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Had severe DP for almost 2 years, maybe more I do not remember. Just remembered this site and wanted to tell you that I am also "recovered" now. I say "recovered" because this is not a disease, you are not damaged. It is a state of mind / response that just has gone into a loop. At least in my case, so bear in mind that this does not apply to everyone.

My DP started after a panic attack I got when smoking weed with friends. I was living in Valencia, Spain at that time and it was nearing the end of my six month stay. During this time I had partied, a lot, drinking like every day, cocaine and smoking weed.

After this attack I was convinced I had done some harm to either my body or brain. Examples:

  • Psychosis
  • Going crazy (due to having thought weird thoughts or having weird dreams during my life)
  • Pure and existential OCD
  • Brain tumor

This haunted me 24/7. I was checking everything, analyzing everything I had done during my entire life, looking for stuff that could explain this.

This led to a lot of stress and anxiety. This became the fuel that kept my DP going, and I did not know what it was and I found no answer so I got even more scared and anxious - a constant loop of fear and anxiety. I had all the symptoms, some symptoms were so fucked up you can not imagine. I will not specify these ones, I know how receptive you are and how easy you can reproduce symptoms when the brain is in this loop. I do not wish this on my worst enemy - well maybe, I do :razz:

I can give an example that is not that rough:

I remember when I was freaking out about the floaters, I still have them, in fact everyone has them and they are just protein in the back of your eye. The state I was in made me so aware of everything that I noticed them all the time. Today I can look at a white surface and follow them when they float around in my vision and I laugh at how scared I was of it. Before, this created so much DP for me.

After two years I finally did some major changes that dramatically improved how I felt.

I stopped checking. No Google, no DPselfhelp.com, no talking about my symptoms to family and friends, nothing. Total disconnection.

It was hard as fuck to not constantly use the checking as a safety zone, but after I while the fog lifted and I started feeling way better.

Today I get spells of it if I have slept bad or been drinking heavily the day before but that is perfectly normal. I have not had a panic attack in 6-7 years. The thing with the nervous system is that it remembers, so when I get stressed and anxious - does not matter the reason - it goes into the defense mechanism of DP more easily than other people.

I just something I have to accept. It is like twisting your ankle, you are more prone to do it the more it happens. The thing is that a lot of people I know has this, but they do not get scared of it and create a horrible cycle of it - Neither do I anymore and it disappears after a few minutes.

Today I know a lot more about myself and why I do certain things. I have an issue with neediness for attention, doubting my emotions and trust. This is due to dysfunctional upbringing and rejection in my childhood / teenage from loved ones and other people. Sometimes it feels very unfair and I am very angry with how things have been during my life. Lastly I have a huge issue with the thought of death, it terrifies me. So I still have a lot to work on but DP as a disorder, is 100% gone. I did not take any medication, I tried some CBT for a few weeks though.

I guess I have been prone to this all my life.

My tips are:

1. Understand that anxiety can create a ton of strange symptoms and thoughts.

2. Stop Google and never visit this site again.

3. Forgive yourself for things you have done and weird thoughts you might have had.

4. No alcohol or nicotine for a time - let your brain rest.

5. Go to the gym or go running. Activate your body to get rid of stress.

6. If you feel stressed about your job and it makes you feel sick, psychically / mentally. Quit straight away.

7. End bad relationships, friends who you actually do not like. Also cut down the contact with family who annoys or stresses you.

8. No weed, period.

9. Do not look for a magic or quick fix like herbal tea, vitamin pills or some treatment. It does not exist.

10. Time

For me DP was just my brain's way of saying

- Calm the fuck down, I am done and need some rest.
 

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If you have a significant fear of death than that is likely one of the main drivers of anxiety which can potentiate DP without you even knowing it. Address the issue of death and I assure you it will make you even more alive and happy.

In my 36 years alive, I have suffered through 2 major DP episodes (most recently 5 months ago but now nearly 100% recovered) and a few acute episodes (lasting a few hours while in my early teens). I am nearly 100% sure that each episode was driven by an underlying anxiety that manifested into DP symptoms that everyone on this forum describes. Instead of going on about my anxieties or details of how I recovered I just want to make 1 quick point. I am so good now at observing my thought patterns that I can immediately recognize when my thoughts spark a small scale DP episode and mitigate and resolve the symptom. In the past, if the minor symptom arose, I would analyze the symptom and likely generate more anxiety which then opens the flood gates for more anxiety driven thoughts. As everyone mentions here, a destructive loop of anxiety occurs. If I meditate and completely blank my mind, no DP symptoms exist. The moment I introduce a destructive question such as IF reality looks like reality, I can see the manifestation of a DP symptom. The main point here is IF I question reality. I made the choice to question it even though I had no empirical evidence to suggest that my reality was disrupted prior introducing the question. It was pure anxiety promoting the question.
 
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