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My story / what has worked so far

631 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  oceanvibes
Hi all,

I'll keep this brief. I have had "permanent" DPDR since I was 15, I am now 33, brought on my emotional overload from addiction issues, depression, and existential overthinking. First I would just like to say it's so great seeing an actual website for people to support each other. When I first got this there was a wikipedia page and that was about it.

I never saw a therapist I just always tried to treat this problem chemically and it never really worked. Though I will say for me anxiety and DPDR are now pretty linked together so sometimes anti-anxiety meds can help DPDR if I'm going through extreme anxiety. I took klonopin for 15 years and coming off of that was the hardest thing I've ever done so I don't recommend treating it with benzos every day. Eventually they will stop working and you'll be left with a mountain of dependence to back through. The closest thing to work was lamictal but that stuff is dangerous. I gained like 60 lb quickly and got stomach ulcers and was acting very strangely.

Anyways.. I'm seeing a therapist now. I wish I had done this when I was 15 maybe I wouldn't have been absent from myself for all this time. I don't like to think about that. I am still in the "discovery" part of treatment where I'm working on identifying how my body feels and trying to work on the mind/body connection. I'm starting to notice benefits from doing Tai Chi every morning, I have a (sun)light therapy lamp that I use every morning at my desk. It's for seasonal depression but I think if it boosts my mood even a little it's a good thing. My therapist says that DPDR is your mind protecting you from what it interprets as harmful emotions/experiences, but unfortunately it can't just block one type it kind of shuts out everything. Of course there's a lot more to that. For me I think what's really important is the intent. It's like I have to show my body that we're going to fix this together. It's like I'm telling my mind and my body we're GOING to therapy, we're DOING Tai Chi, it's like every time I put my full intention into fixing this I feel a little bit closer. I've been doing a lot of just mindless dancing to music that makes me feel something and I've been doing a lot of crying lately thinking about the possibility of being normal. The hardest thing is expressing myself to my therapist without breaking down, she does a good job of eliciting that. But every time I do break down it's like a pressure release and I feel so much clearer afterwards. All of this stuff sounds awkward and frankly if it sounds or feels awkward it's a sign that it's a good thing. I'm working on noticing little things like if I'm happy what does my body feel like, where at, and what sensation etc. and eventually we will do EMDR therapy which is pretty much the gold standard for at the moment for fixing dissociation/trauma issues. I've got a lot of hope. If you're out there feeling hopeless I just want you to know that most of my life has been spent in this black hole. It's a truly terrible thing, but you're not crazy, you haven't lost your mind. It's just trying to protect you. Please go get help and don't waste half of your life hoping it will just go away.
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Hello, I feel the same about opening to my own emotions. It's like I ask myself "do you want to feel more emotions, the good ones and the bad ones? Are you sure?", and often I realize that again I was thinking mostly about the good ones. And thinking about this helps me open a bit more to what I am actually feeling right now. But for me it's a slow process. I have had rough times with emotions in the past months, I don't know if it's related, but I know I cannot keep using my strategy of "let's push through it as strongly as possible, it will be hard, but then it will be over sooner". It will not be over sooner. Perhaps too much emotions gives me a backlash.
And it might have been better if I went to therapy earlier, and also if therapists had taken my problems seriously earlier as well. I have been in different therapies for a bit more than 10 years now, and only last year I have been diagnosed with autism, and only yesterday with actual ADHD, now at 38... I'm a bit pissed that therapists mostly just listened to me and took my money during 10 years, not seeming to care how long this would last for me to find solutions, not thinking that it might help to send me to do some tests.
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