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Has anyone here been able to recover?

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Has anyone here been able to recover?

Postby smason52 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:54 am

This is my first time posting here so I am sorry if I don't follow all of the rules.

I (21M) have been struggling with what I think is some kind of chronic depersonalization disorder for a little over two months now, and I was wondering if anyone has actually been able to make a full recovery from this or if it is something you just have to learn to live with?

I believe it started for me about a year and a half ago.I started to notice a really strange feeling I would get after concentrating on things for a long time. I am a software engineering student so this would usually happen after spending several hours coding without breaks. I would notice after I stopped that my brain seemed almost 'foggy' and that it was really hard to concentrate or think things through. I figured that it was just because I was mentally tired and it would usually go away after I sat down and watched some TV or something for a little bit. After a few more months I started to notice the feeling occurring at more random times - like when grocery shopping or running other errands, and I began to think it might have something to do with my diet. So I started eating healthier and it seemed that that helped a little bit but I would still get the feeling sometimes.

Things didn't really start to get bad until Christmas time this year when I started to notice the feeling more and more frequently. I started thinking I might be developing schizophrenia or a brain tumor or something and this really started to scare me. I convinced myself it all must just be in my head and that I just need to stop thinking about it, but I felt I was spending more and more time in this uncomfortable place. I started noticing that I was forgetting things and that simple tasks were starting to feel difficult.

When I came home for reading week was when I would say the depersonalization started for the first time. The feeling that I had been experiencing came except this time it didn't go away, and hasn't for the last two months.I had no idea what was going on but I began to feel like I didn't know where I was, and everyday objects seemed to look strange and unfamiliar. I felt like I was watching myself and my own thoughts and had no control over them. My own families faces looked strange to me and I started to panic. I had really bad panic attacks for several days as I thought I had officially developed some mental disorder or brain damage or something and I was never going to be the same. Those days were absolutely terrifying and the most scared I've ever been in my life.

My mom is a psychologist and she was eventually able to calm me down enough to go back to school after I had taken an extra week off due to what I was going through. I also began taking an SSRI around this time. The medication helped with the anxiety a little bit but I still was feeling the same way. I eventually learned about depersonalization and I felt like that described a lot of what I was going through.I was somewhat relieved because it seemed more manageable that a brain tumor or schizophrenia but I was still feeling confused and disconnected. I tried to get my head back into my classes but I just felt cognitively unable to do them. My brain felt like glue - like everything had been slowed down. I started to get extremely depressed because of this and ended up having to withdraw from all of my classes and going home.

I am home now and just started seeing my own psychologist. Every day is miserable for me. I cry for hours at a time due to how hopeless this feels and I sleep 10-14 hours a day. A lot of the time i'm not even sleeping but just laying there with my eyes closed because it feels better than having them open and seeing all these things that make me feel so distant from myself. I spend pretty much the entire day in my room watching TV. Although i don't understand much of whats going on on the show and most of the conversations seem to go over my head. Going outside or anywhere in public makes me feel even more disconnected and I find it terrifying. I feel totally out of control of what I am doing and am just a prisoner watching myself destroy my life.

From what I have read some people struggle with this for more than 15 years sometimes and I am finding it difficult to cope with the idea of doing this for another month let alone years. That is why I am wondering if anyone has made a full recovery from this because at least that would make things seem more hopeful. If not is there anything that can actually make things more manageable? I have tried going for walks and forcing myself to get out and do things but it only makes me feel more distant and totally out of control.

-- sidenote --
I've read that depersonalization usually can occur from experiencing a traumatic event or difficult childhood. I had a pretty normal childhood I think and I didn't experience anything traumatic that I remember. I did have some really difficult experiences with drugs when I was in university but it was only with marijuana and nothing stronger. Is the cause of this disorder always trauma or drug related? Or can it just happen to people randomly?
smason52
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