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Derealization or Depersonalization (DR and DP)

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eboyd

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 up until I go into the next wave.  I have been getting a good span of time in between.  I have small little waves periodically, but they are manageable.  This too is one of the symptoms I hate the most.  I meditate a lot and I find grounding practices to help me feel more connected.  Hang in there.


2002-2008 On and off Effexor XR 75mg 

2010 Effexor XR 75mg Trazadone 150mg

2012 Abilify 5mg and Buspar added increased Effexor XR 150mg quick taper after 6 months due to pregnancy.

2014 Reinstate Effexor XR 75mg increase to 150mg, 150mg Trazadone, Buspar, Abilify 5mg. Quick taper after about 1 year from Effexor, Abilify, and Buspar.

2018 Trazadone taper over 1 month

2018 Attempted Effexor reinstatement due to digestive distress 37.5 mg.  Failed 2xs after 4 days.  Gastro preacribed Elavil 2 weeks later.  Failed after 2 days.  3 days later full withdrawl.

 

 

 

 

 

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Altostrata

@Elkstar @Lloyd @eboyd see above.


This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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gardenlady

I have dp/dr really, really badly and have for 3 years despite a very, very slow and proper taper of Cymbalta.  My surroundings, identity and personal belongings no longer seem like mine...they are alien.   Even family photos are strange to me....as if they belong to someone I don't know.  Stupidly, I sold my beautiful home and bought an ugly, horrible condo because I had no idea what I was doing.  I disposed, unnecessarily, of precious, treasured belongings that took years to accumulate because they seemed foreign to me as did my home.  Now, this awful condo I'm in is even more alien to me and I am more disconnected than even since leaving my familiar surroundings of kind neighbors and my home.  

 

I can't articulate how much my quality of life has diminished since moving.  If only someone had understood what I was going through and would have advised me to stay put and not make any life-changing decisions while in this altered state of mind.  But, it's too late now.  And, I have no decision-making skills to find another home that is suitable for me as I'm still tapering and feel like I'm on a never-ending bad LSD trip.

 

All of this while on a "slow, safe" taper.  I'm sick of hearing that slow tapers mitigate withdrawal symptoms.   They don't.  


 

2016-Aug-Prescribed 2 mg Ativan & 10 mg Ambien; Oct-c/o from 20 mg Lexapro to 60 mg Cymbalta; Nov-Dec-Tapered off 10 mg Ambien    

2017-Jan-Feb c/o from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium & begin daily liquid micro taper; May-taper Cymbalta 60 mg to 48 mg with severe withdrawals.  Begin 11 month Cymbalta hold.

2018-Jan 11 completed Valium taper; Apr-Resume Cymbalta taper.  Interval dose progress: Apr 43 mg; May 40 mg; Jul 35 mg; Sep 29 mg; Dec 21 mg; 

2019- Apr 14 mg; Jun 11 mg; Aug 9 mg; Oct 7 mg; Nov 6 mg

2020-Jan 5.2 mg; Feb 4.8 mg; Mar 4.3 mg; Apr 3.9 mg; May 3.5 mg; Jun 3.3 mg; Jul 2.9 mg; Aug 2.7 mg; 28 Sep 2.4 mg/12 beads

 

 

 

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Hopefuly1

Hi gardenlady

 

Have you had Derealization before meds? Or after? Also did a  which specific medication caused it? Or you always had it and tried curing with with medication?

Regards


April 2018 50 mg sertraline

May 2018 100mg sertraline
June 2018 200mg sertraline
July 2018 Cold Turkey
August 2018 Withdrawal
September 2018 Withdrawal
October  2018 20mg Citalopram
November 2018 40 mg Citalopram
December 2018 40 mg Citalopram
January 2019 10 mg Escitalopram
February 2019 10 mg Escitalopram March 2019 5 mg Escitalopram for 3 weeks then cold turkey April 2019 Withdrawal , May 2019 5 mg escitalopram taken by mistake with supplements
 

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gardenlady
1 hour ago, Hopefuly1 said:

Hi gardenlady

 

Have you had Derealization before meds? Or after? Also did a  which specific medication caused it? Or you always had it and tried curing with with medication?

Regards

No, I never had dp/dr prior to psych drugs.  I tapered off of a benzo and had horrific withdrawals which a psychiatrist who didn't believe in withdrawal interpreted as a mental illness so prescribed Lamictal, Seroquel, Ambien in addition to an AD I was already on.  That's when the dp/dr started.  I got off of those drugs except for the AD and was better.  But another psychiatrist crossed me from Lexapro to Cymbalta and reinstated the benzo and Ambien.  I haven't been the same since.  I got off the benzo & Ambien a 2nd time and also swore off psychiatrists because of what they've done to me.  The dp/dr came back after the 2nd psychiatrist polydrugged me for a 2nd time and I still have it despite getting off everything except the AD. 

 

I've been tapering the Cymbalta for over 18 months and the dp/dr has increased dramatically and it gets worse the lower in dosage I get despite going very slowly. I wonder now if I'm permanently brain damaged as this has gone on for so long now. 

 

In addition to the dp/dr, I have a terrifying sense of existential doom and dread that never leaves....I've had it for 3 years non-stop.  It's like being on a bad acid trip that never ends.  I desperately need emotional support. 


