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Derealization or Depersonalization (DR and DP)

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RandyJames

I am having this now and had it really really bad during my first WD from benzos and Cymbalta.  I hate it so much.  It's hard for me to say where anhedonia and DP separate.  We'll all make it through eventually.

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Tanha
45 minutes ago, RandyJames said:

I am having this now and had it really really bad during my first WD from benzos and Cymbalta.  I hate it so much.  It's hard for me to say where anhedonia and DP separate.  We'll all make it through eventually.

I also have it from cymbalta ct and benzo taper

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BfromNJ

I believe I have this as well.  whenever I told the doctors this is how I feel, they either never acknowledged it or looked at me like I was crazy.   Now I now im not crazy (well, lol).   I would tell them its like im behind glass.  even told my therapist, she didn't say much about it either.  What is with these people, that they do not know or do they not care?

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wanttosurvive

 

On 2/19/2019 at 8:38 PM, Nikola said:

I have been having SEVERE DP/DR since month 4 after getting of venlafaxine. Its to the point where i cant hold a normal conversation and my eyesight is like i just drank a liter of vodka. Its really insane..

Its getting worse the more anxiety i have, which have been a whole lot.. It is by far the worst thing i have had to go through..

 Is anyone else experiencing this?

 

Nikola

Hi Nikola, 

As a survivor, who could have managed up to now (nearly 16 months off drugs), I always regard DR/DR as the worst symptom of WD. 

 

I had hellish days, when I thought I do not exist. Pinching myself, biting my fingertips, constantly whispering "you are a real human being, you are alive, this is just a symptom, others call this DR/DP, this shall pass, please, please....." 

 

Month 5 was the worst time of my WD. In those days I could hardly realize the time, my own existence, the persons and also the places....

 

But now I am definitely better. Now I must admit that in windows I have days I almost do not feel DR/DP. But in waves it surely comes....

 

Believe me, this will also pass....

 

 

 

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Kronos18

One thing that people should understand is that dr/dp never comes by itself.It is linked to depression, anxiety, stress.In order to take care of it, one should find the cause and adress to it.Is not essy to come out of anxiety or depression, but ome should try it.

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BfromNJ
23 minutes ago, Kronos18 said:

One thing that people should understand is that dr/dp never comes by itself.It is linked to depression, anxiety, stress.In order to take care of it, one should find the cause and adress to it.Is not essy to come out of anxiety or depression, but ome should try it.

So are you saying you don't think it can come from meds withdraw?  Because it would appear from this site that it does based on everyone's experiences.  

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Kronos18

Sure it comes from withdrawal, as anxiety, depression, hyperarousal are all symptoms of withdrawal, but how we respond to it matters too

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Kronos18

What I wanted to say is that if one want to target the dr/dp for solving, the cause should be solved in order for dr/dp to fade.

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Kronos18

Withdrawal is tough, and it afects ones more than others.One can easily fall in depression or anxiety because of it.As Altostrata mentions, “change the channel” is one of the best methods for use.I also find CBT one of the best ways for withdrawal, as it teaches us how to manage the symptoms.Anger and frustration can lead to depression or anxiety in time

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Kronos18

I think that Dr/Dp starts to improve when you stop caring about it.If we respond with fear, it leads to anxiety and it maintains it.Thinking pattern is important in dr/dp process.It’s not a condition that improves as time passes from my opinion, that’s why some people have it for months and others for years.Because everyone is different, everyone aproaches it different, as one says it matters aswell how we respond to it.We must understand that we are the only ones who can improve this condition.I find myself feeling better about this after I understood the following:

-It is anxiety based, so fear only fuels it more and more

-It’s not dangerous, people don’t even notice you have it

-The moment when you stop caring about it and reading everyday about it, it starts to improve gradually

-The more you dig for answers, the more frustrated you are, and you prolong it more and more

