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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One thing I struggle with if you have read other posts of mine, is the OCD part of this thing, I will get a thought, Like I am not Real, or am I real and I will Cycle on this.. I have had some good things happen lately that makes me think I might be close to coming out of this... I have seen some breaks here and there.. but This thought or serries of thoughts like that, I can't seem to escape them.. I often try to state facts to myself that I know from the past but Janine says reassurance like that doesn't do any good, so does anyone do this or have any tips that use for themselves when they feel or think they are unreal.

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I have the same problem. Not nearly as much now as i used to, say, a year ago. But they're still there. The best advice i could give is to exercise, keep yourself occupied, and "focus outward" ?J. Baker, 2003.

I know how hard it is when your mind gets wrapped up in something, and believe me if i knew a surefire answer to this dilemna I would tell you (and take the advice myself), but even OCD becomes exhausting after awhile, at least it has been for me. Chances are you'll drop particular obsessions and adopt other ones. The problem of course is never the thing you're obsessing over, but the obsessional thought process itself. This is why Janine recommends that you don't "reassure" yourself, because you're still feeding into this cyclic chain of thought.

OCD is a product of anxiety. Anxiety is a product of fear. Fear is a product of a myriad of personality traits. Guilt, Shame, Insecurities, etc. They all play a part in constructing that formidable edifice of fear. We, as DP/OCD/Depressives or whatever have to tackle those problems, and the others will disintegrate by corollary.

Good luck,


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Sorry but this post will be long and more than likely boring for those who can't relate.
I find that the thinking and analysing is the thing that produces the unreality feelings.
This is something I wrote soon after I had my first episode about to years ago and I had no idea what DP/DR/AD was. Kchendrix you may relate to this. Apologies for the length but it pretty much sums up the way I think before the anxiety kicks in:

As I engage in everyday conversation I find myself doing many things at once. I am listening, comprehending, watching the other persons expressions, determining a response, gesturing and all this seems to happen instantaneously and automatically. As I flow through time and perform these functions it feels like I lose some awareness of my self and my surroundings. When involved in a conversation my mind seems to be open and everything happens spontaneously. Whilst talking I can trigger my fear when I slightly shift my focus onto my voice and then try to determine where the thoughts that produce these words come from. I start to analyse the situation and ask myself questions like - How was that thought initiated? How do I understand things? When people talk to me what am I aware of? What or who determines my response as they happen automatically with no prior thought? It?s like I?m switched to automatic pilot as I perform a myriad functions without my conscious effort. Why did I make that response out of the infinite available? Where did the very start of that thought that made that response emanate from? When I start questioning who is aware or who is driving all of the internal and the external happenings as we move through time and space I start to induce the many negative states I mentioned. I try to catch myself being aware at an instantaneous moment to try to understand where am ?I? during this process of either talking, thinking, moving, etc. but because I can not catch myself being aware or ?in control? as each moment passes I find myself entering this weird state where I don?t feel like myself and start perceiving things as unreal, strange, weird, different as if I?m viewing myself from some different perspective that I just can?t explain or understand. I lose all grounding of myself. In a nutshell it just doesn?t feel like ?me? and it absolutely terrifies the hell out of me. Most times I just let reality pass and not focus on anything but I do get this feeling that I?m avoiding something and with this avoidance there is an underlying current of anxiety. At times during the flow of reality I may momentarily realise that I?m avoiding focusing on the things that change my perception then I start analysing the immediate past trying to feel where my awareness was during those past few moments. In that moment of analysis it seems as if I wasn?t actually present. Then I start thinking about where was I during those moments and how was I performing all those tasks without being conscious of them. Depending on the solidity of my mood I may find myself simply ignoring this phenomenon or if feeling vulnerable this analysis tends to induce fear and anxiety which seems to be because I can?t substantiate my self/awareness during that time. Something as familiar as thinking may seem so natural to most but when I truly try to grasp how your mind wills your body to perform it?s most common tasks it seems radically weird and bizarre.

The world around me also seems strange and different as I focus on every day objects. If I don?t focus my awareness on my surroundings everyday reality seems reasonably normal but with focusing my change in perception makes the familiar seem very foreign. Holding and manipulating an object in my hand can become a strange experience if I focus my attention in a certain way. I also find that my awareness seems limited like I have tunnel perception. It feels slightly enclosed and that I need to some how open it up to experience my surroundings with more clarity. It?s as if there is some reality impediment between my self and the world. Also this non reality increases with anxiety and fear.

