Hey guys and gals. I have posted this story before, But I like to do it again once in a while so people in the DP/DR situation can seek help and comfort by it. Besides, I read WAY too many doom and gloom posts on this site. So here is my success story. (I hope you don't mind grammer errors)
When I was a junior in high school, I (not in my brightest moment) took 2 pills from a classmate to "wake me up". The pills turned out to be E, and I got fairly high from them. No big deal I figured, until that high feeling wouldn't go away. Soon I felt I was constantly stuck in a dream, like nothing around me seemed real. I felt like I could not recognize the most familier places, but I knew where I was. The world looked distorted, like looking through a glass from deep inside of myself. I would look around, and couldn't believe anything was real, like I was stuck in a vivid dream. Everything was dark, as if all lights all around me where put on dimmers. It felt like a horrible acid trip. I had amazingly complex thoughts about what was going on with me. (My most common thought was that I was dead, or in a coma somewhere, and that this world was being created by my mind.) I waited about a week before going to a doctor, let alone telling my parents. I was eventually recommended to a psychiatrist, whom said I had minor depression/anxiety. (I'm sure alot of you can relate to this part lol) I was, needless to say, furious. Whatever this was, it was NOT minor! I was put on a baby dose of lexapro and ativan. They told me to come back in about 2 weeks when the medication had kicked in. Well, 2 weeks of my summer past, and I had no relief. I was so horribly depressed by this point, that I started flirting with thoughts of suicide. I couldn't sleep, because I was scared out of my mind that I was going to be like this forever. I would sleep about 3-5 hours a night, if I slept at all, and the worst feeling was waking up from a dream, to not knowing if you were awake or still in another dream in the morining. The shrink I was seeing didn't seem to understand what was going on with me at all. So one day I talked to my best friend's father, who is a doctor and told him what was happening. He heard me out, and said, "Thats trademark feelings of Depersonalization and Derealization."
So, I made some calls, and found a new psychiatrist that knew about DP/DR. Went to him, and he diagnosed me with severe anxiety, and depression. He was hesitant to say I had DP/DR disorder, because most cases of DP/DR have come as underlaying conditions to severe anxiety and/or depression. That what probabaly happened was I had depression and anxiety before this all happened, and the drugs I took had caused a worse chemical imbalance in my brain that hadn't been fixed. Hence, giving me all these problems. He told me he had seen it quite a few times before, even once with some kid that chugged 2 "Red Bulls" which caused his anxiety to skyrocket. He also assured me that it WOULD go away with time, medication, and the right mindset. Once we got me on all the medications, which included 5mgs Risperdal, 40mgs Paxil, clonopane (forgot the dosage I was on), and a sleeping pill to help me sleep. After about 4 months on these, I saw some improvement (yay!) but I was still feeling detatched and what not. Then one day I went on this message board and found a success story from a guy who had tried a small dose of a anti-psychotic known as Abilify. I figured I would give it a shot, so we switched from Risperdal to Abilify (5mgs). At this time, I had come to terms with myself and figured that I was going to make the best of my life, even if it never goes away. So I started hanging out with my friends again. I explained what happened to me with everyone I hung out with, so that they understood. They, to my relief, found it facinating. I learned to live with it, and after about 2 months on Abilify and learning to cope, I noticed one day that I hadn't given my DP/DR a thought in about a week. Approximatly 1 year and a couple months since those pills, I looked around, and thought to myself, "Wow... did I really once think I was in a dream?" Funny how it happens. I expected to one day wake up and feel connected again. I expected to run around like a child screaming how I had been cured. But, and I guess it makes more sense, the change from DP/DR to normal again was VERY gradual. I am now 20 years old, and have put my DP/DR days behind me. I don't know if it was the Abilify, or simply learning to face the demon down and live life without caring about DP/DR that did it. But something worked. So if you have DP/DR, all I can say is to keep trying new things and be patient! It's not the end of the world! And you WILL find the right method to curing it for yourself. Okay, I without a doubt have said my 2 cents peice. If you have any questions, feel free to post. I try to check the board as much as possible. Good luck!