Im 45 years old now and a female. My first encounter with dp was at the age of 15 after I smoked pot for the second time. It was horrible and scared the hell out of me.I recall standing there and I went blind for 60 seconds and thought I died,lol. I had dp for a few months after that. I recall asking my mom over and over if she was real. I recall asking her to pinch me so that I felt real. It was a horrible time .My Mom brought me to a doctor and she was told I had anxiety and felt guilty. That was the only time I saw him. My Mom just wanted to know I would be ok and I guess he told her I would be. After 3 months I was back to my usual self.
I was my regular self up until the age of 22 when i was diagnosed with panic disorder .I recall walking up some stairs and feeling like I was on drugs . Looking back it was an anxiety attack. I recall trying to calm down etc.This started a bout of many panic attacks/anxiety attacks and my second go with DP. I sought help this time. I saw a therapist who insisted this was a defense mechansim and allowing me to escape uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that were worse than feeling DP. It made no sense to me but I went to therapy every week and talked and talked. I wanted to be back to myself again. I never took meds. By about 11 months I was compelety back to myself. It was fanatastic!
4 years later, BAMM it was back. I was simply laying on my couch and had a thought about what I went through 4 years prior and that was enough I guess for this crap to come rushing back in for another year. ALl of it again, panic attacks, ocd like symptoms and oc course the DP stuff. Once again I sought therapy. This time with another therpaist, a clinical social worker. She to believed it was a defense mechanism. I was using it toget away from thoughts and feelings that was VERY uncomforatble. hmmm ok! So yet again, talked and talked for about a yr and finaly all the symtpoms were once again GONE!!!! WHEW!
It would be another 4 years before symtpoms showed up again. This time I was on vacation and sitting eating dinner when suddenly I was striken with overwhleming fear and uneasiness. Anxiety attack of course. It was bad. I even recall asking the waitress if she put anything in my drink. I was panicked! I also remember appologising to her for saying such a thing! Was so odd. Needless to say this would set off my next bout of DP and lasted about 10 months. I went back to the same therapist and she said perhaps I havnt resolved all the issues that need to be resolved and maybe there were new ones so... once again I saw her every week and talked and talked till finally I was better again. I recall getting pregnant and it was aroudn that time all the symptoms vanished. My theory is it was a HUGE distraction and just made me forget about everything else.
It would be 13 yrs without any DP symptoms although inthose 13 years I did have the occasional anxiety attack, no biggie, sorta.
I recently quit a 32 year smoking cigarette addiction.I did this cold turkey and with no patches or anything. I'm happy to say I havn't had as much as a puff in 106 days and plan to remain smoke free. The downside is this... after about a week of being smoke free the DP symptoms came back and I've been in therapy ever since with the same woman as the last 2 times.She holds tight to her theory of it being a defense mechanism and when I go there I talk my head off.I quit smoking on Feb 28th and started therapy on April first. My symptoms have definelty improved and I'm hoping they will be completely gone very soon because it is so distressing.
Her theory has seemed to work for me over the years. A defense mechanism that keeps uncomfortable thoughts and feelings from enterting my mind I guess? Seems to me nothing is more UNCOMFORTABLE than this **** symtpom but ah well... therapy has worked for me in the past and it will work now, Im sure of it. She seems to think since I quit smoking I lost my copy device and had no other good coping skills in place when i quit so I moved into this weird thinkign pattern again in order to cope.I've never been on any medication. I guess because of the anxiety I have felt over the years. I'm always afraid meds would make me worse so I deal with whats on my plate.
Im still smoke free and still in therapy and I know the symptoms have gotten way less because I feelliek I'm getting my life back and doign things I normaly would. It's only been a short time of 3 months but the therapy is working. Perhaps because4 this time around I know what helps and what doess'nt . For example I go walking everyday now as a way to relieve stress . There are other things I've put in place as well to help me relieve stress. ALl these things combined seem to be helping so much.
There isn't enough room on this page to tell you the symptoms Ive experienced so I'll do it on another page.
Thats my history with DP.
I bet alot of you can relate
These are the symptoms Ide have.
Surrondings feeling strange to me although I know where I am, etc.
Same with people.
As if there is a invisible glass between myself and the world.
Crying fits because of these feelings.They are horrible.
I ask questions alot... Like do you remember when we went here or did this or that?When Im reminded of things Ive done in the past It makes me feel more grounded.
IVe even asked my husband to pick me up. That makes me feel more real too and not so scared.
Time seems to go fast, it's distorted to me
Ive done things like keep a diary of what I did each day to try and stay connected. I get afraid of losing touch with reality.
I get afraid of believing things arent real ( I know they are) but the thought of going over the deep end TERRIFIES ME.
WHen I find old paintings Ive painted or letters Ive written.. those make me feel more connected too.
Strange stuff for sure, blah.
I am without a DOUBT a hypersensative individual.