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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there!

Well I made a promise to myself-As soon as feel like myself again I will register here and write my story. I'm from Serbia, so sorry if my English might be bad.

I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks as teenager. But I treated it with antidepressant and moved on.

5 years ago I met her-Derealization. I became a mother, everything was great. One night my child was at my parents and I wanted to relax... And it happend.
I had a bad weed trip that lasted for 5h straight. I finally feel asleep. Next day
I woke up and felt that something is wrong, but I thought it will pass. As days went by I started to freak out. I googled my symptoms and found out about derealization. But only I could read was that people have for years or their whole life... My world was falling apart, I was looking at my husband, at my kid.. They felt like strangers.
I went to a psychiatrist and he told me that I may have psychosis. You can imagine how I felt. She gave me some meds for schizophrenia and I wasn't able to live, derealization was 200 times worse...

After a month or so I finally decided to get off of the meds.
I googled again about derealization and found a psychotherapist from another city, contacted her and went to a trip to meet her.
She couldn't belive when I told her that they diagnosed me with psychosis.
She was trying really hard to get me out of that belive that I'm a schizophrenic and that derealization is just a simptom of anxiety, she send me to a new DR and she prescribed me Zoloft and Clonazepam, because I was too anxious that I couldn't speak.
After a while things started to get better, I continued to see her sometimes over skype, sometimes in person.. But after 2 years I forgot completely about derealization because I moved on with my life. And no one was happier than I was.

But 2 months ago because of the pandemic I started working from home, from to much stress I got anxiety back and a major panoc attack-and there she was again.. My old friend derealization.

This time worse.

Memory was destroyed almost completely, I would forgot things in sec, I went to a local store and I would stand there for a while figuring out why I came and where I actually am. Everything around me was too loud, I would get angry too fast, I couldn't watch TV or read a book, I could even mediate, because it made me feel more derealizated. I was stuck in the house.
I contacted again my "team".
The dr prescribed me Elicea (Lexapro), 1st day it was horrible, I had one pnic attack to another, it lasted 4h, I wanted to end my life like for real. I didn't had any med in the house to calm me down.
She decided to go back to Zoloft and Clonazepam, here I am day 5 and I'm feeling "connected".

My advice is:

I never accepted the derealization because I didn't know how, but I continue with my everyday life.

I cry when I feel like I should.

I let myself be scared, cry again, but then I get my sh*t together and move on.

I go out.

I watch movies even if I can concentrate without thinking about DR, but it will get better.

I treat my anxiety with meds(i don't say that you should, but please contact at least a therapist that is aware what derealization or depersonalization is) and talk to my therapist once a week and it really helps. She is there to remind me that I am not going crazy.

One exercise helped me:
She told me to make a scale of really bad things that can happen to me from 100% to 10%. (Not including dr/dp)
When you finish it your dr/dp will still be the worst thing.. But if you leave it aside I would chose to heave dr rather than to lose a loved one/or I would chose dr over going insane. Then you will see that dr/dp will get in the middle of the scale and it's not the worst thing so you will just say ok, it's bad but there are worst things.

Don't feed it with fear because it will grow, when you feel bad and it hits hard just say "Ok, so now we are doing this.. Ok, no problem, but I have to go to work/school/out anyway.

After a long time I can look in the mirror and feel myself 80% which is a big deal to me.

IT WILL GO AWAY-If it gets better for me trust me it will for you too. Just imagine that I was diagnosed with psychosis and I was dealing with false diagnose.

If you need an advice PM me.

I am sending you all a big hug-remember-you are safe.

232 Posts
Hey Milimir,

Thanks for sharing.

It is appalling that you have been given a wrong diagnosis...when I was diagnosed 3,5 years ago, my therapist told me that happens a lot, as DPDR was under-recognized condition. I sincerely hope that things have changed in the meantime (btw, pozdrav iz Beograda, lol).

I liked your tips for dealing with DPDR
Especially "don't feed it with fear" really resonates with me.

Take care and see you around!


2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Pozdrav za tebe i grad koji me je izvukao iz ovoga ????

Thanks for you reply!

I also like to imagine DR like a plant, if you water it with fear she will grow and be alive, if you ignore it as much as you can and if you just let her sit there eventually she will wither ????

1,416 Posts
I had to diagnose myself after 40 years of experiencing spells, ocular migraines, extreme fatigue, intrusive thoughts, racing thoughts, insomnia, anxiety, exploding head syndrome (yeah, look that one up),

and the strange sequence of events that initiated it all. Yes, I had been told I was suffering from depression, but that wasn't all of it. 15 years into it, I identified my visual disturbances

as ocular migraines. The neurologist said "We have bigger fish to fry". Had he given me an EEG, he would have noticed I was actively epileptic. (Today, neurology understands the association of migraine

and epilepsy. Back the, they hadn't made the connection.) But he didn't offer an EEG, so I wandered for

another 25 years until I found a case history in a British Neurological Journal that matched my own in every odd and minute detail. I learned I had been suffering from a rare and

difficult to diagnose epileptic syndrome where the psychosis from the initial seizures segue into an affective disorder of major depression. This explained everything I had experienced

and allowed me to put the 40 years of my adult life in proper perspective. Escaping the ignorance and fear may have contributed to the cessation of the focal temporal lobe seizures

I had experienced over that time frame. That left only the recurrent manor depression to deal with. I had ECT every other day for 2 weeks in 2014, and that settled that. I only have

the occasional ocular migraine these days, and they are nothing like they were in the past. If there is a moral to my story, it would be not to pass on the opportunity to have an EEG.

You may find empathy in psychology, but I believe the answers to the more serious issues are to be found in neurology, and psychiatry is but the triage ward of neurology. IMHO.
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