I believe I know how you are feeling. I was once in a similar state. I am sure that many of the other posters can relate to the feelings you have described so well; the fear and depression and particularly the panic which comes with the feelings of "unreality".
Feeling that "unrealness" about oneself and the things and people within ones environment and the panic which that feeling can generate was by far the worst and most frightening aspect of my mental condition
when I was struggling through my "nervous breakdown" many years ago.
If it is any comfort to you, today I rarely experience the terrible fear from DP/DR that I once did. And I can remember being so afraid I would pray to feel depressed, for at least in feeling depressed I felt "real". I felt connected to life.
"I want to connect with me again."
I find that when I feel connected to the "me" inside I feel terribly sad. I can't seem to get past the sadness to the joy one might have had as a small child. It seems I feel either depressed and sad or else neutral and detached. Positive feelings of happiness often frighten me.
I really and truly do think that at least for me my DP/DR was, and is still when I experience it, associated with a sort of "primal depression" going back to early childhood and from which I feel I have pretty much "dissociated" myself from. I feel that I would probably have to go deep into the feeling of this dissociated depression in order to heal and I don't know that at my age (60) there would even be enough time left. And i could never afford to pay a therapist, even if I was lucky enough to find one competent to join me in this inner journey into healing.
BTW, My DP/DR was at its worst in my early twenties when it was 24/7 and ongoing for a number of years in varying degrees. Today it comes and goes and is usually brought on by certain circumstances. Often I can go days at a time without experienceing it. I do live an isolated lonely existence and perhaps this is the price I pay to avoid DP/DR. I have managed to have built a sense of self from the ashes of my nervous breakdown, but just barely, and it must be guarded through a fortress of avoidance. Otherwise the depression will set the wheel of DP/DR in motion once again.
Reading your post you sound sad and "depressed". Have you ever been treated for depression? Did you see a therapist in the past? Have you tried medication? Did it help you? Some people feel it helps them. I have been taking Xanax for many years and it has helped me a lot for anxiety but I don't think my anxiety is do to a brain chemistry imbalance but rather it is connected to an avoidance pattern and anxiety associated with a Personality Disorder as I mentioned in another post here recently.
When I was in the hospital years ago I was in a continuous panic state and like you I had concerns about going to sleep. I felt I had to conciously moment to moment hold together in my awareness a sense of being a self in existence. When I would wake up I would slip immediately into a panic attack and have to start the reconstruction of a self all over again. If I let it slip just for a moment I felt I would cease to exist, at least in a psychological sense, and i would feel sensations of falling through an endless emptiness like infinite space. In Object Relations Theory I have read these kind of fears referred to as "unspeakable anxieties" as they originated in the psyche do to some form of fear or trauma before we had begun using words to construct our thoughts. Therefore the fear has to do with certain bodily sensations rather than intellectual ideation. Janine Baker has often referred to these states as "annihilation fantasies". At least that is what I think she is referring to.
I wish I had some magic words to offer you ShyTiger to take away the fear. I found that forcing myself to do things like simply walking outside a few feet further everyday allowed me to slowly build up tolerance to the fear and before long some of the things I used to fear I was eventually able to overcome and in the process developed "ego strength" which allows me to generally feel "real and in existence" without conciously trying to construct a self on a moment to moment basis.
Best of luck to you