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I'd first like to apologize for this being so long, but at this point I am desperate and want to provide as much information about what's happening as I can. I will give a basic overview of what's been happening, then some further details after. The events I describe started around June 15th, 2016 up until now. Please, if you have experienced, are experiencing, or know anything about DP/DR, I am reaching out to you. Here goes…

I woke up from a short sleep after a night out and headed to work. I felt pretty tired and foggy but chalked that up to a hangover. But for some reason over the next few days the feeling intensified. I was getting hazier and more worried by the day. About three days after I started feeling like this, I was on my way home from work when suddenly a horrible feeling came over my body. My legs got heavy, it was hard to move, and my heart was skipping beats so hard I was gasping for air. Having a minor history with heart issues I thought something might be seriously wrong. I sat down on a bench and called 911. Ambulance came and took my blood pressure and did an EKG on the way to the hospital. They said the results were normal. The doctors did some more tests on my heart and blood and said those were normal as well. They weren't really taking me seriously until my heart rate spiked. My monitor started beeping and a bunch of hospital staff rushed in. I was breathing fast, and I guess I hyperventilated because an intense pins and needles feeling shot down both my arms, my hands clamped shut and I couldn't move them and I couldn't stop twitching my leg. Scariest moment of my life, I thought I was about to check out. They hooked my IV up to some anxiety med or sedative and I eventually calmed down, but still didn't feel right. They kept me overnight for observation but nothing else happened and they let me go in the morning. Here's where the depersonalization/derealization kicks in. After the hospital I felt like I was in a different world. I was in a complete fog and it felt like I was in some new form of reality that didn't seem real, like I was in Purgatory. Everything was a blur, literally. I became completely self-aware, watching my feet walk and my hands do things, but felt like I was just watching, not really doing the things I was. It is very similar to watching a video from a first-person point of view, like when someone has a GoPro strapped to their head. I would look myself in the mirror and be completely confused. Anything and everything seemed totally unfamiliar. Family, friends, objects, activities, I was completely losing my grip on reality. It was impossible to hold eye contact while having a conversation without freaking out. I just couldn't get out of my own head, constantly thinking that I had brain damage, schizophrenia, a neurological disorder - something. I became a serious hypochondriac, thinking every little thing I felt go on with my body was a sign of death. The number of physical symptoms has been endless. Heart palpitations and skipped beats, relentless sleep-starts (jolting awake in a panic as I was about to fall asleep), heavy limbs, fatigue, you name it. I continued to go to work, although I probably shouldn't have, but did because I got a really nice internship and didn't want to screw up my future. The days flew by in a blur, and my memory is completely shot. A lot of the time I can't even remember what it was like to feel normal, but I know it wasn't this. One of the scarier parts has been the floods of existential questions and worry that flash by. I question reality, God, existence, and the very foundations of life. I can't stop myself from thinking about how my conciseness is merely the result of chemical reactions and fluids in my brain which is being carried around by a fleshy vessel which is eventually going to die. It's absolutely terrifying. After about two and half months my internship ended and my stress levels started to go down, then my symptoms slowly started to change. I was on a weekend vacation with my girlfriend who I had not seen all summer, since she was away on a school trip. I remember briefly leaving the hotel room to go downstairs and ask the front desk to borrow a pair of scissors. I was on my way back up to the room when for a split second my mind went completely blank, and I stumbled to the floor, catching myself on the wall. I was terrified on the inside but was trying to hold it together so my girlfriend didn't think I had lost my mind while she was away. The same thing happened again a few minutes later when looking myself in the mirror in the bathroom. Weirdly, after these near collapses the fog that had had my brain in a choke hold for the past few months felt like it had let go a bit. I did not feel normal again by any means, but…different. The rest of the summer went by and I returned to school. By this point the haze that had surrounded me had pretty much disappeared, but the derealization and feeling of being outside of myself and detached from reality has not. Actually, without the fog, this sensation feels even more vivid and disturbing. I will be sitting in class listening to my professor lecture, but my mind will feel like scrambled eggs, I'll look around the room and classmates who've I known for years will look like aliens to me, and a constant fear looms over me. A new symptom that has arisen recently, and that is a completely blank mind/confused state when I wake up. I open my eyes in the morning and I not only not know who or where I am, but what I am and what is around me. This lasts for only a few seconds before my brain starts to turn on, but it is still really scary. Since my first initial hospital visit, I have seen a cardiologist, three regular physicians, and another ER visit. My cardiologist was the only one who sympathized with me, and she gave me 0.25mn Xanax, about 20 pills, to take if my symptoms got bad. I took at least one a day for the next couple weeks, as my anxiety/panic/DP/DR were completely constant. They helped a little. After my most recent trip to a physician, she gave me some more 0.25mg Xanax to hold me over. They don't help as much anymore. The latest ER visit was brought about by the feelings described above, but really intense. I needed to step out of class as it felt like my brain was about to implode. I got a drink, splashed some water on my face in the bathroom, and nearly collapsed again, catching myself on the counter. Be extremely worried and fed up I pulled it together as best I could and drove to the hospital, only to leave upset and virtually hopeless. I checked in and, while sitting on a hospital bed with my sense of self completely non-existent, feeling like my brain had been pulled from my head and was floating above my body, explained what happened. I got another EKG witch came back normal, and standard blood work which was normal as well. The doctors helped me set up appointments with a neurologist and a psychiatrist, but said there was no point in me being there. They didn't give me any medication. I have another standard doctor appointment in a few days but the neurologist and psychiatrist are a week or two away. What is going on with me? How do I keep my brain from racing and get rid of this feeling that something is terribly wrong? It has been going on for almost four months now and I feel like I am losing control. Please let me know if you have any advice.

