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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi gang, I'm new to this website so bear with me. It seems like most of you folks have been through and are going through a rougher time than me.
Anyway, here's my little story:

I began having some slight feelings of dp when I was around 8-10 years old, usually in the movie theater, church or other social situations. (I'm now 43 years old.) Possibly I was so excited, the adrenaline was building inside me and had to have an outlet.

But it wasn't all that bad...until one night when I was 15 years old, again at the movie theater. At one point in the movie, the main character was in trouble; suddenly I felt like I 'went blank', like I wasn't there for a split second. Then the full-blown dp came on me with panic attack symptoms. I thought I was dying. I felt paranoid of the people around me, even my mother seemed a stranger. I begged my mother to let us leave; we finally did and the symptoms gradually subsided. Afterwards I was feeling 'not quite right' and afraid because I didn't know what had happened.

After that night, I began to become more apprehensive of any social situations, mainly nighttime ones.

I was playing the piano at church when I was around 18 or 19, and the dp episodes started up again while I was at the piano, first at night, then during the morning worship. I gradually stopped playing (I didn't really want to play the piano anyway).

When I went to away to college, I began having troubling thoughts of whether or not I was "real." These obsessive thoughts would come about every two weeks or so and last a week or two. In bed at night, I would feel waves of anxiety rolling over me.

I began seeing counselors and a psychiatrist when I was in college. My problem was finally diagnosed as panic disorder.

I've been through many medications since then, trying to find the right combination of meds and at the same time going through cognitive therapy. Relaxation techniques have helped a little, especially breathing exercises. However, I'm still having this 'cloud thing' hanging over me, waiting to descend on me the next chance it gets, usually when I feel like I'm feeling "exposed" in social situations. Depression has always been interwoven with these anxiety problems, to add insult to injury.

My main problem I think is aniticipatory anxiety, which really interferes with my social life. I'm still unmarried and don't date much, if at all, because of the episodes of dp which I still feel threatened by. I just don't feel that anybody else understands unless they've actually been through a dp episode, and I don't know many personally who have been through it :? .

A little background about myself:
* I was picked on a lot in school from the 1st grade onward, both emotionally and sometimes physically since I was small for my age, and a preacher's kid as well, which alienated me (I felt) from others.
* I've never done any recreational drugs (luckily I wasn't exposed to them).
* I am a freelance artist/cartoonist.
* My father has suffered from anxiety/depression since his teens.
* I'm interested in animals, art, classical (movie or dramatic) music.
There's more, but I've probably bored you enough by now. Thanks for lending an ear!

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
hi toonman! welcome. this is great place for me to visit from time to time. My old ID was zapped during the last forum change but I've been here for years.

Two things struck me about your story that I can very much relate to. That you got DP'd playing piano and that you were picked on.

I was badly picked on it school-- I was always an outcast but by middle school I was very much a "target" for the other kids. this is around the time my DP kicked in severely.

I also experience DP while playing music ('cello) and it got to the point where it was so bad I could not continue to play any longer.
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