I just want to say that I have been unfortunate, as it is my second round in life with lingering DR. I think my situation this time is more extreme, as I can compare to my last DP/DR episode 12 years ago, and this is not your average DP/DR onset what I am experiencing now.
As I know from the forum DP sufferers are always looking for the answer for a cure, so please dont take my latest onset as what you have experienced. I am sharing this because there is always hope, even through what I am going through now. I believe it is a process and everyone''s situation is different. I have had DP/DR onset before, from just one drag of marijuana 12 years ago ( I wasnt a stoner I seriously lit the joint for a friend)...I recovered 100% over 4 1/2 years.Not a sudden recovery, just took time and persistence and getting engaged in the world and finding a path, a way forward. One thing is that I am obviously extremely sensitive to medication or drugs.
Sleep and sleep apnea is a very complex subject and I am not an expert although I have had a personal experience. I believe my onset of DP/DR was due to originally having a sleep apnea problem. My wife used to wake me up often over the last 3 years saying that I was snoring and had stopped breathing. Weirdly, I did not follow up and see a doctor about it, maybe because I did not remember when waking the next morning, and she did not remind me and we were work travelling abroad at the time. Its unfortunate, as I moved country at time of onset was not on medical insurance , and we dont have state medical ,so I cannot even follow up what has happened with an MRI scan. I cannot work and unfortunately cannot afford private medical. The most frustrating thing is that my close family say I look ok, but hey, who can see whats going on with the brain. You cannot judge a book by its cover!
I cannot prove it but its the only logic I can make out, but I went through an extremely traumatic and stressful period in the beginning of 2019, had really bad insomnia and was prescribed a low dose benzodiazapine and Ambien. I had sudden onset of DP/DR within 1 week while taking this medication as I realised it as I woke up. I felt very disorientated and the world felt like a dream.I feel like a ghost, like I didnt even know myself.
I did a lot of research myself and it makes sense to me, as I remember when I woke up one morning completely disorientated with DR whilst on the medication. Maybe I am lucky to be alive, but with really harsh symptoms. I subsequently quick;y titrated off the medication after this incident. Hindsight would have been better! My theory is it suppressed my central nervous system by taking two medications which cause CNS depression, and whilst having sleep apnea, I had hypoxia (Absence of enough oxygen in the tissues and brain to sustain bodily function). Since then, apart from extreme DR, I have serious problems with short term memory, vision problems (dimmed vision with natural light and worse with fluorescent lights), my insomnia is even worse and I have agoraphobia. This apart from extreme anxiety, there are so many other symptoms it can be equalled to brain trauma. I lost a lot most of my business skillsets too, as my brain fog is so bad and have not been able to work.Honestly, I dont know what happened, as worked in IT sales for over 26 years, and my ability to concentrate has gone. Apart from the fact that I have agoraphobia, as the DR is so bad.I basically am bedridden, and have to force myself to get out of bed or to exercise. I cannot socialise at all, as feel too uncomfortable with the DR. I say more DR than DP, as its more about how I perceive the world through a glass pane, and it looks more like graphic animation compared to when I felt normal. I feel like I am trying to hold onto my sanity.
So, while incapacitated and being looked after by my sister, the energy and capacity I have had to do my own online research, as I am concerned about whats causing my sleep apnea. I know I wake up with an extremely dry mouth and its obvious I am not breathing through my nose. I am not sure if I have blockages in my nose sinuses or a skewed septum or if there is something anatomically wrong that my throat collapses. One can do a home test by using tape on your mouth when you go to sleep (not duck tape), but basic surgical porous tape. See
to establish if you have sleep apnea. I know there are sleep clinics where you can get tested even remotely via the correct equipment, but as said I cannot afford any medical treatment in the country I live.
I think my situation is extreme. But I am sure if you had DP/DR, and sleep apnea, it would make ones DR/DP feel worse. Getting better sleep would also be good for recovery.
Also watch Prof. Matthew Walker concerning sleep and how important it is....and the effects of sleep deprivation...