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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally, after years and years of going through life living like I do, which I will explain in a moment, I decieded I needed help and have been seeing a threapist for the last month as well as a psych doc once. I've always been known as the shakey kid, the nervous kid, the figidity one. As I grew into adulthood the nervousness and anxiousness never did stop, but just mutated into something I hid better and was able to cope with.

Yes, I am an anxious person. I am nervous, I worry about things constantly. I even get anxious when I don't know why, no thoguhts or triggers as you would say. I also have a hard time feeling joy or even sorrow. This I will find out later is part of my DR/DP diagnosis. Ive been walking around for all these years unable to feel true joy or true sorrow. The emotions would be there but I would see myself acting in this way, my inner self not really comprehending the feelings that were being displayed. The only true emotion I ever felt was fear, fear of things I could see or couldnt see. Imagined worst case scienarios and fear of things I had no clue of.

I shake and tremble a lot. My mood goes from high to low, depending on the thought of feeling in a matter of seconds and minutes. I know I like the feeling of a good mood, but I never truely enjoy it, my mind is elsewhere. At my extremes, my highs and more so my lows, I completly dettach from my emotions as if it were an independent function of my body much like watching my pancreas or lungs work. I could see myself balled up on the couch, crying my eyes out, for no appraent reason. I could feel the emotions, lived them out, yet in my inner self(hard to desrcibe what I am talking about) I would watch myself act in this way.

About 3 years ago I became a pretty bad hypochondriac, fearing the worst with my body. Freak outs and panic attacks were the norm. One day, not long ago, I just realized I'd rather be dead than feel like that, 24/7 fear and horror. But I wasn't cured from my anxiety, but yet it turned worse, in a different frighting direction. I began to question my sanity, thinking I was one thought away from hearing voices and seeing little green men around me. Control for me is a big issue, I do not like to give up control of my thoughts to anything. Weather it be just letting myself enjoy a moment, or an alocoholic drink or letting myself try to explore my thoughts more. The more I thought the more convinced I was going insane.

I tried ignoring it, I tried meditation, music, benzo's, but it would not go away. I would push myself into a tizzy and freak-out. I would find myself at times, in public places, forgetting where I was, forgetting why I was there. It took me several moments then to regain my sense about me, but it didnt stop the impending panic attack. The more I thought about it, the more I would question every thought I would have, am I sane, is this a sane thought. This in turn led to paranoid thoughts, well there must be a reason for the anxiety. Maybe its that a certain person doesnt like me or that I think someone at work is trying to get me fired. This is the time I realized I could go no further alone, I needed help.

(ps forgive the typos)

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It started much like I thought it would, the sessions with my threapist. Yes my dad beat me when i was a toddler. Yes he kicked me down stairs and bounced me off walls. Yes, the first memory I have is being bounced off walls. This to me, I thought so matter of factly, was the reason I was so nervous. But little did I realize how much my development at an early age really shaped who I became. I just dissmissed it as some psychological mumbo jumbo and turned to other reasons for my intense fear and anxiety.

I?ve been trying to dig up memories that have been out there, things I can?t possible forget but only ignore. I remember this one time when I was 6 years old being late home from a bike ride to my friend?s house. We had a puppet show my mom was pushing my dad to go to with us kids. Because I was 10 or 15 minutes late I remember knowing I was in serious trouble. The whole ride home the fear was almost too much, I do remember the fear. That was a concept I learned early and often. My dad?s face would change, and that would be my queue to go hide. He would bite his bottom lip wait a few moments then the verbal yelling would begin. Of course you can?t really hide in a physical manner. I could remember I would think about things that would make me happy while I took my punishment.