Information I'm not sure is relevant but will include anyway.

· On two separate occasions of smoking a small amount of marijuana, my heart began racing, my mind was in a paranoid frenzy, thinking everyone was talking about me or relating everything to God. It felt like my brain was going haywire. After a while I began to cool down, but then, ON BOTH OCCATIONS, I felt a warm, slow stream of liquid start coming from my right ear. I know I did not hallucinate this or anything because placed my finger in my ear and my finger was wet. Still being in a pretty paranoid state, I thought my brain was leaking or I was losing spinal fluid or something. My foggy state and DP/DR started about 2-3 days after the second time this happened. I have completely stopped smoking pot since then.

· Around the time of my second ER visit, I started to feel a pressure in my ears, like the kind when you fly on a plane. My ears haven't stopped popping since. They pop every time I swallow. Now, this could very well be paranoid/hypochondriac me desperately searching for answers. I just find it odd how this started to happen around the same time my symptoms began to change, and how this all started shortly after I had a weird liquid come from my ear after smoking.


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clairedeluna
Oct 07 2016 12:43 AM

Hi, I have recovered from dp. I recomened taking antioxidants, i like gluthiaone, going to a therapist and sharing the thoughts, try to stop thinking dp thoughts, because the more yout hink about it the more it exists, and also try this meditation that i do. You close your eyes and try to feel the sensation of the top of your head and then you try to feel what your brain feels in your skull. You try to feel the sides of your brain and inside your brain, just with you sensation of feeling and imagining. I believe this type of excercise helps to bring brain activity to parts of the brain that are quiet. lastly when my dp was really bad i took prozac and it really helped. It made all of the dp thoughts and anxiety kind of just go away and i was able to beat it not long after taking it. Good luck to you, remember try to stop focusing on the dp.


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puddles19
Nov 09 2016 04:52 AM

like when someone has a GoPro strapped to their head
THIS. Is exactly how I felt for the first few months living with DP - and even still now.

I completely understand and can feel your fear and it's sometimes so consuming that you feel claustrophobic. Do you have family and friends that are aware of what you are going through? Do you have a support person? Or therapist?

I know that once I acknowledged it, that was the first moment I felt calm. I remember denying that I had it (to myself) for about 2-3 months before I went digging into google and literally typed in "intense feeling of disconnect" along with "extreme detachment" and stumbled upon this website: https://www.psycholo...anger-yourself

It honestly helped ground me in that moment and realise that I was not crazy. I was not crazy. I was not crazy. There was a reason. Seeing the words "third most common mental health issue behind anxiety and depression" normalised it for me - which is what we all need desperately.

I had been in therapy once before due to my past (domestic abusive relationship) and once it started I went right back to my dr with a print out of this article and said "word for word, this is exactly how I feel. 100% this is me in a nutshell right now" and luckily I had a fantastic dr who believed me and recommended me to a psych. Unfortunately she wasn't the one for me and I wasted a lot of money and time with her. But I am back in counselling again with an incredible psych who is really, truly trying to find the core reason of my DP. Her and I both agree that it is due to not speaking about my past to anyone, repressing all emotions - for the sake of anyone else. And not being able to handle emotions - so I block them.

After being on this forum, I'm unsure whether that is 100% correct or not but it's helping me. As the days go by I feel less overwhelmed by the DP, I feel like I am gaining more control and don't "panic" as much when it kicks in. But I am far from recovering, I am still emotionless and feel a constant feeling of fogginess - most days.

In short (sorry, I got carried away) what helps: seeing a psychologist and talking about it, talking about it with friends openly, finding ways to ground yourself in those moments of panic, keep in the moment - don't try and go to your happy place elsewhere in your mind, exercise - this is my number one go to! put some music on, put your headphones in and go for a 30-60 minute walk with nature all around you, minimise alcohol/drug consumption - stay AWAY from weed cos honestly the best way to describe DP to someone I say "you know how you feel when you're too high? thats exactly what I am going through right now"

A good thing I have learnt also is imagining it as an object of some kind that wants to block your view, acknowledge it (not out loud) and then try and imagine just pushing it aside so you can continue with whatever you were trying to do before it interrupted you and letting that object sit to the side and soon you will forget about it and it will go away.

Sending strength my friend, as scary as it can be each time - stay strong and grounded - know that you are not alone.


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LittleLola
Jan 27 2017 06:26 AM

Hi,

I just made an account because I found out about DP online. I'm 18 right now, when I was 14 I had an extremely serious illness that I think strongly triggered DP but I definitely had symptoms when i was a child, i.e. pretending my body had been taken over by an alien to "fix my life" and that I had to figure out who everybody around me was.

I am replying to your post because of what you said about your ears. I smoke a lot of pot and recently a similar thing happened to me, I don't think any liquid came out but there was pressure and it was painful, and it also felt like I was losing my hearing. Putting on music helped when I had earphones in, but I became terrified that there was something wrong with my brain.

Did you ever figure out what it was for you?
 
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