Best aproach from my opinion is : stop thinking about it (it takes time, but i found that the more you engage in activities, the less you think about it), STOP READING ABOUT IT, remind  yourself every time that the more you care about it, the more it stays with you, so it’s pointless.I know it’s a horror condition but the answer is US, that’s why for some it takes months and for others years, because it’s a condition that many things trigger it(anxiety, trauma, lsd, cocaine, marijuana), but the way we respond to it matters the most.I know it’s hard, when you live it is hell, i live it now, but i can sau that my anxiety dismished much, when i first started taking my steps to improve it it was impossiblei couldn’t talk more than 5 mins with my friend without getting panic symptoms, but the more I tried, the less fear it was.Now i can drive, go out in public places, stay with my friends, eat without having so much problems in public, even now i get panic symptoms here and there, but nothing compared to what I had before.It’s been almost 3 months for me, and i realised that the more attention i paid to the visual disturbances and things, the more anxiety i have, it’s a circle that it’s hard to be broken, but if you take the steps i promise you will never regret and start feeling better.Hope it helps.Sports for me has helped a lot aswell, because it dismishes anxiety, every gym training it’s hard because i’m so spaced out, but the more you practice it, the less power it has.It is exposure therapy.

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Kittygiggles
5 hours ago, Djibril said:

Thank you, how many Time Take you fluoxetine. Which symptoms have you got when you have dépersonnalization ? 

 

Above quoted from: 

 

 

@Djibril I'd say the this thread pretty much covers what I went through long ago. I'll describe my story though anyway.

 

Note: I do not understand the mechanism behind it but my depersonalization could have been an amplification and modified manifestation of my anxiety and panic attacks, which I used to get before taking fluoxetine. However, I had taken paroxetine for a couple of weeks and there is a strong chance that prior to that, I never felt depersonalization. I had very few episodes prior to fluoxetine, maybe a handful at most. So, fluoxetine definitely seemed to make this problem more frequent but I can't say unequivocally that it caused them, it seems more likely that my short time with paroxetine did.

 

The most important thing I learned was to treat them like a panic attack and I think in essence that's what my depersonalization was: a dissociative flavor of panic, without the intense anxiety and physiological response that comes with that (such as hyperventilation, dizziness, etc). When I learned a slow breathing technique, mindfulness, acceptance, and distraction, depresonalization became trivial, even if it was frequent. So there is hope that maybe you can learn to mostly ignore it even if your drug seems to induce it frequently.

 

Duration and frequency in relation to fluoxetine

After taking paroxetine for about 2 weeks, I took fluoxetine at a dose of at least 20mg for about 5 years. It is hard for me to remember how often depersonalization affected me and for how long but I do remember that it started happening frequently and intensely within the first 1 to 2 weeks of taking fluoxetine. It would be episodic, lasting up to maybe 30 minutes but it could then reoccur minutes later, making it seem, perhaps that it was continuing for several hours, maybe around 3 to 6 hours or most of the day. I think it would happen almost every day at the start, or at least every other day. After about 2 to 4 weeks, I think it only happened about once or twice in a day and diminished thereafter to once or twice a week. I'm sorry for how vague I'm being but it is very hard for me to remember how it was so long ago!


Throughout my period of taking >=20mg fluoxetine daily, I continued to have depersonalization but it became much less intense, lasting only 5 or 10 minutes at most. As I reduced fluoxetine, my depersonalization reduced in frequency, and I would get a slight episode, just 1 minute or 2 at the most and it happened maybe once or twice each quarter. If I checked my symptoms diary, I'd bet there are periods of 6 months where I didn't even get it or notice it. As my dose hit very low levels, although I can't pinpoint when exactly, depersonalization disappeared completely.

 

My symptoms of depresonalization and how I treated it

This is definitely something I find difficult to describe. I guess people who suffer from it would all agree that you know it when it happens! 

It would start with a feeling that I was no longer a participant of reality and that everything around me was not real but it was not replaced by a hallucination or delusion. Instead I was faced with the illusion that I was not there but if someone were to ask, "what is around you?" I would respond with a correct description of my surroundings.  

