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Derealization and Depersonalization: VERY common anxiety effects...please read.

May 23, 2008 - 178 comments

For a person who is experiencing this for the first can be VERY upsetting and disturbing.  I was there before as well...the first time I went through this, I was convinced there was something wrong with my eyes.  Everything just "looked" so weird, so odd.  I almost felt like I was having out of body experiences...or was watching the world through a movie projector, instead of through my own eyes and mind.  Therefore, I am going to share with you all what *I* know about these phenomena, and hopefully reassure some of you that this is par for the anxiety while irritating, maybe even is totally harmless.

Derealization and depersonalization are two terms that are sometimes used interchangably.  Truth is, they DO vary a little bit in their presentation....but overall, they also are VERY similar.  ONE important thing to remember that I learned, and have never forgotten is that these two effects CANNOT exist without anxiety.....but that anxiety can exist without these sensations.

Derealization is basically a change, an alteration in the PERCEPTION or experience of the external other words...everything LOOKS very strange, very "unreal" (movie like, in my experiences).  Depersonalization is a subjective experience of unreality of one's self.  So the difference is...rerealization relates more to the external environment...our outside world, whereas depersonalization relates more to our sense of "self"...that "we" don't feel like who we are.

Both of these sensations are caused by a shift/change in the brain.  It occurs in the area of the brain that provides us with a "real" awareness of our environment.  The part of the brain is directly linked to the "Amygdala", which is the organ in the brain responsible for causing anxiety.

Of course, the fact that while having a high level of anxiety, we are SUPER sensitized to every sensation, feeling, symptom....adds to derealization and depersonalization.  Also, you can have one without the other.  Most of MY experiences have been with derealization, and I have a friend who suffered more from depersonalization...she explained it as feeling "numb' and more like an inanimate object than a person.  The great news is..once the anxiety is addressed, these feelings start to gradually fade into the bakground...until one day you realize it is gone.

I hope this helps some people that have experienced this can have a better understanding of this.  I know I felt sooo much better after finding out that I wasn't truly going insane...and that what I was experiencing were very common panic/anxiety symptoms.

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by ParamedFlorena, May 23, 2008
It's so easy to feel alone and abandoned. Great contribution!

Keep hope alive!

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by Isaiah4110, May 25, 2008
Another absolutely amazing journal entry! Like I told you yesterday, I've always wanted to learn more about this particular symptom, but most literature I've read on AD just doesn't seem to cover it, or only describe it very briefly. Thanks for this entry. Looking forward to your next one.. ;)

Avatar universal
by Dayg7, Jun 14, 2008
this is by far the best article I've read so far!!! I've been suffering from depersonalization for the last month, it started out as anxiety over exams then led to this... Its so scary and I've been feeling so alone because no one seems to understand... The worst part is, I keep trying to research it on the Internet and I keep coming across these forums that perople say they had it for 20 years non stop etc. Then I read that its not even anxiety but a separate mental disorder and these things just made it worse for me because it just gave me more anxiety!

Avatar universal
by bf939, Jun 20, 2008
This is a very helpful is exactly what I have been feeling like for the last 4ish months.  I guess I've had experiences with both but its very helpful to know how closely tied it is to anxiety

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by Charlotterose, Jun 26, 2008
and all this time I thought I was dying of some unknown sickness.. Thank you for summing this up.. I get this all the time, it feels like I'm not in reality, what I see isn't real.. But thanks to you I now know that I'm "normal"..

Avatar universal
by manthalatrice, Aug 24, 2008
I just ran upon your journal! And I just wanted to let you know that this entry has help me out a great deal. I never knew how to put into words how I was feeling, and everyone just seem to look at me crazy when I tried to explain it!! And I truly feel like I am going insane.! When I 1st started to experience derealization, it would come and go. Now, most of the time its a constant thing. I am in the process of trying to get my anxiety under control, but it is really scary. It seems that  I could possibly be living like this the rest of my days!! But thanks to your journal, I have hope that it will fade away. I think the derealization is what keeps me wanting to lock up in the house!! I can't wait til it all fades away so I can start travel nursing! Thanks alot for this entry!!!

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by nursegirl6572, Aug 28, 2008
Thank you all for your kind words.  I just wanted to add that while you feel as though these feelings will NEVER go away, they will.  For me, it is the oddest thing...I'll be so focused on it, it will drive me nuts...I start working on my anxiety and one day just realize that it has been gone for a while.  As quickly as it a thief sneaking out in the night!

One day I'll be thinking how "weird" everything looks....even colors...everything looks so "distorted" and weird...and before I know it...all of that is gone.  The less you try to focus on it, the better it will get (I said than done when your whole world looks messed up!!!!)  For me, it's always much more pronounced when I''m outside too.  Definitely one of the more upsetting anxiety symptoms.  But, totally normal within the realm of anxiety too...and while annoying, it is totally harmless.

Manthalatrice....I hope you can do travel nursing one day...the possibilities and opportunities are endless...and the pay can't be beat!  I have a good friend who does that.  She travels everywhere.

Hugs to you all!

Avatar universal
by iloveyou723, Sep 15, 2008
Hi i have been suffereing from derealization for almost 2months now and let me tell you its the scariest thing someone can ever experiance. i feel like nothing is real to me. i constantley ask myself am i really here,am i really doing this. its so hard to control. i feel like it will never go away. i saw a theripist the other day and she helped a little but not much. she told me it was most likey a side effect to the pot i smoked because this didnt happen until that night. if anyone smoked and there probelsm have been happening ever since them please post something.

Avatar universal
by Jesusisthelord, Oct 03, 2008
I have been suffering with this unbeilivably horrifing symptom of derealization and depersonalzation for six months. Mine started shortly after suffering from encephalitis. I wish I could have found this beutiful entry long time ago. But as stated mine has finally left me I noticed it not being with me last night while in the home depot. I don't usually go to the store because I notice it more when looking at items in the store. They seem not real nothing did. Even my wife and four childen seemed dream like. It does go away when the anxiety goes away. Hold on your not going crazy. It will pass. Also I was treated with a antibotic of the quinolone family right before it started. Come to find out it is a hidden side effect of quinalone antibiotics like avelox which is what I took. You can look this info up. Interesting. Has anyone else here remember if you were givin antibiotic around the time of the onset of depersonalzation. Lord bless all of you.

Avatar universal
by Valhalla7, Oct 03, 2008
I've suffered from anxiety/panic disorder for over 20 years. One of my first symptoms was depersonalization and derealization. It was, by far, the most disconcerting experience I've ever faced, I was convinced that I was loosing my mind. It became so bad that, if I was in a a certain low light fluorescent situation, the feeling would be automatically triggered (I lost more than a few future dates because my date couldn't understand how the innocuous light inside the Pizza Hut was causing me intense anxiety)

Talk therapy did nothing to alleviate, I only found solace through medication. For those of you experiencing this disturbing symprtom of anxiety, there are solutions to it. Don't bother going to your family doctor or GP, I wasted 1.5 years hoping they could help. For me, when I finally got over my own social stigma of seeing a psychiatrist/psychopharmacologist, I was finally able to overcome it. I haven't had in years, not since my last "crash". Fortunately, my arch nemesis has been put back in its cage. Don't worry what others may think, do what you have to do for you, to make you better.

To iloveyou723, marijuana is a well known inducer of panic attacks/anxiety, which depersonalization is a symptom of. I never enjoyed pot because I was one of those that it made paranoid. I learned it was actually not good for an anxiety sufferer so I haven't touched it in over 20 years. You may want to give it up as well.

There are plenty of good books out there on anxiety and panic. The one that enlightened me was "The Anxiety Disease by Dr. David Sheehan from 1986. It is terribly out of date in regards to the medications it mentions but it provides a great well of information on anxiety synptoms. Best of all, it's only going for a penny on Amazon in their used books. If you suffer from this disorder, I'd get this book first, read it to get an understanding what you're going through and then get hyself to a psychiatrist. You'll eventually be glad you did, it can be a long process to relief, your mileage may vary.

Avatar universal
by GeorgiM, Nov 09, 2008
Just wondering if my DP/DR will lift after my baby, thats what triggered the inital Panic Attack. I think its so stressful its like i wake up zombie like and its like no one can understand me cause there not really there. Freaky, its so bizzare I understand everything and everyone and can respond to people but its just not right! Does anyone have any helpful hints?

Avatar universal
by jackruss, Nov 11, 2008
my daughter is 18 mnths now and the DP started when she was 5months old. I am still waiting for t to go now. Despite therapy etc it's still with me although a bit more manageable sertraline has also helped a little too but im still always hoping that i will go back to my old self at some point its a frighteneing prospect to have it forever

Avatar universal
by Skoots34, Nov 18, 2008
I have dp and dr sometimes and it is absolutely miserable but it is good to see posts from some of y'all that talk about how it is treatable and curable and it is possible to get over it.  For me, it is usually better when I am distracted because it keeps my mind off it.  Also, I struggle with this myself, but still will tell y'all that I think that proper sleeping habits, proper eating habits not procrastinating with things are some things that I think help with anxiety and panic.  I have a sever panic disorder so I constantly struggle, but I am totally confident I will get through my problems.  Best of luck to all of y'all and please if anyone has tips on helping with dp dr, please post them.  All the best.

Avatar universal
by Vicalli, Nov 21, 2008
I have suffered from this,well at least I think it is this since October last year.Sometimes I feel as if I'm just not here at all and as if I'm on Auto Pilot.It's so frustrating trying to explain to people and they really don't have a clue as to what you're talking about, this then makes me feel silly! Like some people have mentioned my DR seems to intensify when I'm in a room that has fluorescent lights, don't know why but it can be so frightening.I've got to the stage now where I'm not working and find it difficult to go out and socialise as I feel so weird all the time.I'm glad this forum is here and I'm not the only one.Take Care

Avatar universal
by anubha007, Dec 13, 2008
i used to feel like everything around me is a dream.. as if i'm in a different zone..
thats gone now.. now i just feel numb.. i cant feel my emotions anymore.. i deep breathe sometimes , it helps.. will i start feeling normal again ?
after having read ur post, i feel assured that it'll fade away.. i cant believe someone had it for 20 yrs! i'd go mad if i have it for that long!

Avatar universal
by zakkrn, Jan 12, 2009
oh man im so happy to finally find what ive been going through for the past 5 months.
i think i experience more derealization than depersonalization. but i definately do have episodes of depersonalization.but i also get random episodes where it looks like theres a big black dot in the middle of my vision that is enabling me from reading anything, does this happen to anyone else?

Avatar universal
by sticker_note, Jan 13, 2009
Jesusisthelord, i also experienced derealization after having encephalitis. It was a nightmare. I was very sick and dizzy and couldn't stand up, i couldn't walk more than 10 steps and i also felt this horrible horrible state of unreality which i couldn't shake off. I spent a lot of time trying to find someone who felt the same way during encephalitis. And to answer your question, i know about someone who started having the same problem after taking quinolones.


Avatar universal
by chtkk, Jan 15, 2009
I lived through this.In one period of my life I was completely stranger to myself.Even when I was looking at the mirror it was like looking at somebody else.Thnks for the infos at your post.It is very helpful.

Avatar universal
by stacelynn, Jan 24, 2009
Hello! Just like everyone else, I am very happy to have found this website. I thought I was the only person who felt this way. I started to feel like I was going crazy and I'm pretty sure my boyfriend did, too. It's hard to explain it to someone who has never experienced it. They look at you as if you're crazy.

Mine startedright before Christmas. I don't really know what triggered it, but I have been overly stressed at work everyday to the point where I feel like I'm goig to explode. I also was on a couple prescriptions at the time, which I have no idea if that would affect anything or not. I started to convince my self that the overdose I took of flonase (which is how the lovely P.A. who didn't know what she was talking about told me to take it) was the sole cause of it all and that it somehow ruined my brain... (my ridiculous worries are another cause of my anxiety). I constantly worry about dieing, about my boyfriend, my dog, my family, my job.... EVERYTHING. I worry every day when I go to work that something is going to happen to my dog while I'm gone.... it's that bad!

I have been having these feelings of depersonalization and derealization for about a month now. It is driving me crazy. I feel like I don't evne enjoy life... or CAN'T enjoy it anymore. I feel like I'm "not really there." I have a lot of panic attacks, and I am terrified to even leave my apartment alone. I don't even go to church alone anymore.....

I want to take my life back and not let this control me anymore, but I am still working on it. I have been going to acupuncture for stress and anxiety, and I am going to start taking some herbs... I prefer a more natural way.

If anyone has anymore advice... please let me know.

The only advice I have (hopefully it might help SOMEONE reading this) is that I use to constantly think when I had lots of anxiety.... panic.... and this "unreal" feeling that I was going to pass out for sure. I was afraid to walk outside of work to get lunch because I was terrified of passing out. My acunpuncturist told me that if I am healthy and it's just panic and anxiety.... I am not going to pass out from it! When she told me that... I did find some relief from panic. I am still working on the "unreal" feelings, though.

Good luck to everyone! Let's beat this!

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by krismarie, Feb 18, 2009
i was told i had hodgkins diease(cancer) in 2000 and cope very well untill my last treatment of chemotrapy when i just fliped out and every time they tryed to do my treatment i felt like i couldnt breathe in the end they called for a doctor who said it was a panic attack now 9 years on and its only getting worse and the anti depressent dont seem to be helping even though the doctors doubled my medicaltion recently and when i was googleing just how i fill i found out about depersonalization and it fills like a clouds already been lifted because i can now name how ive been feeling for 9 years without feeling like im going mad or thinking that im completely crazy just wondering what helps out there as ive really had enough and really really want help(need help) many thanks kris.

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by beatfreak, Feb 18, 2009
I have had anxiety and panic attacks forever but one day I was sitting at my job (a little shop) by myself just looking out the window. I wasn't stressed, just hanging then I started to panic. I was burning holes in the floor, walking in big circles around the store. It kept getting worse so I got on the phone and called my boss/friend and told her to fly up there because something was wrong. The music on the radio started sounding distorted (like the voices were really whiney or something), then I started to notice the colors in the room changing, my tongue started to feel a little numb, then I really started to freak. My boss got there and mentioned one bad thing she was upset about and not 2 seconds later I fell to the floor. I was sweating profusely, crying uncontrollably, and COULD NOT get up from the fetal position on the floor. My boss even tried to move me onto a blanket, but I was not budging. I was scared to death, literally. I kept looking up at the ceiling and I remember thinking it looked unreal and very scary, this went on for about 2 hours. It kept coming in waves, I would think it was over, then I'd go right back into it. Oh and then my hands and feet went numb. Like a pins and needles feeling that started to travel up my arms  and legs. I really thought I was gonna die. My boss knew I had panic attacks so she figured I could ride it out. I took almost 5 mg of klonipin during this (like 2 then 2 again and it didnt make it stop, but when it finally ended (after 2 hrs)I was very tired feeling. I was truely scared to death, but could hardly speak for fear it would make it worse. This same thing actually happened again on another occasion. I have lived with panic disorder pretty much all my life, but this was way different. ANd I hope it NEVER happens again. Any ideas, has anyone ever experienced this?? Some docs say it could be a seizure but I dont think so cause I never lost  consiousness and because of how long it lasted. Could this have been a bad manic episode?? Please any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Does this sound like derealization or deper. to anyone???

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by krismarie, Feb 19, 2009
i get this alot too but everyone keeps saying its panic attacks but i all so fill theres more to it.

Avatar universal
by stefan374, Feb 20, 2009
marijuana gave an INTENSE panic attack and a horrible feeling of depersonalization/anxiety. The panic has subsided, but the underlying anxiety has remained. I think that after a while of feeling super anxious, your brain kicks in to protect you by making you feel like everything around you, including yourself, is an illusion, a movie, fake. It *****, I wished for the anxiety to be gone, and now all I feel is depressed that everything feels so fake to me. Just don't give into the depersonalization. Things are real, you are real. Things have meaning; you have meaning. Never believe that depersonalization/derealization is trying to show you some greater truth about reality or your self: it's ********. I'm still working through all this stuff, and I truly wish all of you the best of luck. You are not alone and we will all get through this and learn from it. Although I smoked pot for years and loved it, it's simply not worth it to take that gamble. Doesn't this make you appreciate regular, sober, calm life? Yeah, me too.

Avatar universal
by phatnat13, Mar 30, 2009
please read through my story...all comes together....ok so I am 23 years old, and a dancer since I was 3. I have been in the arts and in entertainment since then going on to do other things such as acting and singing and moved to new york city when I was 19, where i lived alone in the bronx while trying to persue my career. I recently had a huge mental/nervous/emotional breakdown in mid January of this year. I realized I had unresolved issues with rejection and abandonment from my parents before I left for new york. I was in denial about myself for 5 years. I suffered depression throughout the 5 years and the years before i left home as well, since the psychological effects of my parents discouragement, rejection and ultimate bashing of my presumed profession and me going out to embark on it damaged me but little did i know it was too much to handle and deal with and i went into a severe 5 year denail unbeounced to me until now. When you are in denial (in my case about really dealing with the abandonment which i didn't because it was too painful) you dont realize you are in denial because u ultimately reject yourself and have nothing but negative thoughts caused by my parents conditioning of that in me. I went into denial as a defense mechanism to deal with the new dilema of living and surviving in the world on your own now with no help, no support, and no backbone in family. Now there was no time to deal with the real me and my issues surrounding me and my life, there was only forget me, I must have been the one to have gotten into this mess myself, not I can only deal with superficial ways of living and survival. So after 5 years I am at work one day in january and something i was doing caught me off guard, i dont remember exactly but i just remember all the commotion surrounding me and my co workers made me flustered and that was the first time i ever had a panic attack. It was massive. Heart racing with palpitations, and heavy breathing, lightheadedness, cant think straight, thought I was losing control, like i would go nuts. It feels like a tailspin cycle that you could go into right away where every other thought or moment that occurs after the one of initial panic will also be panic and never go away. You literally dont know what to do with yourself and go crazier at the thought that there is no escaping it and that you cant actually jump out of your own skin which is what you want to do because it seems like the only thing that would make it stop and go away. Anywayz since that day I have had bouts daily of anxiety and panic at times when its too intense, basically guess what happened, I came out of that denial and "woke up" as I like to call it, you see anxiety sets in when an awareness of your soul sets in and u either know what that awareness is or where it is coming from or you don't. I am convinced that anxiety and panic attacks are triggered by stress, in my case massive stress, of coming out of a huge denial. I don't believe that anxiety and panic come out of nowhere with no eventual fully realized reason and if you have it and don't know the reason, you just haven't found it there is always a reason why we panic and have anxiety even if the reason is underlyingly there and "hidden to you" believe me in order for it to go away you need to get to the source of whats causing the anxiety and panic. If it still baffles you then u are still not in touch with your soul. Listen to yourself, its probably more deeply rooted than you think. I believe that I have post traumatic stress disorder now see because NOW is when i chose to deal with the abandonment which wasn't dealt with then when it happened 5 years ago. Your anxiety could be so deeply rooted u think u have no idea why or where it came from, but u must have an unresolved issue in your life never dealt with, and it doesn't have to be anything that HAPPENED it could even be something that DIDN'T HAPPEN too! For example with me I never had to courage to persue my dream because my denial of myself and the right to live my life as i had originally set out to live it stopped me from going to auditions and fullfilling needs with me. I lost sight of me altogether eventually I also abandoned myself stopped loving myself and went on a downward spiral of self- depletion to the point that I have no idea who I am anymore which causes my anxiety and you could imagine ding ding ding.....depersonalization. My anxiety is about myself and who I am in the world, and that got so lost over the years. I was so convinced of who i was, all my talents and beliefs and self'confidence and self-esteem when I first decided I wanted to be an entertainer in new york and hollywood for the rest of my life it was a strong decision backed by a strong belief that i could do it and that i was so confident in myself that it would happen for me, when the whole world just sees being in movies a fantasy. **** that whose right is it to destroy anybody's dreams anywayz especially not your own two parents. Now I have moved back home after 5 years to take care of my depression and anxiety and finally deal with the abandonment issues with my parents that i never dealt with before. The reason why I didn't come home sooner to do so in my opinion was because my parents were impossible to deal with, until now when things got better for them and they started to come around for me now. I even had my mother arrested in 06 for physically assaulting me and almost sent her to jail, some think that is mean and awful but considering the psychological damage they have caused me ironically enough it took my mother to be physically handcuffed and arrested to realize that is was actually morally and lawfully wrong in society to physically touch someone even when they are your child. Im sorry but I was raised by them never to lay a hand on my parents through respect for them, why past the age of 5 and the occasional booty spankings should I have to take actual assualt at the age of 20 still???  that opened her eyes then, I have been physically, emotionally, and verbally abused by my parents since the age of 13, and guess how it all started....with me admitting my dreams and goals of being an entertainer big mistake when you have two narcissistic parents that are selfish, scared, and insecure themselves that they become such control freaks over a young innocent child and their dreams being in its purest state and vision for them at that time only to be bashed and beating to death with their discouragement and leading up to initial abandonment because of. You could imagine why i felt so raw about really pursuing my dreams when it was the reason it caused me so much pain and abandonment in the first place. I rejected my dreams but i was the vision in my dream so then I rejected myself too because so much of entertainment was who i am.