What terrifies me the most is that I?m really not controlling the functioning of my body and mind. All this time it felt like it was me who controlled all the functioning. The mind and body simply do there things automatically, spontaneously, instantaneously and I (whatever that ?I? is ) is simply the observer of my body and mind interacting with reality. And it?s this shift in perception and the apparent lack of control that makes me feel the anxiety and fear. In the times that I was not feeling these strange perceptions was I simply living with in a narrow bandwidth of my mind that was creating its own illusion of the self and how it perceives reality? Living in this illusion I feel comfortable and grounded but with a shift in focus all that grounding disappears, my reality changes and everything feels different.

There's more but I don't want to bore you any longer. Kchendrix I'm still trying hard to avoid the doing the things that I just mentioned above. But it's difficult especially when the fear hits because that seems to be the vice that locks you into that pattern of trying to find an answer which ultimately leads to over thinking and more fear. I find that distraction is the only tool that works but that depends how deeply the fear has rooted itself. Sometimes I just have to leave the situation for example if at work I go home (the driving seems to help). I'm finding that I'm getting a tiny little bit better at it as I seem to distract myself more often these days when the thinking patterns start. Not much help I know but we must keep trying.

Here?s the deal. (and Milan, that was EXCELLENT. Very powerful and very honest description of precisely the thinking/ruminating that screws us).

I am going to try to lay it all out as clearly as I can here.

1. Go back and read Milan?s long post above this one. That is the daily/chronic kind of questioning and pondering we ALL do. We feel in control of it at first. We?re not doing it while panicky, we?re just exploring, asking questions, trying to figure this horrible dp nightmare out. We?re FEEDING it, however.

It feels harmless. It feels like ?just thinking? ? and we defend ourselves by insisting ?how the hell can we NOT think about all that when we feel so insane?!?

Now read on.

The following is an excerpt from my book and this is PRECISELY the kind of nightmare I would get into at least daily.

2. This, below, is the RESULT of the constant ruminations. When you sit around and explore your own symptoms and question WHY you could feel so odd, etc?.you are setting the stage for the kind of nightmare to follow: (I feel like some anti-drug advertisement ? ?this is your brain. This is your brain on Obsessive Self-Observation. Get the point?? LOL)

(excerpt from my own experience of dp)
I walk down the street with a dear friend, and we talk about finding someplace to eat dinner. All day I have seemed normal, and at times, almost felt like a regular person. But any new idea, any new place to go or experience to endure is a potential trigger. Suddenly we are close to the restaurant... how did we get here so fast? It can?t be right, something feels odd?it seemed we were walking in a different direction and suddenly ended up here. One challenge to my sense of reality - and the nightmare begins.

Carol holds the door and I walk in - I?ve agreed that yes, this is a good place to eat ? I?ve approved it, I have?tried to remember how it looks and what could feel dangerous about being there. But there is never any way to tell, no way to prepare; I only pretend there are things I can do to make it easier. A waiter moves past us and there ? out of nowhere ? the rustle of someone?s movements and the world is tilting.

Sure this table looks fine, I smile. And I slide onto a chair, or someone does?some flesh, some piece of human body that moves like me, that felt like me once?years ago. I can?t do this; I?d been feeling strange, we should have picked someplace with softer lights. I won?t be able to sit there, it has to be close to a door?.not too crowded or too empty, nothing surreal, not seating that makes things look odd?but we?re here. It?s too late to think of what I might have said?.and then it?s as if I am still back on the sidewalk, walking with Carol. We are nowhere and everywhere ? in dreams that happens. A thought moves flesh and blood. I am dreaming and can?t wake up?.

I can see the windows, watch the door?but there?s too much noise, too many voices all going at once?she talks, my friend, and I smile and listen ? but under her words, the other track is taking over? I tell her it?s warm in here, already rehearsing lies? being prepared for what could come?stop it, stop doing this to your own mind?.stop thinking! But this could really be the night it happens?nothing has ever looked so odd this fast. A bad thought and efforts to stop it, okay, okay?I am okay so far.. no one has noticed, Carol seems okay, can?t tell?and I?m centered, but my friend of ten years, her name sounds odd..a crazy thought, an untellable thought. I repeat my own name, I?m okay, okay..I?m here, it?s real. But in the next second, my hands look strange, the lights are too bluish and the skin feels wrong?we laugh at something she says, it?s all right to laugh, can be centering, I?m not bad tonight, this is not so bad?and I want to reach for the menu, anticipate it, then start to shift, knowing I need to move my right hand but it feels too distant?my fingers on the paper are wrong, as if deadened. It?s okay, it?s just the menu. I?m in the restaurant and it?s only a menu. But it?s not the same menu they used to have?.or might be. Something is wrong with it. Something is very very wrong. I say words to Carol without really hearing what she asked. She knows. She must. Someone can tell. Don?t think that, can?t think that?.no, I?m Janine. Janine Baker. Just Janine Baker, and I live on 97th Street. And it?s a menu and my hands are all right.