 

2016-Aug-Prescribed 2 mg Ativan & 10 mg Ambien; Oct-c/o from 20 mg Lexapro to 60 mg Cymbalta; Nov-Dec-Tapered off 10 mg Ambien    

2017-Jan-Feb c/o from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium & begin daily liquid micro taper; May-taper Cymbalta 60 mg to 48 mg with severe withdrawals.  Begin 11 month Cymbalta hold.

2018-Jan 11 completed Valium taper; Apr-Resume Cymbalta taper.  Interval dose progress: Apr 43 mg; May 40 mg; Jul 35 mg; Sep 29 mg; Dec 21 mg; 

2019- Apr 14 mg; Jun 11 mg; Aug 9 mg; Oct 7 mg; Nov 6 mg

2020-Jan 5.2 mg; Feb 4.8 mg; Mar 4.3 mg; Apr 3.9 mg; May 3.5 mg; Jun 3.3 mg; Jul 2.9 mg; Aug 2.7 mg; 28 Sep 2.4 mg/12 beads

 

 

 

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mustafa
On 11/27/2019 at 2:12 AM, gardenlady said:

No, I never had dp/dr prior to psych drugs.  I tapered off of a benzo and had horrific withdrawals which a psychiatrist who didn't believe in withdrawal interpreted as a mental illness so prescribed Lamictal, Seroquel, Ambien in addition to an AD I was already on.  That's when the dp/dr started.  I got off of those drugs except for the AD and was better.  But another psychiatrist crossed me from Lexapro to Cymbalta and reinstated the benzo and Ambien.  I haven't been the same since.  I got off the benzo & Ambien a 2nd time and also swore off psychiatrists because of what they've done to me.  The dp/dr came back after the 2nd psychiatrist polydrugged me for a 2nd time and I still have it despite getting off everything except the AD. 

 

I've been tapering the Cymbalta for over 18 months and the dp/dr has increased dramatically and it gets worse the lower in dosage I get despite going very slowly. I wonder now if I'm permanently brain damaged as this has gone on for so long now. 

 

In addition to the dp/dr, I have a terrifying sense of existential doom and dread that never leaves....I've had it for 3 years non-stop.  It's like being on a bad acid trip that never ends.  I desperately need emotional support. 

Hi dear, 

Iam also suffering from depersonalization, I don't know whether your symptomts are like mine but I feel everything is dulled for me, I feel everything is strange, I had thoughts about what I was found in life to do.

Looking forward to communicate, iam very sorry you are feeling this.


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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bottlehalffull

I was wondering if what I've been calling "brain fog" is actually some form of dp/dr. Posted a detailed description in my introduction thread:

 


2018/7 Started on lamotrigine (12.5 mg) and escitalopram (2.5 mg). Tapered up over the course of a month to 50 mg LTG, 10 mg escit. Kept tapering LTG up to 75 mg by 2018/10. 2018/11 Crosstapered from escitalopram to sertraline. 2018/12 Was still taking both SSRIs (escit. 5 mg, sert. 25 mg) when sert. was discontinued to trial quetiapine. Quet. tapered up to 25 mg, but tapered back down after 3 days on the full dose because side effects. Total time on quetiapine 10 days. Switched back to cross tapering esit. and sert., started tapering LTG up to 100 mg.
 
2019/1 Lamotrigine 100 mg, sertraline 12.5 mg, escitalopram 5 mg. Finally discontinued escit. and on full dosage of sertraline (25 mg) 2019/04.
 
2019/11 About two weeks of sertraline 12.5 mg, but went back up to 25 mg.
2019/12/4 Lamotrigine taper: too fast, down to 25 mg over the course of about 10 days. Also started increase sertraline 37.5 mg during luteal phase of menstrual cycle for PMDD.
 
2020/(early) on 22 mg lamotrigine for a while, maybe a month and a half, maybe longer, then 2020/03 Institutionalized for self harm. I think I was trying to taper the sertraline at the time, don't remember the details. Doses increased: Sertraline 50 mg/lamotrigine 25 mg (current regimen). Supposed to be taking seroquel and abilify (TWO antipsychotics?!) but didn't take any once I was discharged from the institution. (Was on them a few days.)
________________________________________________________
2001(?) Citalopram, don't remember dosage, cold turkey after a couple months and had terrible withdrawals, including what in retrospect was probably PAWS for the next five or so years. (agoraphobia, crippling social anxiety, anhedonia, dp/dr).

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bottlehalffull

Oh and does anyone get dp/dr from wearing glasses? I get this "brain fog" and/or dp/dr much stronger on days when I wear glasses instead of contacts. Still not sure if this is technically dp/dr. I think the extra stimulus of having something RIGHT THERE on my nose is very distracting and takes a lot of extra brain power to filter out. Or else it's all the blurriness in my peripheral vision.


2018/7 Started on lamotrigine (12.5 mg) and escitalopram (2.5 mg). Tapered up over the course of a month to 50 mg LTG, 10 mg escit. Kept tapering LTG up to 75 mg by 2018/10. 2018/11 Crosstapered from escitalopram to sertraline. 2018/12 Was still taking both SSRIs (escit. 5 mg, sert. 25 mg) when sert. was discontinued to trial quetiapine. Quet. tapered up to 25 mg, but tapered back down after 3 days on the full dose because side effects. Total time on quetiapine 10 days. Switched back to cross tapering esit. and sert., started tapering LTG up to 100 mg.
 
2019/1 Lamotrigine 100 mg, sertraline 12.5 mg, escitalopram 5 mg. Finally discontinued escit. and on full dosage of sertraline (25 mg) 2019/04.
 