Okay so now i am home and finally dealing my anxiety and panic still persist and I need to now seek treatment and therapy which i pray to God helps because i don't feel like myself (suffering depersonalization) being that i don't even know who i am anymore. That dream that vision is so lost at the moment buried in resentments and depression and now the anxiety I feel like i dont know whats going on anymore i am still in shock or shaken up or something, with this anxiety I cant seem to see past tomorrow, my life changed completely and I feel trapped with no where to go, no means of who i am anymore to pick up the pieces that shattered totally starting with the day of my first panic attack and slowly it all unraveled from there with each day realizing more and more why the anxiety was really maifesting for me. remembering and  having flashback of things I forgot about good and bad and ultimately realizing that i was so unhappy alone and in the bronx alone and scared not dealing properly and not going anywhere just idling is what i like to call it, all leading up to this time where i realize my goals would have never been pursued in that "place i was within me" where i see now i would have had to resolve my issues in order to then get out of my own way and then move ahead and forward. these issues i never dealt with kept me in my own way of pursuing the dream, and i stopped myself. I then became even more depressed when the things i onced loved and couldn't live without which were such a big part of who i was, i could no longer feel good or comfortable doing and it sadened me because i thought i hated those things then, I had turned against myself and my need to entertain and enjoy it, i really dont believe i lost interest or started to hate those things, i think i had hard feelings about them because of what it all caused and now if i can just get over the anxiety and depression i can get out of my own way for good, reconcile with my parents, and learn to love what i do, who i am, and who i am in what i do once again so i can finally have my life.

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by nursegirl6572, May 12, 2009
I am so thankful for all the contributions to this journal.  It just goes to show you just how NOT alone we are when it comes to this stuff.  And it gives us all hope, knowing that others have overcome!

Avatar universal
by shanmcdonagh, Jun 08, 2009
wow..i am truly blown away by all these posts!!..i have suffered for so many years with depersonalisation and panic attacks i honestly felt as though i was the only one and that i was slowly going insane because nobody understood what i was going through when i would try explain the symptoms!!..their reactions would send me spiralling even deeper into this dark frightening hole almost confirming that i was losing my mind!! is honestly the scariest feeling i have ever known and brings bout of depression along with it as you consume yourself and obsess about it and how things will never appear 'normal' again!!..i had my first experience when i was 11,now 32 i have done tons of research and am really quite surprised at how common it seems amongst GAD sufferers and that it is a very normal experience when one suffers from an anxiety disorder!..i have been on medication for 10 years and although it has helped a whole lot,i find that i still have episodes which appear out of the blue.This scares me into thinking that i am going to relapse and go back to where i was at my worst! to go out,to leave the house,to go to work etc..that for me was so frightening,the thought of returning to that dark place is not even an option.I do battle to keep my thoughts positive sometimes..the power of the mind is unbelievable.Negative thoughts are so consuming that they only add to your anxiety..hard to distract yourself though and to think that the feeling will pass when it feels so scary.Anyway i am thrilled that it is a well documented symptom of anxiety and that we can take comfort in knowing that we are not alone.It is a very common symptom and NOT dangerous,as horrific as the experience may seem!!..wish everyone luck..we are all on the same road to recovery!!

Avatar universal
by lostgrl204, Jul 12, 2009
I have been dealing with depersonalization, since i was in the 9th grade about 14 or 15 years old (now im 18, first year in college).I have been dealing with anxiety since the 3rd grade when i found out i was going to die, i would cry every night hyperventalating not knowing what was going on, my parents thinking i was having an asthma attack! But now i know i was just having anxiety attacks. I remember as a young child i would actually get glimpses of dp/dr!!!! I would think to myself, whoah that looked super real and stare at it for as long as i could then it would
go away...I would even tell my mom about it but she just thought i didnt know what i was talking about, (i was probably like 6).
But i really hate it you know, i cry all the time because i dont know what to do, I seem to only want to sleep during the day because i feel better that people are awake, but it depresses me when i stay up all night , all a bad insomniac! Ive read posts and it says the cure is to not think about it and ive tried but it doesnt work! i dont know what im doing wrong. Its like when i dont think about dp/drthe anxiety lessens but that dp/dr is sitting there laughing in the back of head.
Nobody understands what i am going through, my famiy is actually full of people that are anxiety sufferers but they seem to wnt to compare there depression to mine, then try and say there depression is much worse than mine,,, i mean come on! i dont want to hear that! i want you to help me!
Ive seen a counselor and that did no good, because i am a shy person, and it brings on more anxiety for me to tell my problems to a stranger.
Ive had plenty of panic attacks in my day (including one very embarassing one at six flags!) but i have actually learned to control those thanks to The Linden Method, but it didnt help me with my dp! And on top of that i am a hypochondriac and at constant worry of having a tumor(because i constantly suffer from headaches), heart problems, lung problems, ahh!! I just dont know what to do. I just really want to know of someone who has gotten over this, and tell me exactly how!! Please i beg of you, 3 years ive had this, and i dont know how much more i can take.
When i sleep my mind is at race, and theres no stopping it, i wake up like i never even slept, and with headache because i stressed so much when i was asleep.

I feel numb, i feel no emotion, when i do have emotion i try and hold it as long as i can before it leaves, i overeat, i feel as if someone could stab me and i wouldnt feel a thing. Everything is so cartoonish, flat, like my hand would go through it as if i were a ghost. Am i ghost? Am i dead and i dont know it? Is God testing me? Am i special on this Earth? Thse are the kind of thoughts that go through my head every day!!!!! I sometimes seem to not recognize myself in the mirror, my family, when of course subconciously i know who everyone is, but then i start getting scared that i wont recognize them permanently...
I think this feeling came when i smoked weed, i had smoked it plenty of times before, until one night i did it, and boy did i trip out! I was running everywhere thinking i was going to die, and i did not recognize anything or anyone, it took me an hour just to lay down and TRY and sleep...when i woke up, it ws still there,yet i was able to control it, and its been like that ever since and its killing me inside, The same thing happened to my uncle as well when he was younger. I was so happy when i found out was wrong with me, i was just searching through the internet one day and found it! Now i know im not crazy, but ts not as easy as it looks for the simple fact that i still think that im going crazy every day!!!
If i ever do get rid of this, im going to make sure that i help anyone i can with this condition because it is one of the scariest things that i have ever gone through in my life!
It really makes me sad to see people at school with no worries, partying, no care in the world, just overall happy!
Ive tried to have friends but at the end of the day i push em away and i dont know y.
I almost didnt graduate because of dp/dr because i wouldnt go to school!!
I had to force myself.
Now a days i cant keep my job, friends,boyfriend, or being happy. =(
All i want is the old days back, what i would do for the old days,,,,,I want to cure this before it ruins anymore of my life, i want to have some real fun~!
I want kids one day, and a husband, but honestly i dont see that in my future until i get rid of this,
someone please help me please! I cry as im writing because thats how desperate i sorry for writing so much, but even at the end of this post all i have to say is IGNORANCE IS BLISS...

God bless you all.

Avatar universal
by ashley9, Jul 15, 2009
Hey i have been dealing with this for a long time now too. I do sometimes feel like i do not want to go out because i almost know i will get DR/DP. I also sometimes have it like constantly, and i just want to feel the same i did before. DOES ANYONE KNOW OR CAN ANYONE OFFER TIPS THAT THEIR COUNSELOR/PSYCHIATRIST GAVE YOU THAT HAS HELPED YOU IN ANY WAY? OR JUST ANY OTHER TIPS THAT YOU KNOW?


Avatar universal
by stressed2Dmax, Jul 27, 2009
Thank you, thank you, thank you ...... I thought I was crazy. This is the first time I read that someone else is affected by fluorescent light. I have been in so many fights with my mom to change the lights in her house, she just couldn’t understand. I get this weird feeling, I just need to escape. I avoid it at all cost. Does anyone have a theory of why this occurs?

You guys are my lifeline

Avatar universal
by GS123, Aug 06, 2009
I suffered from this for last 2 years constantly and off and on for about 2-3 years before. im now 18 years old and i put my middle finger up to this illness because the more you get upset and dwell on it the worse and longer it will stay ! im now in a place which i got help from a councler that i know why its there, what it is and finaly how to deal with it.

Sometimes pain and being upset is enevitable .. but misery is an option .. when your feeling shit and down GET UP AND DO SOMETHING that is the some of the best advice ive been given.


My father is a G.P and a very good 1 aswell, this illness effects mainly youngsters teens to early twenties after that rare case in only a few people.

I KNOW IT WILL GO AWAY, NO MATTER WHAT IT WILL !! And i am looking forward to that day when im better, im not getting upset or worrying now because its going to go away, maybe next week, maybe in a year, maybe in 5 years ! but it will go :)

I was so bad couple years ago that family would have to hold me down whilst i had a panic attack from the d.p d.r because i wanted to do something bad.  I have had the most inapropret thoughts and images in my mind so im not another person telling you youll be ok that knows NOTHING about what it really feels like.

Go out and try to have fun even if you dont end up having fun its better that sitting at home on the edge of your seat worrying about how you are feeling.

I can feel myself getting better (and one day you will to) and thats because of the help i recieved and my fighting mentality against this nasty defence.

I hope im putting encouragment into all you sufferers heart not to belive this is it for the rest of my life because it definatly aint you will be 1000 times stronger when you get better belive me :)

God Bless

Avatar universal
by saberd, Aug 08, 2009
thank you so much i had a feeling that this will never change and i ahve suffered with anxiety for years before and didnt expierence this until a few months ago and it freaked me out.everyday i feel this way but to know that it will go away helps alot!

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by saberd, Aug 08, 2009
and btw it all started a night i smoked marijuana too so no one is alone on that.i just want this to go away so i cna get back to my normal life and make kids and be happy.i hope it does!

Avatar universal
by eleyeahthatsme, Aug 13, 2009
il try and keep this short as you probably get hundreds of messages! But firstly id like to say a MASSIVE thank you for putting the time and effort into explaining this for people like me who have this problem- good karma will come your way! I have been having both experiences on and off for five years now, it was the most petrifying thing for me at first, so bad that I hardly told anyone as i was so worried it was something really serious like a brain tumour! and i even didnt go to the doctors about it as I was convinced I had a really rare disease that even they wouldnt know about! i had never heard of any one else having this kind of problem and have searched and searched on the internet but finally I have found your info so once again thank you SO MUCH!

over the past 5 years i have managed to make the trippy outty feeling feel alot more manageable by telling myself to just "ride it out" since once your in it theres nothing you can do and so you might as well not worry about it. the thing is....when it first started happening i swear (as far as i can remember) i didnt feel like i was worrying about anything before it happened!? but then obviously once it is happening its difficult not to worry.....does this sound strange to you or do you think there was a part of me that was anxious with out me even bein conscious of it? But then again I do have to admit that I was smoking weed at the time- I have quit now because I am guessing it must have been the weed that was inducing this state. Do you know whether I am likely to be lucky that these horrible experiences will ever stop?

[email protected] (if any one else has any answers or advice feel free to email me also) THANK YOU X X

Avatar universal
by Ruby999, Sep 02, 2009
Hi I too suffered derealization after lupus encephalitis and it was my second episode - the first one being eight years ago aged 23, now 31 . . .

Very very frightening the whole thing but after the acute encephalitis wanes a bit the DR/DP seemed to just go on and on . . .. ..  for me then turned into agitated depression which was also scary and a first time for that as well.  My anxiety was sky-high.  I could not settle to ANYTHING!

I commenced citallopram and that helped the depression and panic.

And counselling to try and get over the 'trauma' of the encephalitis which is terrifying experience as well.

And I was in ITU in March/April this year, husband had to give up work May - Sept, he just gone back to work and I feel 95% back to normal and most (99%) of DR /DP gone!

So hang in there.  I thought it was never going to go.

I felt my arms were somehow separate to me, I could not feel hot or cold, nor hungry or thirsty, everyting, even my voice was 'distant', I felt 'automatic' and could not 'feel' anything.  The DP/DR itself made me anxious and depressed - I hated it in 2001 and this time I recognised it straight away - it really IS like a form of torture and I HATE it.

I have also been diagnosed with severe PTSD - after encephalitis and lots of physical illness and apparently DP/DR common in PTSD.

The docs think mine started though with the delirium with encephalitis and then took ages to 'wear' off but wear off it most certainly DOES!

My heart honestly goes out to ALL of you.  It actualy breaks my heart to think of all of us suffering with this awful, misunderstood, condition.  The brain eventually adapts and sorts it out.

My advice : try and find situations where it is 'less' or at least you notice it less.  Do more and more of this and these activities - try and avoid the situations that make it worse.  As you improve, challenge yourself a little but go -easy, your brain is very adaptable but it needs time to reconnect . . .  and it will - the brain is constantly trying to right itself and it is working for you not against you.  Try and reduce stress as much as possible.  Get a counsellor, take an SSRI if you can.  And have faith in you (and your God if you have one) that it WILL go.

i give you all thanks for bringing up this vital topic - thank you so much

love Cathy x

Avatar universal
by kecar, Sep 08, 2009
I've been suffering from dp/dr for about four months now. I believe the onset occurred with a panic attack, but I didn't recognize what it was at the time.  I felt I was going to go crazy and totally lose control of myself.  Everything felt unreal, alien, like I had entered into a dream world.  I initially thought I could sleep it off, but was incredibly panicked to find that hadn't gone anywhere when I awoke.  I thought I had some rare disease or something else that would be very difficult to diagnose. Reading some discussion boards online made me panic even more. I was afraid to tell anyone because I didn't think they would understand.  

I have felt incredible isolation and depression.  I had actually started seeing a therapist a month before for depression, which definitely intensified after the depersonalization/derealization.  I find it to be absolutely debilitating and frightening at times.  Other times I don't really notice it, and have been able to enjoy myself.  But it still constantly in my thoughts, and although thinking about it only makes it worse, I think we all know how difficult it is to not think about it when it becomes the lens through which you perceive the world.  

I just want to feel like myself again.  I know that I would have a new appreciation for life and feeling connected to the world if I did.  I also really appreciate knowing that other people suffer from this too.  It is by far the most isolating thing I have ever experienced (or care to experience for that matter).  It feels better knowing you're not alone, but I definitely wish there was more research/understanding of it whether it is linked with anxiety or a disorder of its own! (Come on science!)

Things that help:

- Reduce stress
- The the health trifecta:  Eat well, sleep enough, and exercise
- Go out with friends and continue to do the activities you enjoyed before
- See a therapist and go on medication if you think it would help you
- Don't smoke marijuana, especially if anxiety is difficult for you
- Adopt the "all things must come to pass" mindset, as difficult as it seems at times!
- Be gentle and patient with yourself

I say this for myself and anyone else reading this: stay positive and best of luck!

Avatar universal
by helpmeplz101, Jan 21, 2010
hey i have had what i think is dp/dr for about a week and a half now and i dont see how all of you can live with it for more than a month it is just tormenting me could this feeling of unreality actually be vitamin b12 deffitciancy i just got blood work taken today  i  am a 14 year old male could my exams that are in just a few days trigger this and will it go away after exams plz help me i just want to be normal again and i have had anxiety attacks i think but not anymore i just have this sensation but ive always been a little paranoid

Avatar universal
by kaylee120, Jan 31, 2010
thanks 2 everyone 4 being so honest on here its really helped me, i am scared how long it will last its been a week and its driving me mad i have hardly left th house i feel 2 scared, even though i know nothings going to happen 2 me th outside world feels 2 strange and unreal 2 b in, people talking around me seems 2 hard 2 cope with, everyday activites which should b easy seem so hard , i have 2 little boys and it upsets me 2 b like this when i need 2 b (normal) 4 them i get upset and anxious then, its just one big circle x

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by BonitaMami, Feb 04, 2010
Thanks everyone I,ve been going through postpartum depression anxiety and its a nightmare.I fill like i,ve lost my mind or just getting ready to die.I have horrible headaches, blurred vision,nausea,and chest pains,body aches. I,ve been on paxil but quit 3 weeks ago because It made me fill horrible now I just take xaxax as needed. But I have not took one for 2 weeks and I fill like i am getting ready to check into a mental hospital.This is the most scary thing i,ve ever delt with and i hope it goes away fast.Its been six months since i had my baby and still i fill that iam never going to recover.Trust me i understand what everyone is going through its scary Its like being in a dream and hoping you will wake up... GOOD LUCK EVERYONE

Avatar universal
by sarah514, Feb 21, 2010
I've had derealization, from what i can remember probably since summer 2009. Although i think i had it before, because of high levels of stress and anxiety. And over time it got worse because i was smocking pot. I only realized something was different around October, and just thought i was still baked or something so i didn't think much of it. In late November i started thinking about it more, but it still wasn't bothering me that much. In December I finally started reasearching stuff, and thought i was going insane and started freaking out. For about two or three days i actually thought i was developping a mental ilness; untill i discovered what derealization was.

After that i calmed down a bit, but after a week or so when it didn't go away i freaked out again. Then i started to experience levels or depression and getting through each day was quite difficult.I kept on thinking it wasn't going to go away, EVER! I didn't know what the cause of my derealization was,i just thought it was because i bad tripped on pot and it just builded up over time. But i think back and im pretty sure, even before i started smocking i would experience small episodes of derealization, but they would only last a day or so and then fade away. So it was deffinetly the stress, because i experienced a lot last year and then smocking made it worse.

Once i figured this out ( which was about last week) i found it much easier to forget about the whole derealization thing. I was actually having normal thoughts again about normal stuff that would go on in my day to day life instead of constantly thinking about the sensation. I was laughing again, and enjoying life, things started to feel uplifting again and life began to look more real. I didn't question if this was all in my imagination anymore! And i actually wanted to go out, because i thought it would increase my improvement. So i went out. But i don't know what happened. I was getting back to normal again for a whole week! But then, while i was out i saw this person; well lets say causes me a lot of anxiety, and i am convinced they were the start of my derealization. After i saw them, i realized the feeling was coming back, and i started to freak out, realising what was happening and boom! It was bad again.