This has all been dreaming, not happening. I?m in one of the nightmares, but can?t tell for sure? desperately look around for ?normal things? ? it can?t be a dream if everything is normal, no dream creatures, no magical happenings?but Carol looks different, since she laughed just now, something changed?waiter brings water and I don?t know if it?s better or worse to drink?to calm down, or if the ice will feel strange?my lips aren?t right, this is a dream?it?s Dante. Not heaven or earth, can?t be?. It?s possible I have died, already died - and this is the moment that Something will tell me I?m not real anymore?carol asks a question and remarkably I answer, but?

I think I might step outside a minute, just got hot, a little too warm and she says I should drink some water, and I wonder if that is the signal for the nightmare to change?.

Those are crazy thoughts, this is not true, not a dream, and I panic more when I make no sense?not making sense, not thinking right. This is it. This is the night it happens.

I step outside, and stand there trying to find something that doesn?t look crazy?can?t lose control, losing mySelf?I can?t go back in there, I can?t sit through a meal. But I?ll try, I have to. I can?t ? and I have to. For ten minutes I stand there and gather myself back in, try to pack my Self into this body, try to keep pretending. I am not of this earth. I was not meant to live in a human body?scanning the window to see if Carol is okay, still sitting there, she?ll wait, I can make myself go back?will say it was too hot?no one hears this, no one knows this. Can?t know, must not know?. Don?t tell me I am not insane!

This night is not unusual. It?s the way I?ve gotten used to living.

Then the next day I would spend ALL my time and energy trying to sort out the horrible experience of the night before.

Feeding the whole cycle and preparing me for the nex time.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks ,, And the BOOK IS GOOD , I am just a slow learner... it goes against what seems natural.... you know if you are thinking your not real or reality is disappearing, or you don't feel like yourself no matter how you put it , you just want to hang on harder, I know this is the wrong thing to be doing..... by the way did I say The BOOK IS AWESOME,,,, I tend to obsess on certain things ... THE BOOK IS GREAT......

All kidding aside .... the book is wonderful and I appreciate how eveyone is trying to help me... With thoughts like IM not real or I don't feel like I am me... going through your head well it makes you feel crazy...... but I am trying.... PEACE ALL

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I know what you mean. The not me feeling is by far the worst. It is such a difficult feeling to describe - it's a mixture of D?j? vu, confusion, fear, dreaminess (run out of words that can fit into the description). I hate it when I'm doing something and simply being then out of nowhere I notice myself being from a different perspective and then my identity vanishes (bad feelings arise) and yet when your not thinking about it you are you. The shi**y part of it is the harder you try to find yourself the more your identity disintegrates

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We are embodied spirits.

Our chemicals are "crazy"; we are not.

What you think of is a product not of your intellect or your will, but what the chemicals that are unbalanced decree that you MUST think of. They do this by virtue of where they are located in the brain and how badly they are depleted.

I am intimately familiar with all the descriptions of what it's like, particularly in this thread; it is in fact those very thoughts that make me feel more fear, but it's really hard to tell if they are not found at the same instant together.

I no more want to examine these things that cause me fear than I want to examine what nonsense runs through the mind of a psychotic person who has lost touch with reality entirely.

We are "wired" for many, many things. Among them, I believe, we are wired for:

- Knowing God and loving God and others, including ourselves. Yes, many people do believe that the only one who can truly fill the "God-void" is God, and that He has done so. I am in that group. I was an adult convert to Catholicism from agnosticism 25 years ago.

- Living in such a way that we are not tortured by our knowledge of the world (that is, while we know the facts about the universe that makes our heads spin even when we are not in the midst of acut anxiety, those facts do not lead to despair -- they lead to awe and an appreciation of the basic conundrum at which all mankind must stop -- How did all this stuff get here? Is there anybody in charge? Can something create itself? So, we are wired to see the beauty in the construction and operation of a human cell or a crystal or a molecule.