2019/11 About two weeks of sertraline 12.5 mg, but went back up to 25 mg.
2019/12/4 Lamotrigine taper: too fast, down to 25 mg over the course of about 10 days. Also started increase sertraline 37.5 mg during luteal phase of menstrual cycle for PMDD.
 
2020/(early) on 22 mg lamotrigine for a while, maybe a month and a half, maybe longer, then 2020/03 Institutionalized for self harm. I think I was trying to taper the sertraline at the time, don't remember the details. Doses increased: Sertraline 50 mg/lamotrigine 25 mg (current regimen). Supposed to be taking seroquel and abilify (TWO antipsychotics?!) but didn't take any once I was discharged from the institution. (Was on them a few days.)
________________________________________________________
2001(?) Citalopram, don't remember dosage, cold turkey after a couple months and had terrible withdrawals, including what in retrospect was probably PAWS for the next five or so years. (agoraphobia, crippling social anxiety, anhedonia, dp/dr).

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Emma7855

Hi all - I was wondering if someone could help me determine whether what I am experiencing is DP/DR or something else. Here are my symptoms:

- Loss of identify (don't remember who I am, what I enjoyed, my habits, my fears, my aspirations, etc.)

- Loss of connection with family and friends (don't remember how I would interact with them)

- My apartment, work, current home all feel foreign to me (it's as if I just moved here and just started this job)

- Photosensitivity, afterimages stay for ~30 second, see tracers, issues with focusing

- Intense brain fog

- Problems with keeping track of time (things that happened recently feel distant and far-removed)

- No longer care about my body, my looks, or how I'm perceived by others

 

I'm confused about whether I have DP/DR because I don't have the other symptoms like observing my body from the outside, seeing the world through coke-shaped glasses, living in a dream-like state, feeling like a robot, OCD, ruminating thoughts, etc.

 

Thanks :)


  • 2015:
    • January: Started taking Xanax (.25mg) as needed
    • May: Weekend of trying LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, MDMA
    • May: Discontinued Xanax (CT'd)
    • July: Started taking Prozac (0 --> 40mg)
    • November: Started taking Lamictal (0 --> 150mg)
  • 2018:
    • May: Tapered off Prozac
    • July: Started taking Klonopin (0.125mg) as needed
  • 2019:
    • March: Discontinued birth control pills (~10 years)
    • May: Discontinued Klonopin (CT'd)
    • April --> July: Tapered off Lamictal (150mg --> 0: 125mg for 3 weeks, 100mg for 3 weeks, 75mg for 3 weeks, 50mg for 2 weeks, 25mg for 1 week)
    • Mid-July: Reinstated Lamictal (25mg) after 3 days of discontinuation 
    • Mid-August: Increased Lamictal (25 --> 50mg)
    • September: Decreased Lamictal (50 --> 37.5mg)
    • December: Decreased Lamictal (37.5 --> 35 mg); started taking Trileptal (4 mg)
  • 2020:
    • January: Took one birth control pill
    • April - June: Used curcumin cream (daily), 1% hydrocortisone cream (as needed), Elidel cream (as needed)

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PgadAdam

what is the outlook for loss of personality and feelings caused by SSRI's? i dont feel like i can enjoy things or be passionate about other people or my goals in life. i'm worried i won't have to be able to have succesful relationships if i'm always numb. nothing has changed 9 months after discontinuing zoloft, i miss being myself.

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AlaskanGlacier

I'm not sure, but I'm right there with you. I'm 6 months off Prozac after being on SSRIs essentially for 13 years. How long were you on them? Makes sense that after having your body chemistry hijacked for so long it's going to take a long while for things to get normal and fine tuned again. Takes some people months and months and into the years. It's worth the wait, though. People recover it all, just takes time.


Took Accutane in 2007 at age 19 and a severe reaction to it threw me into Psychiatry's dirty hands. Suffered through a number of c/t's, rapid tapers, drug switches, reinstatements before finally figuring out what was happening to me in 2012 after checking out of psych hospital with a prescription for Ativan and Prozac. (Went in because was unknowingly in Xanax c/t wd and dying at the time from it).

 

May 2016 - Last dose of Valium after 2 year long taper from 15mg

June 2017- Last dose of the corticosteroid Hydrocortisone after taper

July 2019- Last dose of Prozac after 2 year long taper from 30mg

 

Was on Accutane, Lexapro, Celexa, Xanax, Ativan, Prozac, Hydrocorisone, Valium, and thyroid meds when none of them were needed. Still recovering to this day and hope to be healed in the coming months, but taking it one day at a time.

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jeremy1069

I’ve been off Zoloft since 2018 (Started in 2008) and within 2018 I was on and off Paxil, Celexa and Luvox. My last SSRI was Luvox. Stopped it all together in January of 2019. 1 year.

 

The depersonalization is probably the longest running ongoing symptom I have. Everything seems like it’s either not real or I’m in a painting or something. There’s a longer thread here about this. OCD keeps me from responding to it.

 

Right now (Similar to what you described) I’m in a new phase (As of the last month or two) Where I have less interest, pleasure in things I normally enjoy. I feel kind of numb. There are bursts of my old self but they don’t last long. 

 

If this is like any of the other things I have dealt with since 2018, I’m going to guess it will eventually pass. Might come back a few times just to show you it’s not over yet, but I’m under the impression that it will eventually pass.