As expected, my father was in a rage when I pulled up into the driveway. Face was red, biting his bottom lip. We were going to be late and I knew it was my fault. He didn?t say anything to me at first, just pushed me into our van and then screamed at the rest of the family to hurry the fuck up. We got in the car, I was the lucky one to sit in the middle seat right behind my mom and dad. ?We?re now going to miss this because of you.? Then he punched me in the face. He got out of the van, slammed the door and went back inside. My mom looked at me and said, ?you shouldn?t have made him mad.? My brother and sister scurried inside to hide. The words ?Don?t hurt him Tom.? really do haunt me to this day. But the scary thing is I know that wasn?t the full sentence?.the full sentence was ?Don?t hurt him too much Tom.?, and I heard that many times.

All the times he told me I couldn?t do anything right and I was worthless I think he made me believe I was worthless. Could that be why I have a low self esteem? But why do I put on a face and pretend to everyone that I am confident and know what I am doing? I know I can do whatever I want to do if I really focus because I feel like I have a creative way of looking at things that others don?t. The teachers always told my parents I could do so much more if I could learn to focus. I don?t think this is necessarily a good thing however since it never seems real to me. Even writing this seems like I am writing the story of someone else. I could always easily slip away into something else, a daydream or a thought that I was comfortable with.

Even to this day I think I derive most of my pleasure, if you can call it that, from emerging myself in a thought or concept rather than a real life activity. I still will have playtime with myself by taking toy cars or a board game or a video game and create a place where I feel comfortable. Whenever I become panicked or frenzied or have depressed feelings, I feel the emotions, but I don?t actually feel them. I would call it surreal, but that would indicate something that happens infrequently. I can turn on and off my response to emotions like a faucet. It doesn?t mean the emotions stop, the crying the laughing the uncontrollable bizarre emotional response, I just means I become like an audience member watching someone else. I then try to respond the way I think is appropriate for the emotion. It is impossible to express having an emotion and not really feeling it, which is horrible for pleasure type emotions. Is this why I never have fun when I am doing something that is supposed to be fun? Or is it because I am preoccupied with thoughts of worry?

I have a tendency to over react to things in my life. Small things that aren?t of significance all the sudden become huge issues which I now need to deal with. Recently, in the past 3 years, it?s been an over self examination of my body. I have a headache; well it?s a brain tumor. I have a stiff leg today, its ALS. I think I get so worked up over these thoughts because they all center on things I can?t control. I need to control; it?s a delicate balancing act of control in my thoughts. I fear the worst case scenario is losing the one thing in this world I can hide from pain, my thoughts.

Feeling out of control is unacceptable. My emotions can run wild all they want, but I feel this compulsive need to control my mind because, just like hypochondria, I feel as if I am going insane. I will myself to be sane, but the more I do so the more it feels like a house of cards getting taller and taller. I honestly would rather be dead than not in control of my mind. And for me that?s the worst prison I could ever imagine. Problem is the more I focus and concentrate the more I believe I am losing my mind. It?s a juggling act inside my head to orchestrate my emotions to the appropriate external reaction and keep the basic functions of life in order. I?m really scared?.I can feel I love my son, but it has no effect on my inner self. When he was born, the emotion of love was there, but I don?t feel it, I am just numb. What kind of person am I?? This is supposed to be the most emotional and happiest time of my life. The emotions, they were there, but I was numb, just like I always am. Can emotions be a chemical reaction forced in the brain to external events, or the way my mind perceives these events, yet I can?t honestly feel one way or another about them?


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was picked on very much as a child in school. I was the kid that got beat up in the school play yard and the kid that was taunted and bullied. I'd go home and I'd fear my dad. Every little noise every little movement was questioned and scurtinized in my mind over and over. I was, as they say, hypervigilant. The only place as a child I found refuge was in my mind. The only coping mechanism, according to my therapist was hiding inside my mind away from the pain. It didnt mean I would stop fearing situations, my father or school, it meant when push came to shove and emotions flared, I ran and hid inside my mind. That she says, a conditioned response to sevre repeated psyichal and mental trauma is how my mind leanred to depersonilize and derealize my surrondings and my emotions.