- Living without anxiety. We are wired for joy -- that is demonstrated by the fact that when we are not joyful, when we are anxious, we are "sick." When things go wrong, though, we are wired to seek the healing that can help us.


- In some people, particularly those with a family history of panic and other illnesses, the problem is probably close to 90% that the problem is a faulty chemical balance in specific areas of the brain.

- Once a person has found a medical treatment that prevents the attacks, it might be interesting to look at the issues and symptoms in an analytical way, but while we are sick and are still having the troublesome thoughts and feelings, we are attempting to find sense in the incoherent babbling of a madman. Every thought we have is born in our brains. When the hardware of our brains has a problem, we learn about it by our distress.

- The malfiring neurons are going to perform differently in each of us. There are no archtypical thoughts that mark a specific illness. Of course, you can analyze why you wake up with a specific song on your lips. But doing so doesn't lead you any closer to getting rid of the things that bother you.

- I hear the term "recovery" used a lot, but I have a problem with that. Except in the cases of people who suffer for a short period of time and do or do not take medication for a few months, get better, and never have another attack again -- they, alone, I would consider to be recovered.

- For me, and for many of you, I suspect, we will never "recover," using the classic definition of that word. We will *always* have panic disorder and major depression (what I have). But that's not bad news; the good news is that with ongoing treatment, I was unaware for 12 years that I *had* the illness. In other words, we remove the symptoms by restoring the proper chemical concentrations in the brain, and we get "back" to our lives -- in many cases, those lives are much improved over time after beginning medicine.

But we do not "recover" -- the symptoms go, and we feel completely healed, but I think it is important to remember that we are never "recovered" from this illness unless we have one episode that never, ever returns.

Nothing is wrong with examine your weird thoughts; personally, I want to get away from them as fast as I can because they are what is making me feel scared. The perceptions themselves are scary because we all know they are not the way the world really looks and feels.

So, time spent contemplating the navel of our "experiences" tells me a couple of things:

- You're not as totally petrified as I am when I have an attack (despite assurances to the contrary, when I have an attack, it feels as if I will most certainly die).

- You may have a milder form of anxiety that allows you to contemplate the navel of your experiences, while the sooner they turn to dust the better for me. Of course, I observe them to a degree, and say, "Arghh. If that was how I felt about things all the time, I would surely kill myself." It's so awful to me that I want nothing but to run away from them. I want them to leave me alone. I know they are sickness, not even worthy of paying any attention to.

When we have a panic attack, we have lost a vital part of our constitution that allows us to see the world as it is. We think we are in danger when we are not. We think that thinking about the ultimate questions of existence is a task we oughtn't do because it makes us crazy, all the while forgetting how many times when of sound mind we in the past contemplated the beauty and immeasureableness of the universe and experienced the thrill of the awareness of what we actually KNEW about where we are in this tremendous universe.

All of these thoughts about profound things are entirely normal; but when our chemicals are wrong, we come to the wrong conclusions.

What you think in a panic attack is the pus that comes out of an abscess.

Do not waste your time examining its contents.

Look instead to get your chemicals corrected so that you no longer have symptoms.

I still keep wondering about those who say they want to analyze their behavior. I wonder if they are suffering from something entirely different than I am.

Who knows?

For me, when death seems imminent, I don't want to analyze anything except how quickly I can restore the level of Zoloft in my bloodstream so that I do not have panic attacks at all. My doctor says that's what I have to look forward to.

In the meantime, same time as last night, 8:30, right on schedule, the attack came. I waited 10 minutes to be sure, but that was too long and the darn Antivan took about 2 hours to work. My doctor said I could take another if needed, but advised that I take a half rather than a whole. So at about 11, that's what I did.

Until the Zoloft reaches the therapeutic level in my system, I'll have to supplement it witn Ativan.

Consider this: if we were "crazy," we would not object to the perceptions, sensations, and so forth. We'd be oblivious to their craziness.

This problem cannot be solved psychologically except in the mildest of cases, and I have the feeling that someone who has a mild case will never look for a board like this.

While I agree with all the "focus outward" talk, and it's great advice, for me, as long as I am in the grip of this thing, psychological methods don't work. I gave it a chance yesterday, I think. Nine hours. It lifted once for about ten minutes, but then was back in full force.