So that happend this friday (feb 19) and today it's sunday (feb 21) and im not sure if it's as bad as it was, since i can't remember. But i know i can distract myself easier than i could before, although im not as good as i was last week, since i feel defeated. I do know i can get back to normal, i saw the light and i think we call can. You just need to laugh about it, i know it's hard; as i feel right now. But think of it more of as a challenge. That " you can get through this" and " you wont let it control your life". And when you do get back to normal it will be the greatest thing in the world. And that won't happen if your always mopping around! That's what im trying to do right now. Also, i've learned that forgetting about the sensation isn't something that just comes to you right away, it's something you have to achieve. It has taken me several months to be able to distract myself, but don't get discouraged because you will be able to do it. And when you do the feeling will evertually fade and you wont be able to remember that period of time where everything felt strange and you felt alone. Good luck to everyone, i hope you get better! :)  

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by always_jessica, Feb 25, 2010
I am so happy that I found this ! It's such a blessing knowing that there are quiet a few people that suffer from this and it's not just me. I had my first panic attack 2 years ago when I was 15. . .it was absolutly horrible especially not knowing what the heck was the matter with me. Me and my family are very close and I immediatly told my mom what was going on and that I felt completly unreal,out of it,scared to death, and felt like I was going utterly insane. I was having quiet a few heart palpatations and so I saw a cardiologist...that was a waste. I was layed out, scared to death for a month and didn't come out of it completly until probably 4 months. When I was less tired and realized it was a panic attack I saw that depersonalization and derealization are both symptoms...I didn't read into it because it made me nervous and I didn't want my anxiety to come back because I was getting better! So it's been two years and over the time I sort of just laughed it off what had happend to me. This last sunday I had another horrible panic attack and scared the living crap out of me. I was just at home and my whole family was over having was just too much, I got the chills,my heart was pumping out of my chest, and I could have thrown up. Since then I've been so scared and so tired from this...really the only thing I feel that matters is my relationship with God....I've been praying more than ever. After doing alot of research about this symptom and realizing that I'm not going crazy my anxiety is going down, but is still there's so hard to try and not let this thing rule over me! I can't stand it, I just want it to dissapear. It's probably one of the scarriest thing a person can go threw. But you know what don't let this demon of a feeling take a foot hold of you. I just keep telling myself that everything matters...there is love,joy,happiness, and so many lovely and beautiful things to see in this world!
Thanks everyone for sharing your really has helped me see that i'm not going mad.

xoxo jessica

Avatar universal
by orangesmarties, Feb 28, 2010
It's so comforting to read so many similar experiences with these symptoms especially as its something that can be so isolating and lonely at the time even if you're surrounded by people trying to help... they aren't inside your head and most of the time the only people that can understand are those who have been there themselves.
I've been experiencing anxiety/depression for about a year now, have had random panic attacks and feelings of derealization and know how overwhelming these negative thoughts can be. My experience may be different to others in the way it seemed to appear suddenly and apparantly from nowhere... I didn't have any major things in my life or stresses to speak of but one particuarly bad panic attack left me with derealization which in turn convinced me that I was completely losing control which in turn worsened the anxiety... and the vicous circle began. I have never taken any medication or spoke to any therapists as of yet but I have managed to control these feelings (most of the time) through learning about them and reading other people's accounts like the one's on this site.
I know that everyone differs in what is and isn't helpful in dealing with this as everyone's anxiety is unique to them, but to anyone reading this after suffering from overwhelming feelings of fear, panic, paranoia or "losing control" for the first time... YOU ARE NOT GOING CRAZY and YOU ARE NOT DYING, the symptoms you are feeling are your bodies reaction to fear (whether you're aware of the cause of the fear or not) usually due to negative thought patterns that manifest, when your brain get afraid it realeases adrenaline (called 'fight or flight' left over from times when humans where more animalistic and needed to fight larger animals) this is what causes the phisical symptoms of panic  such as a racing heart, blurred vision, tense muscles, shortness of breath, etc all designed to help us in nature but with our modern lives and self aware brains are just unpleasant and annoying. The derealization is a your brains natural coping mechanism evolved to 'protect' itself from distress if these feelings of panic are not resolved (its own form of escapism) however appears to be abit of a deisgn flaw as this itself can be more distressing than the actual cause of the fear, but is harmless and once you find your own way of releaving your anxiety and changing negative thought cycles then these feelings wil follow ( I know its easier said than done) Its like a bully the more you try and fight or ignore it the worse it will get... you have to find a way to take the power away. I find any sort of physical outlet is the best for me this is normally anything that feels like an escape like running, swimming, crying or sometimes just going into my car and screaming as loud as I can... anything that confronts these feelings and give them an outlet. Also relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga have hepled me (I try and visualise all my worries/concerns collecting into a big ball... the bigger the better... and pushing the ball out of my body whilst practicing deep breathing... sounds silly but it has worked for me in some dark moments...)
I hope something there has helped someone I just would have loved someone to say that to me a year ago... There is hope there and you can feel normal again... you just need to find a way of changing thought patterns and not give the fear credibilty as a disease that you can't fight because in the end its only with yourself. These things have helped me through some very tough events this year which normally would have triggered my anxiety but anything can be dealt with by taking it one day at a time and trying to live in the present as much as possible, not worry about the future or obsess about the past.. if you can do this anything is possible.

Avatar universal
by scrane555, Mar 05, 2010
ive felt really weird the past week.  last week i had two really big exams and took adderall with little sleep and food for three days.  i dont normally take adderall, i just thought it would give me a boost to get through studying.  this past week i have daily gone through extreme mood swings.  i wake up and feel like im not apart of the world and i am just here, and completely lonely.  however sometimes i will feel completely normal and forget what its like to feel this weird perspective of life.  however when i am in this weird lonely/movie like state i dont remember what its like to feel normal even though a couple hours earlier i was fine.  its driving me crazy and its only been 7 days.  i feel if i have no control over my emotions.  from reading blogs and web md sites depersonalization nails every symptom on the dot.  i just dont know if other people experience it coming and going daily.  i have never experienced depression and have a wonderful life with no traumatic instances to trigger depression.  im just really confused and feel helpless as ive never felt anything remotely like this before.  if anyone has anything to relate to this or anything to help it would be great. thank you.

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by WendyLady03, Mar 18, 2010
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! It's so nice to get some info on this stupid thing I've been feeling.

Avatar universal
by Orsetto, Mar 26, 2010
I suffer from anxiety and was relieved to know other people have these similar experiences. I thought I was going crazy. It just seems so unfair that you can your life "normal" and one day poof...these crazy thoughts and experiences of dp/dr. I'm not sure if my case is quite the same however. Some unput is appreciated. It's like I've lived my 28 previous years "normal" then all of a sudden scared to be "just me"....meaning my normal routine and daily funtions just came and went for years (I'm aware of everything) and then all of a sudden things seem so unfamiliar and scary....and I'm scared thinking omg its "me and only me living MY life"...kinda like the world I have lived for all these years was like a third party view. I tell myself its ALWAY been you(me) so chill out. It appears that this seems to be derealization and more so depersonalization. I'm glad i exsist and obviously cause if I didnt I wouldnt be here, but all of a sudden these crazy thought, panic attacks, and feelings of un normalness overtook me.Please provide feedback :)

Avatar universal
by Orsetto, Mar 26, 2010
Furthermore, (I was kinda in a hurry for a sec), I should express that I love life and am glad I am here. I could (and have) had panic attacks about dying, one day ceasing to be here, etc etc, so why all of a sudden am I scared to be here (so to speak) I have everyday stresses as everyone else, but dont have any temptations to kill myself or the like. It just feels as If I was just placed here today, 28 yrs later, and am like wtf now? I have recollection of all my past and know eveything how I got to this point, but as I stated above I'm assuming that's the "normal" feeling of everyday life just going with the flow not thinking "weird" and thinking about everything as I'm doing it. I think about everything as I'm doing it "am i really showering(I know I am) (I) really am in the car basically just feels as if life NOW is a dream and I'm kinda just up and moving with it. I can carry conversations and such but everything just seems so "different". I take Lexapro and have been taking xaxax as this whole unfamilair, omg its MY life, thing is making me lose my appetite, not want to funtion in my everyday actitvites that I once enjoyed(and therefore did on a daily basis). I know I'll get better but I cant seem to stop thinking these intrusive thoughts which turns to panic, therefore the sensations of the unfamiliar un realistic surroudings. Someone please re assure me this is normal as I know everyone else in world (millions and millions) are just them as well! I seem to be better at night and "go with the flow per normal" but when I awake in the morning....bam, yup its still me and things seem so out of ordinary. :)

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by nursegirl6572, Mar 26, 2010
Thank you EVERYONE for your contributions.  It helps people so much to be able to learn more about these things....and know that what they are going through is something common that other people are dealing with too!!  I still say, that for ME, DR was one of the most frustrating symptoms of panic disorder....and I'm glad when it finally dissipates.  

I invite anyone to comment,share their experiences with others here...including any tips on coping with DP and DR.

Thank you again...wishing you all peace in your day!

Avatar universal
by jj4521, Mar 28, 2010
I am feeling the same way everyone else has for the last year or so.  It's viscous at points, but I keep telling myself "It's not just me".  Sometimes it just lifts away and i can go on doing all the "fun" things in life and other times it makes sitting still and watching TV tough.  I had this once in my life 8 years ago and it went away so that gives me hope that it will go away again.  All in all, it ***** but Im trying to take vitamins (Fish oil, B12) and keep active.  It just has got to the point where I feel like it should have gone away.  Anyone have some daily routines that help them deal?

Avatar universal
by cjay15, Apr 02, 2010
I have DP and its caused my life to change drastically. I noticed that things didn't seem right. i had an out of body experience or am having an out of body experience and im always tired. i can sleep probably for 3 days straight without waking up thats how i feel. i started to go on a vitamin diet. i took 3 omega 3's a vitamin D3 ummm 4 vitamin C a Multivitamin and one pill of Iron i took iron once every 3 to 4 days. things were starting to go good until i went over to my friends and stayed up all night and smoked at least 6 cigarettes threw the night and i slept for maybe 2 hours. and when i got home i threw up and passed out. now it seems like things have gotten worse and it feels like time has been flying past me so fast that an hour goes by within 15 mins and its scary. so now im going to stick to the vitamin routine and keep my health good. I am 15 yrs old and i have had DP for 3 weeks.

APRIL 2, 2010

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by colly25, Apr 04, 2010
I suffered from derealization when i was in my final year of secondary school when the pressures of GCSE's started to build up. Because of this i had to drop out of most of my subjects, and what few GCSE's i did do i failed. I left school with no GCSE's, i experience derealization from time to time, i cant deal with stress and thus im now branded a failure, all my friends from school are doing well for themselves and me.. im working a dead end job in i dirty stinking factory. And i cant better myself because my brain wont allow me! And on top of that my doctor put me on antidepressants which then made me impotent which then caused further anxiety when it came to women. Its a vicious cycle in all aspects of my life

Avatar universal
by miki3d, Apr 05, 2010
I believe I was taught much of the beliefs that were the basis of my DR/DP by my parents, relatives, and spiritual community.  I also had a genetic background from both parents of various anxiety mixed with mild hypomanic goal orientations that emphasized perfection instead of accepting high average goals for themselves and me. I am now
60 years old and suffered living out side reality in my mind's eye.  This posting area is such a help to me and has come to my attention because my daughter has had this diagnosis and a PTSD diagnosis, anxiety, dysthemia or depression, bipolar, etc even though she has functioned at a very high professional level in the work place and in her religious community.  Now I am committed to doing more research and this series of postings has made me so aware of my own background.  Some major resouces have been available to me in addition to these postings that touch me deeply.
First is love from many sources that has lifted many times beyond myself!  I had to mature in the concepts of love for nature including other people and myself in all the degrees of averageness rather than stress over normal imperfections.
I just read that the greatest spiritual leaders found wisdom frequently while taking time to appreciate sitting under a tree, etc.  I can recall magnificent experiences of the senses of nature at times, but I have to will this action within myself.
I just did a web serch on DR/DP and was amazed at the resources full of ideas and research.  The online encyclopedia that I will avoid naming had an extremely long and detailed article that almost turned me off by it's extensiveness! It was somewhat overwhelming and I felt the DP feeling of watching my body watching the computer. Because of my many years of living with these systoms, I am more accepting of these feelings and realize that it's ok to be destracted by these feelings and go ahead and persue my goal of learning more and coping to help my daughter, myself and others.
The most informative hyperlink for me was to Locus of Control which is a very long  article with many links and specifically clinical testing resources and spiritual concepts that may be possible lack of belief in our own abilities to set goals and accomplish them without Devine permission.  No I am not agnostic or antispiritual.  To the other extreme I believe our universe is way more than our limited minds and bodies.  I just have had recognition of my own goal setting and accomplishments of partial planned actions that had positive outcomes.  Not just the scarry failures we are all bound to encounter. Thomas Edison failed tens of thousands to get a usable filament for the light bulb, before he got a partial solution.  I had trouble with fluorescent lighting over my study desk and called it to the attention of someone that I can no longer remember and was amazed that the bulb was quickly changed to a soft fluorecent and that was back in the late 1960's. That was West Virginia University and I went on to graduate top of my Finance Class and top of my Army ROTC.
Many of my friends died in that unpopular war and I saw some of my dorm friends tear gassed in front of the student union as the protested the war.  Those protesters saved my life as the war ended just 2 days before I had orders to go and I was given the choice to either make combat part of a military career as a Regular Army Officer or an Inactive Reserve Officer.  Please consider self empowering resources like free NAMI peer-to-peer and NAMI family-to-family training programs.  Their weekly group meetings were obsessively attended by me and I reluctantly accepted the honor of being trained and certified as a facilator of these meetings.  I am expecially thankful for another resource at which is based on computer accesed printable "terms" and "tools" to help sensitive people practice rather than just read brief positive affirmations relating to ideas that"Our feelings will trick and decieve us", that "we must be patient patients" and that "we must realize that our feelings will run their course" when we make little efforts to let them just happen.  "High average" is more comforting than frustration of distressing over lack of perfection. Other people will be "their average" and when we allow them than we can focus on our own goalsetting and not be so distracted by all the outside me stuff.  Doctor Abraham Low and many of his family spared NAZI death and dedicated his life to his patients and their possibility to help themselves with wisdom "tools" that had to practiced in everyday life.
The system is so simple but the practice takes effort. May you have the will to endorsing yourselves for each and every partial effort even when small efforts don't immediately have miraculous results.  "Endorse for effort: not for results!" and take life in "part acts" to be parts of larger goals.  I have panic everytime I go down a bit of snow or ice because it is not totally controllable.  Moreover, the beauty and challange has developed skills for me, and I have known "Exuberance" as Dr. Kay Jamison wrote about her own illness in her book. Many of these books were at my library request and on discount at major internet book sites. Group meetings by phone or in person and postings such as these continue to be of unimaginagle aid.  Thank you all!

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by leesha09, Apr 27, 2010
it feels sooo good to know that im not the only who gets this. i first started experiencing derealization about a year ago.. and im 15 now. everything seemed to unreal, like i was in a dream. i thought i was going to die. it occurs often, but sometimes i get really bad episodes and i dont know what to do. i was walking with my friends one time and it hit me so bad. i had to sit down right where i was. i was scared to even stand up. it gets very frusterating when no one knows what im talking about. the feeling is so hard to explain, but its by far the scariest thing ever. im making an appt. with my doctor to see what he considers. my mom thinks i should acupuncture? by the way i am a nervous person, and i worry a lot. i dont have any "disorders" but i might have slight anxiety.

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by nikki123547, May 12, 2010
Is it possible that the derealization causes the panic attacks and anxiety?Also-my derealization "episodes"feel like the world doesnt exist-is tihs also common?

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by missbumblebee, May 13, 2010
nikki12347--i would say it's very common.. derealization is feelings of the world looking unreal/fake. like you're in a dream or have that Alice in Wonderland feeling and this life doesn't feel real. but it is. And when i felt unreal i would  get so disturbed by it i would get panic attacks and things start to look more unreal! lol. but things will get better... they did for me..well i'm still suffering some bt i'm happy now.=D. you just need to be positive.. even though it hurts sometimes.. =] take care.

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by mrsabs29, May 13, 2010
Hi everyone!  What a relief to know that I am not alone:)  I'm 29 years old and am brand new at experiencing anxiety/depression.  It all started on Easter of this year.  I spent the day with my husband and family.  everything was great until the night when I tried to sleep.  I have had insomnia in the past but never like this!  The insomnia continued for three days straight when I couldn't take it anymore and went to the doctor.  I told him I was having severe anxiety about not sleeping and having feelings of slight depression.  I cracked it up to the insomnia but he immediately put me on both celexa and zanax!  I have only used klonopins in the past and otc sleep meds before when I had sleeping issues.  To say the least I experienced the worst feeling in the world two days after I started the meds.  Depersonalization!!  I felt like I couldn't go on.  I thought I was dying or that I was going to hurt myself.  I had and am still having severe separation anxiety from my husband and couldn't even go to work.  It was the scariest feeling ever to see my life thru my eyes but not feel there at all.  I freaked out so bad I had my husband check me into the ER!!  I'm a very healthy individual and would never check myself into the ER unless it was serious.  I told my husband I think I'm going crazy and that I'm dying.  I was so scared and it seemed like no one could understand.  They gave me more meds at the hospital and I am here 6 weeks later still not sleeping.  My husband lost his job within a few days of all this happening.  He is the bread winner and it was a shock to try and live on no money now.  My job is thankfully here still but he can't find work.  I have some good days but more worrying all the time.  I tell myself every night that I will stop taking sleeping meds but I can't seem to get off of them. I am abusing them so bad that I never know if I will wake up the next day or sleep at all.  Most days I can't remember if I slept or not.   The feelings of dp come and go almost evryday.  Seems like my life is not my own anymore.  It's just so hard when everything is the way it is and then I snapped for some reason.  I don't have a history of anxiety/depression and I have been thru some pretty bad stuff in my past , but never let it get to me.  I hate it that I don't feel like me.  I prey all the time for everyone with nerves/anxiety/depression.  Its so easy to judge someone until you are in those shoes and they suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   God Bless to all and thank you forever for my husband!!  I love you so much and hang on to this tight rope I feel I am walking on all for you:)

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by beccie564, May 16, 2010
Hi everybody I have definatly found comfort from reading everyones posts, im not sure if its derealisation i am suffering from but lately I have been feeling spaced out and as though everything is just a dream, i have to remind myself I am here. These feelings are making me miserable and taking the enjoyment out of my life, I don't know what to do. I had similar feelings to this a few years ago when i was 17 and the GP diagnosed it as anxiety/depression although i felt that the only reason i was feeling depresed and anxious was because of the feeling of being in a dream like state. Is this how everybody else feels? I just want the feeling to pass so i can get on with my life xx

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by davers716, May 18, 2010
Hello everyone, i came across this site while searching for information on Dp/Dr, and let me tell you, im in love with it! First, ill tell you my story. A little over a year ago i was experimenting with shrooms for the first time and went through something known as a "bad trip".  I felt awful the whole time and all i could think about was how i couldnt wait until i came down from the drugs effects.  About 7 hours after taking the shrooms i came down from the effects and was glad to feel normal again. About two nights later i was lying in my bed and all of a sudden this terrible panic feeling came over me.  It was like nothing id ever felt before.  I was happy and content watching tv in one moment, and then the next, i was scared to death for no apparent reason. I came to find out later that this was a panic attack.  After the attack, i felt like a different person. I felt as if there was something wrong with my eyes because everything looked so fake to me and as if it were not real.  I felt like i was half asleep and this scared me a great deal.  I told myself that if i went to sleep that i would wake up the next morning feeling normal again. I woke up the next morning feeling the same.  I was scared to death.  From that night to this very moment in time i have been suffering from Dp and Dr 24/7. It is a part of me, and has been since that night.
For those of you who are just experincing this for the first time, I just want you to know that you are not alone. My post along with the countless others are evidence enough of that.  There are many methods of coping with this disorder and its all a matter of finding which one works for you.  I have been through a great ordeal when it comes to finding a method that works for me. I have taken just about every medication you can take from antiphsycotics, mood stabilizers, anti depressants, bipolar meds, and the list goes on and on. After tapering off these medications due to the many side effects that i find that i have with them, i realize that the ultimate method for me is to control my thoughts.  Usually if i am going through a bad spurt of Dr or Dp related depression or anxiety, i find it is because im feeding my mind with all kinds of negative thoughts.  I find myself constantly running thoughts through my head like am i going to go crazy? what if i cant think straight? what if i cant get rid of it? what if this? what if that?  I find that  if I focus outwardly on whatever im doing or on positive thoughts and im less absorbed into my own negative thoughts and questions then i feel the dr/dp loosin its grips on me.  This method is causing me to feel better and better everyday. Just dont think about it!!!  Most of my anxiety came from constantly worrying about my dr/dp. When I stop thinking about it everyday, i feel better. Much better!  Im not saying to just drop all of your meds and just adopt my method. If you are currently on medication that is working for you then im not saying to stop it at all!! Maybe you can try my method along with the medication

Also i wanted to make it apparent to everyone that there was a study done with the drug naloxone on 14 people suffering from DP/DR.  I dont really know all of the details of the study but i do know the results.  3 of the 14 people had a total remission of their Dp/Dr and 10 of them had a significant decrease in there feelings of Dp/Dr.  I think this is amazing!! also i have heard of the oral drug naltrexone to help releive symtoms of Dp/Dr. This is just what i have read.  I encourage you to do your own research on it if you are interested.  


