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Just thought I'd post a few thoughts...

I've suffered from DP/DR episodes twice earlier in my life, both times they lasted around 6 months, and the way I feel I 'got out of them' was to somehow accept some facts about this. Note that I'm in the camp having DP/DR due to years of anxiety and panic attacks, I've never taken any drugs - the DP/DR developed as the last of a long line of symptoms of anxiety for me - scared of being separated from my parents, scared of losing control and hurting people I love, scared of 'if I don't chant this song in my mind constantly during the entire flight, the plane is going to crash' (I was totally exhausted when the plane finally landed :) ) etc. Currently I'm in a DP/DR down, which has lasted for 7 months, which scares the crap out of me since the earlier periods were over by now :(. Be that as it may, I know I have suffered from this before, and both times I recovered and felt 'normal' again (even though I've had occasional downs in the 'normality' - but not longer than a few days).

1. I believe DP/DR wont make you 'crazy' (schizophrenic, psychotic, apathic, autistic, or anything that places you in a mental institution), but it sure feels like it!

2. I believe DP/DR is a symptom of an underlying anxiety / depression, even though it feels like it's a big real nasty on its own.

3. I dont think that thinking about DP/DR and 'why do I feel like this', 'what if I'm only imagining the world', 'I'm not real - this is all just a bad dream but, wait, I'm not sleeping' etc. will damage you in any way - but it sure wont make you feel any better either! Instead, you have to accept that it's there and try to do things despite the fact that you feel strange.

4. I believe that if you manage not to be so 'scared' of the DP/DR, and do things that you enjoy (note - you won't enjoy much when in the midst of DP/DR, but at least you might remember some things you used to enjoy - do them!) that (high) percentage of your conscious mind constantly keeping an eye on 'how you must look right now', 'what is it to be human?', 'these arms are like sticks shooting out of something strange' will eventually go down.

5. The DP/DR will go up and down. Somehow you need to manage not to be so scared of it when it comes. As long as you're terrified of it and think about it - over and over and over and over etc. you'll keep feeding it the necessary fuel it requires to keep the grip on you.

I really want to believe in these points, and the reason I think they are true is that I know that they helped me recover from two hellish DP/DR episodes earlier in my life. My mind is constantly presenting me with doubts at the moment since I'm in a down, but isn't that in the nature of the underlying anxiety? I had some doubts about posting this since I doubt just about everything right now (!), but I do believe that the way out is to truly realize the above - not because they are reassuring, but because they are FACT.
 

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One of the most hopeful and inspiring passages I have read on this forum! Thanks for getting my day started with a smile and some hope! Thanks Anxious_Swede!
 

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I really needed to read this THANK YOU. My problem started with anxiety as well, and my main problem is that I am so scared of how I am feeling. I have thought so many times, "if this didn't scare me and I could forget about it, it would go away." I really think that is true. I am sure with an attitude like that you will beat it again. :D
 

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Couldnt agree more anxious_swede, this is the whole point with recovery: accepting dp for what it is, that it cant and wont harm you physically and it is all in the head

Theres a nelly song in the UK at the moment with the lyrics

'its all in my head, i think about it over and over again, over and over again'

Always makes me laugh, as this is my dp to a T

Good luck all
 

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Great post...I as well have been in basically the exact same circumstance...have posted before. I went through DP/DR after my first year of university. Lasted about 6 months I think...don't remember and really wanted to forget about it. Was obviously quite scary and came on all of a sudden on the last day before heading home for the summer. Totally believe it is anxiety related and my dad has dealt with anxiety his whole life so it doesn't surprise me that I have to deal with it as well. Went through the whole summer with it and by second year of university, I think it eventually subsided (didn't think about it).

Second episode came in my second year of college when I was about to enter workforce. Just came all of a sudden again and lasted for about a year. I was quite upset and really didn't know what to think having been through it before. Really was quite worried etc.

Now I'm facing it again...five years after last episode...started over a year ago after smoking some weed with friends which I never do and never will again of course. Just think the weed relaxed me and I was going through a lot of stress at the time (family etc) and just broke down again.

The more I think about this, the more the days go by, the more I think that it is totally just a way of escaping. You don't mean to do it but deep down I think we're all experiencing this as an escape from things in life. I was doing really well for a while but lately have been focussing on 'the feeling' a little more which bugs me. Just want to feel normal again but I'm not trying to worry about it, get upset, etc as I really do believe that if I just face the fear, accept that it's anxiety, float by and live as normal as I can, I'll feel more like myself. Has really worked wonders doing this and I've got a lot better over the past few months but still battle this thing everyday. Frustrating especailly with wife, young son, job, etc. Want to be more involved but still can't be totally there and although frustrating, I can't get down.

Jcar's post has meant alot to me. I truly don't think that anything is broken in me or in anyone experiencing this...even though it is something we wouldn't wish on anyone else, I know that it is just something I have to deal with and try not to think about it. People react differently to things in life.

Sorry for the long post, but it's been awhile since I've put anything up here...just wanted to say keep your heads up...don't try to 'find yourself' you are already there...your mind is a powerful thing and anxiety is something everyone deals with differently...this is just how we're dealing with life and if we just work at living again, it will subside...has before for us and will again...god bless
 

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ballagher,
That was wonderful as well. Had me in tears. It doesn't take much to do that here lately. My mom pretty much said that same thing to me yesterday. It sounds like you experience your dp with adjustments in your life. That is what happened to me. We moved from a house I have lived in for 19 years, I was supposed to graduate college (this breakdown ruined that), and I got engaged. I had a panic attack and haven't been right since. I have the theory that I stretched myself so thin, I broke. I hope it goes away soon for all of us.
 
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