 

I don’t believe it lasts forever. Sure seems like it. But if I can have short bursts of my old self after everything I’ve been through, I’m sure anybody can and I’m sure there will be more. If not sure, at least hopeful. 


Prozac (2007-2008), Zoloft (2009-2017) Paxil (2017-2018), Celexa (2018), Luvox (2018-Current) Average 50-200. Nothing as of January 2019

Lorazepam 2007-Current 2MG 3 times a day

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delsol
Posted (edited)

DP/DR and Moving from Shock to Anger

 

I'm experiencing a wave of depersonalization/derealization that is much worse than any I've had prior, along with worsened hypersensitivity and terror. What I'm wondering is:  1.) According to a few others' posts, it seems 4-5 months is sometimes how long it takes for the brain to **really** acknowledge what the heck has just happened (rug being pulled out from under; a sudden jolt or loss of fake chemicals that were there for years) --  Is it possible for DP/DR to start peaking at almost 5 months out, after periods of weeks of not having the symptom much at all? (I've had it before, just not this badly).

 

2.) As for the grief process, it's like it's taken almost 5 months for my brain to truly get over the "shock" of what has happened, and I'm starting to move out of shock into anger. Right now, everything "normal" people (meaning people not in withdrawal) do is triggering this anger response where I don't feel like any of their "feel-good" advice or positivity is something I want to hear. I feel bad because I'm sensing this increasing divide between me and people who never experienced withdrawal before.  I have so many friends and supportive family, truly I do, and yet I am reacting to any support from them with anger. The derealization doesn't help, as it feels as if people in my environment are not always real to me. It's so isolating. 

 

I do not need reminders that I rapidly tapered my meds and that suffering should be expected -- I already know this; I don't need articles about DP/DR;  I am curious about others' timelines, as to when certain waves started to hit, and I'm also curious as to others' take on the grief process and how long it took them to move from feeling just shocked to feeling something else. Thanks!

 

Edited by ChessieCat
added topic title

--Current supplements: Fish oil 1000 mg x4 (split into 2 doses of 1000 mg); Vit. D 2,000 iu once daily; 2-3 tsp coconut oil daily

--3/14/20: Re-discontinued gabapentin after 2 weeks, due to agitation

--2/27/20: Reinstated Kpin .5mg and also briefly reinstated gabapentin 300mg. 2x/daily, to help with side effects (Kpin dose usually taken in a.m. between 5-8 a.m.; gabapentin once in a.m. and once around 6 p.m.)

--2/13/20: Tried reducing Kpin down to .375mg due to dysphoric side effects; tried to CT but started hallucinating again after 4 days

--1/23/20: Placed on daily .5mg dose of Klonopin

--From July 2017-Jan. 2020: PRN Klonopin 1mg. :  up to 1x/day:  sometimes weeks without it, sometimes 1-2x/week, sometimes 4-5x/week; tried to CT in Jan. 2020 and ended up in hospital with delirium and hallucinations

--November 2019: Weaned down gabapentin approx. 100 mg. per week and discontinued it

--August 7, 2019-10/18/19: Reduced Trintellix from 10mg. down to zero (insurance stopped paying for it - I couldn't afford it).

--February 2019-11/30/19: Reduced nortriptyline from 75 mg. to zero

--As of February 2019:  Meds were 10 mg. (1x/day) Trintellix, 75 mg. (1x/day) nortriptyline, and 600 mg. gabapentin

--1992 through 2018: On various cocktails of meds, starting with anafranil

 

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lxjuice

There is only so much you can predict from the discontinuation of a medication. This is because it's not all withdrawal, a lot of it is relapse or triggering of new symptoms (closer to withdrawal induced damage/alterations rather than withdrawal itself per se). I would be careful about pinning every single problem you have after discontinuing a drug on the drug which unfortunately is something I've noticed a lot in this forum, a kind of opposite extreme to being told by doctors that it's not due to the drug/discontinuation at all. Remember you started the medication for a reason, you had issues before the drug did any significant damage and unless you've had significant psychotherapy they are probably still valid and swirling around in your mind somewhere.


Dx: complex PTSD

Discontinuation/taper history: sertraline, trazodone, prazosin, mirtazapine, diazepam

Took 200mg quetiapine for 0.5 years and 150mg for 1.5 years until 01/2020. Now microtapering daily at an overall rate of 12.5mg/month.

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delsol

I see what you're saying about having "issues before the drug," and that not everything can be blamed on withdrawal. However, depersonalization/derealization is not something I ever experienced until withdrawal, and it is a common and well-documented phenomenon for many of us. It is my most prevalent concern currently, and I am trying to gauge from other members whether a particular number of months post-taper is a time when the brain really starts feeling the brunt of what's happened.

 

As for shock/anger, that's grief language that yes can be dealt with in therapy. The many capacities we lose can be seen in terms of grief. As for why I went on the drug: I remember my reasons for going on meds very clearly: I had OCD - not depression, not interpersonal/social issues, not psychosis, and definitely not depersonalization.

 

I myself am a licensed therapist and am not working right now, due to withdrawal-related issues. I am on here to try and make sense of an experience that has defied any other experiences I've ever had. I do have a therapist of my own, incidentally. And when I say I feel a lot of anger, I realize my supports are not really to blame, and that I'm luckier than most. Still the stages of grief and the intense physiological changes are there, and writing on here is one way I occasionally try to deal. Sharing common stories can be healing or at least reassuring.


