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The Zombie State

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DPers often say they feel like a zombie. I too use this word to describe how I feel at times. I am wondering if you guys can describe to me what feeling like a zombie feels like? Just wondering if it's the same type of feeling. Today I was without the zombie feeling for a few hours and then it rather suddenly came over me with no obvious trigger. I hadn't felt it in a while so I really wasn't expecting it. I'm not going to describe how it feels for me because I want to see what you guys come up with first.
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I only felt it briefly a couple of times during the panic I had in May and June of this year, and it was definitely a major part of the panic attack. When I say briefly, I mean the length of time it took for the onset of what I knew to be a panic attack, the point at which I decided to take an ativan, and the length of time it took the ativan to restore me to "normal."

I would apply the word "zombie" to the feeling of extremely tense alertness and dread accompanied by a sensation of enormous heaviness and a cotton-head. It was the feeling of being on a leash, like an animal, that was held by some unseen monster until the ativan brought me back.

My zombie may be different than your zombie, just as my DP seems to be different than other people's. I don't have any symptoms at all now, either of depression or panic (which is so weird -- three weeks of no drugs at all).......Hm. Maybe God *did* heal me after all.

Anyway, for me at least, DP doesn't exist or didn't exist as anything but a component of panic. In fact, it was secondary only to the sense that I was going to die in each successive second that passed. For me, I think the DP was a way of at least for a few minutes dissociating from the fear that the panic brought. Horrible terror, just horrible. Made me want to die while I was at the same time afraid of dying. When I think about what I just wrote, I have to shake my head in disbelief. I said I experienced an intense and ongoing fear that I was going to die in each "next second," and that fear was so horrible that I wanted to die to escape it. :lol:

Crazy? Nah. Normal as a sunny day in summer.

I think all of this is normal, included screwed up brain chemistry. Do you think your brain chemistry changes when your child has a high fever? Or maybe when you have two-hours until you have to sit for a very important examination at school? Or when you walk down the street not thinking about a particular problem that you have not had the strength to face and solve -- and BOOM! Here comes the DP, or the panic, or the anxiety, or the fear, or the depression, or the BDD, or the <name-your-monster>. Is your brain chemistry changed at that moment when, ostensibly for no reason at all, you are attacked by DP? Sure, it is. When there's no apparent trigger, you can be sure that there is still a trigger to be found. It's just that it's way, way, way deep inside you, exactly where you consciously chose -- yes, consciously --- to stash it away, out of sight. That's called repression, and it never works.

I think we are all normal, actually. I think mentally ill is a term that should be applied to those conditions in which reality testing does not occur. That would be schizophrenia, bi-polar, and probably some forms of depression.

But anxiety? I realize that classifying it as a disorder makes it possible for people to afford treatment by having insurance cover the cost of drugs and some therapy, but I just don't think it's a "disorder" of the same calibre as those others, in which reality testing does not occur.

That's why, in spite of all the stuff we experience and in spite of it's being in the DMR or whatever that book is called, I just don't think anxiety "disorders" are anything more than an intense form of the normal anxiety everybody experiences. But maybe that's the definition of the disorder, in which case I will go to bed -- ach, its almost 6 a.m. Well, I woke up at 1:30 yesterday afternoon, so I haven't been up all that long.

Bon nuit!
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It's all part of the stress response.

See Stress System Malfunction Could Lead to Serious, Life Threatening Disease at from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Note this from the above report:

"The excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol produced in patients with any of these conditions is responsible for many of the observed symptoms. Most of these patients share psychological symptoms including sleep disturbances, loss of libido, and loss of appetite as well as physical problems such as an increased risk for accumulating abdominal fat and hardening of the arteries and other forms of cardiovascular disease. These patients may also experience suppression of thyroid hormones, and of the immune system. Because they are at higher risk for these health problems, such patients are likely to have their life spans shortened by 15 to 20 years if they remain untreated."
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