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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

My name is Alex and I am 21 years old. I woud like to share my dpdr experience.

I've recently been diagnosed with this condition called Derealization and Depersonalization and I am going through some really difficult times at the moment.

I realized that I suffer from this for over 5 to 6 years without even knowing it and that was shocking.

The truth is that I had the symptoms all of these years, but the difficulty to explain it, made me anaware and believing that it wasn't something to worry about, or it was something, somehow normal. Therefore this thing affected me in every single aspect of my life; school, friends, relationships, work ..

My dpdr as I can remember now, is connected to stress and anxiety and also with smoking marijuana and I'm thinking for sure that it has to do with some kind of "trauma" from childhood and that's what I'm really worried about.

I was seeing a psychologist for some months, one year ago, who never suspected or told me anything about it.

So I've never got real help, my hope for a normal life was lost without even knowing it, I was blind.

After some difficult times, a month ago I visited the same psychologist. He told me I was totally fine, I believed it, and that was the final strike. This night I experienced the worst and scariest dpdr episode in my life which never got away since then. Everything was strange. I didn't now what and who I am, where I was. It was something somehow like taking drugs and also made me feel strange things in my head and body. After this episode I told him all of these strange experience and worries and he said that he suspected bipolar disorder. I was then totally fell apart. I had multiple panic attacks all night, days, even a week I was in total panic. That of course made my dpdr severe and extremely scary to a point I wanted to die and I'm just glad I'm here now and I can write all of these.

My world got literally upside down. I'm seeing a psychiatrist that told me about the condition and really helps me right now.

I'm really concerned about these last episodes and the possibility that this can affect the brain functions permanently in a neurological level. For example, my memory is really f*d up since then.

I don't know about the long term efficiency of the psychotherapy and I think that this thing will never leave me completely.

I would love to hear similar experiences from you people, or anything concerning possible causes on a long term basis or ways of treating these symptoms.

I now feel like I'm not a person at all!!
 

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Hi Alex. I'm 16 and I'm in an even worse boat becasue not only do I have dpdr and have the feelings of unreality and the whole bit, I can't feel any emotions at all, I have no sense of self. I don't even have fight or flight symptoms or panic attacks anymore. I believe I have Complex PTSD.

I'm here for you xoxo

Welcome to the community!
 

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Hi Alex,

Sorry to hear that you are struggling with severe DP/DR right now! I'm 25 and had my first episode of severe drdp when I was 18, which lasted for 3 years straight. Reading your post sounds just like what I would write back then. It's great you are seeing a psych who is helping you out. I can't offer any advice that they won't be able to give you, but I can tell you that I recovered completely after 3 years of intense dp/dr. I got my life totally back and even though I'm going through another episode right now, it's not nearly as bad.

DR can't cause long-term damage, so try not to worry about that! Memory problems are part of the disorder but don't last beyond it. Your brain is dissociating as a "protective measure" and it can impact short-term memory but this is a symptom of the condition and is normal. Anxiety can also cause memory issues. When I was experiencing anxiety I would constantly think about how anxious I was and how bad my dr/dp was and how it would never get better etc. I was constantly self assessing how "out of it" I felt. So, because I was always thinking about how I felt and my condition, I was never fully present and never fully focused. So that in itself causes a lot memory problems because you are constantly distracted.

If you are really worried about memory there are lots of ways to tangibly improve it, including types of meditation. But don't stress about it, it isn't permanently damaging your brain.

You can definitely get rid of it completely if you work at it. It takes commitment and time. Try CBT and, if you think it is trauma based, EMDR can help. Give meditation and mindfulness a go as well. All these things can help drastically but they take months and months to start kicking in and they are hard work. But very worth it! Look after your body too, eat well, get good sleep and exercise. Focus on addressing your anxiety because as long as you are anxious you will have dr/dp. So try to reduce your life stressors as much as possible... easier said than done, I know! You and your psych can put together a treatment plan and you can tackle it!!

Use neuroplasticity to your advantage. You can literally change the structure and function of your brain and you can absolutely recover! There are people all around the world in the same boat as you. I know DR/DP can be very isolating, but you are certainly not alone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Alex,

Sorry to hear that you are struggling with severe DP/DR right now! I'm 25 and had my first episode of severe drdp when I was 18, which lasted for 3 years straight. Reading your post sounds just like what I would write back then. It's great you are seeing a psych who is helping you out. I can't offer any advice that they won't be able to give you, but I can tell you that I recovered completely after 3 years of intense dp/dr. I got my life totally back and even though I'm going through another episode right now, it's not nearly as bad.