I would then quickly start to feel anxious, perhaps I would start to panic but not always, it would sometimes accompany a sensation of sadness, like I was losing the people I loved or could no longer interact with them. Sometimes the feeling would involve a sense of 'my mind falling out of my head' or 'my mind shrinking into nothing'. It is bizarre and my words probably don't do it justice. 

 

If I were to summarize it, I would say it was a feeling that I was not present in reality but that I was nowhere else either. I felt that I was about to shrink into nothingness or a void, imminently. 

 

When I first experienced these episodes, I learned about it as quickly as I could and I discovered that when I tried treating it like a panic attack, even if I didn't feel panic, it would make them very, very trivial. The techniques I used were mindfulness (i.e. focusing on what I was doing), and ultimately, to put it in a very simplistic way - just accept that it was happening then ignore it and carry on what I was doing when it started. With time and practice, these episodes became shorter and shorter, lasting only seconds to a few minutes at most. 

 

Thankfully, to iterate, I no longer suffer from depersonalization. Reading some people's experience above, I would echo @Kronos18's latest post. In addition, I'd say this thread is very useful and could give a sufferer hope that depersonalization is not something one should fear, it is usually transient and seems reversible in many cases.

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Nikola

Thanks for the replies! DP/DR is also by far the worst syptom, after anxiety. I also have came to the conclusion that it is only treated, by being passive to it and that it feeds of anxiety. I have been using benzos kinda heavy, even tho it makes the anxiety worse and the derealization. I helps me to know that you are doing better and gives me hope!

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Kronos18
17 hours ago, Nikola said:

Thanks for the replies! DP/DR is also by far the worst syptom, after anxiety. I also have came to the conclusion that it is only treated, by being passive to it and that it feeds of anxiety. I have been using benzos kinda heavy, even tho it makes the anxiety worse and the derealization. I helps me to know that you are doing better and gives me hope!

You are right my friend.I started getting blurry vision and it seems like my vision is not quite right, but i’m telling myself that dr/dp has s role in it and by feeding it with fear, i only prolong it.It will pass if you accept that it will be with you for some time, and it’s ok.It’s an common anxiety and withdrawal symptom and it will pass.

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Lloyd

Has anyone had an improvement of DR/DP after reinstating the drug? I'm 15 months off now and DR is still a problem. As someone said it feels like ive drunk a heap of vodka because my eyesight is like being drunk. I'm so over this sh*t.

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serotoninsyndromesufferer

What about DP/DR and dreaming? I always had problems with accepting reality, hence I had some DP/DR moments before taking meds. Now I struggle with DP/DR associated with my thoughts and dreams. I feel like they are not "normal", they feel strange. I am afraid of sleeping, because dreams feel like not mine. Moreover if DP/DR hits really bad I am afraid that somehow my soul will leave my body and I will end in some different dimension, it makes sleeping even harder, because I am afraid that it will happen in sleep. Anyone struggled with simmilar problem?

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Kronos18
On 4/23/2019 at 2:59 PM, serotoninsyndromesufferer said:

What about DP/DR and dreaming? I always had problems with accepting reality, hence I had some DP/DR moments before taking meds. Now I struggle with DP/DR associated with my thoughts and dreams. I feel like they are not "normal", they feel strange. I am afraid of sleeping, because dreams feel like not mine. Moreover if DP/DR hits really bad I am afraid that somehow my soul will leave my body and I will end in some different dimension, it makes sleeping even harder, because I am afraid that it will happen in sleep. Anyone struggled with simmilar problem?

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, think differently.If you were going crazy, you wouldn’t even know it.So if you are chatting with other persons, eating, watching tv, understanding movies, shopping, then voila:YOU ARE ON PLANET EARTH MY FRIEND.Try to see it into other perspective, like a symptom of withdrawal.Because it is.Don’t be afraid of it and it will leave you alone, your brain is just trying to protect you

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serotoninsyndromesufferer
10 minutes ago, Kronos18 said:

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, think differently.If you were going crazy, you wouldn’t even know it.So if you are chatting with other persons, eating, watching tv, understanding movies, shopping, then voila:YOU ARE ON PLANET EARTH MY FRIEND.Try to see it into other perspective, like a symptom of withdrawal.Because it is.Don’t be afraid of it and it will leave you alone, your brain is just trying to protect you

Thank you very much for advice. I will use it in next dp/dr wave :).

