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Hello,

I wanted to come on here to share my story with DP so far. I have already found this forum a couple weeks ago, but I never created an account or wrote anything until now. This will probably be a long read, but I would greatly appreciate if some of you could take your time for it.

Basically, I've suffered from DP for a bit over a month now and it has been a horrifying experience for me so far. I read the stories of many here and for most people it seems that their depersonalization was triggered either by taking drugs, experiencing a traumatic experience or having a panic attack. I feel like it was a bit different for me. I can pretty much pinpoint exactly the moment it all started for me. About a month ago I was prescribed medication by my doctor, which had nothing to do with mental health (not depression or anxiety) but rather due to physical health. For some reason I did not react well at all to the medication and as a side effect I suppose I experienced extremely high levels of anxiety. It was the kind of anxiety were you experience chest tightness and even trouble breathing. The next week I had panic attacks every day right after waking up. It was absolutely unbearable. I went to the hospital to the psychiatric departement. They gave me medication to deal with my anxiety. Around this time my DP kicked in. Nothing helped me, I took everything they gave me (and still continue to) and went to my doctor a few days later. She told me she couldn't help me besides giving me some more tips to reduce my anxiety.
Two weeks ago I went to my therapist. I told him that I felt very irritated and kind of detached from everything, but once again he couldn't help me of course besides offering words of comfort and saying it's just anxiety.

The only hope I still have is that I have an appointment in a few weeks with my doctor where I will have a full blood test to check where exactly my problem could lie and how I could get help.

I feel that my DP is very severe right now, it seemed more manageable last week, but a few days ago I became quite sick and had a flu ever since. I pretty much had to stay in bed the last three days and I feel like my DP has been very intense ever since I became sick. I would just like to outline my symptoms:

  • Lack of emotion:
    I do not feel anything at all and it is one of the scariest things to me. Before getting DP I was actually quite euphoric even though times were stressful but I was hopeful for the future. There is this unbelivable numbness that is ALWAYS there, 24/7. I can't shake it off no matter what I do. It feels like all of my emotions are surpressed and I can't reach them.
  • Time perception:
    The way I perceive time seems to be completely warped. It's like there is no future and no past. Like life never really happened and isn't really happening. It feels like time is flying by me and I have no control over anything. I really only live in the specific moment I am in, this might sound like something good for people who do not suffer from DP, but it is horrific while being in the DP mindset. My timeline of thought also is completely off, things that happened 3-4 years ago feel more recent than things that happened a few months ago.
  • Loss of personal identity:
    I look in the mirror and I can not recognize myself. I don't know who I am anymore. I question so many things about myself, things that I used to take for granted before DP. I look at pictures of myself and I just feel so confused because I can not emotionally attach myself to them anymore. Pictures of experiences, trips and vacations it's like nothing ever happened. The things I used to enjoy, I do not enjoy any longer. I can't do anything it seems.
  • Loss of memory:
    Both my short-term as well my long-term memory have been affected. In relation to my short-term memory I feel like I barely know what happened an hour ago, only if I think hard about it I can really remember. Everything is just so blurry. If it comes to my long-term memory it is also weird. I can technically recall events that happened in my life, but I do not feel any emotional connection. It's like telling the story of somebody else. This is very hard for me, because I've always been quite a nostalgic person. It's honestly like my life never really took place.
  • Existential angst:
    I question if I really exist a lot, I can't sleep sometimes and if I do I only sleep a few hours. Everything is just so surreal. I have really weird questions popping in my head like: "What is it going to be like in 10 years? What if your mother / father dies tomorrow? What have you done to yourself? Why did you ruin your life? Who are you?"
  • Detachement:
    I feel like I am not here, like I am completely gone. Floating somewhere just not in the present. I act and feel like a robot, everything is just so tiresome.
  • Panic attacks:
    This was something that happened a lot during my first couple days with DP. Thankfully I don't have them anymore at least not in the intensity I used to, but they can still happen from time to time now. Especially when the anxiety and the existential angst gets too intense.

There's probably a few more more minor things but these are the symptoms I seem to have very much. I don't even know what kind of responses I hope to receive. I'm only 19 and it feels like life has been ripped away from me. I often cry for hours, not out of sadness since I don't feel that anymore, but rather out of mental anguish and hopelessness. In my lowest points I just wish to die, just cease to exist.

Please somebody give me hope or help me :( :'(
 

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Hang in there, I had alot of these same things when DP/DR hit me. I remember at one point I though reality was a prison and the only way I could escape from it was death. But that changed, I wana live. This is just a small bump in your life you'll look back at it when your older and think I made it through I did it I didn't give up. DP/DR taught me alot and it will teach you too. Just stay in there you'll get through it.
 

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I can relate and have experienced most of your symptoms: not recognizing myself in the mirror, feeling numb, memory loss, and especially existential angst, detachment, and panic attacks.

I first suffered DP (and DR) when I was your age. I endured that hell many more times (usually deliberately induced), and fully recovered every single time.

You can rest assured that it will pass. Whatever strange thoughts, (self-)perceptions, feelings (or lack thereof) that you have right now, they have the weight, substance and reality of a bad dream, and that's how you will remember it when you recover.

Looking back on the experience, you will appreciate how much stronger it made you, I guarantee it.

You might find some of my recent posts helpful. (Skip the ones with trigger warnings!)
 
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