--Current supplements: Fish oil 1000 mg x4 (split into 2 doses of 1000 mg); Vit. D 2,000 iu once daily; 2-3 tsp coconut oil daily

--3/14/20: Re-discontinued gabapentin after 2 weeks, due to agitation

--2/27/20: Reinstated Kpin .5mg and also briefly reinstated gabapentin 300mg. 2x/daily, to help with side effects (Kpin dose usually taken in a.m. between 5-8 a.m.; gabapentin once in a.m. and once around 6 p.m.)

--2/13/20: Tried reducing Kpin down to .375mg due to dysphoric side effects; tried to CT but started hallucinating again after 4 days

--1/23/20: Placed on daily .5mg dose of Klonopin

--From July 2017-Jan. 2020: PRN Klonopin 1mg. :  up to 1x/day:  sometimes weeks without it, sometimes 1-2x/week, sometimes 4-5x/week; tried to CT in Jan. 2020 and ended up in hospital with delirium and hallucinations

--November 2019: Weaned down gabapentin approx. 100 mg. per week and discontinued it

--August 7, 2019-10/18/19: Reduced Trintellix from 10mg. down to zero (insurance stopped paying for it - I couldn't afford it).

--February 2019-11/30/19: Reduced nortriptyline from 75 mg. to zero

--As of February 2019:  Meds were 10 mg. (1x/day) Trintellix, 75 mg. (1x/day) nortriptyline, and 600 mg. gabapentin

--1992 through 2018: On various cocktails of meds, starting with anafranil

 

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lxjuice
21 hours ago, delsol said:

I see what you're saying about having "issues before the drug," and that not everything can be blamed on withdrawal. However, depersonalization/derealization is not something I ever experienced until withdrawal, and it is a common and well-documented phenomenon for many of us. It is my most prevalent concern currently, and I am trying to gauge from other members whether a particular number of months post-taper is a time when the brain really starts feeling the brunt of what's happened.

 

As for shock/anger, that's grief language that yes can be dealt with in therapy. The many capacities we lose can be seen in terms of grief. As for why I went on the drug: I remember my reasons for going on meds very clearly: I had OCD - not depression, not interpersonal/social issues, not psychosis, and definitely not depersonalization.

 

I myself am a licensed therapist and am not working right now, due to withdrawal-related issues. I am on here to try and make sense of an experience that has defied any other experiences I've ever had. I do have a therapist of my own, incidentally. And when I say I feel a lot of anger, I realize my supports are not really to blame, and that I'm luckier than most. Still the stages of grief and the intense physiological changes are there, and writing on here is one way I occasionally try to deal. Sharing common stories can be healing or at least reassuring.

 

I am not saying that withdrawal didn't cause it. I am saying that it can be different to other withdrawal symptoms. Brain zaps are a withdrawal symptom directly caused by the lack of the drug. DP/DR can be a new onset disorder caused by withdrawal as well as a temporary symptom. In that case no amount of waiting will go away.

 

By "issues before the drug" I don't mean the literal symptoms you started taking it for, e.g. OCD. I mean the entirety of you as a person with all your childhood development, genetics, coping mechanisms, social situation, emotional regulation skills, defence mechanisms etc which when put together ended up with you getting e.g. OCD. If none of these have changed it's not just OCD you have to worry about, you're susceptible to a ton of things. Drug withdrawal can bring them out, as can anything which causes massive changes to the brain.

 

Are you saying DP/DR cannot be dealt with in therapy, because it definitely can. There are many psychological models about it. It doesn't fit in the language of emotions like anger and grief but definitely fits in therapy.


Dx: complex PTSD

Discontinuation/taper history: sertraline, trazodone, prazosin, mirtazapine, diazepam

Took 200mg quetiapine for 0.5 years and 150mg for 1.5 years until 01/2020. Now microtapering daily at an overall rate of 12.5mg/month.

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Onmyway
On 4/27/2020 at 6:54 PM, lxjuice said:

There is only so much you can predict from the discontinuation of a medication. This is because it's not all withdrawal, a lot of it is relapse or triggering of new symptoms (closer to withdrawal induced damage/alterations rather than withdrawal itself per se). I would be careful about pinning every single problem you have after discontinuing a drug on the drug which unfortunately is something I've noticed a lot in this forum, a kind of opposite extreme to being told by doctors that it's not due to the drug/discontinuation at all. Remember you started the medication for a reason, you had issues before the drug did any significant damage and unless you've had significant psychotherapy they are probably still valid and swirling around in your mind somewhere.

Saying a symptom is a return of some pre-AD condition presumes that the ADs treated some condition. Multiple studies show that ADs are no better than placebo. As such there is no "return" because they didn't actually treat. Also, on this forum when people describe a symptom we trust them - we don't call it psychosomatic or all in your mind as so many of us have been told about WD symptoms. While not all WD symptoms are new, most are distinct from what we had preWD, either something we never experienced before or something so exaggerated we never imagined the range it could take. I had been anxious and angry before but WD brings that to a whole new level I never imagined existed.  That's true for most people here. We found this place because we were terrified by what was happening to us. 

 

Also, the emergence of a new symptom such as DR/DP post WD is most likely not the onset of a new disease it's most likely a WD symptom. When you puke your guts after eating bad food you don't think it's because your dentures are new, it's most likely the shrimp.


