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Derealization or Depersonalization (DR and DP)


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Thanks to TryingtohaveHope for these comments about depersonalization and ACT. My experience, off and on for months or years at a time, has been with derealization, which is probably easier to bear in the way I have experienced it than depersonalization. Since starting to taper ADs 15 months ago, with SA's wonderful support, the feeling of being in a dream, behind a veil, etc. has been more difficult, along with anxiety and blurry vision, all of which are part of the same package. The therapist I had for several years was a great advocate of ACT, and I believe that it has helped me, if not to get relief from the symptoms, but to understand what is going on and how to respond, especially, as you say, by defusing thoughts and by proceeding to live in the ways I value (as best one can during a global pandemic!).

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA; Magnesium Chelate 250 mg; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; Theanine 400 mg; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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I've had these symptoms as well. I am wondering, does it also include a feeling of life being a ridiculous idea? Or is that something else? I would feel like it's all so meaningless and stupid as well

I understand you, i had this aswell.Thoughts of getting crazy, thoughts of being in another dimensions, but these only feeds the anxiety and prolongs it.When you catch yourself thinking like this, thi

I am over a year off meds and I still have this.  It gets better after every big wave I go through.  I have a really big wave everyother month.  The derealization worsens during the waves, but clears

On 7/22/2011 at 4:31 PM, Altostrata said:

I had it for several years myself, after Paxil withdrawal. It gradually go better.

 

It can be frightening, but you can look at it as a symptom of withdrawal, know that your brain will heal itself, and keep yourself from adding fear and panic to the symptoms.

Hi I’m Dealing with derealazation which has been constant since I was tapered of Paxil in 8 days. Not sure what to do or if it will go away. It’s affecting everything and I’m scared to do just little things. Do you have any advice. I’m also dealing with mold toxicity just for context of situation. Waves of depression and anxiety 

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I would be pleased to trade some thoughts and experiences about derealization. I have a history of long periods of derealization extending back to age 19, which was a very long time ago. In those days I had no idea what was happening to me, and if I had gone to doctors they would not have had much of a clue either. I have also had extended periods, one lasting about 17 years, when I had no derealization symptoms at all. I was on Prozac at the time, but I'm less sure now that I can attribute feeling better for that long to that particular med.

 

The derealization started getting worse about 16 months ago following way-too-short tapers from Effexor and Wellbutrin. Last January I started to taper more slowly from Prozac (which I had started again as a sub for Effexor). But I did not go slowly enough, especially in the past several months when my doses were getting down to a few mgs and I was too eager to make a dash for the finish line. With great SA help, I'm now holding at 1.8 mgs. Derealization intertwined with gnawing anxiety (as opposed to panic attacks, which I haven't had), plus somewhat blurry vision, have been much more aggravating since early summer. I also suffer from esphoria, or double vision, and I've had trouble getting the right glasses prescription that corrects it (with prisms) without making my vision fuzzier.

 

For me, derealization is a feeling that can be described in several ways: being in a fog, living in a dream, seeing the world "out there" as if it's on a screen, being disconnected from my surroundings, feeling like my head is heavy, hypersensitivity to light and to just being outside or in, say, a supermarket, where I feel really disconnected. The link between derealization and anxiety is evident. I manage best when I'm in the house, even in front of my computer, where I don't have so much stress trying to sort out and make sense of multiple shapes, objects, and colors. The derealization does not come and go, it's there all the time, though I seem to cope a bit better during the evening, when the anxiety tends to back off.

 

I'm very grateful, however, that I have never experienced  other derealization symptoms or symptoms of depersonalization. Nor do I have insomnia.

 

With SA support and a good therapist (who has some knowledge of dissociative disorders) I'm just moving from one day to the next. I've learned a lot from ACT and CBT literature, which has helped me cope from day to day. And of course my SA moderators keep reminding me that I will recover.

 

Is your experience of derealization similar to mine?

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA; Magnesium Chelate 250 mg; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; Theanine 400 mg; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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19 hours ago, Edmunds said:

Is your experience of derealization similar to mine?


Yes mine is pretty much the same. I have constant pure DR (no DP), head heaviness, weird visual stuff (my eyes constantly want to zone out/stare into space like they’re really fatigued even absent screen time).

 

I havent heard of ACT. Going to look into it.

 

Oh one difference though is I don’t feel anxious (at least consciously) and DR does not vary with respect to anxiety or stress.

Aug-Dec 2015 Prozac 20mg / Dec 2015-Feb 2016 Prozac 15mg / Feb 2016-May2016 Prozac 20mg

May 2016-June 2016 15mg

June 2016-August 2016 10mg

October 2016-January 2017 15mg, alternating agitation/akathisia sets in --> cold turkey

January 2017 Clonazepam .5mg 

February 2017 Clonazepam 1mg (for a week) then .5mg morning and .25mg evening for about a month. Came down to .25mg morning and evening. 

May 1, 2017 Clonazepam .25mg morning and .125mg evening. // May 20, 2017 Clonazepam .25mg morning and .0625 evening (.3125 total).

early June .28125 // early mid june .25mg // mid june .21875 // late june .1875 // early july .15625 // early mid july .125 

mid july .09375mg // late july .0625 //early August 2017 down to .03125mg once a day, hopped off in mid August

reinstated at .0625mg late August // Oct 16 - updose to .07mg and switch to oral Rosemont solution

Nov 17 2017 reinstate Prozac .5mg // Nov 21 2017 prozac 1.6mg // Dec 18 2017  3mg prozac / fast taper off the reinstatement -- probably completely off early Oct 2018

June 2019 begin tapering off .07mg Clonazepam, Finish taper December 2019

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On 4/28/2020 at 2:36 PM, lxjuice said:

Are you saying DP/DR cannot be dealt with in therapy, because it definitely can.