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by luke1691, May 23, 2010
Hi everyone, My name is Luke im 19 and i suffer from Derealization and anxiety. i am so glad i am now a part of this wonderful and very inspiring community. i would like to share my story because i have read very similar posts on other websites regarding how they come across their condition and i aswell shared the same. It all started one night out with some friends, we were all having a drink like usual and having a great time, we had some marijuana (mind you i never really smoked it only every now and then on occasion) so everyone had a smoke then it was my turn, i had 2 smokes from a pipe and all of a sudden started feeling very out of it like i was in a dream, that feeling soon turned into panic and i started to freak out, i felt like i needed to run away from everyone it was such an intense sensation of panic, i locked my self in a dark room to try and calm myself down, i sat there for 2 hours hoping it would all go away soon, eventually i took myself to bed thinking i would just need to sleep this bad trip off. upon waking up the next day i still felt the same although the panic was gone i still felt "high" and very dream like. hoping i was still affected by the pot we had smoked the night before i tried to ignore the feeling. i went to the shopping mall with my girlfriend but then it became worse everything was so unreal so dreamlike, i started to panic and went home. i didn't know what was wrong with me i thought i was going insane, "why hasn't this left yet" "whats wrong with me"  even talking to someone was a struggle it like it would start off fine but then mid conversation i would slip into this dream state, "I KNOW THAT I AM DOING THIS I KNOW I AM REAL BUT EVERYTHING SEEMS SO DREAM LIKE, SO UNREAL I NEED TO WAKE UP FROM THIS HORRIBLE DREAM!" eventually after a week enough was enough my dream like sensation was getting worse and thats when my anxiety started to kick in. it was a 24/7 burden. i took myself to my local GP and he said i have severe anxiety (G.A.D) i was put on lexapro 10mg to help with my anxiety and a few prescriptions of Kalma (Xanax) to help with the anxiety, the days turned into weeks and weeks into months i could manage my anxiety but not my derealization, not even my xanax could get rid of this feeling. i didn't know why this wasn't going away!!?? my anxiety had basically dissapered but this constant 24 hour sense of derealization was still with me no matter what i did, the only thing that helped was playing video games or watching a movie it seemed to take my mind off everything but as soon as i had finished those tasks back came this awful sensation. i was recently informed by my doctor to double my lexapro from 10mg a day to 20mg. at first it was good, everything seemed to be working fine but after a week of upping my dose things became alot worse, my anxiety was now back i was waking up in the morning with this incredible sensation of adrenaline running through my body and my derealization had sky rocketed! im am going to visit my GP today and talk to him regarding my dosage and that im having adverse reactions to my double dosage, aswell as the anxiety getting worse causing my derealization getting worse on top of that i had a constant feeling of dizziness and lightheadedness so im in a living hell at the moment. Lexapro is an antidepressant which aswell helps with anxiety but i have heard that derealization only exists with anxiety so i am hoping that there is some other type of medication to tackle anxiety head on maybe then these feelings will subside... it's a constant dream that i wish i could wake up from. it's scary and it's hard but i know i will get through it but the scariest thing is that people can suffer from this for many many years! im only 19 but i couldn't think of anything worse than spending the best years of my life with this terrible condition. is it true that derealization only exists with anxiety? or is derealization a separate form of illness altogether? i would love to speak to anyone who is/has gone through a similiar experience as me. without the spaces this is my email address: l u k e _ s l a y e r _ r w a @ h o t m a i l . c o m        please i would love to hear from anyone with advice and together we can all help each other through this. i aswell as everyone should know WE ARE NOT CRAZY! IT CANNOT HURT US! AND WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS! good luck everyone my thoughts are with all of you. lets do this together guys :)

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by jd1987947, May 30, 2010
Hi my names Duncan and i have been sufferring from severe anxiety attacks and dr over the last 2 weeks. We all know how scary this can feel and how surreal it can make us feel. dr makin us scared, making us obsess, testing reality not feeling any different equalling more anxiety increasing our perception of dr etc, you know the score. I came across this site as i was looking for some reassurrance and i certainly found that. I have found some ways to help you feel better and reduce your dr naturally so i thought i would share my thoughts to help you guys too.  First thing you have to get your head around is the fact that dr is like a fire and your anxiety is the fuel.  The more you make dr a priority in your mind the more you will obsess on it and the more you try to fight it get no where and panic resulting in this cycle of testing, panicking and worrying. What i have found to work for me and it HAS started to work and WILL work for you too is to stop thinking you have changed and stop comparing yourself to yourself before your anxiety kicked in.  The worst thing you can do is isolate yourself and not go to work/school coz all that will do is make you sit at home by yourself and think over things. The way to beat it is accept and forget. Sounds hard? its not?  The less you think about it and accept it, the less a priority it will become in your mind and slowly your anxiety will die down, you relax you stop obsessing.  I found the greatest improvements in my anxiety and dr when i dragged myself into work, you dont have time to worry over your own problems at work. What happened i stopped obsessing stopped staring at an object that for a split second felt real and fizzled away again... things began to seem normal again. Sadly me being me would then start panicking again because i thought **** wheres the dr, obsessed again and it came back. i know we can 100% get over this. Imagine you cut your leg and you kept picking it every 10 mins, how would it feel? it would bloody hurt. so if we got anxiety and keep obsessing on thoughts of dr and we are going mad.. whats going to happen? we are going to make it a priority and keep in the same cycle we are hating to be in. You need to give your mind the rest its needing, its knackered with over thinking. It GOES when you accept you have anxiety and continue the things you loved to do before you got anxiety. Remember that thing you loved to do, go to the pub play football. Go out and Do it, staying in whats that going to do? sit and stare at a wall read up about dr, convince yourself your not getting better, sit hoping i wish i could go out with my friends if i was normal again. Go out and try and make the most of it, at least it will make you tired so you sleep better and give you strength to fight another day.
Another thing that helped me was going to the gym, busting some weights hitting the treadmill go swimming etc. Remember excercise naturally releases serotonin which lifts your mood,and when our mood lifts we get a pinch of confidence, thats one step closer to getting better :)
I have honestly had it rough over the last 2 weeks and really do sympothise with everyone here. At least we have this page to let us know what is working and give advice. I hope you take my advice because i'm no different to you or taking any medication just plodding on. It honestly fades away when you stop fearing it. Tell yourself i can live like this, sounds dafft i know but if you accept it you wont have anything to fear and it goes! Double bluff your brain!!!!!
It will take time but i have had several improvements in this last 5 days by simply changing the way i think, and if i can do it  then you can do it too! I'm going to check this page every odd night and if anyone wants to talk about it then i will reply back! CHIN UP YOU CAN DO IT :)

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by kayleo, May 31, 2010
I dont know if this is the same but I know I get panic attacks and everyone looks different kind of bubbly and i feel like i have shrunk like alice in wonderland and my surrounds bubble out and become vibrant...

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by Emmure, Jun 04, 2010
Alright im 17 i never felt like this in my whole entier life it just randomly hit me i woke up crying i felt fake my body wasint mine i thought i was going nut i would call my dad flip out and i drank alot i would smike weed i had like one bad epirence but i to to my threpist she dint think it was the weed but the they said i had a sunis efatciin sorry cant spell for but i just want my normal self back but dad said he went trow it and his sister and my grand father and it all hit them the same age but esy from to say the went thought it i feel like a bad trip and i want out but my dad and consler says its the up and downs of life i couldint even look at my self in the marrior i want help im scared and what makes it worse when u think oh my god am i really going throw this trust dont think like that just help me i dont want to go crazy

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by mrmcmike, Aug 13, 2010
i just want to say thank you to everyone who posted. its helped me a lot.  Ive had what im almost 100% sure is depersonalizaion/derealization for about 3 or 4 days.  My symptoms fit your description exactly but what i dont get is that i dont really have anxieties and im not under a lot of stress at all.  If anyone knows why i could have dp/dr please post and explain. Also how long does this usually last? Im taking your advice and trying to accept it and ignore it but im just wondering how long it might take to go away.  Thank you sooo much its really helped me :)

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by meouch, Aug 25, 2010
I am SO relieved to find this! My situation is somewhat similar to davers716. I'm a 15 year old girl. I have anxiety. This summer I started smoking pot. I smoked approximately 2-3 times a week. I liked feeling stoned, it seemed to make my anxiety go away! I thought I'd found a solution to my anxiety, so I just kept smoking. Then, July 30th, I decided to try shrooms. I took half an 8th, had a very emotional and beautiful trip. I felt fine the next day, my vision was a little weird (I kept seeing these black sploches) but other than that I was fine, maybe a little depressed, but nothing bad enough to really bother me. I felt nauseous later that day. It was probably food poisoning, but I thought it was the shrooms. I began to worry that they had been toxic. This made me rather anxious. My nausea went away and I started to feel better, but my anxiety had not gone away. August 5th, 6th, and 7th, I smoked. Only about one or two hits every day. Just because I was bored. I still felt fine.

Around august 9th, I had my first panic attack. It was awful, like nothing I'd ever experienced before. It happened randomly one night, when I was online. I think I was researching shrooms, to see if I'd maybe gotten toxic ones. I suddenly got a very bad headache, my head felt very tight. I'm not sure if this makes sense, but my whole body felt very tight and numb. I thought that for sure that I was going crazy, that the shrooms had been toxic and this was their affect, and that I was going to lose my mind. This made me panic more. I began to cry. I felt very dizzy and tried to go to bed but I couldn't. My mom told me that it would pass in the morning. Eventually, I fell asleep. But I woke up feeling strange. It went on like this for a week. Then, it went away for a few days. I smoked again. Then, it came back. And has been going on like this.

I just feel like a pair of eyes floating around without a body. I understand that my arm is my arm and my leg is my leg and that I'm in control of them, but something doesn't feel right, and I'm terrified. I want to return to my previous reality, I want to see the world as it is. I'm not sure if I have depersonalization or derealization, but the world has been looking odd. Not sure how to describe it, I suppose it's like a high minus the euphoria. Like I'll be hanging out with friends and laughing and I suddenly realize that things look weird and I get scared and it gets worse. Like a paranoid, anxious high.

I recently started school. I can function properly, I appear completely normal, and I am so grateful for that. But I don't feel right. I told my mother about this, and she's taken me to get tested for a chemical imbalance, but I've heard anxiety has nothing to do with chemistry. I've told her about the depersonalization/derealization and she just looked at me like I was nuts, which is how I feel sometimes. It's good to know that this is normal and common. I would, however, like it to go away. I know that getting rid of the anxiety will get rid of the derealization/depersonalization. But I dunno how to get rid of the anxiety.

I've quit drugs. I've been trying to reduce stress and sleep more, but with school and everything this proves to be kind of difficult. Any tips for curbing anxiety? When I calmed down a little bit and felt less nervous/anxious, the DP/DR went away for a few days, but I can't seem to calm myself.

Any help is appreciated. Thank you all :)  

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by Blkastrte, Aug 30, 2010
Thanks for all the postings. Its very helpful to know that we are not alone. My story is the same like some above. I smoked cannabis 4 years ago and since im suffering from that ****. I was putted on several antidepressants and neurolepticas like seroquel, zyprexa, cipralex, solian, trittico and so on. Nothing helped. I heard about clinics in london and new york dealing only with this condition. They made good results with antidepressants and lamotrigine. I never tried but i will when it wont go away. I think its a symptom of axiety like other said above. Ill thake several supplements like vitamin 2,3,5,6,12 and lecitin, gaba, fish oil, zinc and so on. I read that it will help to support the brain in becoming normal. I hope so. I can also describe the light problematic with fluorescence light. Its f*** hard to deal with but we all must know we can get normal again one day. Maybe tomorrow maybe later. Think positiv, socialize, dont think about. Take supplements and so on. At the moment im doing EMDR i will let yyou know if it helps. Dont give up!! Bb

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by livefortodayxooxox, Sep 04, 2010
I haven't been dealing with dp/dr for that long, but after nights and days of constantly researching this horrible "disorder" I've come to the conclusion that it has to do with low serotonin levels in the brain. Get up and exercise out doors in the sun, eat healthy whole grains, refrain from alcohol and caffeine and stop reading all this ******** online!! Trust me it only makes it worse. You can beat this and it all has to do with your attitude. It gets better each and everyday, after all dp and dr are caused by an over active mind, so chill out! Don't let dp and dr scare you and keep you from doing the things you love for another day. Here's a vitamin regimen that I found online that may help!!

THE INGREDIENTS - in order of importance
phosphatidylserine - jarrow formulas PS100 softgels, 100 mg, 1 softgel 3 times daily.
sublingual B complex - follow directions on box
rhodiola rosea - 250 mg, 1 morning, one mid-day
panax ginseng - 100 mg 1 morning, 1 mid day
l-theanine - 200 mg, twice daily.
flaxseed oil - 1,000 mg, 1 morning, 1 night
ginkgo biloba - 120 mg, 1 morning, 1 night
vitamin D 1,000 iu, morning

Good luck :) smile!!  

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by simonlebon, Oct 12, 2010
I recently have been weening my self off of Serzone (antidepressant) and going over to Lexapro.  I went from 400mg of serzone down to 50mg and had been there for months and felt ok. My phsyc said whenever I was ready to stop the last 50mg was fine with her. So I did it.  Two weeks later I'm driving down the road and all of the sudden everything just seemed "weird". Like darker, and like I was just more removed from my perception of my surroundings. But I didn't have any panic or anxiety with it. It was just like a perception switch.  So, then over the next couple of days it got worse, probably because I started analyzing it, which brought on anxiety and then the obsessive thoughts. And down the rabbit hole I went. I had never felt anything quite like it before. It was very weird. I called my psych and she said to go back on the 50mg of Serzone (that had to have been the cause).  Now over the last 6 weeks I have been gradually digging my way out. Each day things seem a little better and a little more real.  It's a jacked up experience that I would never wish on anyone. And someone else gave GREAT advice. Don't give in to it. Don't read in to as somehow this thing is trying to show you some different truth about reality. That's what REALLY freaked me. I started thinking wait a minute.. have I been living a complete dream my entire life. That's when you REALLY start thinking you're crazy.  I'm just so glad I understand it more now. I just wish I would have dug around a little more when I was going through the thick of it, or that my phys would have explained exactly what I was going through and that it was anxiety related.

God bless you all.  Keep the faith.

Avatar universal
by Jordypord, Oct 26, 2010
I have Derealization, I got it from smoking cannabis, And I thought that I was going crazy and that I was going to live like it forever, I went to several therapy sessions and it really helped, they explained everything and why I was feeling this way. If you do have derealization do not worry its not dangerous at all, it can make you feel anxious, panicky, nervous, worried, every kind of bad feeling possible, but you will over come it, I remember feeling horrible I used to have anxiety attacks and panic attacks all the time, I used to feel like i was in some sort of dream then suddenly i would go back to reality for a second then panic loads! But then gradually over time I over came it and i never thought that i would over come it, I still have my bad days, but eventually it will go away, honestly for all those who have this do not worry you'll be fine you are not going insane. I'm 16 years old And I was fighting this horrible thing for 8 months now... When i was going through all of this i didn't know how to explain it to my family or my friends, I wouldn't want to go far from my own house it got that bad.. I didn't think that I was real, but I came to my senses and now I'm absolutely fine, Derealization is a gradual process which does go away eventually, honestly don't worry you are fine, God bless.

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by Neefy1, Nov 07, 2010
Hello all, I'm happy to have found this. I've never experienced this until one day I smoked marijuana in September and this happened. Its so scary and I thought I was truly going insane. I slept for weeks, lost 11 pounds, etc because I thought I was dying from something unknown, I also was beating myself in the head for even trying marijuana and if you fight the anxiety it'll only make you feel worse. Accept it! I go see a therapist on Tuesday who assured me that this shall pass. Derealization does not exist without anxiety, so once anxiety had subsided so will derealization. Pyschotherapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy are effective therapies for anxieties, so once anxiety is addressed you'll be on the ball. I would wake up anxious and paranoid because I didn't know why my body felt this way, it was so "unreal" and I didn't know if I was coming or going! I felt much worse in the beginning but its started to slowly fade away so I'm hoping the therapy helps!

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by sean1970, Nov 08, 2010
I have had this disorder (depersonalization/panic attacks) back in 1988 to 1991.  I got help for it.  Mainly therapy and it worked.  It went away and I had no problems until 19 years later when I turned 40.  It is now back.  I know it can't hurt me but none the less it is difficult to function.  I am seeing a therapist again and am keeping hopes up that it will subside.  Remember it is just a feeling and it can't physically harm you.  It just feels that way.  Never give up on the things you like to do.  Stay busy, exercise and eat well.  I have had this back now for 6 months.  I have been in therapy for 1 month and because I keep a journal I am able to see improvement.  It's very important to recognize the days you feel good because when DP sets in it overcomes you and you forget how you felt prior.  Keep track of the good and bad days.  You will see more good days eventually.  I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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by Blkastrte, Nov 21, 2010
Hy back
Emdr did not help me.
Still the same ****, but i wont give up! Im convinced that it has definitly to the with underlying anxiety! I ask my self what im afraid of? I think its more then just the feeling of beeing dp/dr. Im trying the linden method. Many people got rid of it and we all will! Good luck.
Hear from you

Avatar universal
by Birdchirp, Nov 24, 2010
This whole page of comments is a godsend. Like many others on here, it all started when I had a really bad trip on weed. For the first week after the trip, I suffered from extreme dizziness and complete detachment from the world. I had no idea what was going on with my head and thought I was going to die. I then would get panic attacks and my anxiety would just get worse. I constantly felt like I was in a dream, especially when I was outside or in public. That was over 2 years ago, and while I no longer suffer from the panic attacks and the thought of dieing, I still have bouts of derealization and a sort of dizziness. I find myself thinking about things too much and questioning reality sometimes and my anxiety is always kinda in the background, though nowhere near as bad as before. I also developed a sort of insomnia over time. Some nights it is better than others. Like others on here, I also feel a sort of pressure in my head sometimes, mainly on the left side. Not sure if that is related at all. I also find myself questioning reality when I first wake up sometimes, but it normally goes away after 20 minutes or so. This past summer, I had almost no symptoms for some time. I was working full time and hung out with friends, which can be hard sometimes because they all like to smoke, something I havent touched since the trip. I dont ever plan on doing it again either. Anyways, point is, I believe it gets better over time. I have never been to a therapist or taken any medication for my anxiety, but I believe it is going away. I may go see a therapist sometime soon to see if I can put the final nail in the coffin for my anxiety. I am ready to get my life back like I remember it before I had that horrible trip. I hope for all the best for you guys suffering from what I have, and hope we can all get our lives back.

Avatar universal
by Blkastrte, Nov 24, 2010
By the way this summer i found the hollywood movie "numb" on the internet. You can watch it online. Type on google "numb msn movies" then youll find it. Its about a man who smoked a joint and now suffering from dp...its amazing, you will find yourself in every single minute i swaer!
We get over it!! Her from u

Avatar universal
by Sshelly34213, Nov 25, 2010
As a child I was diagnosed with epilepsy and was placed on the medication depekote. The seizures were controlled, but unfortunately at a cost. I gained massive amounts of weight over the next few years until one day I decided to do something about it. (I was skinny as a stick before then to the point of being sick a lot, so naturally it was very traumatizing for me to go through this) I talked to my doctor and decided to switch to a medication called tegretal, which included weight loss as a side effect to help me get back to the healthy weight I was before. The medication worked and I did start to lose weight, unfortunately there were side effects. These included jerking, which eventually led to a seizure and led me to search for other optional medications that included weight loss as a side effect. I did find another one, the experiences on this medication are something I have not forgotten to this day and will never forget. I was only 13 years old when they placed me on topamax...