Ok, so now I am buying this. I have a lack of empathy for people that suffer and more over I avoid being in situations were a trigger from a emotion from another person could happen. Even though, deep inside I feel there pain, the fear that is. I daydream a lot, go out into my own little world to escape life and the anxiety my mind has created. I dettach from my emotions when they become promenant. I have guilt and shame but I dont think I really feel them.

Last week, in the bathroom I had a total melt down. I became hysterical, oddly enough crying and laughing at the same time. I was so confused!!! I couldnt tell weather this was the funniest thing I've ever done or the most depressing thing. My emotions felt like a jumbled twisted knot of uncertanity.

I've been on adderall for the last year, to treat symptoms of ADD, as my GP recommended. When I took adderall, I felt good.... grounded...talkative...a sense of well being...focused. Very importantly I didnt yawn, get sleepy and find places during the day to take naps. This scared me as I feared becoming addicted to this. It was something I hadnt felt before, life without fear. The hard part was the comedown at the end of the night. The more I took the worse it was. I became slightly depressed, physichally tired and just down. The good feelings were gone, the fear returned. My mind once again raced, but now with a sluggish engine.

I started where I would take it once a week, then twice a week. First 40mgs now 80mg sometimes 3 times a week. I would sleep most weekends to catchup from the week. Then some nights I would take my klonopins to stop the come down. Not a good cycle I thought, not good at all. But I was able to make it through the day without falling asleep.

I'm driving into work this morning. I am trying to find a way to be happy, to stop the anxious thoughts, to be able to look forward to something with that shiney happy feeling in my gut. To be able to go through 5 minutes of my life not worrying about a thought or just feeling anxious for no reason. I am friggin sick of it, I hate it. I know it now, the fear is the enemy, but how do I stop it? How do you stop obssessing and stop the worry? How do you stop being hypervigaliant to the point of complete body wear down? How do I stop being startled so easy?? How do you start enjoying things instead of being there in body but not in mind? Is there a way out?? Can I become a fairly happy non-worrisome indiviual??? God, if there is a God, why can't he help me??

I am so scared, I feel alone, more confused than ever. I fear I know the problem now, but its not fixable. Why did my Dad do what he did? Why me?? Any help, books I can read, things I can do?? Can you even relate to my story???

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finally, as I am sure you are sick of reading this story. My doc has dianosised me as having Depersonalization Disorder brought on by PTSD. Possible Bi-polar and obviously panic disorder with borderline agoraphobia.

I am on paxil, 20mgs a day. Klonopin when needed. He started me on seroquel, but thats a love hate drug! I love the fact it helps me sleep and stops the racing thoughts. I hate the fact it creates, for me, a feeling DP which in turn triggers a panic attack which I cant feel because I cant see the emotions working. In the larger doses I have no emotions, every thing is non-linear.

I am thirsty.
I am walking to the kitchen.
I am pouring a cup of water.
I am drinking the water.

So contrived thoughts, scary stuff!

And yes the adderall, the love/hate relationship with that drug.

Thats it, thats my story. Have any words of advice??

Discussion Starter · #5 ·

I'm new to the board as well. I must say I do relate to a lot of what you are saying. Some of the paragraphs there were absolutely exact to what I'm going through. As an aside I have one particular thing that's bothering me (on another thread) but I don't want to overload with all my problems so I'll just reply to this and say - you are not alone in these thoughts. I have to admit I didn't go through that abuse at the hands of my dad. He just died on me. So I must humbly say I couldn't understand that particular situation - allow me to just say I feel sorrow reading that.

What does click with me is the bit with not feeling as I feel I should. Feeling closed off. Feeling the FEAR. That deserves to be in capitals because even that doesn't do the depth of it justice. Also being bullied. Check. Me too. Almost non-stop. I almost felt like I asked for it. Like I was a step away from liking it - I know that sounds nuts but after a while it felt like I fit into the victim role all too well. Ugh, at least I admit it. I don't know how to explain it but it was like I had "victim" written on my forehead and I didn't realise it except that I felt that was my lot in life. Nervous, figidity... oh yes. My legs are giddily shaking back and forth as I sit right now. I feel the fear, but without being able to locate the origin. The only theory I have on my origin is in my other thread but it may have been before that.

