Depersonalization Forum

Please use this forum to discuss information directly related to Depersonalization Disorder. We welcome you to share your own personal experiences with others as well as any treatment or study programs you may know about. We have been forced to restructure the Forum so we could have editing access as needed and be able to Archive older comments once they disappear.  Sorry for the temporary inconvenience, but now we will able to post older material for reference.

Depersonalization Forum
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Re: Depersonalization - Do I have it, and is there hope?

Stephanie,
One question is whether the anxiety and/or depression existed first. Depersonalization is the third most common psychiatric symptom, but it is only recognized as Depersonalization Disorder if your experience the DPD symptoms, ie. sense of separation from the self, feeling of No self, feelings of watching yourself from outside, etc, exist in the absence of depression or anxiety for a period of time. DP is often a symptom that runs along with depression or anxiety or panic states. And sometimes, people experience acute anxiety and then fall into DPD as a reaction against that anxiety. After a while, the DP symptoms lesson and anxiety kicks in again, creating a terrible cycle. Please ask your doctors to check out all the current psychiatric literature about depersonalization disorder, which they can find in all the medical journals. And insist that they real "Feeling Unreal" for a review not only of the condition and its symptoms, but meds suggestions as well. You should read this book too. As your doctor to get it an read it. Good luck to you.

Re: Re: Depersonalization - Do I have it, and is there hope?

This message is for Jeff. I just stumbled across this forum and I noticed your response to this person's post. Basicly, what you just described about how a person can have an episode of anxiety, then fall into a depersonalization state, until another episode arise s, and so on and so forth, creating a cycle, is the most accurate and specific description of exactly what I am going through that I have ever heard. I would like to know any other info you have and would like to speak with you.

Re: Depersonalization - Do I have it, and is there hope?

Stephanie,
you are not alone!I started my first episode on 12/30/08. I have them everyday. When I see my other self I call her gladys. It scares me to death.
I was extremely depressed in Nov. )after a lifelong bought with depression."untreated" But, anyway I took a whole bottle of Lunesta (sleeping pills) they didn't work (obviously)But I got diagnosed as being severely depressed and bipolar. I recovered and out of nowhere comes these expereiences where I see myself from across the room, etc. I feel like no one understands. I told my phyciatrist, and she said it was from extreme anxiety. But, I think in our world who isn't stressed? I'm on Prozac, risperaldol, and klonapin and depokote. My anxiety is better, I don't shake so much. But, the episodes with Gladys are still frequent. I'm married with 5 kids (mostly grown) and I can't even go to work. Never mind got to work, my husband doesn't want to leave me alone. So I get babysat when he's at work. Now I feel like just keeping all this stuff to myself and not telling anybody. Where do you live? I'm on Long Island. Take care and I hope to hear back from you.

Debbie

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Replying to:

Hi everyone,

I'm desperately searching for more information about Depersonalization. I'm almost entirely sure that I have it.

For the past six months, I have been suffering from very bad depression and anxiety. About a month ago, I began to experience the feeling that I didn't know who I was, that I was disconnected from myself. I feel afraid of myself and almost as though I want to get out of my body and away from who I am. I feel as though I am completely rejecting myself, not wanting to be who I am. I constantly obsess over these thoughts.

I am currently being treated for my depressive illness (which got so bad that I started cutting myself) at a psychiatric hospital. I am on Effexor, chlonazepan and Respiradone. The symptoms still persist, and it's very difficult to explain the feeling to others, even doctors.

Does this seem like I might have the disorder? Does anyone else feel this way? Is there hope that I will feel comfortable in my own skin again?

Thanks

Re: Re: Depersonalization - Do I have it, and is there hope?

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for your reply. I'm not really sure if we have exactly the same sort of condition, but it's good to know that someone understands, at least.

I don't have out of body experiences like seeing myself across the room, etc., nor do I feel that I have an alternate personality. Mostly for me, it's a feeling of not wanting to be in my body anymore, as opposed to feeling removed from it. It's always the worst when I wake up, for whatever reason. I am home from the hospital for the weekend, and this morning I woke up, and immediately thought, "Oh god, another day of this, of being me and struggling". I got so anxious and started crying. I went to my Mom's room and crawled into bed with her and told her that I just want to die to stop feeling this way and that, even though I'm being treated for this, I don't want to get better, because I'll still be me. I can't recover from myself.

I wonder if any of this makes sense to anyone..

Re: Re: Re: Depersonalization - Do I have it, and is there hope?

Stephanie,
I feel exactly like that sometimes. I feel like I don't want to live in my own skin. I sometimes can't even feel myself. I feel odd. Its so hard to describe.But, its the most awlfull feeling. Many times I have thought that its better to die and go on like this. But, 11-23, I tried to kill myself with a bottle of Lunesta and didn't succeed. I'm so glad now that I didn't. I still feel terrible at times but I do feel better sometimes. I try to dwell on those times. Try to focus on the positive. Give your treatment some time. Some people take longer than others. Every day is a new day and just pray it will be a better one. thats what I do.

Debbie

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Replying to:

Hi Debbie,

Thanks for your reply. I'm not really sure if we have exactly the same sort of condition, but it's good to know that someone understands, at least.

I don't have out of body experiences like seeing myself across the room, etc., nor do I feel that I have an alternate personality. Mostly for me, it's a feeling of not wanting to be in my body anymore, as opposed to feeling removed from it. It's always the worst when I wake up, for whatever reason. I am home from the hospital for the weekend, and this morning I woke up, and immediately thought, "Oh god, another day of this, of being me and struggling". I got so anxious and started crying. I went to my Mom's room and crawled into bed with her and told her that I just want to die to stop feeling this way and that, even though I'm being treated for this, I don't want to get better, because I'll still be me. I can't recover from myself.

I wonder if any of this makes sense to anyone..

Re: Re: Re: Re: Depersonalization - Do I have it, and is there hope?

While Depersonalization Disorder does fall under Dissociative Disorders in the American diagnostic manuals, it seems to have little in common with those other Disorders. This is why the European manuals list it under Anxiety or other Disorders. Dissociation such as out of body experiences or multiple personality disorders are hard core dissociation and often arise from childhood abuse of some time. Depersonalization Disorder is marked by an internal "separation" from your old sense of self. You don't feel like yourself, and you can't stop to figure out why. Life, and your own identity seem strange, or foreign, and you no longer seem to fit into the world you once knew. Sometimes, anxiety and panic attacks enter the picture as well. Sometimes, a separate voice, or voices, can be heard in your own head, as if there is a split inside. It's all a real pain in the butt.