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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.

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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.  

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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

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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. 

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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.

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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:

 

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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.

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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 :)

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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.

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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. 

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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 

 

 

 

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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. 

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ChessieCat

  

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

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