The problem is it can’t if there’s not underlying anxiety/depression attached to it right? My therapist said she was at a loss. Which I respect as it’s increasingly clear to me that this was withdrawal induced. And the only thing to fix that is time I’m guessing. Of course, derealization does happen with MH concerns, but it’s definitely possible have it months post discontinuation/taper. I even asked the therapist to try to approach in the way she would for a regular anxiety client and it was a no go.

 

But I am interested in any possible therapies or exercises one can do even if it’s not normal anxiety induced.

 

Or are we thinking that WD-induced DR comes from its own WD-induced anxiety? That may look different? So complicated.

Aug-Dec 2015 Prozac 20mg / Dec 2015-Feb 2016 Prozac 15mg / Feb 2016-May2016 Prozac 20mg

May 2016-June 2016 15mg

June 2016-August 2016 10mg

October 2016-January 2017 15mg, alternating agitation/akathisia sets in --> cold turkey

January 2017 Clonazepam .5mg 

February 2017 Clonazepam 1mg (for a week) then .5mg morning and .25mg evening for about a month. Came down to .25mg morning and evening. 

May 1, 2017 Clonazepam .25mg morning and .125mg evening. // May 20, 2017 Clonazepam .25mg morning and .0625 evening (.3125 total).

early June .28125 // early mid june .25mg // mid june .21875 // late june .1875 // early july .15625 // early mid july .125 

mid july .09375mg // late july .0625 //early August 2017 down to .03125mg once a day, hopped off in mid August

reinstated at .0625mg late August // Oct 16 - updose to .07mg and switch to oral Rosemont solution

Nov 17 2017 reinstate Prozac .5mg // Nov 21 2017 prozac 1.6mg // Dec 18 2017  3mg prozac / fast taper off the reinstatement -- probably completely off early Oct 2018

June 2019 begin tapering off .07mg Clonazepam, Finish taper December 2019

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Here are two books on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. The first is a general introduction:

 

Russ Harris

The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living

Trumpeter, 2008

 

The second applies ACT and other therapeutic approaches to DP/DR.

 

Fugen Neziroglu and Katharine Donnelly

Overcoming Depersonalization Disorder

New Harbinger, 2010

Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mg. GAD and DR symptoms returned  April 2013.

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos; Lexapro 2014; Cymbalta 2014. Gabapentin 2014; Mirtazapene 2014. Buspirone 2015.

Venlafaxine Dec. 2015 – May 2019, 150 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, May-June 2019

Bupropion Mar 2017 – July 2019 300 mg, tapered to 0 in 3 weeks, July 2019

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, tapered from 20 mg started Jan 2020, linear 10% every 4 wks.; tapered 6 to 4 mg June, 2, 2020; 4 to 1.8 mg Aug. 26, 2020; updose from 1.8 mg to 2.0 Nov. 16, 2020. Holding at 2.0 mg as of Mar 14,2021. April 14, 2021 updosed to 2.5 mg.

D3 2,000 mg; Omega 3 360 EPA/240 DHA; Magnesium Chelate 250 mg; Inositol powder started Nov 12, 2020; Theanine 400 mg; cranial electrotherapy stimulation device, self-treatments started Mar 14, 2021.

 

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  • 5 months later...
Abdullah

This is one of the best videos I've seen on dp/Dr 

 

No prior history of psychiatric/recreational drug use. I developed depersonalization/derealization disorder in December 2016, and recovered completely in August. What I'm experiencing currently is very, very different to anything I experienced then. 

 

- September 1st to 5th (2019) : Took 5 mg of Abilify (Noticed my confidence levels beginning to decline, slight depression/dread/panic beginning to creep in, creativity/cognitive abilities seemed slightly diminished)

- September 6th to 15th (2019) : Increased dose to 10 mg (Symptoms listed above became worse, and developed severe restlessness)

- September 15th to 23rd (2019) : Tapered over a period of 1 week. Restlessness improved but other symptoms became slightly worse

- September 23rd to 30th (2019) : Depression continued to increase. On the 30th I started experiencing the worst case of depersonalization I've ever experienced. Severe depression, thoughts and emotions gone, could barely function cognitively. I'm a bit calmer now but the symptoms haven't improved still

 

November 24th to December 7th : Reinstated 10 mg. Noticed no effect other than breast growth. Tapered over a week and quit again

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mustafa
On 3/20/2021 at 8:15 AM, Abdullah said:

This is one of the best videos I've seen on dp/Dr 

 

Thanks for just a great video, it brought alot of relaxation.

شكرا جزيلا

i wasn't on a certain drug all the period. i took many drugs many times and for no very long period but to simplify.

--fluvoxamine maleate100 mg + amisulpride 200mg------started july 2012 and total taper in february 2015 ( 9 months without drugs then)

--sertraline 100mg -------started november 2015 and total taper (withoud reduction slowly) in november 2016( 4 months withoud drugs then).

--sertraline 100mg + quetiabine 25mg ( started in mars 2016 and for 7 months) then fluvoxamine maleate 100mg again for another 7months and after that a something like to use every drug for 14 days and for about 1.5 years.

--my last drug was trintellix 10 mg ( used it in 12/2018and total taper in 4/2019).

symptomts i have now ( bad concentration and problems in short and long memory+ bad depersonalization).

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