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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone who is recovering/recovered can help me and the others out by posting here about your experience. What meds you've taken, what and how psychotherapy has helped you, and basically anything to give some hope to those who are still having this problem to a fuller degree.

People like sojourner, etc, please write about your experience of recovery (I know it's probably been done already?) just to give some hope that it is INDEED POSSIBLE to move on with life in a normal way like other people. I'd really love it if you posted.

It would also be more helpful if you posted in detail about exactly HOW you went about your recovery, as this gives us more options or ideas on how to battle DP in general. What are some of the medicines/methods/doctors you have seen, for how long, what has helped. etc

We need more hope, I think as a collective, because DP is such a demoralizing state, and without hopes of recoverey it could be that much harder to deal with.

I know I've had some "break-through's" on the road to recovery, like realising my own responsibilty for it and decreasing my panic/anxiety/depression. Without hope and words of wisdom I'd probably be in the dark hole I was when I started.

Thanks in advance,


I can offer you lots of good advice, but you won't like it.

There is an endless number of things that will help you out of DP. ENdless. You can do a massive SEARCH on any internet search engine for them. Type in ANYthing that does not include: mental illness and/or any aspect of the kinds of symptoms you feel. Then immerse yourself as intensely as possible in whatever topic, or concept or activity or person or event or artfom or project or study or ideolgy or practice that you've chosen.

ANYTHING can help you out of the symptoms - EXCEPT focusing on your symptoms (or monitoring your own self-awareness).

The Solution-in-a-Sentence is: you must force yourself to focus away from Self, turn your attentions and mental energies to something(s) besides self-awareness of your own mind/existence. You've got to get UP and OUT and DO. Even if you can barely make it, force yourself. Even if you are totally faking it, force yourself to pretend harder. ACT AS IF you would be acting if you felt normal.

I am not saying it's easy. It is very very hard. But it's also very very simple.

It's up to each of us to find our own way to successfully focus our mental energies away from Self. But ultimately, that is what is fueling the dp and it is what the dp cannot persist without. You'll try it, say it doesn't work and quit. Go back to it. Keep forcing yourself to NOT watch yourself, to not be fascinated with the experience of your mental symptoms. FORCE yourself. When you ask "how?" remember there is no way to describe some inner experience in words. But I promise you that if you totally commit to the TRUTH of this premise - if you totally finally GET that you MUST divert your attention away from your constant self-watching, you will find ways to do it.

We are not stuck in self-monitoring because we can't figure out some ways to not do it.

We are stuck there because we think it's the right road. We think (incorrectly) that we SHOULD continue to be very self-vigiliant, as if our constant self-monitoring is preventing something worse from happening.

We think we will learn something crucial about our own mental experience if we try to observe its minutae and analyze and assess each slight change or nuance. We think we are helping keep ourselves (i) sane, or (ii) alive by keeping such close watch on self. We think we will never again be able to trust our own minds if we can't fully grasp HOW and why we slid so far down into dp land. We think we MUST observe our own recovery and watch as it gets better/worse, etc. We think the entire experience is so profound that we must seek to grasp it, to fully understand it if we are to ever feel mentally free.

NONE of that is true.

And more than "not true" - it is precisely 180 degrees, a lie.

The self-monitoring and constant THINKING about your own dp state is keeping you depersonalized.

Once you've begun to climb up and out of the abyss of self-obsessing, then I strongly suggest doing some intense therapy work - because it can help you to not go BACK into dp symptoms and it will basically give you a chance to learn more about yourself (which will make your general mental functioning stronger than ever and prevent future "cracks" in the surface structure).

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It's nearly impossible to be sure what helped me, because I was on a very low dose of Zoloft when I began in mid-May to have panic attacks -- for the first time in my life. I did not know what a panic attack was until two months ago.

My psychiatrist's recommendation was to steadily increase Zoloft to as high as I needed to get rid of the anxiety. Oh, I was free from panic attacks by the time I was on 250 mg of Zoloft, but the depression increased horrifically. The next step he and I took was to reduce the Zoloft. I stayed sick and felt just awful, crying all the time. No anxiety, though.

On July 1, I sent from 200 mg of Zoloft to zero Zoloft, and each day I feel better, though I feel so good now that it's hard to say I feel better each day, but in fact I do!

So, what was my problem? I don't know. The original anxiety might have been caused by strictly psychological and emotional issues. One month ago I began twice-a-week therapy. Somehow, things are changing for me within the therapy experience itself, so I think that therapy has played a major part in my recovery (or remission, or whatever we should call this).