Today's attack at 8:30 was really horrible, but I hung on, knowing that the pill would take effect soon and that I could take another.

I'm getting to the point where I will probably take an Ativan at 8:00 pm whether or not I feel an attack coming on. I can no longer tolerate them.

Well, I exaggerate, I suppose I could, but I think it's stupid to willingless experience such suffering when one doesn't have to. You see, in the middle of it, when it's particularly scary, I doubt for a little while if I will ever feel "normal" again. I always answer myself in the affirmative, but it takes so much energy it is so exhausting. And I cannot do anything else while I'm having an attack. Oh, I sit at the computer and do things, but if I had pressing work to edit here, I could not do it, unless the attack was very minimal, and I haven't had one of those in a while.

I am probably going to seek out a CBT therapist who specializes in panic disorder. I'll ask my current therapist; perhaps she does that and I just don't know about it.

There are two roads to managing this illness:

A. Correcting the biological error B. Trying to interpret it as psychological

The best minds at work on this illness say it's a combination, but in some people, like me, the percentage of responsibility is in the neighborhood of 90% biological, 10% psychological.

I am so grateful that men and women over the course of the last century toiled and searched, cared and drove themselves to find the medicines that can help us. I am so grateful for the men and women and companies that invested their money in pharmaceutical research. Without them, there would be very little hope for you and me. The asylums would still be open, and I am sure I would be locked away.

But we are productive, intelligent people with something important to give our world. I happen to be at the apex of my professional career. I managed my depression since 1993 and simply could not have done it without Zoloft. And a LOW dose -- 50 mg and then 25.

I guess this is a treatise urging all of you who are not pursuing medicine to change your mind and really analyze the statistics about major mental illnesses.

Don't waste your time trying to figure anything out -- what distortions you see or think in your brain are not worthy of your examination. They are symptoms of your illness. Find a good doctor who knows a lot about this stuff. Seek out someone in your community who is associated with current thought on these issues. Don't let anyone tell you that therapy alone can help you.

That's if your panic is severe. If it's mild, psychological methods might work. But if it were so mild, I don't think you'd be agonzing over your thoughts and trying to understand them. Doing that, in fact, is another symptom of the disease. If you enjoy doing that, then by all means, do it, but don't complain about how weird those thoughts are. Yes, they are weird, they are distortions from a mind that needs a tune up and an oil change.

The "not me" feeling is among the worst. I never want to see that again. My analysis of it is this: It's a jumbling of concepts in my mind caused by faulty nerve communication.

My sister the doctor even confirmed that she thought in my case, the relative weight was high in favor of organic cause.

But those people, those researchers, those executives at the drug companies who said, "This is a huge problem that we ought to address." They are heroes in my book. God blessed them with compassion and with the ability to devise experiments that would allow them to isolate substances that had a beneficial effect on people who are sick like us.

Look what they did!! It's incredible. God has provided help here for all of us. It's not self-analysis for seriously sick people -- especially while their brains are operating in a deficient chemical condition. Self-analysis can come when we are chemically stable.

The help God gives us are these drugs and the psychiatrists who are expert at using them to alleviate human suffering.

God gives us the freedom to say, "I don't wand meds," but I really believe doing that is a tragic mistake.

So, we are not crazy; our chemicals are.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to seek out and find the finest psychopharmacologist you can afford and become his or her patient. You tell him or her that you want to have no more panic attacks and no more crazy thoughts, and that you believe you have a chemical imbalance.

I am also so thankful for my doctor, who is really an expert in this field.

I hope this hasn't come across as too pedantic. So let me tell you a little story: I resisted consulting a doctor to treat my depression for many years, and I regret it. I didn't think I needed medicine. I was "better" than someone who needed medicine. Medicine had an aura of "crazy' to it, and I was not crazy, just depressed.

Finally, I agreed, after my mental image of what it would do to me was changed. I had ideas that it would make me "drugged up" (it didn't) and that I would become a zombie (it didn't). In fact, my entire life changed, I went to graduate school, started doing work I love, and while my life was far from perfect, I had no depression (or anxiety!!) for 12 years. Not bad.

So I know the reluctance to take medicine; I did it myself.

Why don't we start a sticky thread where people report their treatment plans and update it over time? Anyone want to do that? I'd like to see everyone here at least stop going in the direction that is going to make them suffer more --- analyzing the minutia of their unbalanced thoughts.