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Kronos18
25 minutes ago, serotoninsyndromesufferer said:

Thank you very much for advice. I will use it in next dp/dr wave :).

No problems mate.We’re on the same path, we will get there somehow.How are you feeling?

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serotoninsyndromesufferer
9 minutes ago, Kronos18 said:

No problems mate.We’re on the same path, we will get there somehow.How are you feeling?

Not well to be honest. Before I found this site I had two short AD attempts. First with fluoxetine, second with paroxetine. After quitting fluoxetine in day 11, I went through many phases, but generally got slightly better over few weeks. Then I decided to take my dr advice and try paroxetine. That was a mistake, really bad mistake. I ended in really weird state and quitted in day 9. I lost my ability to feel and my body is really twitchy and exhausted. Before I had really severe anxiety and fear and now somehow they are gone along with rest of my emotions and feelings. It feels like i had some blockade between my brain and my body, can't feel any emotion. Nothinf changed in last two weeks. Just hope it get better... 

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Kronos18

How long are you off meds mate? i’ve been on lexapro for 2 months, and it’s my 14th week almost since i’m off it, and guess what, I’ve been hit with a wave almost as bad as in the begining, it got slightly better.But it will be ok in the end, we will have to be patient, time is the only healer

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Hannahe

Will my dp/dr eventually subside even though I’m still on other medication? 

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Lloyd

HI All,

 

I thought it was important to post this but i have had a fairly large improvement of derealization which should give you all some hope that it can get better. The last few weeks it seems to be the best it has been since i came off the Effexor 19 months ago. I had seen some gradual improvements over time but its now allot better than what it was. It's not entirely gone and at times its worse than other times but its improving.

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Kronos18
1 hour ago, Lloyd said:

HI All,

 

I thought it was important to post this but i have had a fairly large improvement of derealization which should give you all some hope that it can get better. The last few weeks it seems to be the best it has been since i came off the Effexor 19 months ago. I had seen some gradual improvements over time but its now allot better than what it was. It's not entirely gone and at times its worse than other times but its improving.

I’m glad you’ve got so much improvements, keep going.One day it will all end!

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veryamazing
Posted (edited)

Daily worsening of derealization after 22 months

 

22 months Off ct daily reduction in awareness.

 

How can this be

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

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Hopefuly1

When i look at lights i see trails/halos, feel pressure in the head, cannot understand human behaviour, no feelings/emotions, imposible to read/watch movies/listen feel music, its like i am brain dead, wathing my phone ot laptop its like i see 2D instead of 3D. Is that derealization? Is it ever going away?  

Warm wishes to everyonet

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DaisyBell

I have had DP DR for five years now. Is it possible this may not be withdrawal anymore but another issue?

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Kronos18
On 8/28/2019 at 8:16 AM, DaisyBell said:

I have had DP DR for five years now. Is it possible this may not be withdrawal anymore but another issue?

Hi Daisy.I’m sorry for your struggle with DR/DP.Are you worrying about it? Overthinking it?As the condition can’t exist on it’s own, it is anxiety based.Fear fuels it.It will go one day.

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DaisyBell

Thanks Kronos.... anxiety does not precede or accompany depersonalisation. It is constant. But yes, it is worse when anxious... may be because when you're anxious everything feels like worse.  Just expected it to have gone by now. I only took lexapro for four years. 

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Hopefuly1

Daisy do you experience lack of concentration and anhedonia aswell? 

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Blondiee1915

I have dp/dr since I crashed after stopping my SSRI even when I reinstated and switched to a different SSRI in hopes of relief I still felt dp/dr at various degrees intensified by stress and lack of sleep.  