Initially when I first started on this medication, I noticed a few strange side effects. Everything tasted different for one thing, food tasted strange in general. Shortly afterward I noticed a pins and needles sensation in my face and hands. I would poke them at times when they would become numb, I often stared at myself in the mirror to see what was wrong with my face. My hands started trembling and I would tremble back and forth at times. As time went on the side effects became increasingly stranger and scarier. I grew anxious and anxious in front of people and in public places. It grew so strong and one day I finally broke. I had a sleepover with my friend the night before, we were having a fun time and she invited me to go to a picnic with her and her family. I thought this would be fun and called my mother to tell her what I would be doing for the day. I got my bookbag to go change my clothes and all of a hit me. Derealization. I felt like the world had suddenly become very unreal and I was all alone in this strange atmosphere. I immediately told my friend's father that I wasn't feeling well and told my friend that I wouldn't be joining her at the picnic. She was extremely disappointed and even gave me a half hearted hug (very uncharacteristic of her because she always had such a big and understanding heart) It grew increasingly worse and all I could think of was getting home and lying down in my bed. The car was was excruciatingly long and it was only me and my friend's father. My friend's father must have noticed something was off and he spent the entire time telling me funny stories about his childhood. Of course I wasn't really paying attention, I kept repeating home in my head. Home, home, H O M E, god get me home! Finally his car pulled up to my house, I thanked him, apologized, greeted my mother, to show that there was nothing too serious and went to lie down. I don't recall what exactly happened after that. Only a few smidgeon of memories are remembered today, but what I do recall is the sense of absolute terror I felt everyday. All I could do was lie in bed all day, clinch my heads tightly and wait until night time or until I fell asleep. Sleep was my only escape from the horror of the reality or unreality that I lived in. Everything felt unreal, my own mother felt unreal, my room felt unreal. I could watch tv on occasion (thank god for NIckelodeon and cartoon marathons!) and draw. For some reason, I drew excessively, notebooks upon notebooks. I sometimes colored, but I mostly found relief in drawing. There was something soothing in the linear and geometric structure of drawing. I also drew people...or all things to draw. Anyway, my mother eventually realized there was something deeply wrong and tried to talk to me about it. I eventually broke down and told her, she called my neurologist to see about getting me off of the medication. My neurologist didn't believe her and thought I was making the whole thing this day she still doesn't understand what I was talking about...I can't believe this, she of all people should understand what I was trying to describe. I was going through derealization as a side effect to a medication I took. Albite it is a very rare side effect, but it is still a side effect of the medication she prescribed to me and one she should have at least considered, if not realized upon initial description of my condition by my own mother.

Anyway, of course my neurologist agreed to put me back on my old medication-depekote-and as I gradually eased off the meds, I gradually got better. Rarely do I ever feel side effects from the medication, but I do on occasion feel derealization and I've always wondered if topamax had a permanent effect on my brain, considering that I was at such a crucial age in brain development at the time. My brother, who experimented in recreational drug use as a young man, told me that he had taken topamax for a period of time. He said that he felt extreme time lapses and that he would grind his teeth excessively, after only 1 or 2 experiences with the drug. He says that to this day, he still feels side effects from the medication such as grinding his teeth. A lot of people who have taken this drug also say that they feel side effects from this drug despite being off it for years. I still have bouts of derealization, especially when I am stressed or anxious, but sometimes they can come out of nowhere. I had a panic attack at one point while driving because of stress and with that came derealization. Sometimes I feel as if my life is getting back to normal more and more everyday, but for every moment I feel that, I take two steps back when I go through anxiety and specifically derealization. Since I've been off topamax, I've graduated high school, went on to college-only to come home a year later with no accomplished credits due to derealization conquering my life. I went on to community college and managed to earn an associate's degree in general studies. I have just applied to a University and hope to get my bachelor's and master's degree in film production. I certainly hope that I won't have to take two steps back for this absurd and bizarre illness anymore; in fact, I absolutely refuse to do so anymore. I managed to change medications after I turned 17 and went onto a new medication called Keppra. There are no side effects whatsoever! It's heaven, I feel nothing harmful, if anything it's better than being on depekote. There is no weight gain on this medication, however...there is no weight loss. So it is initially up to me to lose all of the excess weight I gained as a child. How fitting of life that it should turn out this way I supposed, it is now up to me to change something that I had no control over to begin with. ::sigh:: it will be a struggle to get this done, but I will certainly try.

For the record, ignorance may be bliss, but it isn't safe and it isn't reassuring. There is only safety and relief in knowing something can't hurt you...thanks to finally realizing what it was that I had years ago, I can now go on with my life.

Avatar universal
by gabbi86, Nov 29, 2010
Hey everyone! I just wanted to say that you do/can get over this. I experienced DP before for about 6 months. Then I began to focus more on methods for treating anxiety, and before I knew it those "feelings" were gone. I think "checking in" to see if I was normal was the biggest struggle. I also thought that a part of my recovery would include forgetting the entire experience, but I now see that it's ok to embrace the feelings. I know that a couple of people mentioned "riding out" the feelings of numbness, disconnect, etc. and it's true. It's ok to say to yourself "this is where I'm at right now, it *****, but I know I will be ok." In my journey I realized there were things that triggered these feelings such as diet, sleep (too much or lack of), sadness, procrastination, being overwhelmed and more negative feelings. Recognizing these issues didn't dissolve the feelings, but it did allow me to rationally think instead of thinking I was going crazy. I always wanted to write back on these discussions because I know that other people testimonies encouraged me. So stay strong, breathe, smile, you will be ok, no matter how long you've been struggling!
God Bless You!
(p.s prayer always helps)

Avatar universal
by megan0924, Nov 30, 2010
Hello!  I just discovered this discussion and like many others have said, its given me hope this feeling will go away!  I've suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for years.  Its something I've gotten used to and can handle.  About 3 days ago, I experienced a bad trip on mushrooms and weed.  I've never tripped on mushrooms in my life and decided to try with a few friends.  Bad idea!!  I had a horrible experience of feeling terrified that I was dying and the world was ending.  I've been told that's normal and that I will recover.  Its not easy to recover from when you already have a pretty serious case of anxiety disorder.  I've experienced derealization before but not to this degree.  Nothing feels real, I feel like I'm in a dream constantly, even when I try to distract myself.  It's miserable, I hate it!  I've experienced it before in the past, while out in public but I've always been okay when I was alone.  Now I'm uncomfortable alone and even around my 6 year old son.  Its devastating me.  I just want this feeling to end!  Has anyone with this feeling that's been drug-induced noticed that its gone away?  Has anyone had any luck with taking vitamins or meditation?  

Avatar universal
by bubotub, Dec 02, 2010
wonderful entry.   I have suffered from anxiety since I can remember, and only experienced derealization for the first time a few years ago.  I remember how scary and alienating it was, and how much it means to read about those who have been through it.  I now am on medication, have an excellent support system in place, and a much better understanding of anxiety and those funning feelings it can cause.  For people like me, who will never be fully rid of their anxiety issues, it's always important to know that the bad attacks and times pass, and that these symptoms are experienced by many people and have solutions in place.

Avatar universal
by kezz432, Dec 18, 2010
hi all ive had dp for the last 3 weeks and its scaring the hell out of me im a mum to 6 children 2 bieng 10 week old twins mine started out the blue one arvo i had a bit of an anxiaty attack then boom i felt completely trippy like im not quite here my house feels odd ever thing around me seems unreal like im tripping 24/7 all day every day i go bed preying it wont be with me the next day but it is its the most frightning thing in the world, i try to explaine it to my family but they dont seem to know what im going on about and my dr dont seem to know what im going on about when i try and expalain how i feel, i do remeber having the same thing 2 years ago and it went after 6 months after i was put on citalopram so i went to the drs the other day and was put bk on it as i had to stop it when i got pregnant i do suffer anxiaty but in the back of my mind i keep thinking ive got a brain deasese as i feel that wierd im hoping this thing will eventually go because i couldnt imagin having this for years and i hope its not an underliying illness ive got thats causing this :(

Avatar universal
by deltap, Dec 18, 2010

This is the best board I have EVER found regarding this matter. I am honestly scared to log onto any other sites because they just stress me out and make me think I have some other crazy-*** disorder that's making my brain decay or something. I've gone though this more than once, and I'm currently experiencing a bit of a re-lapse.

The first time occurred when I was about 15 or 16 and I decided to try "huffing", now I'm not looking for a lecture on how bad that is, I fully realize it, but I have other depression and anxiety issues that I believe led to me wanting to try it in the first place. I literally thought I was going out of my mind. For days and days afterwards I thought I was dying, or I'd end up in a mental institution. I went to the doctor, told them exactly what I did and they basically said I had nothing to worry about and that I was simply super-anxious about what I HAD done. I honestly don't remember how long the symptoms lasted after that, but it eventually went away.

The second time it happened to me was in college. I tried weed for the first time in a social setting. I took a few hits, my pulse began to quicken, and I instantly felt like I was NOT in my body any more. I started to dwell on this thought even after the feeling itself had gone away. For the next several days I felt like I was still "stoned". I remember distinctly sitting in the computer lab at my college thinking to myself "This will NEVER go away... I'm ******". It DID GO AWAY! What a surprise! It ALWAYS GOES AWAY. RELAX.

The third time was when I went through a super-bad breakup. I thought I was worthless, the world was worthless and fake and I would never "find" anyone again or be happy. I just sat and cried and felt like I would "wake up" at any second, and everything would be fine. I spent days lying on my mother's couch just sleeping, waking to use the bathroom sometimes, and going back to bed. I wouldn't eat for days and days. I remember that hanging out with friends, even though I didn't feel like it, was a big step in the right direction this time.  Eventually I started to feel more "real" and realized that I'm actually here, and so is everyone else.

My current situation occurred because I was once again stupid, and for whatever reason (I know the reason, but it's a long-*** story), I decided to try huffing again. If anyone here has ever huffed (not gasoline or spraypaint in my case, but air freshener) you know the feeling. You feel like your world is melting or that it's all a big joke. Even after the "high" wears off, which is typically only a few minutes, I couldn't shake it. I started freaking out and thinking that I'm going nuts. My cognitive and mental abilities are all fully intact, and doing tests sometimes helps me calm down. For example, doing a typing test and getting 67 words a minute or something (adult average is 36) makes me calm down a bit and realize that I'm not "retarded".

I don't know how long these feelings will last this time around, but I AM taking Citalopram and Xanax, both of which are also taken by other family members as well. Depression runs deep in my bloodline, so it's a hard thing to shake. But it does get better over time and eventually you'll just realize that things are better again. Much love to everyone who has posted here.


Avatar universal
by deltap, Dec 20, 2010
*Same Poster as above*

I just wanted to come back with an update so you don't all think that these DP/DR feelings last years and years as some have experienced.

I am now almost completely back to normal, but this period is being more difficult by the fact that I decided to quit smoking Marijuana along with (obviously) never touching the "gas" again.


Keep your mind and hands busy. Even as I'm writing this now I know that if I were to stop for a moment and dwell on my anguish and anxiety that it would creep back up my spine in a second.

Cleaning is an excellent way to keep busy, and it makes you feel good and you'll also benefit from feeling cozy in well-kept surroundings.

Music helps, especially music you've never listened to before or old music you haven't listened to in a while. I find that if I go back to the music I just listened to a few days ago that it brings back strong feelings of anxiety for me. However, if I turn on talk radio, or some other station that plays music I would hardly ever listen to I tend to feel much more comfortable with it. I THINK (not a doctor here, but have been through this enough times to see a pattern) it is because you mind is concentrating more on listening to what is being said since it can't predict it. If you listen to your favorite music you'll just put your mind on auto-pilot and allow it to go back to what you DON'T want it to do, which is dwell on your anxiety and DP/DR.

Things still feel a bit strange, and I'm sure they will for at least a little while, but now that I have the upper hand it is easy to control.

Think of it like having a cardboard cutout of a person in your home that moves around and appears in random rooms whenever it feels like it. You'll be scared by it when you enter a room or see it out of the corner of your eye, because HOLY **** THERES SOMEONE THERE. This cutout IS your anxiety. It follows you from room to room or street to street and it FEELS like there's nothing that can be done. However, if you "get used to it", and I know that sounds bad, but if you just walk in the room (your mind), stare at that cutout for one second, identify it as nothing but a cutout and nothing that can ACTUALLY harm you, you're much less likely to be scared by it when you walk into another room. Eventually, and this might take several attempts but dont be discouraged, you'll walk into the room and EVEN THOUGH that cutout is sitting in the corner, TRYING to be scary, your mind will disregard it as nothing but a farce and move on to more pressing issues, like YOUR LIFE.

I hope something I've said gives at least one person hope, because it is one of the scariest things you can possibly ever go through as a human being, but it isn't harmful, it's simply your safety switch. You. Will. Recover.

I promise.

Avatar universal
by PSfr3ak, Dec 23, 2010
"these feelings start to gradually fade into the bakground...until one day you realize it is gone"
OMFG man that sentence made me cry, thank you so much! Now i know there really is hope left in me.

Avatar universal
by maraval90, Jan 02, 2011
hi, 3 weeks ago i had a really messed up dream and i woke up thinking that i was still in the dream i had a sense of derealization but it wasn't serious. one week later i smoked a small amount of weed and had a bad trip, i taught i was going crazy it lasted for about 2 and a half hours. after that the drealization feeling got a little more intense but not to extreme , well 6 days ago i got my first anxiety attack and it was horrible and ever since then the derealization feeling got worse, i have no appetite, feel confuse and clustered up, depressed and really spacy. i know all of these are symptoms of anxiety but WOW it is really messing with me, my dad also suffers from anxiety but he doesn't get the derealization feeling. sometimes i feel like im going crazy please can any of you guys give me some advice on how to deal with this pain in the ***.


Avatar universal
by maraval90, Jan 06, 2011
there is hope out there it will past, its not life treatning even though some times it may feel like that. everytime the feeling comes i do something to distract myself but thinking about it just brings it on more. mine comes and goes im living with it for almost 1 month now but it fades with time i also realize it comes on more at night, but dont think your going crazy cause your not i to felt as if i was going crazy i honestly taught i would have ended up in a stray jacket but it's all in your mind the best thing to do is think of all the good things in your life and it helps you feel a little better. if your spiritual like me it also helps i pray everyday, also it helps to talk to your friends(your real friends) and parents about it it helps relieve the built up tension it will pass its all about will power keep a positive mind and a clean heart and god will help you. i think this happened to me because i was going down the wrong path, i was smoking weed all of the time(which is why i have anxiety and derealization/depersonalization because of a bad trip), lost faith in god and believed alot of BS. but since then i have completely changed i no longer smoke weed, drink alcohol and full my head with BS, and my faith in god has been renewed. always remember "nothing happens by chance everything happens for a reason",even though you might feel like the whole world is against you. so dont freat it will pass. “There is nothing that wastes the body like worry, and one who has any faith in God should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever” words of the great mahatma gandhi.                  


Avatar universal
by mask511, Jan 06, 2011
Self Triggered DP
I am 23 and suffering from depersonalization. It first triggered when I was 10.. I was taking shower and seeing myself in a mirror I started asking the mirror all sorts of who am I and y ? Suddenly I felt very different and depersonalized.. I shook my head and came out of it.. I actually enjoyed it. I started doing this 4-5 times a year until 3 months ago I couldn't come out of it. I am stuck , I am seeing a psychiatrist who says I will be alright. He will start medication from 13 th Jan.. though he said I will naturally get out of this problem.
It is very tough when you don't understand your remember everything but yet it is so difficult to understand yourself..when coupled with anxiety it is the most difficult thing to face. Within DP , the worst thing is you are unstable always.. Sometimes . rarely, would go away but when it returns it strikes more powerfully..

Avatar universal
by Whaatever123, Jan 10, 2011
Hey, I was wondering if its possible that someone experiencing DR could forget what it was like to feel real.

480448 tn?1426948538
by nursegirl6572, Jan 20, 2011
Wow, what amazing contributions!  I've been away from the board for a while, due to an illness, and boy is it wonderful to read this journal and realize that you guys have kept it alive!  Not only that, but that by sharing your OWN experiences, it's helped so many others not feel alone, and realize that these sensations are not harmful and WILL go away.  Just knowing we are not alone is the most comforting feeling around.

I wanted to just clarify one thing, as there are a lot of posts about it (for a reason).  Substance abuse (anything...pot, shrooms, huffing, etc etc) alone does not actually CAUSE these symptoms, meaning the drug itself does not cause this to happen.  It's the effects that actually act as a trigger for anxiety and DP/DR.  It can (more commonly) happen in people who are predisposed to anxiety, or in people who have never been anxious in their lives.  It's also important to note that using these kinds of substances (even alcohol) while experiencing DP/DR can worsen the is truly better to steer clear of mind altering drugs until the symptoms are gone (obviously forever is a much better option, but I'm being realistic here).  Some people think that getting high, or intoxicated in some way will relieve some of the distress caused by DP/DR...and unfortunately many times it gets worse for a spell.  It's no wonder we seek relief, because it is such a disturbing feeling, but the very best thing you can do is stay as BUSY as possible and provide as many distractions as you can.  The more you think about how you feel, the worse the symptoms seem to be....they were for me anyway.

Please keep contributing to this journal, I again can't express my appreciation enough.  For those of you WILL go away and WILL get better.  As quick as it comes will fade and before long you'll realize it's gone.  It's actually quite astounding that for as much as we focus on it, it literally can go away without us noticing it right away. I feel for you all, cuz it stinks.....but keep the faith and hang in there!

Thanks again to you all, wishing you peace in your day!

Avatar universal
by LannyCalifornia, Jan 23, 2011
the first time it happened to me i was driving and i almost wrecked the car...

Avatar universal
by Lev1Fagan, Feb 06, 2011
I'm So Glad I Have Read This!!!!! :)

-  I Have Had The Most Surreal Week Of My Life, It All Started About a Month Ago, I Started Having Panic Attacks... Since Then Ive Had About 15? Some Where Ive Went To Hospital, An Litrelly Thought I Was Going To Die.  Went Doctors, An He Put Me On Diazipem An Citropram? - - Stayed On These For 2 Days, An Went Back Coz I Was Always "Spaced Out" - Anyway He Put Me On Beta Blockers, Called Propalane  An They Have Worked An Stopping The Panic Attacks

However, About 6 Days Ago After My Biggest Panic Attack, I Felt Strange... Kept Getting Dizzy! And Having Dizzy Spells, Not Able To Get My Balance -- Didnt Feel Myself  1 Bit -  I Felt Eerie, An Had a Feeling Of Being "not connected with reality" ... That Sound Stupid Doesnt It? (I Kept Telling Myself The Same Thing) "im not normal" - Kept Having Dizzy Spells, An Couldnt Get My Balance At All.  After Researching On The Internet, An Speaking To People - This Is a Common Symptom Of Aneixty ,  Feeling Like Ur In a Different Reality, An Not Yourself... Like People Said Above "its like watching a movie reel" -- Weird.

So Glad Ive Read This, An Realized Im Not The Only Person Going Through This. And Soon I KNOW I Will Get Better, Just Gotta Relax, An Clear My Thought Till Then...

Thank You To Whoever Posted That Information Up There ^

From: Levi x

Avatar universal
by FrankieG88, Mar 03, 2011
Hello everyone, This is for the individuals who have smoked pot for a long time or tried other drugs and eventually experienced Derealization and depersonalization and still possibly feel it. I am 22 years old and i started smoking pot in the 8th grade, i never once had experienced Derealization and depersonalization until i was in my last year of high school. what was weird is that it wasn't from smoking pot, it happened while trying mushrooms for my first time. It was so scary because i felt at one moment that everyone around me was going to try and kill me. at one point i hid between two cars for a few minutes because i felt that i was about to experience my moment of death. My friends finally help me get back home and after that things have never been the same for me. after trying mushrooms two other times, ecstasy and a whole lot of pot smoking i realized that every time i did one of these drugs(didn't matter which one),the outcome was the same(Derealization and depersonalization). I quit smoking pot for a whole year and i don't recall ever experiencing the two except once in a great while, i noticed it happens sometimes in large crowds of people. i try to put my finger on it and i think it could be a mixture of things, 1. i am naturally a thinker, i have always constantly over thought simple situations,  2. i have smoked a whole lot of pot and have tried a few psychedelics so i know that my chemical structure in my brain has been altered, 3. panic attacks are sometimes very common with me, finally i think i let fear get the best of me. anyways…after the whole year of quitting pot and doing some soul searching, it felt that things were starting to look good, i was exercising more, making music again, and going to school + taking on work. well i made a bad decision to try smoking bud again a few months ago and guess what? Bam! panic attacks, Derealization and depersonalization again. last weekend i hit a threshold, one of the worst attacks i have ever experienced. And here i am almost one week later still feeling in a dream like state and as if things are un real….and its been eating at me inside. of course i try to look for a cause and yes i feel that the pot i smoked definitely triggered it, but what has been really getting to me is the spiritual view of Derealization and depersonalization, how do i look at it from that view? well im not the most religious person in the world and im not going to get into all of that for the sake of different beliefs but i do have a want to feel good and strive for happiness and one thing that has been digging at me is how does the divine fit into all of this? i do believe in a higher power and a creator, what that power is or who it is i do not know, but i have felt the two extremes of life "massive love and happiness and a strong confidence in my existence and also the opposite which is massive confusion,self deception and FEAR. and no matter how i look at it, whether it be from a religious view, a self creation view or any view, it always feels like it comes down to a choice between the two extremes, and that is the part that i am having the most trouble dealing with. part of me wants to be here and live a beautiful life even if it does have an expiration date and the other says leave this life because it is limited and deceptive..but to me i think that that thought in itself is a deceptive one….i know this world has a lot of evil and "fakeness" (yes i know thats not a real word) but i also know this world has so much beauty and truthfulness in it. when i feel the connections between us all that makes me feel unexplainably happy and complete. so…i guess the point of this post is for two reasons…one….to help me vent a bit haha…two….to show others that are in this situation that they are not alone, that i guess this life is as real as you make it? i am on the road to self discovery and to conquer these fears that Derealization and depersonalization has caused me and more importantly to let goooooo of all these thoughts and just live! as hard as it sounds i know it is possible. also i don't think i ever want to smoke pot again…it use to make me feel good but it never does anymore….good luck and i love you all! thanks for reading :D

Avatar universal
by StymeBags, Mar 11, 2011
Good to find this thread.  I've had had symptoms of DP/DR for a couple weeks now, and because I have a slight inner-ear disorder (Eustascion Tube Dysfunction, following a bout of sinus infection) I naturally initially thought it was more like Vertigo or some other symptom of the ear isuue (e.g. Labrynthitis).  But the reality is that I had been feeling anxiety, then mild to moderate depression, in the days before the DP/DR (whereas the ear problem has been around for a month, and had no dizziness type symptoms for the first 3 or 4 weeks).  Plus it feels more "unreal" and dream-like than it feels like a spinning sensation.  So anyway, its good to get that confirmation.  I'm no stranger to anxiety, panic, and the occassional bout of depression.  I have learned that tools such as Mindfullness Meditation, Acupuncture, Diet and Exercise help a ton, and certainly for the depression it does fade in time.  For those of you really suffering from GAD, depression etc. and its symptoms, I real recommend looking into Mindfullness.  Its not "out there" at all, its very practical and very proven as a technique to reduce stress and cultivate more happiness.  Good luck and god bless to all of you.  

