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My DP/DR experience...

1975 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Rahkashu
Hello, my fellow dpselfhelpers! :D

You wanna know my story?

Well, do ya?!

Here it is, lol. :lol:

It all started back in February of this year. My DP/DR was brought on by panic attacks sustained from an unhealthy lifestyle. I'm a nursing student, so use your imagination as to what I might be implying... :unsure: (staying up late, stress, tests, assignment/projects, clinical rotations, studying, coffee "abuse",the freshman 15, the works). Just in case it didn't register, lol. :lol:

I had suffered a panic attack just after the new year. It was around 11 pm when I was sitting at my desk finishing up an assignment during my maternity rotation when all of a sudden...BOOM! You guessed it: I suffered my first full blown panic attack. Thankfully, this occured during my week-long break and the family had a vacation planned for the next day until the end of the week. Score! I needed that vacation. It took my mind off the anxiety and was enjoyable.

But the real rollercoaster ride started at the end of the month. The anxiety I experienced before the vacation crept back up on me and I was sucked into a whirlwind of panic attacks (well, two anyway -_-). Although the number of "attacks" was low, the "anxiety" lingered. At this point, a thought popped into my mind where I questioned "whether or not my mom was my really my mom." This intrusive thought opened up the flood gates to all the other thoughts you yourself have probably experienced.

To cut a long story short, I started questioning my own reality like all of you probably did. This resulted in a suppression of my emotions and a development of depression that lasted for a while. And yes, every intrusive thought you could think of off the top of your head came up. And YES, I started thinking I was in a dream, like the decisions I was making weren't my own, yada yada yada. :wacko:

I had DP/DR for 4 months since February of this year. I am happy to say that the effects of DP/DR have worn off since the beginning of this month (June). I still have that annoying, lingering brainfog, but from what I've been able to gather from people with a similar experience on and off this forum, it should lift soon enough, given I remain on the road to recovery. ;)

So...that's my epic saga!

What were MY coping mechanisms?

Religion (Islam) (not meant to patronize anyone, and please save the jokes, I've heard 'em all :p), spending as much time with family and friends as I can, keeping busy with hobbies and work, forming new interpersonal relationships (i.e. making new friends), being as selfless as possible, but most ready for this??


Mine was anxiety. So if I tackle the anxiety, I can tackle the DP/DR.

Questions, comments, concerns, need consolation? Message me or reply!

أسلام عليكم (Peace be with you, from the beginning of this rollercoaster, till the end of it :D)


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Saying you tackled your anxiety is a little vague, can you elaborate on how you tackled it and what caused the anxiety??

Sorry for the vagueness, lol!

So here's the deal. That first panic attack I had came on by my unhealthy lifestyle. At the time, I had NO idea panic attacks could be brought upon by unhealthy lifestyles. That was somewhat of a relief as unhealthy lifestyles are modifiable.

But my anxiety persisted even after the panic attack because I was worried about my health. And coming from a nursing student, saying I was "worried about my health" is an understatement, lol. ;) I mean, you would think we wouldn't be as concerned about our own health in comparison to our patients. I guess I have yet to strike a somewhat perfect balance between the two.

Anyway, I would say the underlying cause of my anxiety was an unhealthy lifestyle because before the panic attacks, I never really worried too much about my own health. It was until I noticed my weight gain over the past couple years that made me realize, "Hmm, I need to do something about this," :huh: DUH!! LOL!

The intrusive thoughts, the DP/DR, and all that other good stuff was brought upon when I kept being anxious about the anxiety attack. When I got hit with the second anxiety attack, that's when the DP/DR set off and that opened up the flood gates to the intrusive thoughts, the thought of whether or not I was dreaing, etc.

With regards to tackling the anxiety, I simply went on a diet and started working out and eating less. I tried to cut out my sedentary lifestyle. While that took care of the weight, my anxiety persisted secondary to the DP/DR. That's when I implemented my coping mechanisms listed above.

Hope that answers the question! :D

Thanks for contributing! It's so helpful to see that others have experienced the same things. You're right, tackling the anxiety is tackling the exact root of the problem! The problem with me is, I'm just an anxious/obsessive thinker.... so it's hard to pinpoint where the anxiety starts and where it ends!!

Hey miabella!

Glad I could be of service.

You're probably gonna wanna jump at me through the screen and strangle me for telling you this :angry:, but time brings healing to a lot of things. (I know what you're thinking; Time? What planet this guy from? But bear with me :)). With regards to your DP/DR, time does help. Take it one day at a time. Spend time with friends, family, etc. Even if they don't understand what you're going through, they will ALWAYS be there no matter what. It's up to you to find that special connection with them and hold on to it. Whatever little moment of relief (smiling, laughing, connecting) you find with them, grab hold of it. DON'T ISOLATE YOURSELF! Isolation WILL exacerbate your symptoms of anxiety and DP/DR. You see, nothing's changed. Just your PERCEPTION of things have changed.

With regards to your anxious/obsessive thinking, I can answer you from personal experience. Those obsessive/anxious thoughts simply feed the DP/DR. I had never had anxious/obsessive thoughts before the panic attacks, so the thoughts came about from the panic attacks that caused them, which in turn caused the DP/DR. I personally challenged my thoughts and that, in time, suppressed that thought process.

However, if your anxiety is interfering with your life and is becoming unbearable (and I mean: unbearable), then don't hesistate to seek professional treatment (again, you proabably wanna strangle me, but hear me out :angry:). These professionals can help you pinpoint the origin of your anxiety through questioning your past, your signs and symptoms, what exacerbates them, etc.

I hope I was of some help! I apologize for my limited support, but if you ever need anything, we're here to support you!

Let's regain reality! :rolleyes:


You will figure it out if you work at it...more than likely you have unresolved trauma and or attachment issues that cause you to stress/worry more than most. I have the same kind of mind that you described, it's actually a blessing but when you don't cope with stress properly it works against itself. You're also right, it helps a great deal knowing that you're not the only one dealing with this disorder....everyone on this site for the most part has experienced the same thoughts/feelings
Good point! B)
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