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Recovered From Panic Induced DP/DR (Abilify)

4949 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ElleSpencer
Okay so I haven't posted here before but I used to always come here to try and figure stuff out as far as possible treatments and thoughts you guys had. Thank you so much for putting your ideas out there so that everyone can try and get better. It's nice to not feel alone in this.

My story, really briefly: I suffered from panic attacks for about 2 months before I had one that sent me into DP/DR. Then I was depersonalized for about 2 months after that. It was not drug induced and I haven't smoked weed or done any drugs for about 4 years. I'm a 22 year old female. This DP/DR was mainly caused by my obsessive compulsive/panic disorder, and involved me feeling detached from reality due to constant anxiety, and obsessing over existential thoughts (it was interesting to learn that not everyone going through DP/DR has these thoughts, they were the worst part for me. I could have dealt with feeling detached, especially as it didn't seem as intense, perceptually, as some people have experienced it). It was clear to me that this was obviously caused by anxiety, and that when I treated that, it would go away. So this post is for anyone with DP/DR related to anxiety/depression/panic.

I have been in therapy for years because of my history of anxiety disorders, and I worked with my therapist to try and relax enough to get rid of the DP/DR. This mainly included grounding exercises, most of which honestly didn't do too much. The deep breathing was pretty good, actually. I would recommend that, which I'm sure most people have tried. It brought temporary relief, sometimes. But nothing really really helped long term. Magnesium helped a little but more with mood and calmness than perception and DP feelings.

I saw a psychiatrist and she prescribed Prozac (fluoxetine), which I've been on before. It didn't seem to be doing much of anything. Therapy has always been the biggest benefit, for me, so I continued to work through it with that. And then, my psychiatrist prescribed me Abilify (aripiprazole). It literally worked the first night. My psychiatrist said it wouldn't work that fast, maybe in the first few days but not the first day, so I wasn't expecting anything, but when I took it in the morning (which was a really bad morning for me), throughout the day, the existential thoughts I was having became sillier and less important to me, and by night time I felt so grounded and calm. I do have obsessive compulsive tendencies, so that's why this was so great for me. It's commonly prescribed off label for OCD. But I think lots of people would benefit if they were down to try anything.

I would really recommend Abilify, and maybe an antidepressant, to anyone willing to try out psychopharmas. I think that's the usual combo they come in. Obviously look up EVERYTHING you can about Abilify online because it has an extensive side effects list and you need to be sure you can take it, and I'm not a doctor so talk it through with a professional. But it has really helped me a lot. It makes me wired for a while though, and then makes me sleepy. Kinda works out because I'm ready for bed by the end of the day. Only thing is, I'm a little depressed looking back on all the wasted time my condition has caused me, but I'm working on it. I lost my job when the panic attacks started and haven't seen friends in a while. But I'm on the road to recovery, and I hope everyone else is too! I'll seriously think about a lot of people and threads I've read here, I wish you all the best.
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