And to the Frankie, and the others discussing marijuana...I think you are mostly right.  But I think it is not the pot that triggers panic/anxiety directly per se, but rather our minds that cannot control its effect, then the panic sets in.  I find that if I feel down, anxious, depressed etc. then for sure smoking pot will only make it worse.  But when I am feeling good, smoking is drama-free.  So its all about knowing your own body and mind, and timing, IMO.  Not that I am saying its a bad thing to quit....probably save you some dough, give you more ambition, and anyway its nicer to get elation and "highs" the natural way I suppose :>)

Avatar universal
by calvin75, Mar 14, 2011

It has been so great to read these posts and see that so many people are going through the same situation as me. I have suffered from derealisation (DR), almost constantly, for 25 years. I am 35 now and the DR began when I was 10.
It has become such a integral part of my life Im not sure what things would be like without it.

I know how distressing it feels to suffer from DR. From what I can gather, it seems to be a protection mechanism in the brain that can malfunction and become chronic, trying to protect a person from pain, long after the threat has disappeared.

But it is important to be practical and do not allow panic to set in when you are going through the symptoms. The disorder is one that causes a grotesque distortion to one's inner life, but outwardly you are unchanged and family/friends cannot see there has been a change in you. That, I think, is the most horrifying aspect of the disorder - the fact that you must face it all alone and other people cannot help you with it.

I don't really have answers, indeed I still suffer with the condition. It is a bit of an enigma, because the more you think/dwell/focus on it, the worse it can become.
So my advice is this: to avoid the condition taking over your life and becoming an obsession, devote a set amount of time to it each week, perhaps 1 or 2 hours per week, to research / internet browse / seek support etc. The trick is not to allow the feeling to stop you from taking part in life. You are still alive, you are still functioning, you are still loved, you still have value, you can still contribute to the world. This is just a weird phenomenon that makes you feel like you dont exist. Do not let it beat you down. Continue in spite of its effects. Stand up to it and do not be afraid. It requires bravery.
But, in the end, the feeling will pass and you will feel better. The answers you need will come in the end and you will be able to move on.

Thank you for showing me I am not alone in the world and I wish the very best to you all.


Avatar universal
by dewy79, Mar 15, 2011
I've been suffering with anxiety for about 20 years now and am so glad I'm not alone in this Unreality thing. Feeling disconnected and isolated from the your own body and the world must be one of the worst symptoms that anyone can experience. Talking to people even feels strange to me at the mo which is bizarre! My DP/DR started about 4 weeks ago after a night out. I started a new job the following week and had a fully blown panic attack which didn't help. I've since been prescribed Trazodone from my doc to try and reduce the anxiety, 3 weeks has passed and unfortunately haven't seen any improvement yet and if anything feel like it's getting worse. I'm optimistic that it will eventually pass but until then just gonna have to carry on regardless.

    Best of luck to everyone!


Avatar universal
by blue62, Apr 07, 2011
I want to say thanks to everyone.... I experienced derealization for the first time last night and it was the most frightening thing. I kept thinking I was dreaming and that this was not real and that at some point I was going to "wake up". It made me feel like I was having a nightmare and I got very dizzy just thinking all these things which didn't help. It made me panic. I have been having panic attacks seriously for about a year. I used to get the odd one but for the last year they've been quite frequent.

Just wanted to share my story so others dont feel so alone. xxxxxxxx

Avatar universal
by girl475, Apr 09, 2011
Came across this sight because I was looking for relief for my husband.  He experienced depersonalization/derealization symptoms after taking seratraline (zoloft) for anxiety issues and ended up with the side effect of depersonalization which is even worse.  He has stopped taking the seratraline after being on it for a little over 3 weeks.  He's been off the medication for about 10 days and is still feeling the depersonalization/derealization.  I was just wondering if this is common, and if the depersonalization will go away without needing help of another medication.  I was also wondering if anyone else has had this experience, and if they had a timetable of some sorts as to when this would start to fade away.

Hope to hear from someone soon!

Avatar universal
by quinn344, May 06, 2011
I've experience the feeling of depersonalisation about the age of 11,I was'nt sure what it was except i know i felt funny and i was'nt myself, fortunately it went away after sometime, without any meds. now 18 years later i have panic attack disorder and it comes with all of the symtoms, including rapid heart beat, palpitation and depersonalisation. I've been on pms clonazepam,which help alot  with the palpitation and getting my heart rate under control, now am taking apo clonazepam to see if it will help with the depersonalization. It's an annoying feeling but  i know it will go away with time.I am thinking about coming off the meds and treat myself naturally, by eating right, getting about 7-8 hours of sleep, think positive and try to eliminate the source of my panic attacks.

Avatar universal
by Masonsonsonson, Jul 02, 2011
Hey guys my name is mason and I'm 18. I smoked weed out of a bong 20 days ago and I've been feeling very strange. The panic attacks stopped after the first week, but I still feel kinda off. Everything looks kinda fake and I feel like my mind is in a fog. Especially when I think about it. When I'm with friends or playing sports it seems to go away. Its a terrifying feeling and I want it to end. It's relieving to see on this forum that other people are experiencing this but at the same time it's depressing because some people have been victims of it for years. Sometimes it feels like ive forgotten what being real is like. I have so many dreams and expectations for the future and I don't want this to mess with it.
Please email me at mhert.***@**** with any tips and also success stories. Thanks alot guys. Especially deltap..idk if you still check this forum but your post really helped me.

Avatar universal
by jc196969, Jul 28, 2011
Dear all. I had a major panic attack when I was 14 and left me feeling Depersonized. I felt like it would never go but after about 4 years I just did not have it anymore. Unfortunatly I had another panic attack type of thing 9 months ago and I have the same feeling I had all those years ago (I am 42) and just cannot see it going as the feeling of not knowing myself seems to be with me most of the time, although Iet brief moments when I feel ok, and being near people I have know fow a while helps. This is a very helpful site and reading some of the comments has been reasuring. I had always never realy been able to describe how I was feeling, but it was like I just dont know who I am, and I am constantly trying to work out how I am feeling. I just hope that I will think less and less about how i am feeling untill this feeling has gone. If anyone feels like contacting me my email is ***@****

Avatar universal
by kaylow, Aug 11, 2011
Wow all your stories have helped me so much I'm just 17 and I'm totally scared things seem like a dream even myself :.. I was conviced I was insain but I couldn't tell even my mum because she wouldn't belive me .. no one can understand what we go through unless they have been there themselfs .. I really hope I can get help soon thank you all for this boost I carnt live in this hell no more !

Avatar universal
by amyrrt, Sep 14, 2011
Wow...I have been searching forever for this...I had an episode this morning at work while getting report (I work in a hospital.)  Sometimes the episodes, as much as I hate them, feel strangely familiar and almost welcoming.  Does anyone else experience this?  I seem to have the derealization aspect and this has been going on for over a year.  Before that they happened when I was pregnant at 19 and then several times throughout my pregnancy, they stopped for almost 20 years then started back up again.  They come and go.  I have a lot of stress in my life in general, but when the episodes come on there is really no more of no less stress than any other time.  I am wondering if they are triggered by other things as well...low blood sugar, not feeling well in general, etc.  I can't tell you how glad I am to find you all here, this has been overwhelming for me.  I have tried to describe it to my partner but have never been able to get my feelings across.  If anyone wants to email, I would love to have some support for this, I, too feel sometimes as if I am losing my mind.

Avatar universal
by denik, Oct 26, 2011
I live in Russia I am 32 years, and now 13 years old I am a fan of derealization, I quit my job for 3 years and got to the hospital, treated me different injections and pills, I gave the doctor all of  money to the last penny, I did even puncture the spinal cord but nothing helped, in Russia there are no good doctors, and so I appeal to you Americans for help, tell me you can heal me

1842266 tn?1318860459
by onedayillbfine, Oct 26, 2011
its amazing to read this i have been trying to explain this to doctors forever they just gave me blank stares and now i feel at ease Thank you for posting this

Avatar universal
by denik, Oct 26, 2011
watch a movie directed by Numb Harris Goldberg, this is just about me ....

1705773 tn?1326480274
by vicky_123, Nov 02, 2011
hi there i'm 18 my name is Victoria  and am an anxiety sufferer not quite sure for how long but its been coming on for a while untill after i had my food poisoning and i started going down hill i've been bullied from primary school due to people just being nasty and not letting me play with them as they wanted themselves and themselves only in there little group ..and also in high school i was bullied with name calling and fall outs from 2 people all through high school falling in and out in and out and just recently i got derealization and depersonalization i used to feel so isolated and cry every day im am slowly beginning to accept it but i am finding it really really hard ...i have bad symptoms nerves being out in dark ither on foot or in car, tingling all over my body numbness and severe dizzy-ness when standing blurred vision than usual ...forgot to mention i lay on sofa in house for 6 months because i was really depressed witch didn't help the situation as now i am suffering to even go out i get very dizzy upon standing and cant walk far without being dizzy or nerves :/ i would love more help to over come it quick but i know it will take a while :( i also went to psychology for 8 weeks and helped alot and had a better understanding of everything but im still convinced something else is up but all i get is its anxiety that's all it is ... i just really would like to be better thankyou for writing this story :)

vic x

Avatar universal
by angel100164, Dec 03, 2011
Posted 10 April 2010 - 09:08 PM
I won't lie, this is a repost of something "Copeful" posted way back in 2007. However I found the information inside completely invaluable and think it should be posted and/or maybe pinned so that people can find the information with ease. Here's hoping it helps many people :] Thank you Copeful.

The Holy Grail of Curing DP/DR:

I've analyzed and experienced this ******* life consuming blackhole disorder for a longtime since I got it and have found the 10 most important steps in recovery:

1) Acceptance
2) Letting go
3) Distraction
4) Tuning focus back on external world(reality) and interact with it
5) Socializing
6) Facing your fears&burried surrows
7) Eating right
8) Sleeping/Exercising
9) Changing your thinking pattern
10) Re-enter reality & Never looking back

Seems so easy and simple, in a sense it is and on the other hand it's not, it's hard work.
However it IS infact THE only cure that ANYONE with DPDR has used to recover. there will never be a magic pill, so take my word for it and cure yourself by the end of this year and live life happily ever after in REALITY.


This one is probably the hardest, one thing is acknowleding and being aware your suffering from DP/DR.
I think anyone who read this book with DP/DR acknowledges the fact they are fuckedup and got DP/DR.
The thing we however don't do is ACCEPT IT.
Infact we refuse it and fight it with all our energy and time.
Accepting seems like defeat like, damn, I'm ******. But that's not the case.
Accepting means stop fighting it with all ur power, it's the first step in recovery (seems clich�) but it's actually true.
Before you can ACCEPT (again not acknowledge, but ACCEPT the fact that ur DP/DR'ed) you won't recover.
It's also the first step of letting go.
Accepting is not a easy process but it's a quick one. Just say it out loud a few times and really MEAN it:

"I accept I got DPDR, and I know I'm not insane, this is a temporary illness and I accept that I got it"
It wants you to give it attention but you got to accept it's pressence and don't give a ****.
It's like the bully who picks on other kids in school, if they fight him/pay him attention, he'll keep coming back. If they ignore him, it won't have the same effect and the bully will leave.
It's kind of the same with Pure O thoughts and DPDR, so accept it and you'll soon be ready to let go of it

Letting go

This is the next step in the process of recovery, managing to actually let go.
Letting go of the questioning, philosophing, worrying, thinking and wondering "WHAT IF" "COULD IT BE?" "BUT?" etc.
Letting go is different from ignoring, ignoring is forcing yourself not to pay attention which actually means your paying it attention.
Letting go means really letting something go without picking it up 10 minutes later again. I'm guilty of this.
The 3 persons I've interacted most with from dpselfhelp is curedone, ihavemessedupdreams & Fightingdepression, they can testify I had a enourmous amount of trouble with this "letting go" thing.
I couldn't, and I think I've read all the information on every topic there is on the internet, seriously.
Google is no longer my friend, but my enemy.
Letting go is ofcourse a process, it's not something you manage to do while you read these lines just by saying "OK I LET GO OF THIS IRRATIONAL FEARS" and then your cured. It's a process.
You must adopt a I JUST DONT GIVE A **** attitude to these thoughts and lable them as "my mind sending me false information again" and let them go.
In the beginning this is hard but after awhile it becomes easier.
it's the same in treating OCD and it's actually altering the thinking pattern in your mind thus also changing the chemical balance in your brain. This might sound like mind over matter, but it's not mind is matter in you brain and this have been scientifically verifyed and is realy ancient knowledge of buddhists.
Letting go leads to the next topic, distraction, which is essential in letting go, if you just sit around doing nothing, letting go is next to impossible. It's like trying to quit crack addiction while selling it by the kilos.


It's the most fundamental way of curing Panic disorder, depression, OCD etc.
Distracting is hard, ecspecially when your so not connected with your surrounding environment.
Distraction simply means shifting your focus from DPDR to ANYTHING, I don't care if it's singing
Britney Spears HIT ME BABY ONE MORE TIME or jumping in the shower with ice cold water on.
Distraction is the key to letting go which is the key to recovery so distraction is a key to the door of both your soul(self) & reality for DP/DR victims
Everytime you find yourself ruminating over some stupid *** philosophical questions GET UP, run around your house 5 times and do 20 pushups.
Throw a bucket of icecold water over your head and clean your room.
Put on a song and sing to it, watch a exciting movie(not a boring one which will lead your mind to think and not follow the movie)
Something / Anything which involves taking the focus from inward internal conflict of mind to the outward external REALity.
This would be the great time to start learning new things, get new hobbies etc.
I can not stress enough how important consistant 24/7 distraction from DPDR is to recover.
It's either that or your doomed, it's simple as that, honestly put.

Tuning focus back on the external world/reality and interact with it

Now that your letting go of irrational thoughts, distract yourself from DPDR it's time to enter reality and interact with it again. No more isolation, I bet most of you spend 6+ hours aday on the computer with focus on the screen then another 2 hours on the TV screen and the rest in bed.
How do I guess so right? because I've done it for the past year too.
Isolation is the worst thing, it's proven it leads to solipsism syndrome and derealization states.
NASA is experiencing this and studying ways to defeat it in space travel where astronauts surroundings are very little unchanging and they live in COMPLETELY controlled environment for safety.
Their currently finding ways to combat this by having plants which grow without human intervention, animals and random number generators etc.

In your home your in a controlled unchanging environment, which means no surprises, no changes, no challenges & therefore no feeling of reality.
It's when your fantasy/hopes/expectations are proven wrong by reality that you learn to deal and handle reality.
So how do we enter the scary "unknown" without breaking down and killing ourself or going insane?
First we watch this movie(ya'll spiritualist will love this one, but for atheists **** the "God" part and just watch the relaxing and beautiful nature and the encouraging messages)
Now realize this is our fear, the beautiful nature and world there is out there for us to explore and experience.
You live rougly if your lucky 75 years. That means most of us 30-50%+ of that time is already up.
Another fact is that we sleep like 1/3 of our life so this means basically we cannot waste it on this stupid retarded disorder and sit alone in a room killing ourselves emotionally, mentally and personally.

I suggest starting slow, going outside, if your not in a big city, taking walks in nature will be great grounding experiences, hearing the birds sing, watching rivers floath, the trees swinging in the wind, feeling the fresh air and seeing the biiig biiig world out there which you got absolutely NO control over and is completely real and natural independant of your mind. (this is a fact I trust in after studying the philosopher Ayn Rand)
I know buddhists might disagree, but seriously, the objective world is primary, your consciousness is secondary and a direct result of evolution and natural selection.
It's mother earth, and we are it's children.
Feel the happiness of belonging, theres tons of smells/tastes outside too which will bring back memories and sense of self.
Anyway, staying in the safezone = controlled environment = increased belief in your stupid delusional thoughts(doesn't make them real,nothing ever will, but it'll appear more real, thus make you feel more unreal).
So get out, you need the earthquake of facing the scary uncontrolable REAL world to shake you back to reality.
Try not only observing it passively, instead feel the leafs, throw some rocks in the river, walk and feel the ground beneath you, see the changes in the sky, the surroundings etc.
Also I know humans seem strange to you at the moment, faces appear dead/cartoonish if your severily DR'ed and it seems like people got no mind, there's no persona in them it seems, but look at yourself in the mirror u cannot see ur own mind either.
Their minds DO exist and you'll be able to understand it again once ur back in reality and fully conscious and awake.
Start out small, it's great if you got animals, ecspecially cats as they are so self centered and dont give a **** about you, you can see they got their own mind and do as they please and their cute as hell too.
I've found it easier to connect with animals in DP/DR moments, their so full of life and different and unpredictable from us.
Also try to move around to new places, something unpredictable and new is the greatest way of killing of DP/DR.
It's scary so you don't dare to do it, but it's the only goal your seeking, ironic isn't it?
DO IT seriously.


After you manage to get out of your house and trust reality again and start to see it's realness and randomness and you got no control over it, socializing is the next step and the most important of them all.
You will NEVER EVER realize that people exist by studying evolution, watching experiments and brainscans, you will know it intellectually but not EXPERIENCE AND KNOW IT in reality.
To do so you must socialize, with old friends and new people.
For some strange reason the more familiar the people are in reality more unfamiliar people look when your in the DPDR'ed state of mind.
I guess it got to do with the defense mechanism in your brain shutting off the self and "protecting you", but anyway, this is the most crucial and important step in the world for DPDR'ers, realize there really are others out there.
Your not alone, and this will bring back reality to you in so many ways, and is the greatest distractor of them all.
Socializing will also bring back common sense to you too, slowly but surely this will help you greatly.
Don't talk to them about your DPDR, if they ask whats up just tell them your a little depressed stressed and exhausted, don't go into details about it, when your with others try not to focus on it at all, try to focus on the present and REALITY not your deluded fearful fantasies.
Antisocial behavior and isolation while DPDR'ed is like playing russian roulette with all chambers of the gun loaded. It's straightup suicide.

