunes I never really could discern (even though I sang along in made up vocables and phonemes anyway), I've punched in the lamest drivel laden inquiries that serve no real personal edification.

So, why, why, WHY has it taken me this long to ask the god of all search engines about the source of these symptoms that have plagued me as far back as I can recall?

(No. The answer is always no in our world.)

I was (and still am) literally shaking as I read the description of this disease; it's like some third person omniscient has tapped into every memory I've had, every emotion I've felt without knowing why, and every experience wrought with the over-analysis of both self and the way I'm being perceived by everyone around me.

Are the people in this coffee house judging me? How do I look? How am I being perceived? I hate that I can't control how I'm being perceived. This doesn't feel real. My words sound stupid. I need to articulate better. Ar-tic-u-late. Use your facial expressions. Make eye contact. Purse your lips and nod. Oh my god - he's been telling me something I need to know for ten minutes now and I haven't assimilated ANY of it. It's okay. Don't panic. Just copy his reaction and say something noncommittal. Aren't we all just acting, though? Why can't I focus on this book I'm reading unless I read it out loud? Is this what ADHD is? No - it's way more than just a focusing issue. Like - how I can feel the sunlight, and see the leaves, and my vision is fine with my contacts in - but I feel like I'm not sensing anything as it really is...so I daze out instead; because it doesn't seem real anyway. So is it real? And if it is, does that just make me-"

Now, by this point in my stream of consciousness, I imagine that the non-afflicted people patronizing the coffee shop (who are grounded back in reality) really are kind of wondering, "Um...what is wrong with that chick?"

And why shouldn't they? This whole time, I've been dazing off into space, indulging in this internal soliloquy (that has played in the back of my mind as an infinite loop for years) about the possibility that I'm really just living in The Matrix, waiting for Laurence Fishburne to call me. What's more, I've never really intimated any of it to anyone except, well... you.

So, hello.

Let's get acquainted. I've been going through these symptoms my entire life; but I'm exactly one hour old as to learning that there's a name for this condition. I know there's a cliché about "you are not alone" and how it's supposed to make you feel better; but since we're all supposed to be cradled in the branches of the honesty tree here, can I just say that I'm not sure whether it makes me feel better or worse knowing about DP as a diagnosable disease?

Part of me wants to delve in and "get cured". Who doesn't want to enjoy life?

Yet, the other part of me knows that that means a huge paradigm shift in my life I'm not prepared to handle: the willingness to be a "self" I don't like, overcome my social anxiety and rapid descent into agoraphobia, and many other unknowns.

No, I'm pretty sure that I'm terrified - not comforted.

But I've dealt with physically worse (back pain, sciatica, disc herniation). So who knows? Maybe fixing this will help with that.

I'd like to hear all your stories all at once. I can't learn from you quickly enough.

Thanks

A


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Francis
Sep 18 2013 05:26 PM

Hi, I feel similar to a lot of your experiences, I have had this condition for as long as I can recall...which is always problematic as my time line and general memory is somewhat flaky.

I tend to become quite paranoid when out, which is why I don't do it, no-one phones these days so going out with a social buffer is out of the question. Everyone looks with their judging eyes and minds, piercing to the core of my being.

Or so I giggle to myself, reducing fear through logic and a good dose of absurd humor.

Family members have always had a laugh at the fact that I was just weird, I mean, it's just a 'me' thing. The world feeling real, it's all just in your head.

Sadly the doctors have put my condition down to depression since the start which has somewhat delayed any chance of a speedy recovery.

I took the leap and decided to join a good old forum as talking to people about it just gets increasingly frustrating and increases sense of isolation. As long as you can function to a lesser degree it all seems to be fine with them.

I'm kinda looking froward to being 'normal', I wonder what people really look and feel like. Maybe I could have a functioning relationship with the others, we could go out and do human things instead of be being bored witless at their tedious conversation and lack of insight.



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MissA
Sep 18 2013 05:56 PM

Hi, I feel similar to a lot of your experiences, I have had this condition for as long as I can recall...which is always problematic as my time line and general memory is somewhat flaky.

I tend to become quite paranoid when out, which is why I don't do it, no-one phones these days so going out with a social buffer is out of the question. Everyone looks with their judging eyes and minds, piercing to the core of my being.

Or so I giggle to myself, reducing fear through logic and a good dose of absurd humor.