Aug  2000 - July 2003 (ct, 4-6 wk wd) , citalopram 20 mg ,  xanax prn, wellbutrin for a few months (don't remember dates), trazodone prn 

Dec 2004 - July 2018 citalopram 20 mg

Aug 2018 - citalopram 40 mg (self titrated up), occasionally did this in difficult times 

September 2018 - January 2019 tapered citalopram - 40/30/20/10/5 no issues until a week after reaching 0

Feb 2019 0.25 xanax/day, then 0.5/day (3 weeks) over to klonopin 0.25 once a day to manage severe wd

March 6, reinstated citalopram 2.5 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 mg for sleep 2-3 times a week

Apr 1st 2.0 mg (liquid), klonopin 0.25 once a week, April  14 , 2019 - citalopram 1.8 mg (liquid), May 8, 2019 - citalopram 1.6 mg (liquid),  July 27, 2019 - citalopram 1.5 mg (liquid),  August 15, 2019 - citalopram 1.35 (liquid)

 

 supplements:  melatonin 1 mg  

 

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India
On 4/27/2020 at 4:35 PM, delsol said:

Right now, everything "normal" people (meaning people not in withdrawal) do is triggering this anger response where I don't feel like any of their "feel-good" advice or positivity is something I want to hear. I feel bad because I'm sensing this increasing divide between me and people who never experienced withdrawal before.  I have so many friends and supportive family, truly I do, and yet I am reacting to any support from them with anger.

Total identification on this. Days of rage triggered by ‘support’ , I find the ‘think positive’ the most challenging. Ultimately, my rage is out of proportion even if there may be a slight irritation . I walked for 4 hours lost in the woods the other day just to walk off the rage. Today one hour, only to come back to find myself enraged again.. over some minor thing .

Very interested to hear how you and others are managing with this ..


1999:  Paroxetine (20mg). Age 16. 2007-2008: Fluoxetine (Prozac) for 1.5 years (age 25) Citalopram 20mg 2002-2005, 2009: Escitalopram (20mg), 2 weeks, (age 26) (adverse manic reaction)/*Valium 5mg/Temazepam 10mg 2010: Mirtazipine (Remeron)( do not remember dosage) 2010, 5 months.                     

2010-2017: Citalopram (20mg) (age 27 to 34) 2016: i.1st Sept- 31st Oct Citalopram 10mg , ii.1st November 2017-30th November 2017, Citalopram 5mg iii.1st December 2017- 4th February 2018, Citalopram 0mg, iv.5th February 2018- March 2018 Citalopram 5mg (10mg every other day) 28th February- tried titration of 5mg ( some adverse effects)

2018: 1st March 2018- 1st June Citalopram 10 mg (tablet form) /started titration 8mg , then 7 mg.2018: June 15th- 10th July Citalopram 10 mg pill every other day 2018: 10th July - 13th Sept Citalopram- 0mg  (CBD oil first month of 0mg, passiflora on and off) 2018 13th Sept Citalopram  2mg ,  approx 16th Sept 4mg , approx 25th Sept 6mg held.  2019: 11 Feb 19: 7mg (instant bad rxn) 12 Feb 19 6mg held 1 May 19 5.4mg held 5 Oct 19 5.36mg 22 Oct 19 5.29mg 30 Oct 19 5.23mg 4/NOV/19 5.18mg 12 Nov 19 5.08mg 20 Nov 19 4.77mg

(Herbal/Supplements since 1st September: Omega Fish Oil 1200mg, 663mg of EPA- 2 tablets a day, magnesium and magnesium bath salts)

I did not die, and yet I lost life’s breath
- Dante

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planifolia

I’m wondering if anyone feels that as DR/DP improves (gradually, not those who have adrupt dramatic switch like relief from dpdr) the experience of dpdr gets even more terrifying?
 

As I got lower on the dose from my taper over a year, my Dpdr symptoms very gradually eased as I get lower. However the terror has become more and more intense. 

 

I saw this post in one of the dp forums and one success story mentioned this:

 

Awareness dpdr relationship: This is a critical side note I highly suggest people watch out for. The more intense your dpdr is over a period, the less general awareness you have of your thoughts/ how you feel. Your mind is sort of shocked, so you aren't really aware of preciselyhow you feel, you just know it's somewhere in the range of really damn bad and really really damn bad. As you start to improve, you will become more and more aware, and as you become more aware, you become more aware of the bad, which is a different feeling all together. Thus, you feel better from dpdr, but now you're scared of your more-conscious awareness of the dpdr, so you get stressed again. In short, how you feel is a function of the intensity of your dpdr, but also how aware you are of your dpdr. As your dpdr decreases, your general awareness (including awareness of dpdr can increase), which can be extremely scary. Thus, especially during the final stages of recovery:

 

1) you may feel terrible purely because of dpdr

2) you may feel better, but your level of awareness increases, and your new awareness of your dpdr is scary as hell so you feel terrible again

 

 

 

for those who are recovering or recovered from dpdr, I’m wondering if anyone experienced what he mentioned? 
 

