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Today is the 10th year anniversary of DP/DR for me. I'm wondering if anyone else thinks back to the date it first started for them, and if they become severely anxious on the anniversary date (if you know the exact date).

My breathing is so shallow and my chest so tight that a loud cracking sound emanates from my chest, just about every time I take a deep breath. Been to the doctor several times and he says I'm fine.

I even took a deep breath for my doctor and a very loud bumpy "swish" sound reverberated from gastrointestinal system. Instead of investigating the sound, which happens almost as frequently as the cracking in my chest, he just said: STOP IT! STOP DOING THAT! THAT SOUND IS DISGUSTING! STOP IT! He then covered his ears and ran out of the room. :(

Geez, I wonder how he would react if he ever had to see a picture of a human heart! :)

Has DP/DR turned into hypochondria for anyone?

The order for me seemed to be....

1 Initial Panic Attack

2 Anxiety 24/7

3 Hypochondria

4 DP/DR

5 Agoraphobia

Now I currently struggle with the last four. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Does anyone ever think about when they were younger and all the bad things that could have happened to them..... AIDS, parylasis, killed in car accident, etc. -- who thought this would be the thing that pulled you down? Not me.

I didn't know DP/DR existed until I already was bound and gagged by it.

I have made it 10 years, but isn't there something I can work on, so that I'm not this way 10 years from now?

I don't know how I have not decided to end my own life a long time ago. It's amazing whatever it is that has made me not make that choice. Maybe hope? Ironically, fear of nothingness scares me into keeping myself in my own private hell.

Appreciate any suggestions/feedback.

Thank you for reading.

Kind Regards,

Jeff
 
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I'm still proabably in denial about my own hyperchondria but I think I have a reason for you why this happens in so many of us. I have a brilliant family doctor who doesn't understand DP but understands the other symptoms and created a holistic picture for me. I'll blend in his ideas with my own to paint my theory. Let me sketch for you in broad strokes

1.People who get DP/DR usually get tremendous anxiety that surrounds this difficult dreamy sensation.

2.One could correlate DP/DR to PTSD sufferers who temporarily feel DP sensations. I hypothesize we have a faulty fight or flight mechanism. Our brain goes into the DP state as a mis-wired flight mechanism.

3.Adrenaline and Anxiety are directly correlated - the more anxious you are the more difficult it is to have a normal adrenal system. Epinephrine and Norepinephrine are also thrown out of whack by the anxiety so you feel depression and other forms of mental illness like agoraphobia etc...

4.The Autonomic Nervous sytem is regulated naturally in most but those with chemical imbalances have a tought time with it. When the autonomic nervous system is out of whack - you become more sensitive to stimulus and may feel heart palpitations (or they may be caused as a result of the imbalances). You may have digestive problems and many other health issues.

5.Feedback loop - you not only feel these additional sensations, but because of the increased anxiety you feel relating to these non-lethal symptoms, you feed the fear cycle and in essence either feel or cause more symptoms through the anxiety feedback loop. More anxiety wekens and saps your strength either causing physical symptoms or exhausting your psyche and making you into that young kid who hears every noise in the house and things its the boogie man. I felt my chest cracking just like you over the past year or so and the odd sensation of it caused immense anxiety. In essence some of your physical symptoms may exist because of your weakened state but in most cases these symptoms are sensed by an over-active nervous system.

6. I have gone through these rough spots (much worse than the DP I've lived with for 15 years) and each time I manage to break the loop by doing the following and get my psyche back to a level where I can enjoy life a bit more.
Here is what worked for me:
7.Antii- anxiety meds temporarily - like benzos

8.Eat only the healthiest foods.

9.Exercise by starting slowly and building up. You can start with walk and build up to running - this burns off tons of anxiety.

10. Meditate and find religion - I am an atheist who, like you is so afraid of nothingness that I have a phobia about it. I'm on a quest to find answers to the universe and that quest brings me hope. I'm hoping by finding religion and spirituality even if my personal religion is to pass along kindness and sympathy, at least that is something.

11.I've never shaken DP but I have fought off Anxiety and I have hope that medical developments will eventually result in breakthroughs.

12.One thing is for sure - anyone who has gone through DP should have tremendous empathy for fellow mankind. If there is any silver lining, this empathy is something we can share to make those around us better.

I share with you in your multi-symptom journey - we'll make it!!! :D 8)
 
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