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My story / what has worked so far

632 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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Hi @Trith I was just feeling this way today too! Similar thought process about my emotions. When I'm blocked off it's easy to only think about the good emotions and what I'm missing out on, but I do also remember get easily over stimulated by my environment before this all happened. My therapist seems to always remind me to feel what my body is telling me but that I don't need to hyper focus on it because it's just information. It might be easier said than done but we'll see. I hope you find a therapist that works for you. I think if you find one who does EMDR is a good bet but therapy is such a strange thing and understandably complex. It frustrates me how my mind/body is "smarter" than me sometimes.
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