Those thoughts are WORTHLESS folks. Use the energy you apply to that analysis to find a very good psychopharmacologist or a regular psychiatrist.

Please forgive, if you can, the sheer length of this, but I really wanted to say it all.

Bottom line: You have a problem. You've been told the answer. Don't sit in the corner and gaze on the navel of your distorted, nightmarish thoughts. Your thoughts are aberrant; they are the product of a sick mind. To get your mind healed, you need medicine.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
First of all I am glad Meds are helping you.. I never have had a reluctance to try,, but now after 4 trials and bad reactions including high liver enzymes on one, I am gun shy about continuing any type of meds, As my pyschiatrist explained that even if you get on a med, you will only be on temporarily. THe Med is the bridge between feeling bad and coping at best.

It has always interested me .. they say chemical imbalance, but ask them to do a blood test and show you the imbalance. They can show you when postassium is low, they can show you cholesterol, why can't they demonstrate the imbalance?

Are you lacking ZOLOFT? Zoloft is just keeping the seritonin from being uptaken as fast. If this is all because of seritonin, then I will have to find a way to restore it,, why oh why can't they show you that this level is low, is it just their guess.. If meds work for you that is great, they haven't done for me, just made me worse as I am sensitive to SSRI's ,,,Even the non ssri caused liver elevations. From what I have been told, unless you are Bi Polar and need a mood stablizer, it is possible to fully recover from anxiety/depression etc... even without a med. Anyway I appreciate your post, and I appreciated being able to describe symptoms here to get feedback.

I too am a Christian and I trust that God will indeed show me the way out of this . Meds can be good, but in some people they may not work at all. If you look in Janines book she tried several meds and found the answers were not in the meds.

While I appreciate your opinion and your post is very well written it doesn't hold true in black and white for each patient.


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Kchendrix wrote:

As my pyschiatrist explained that even if you get on a med, you will only be on temporarily. THe Med is the bridge between feeling bad and coping at best.


Temporarily? No, only a very few take it temporarily. Most take it the rest of their lives. Can you control the production of insulin by your thoughts? Of course not; nor can you control the behavior of your brain chemicals.

If your doctor cannot explain how they came to understand that serotonin is important, and hasn't told you that Z *is* a mood stabilizer (anything that treats depression is a mood stabilizer), and cannot briefly explain how they know serotonin is important, I strongly suggest that you get a second opinion.

Also, I by no means meant my comments for any one person here; I was just addressing the idea in general.

There are different schools of thought on this. Some doctors do see brain chemistry IMBALANCES that are CAUSING the mental symptoms patients experience.

But other doctors see the ORIGIN of the symptoms as coming from psychological problems - which in turn, cause changes in brain chemistry - which of course, may be helped with meds.

I am of the second camp - because, well that is my field of study (psychoanalysis) and it's what worked and was true for me. I was on meds for many many years, many different meds, and they helped me cope sort of - I did need SOME kind of daily help, and I certainly don't regret using them.

But I was the kind of patient who at one point was housebound (could not leave the house for over a year, was so terrified and my anxiety/reaction levels were set so high...I couldn't handle ANY stimulation at all).

I lived crippled by obsessive thoughts, mood swings, dp states of abject terror - I got jobs and quit after a few months because something would freak me out so badly, the lighting or the sitting there all day, feeling trapped and as if I was losing my mind from the dp/dr. If ANYbody looked like she had a biochemical problem, it was me.

But I didn't.

After recovering, and I mean 100 per cent, not one symptom of dp/dr or anxiety or obsessive ideas, I have a NORMAL "fear meter" now. During 9/11, I was at work at my office in New York - trust me, we were SCARED. But it was normal fear, not anxiety. I have none of the symptoms I once had and the recovery for ME was from long term therapy and psychological changes.

Each person is different, but just because someone has a TERRIBLY over-reactive brain chemistry, that does not necessarily mean there is anything "wrong" organically with their brain.


p.s. I don't mean to act like I am some picture of mental perfection, lol....I still have some neurotic traits - LOTS in fact - and I still get "crazy" over men/in love situations - I can be childish and moody and screwed up over life stuff. BUT - I am free. I no longer am afraid of my own brain, I no longer have dp or dr or anxiety states or "bad" obsessions (now I'm just obsessive re: my writing projects, studies, etc....things that feel GOOD, not terrifying). OKay, nuff disclaimer. lol

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Thank you for balancing out what I said; I absolutely agree that some people have no biochemical problem that cannot be reversed by therapy.