Many thanks 

 

 

 


Clonazapam:  01/2015 - 03/2015 2mg; 03/2015 Cold Turkey

Lexapro:  07/2007 - 08/2018 10-20mg; 08/2018 - 10/2018 Tapered to 0mg; 10/11/2018 Reinstated 7 days taper up to 20mg (took 3mg xanax/day first 3 days of reinstatement); 17/11/2018 20mg; 2/12/2018: 15mg; 3/12/2018 10mg; 5/12/2018 Developed violent spasms, back to 15mg;

6/1/2019 13.5mg; 27/3/2019 13mg; 2/4/2019 12.5mg; 11/4/2019 10mg; 25/5/2019 9mg; 8/7/2019; 8.75mg; 15/7/2019 8.5mg; 22/7/2019 8.25mg; 5month taper of 10%/month to 5mg on 12/2019;

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gardenlady

No, my dp/dr continues to worsen the lower in dosage I go despite a very slow taper.  The the akathisia, doom, dread, sleep inversion, fear, terror and personality disintegration also are worse.  You're fortunate that the dp/dr is better for you as you get lower in dose. 


 

2016-Aug-Prescribed 2 mg Ativan & 10 mg Ambien; Oct-c/o from 20 mg Lexapro to 60 mg Cymbalta; Nov-Dec-Tapered off 10 mg Ambien    

2017-Jan-Feb c/o from 1.75 mg Ativan to 13 mg Valium & begin daily liquid micro taper; May-taper Cymbalta 60 mg to 48 mg with severe withdrawals.  Begin 11 month Cymbalta hold.

2018-Jan 11 completed Valium taper; Apr-Resume Cymbalta taper.  Interval dose progress: Apr 43 mg; May 40 mg; Jul 35 mg; Sep 29 mg; Dec 21 mg; 

2019- Apr 14 mg; Jun 11 mg; Aug 9 mg; Oct 7 mg; Nov 6 mg

2020-Jan 5.2 mg; Feb 4.8 mg; Mar 4.3 mg; Apr 3.9 mg; May 3.5 mg; Jun 3.3 mg; Jul 2.9 mg; Aug 2.7 mg; 28 Sep 2.4 mg/12 beads

 

 

 

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ChessieCat
Posted (edited)

  

Petunia was asked this question in her Introduction topic.

 

On 6/19/2020 at 5:42 AM, Amira123 said:

 

Hello Petunia 

 

did the despersonalization go away completely? Do you feel connected to life now and present?

 

 

Petunia's response:

 

33 minutes ago, Petunia said:

 

Yes it did, DP/DR was one of my worst symptoms, adding to other symptoms which kept me housebound for a long time. I remember it would go away during windows, and the relief I felt when I was able to again feel connected with life around me, other people and with myself. Then it would cruelly return when the window closed, and I would once again feel frozen and trapped inside a thick bubble, isolated from everything which is alive including myself.

I feel deeply connected with life now, and it hasn't changed in a long time. There's a slightly different experience of it now, different from how it used to be. The connection I have with life is changing from being personal into something which feels more like I'm part of what I'm connected with rather than being separate from. Even my connection with myself is no longer personal, it's deeper, more meaningful, but less personal.

 

Previously, before withdrawal, I would only feel fully present sometimes. Lots of things I did in life were distractions from uncomfortable emotions or situations, I often didn't want to be present to the reality which was going on, either outside of me or inside. I didn't realize how much of life I was avoiding, it was all unconscious back then. During withdrawal I learned how to use distraction in a conscious way, so I had a choice, those withdrawal symptoms get intolerable at times and distraction is the only way to get through. I think perhaps DP/DR is one of our brain's survival systems, designed or evolved to protect us from reality when it becomes too overwhelming to tolerate, until we learn how to consciously use this technique and then ultimately transcend our need for using it.

 

And a further question:

 

22 minutes ago, Amira123 said:

 

How long did it take for the DP to go away completley?

 

 

And Petunia's response:

 

7 minutes ago, Petunia said:

I don't know, it was such a slow process, and it would come and go and come and go, and each time it would come back, it would be less intense, usually, but not always. Then it would come back mildly, so I wouldn't notice it as much, or maybe I was getting used to it. For all I know, I still have it, but I'm so used to it, I don't even realize 🙃  But seriously, it's been about 2 years since I remember experiencing it, so I would say about 5 years before it left and stayed away for good. But it wasn't awful for the whole 5 years, after the first 2 years, the experience of it was much more tolerable than when it was at it's worst, always unpleasant, but not so bad it would send me running home, back to the safety of my room, every time I tried to go out.

 

 

Edited by ChessieCat

Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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ChessieCat

merged similar topics

 


Being very patient.  I'll get there - slowly.  ETA mid 2021

ADs:  25 years - 1 unknown, Prozac (caused muscle weakness), Zoloft/sertraline; citalopram (pooped out) CTed (very sick for 2.5 wks a few months after)

Pristiq:  50mg 2012, 100mg beg 2013 (mild Serotonin Toxicity)

Began tapering Oct 2015  Current from 12 Sept 2020:  Pristiq 0.625 mg (compounded)

My tapering program

My Intro (goes to my tapering graph)

My website - includes my brief history + links to videos & information on the web

PLEASE NOTE:  I am not a medical professional.  I provide information and make suggestions.

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chris2020

I found that during depersonalization or derealization, what helped was saying vowels (a, e, ...) out loud, as it brought me back in my body. Additionally after a while of doing this regularly, my breathing capacity was enhanced.

Finally, I would like to say we all deserve a medal for having to deal with such a arduous process !!!