 

What helps is to remind myself is not dangerous it’s just a feeling but is harmless 

 

I have heard a few theories on this:

 

1) this is an anxiety symptom where as a deer get this weird detached unrealistic state when she is stroke by fear so that she can run away from a predator we feel the same fear as our brain thinks we are in danger of some sort 

 

2) bc of our constant inward thinking about WD and our symptoms our brain gets tired and cannot relax much so then we start to experience this dp/dr bc we are constantly consumed by this inwardness 

 

3) our brain is trying to protect us against panic attack.  I am not sure how that works but I have read this in a few places 

 

my recent therapist told me it was an anxiety symptom 😐

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Kronos18
28 minutes ago, Blondiee1915 said:

I have dp/dr since I crashed after stopping my SSRI even when I reinstated and switched to a different SSRI in hopes of relief I still felt dp/dr at various degrees intensified by stress and lack of sleep.  

 

What helps is to remind myself is not dangerous it’s just a feeling but is harmless 

 

I have heard a few theories on this:

 

1) this is an anxiety symptom where as a deer get this weird detached unrealistic state when she is stroke by fear so that she can run away from a predator we feel the same fear as our brain thinks we are in danger of some sort 

 

2) bc of our constant inward thinking about WD and our symptoms our brain gets tired and cannot relax much so then we start to experience this dp/dr bc we are constantly consumed by this inwardness 

 

3) our brain is trying to protect us against panic attack.  I am not sure how that works but I have read this in a few places 

 

my recent therapist told me it was an anxiety symptom 😐

From what I know, dr/dp is a very common withdrawal symptom.Besides withdrawal, is a symptom of a stressed out mind.Symptom of anxiety, depression, panic attacks.In order to get rid of it, one must treat the root cause, not the symptom itself.

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DaisyBell
12 hours ago, Hopefuly1 said:

Daisy do you experience lack of concentration and anhedonia aswell? 

 

I don't feel overwhelmed by those symptoms. Probably because I don't really suffer from them as much.

 

Just read your history - you reduced Lexapro fast (and the other others too).  How are you going? 

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Blondiee1915
44 minutes ago, Kronos18 said:

From what I know, dr/dp is a very common withdrawal symptom.Besides withdrawal, is a symptom of a stressed out mind.Symptom of anxiety, depression, panic attacks.In order to get rid of it, one must treat the root cause, not the symptom itself.

 

It is common in WD that’s true also.  It’s hard to differentiate if it is WD or anxiety etc.  but I guess it does not really matter bc acceptance and living life despite this symptom is the only treatment option 

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treesofgreen

I suffer from this

 

in my case it is (or was ...better now) so bad that I dont even know who I am anymore . I have trouble remembering some old things and have trouble connecting to people I love and am scared that I dont love them or will "forget them" .

 

there were a few days where I also thought I am going totally crazy . it was after I took ativan after a panic attack ....once the ativan was out of my system a few days later I had so much derealization that I am not even sure anymore if it was dr or rather psychosis . I dont want to go much into detail because I dont want to trigger anybody (and no dp/dr is not psychosis dont worry ...and even if you were psychotic you can get treatment for that)  .

 

if you want to lower your dp/dr 2 things are important

 

1. lower your anxiety any way you can

 

2. try to ignore the dp/dr and dont be scared of it . know that it is not dangerous and try to live your life and distract yourself

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Elkstar

Goes anyone else feel super foggy headed and like the world is foggy glassed over and removed.
This is my worst overall symptom and my doctor is scarring me there is no way I'm in medicine w/d.
I'm over 8 months off benzos   and I came off of Prozac 2 months ago on top of this. Things got slightly worse after I came off Prozac too. 
I feel drugged constantly and can't think.
Does anyone else feel similar?
Plus bad anxiety.

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Lloyd

Yes it's derealization. Not a pleasant symptom. It does ease up a bit after a while. Started seeing small changes after 6-7 months. 

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