But cessation of all drugs seems to have been key in removing depression. But maybe I'm bipolar and will get depressed again. Fine. I can deal with that. We'll just take another antidepressant if that happens.

But here's something interesting. Last night I was working late (it was really this morning, around 3 or so). I had a flicker of what I recognized as "anxiety," but it was just a flicker that came and went. Then it came back and I started to feel a bit odd. I broke down and took a drug -- two Advil Liqui-gels, which work amazingly fast. What might have felt like a flicker of panic was just tiredness and was easily handled by the Advil.

So, maybe you could try something like Advil when you start feeling bad and see what happens. I have just discovered the similarity between tiredness and the onset of panic. They are nearly identical.

However, last night I posted what might be even more like what you are looking for.

Basically, I stopped the downward spiral by CHANGING SOMETHING -- by stopping what was proved to NOT BE HELPFUL -- the high dosage of Zoloft.

Whatever you are doing for yourself now -- if it is not helping -- change it. But change only ONE THING AT A TIME. I stopped the Zoloft, but I decided that I would take Ativan if I needed it. After all, Ativan cannot make one feel anxious!!!!! Or depressed!!!! (At least I don't think so.) So, I said to myself that if I got a panic attack, I had the Ativan to fall back on temporarily (small dose -- .5 mg.).

So, for example, if you are on a specific dosage of an antidepressant, tell your doctor that you want to try to change ONE THING to see if it might help.

See if you can find that post I wrote last night, okay? I hope this helps you, but I don't know that I've presented anything really worthwhile at all.

What will help you recover is to:

- Discover your own "gut sense" of what your being is asking for. I wasn't sure that I was taking too much Zoloft; I just had a feeling about it. You can always begin taking more of what you reduce if you discover you want to go in the opposite direction.

- "Observe" yourself to the degree that you can get a sense of what DOES make you feel your symptoms less -- but if NOTHING does that for you, think long and hard about changing something. Not changing something means literally that NOTHING WILL CHANGE. If you've given the drugs enough time to work and you are still not feeling any better, you MUST DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY. Whether that's reducing drugs, having more frequent therapy, or something else, there's no escaping the reality that if you don't change SOMETHING, nothing will change.

- "Follow the Pain" -- Instead of running FROM the pain we experience, we must run TO it and let our bodies and our minds feel it fully. DP is probably the embodiment of the desire to avoid emotional pain. We get our desire fulfilled, but at what price? Life itself. That's no deal, is it.

So renounce the desire to avoid pain, particularly emotional pain, and learn to love your tears, your heaving sobs, your feeling of utter bottomless grief. These are gifts to you from God for your HEALING.

We all deserve peace and joy, and I believe we WILL enjoy it -- ALL OF US.

Run to your pain as the "savior" that it is -- and like Christ said, "The truth will set you free."

You may, as I did, cry and cry, and when asked by your therapist to explain what you are feeling, find nothing to say but THIS truth: "It just feels good....." Feeling good from crying is as old as time. Become as a child again -- one who simply trusts himself and the way he feels and doesn't prohibit his body/mind from being WHAT THEY ARE -- gifts from a Giver who seems to elude us all but whose love we can nonetheless feel with our souls and see in the faces of those who love us.

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I am not monitoring myself either.

I'm focusing on things around me, but they are seems strange.

My perception of reality is changing everytime and i'm getting sick of it.

Everyday the environment has another "feel" to me, besides the "living in a movie" feeling.

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95 Posts
"I don't know what I can do to get the dream/fake feeling to go away."

I spent the first year of my dp experience stuck in this mode of thought. Hunting for something to do to fix the way I saw things, desperately searching for some trick to feel real again.

The more you hunt and search, the more you feed your dp

Put the brain energy you use for dp into ANYTHING else.
Janine is 10000% correct. FORCE yourself outside of your head. This will be the hardest thing imaginable. Your dp habit will fight you tooth and nail.

My recovery began when I refused to engage dp as a worthy subject of thought. Anything dp-related would be acknowledged, but not continued.
Whenever this occurred, I would FORCE myself to wonder about anything else. Wow, that girl is cute. My pants are kickass. Its hot outside. I love pizza parties. ANYTHING. I felt ridiculous at first...replacing the ALMIGHTY DP thoughts with such mundane little people thoughts. DP began to lose priority, because SHOCK it feels better to think about pizza parties and hot chicks than unreality and involuntary feelings of disconnection.



"Chance favors those in motion."
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