 

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christianjw12

Guys, I have experienced depersonalization even before taking Lexapro. It was caused by my anxiety pike due to my pure O OCD. It was so bad that once I was looking at my left hand while at work and it was moving and I wasn't sure if I had full control of my left hand. I was asking "who's controlling my left hand ? Is it me or it's somebody else"? I also remember once I was so anxious while I was having dinner with my girlfriend, suddenly I felt that I was being dissociated from my own body, the feeling was like I was watching somebody talking to her and I was just inside this body watching and having no control of it. Very scary during the moment I felt that but now I laught at it because I've practiced so much mindfulness from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (or ACT) that everytime I have a negative thought, I'm capable of watching those negative thoughts come to my mind and that now instead of BEING in those thoughts, I know that they can't harm me if I defuse them. Please have a look about ACT ! Learn it and practice it, it helps coping with anxiety, depression, trauma, DP/DR. Full acceptance of what's happening to us is the only way to get freedom. True peace is not about suppressing negative thoughts or emotions, it's about being psychological flexible and accept those negative feelings and not fuse with them.


23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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Edmunds

As someone who experiences chronic derealization, I heartily endorse the ACT approach. It’s been great help to me. 


Fluoxetine 1997-2014, 2015, 10-40 mgs (poop-out  April 2013)

Bupropion 2013-14, 4 mos. To 450 mg tapered to 0 in 3 wks no w/d trouble

Lexapro 2014 30 mg Cymbalta 2014

Neuro-Feedback 2015 May-Sept, no ADs those 5 months, no significant benefit, rather increased anxiety during and after, which may have been WD from Lexapro

Buspirone 2015 40 mg

Venlafaxine Dec. 14, 2015 – May 23, 2019 150 mg

Bupropion/Wellbutrin Mar 2017 – July 19, 2019 300 mg

Fluoxetine/Prozac May 2019 – present, (tapered 2.0 to 1.8 mgs, 08-26-20), holding at 1.8 mgs., down from 20 starting January 2019

Lorazepam 0.5 2019 stopped taking it 08/31/2019

B12, 1000 mcg, D3, 2,000 mg, Omega 3, 1,200 mg, L-methylfolate (Deplin) 15 mg , discontinued 09/3/20, Magnesium Chelate, 250 mg

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Yasko

I have had depersonalization for 29 years. It was caused by an acute emotional trauma. First 8 years were real bad then a few years it was mild but last 10 years it is severe again. Many things make it worse such as positive or negative stress, wearing sunglasses (that's new), lights like when I go to wal-mart etc. I am going to see a neurologist and an ENT (again) and demand more tests to be done but I feel it is due to my chronic stress/anxiety.


I have been on several antidepressants including: Serzone 1998-2006 (unknown dose)-Celexa 2006- 2018 40 mg 1x -Lexapro 2018-2019 20mg 2x-Luvox 2018 (unknown dose)-Effexor 2006-2007 (unknown dose)-Gabapentin 2018 (abused)-Propranolol 2018 (Unknown dose)-Clonidine 2018 0.5 mg 1x-Oxycodone 2014-2017 (abused)-Ativan 2mg 3x 2002-2018-Oxycontin 2014-2017 (abused)-Mirtazapine 15mg 1x (2018)-Rexulti 2mg 1x (2018-2020)

 

Now taking

- Dexedrine 25mg twice a day IR Since 2018-

-Suboxone 12mg once daily Since 2017-

-Trintellix 10mg once a day Since 2018-

- Klonopin 2 mg once a day Since 2002 (lost effect)

 

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christianjw12
On 8/30/2020 at 3:38 AM, Yasko said:

I have had depersonalization for 29 years. It was caused by an acute emotional trauma. First 8 years were real bad then a few years it was mild but last 10 years it is severe again. Many things make it worse such as positive or negative stress, wearing sunglasses (that's new), lights like when I go to wal-mart etc. I am going to see a neurologist and an ENT (again) and demand more tests to be done but I feel it is due to my chronic stress/anxiety.

 

Depersonalization is mostly caused by a high level of anxiety. It's in fact a self-protection mecanism imposed by the body and mind.

To cure it, the only way is the learn to accept anxiety and not slowly learn to let it be. The more we think about it and the longer it persists. When we are able to accept those feelings, then it start to go away.

 


23rd of January 2020 - Started taking Lexapro at 5mg daily.

29th of January 2020 - Upped to 10mg of Lexapro daily.

9th of April 2020 - Reduced to 5mg of Lexapro daily.

23rd of April 2020 - Stopped Lexapro at 5mg daily.

Withdrawal since ~

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Yasko

I have tried everything and I felt the best when I a) ignored dp b) was socially active c) exercised. But still far from cure


I have been on several antidepressants including: Serzone 1998-2006 (unknown dose)-Celexa 2006- 2018 40 mg 1x -Lexapro 2018-2019 20mg 2x-Luvox 2018 (unknown dose)-Effexor 2006-2007 (unknown dose)-Gabapentin 2018 (abused)-Propranolol 2018 (Unknown dose)-Clonidine 2018 0.5 mg 1x-Oxycodone 2014-2017 (abused)-Ativan 2mg 3x 2002-2018-Oxycontin 2014-2017 (abused)-Mirtazapine 15mg 1x (2018)-Rexulti 2mg 1x (2018-2020)

 

Now taking

- Dexedrine 25mg twice a day IR Since 2018-

-Suboxone 12mg once daily Since 2017-

-Trintellix 10mg once a day Since 2018-

- Klonopin 2 mg once a day Since 2002 (lost effect)

 

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