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Hi, my name is Ruby, I'm 24 and from the UK. I suffered from Derealisation mostly, but also a few symptoms of Depersonalization, 24/7 for about 5 months, and then intermittently for 6 months. My episode was induced by an anxiety/panic attack, not drug-related.

I remember seeing a lot of recovery stories on here where people would candidly say if you don't think about it, it'll go away, and I remember wanting to scream at the computer every single time. How could I ignore something that was stripping me of any life I thought I had? It consumed every single thought. I don't believe it's as easy as that. It takes a lot of dedication to work through recovery and even after that, it's difficult to reintegrate back into a society you have been absent from. It's important to note that everybody's experience of DPDR is an individual thing and recovery will look different for every person too.

I will share what helped me here:
Talk therapy - I spoke to a CBT-trained therapist once a week. It felt bad at first, but as our relationship became more solidified, I felt like I could speak without judgment about my symptoms and feelings (incl. suicide idealization).
Medication - At first, 10mg Citalopram, 60mg Propranolol. After a few months, when most of the physical anxiety had settled, I discontinued Propranolol and sat with Citalopram on 20mg. Citalopram numbed me the fuck out emotionally, which helped ease my shattered mind from the crippling fear and anxiety, but caused issues with my relationships and motivation for life long after DPDR had faded. I recommend it if you're at a point where you can not cope, just be careful of the effects it has on your body. I'm withdrawing as I type this, after tapering off for months, and I still feel like shit. Better than feeling Depersonalised though.
Getting off forums - I looked at this website, YouTube, Reddit, you name it. Every hour of every day. It didn't give much room for anything else. It probably prolonged my experience with DPDR as I gave my every bit of attention to it. It felt good to read recovery stories, for a while, until I'd read a post about someone who's had it for 30 years and I'd want to cry.

Over time things just got... easier. I still felt depersonalized but I could go outside for a little while. Then it was going to the shop with my mum. Then it was going for a coffee with a friend. Now I'm able to do everything I did before I got sick and I appreciate the little things more.

One thing for certain is that you won't ever be the person you were before this happened. You can't possibly be. But you do forget the intensity of the way this feels, you forget the alienated feelings you once felt so strongly. It's a part of your life, it'll always be something that happened to you but the one thing I am grateful for throughout this experience is the kindness I now show myself having been strong enough to push through something that felt impossible.

I wholeheartedly wish anybody suffering from these God-awful symptoms the ability to recover and find themselves again. You deserve to.
 
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