DR can't cause long-term damage, so try not to worry about that! Memory problems are part of the disorder but don't last beyond it. Your brain is dissociating as a "protective measure" and it can impact short-term memory but this is a symptom of the condition and is normal. Anxiety can also cause memory issues. When I was experiencing anxiety I would constantly think about how anxious I was and how bad my dr/dp was and how it would never get better etc. I was constantly self assessing how "out of it" I felt. So, because I was always thinking about how I felt and my condition, I was never fully present and never fully focused. So that in itself causes a lot memory problems because you are constantly distracted.

If you are really worried about memory there are lots of ways to tangibly improve it, including types of meditation. But don't stress about it, it isn't permanently damaging your brain.

You can definitely get rid of it completely if you work at it. It takes commitment and time. Try CBT and, if you think it is trauma based, EMDR can help. Give meditation and mindfulness a go as well. All these things can help drastically but they take months and months to start kicking in and they are hard work. But very worth it! Look after your body too, eat well, get good sleep and exercise. Focus on addressing your anxiety because as long as you are anxious you will have dr/dp. So try to reduce your life stressors as much as possible... easier said than done, I know! You and your psych can put together a treatment plan and you can tackle it!!

Use neuroplasticity to your advantage. You can literally change the structure and function of your brain and you can absolutely recover! There are people all around the world in the same boat as you. I know DR/DP can be very isolating, but you are certainly not alone!
Thank you so much for this helpful answer.

It's very relieving to hear it from someone who had severe dpdr and congrats for your courage and strength to recover.

I deeply believe I can make it but I always have my ups and downs, I just know there is a long long way and hard work for me to go on and fight and finally get over it.

But you gave me hope and strength!

I'm trying to reduce stressors and at this time I'm in a state that I can hardly get out of my house without all of the symptoms bothering me.

All of what you wrote about the hard work is exactly the meaning of self care and well being and that's something we should always strive for

I'm in the very start of realizing this is a thing that was going on for years, and I am trying hard not to believe I was living a life that wasn't true, it wasn't me.

Neuroplasticity is a blessing right now !!!
 

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Hi alex
I'm 21 and I have been suffering from dp/dr since 6 years ago. Its a disaster I think. Its very hard. So much hard. I really understand you. Its an awful condition that no one can understand. Going to bed with dp/dr and then waking up with this miserable trouble.I spoke about it with a lot of doctors. Non of them could help me. I feel memory loss too. I was so smart at all aspects of my life. But now im not and I cant make others know why Im always in a bad mood. I really want god to help us. Im sure he is the only one that can help.
Wish the bests for you and I hope both of us will be recovered soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi alex
I'm 21 and I have been suffering from dp/dr since 6 years ago. Its a disaster I think. Its very hard. So much hard. I really understand you. Its an awful condition that no one can understand. Going to bed with dp/dr and then waking up with this miserable trouble.I spoke about it with a lot of doctors. Non of them could help me. I feel memory loss too. I was so smart at all aspects of my life. But now im not and I cant make others know why Im always in a bad mood. I really want god to help us. Im sure he is the only one that can help.
Wish the bests for you and I hope both of us will be recovered soon.
Hello Laura,

As you can see, there are lots of people in the same boat with you and me and this fact itself is encouraging because for sure we are not alone.

Of course no one in our environment can understand or will understand completely because this thing is just you and your head.

The only one that really helps me and can be in this with me is my therapist, and if you haven't seen one I would recommend it to you too because for me this is the only one I can at least expect something from.

But remember, if you are not willing to help yourself and fight for it by your own, there is no point in expecting the best outcome, it is like waiting for a miracle.

Sometimes I say the same things too but I'm always trying to remember my strengths and stand up again.

Could I ask you what doctors did you see and how do you know about the condition??

Don't give up !!
 

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I spoke with alot of psychiatrists. I ate alot of drugs since 6 years ago repeatedly but I wasnt recovered. When I read your post I became so hopeful because I understood that Im not alone. The first person who told me about derealization was a psychiatris I met 6 years ago. I was an anxious person all the time. All parts of my life was extremely filled with severe stress. But with all of that I didnt give up and now Im studing physiotherapy. But as you know, sometimes Our tolerance ends. Im worry about my tolerance ending.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I spoke with alot of psychiatrists. I ate alot of drugs since 6 years ago repeatedly but I wasnt recovered. When I read your post I became so hopeful because I understood that Im not alone. The first person who told me about derealization was a psychiatris I met 6 years ago. I was an anxious person all the time. All parts of my life was extremely filled with severe stress. But with all of that I didnt give up and now Im studing physiotherapy. But as you know, sometimes Our tolerance ends. Im worry about my tolerance ending.
From what you wrote I can see enough tolerance and I deeply believe that's where there is hope.