Facing your fears and burried surrows:

The best analogy for this is : your stuck in a endless tunnel you've brought yourself into, every fear that has attacked ur mind that you have tried to fought and ignore has put you deeper into this tunnel. And you see no light at the end, and when you think you do it's a train.
Well ok, lets face that train(fear) then, let it kill you, you must die a few times in this process.
After awhile the train drags your corpse out of the tunnel and you'll rise from the ashes like a pheonix and the fears will no longer affect you and you'll be able to conquer and finally realize and see how irrational and nonexistant the things you feared actually is.
If you fear dying it doesn't mean go to the bathroom and slit your wrist so you can "FACE DEATH".
It simply means say "I dont care if I die", but you got to MEAN it, not just say it.
Death is real and its invetiable, but it's not in the present so don't worry about it.
The other existential philosophical nonesense don't even exist, so facing those is different, here you must either PRETEND their true for awhile until your mind realize it was wrong and you can finally let go or skip that and go straight to the "let go part"...
Let the thoughts occupy the mind, don't pay them attention, acknowledge them, don't agree or disagree, just let them be, starve them to death, everytime you attack them or try to resolve 'em you give 'em a big cheeseburger with fries on your expens(this being your life) so **** that scavanger and let it die out from starvation.
Survival of the fittest. =P
If you've as me gone through traumatic events such as loss of loved ones or other similarly traumatic experiences facing it is a great therapeutic way of recovering.
The last time I felt reality and emotions was encountering my deep burried sorrow of my dad's tragic death which occured right before DPDR and was a big contributer to triggering it I suspect.
Facing it was like unleashing the emotions out of the cage and it was overwhelming but brought me back into my body and reality in a split second, even if it just lasted a few seconds this was the first "hope" for me in months.
A spark of light in the endless maze of dark empty tunnels of DP/DR.
Crying without emotion gives no effect, you need to bring up the emotional cause and unleash it.
Remember your brain has shut this down to protect you from the overwhelming emotions but it doesn't realize the danger is over and you can let it go so you have to remind it and poke on it until it do.
It'll be a hard but crucial process in your road to recovery.

Eating right

While studying anxiety disorders and ecspecially Pure O I found that what we eat contribute a whole lot to our situation.
Our brains is basically billions and billions of neurons which are connected through myelin sheets, same as our nervous system is and anxiety / ocd / slightly schizophrenic / tourette syndrome etc. people got damaged and torn up myelin sheets which is the prime cause of this.
Eating right so that these can heal can be a great great contributer to your healing and recovery.

I suggest this eating regime:

Primrose oil: 2capsules in the morning with breakfast, 2 in the afternoon with dinner, 2 at night with supper. (Must be taken with a protein so it's absorbed up in your system for effect)
Primrose oil is great at rebuilding the myelin sheets and nervous system

Fish oil: 1 before sleep
Fish oil is probably the most known natural mental health supplement it has helped heal brain damage, help brain fog, schizophrenia etc. etc.

Vitamine complex: 1 pill in the morning

Vitamine B complex: 1 pill in the morning (vitamine B has been reported on several OCD forums I've been at as a great supp to lessen the thoughts and mind noise in their heads)

Zinc supplement: zinc is great for mental health and health generally, 1 capsule in the morning and one at supper is all that's needed.

Flaxseed oil: 1 capsule a day

I suspect in very few cases will this eating regime alone eliminate DP/DR(although SOME reports of people changing their intake of food/supps has magically cured their brainfog and dpdr) it will atleast help a great deal.

Also eating healthy is good, fruits, vegtables white meat etc, yeah this almost sounds like some sort of training gainweight/lose weight diet but, logically eating the healthiest will make you healthier.
You are what you eat is a fact in physics not just a setence.
Your body reproduces cells every ******* second, give it the best and it'll reward you for it.
After all, ITS YOUR BODY.

Avoid these: sugar, cigarettes and coffee

Again I'm guilty as charged in all of these, I used to be smoking 20 cigarettes a day and consuming gallons of cocacola (lot of caffeine and sugar).
Everything that ends with INE is negative for you and will make your situation and condition ten times worse, all INE's are stimulants and increase anxiety, pulse and heart rate.
I'm no preacher, but sorry nicotine caffeine amphetamine cocaine heroine is not good for DP/DR.
So if you like me loves cigarettes, this will be the greatest time to quit and when your recovered from DP/DR you'll be so glad you did it and now you got a GOOD reason to.
Another thing is that quitting cigarettes is a goal, it's dicipline, taking control over one of your bad habbits, which in itself is great selfesteem boost it's also a good way to start breaking other habbits like DP/DR thinking, isolation etc.
Plus it will increase your health enormously just the first months, just the first few weeks it'll increase your smell/taste and breathing and lower your chances of heart attack etc.

Sleeping & Exercising:

The reason I bring this up is because first:
sleeping pattern is very important in recovering, you must have a routine and sleeping pattern that is stricktly followed in recovery times.
After all sleeping is when your mind body and yourself actually get the chance to rest
I've been close to recovery many times but fuckedup just because of either lack of or over sleeping ONE day and I've completely relapsed.
8 hours is needed, no more, no less. It will also give your life structure and routine and give back sense of contact with reality in some sense, such as concept of time, dates, day/night structure and routines.
Exercising will help you get better sleep and rest, cause if your doing nothing but sitting in a chair all day long reading forums and symptoms and studying for the magic pill or answers to your endless questions your body is basically in a half sleep mode all day long.
Another important thing with exercise is that it'll help you reconnect with your body, you'll use it and thus identify with it more again and fee it as you did PRE-DPDR'ed.
Also getting in better shape physically is proven to help you mentally.
It's also a great distractor and way of reconnecting life, ecspecially if your gaining/losing weight, it'll be a little goal besides recovering and you'll see changes and be happy etc.
There's tons of good reasons why exercise is great but it's almost essential in DPDR to quicker and better recovery I think.

Changing your thinking pattern:

This is the biggest and maybe most important part of your recovery (think I've said that about 5 times now, but it's true).
This one goes for PureO/OCD/Panic/Depression too.
The cause of your irrational thoughts and fears lies within your brain chemistry & mind.
So by changing your thinking you'll alter your brain chemistry, this is a well known factor in buddhism called mindfulness.
This will take about a month before you really start noticing that the fears/thoughts aren't as intrusive and VIVID anymore but it'll happen if your consistant.
First realize these thoughts are directly a result of your temporary condition, not braindamage/any truth in the thoughts.
Then you gotta learn to let the thoughts go and refocus on something else, everytime one of these thoughts come, realize its your mind on crack giving you false information and no matter how anxious you become let the thought be, don't fight to ignore it, just let it be, "Be the witness of your thoughts" but don't interact.
Humans got approximatly 64 000 thoughts a day, 90% of them is pure ******** and most are not even consciously aware of most of them.
If these thoughts came to you in your sleep you wouldnt give a damn and just label them as subconscious nonesense dreaming, do the same here, cause it is EXACTLY what it is.
Immediately change your focus outwards and try thinking of something else, something RELEVANT to your life & the present moment and immediately DO something.
This is VERY important in changing your behavior, kind of what CBT is about I guess.

Re-entering reality and never looking back

Getting to the point where you start re-entering reality means getting outside the house daily again, socializing, letting go.
It involves more than just stepping outside your house, it means getting into reality again.
You need to get your hobbies interests back again, cause this is what forms your life.
Anyone can go around as a numb observer of the world, but participating in it is the only way to recover.
This is all subjective experience of the objective reality. The objective reality itself won't give you any meaning. It'll give you inspiration, but it's you subjectively who choose what destiny and path of your life will be.
Now taking something as simple as playing cards means this for you: "moving your hands and picking up some cards with symbols on it and try to get certain cards to win".
Thats your DPDR'ed non meaningful dereality, when your emotions come back it's a GAME again, a game that the purpose is to WIN, and the winning gives you a feeling of luck, happiness and achievement.
Even if it's just something as small as a ******* cardgame.
You've got to let go of the notion that reality will just SHOW IT'S GRAND MEANING AND EXISTANCE to you again, cause it's you who create your OWN experience of reality.
The best way to realize this is maybe by watching a child, he can pick up a branch of a tree and play with it all day long, it's giving him a meaning in his life because he LETS it and is dedicated with it.
Thinking and analyzing why people are as real as you won't make you suddenly EUREKA THEY ARE REAL. No, engaging in social life and activies will do this.
It'll become just as obvious to you that these people are conscious as it is that you are.
Analyzing people while thinking "are they real, do they got minds" etc while looking at someone will do you no good. You need to stop analyzing and rather go out and experience, then it will be revealed and obvious again.

Once your starting to recover and get out of the thick DPDR fog, you must NOT look back.
Just a little thinking about it in the first period after recovery is like smoking weed again(if this is what induced it for you). It'll bring it back in seconds.
i've had numerous experiences where I've become a little better for a little while then have a little relapse and it has sent me straight back into it fully if not even worse for months.
When your getting out, theres no turning back, for some REALITY just suddenly is there again, and this is a shock.
It's like you've been trapped in this dark tunnel for so long and when your out the bright sun light is a shock on your eyes. in the same sense is reality to you when your realizing it again.
You go from being deluded almost asleep passive observer of what you hope to be reality to suddenly BAM being in it again fulltime, everyone around you is real, NOTHING is under your control, the world is there, existance is there again. Too some this can be overwhelming and frightening at first.
The good news is that it'll take you maybe 1-2-3days to fully be ok with it again and feel normal. After all THAT IS reality you've lived in your whole life. It'll come back to you quick and you'll be so happy and excited, but don't let the excitment ruin the recovery for you.
You need to go slow, but not too slow.
If you have a relapse and feel DR/DP'ed, quickly distract yourself and not let the fear get hold of you, you've been down that road, it leads to more anxiety, more dp dr, more waste of your life.
When I say quickly, I mean like RIGHT AWAY, don't lock urself up for a day or two just to "feel cool" again, do it IMMEDIATELY before it takes over your mind.
It'll be hard, but it's the only way you'll keep recovering...
If you suffer added PANIC DISORDER, I suggest getting some anti-anxiety(not too strong) pills in emergencies, just incase when your out of your home and safezone get a panic attack you can take a pill or two just to calm down and keep distracting yourself.

DP/DR do's and don'ts


Participate in life (self explainatory)
Get new hobbies and interests (change is very advantagous to cure this disorder and it'll refocus your mind)
Make new friends (again change factor, plus new friends mean non predictable/controlable events)
Have sex (sex is the most fundamental emotional and instinctive of all human behavior so enganging in it should bring fourt the human in you)
Fall inlove (this is hard while DPDR'ed, but if you manage you'll be cured faster than anyone)
Make music (if your an artist, self expression through music is the best way to spark emotions and unleash your own)
Listen to music (if your NOT an artists listening to others will do the same, music is played on instruments by the creator but plays on the emotions of the listener)
Make art (drawing/painting is another way of self expression so if your good at it, do it, if your not good at it but want to be, pick it up as a new hobbie and learn it)
Express yourself (every person feels the need to EXPRESS themselves, find someone who listens and take a long chat with them, very therapeutic and also connecting, to others and therefore yourself again.
Distract, (already explained)
Make socializing your second nature (explained before)
Stay occupied. (explained)
Party (but without drugs, if you manage alcohol without increasing DP/DR great, it's a good social event and also drinking increases social behavior and let your guard down a bit)
The list is endless....


Isolate yourself (staying in the tunnel)
Dwell on DPDR (dwelling is burrying yourself alive)
Think deep thoughts (just increasing your DPDR and anxieties)
Study **** that scares you (it won't lead to anything good, trust me)
Spend more than 1hour on the computer a day(not even on dpselfhelp) (computer is a way of "escaping reality which is the opposite of what we're trying to do)
Letting this disorder take over your life (self explainatory)
Do drugs(yeah it ***** but ECSPECIALLY if your DPDR was drug induced stay the **** away no matter if you recover, you'll kill yourself and never forgive urself if u recover, do drugs and relapse.)


Some exercises that'll help you on your quest to sense of self and regaining reality:

Body scan meditation:

This exercise was brought to my attention by a member of dpselfhelp: LostSoul.
It's basically a exercise to reconnect your body and also "the present" according to LostSoul who's managed to temporarily "recover" using this technique a few times.
The trick is however when you manage to enter your body again NOT to get too excited as it will "shoot you up in your mind" again.

This is what you do:

Lie on your back with your legs uncrossed, your arms at your sides, palms up, and your eyes open or closed, as you wish. Focus on your Breathing, how the air moves in and out of your body. After several deep breaths, as you begin to feel comfortable and relaxed, direct your attention to the toes of your left foot. Tune into any sensations in that part of your body while remaining aware of your Breathing. It often helps to imagine each breath flowing to the spot where you're directing your attention. Focus on your left toes for one to two minutes.

Then move your focus to the sole of your left foot and hold it there for a minute or two while continuing to pay attention to your breathing. Follow the same procedure as you move to your left ankle, calf, knees, thigh, hip and so on all around the body. Pay particular attention to the head: the jaw, chin, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, nostrils, throat, cheeks, eyelids, eyes, eyebrows, forehead, temples and scalp.

Do this for 15-30minutes twice a day.

Increasing/training your senses:

Again thanks to LostSoul

This is a Buddhist technique, used by buddhist munks to train their senses and awareness of their environment.
In the sense of DPDR what this will help is take your inward focus and turn it OUTWARD to the reality again.

You do this by taking one sense a week

Let's start with the ears:

My suggestion is that you spend 30minutes a day this first week going outside somewhere your not disturbed and close your eyes and try to focus your hearing on different things outside.
The greatest spot will either be out in nature or some balcony in the city, try to distinguish and focus on different sounds.
Also listen to music, but not with headphones on as this will feel "isolated", so tune up the speakers and put on some of your favourite music you used to love and try to pay attention to the melody, try to follow it with your ears.
This has a double effect, first increasig your hearing and hopefully spark some memories you have of that specific song/music.

Next week take the eyes which might be the worst impairment of DPDR, your visual perception:

This one you can do all week actually, but atleast dedicate 30 minutes a day to REALLY do it.
Try watching moving objects, such as cars, flying birds etc, follow them with your eyes intensively.
Another is the in and out focus, place a finger infront of your eye and focus on it, then focus on the "background", by doing this you stimulate the eye muscles.
Also try looking around you all the time, don't just look dead out in the air as your sleep walking or something.
You must really try to focus your vision on the world again.

Then it's smelling:

Same here, you can do this all day, all week, but atleast spend 30 minutes a day.
Here only your imagination can stop you, try smelling everything, flowers, perfumes, food, aroma's, soap, chemicals, anything that'll stimulate your sense of smell.
A fellow contributer and DP sufferer at DPselfhelp told me she temporarily felt normal again by the smell of burning leafs and aroma therapy.
So maybe it'll also spark some memories and reality recognition in your head.


Another infinite possibilites, I suggest buying tons of fruits and different food this week.


Touch everything, try to feel different objects, nature, animals, don't ponder it's diversity, just feel without question.
If you got a girl/boyfriend, feel/touch them a lot to.
Again, you'll have to use your fantasy, but go further than touching yourself ok?;P

"I am" mantra exercise:

This was handed to me by my psychiatrist actually it's a very simple exercise.
You basically just sit still and take deep breathes and while inhaling say "here I am" or "i am me" or "here I *your name* am".
Then exhale and feel the air leaving YOU.
The point of this is to locate yourself and body again.

Looking in the mirror:

This "technique" is really just something I've come up with the last few weeks, it's nothing special but i think it might be effective.
Basically it just means looking at your reflection through out the day(not bdd obsessively) but just so you see yourself objectively(cause in DPDR you've lost sense of objective reality and objective thinking)
So seeing yourself objectively over and over again might spark memories etc.
Another thing you can do is care for how you look, try playing "dress up" game or wtf you want.
Get some variation in your looks and take care of it, connect to your ego again.
Also try standing beside a friend/relative or something in a reflection and see that ur just the same, ur not alone, this is hard to "figure out and see" from a first person perspective.


Basically find some photoalbums from your childhood, social events etc.
Look through them and try to remember how it was, try to connect with the event as it was.
Try to spark the memory of it
This is a way you can try to wakeup your SOUL and YOUR relationships with people and the world as it once was.
Staying with friends and talking about the past is probably the best way to connect with memories of your real life, one thing is to sit alone and think about it, but when your with others they'll bring up memories you've forgot and can share them and it hopefully will spark some parts of your memory which is currently out of reach, but it is permanently intergrated into your mind so don't be afraid, it's not lost.

(I got this from a post at I really hope it can help you. Hang in there guys!)

Avatar universal
by EternalChildMJ, Mar 05, 2012
I know these feelings only too well...Thankfully getting help with my anxiety issues I am experiencing them less and less... :)

Avatar universal
by Sandy1621, Apr 17, 2012
Hello i have been experiencing this for the last two weeks. it has been extremely scary for me. reading this article though has helped me somewhat to think i am normal. i have never experienced anything like this before. On april 4th i smoked a lot of weed and got higher than i ever have. i experienced a lot of anxiety and panicked feelings due to the fact that i had never been that high and i was very scared.I, too, saw the world as unreal and dream like. As of now, i am experiencing a lot of drunk feeling. As if my motions are slowed down. I dont know if anyone else has ever experienced this but it would be great if someone replied to me.

i can still function which is a miracle in itself. i still go to work and school but it has been very hard to focus. i feel really lethargic and tired too. my vision feels it becomes warped sometimes and i have headaches daily. my sister said i should go see a therapist and talk about how i am feeling. i have never been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder so thats why i didnt think it was linked to anxiety but i do get very anxious from time to time throughout my life.

I try to not think about whats happening to me, but i can't really distract myself from the drunken/high feeling and feeling unbalanced. it's very hard. has anyone experienced this too? i would love some feedback please. thank you for this article though. i just wish for a clear head again.

Avatar universal
by mneri, Apr 26, 2012
So glad I have found this, I am praying someone relates to my experience.

As a background I have been through a lifetime story as a child and diagnosed as everything fro PTSD to dissociative personality. I now refuse to take meds, no insurance for therapy but function with full-time job, 2 kids and full time school. I have found ways to cope with depression and PTSD that have proven very valuable but recently have been under added stress and recently experienced a spell I could not ignore.

I have suffered randomly for years from these spells. Mostly when I was a child through teenage years. Now 25 there may be only about a dozen times I remember going through a spell in the past 5 years. My biggest problem was I had no idea how to describe them and they were so random and sporadic I was afraid I would be viewed as crazy. I do not mean mildly crazy, as we all are, but truly insane. I have a long family history of severe psychiatric problems and always turned away from anti-depressants ect. in an effort to control my own mind. Today I had a very vivid and odd spell that was something out of a cartoon. All of my senses would heighten and the detached, dreamy feeling always occurred but today it was almost a bad trip. With the "wah, wah" feeling I had an experience that my head and body were becoming deformed to the rhythm. Like with each beat my head would blow up like a balloon and between beats my body would shrink. This was of course only in my mind. I was lying down for a nap with my eyes closed. The sensation came on and then in my mind I was sensing this crazy sensation. I badly wanted to open my eyes but for some reason I did not, most of the feeling left with the exception of a detachment and fog. Does this fit anyone else's experience please help I feel completely insane right now.

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by damnallnighter12, May 04, 2012
About to be 2 months for me, oh how i look back and remember me smiling, and living a carefree life (3/7/12), decided to pull an all nighter before a 12 hour plane ride followed by a 9 hour plane, and then a 8 hour car drive. DID NOT SLEEP A MINUTE in all that, although it triggered on the first plane. And ever since then, It feels as though I cannot enjoy life.
Hopefully ALL OF US, can get through this. It is literally the feeling of being walking around dead.

Avatar universal
by JenSalt, May 07, 2012
I have read your story about this anxiety related disorder and I have definately experienced this and to the extreme. It usually comes on after other even worse symptoms occure. Sometimes I will experience these symptoms you mentioned after a long bout of the more severe symptoms I mentioned in my post you commented on. As if it is part of the recovery process. In fact, it's often seen as a good sign because the more debilitating symptoms have lifted and then this can happen and last for several days or longer. It's very scray because you literally feel like your brain is melting or like you are trying to hold on to reality before it goes away for good and you are stuck in suspended animation. It reminds me of that movie 'Awakenings' where those patients were stuck in a state of endless nothingness until L-Dopa brought them back. There were times I felt like if it got worse I'd end up like that. it reminds me of a severe episode of daydreaming. You know when you start to daydream real heavy and you can't hear people around you for a few seconds of they get your attention, then you snap back into relaity. This condition in me is like being stuck in a daydream you can't get out of. like being on the other side of a mirror viewing life in reverse and trying to get back to it

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by nursegirl6572, May 07, 2012
I know it's scary, Jen, it was one of the symptoms of anxiety and panic I hated the most.  Everything just looked so weird, and I didn't feel like anything was real.  I tell you though, once I started addressing the anxiety, one day I relaized it was just gone!  The less you focus on how you feel (I know, sounds impossible), the better you'll feel too.  You've been on the Xanax three times a day for quite a while.  I'm wondering if maybe you need a small dosage increase?  You may be having some breakthrough anxiety due to becoming more tolerant to the Xanax, which is normal.