Mood swings, yes. For me it's about 15 minute cycles. Suddenly everything is going to be just fine and I feel great - "what does it all matter, just living is a joy, I'm on top of it". Then I feel like dread again. Then back again. It's in waves. My thoughts (I live in my head - probably since birth, maybe before if you believe in that - I'm open to anything at this stage) run riot. I think to live. Constantly talking to myself in my head. I got into meditation and it does help but it's hard to trust just "being". Hypocondriac - not so much, I try to be careful about self-diagnosis because sometimes it feels like anything will fit but I had dreadful fears (and still do) about things like broken glass (swallowing it) or poisons. Fear of something happening to my body - e.g. my eyesight. Over-react to things ? Oh yes. I've been taking things so seriously since I was born. So serious, so personal. I personally feel guilty for that (narcissistic). Also I have to say again, what you went through with your father is worse - I feel sort of unworthy there but that's my responsibility. Daydreaming ? I'm a master. I even drift a lot when people are talking to me which is so rude I know.

My only help to you is that you should trust that you do feel the real feelings. Look who's talking - I know. But worrying about not feeling something is feeling in a way. That's what I tell myself. When I started to show my feelings in therapy just recently the crying came out like it was right there all the time. It's like vomiting. It just comes out in waves. It's so foreign for me to feel because I deal in thoughts. Feelings aren't rational. Before I never trusted myself enough to just feel. So maybe that might help.

Also you may be in shock from your childhood experiences - like a way of coping with emotions that you feel will break you apart. I'm so scared of my emotions that I think someone will think I'm crazy if I let go with the fear, grief, etc. How can I handle this but somehow I have to not go back to being just numb and drifting which is so much easier yet incomplete at the same time. It's tough.

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just want to add that on the question of why did your Dad do what he did ? My guess is that he was hurt so badly so deep inside that he resorts to such cruel behaviour.

This is a cliche and it's nothing that can sink in only in your own time... but the FACT is that you didn't deserve any of it.

I don't know how good this advice is but it's beginning to work for me (I hope)...
* Get into the spiritual aspect of yourself. I think that everyone has a spiritual side and if it's not nurtured then problems start. That's my current theory. It doesn't mean religion necessarily but something that allows to you trust and give yourself over to something involving unconditional love (don't worry, I wince when I hear that phrase too).
* The critic that's in your head that constantly tells you things like "you messed up", "you're a failure", "you're defective", "those guys hate you", "you're not good enough", etc etc etc. You have to find a way to shut that voice up. Very tough!
* Don't put any pressure on yourself. Don't fill your to-do list too much and set yourself up for failure.

Books ? Hmmm. I read so many books I have to get it into my head which ones were good for me, which were just okay and which were crap or made things worse. I think any books along the lines of spirituality, love, etc. were the best for me. Cold clinical books were less so but okay.
Eckhartt Tolle - The Power of Now (okay but left me a bit short of it - I'll go back to it when I'm ready)
Healing the Shame that Binds You (I forget who wrote that but it's good)
Sandra Ingerman - Soul Retrieval (not bad but nothing practical to do, just info)
Patrick Francis - The Grand Design I-V (I personally find these fascinating and they have practical spiritual ideas to practice)
Dorothy Rowe - Depression, The Way Out of Your Prison (not bad)

There may be some good books on surviving abuse / violence that someone more learned can add. I can't, sorry.

I'd be interested in finding out something about bullying. Anyway, I don't know how useful books are really in the long term - they keep my mind occupied but they don't allow me to express strong feelings. A good therapist is great (I hope yours works out) and they should be able to offer ideas on books as well. It's good to work with someone on books so it's not just a solitary thing. Tough one, though.

Anyway, you may not think you're managing to live but technically you are, if you think about it. Hang in there!!!!
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