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Hi Everyone,

I want to keep this as short as possible as I'm sure no one wants to read my entire life story so I'll try my best!

Basic Info:

My struggle with DP/DR began when I was about 14/15 years old and was triggered by marijuana along with entering high school as a highly sensitive person who relies on validation from others to self esteem. I am now 31. I have had many ups (including momentary re-realization/re-personalization, business success) and many downs (dark periods of depression and E.R visits from panic/anxiety) but I'm sure none of this is new to this group.

Symptoms:

I don't suffer the extreme DP/DR symptoms. My experience is more of a constant low level numb. Similar to the character Matthew Perry plays in Numb actually... That movie really resonated with me. Look up symptoms of DP/DR and I check off most of them. I definitely feel completely disconnected from my body, emotions, environment and especially my past. I have this strong disconnect where it's like my life prior to DP/DR feels like a totally separate existence. I remember when I used to FEEL my environment and things in reality had depth and meaning. Now I could be in my basement or on a sunny beach in Hawaii and feel pretty much the exact same, because nothing around me holds any real meaning.

Background:

I am an only child who grew up with a mother that lost her mother unexpectedly when I was about 2-3 years old. I have to assume this lead to some serious overprotectiveness, control issues etc. that precipitated my experience and shaped who I am making me more susceptible to DP/DR.

Growing up I was a happy but anxious/neurotic child, highly sensitive to just about everything but especially my appearance, what other people thought about me and scary movies or stories. This wasn't something I fully realized until I really looked back and reflected on my childhood experience. I think that this is something we as DP/DR sufferers do, we believe that "if I wouldn't have smoked that marijuana everything in my life would be completely normal". If that's the case, why don't all young people who smoke weed experience DP/DR? I had plenty of young friends who smoked just as much or more than I did who aren't suffering with any mental health issues or disorders.

Things that have worked for me:

- Meditation (When not depressed I try to meditate regularly and at times this practice alone has brought me back to reality. These moments were all brief but truly no words can express how much relief/hope they brought me)

- Reading (When I'm invested in a novel, especially one related to my condition)

- Exercise (Has never brought me too much relief from DP/DR but really helps with general maintenance of depression and anxiety and stress management)

- Writing (This has brought me some periods of relief, but I struggle a lot of the time to think of what exactly I should be writing about to help with DP/DR)

- Socializing (This one is tricky. Short periods of socialization do me a lot of good and help with the comorbid depression but long periods remind me how disconnected from things I really am when comparing myself to others. This can lead to deeper depressive episodes)

This is all I can think of at the moment and I need to get some work done today at some point. I look forward to hearing from you all and learning what has worked for you in recovery from DP/DR.

Thank You!
 
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