Some days before I would die and now I'm here and I can see all of these people coping with it and that's enough to gain some hope and belief for something better tomorrow, the next day and the very next days, weeks, months and years.

Remember that anxiety and stress are things that you can work on and if you think that you haven't find a doctor that fits for you it doesn't mean that there isn't anyone out there.

But begin with believing that you are strong enough

The fact that we all with dpdr here, searching, worrying, encouraging, understanding and helping each other .. it is strength
 

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I believed the psychiatrists and psychologists for 40 years. Then I got an EEG. Turns out none of them knew WTF they were doing.
 

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Thank you so much for this helpful answer.

It's very relieving to hear it from someone who had severe dpdr and congrats for your courage and strength to recover.

I deeply believe I can make it but I always have my ups and downs, I just know there is a long long way and hard work for me to go on and fight and finally get over it.

But you gave me hope and strength!

I'm trying to reduce stressors and at this time I'm in a state that I can hardly get out of my house without all of the symptoms bothering me.

All of what you wrote about the hard work is exactly the meaning of self care and well being and that's something we should always strive for

I'm in the very start of realizing this is a thing that was going on for years, and I am trying hard not to believe I was living a life that wasn't true, it wasn't me.

Neuroplasticity is a blessing right now !!!
Yeah, honestly when it was at it's worst I thought for sure that I was never going to recover and feel normal again... In fact I ended up completely forgetting how 'normal' actually felt. I was soooo deep in the dr/dp whole. I had the worst short-term memory, I lost my ability to sense time properly, all my days blurred together, it was hard for me to differentiate what was a memory and what was a dream, I had unbelievable brain fog and I felt like everything was dark and I couldn't see properly. I recognised family and friends but they looked so unfamiliar. My house didn't seem like it was mine. I didn't recognise myself in the mirror. My whole life was this confusing, detached, dreamlike place. It was sooooo bad and so scary!! If I can recover from that, I think anyone can.

You have a really good attitude about it and that will help you heaps. It was only after I stopped feeling sorry for myself and obsessing about whether my dr/dp was like other peoples and what my symptoms were etc. that I started to get better. It's a hard thing to do, but it's the first step, try to ignore it and get on with life.

And chat to your psych to find the original cause. If it's trauma based there is loads of effective therapy out there for it. Mine is neurologically based and was caused by a massive seizure and drug reaction, so I saw a neurologist but a lot of the treatment is the same regardless of cause.

And you are so right!! While some of the treatment is specific to the condition, a lot of the things that help are things that we should be doing anyway and are good for everyone, not just those with dissociation. A lot of it is self care. Appreciate that whilst your brain is messing up a bit at the moment, if you do right by it and help yourself, you have a good shot at getting better. TMS ended up being super helpful for me as well.

I've got loads of paperwork on techniques for tackling dr/dp with mindfulness, grounding activities and vagus nerve stimulation etc. happy to send it to you somehow if you'd like.
 

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Yeah, honestly when it was at it's worst I thought for sure that I was never going to recover and feel normal again... In fact I ended up completely forgetting how 'normal' actually felt. I was soooo deep in the dr/dp whole. I had the worst short-term memory, I lost my ability to sense time properly, all my days blurred together, it was hard for me to differentiate what was a memory and what was a dream, I had unbelievable brain fog and I felt like everything was dark and I couldn't see properly. I recognised family and friends but they looked so unfamiliar. My house didn't seem like it was mine. I didn't recognise myself in the mirror. My whole life was this confusing, detached, dreamlike place. It was sooooo bad and so scary!! If I can recover from that, I think anyone can.

You have a really good attitude about it and that will help you heaps. It was only after I stopped feeling sorry for myself and obsessing about whether my dr/dp was like other peoples and what my symptoms were etc. that I started to get better. It's a hard thing to do, but it's the first step, try to ignore it and get on with life.

And chat to your psych to find the original cause. If it's trauma based there is loads of effective therapy out there for it. Mine is neurologically based and was caused by a massive seizure and drug reaction, so I saw a neurologist but a lot of the treatment is the same regardless of cause.

And you are so right!! While some of the treatment is specific to the condition, a lot of the things that help are things that we should be doing anyway and are good for everyone, not just those with dissociation. A lot of it is self care. Appreciate that whilst your brain is messing up a bit at the moment, if you do right by it and help yourself, you have a good shot at getting better. TMS ended up being super helpful for me as well.

I've got loads of paperwork on techniques for tackling dr/dp with mindfulness, grounding activities and vagus nerve stimulation etc. happy to send it to you somehow if you'd like.
All of your symptoms in the first paragraph were exactly similar to mine.
Exactly all of them. Sometimes my family members seem unfamiliar to me, My home and even my self. Ill be glad to read your suggestions as you said you want to say.
 
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