Family members have always had a laugh at the fact that I was just weird, I mean, it's just a 'me' thing. The world feeling real, it's all just in your head.

Sadly the doctors have put my condition down to depression since the start which has somewhat delayed any chance of a speedy recovery.

I took the leap and decided to join a good old forum as talking to people about it just gets increasingly frustrating and increases sense of isolation. As long as you can function to a lesser degree it all seems to be fine with them.

I'm kinda looking froward to being 'normal', I wonder what people really look and feel like. Maybe I could have a functioning relationship with the others, we could go out and do human things instead of be being bored witless at their tedious conversation and lack of insight.
Egbert,

Thanks for your reply. It is such a strange thing to never feel "present", isn't it?

The worst is when you do make yourself go out and be social among the fleshy sea of piercing eyes, and then those few who know you've got this type of social anxiety (I just call it social anxiety to save on explaining it), tell you "Oh you did awesome!" or "You do really with other people. You were great You'd never know..."

That's just it! That about says it all. "You were great". Like a performance - because it is indeed like a big performance each time, isn't it? To avoid looking awkward, I'll put on a whole persona and spend the whole time acting, to manipulate the surreal surroundings: "Tilt your head, smile, nod, raise your eyebrows, reply, repeat what they say, laugh." as the world whirs by. It's like just barely surviving drowning through a current, and then you can't remember what happened once it's over, because you were too worried about coming out of it unscathed.

It has to have been annoying to have it passed off as "just depression" for you. That sounds like lazy counseling on the part of your professionals, and I'm sure you were left with a feeling of "Yeah... but it's a bunch of this other stuff, too" - which must have just compounded that misery.

Can I ask you if you think any strange experiences as a kid contributed to it? Problems with vision early on or specific parenting techniques? I think a lot of mine tend to have come from both of those things. Also, have you ever been in any relationship? I have - only two or three serious ones, though. I know that I enjoyed at least some part of them; but my underlying issues generally helped screw things up.

Not to scare you off from wanting to meet anyone, but you can tend to try and draw people into your un-reality and reveal your un-identity which complicates things. (Ie -latching on to them or saying "Let's just stay in" all the time instead of ever going out...that or slowly revealing yourself finally see how blank you really are)

Xx


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Francis
Sep 19 2013 02:35 PM

Unreality is an odd biscuit, it hints at life's infinite possibility but dissapoints with it's relentless mediocrity
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Told my boss and supervisor at work about my condition and they say I am a flawless worker, I tell them of my frustrations when it comes to actually wanting to do more and they are quite happy. I'm a support worker helping out adults with learning difficulties which is pretty good as I can see parallels with life stuff I have been through or experienced.

Likewise with friends, it a case my behavior is accepted as this is how I have always been. Not sure where I begin and my condition ends, if I do return to reality who will I find on the other side, it's really quite scary.

I tend to get emotional hangovers after socializing too, my brain races over all the things I may have done, had done and could have done. Feels like I'm descending down the levels of my many hells, then come the flooding images of self harm and general chaos.

My childhood was quite a mess littered with mental, emotional, physical and a smattering of sexual abuse just for diversity. It all feels like a previous incarnation, Being a bit more objective and educated I can understand why people did what they did but can never truly accept it, I try to forgive everyone and move on, alas it sticks in my mind.

As for relationships, I have had many but could never connect, feel the affections of others or understand or see the various ques. I always feel overwhelmed by what I think is accepted, what to do, trying to understand anothers boundaries and all that jazz. Sadly people in relationships rarely talk about the important things and when you try and express where you are mentally, it's just dismissed as a triviality.

I was married for 7 years but broke up as the relationship became toxic, my antisocial nature, inability to function and 'get on' with life dragged her down and she began to loathe me and I could feel it every day, but she still thought it could be salvaged.

After that I decided to remain single and isolated, other's cannot or fail to understand and in the long run I feel it's unfair of me to put another person through this. I don't think I have anything to offer another person unless they enjoy stupid poems and conversations on the nature of it all.

I'm not really scared of meeting new peeps, I just don't think I'm compatible with others. I'm actually quite a happy person, this did take a good 10 years of mental conditioning though, I love the absurd, craziness, stupidity as that's all I see in life.

If you feel comfortable, feel free to PM me at any point
 
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