I've concluded that because even if one knows one has the genetic disposition, it's possible that psychoanalysis or other psychological methods can help along with medicine.

It's true -- the bottom line is that we have two avenues of affecting brain chemistry.

Because I have a family history of depression, and because I'm on medication, doesn't mean I am not going to see if there are psychological causes that I discover and eliminate or face or whatever needs to be done.

Clearly, people who have the genetic predisposition do not ALL develop this illness.

From what I am coming to know from all the reading I've been doing, CBT is the best therapy. One of the precepts, as I understand it, is not dwelling on the craziness. In essence, what this board provides is wonderful -- a place where people can come to talk and give and receive support. But I wonder if delving into one's symptoms is of any usefulness except when communicating to a diagnostician. There are times when I wonder if just reading this board is contributing to my anxiety.... (!)

I don't really think that's the case, but I wonder sometimes.

I hope that people who have had negative experiences with medicine and who think they cannot be helped by medicine consult more than one doctor (psychopharmacologist would be the absolute best). They know things about drugs and combinations of drugs that we do not, and there may well be some combination of drugs that they will know about that will get around whatever biological problems you have that prevent medication with the drugs you have tried.

I will ask my doctor what alternatives for medicine are available for people whose livers do not like SSRIs. That's the issue, right? Or, if you want, post a more specific question and I can get the answer for you.

My doctor is a star in the field. Answers from him are like gold.

Please post questions in this thread and I'll check back.

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323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Thanks for your post here... I don't want you to go away thinking I don't think medicine can work. and I have been to two different Doctors(psychiatrist) regarding meds. Like I was saying the one that was working for me, was messing with my liver, the others that they tried were ssri's like zoloft, and they were even trying to treat me like a geriatric patient because of my sensitivity to them. Believe me if I could find something that didn't effect me the way these SSRI's seem to well I probably would be on the medication band wagon!.

As far as reading about other symptoms I do think that sometimes it might not help to read them because then we compare or maybe we say Oh I might do that and it scares us more, but on the other hand when I can talk to someone who is experiencing the exact same thoughts, or exact same feeling, I know then that I am not alone, and I get some comfort. SOme people have developed coping skills for those symptoms that I would be interested in learning.

All my life I have had problems with any type of drugs at all, probably what kept me from not using recreational drugs. Heck if I take a stupid cold tablet it effects me. I can't drink a coke or coffee because Caffiene gives me fits. I actually ended up with tunnel vision and a heart rate of 202 from a large cup of coffee .

So I don't know what do you do for a guy like me drug wise. I do take an ocassional valium if i get really unbearable. I don't know though like I say experimenting till they find the right one has left me gun shy. It is my hope that through psychotherapy, as well as eating a diet rich in seritonin and excercising and taking supplements such as B6 and B Complex which help you to metabolize these chemicals will be an answer for me. I hope so. Both Pyschs and therapists I have seen, tell me there is no way I can become psychotic, or schitz or even bi-polar, that any chemical imbalance I might have is just temporary. Even when the one was working before they discovered the liver stuff,,, they only intended for me to be on it 6 mos to a year. That is why I mentioned the med as part of my treatment for 6 mos to year as temp. Anyway. I hope I didn't upset you with listing symptoms , it is not my intent, and I hope you are feeling better.

God Bless

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No, no, you didn't upset me at all; I hope I didn't upset you! We tend to speak fast here and use shorthand, so sometimes I read things between the lines.

Have you tried ativan? It's much milder than the others. It just makes me feel normal, not "tranquilized."

I just hope your doctors are really experienced with this illness, because that's what we all need. You might want to also consult someone in a larger city, if you're in a small place. I'd just hate for you to give up on medicine without having a highly competent person confirm your local diagnosis and what your local physicians are telling you.

Do you want me to ask my doctor anything for you? If you write me a private message detailing what your doctors have said, I can ask him.

Tell me you have sent the message after you send it, because I don't yet know how to get it. Oh, I guess there's a thingy on the top of the page.

Okay, see what you think. I'm offering free information from a man who's one of the best. Now, he may not be able to say anything specific about your treatment, and that's probably going to for sure -- no maybe -- but he can indicate whether there are other methods that might be pursued. I would need to tell him the specific reasons x drug didn't work or you couldn't take, and y drug and so on. Just give me a list, ok?
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