If the Xanax has helped you for a while, that may be the case.  I would discuss that with your doctor.  He/she may even decide that Klonopin, which is a longer acting benzodiazepine, may be more appropriate for you.  It's better for long term treatment, and while it also has tolerance issues, they are not nearly as bad as the shorter acting benzo, like Xanax and Ativan.  Also, have you ever been in therapy?  If not, I strongly suggest you look into it.  It is so helpful!

Sounds very much to me like you're suffering from DR (and maybe a touch of DP) due to your high levels of anxiety.  It's a very very common symptom, and while it is awful, it is totally harmless.  Hang in there!!

Avatar universal
by Danielle2304, May 11, 2012
I have been experiencing this for the last 3 months or so. I am a 17 year old girl. This is the scariest thing that I have ever been through. I constantly feel "out of my body" and that everything is not real. I'm not sure if this is normal, but i get scared when looking at myself in the mirror because i feel like i am not real. I also have many panic attacks each day, especially in school. I have been on Prozac for a month and have not seen significant changes. I am also going to see a therapist, who is going to teach me hypnotherapy. I feel like I am never going to get better and that this is taking over my life. I have also felt very sad lately and have no motivation to do the things that i used to love doing. Please write me back with any suggestions.

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by alleycat1126, May 23, 2012
I had this very experience over 15 years ago and always thought it was some kind of weird flu.  The best way I can describe it was that felt that I was under water, just "dreamy" all the time.  I would do something and then wonder if I'd only imagined it.  I had it so long (several months) that I just got used to feeling that way.  One day I just woke up and it was gone.
Very strange indeed!

Avatar universal
by sbutlertate, Jun 04, 2012
i was seventeen years old and about to have my first child. I laid in one of our recliners to take a nap and when i woke up I I felt strange like I had entered a dream world. I ran to the bath room to see if i could see myself in the mirror.  I saw someone who only reflected the person I was. I was extremely scared. I had always been a strong willed person. I thought the devil had taken my soul. I sought the advice of a psychiatrist  He said that I was in shock and he gave me a prescription for valium. it did not help. It made me sleep and actually made things seem worse.   i have lived with this many years. I am now 67 years old and still feel the same way.  It is only recently that I learned it had a name and there are other people that have the same problem.    I will say that there were a few times that I felt like I was waking up and it was always when I had gotten proper rest.  also, I will share with you that in the years that I felt this horrible feeling I was a successful business person.  i was a dental laboratory owner and operator. I served as President of our state Dental Laboratory Association. I served as director of our state and tri state dental lab meetings (conventions).  I tell you this because I want you to know that  your intelligence is not affected by this veil that tries to fog the brain.  I feel relieved to know that I am not alone in this.  And, I believe I will make a bigger effort now to seek professional help.

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by nursegirl6572, Jun 05, 2012
Wow, that's one of the longest I've heard of someone dealing with that, thank goodness that is far from the norm.  Too bad you weren't treated properly, maybe you wouldn't have had to suffer for so long.  Thanks so much for sharing, and explaining that life can go on, quite successfully, even with these symptoms!

Avatar universal
by SJM082, Jun 14, 2012
Alright everyone, I think I may be of some assistance, because I myself have actually gotten over this once before.  I had it horrible and I mean absolutely horrible.  I first developed it when I ate a pot brownie and hallucinated and everything around me seemed so bizarre and unreal.  The next morning I had work and the side effects still persisted!! I didn’t know what the heck was going on because all my friends were alright and I was still freaking out.  Well I decided that maybe it would stay in my system for 24 hours and go away.  Well the next day I had school and when I woke up and started to think about it, it came back.  I started freaking out really badly, and I ended up going in to school late because I thought a quick nap would help.  Well when I got into school I was tripping out.  What I mean by tripping out was I was seeing everything so bizarre, everyone’s faces looked very weird and everyone’s movements seemed to be moving like a videogame or something.  When I went by the lockers, they seemed to have been jumping one by one in front of the one in back of them (like my vision was skipping).  I eventually calmed down after a week because I kept telling myself that my body was probably trying to burn off the THC or something.  The next week I went to a parade and I can remember the whole day being out in the sun was so bizarre.  Everything looked so weird.  That is when I realized that I might have it for a long, long time.  A few years passed and it was controllable... until my freshmen year of college I had a major relapse.  I was out all night on a drinking binge with no sleep and smoked a lot of cigarettes and that night I had a full on panic attack.  That week was probably the roughest week of my life.  I felt like I was hallucinating and that I was never going to get out of it.  That is when I got prescribed Zoloft.  I took Zoloft for about a year and I remember about the second week taking it that I was totally fine.  I was looking around for my derealization and couldn’t find it and after about a year it actually trained my brain to stop getting so anxious and I was then okay to get off of it.  A year later without the Zoloft I was still fine!!  I was living my life, heavily involved in my college’s community; I was president of 2 different clubs, a star athlete.  I even partied every weekend and was still okay during the week with anxiety (which usually doesn’t happen to me).  Then just last week I had a mental break down.  I spend 4 hard weekend binge drinking down the beach with 2 hours a sleep at night and finally last Sunday I had one of the biggest break downs I have ever had.  Needless to say, this whole week has been a nightmare for my derealization symptoms, and its the worst because at my job I need to talk to a lot of people and I keep getting distracted by how weird they look because of my derealization.  I also have a symptom of things spacing around in my peripherals.  I keep focusing on how things are moving around in my peripherals so weirdly and I become fixed on them. It is the worst when I drive because I feel like cars are moving over into my lane, so I had to quit driving for 6 months a few years back until I was on the Zoloft.  Anyway, the reason why I posted this was because I have gotten over this before. The only reason it came back was because I was being a moron and abused my body till the point that I started a major panic attack.  You guys can get over this, and for good.  I really recommend going on a SSRI, because I feel as though it trained my brain not to think of stupid **** like derealization.  Keep the hope up and realize that it will go away.  Just keep trying to live your life and think of happy thoughts in your head to pass the time.  That’s what I did, and in no time it went away (with a little help from medication of course).  The only thing that is keeping my going right now is thinking about how I have gotten over this once and I will get over it again.  

God bless you all

Avatar universal
by Minotrap, Jul 03, 2012
SJM082, I had a very, very similar experience.

I was at a big party when I was about 17 years old where I suddenly started experiencing horrible heart palpitations and the this feeling of losing touch with my senses, like I couldn't feel my limbs or arms or anything. I was having a weed-induced panic attack which was worsened by alcohol and tobacco and other things. I had no idea what was going on and, rather embarrassingly, had the host's mum (English spelling) drive me to the hospital.

I managed to get over the attack, but the horrific sense of anxiety lasted for absolutely ages. I was concerned about my heart, my mind, felt I was going to die, all sorts of things. I became so unattached with anything else but my health that I lost interest in my social life or my college work, and, the worst part, I just wouldn't listen to my doctor's telling me that it was all part of post-traumatic anxiety and stress, and these prolonged effects of marijuana, and that these symptoms were all nothing to worry about.

I guess the worst part was how laid back everyone else, including my doctors, were about it. I felt like I was the only one that understood truly what these feelings were, but I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I started getting convinced I had asthma, due to my anxiety induced shortness of breath, throat cancer, because I used to smoke and I had a lump in my throat (also due to anxiety) and eventually, thinking I had a brain tumour, because I started experiencing what I now understand to be derealization.

This was easily the worst of them all: The feeling that nothing was 'real', feeling like you've realised how weird it is to look through your own eyes, feeling like you're not attached to reality, all these symptoms. Becoming scared of friends and family and people because reality was all too weird.

The worst part was, I just couldn't remember what reality felt like, and I think that's what prolonged my anxiety the most. But, when it eventually passed, which took actually about three weeks, the whole memory of the occasion became clear - that everything was caused by my hyper anxiety.

Unfortunately, a year later I have now done the same thing with weed and am now experiencing the whole situation again. However, after researching this, apparently such symptoms are especially common with weed induced anxiety, weed induced paranoia and the such. Whilst many here seem to suffer from GAD, those who induced derealization from weed should easily start to recover as the drug fades from the system. Heightened anxiety is generally a symptom of marijuana intake, and it should help to know that over time it should become evident that the DR is fading.

I am so glad I found this thread and that so many others experience the same thing. I never knew so many people could experience pretty much exactly what I went through. Just remember that all the negative thoughts about your situation are your anxiety speaking, and that serious relaxation and positive attitude, as well as focusing on your social and common lifestyle will get you through this easily and faster than you expect. Remember that once you are on the other side of this, you realise how much your anxiety affected you and how much of what you experienced and went through was simply down to that.

Avatar universal
by cory2828, Jul 03, 2012
Hi, im a 15 year old boy that is experiencing depersonalization. I starting have anxeity problems like a few months ago and now i just started feeling out of it like unreal. Im not really under stress but I always worry about stupid things. Im trying to just forget about feeling spaced out and accepting it but its hard. When im out of the house and doing something i dont feel spaced but after what i did i look back and wonder that whole time was i spaced out and can sometimes drive me crazy. My advice even though im not through with it yet is just accept it and let it run its coarse and live a positive life and keep my brain occupied it will eventually pass, hope this helped."KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON"

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by NattieMarie, Oct 14, 2012
I hate this so much :(
I have derealiztion, alot now. I used to get it every once in awhile
but now it is very constant because of how high a level of my anxiety
is, and even though i have acknowledged this is only from anxiety
my brain still convinces me that this is always going to be here and your
never going to see or experience life normally again which creates more fear
and anxieties in me..I dont know what to do its causing so much paranoia I start
to feel like im insane, though i tell myself what it is Im still afraid, how can i cure this
after acknowleging this is anxiety, and do i have to take meds to get rid of it, because I really dont
want to i took paxil and lexapro before but i hated taking meds now i guess the verload of stresses
in life on top of my Generalized Anxiety Disorder has caused these symptoms so much more and makes
me insane! Can i drive myself crazy from dwelling on these symptoms so much? thats one huge fear of mine
that ill drive myself insane... Please help. Im only 19 im just trying to get through college and live happy and normal
with my boyfriend :(

Avatar universal
by maraval90, Nov 05, 2012
i overcame anxiety and derealization almost 2 years ago, i had it really bad taught i was going crazy but i got better. well a couple months ago my dog passed away and it was a terrible time for me we were really close, it was so hard dealing with all that, that my anxiety came back along with the derealization. the hardest part was dealing with it all over again, but thank god im getting better again this time i hope that ill cure it forever this time because i dont want to deal with this again. the blurred vision along with the dizziness are a pain to deal with but im slowly recovering again, this life is so funny at times but we all have to deal with it the best we could. i look forward to the future knowing that things will be back to normal again and i can live freely again ive just gotten so numb towards most of my hobbies and life it self. these pass few days have been some great improvements though and i thank god for that everyday. so i guess my point is things will get better just continue to go about your day as normal as possible when your mind things its time that these felling should exist no more then u will begin to feel a difference and enter reality once more im proof of that but u need to address the anxiety also because it is whats causing the DR/DP. my only advice is be humble, be thankfull, pray alot,worry less, stress less, sleep more, excersise more, love more, eat healthy, and find comfort in the fact that your not alone in this battle we are all here to help each other out  ........ PEACE AND LOVE ,   Brandon

Avatar universal
by Meduser111, Nov 11, 2012
Thanks for the post,  I've been an avid marijuana smoker for about 2 years and I just recently quit .On the 1st month 2 week of my withdrawal I started to feel disconnectedness from self  which is describe here to dp/dr in glad to find that I'm not alone going threw. Each day is gradiually getting better..there's I'd hope!!


Avatar universal
by BexBex2012, Nov 13, 2012
Hey guys! I remember experiencing this weird feeling/derealisation in 2010. I was on this website feeling so afraid and uncertain, and needing an urgent solution. So I would like to say a few things for others in the future that will come here with the same problem. I think these tips go for anyone facing extreme anxiety or panic attacks and so on.
Do not worry! I repeat do not worry! read information and become knowledgeable about what this 'weird feeling' really is then apply the methods but do not WORRY, as it was worry that created it, so it will be worry that will prolong it unless of course you take small incremental steps to create some kind of CHANGE, preferably by doing the opposite to get opposite results those being things like ease/relaxation and even joy, and to get that you need to learn to relax and not let those stresses of life be more important than your HEALTH!
For me it was my University project, for you it may be bills, work etc. Because I had a massive panic attack the over production of adrenalin caused me to later experience derealisation. I was so scared, everything went weird over night. The more I resisted it and said things like "ohmygosh I’m never going to be normal" the more I felt weird. Sometimes I would think it was dissipating then as soon as I remembered it came back and my perception went all weird and spacey again.  Anyways I will fast forward to the solutions because I can tell you how bad it got but there’s no point because you will overcome this, even If it really feels like you won’t. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BELIEVE ME!!!! Regardless time will pass and you will be fine again but why not shorten the process of healing, which for me was about 2/3 months even though 4 months later it would unexpectedly flash on me when I was out, especially in crowded places but I realised it was just old anxious fear or flight response to triggers.

SOLUTION 1- Accept that you are TEMPORARILY experiencing this weird spacey feeling, don't resist it, just say **** it I accept you. Talk to your friends, family as you normally would, even if they appear alien to you. Remind yourself that you’re okay and that this is temporary and will leave shortly. (adrenalin and cortisol levels will go back to normal the more your body knows it’s safe but if you keep sending  feelings of fear/uncertainty then it will just resume) so let the body know it’s going to be fine, and at times it might seem like your mind hates you because those weird feelings persist, you have to act as though your fine and not react from that weird feeling –  try to not  say those words “omg I’m never gonna be the same”   it’s hard at first but you will get so good at it. Do not react, as an anxious person you probably have been used to reacting fearfully to things but you have to say okay I feel weird, this place feels weird but I’m not going to get scared.  Soon as you do that it will start to diminish ....I promise, this was the major major key that helped me!  Sometimes it will be sly and make you think it’s gone but it will show is ugly head every now and again. But continue to stay positive and not REACT! And send back fear.
SOLUTIONS 2- EDUCATE YOURSELF: with the problem and solution. When you don’t know about something it seems like this huge monster and that goes for anything in life, in this case knowledge is power. Again the information you read will just tell you that this ‘weird feeling’ is just a temporary by-product of anxiety.
SOLUTION 3- KEEP YOURSELF OCCUPIED AND RELAXED: it’s really hard to go from super anxious to super happy so do not bother unless it’s genuine, but feelings of EASE and RELAXATION are definitely accessible to you. So keep your mind occupied.  For me I started going gym/sauna everyday to keep me busy (lost 2 stones) starting reading books, started riding a bike, took long walks by myself, watched movies that made me laugh, ate chocolate, took naps- Start spending quality time with yourself, do whatever it takes to get in to the habit of feeling ease and relaxation and off that weird feeling and when it comes just ignore it and remember your bigger than it.
SOULTION 4- STOP COFFEE! Or take a coffee break for a while! I know it happened to me because I was stressed and anxious about my grades but I know this was triggered by a dangerous cocktail of lots of red bull, coffee and sleepless nights. We all know stimulants make you anxiously hyper.
SOULUTION 5- WRITE IT ALL DOWN – Get a nice new handbook and pen and take this opportunity to start writing how you feel and what you have been doing lately to cause this, track your progress, write things anything.  I swear I never ever used to write unless it was related to Uni but because I started when went through my derealisation experience I can’t stop, it helps tremdously.

SOLUTION 6- Don’t reaffirm to your mind that you are an anxious/fearful person
Don’t read about other people’s experiences to much, because that will just make you feel anxious which will prolong the weird feeling. I remember reading a post and some lady said this feeling will never go away and that she’s had it for years and it freaked me out, some people are in much deeper doodoo then you, everyone is different. So once you have got the information you need from these anxiety websites and threads immediately get off them, don’t keep perpetuating fear and anxiety or it will just continue and your mind will forever associate you as that fearful anxious person. So  don’t say negative things about yourself, try to worry less, remember that you can re-programme new beliefs about yourself quite easily –there’s to much to say on that so get some quality self help books like Tony Robbins and others.

SOULUTION 7- FAITH VS FEAR it’s really cliché but it’s such a simple POWERFUL truth,  that I had no idea about at one point but just try to choose faith that everything will be okay. Any time of anxiety is about uncertainty of a future event, uncertainty is intense doubt and intense doubt is fear.  So do the opposite, read about it and watch YouTube stuff, there’s heaps of people on there waiting to help you!
These are the main things I done, kept myself busy by going gym, reading, biking, watching, lying in bed watching movies, eating, reading, naps, long evening walks by myself in peaceful places like parks. Stopped coffee and sugar drinks and substituted it for water and lastly retraining myself to not resist the weird feeling but accepting it and then it stopped. Soon after I started meditating and that really helped! I never used to do any of these things before my derealization experience and now I do and my life’s sooooooooooo much better because of it. You have to make time for yourself! So when you come back from work don’t go back into your normal routine, really do everything I am telling you! And you will be fine in no time!!!!!! Gooooood luccccckkkk xxxx

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by josh21892, Dec 02, 2012
@BexBex2012 I really hope this helps. I'm going to take everyone's advice on here. I believe I was visited by derealization/depersonalization after I took concerta which is an ADHD medication. Ridilin. Anyways the doctor prescribed me with the highest dosage and i never took any type of meds...that was smart...not. The second time I took the pill I felt spacey and out of it. Like a zombie. Then when the pill was supposed to leave my body and I was supposed to feel back to normal I still felt Weird. I looked up my symptoms and I remember freaking out at 2am to the fact that I might have generalized anxiety disorder which was a big disorder to me. I couldn't sleep that night and I remember talking to my mom the next day. I told her everything about how I was feeling spacey and like I was in a dream. Like everything was fake. It got worse because I didn't know what was going on. I went into a depression state and lost 6 lbs laying around and not eating. Then my parents helped me get onto a regular regimine again and I came hard at the gym again. The symptoms started to go away and then the same night I went on how to rid my last depersonalization feeling. It led my to a schizophrenia forum....I freaked out again and now thats all i worry about. I convinced myself I have it...even though deep down I know I don't.  Mind you i have ocd and I obsess over these terrible thoughts. It's been the worst and i have crying spells everynight. Reading these posts do help but too much curiosity killed the cat. So I will stop reading these forums lol Im going to see a phsycologist Dec 20. Can anyone relate?

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by nursegirl6572, Dec 02, 2012
Josh,...I think you are very insightful.

"So I will stop reading these forums lol Im going to see a phsycologist Dec 20. "
Sounds like an awesome starting place.  If reading forums like these are a trigger for your OCD or anxiety, then it is best you avoid them.  Once you start working with a professional, you can learn how to set limits for yourself and stick to them, so you CAN take advantage of sites like MedHelp.  

For example...allow yourself to come to MH, but no reading the Schizophrenia forum...only "X, Y' and Z" forums, and then limit the amount of time you spend reading.  Post a little, answer some threads, help others...that gives a big boost of self confidence.  There's a lot you can offer others, even if it's only to reassure them and offer support.  Lastly, NO googling.  The very worst thing people with anxiety can do is turn to "Dr. Google".

Best of luck...stop by the anxiety forum from time to time, and let us know how you're doing!

Avatar universal
by josh21892, Dec 02, 2012
@nursegirl6572 I really appreciate a respond. I honestly am so exhausted mentally and physically. I have made myself physically sick and I have a nasty cold. Other than that I will take your advice to the fullest. Its so hard though because all I want is answers, the answer I find online....there's just so many options on why I feel this way. Like I said schizophrenia is a big deal to me...I always second guess myself of what I'm hearing or seeing. But when I don't think about it (which is rare) that thought goes away. But it usually comes back with a different schizophrenic disorder like "being afraid of being followed by the govt." Deep down I know that's not how I feel I'm just worried that it will happen anyday. I don't hear or see things, I'm not worried that people are out to get me. Another thing that had me worried was a guy at work telling me people who have schizophrenia don't know they have it.....or anyone with a serious mental illness. I then put it in my head "what if I don't know I have it? What if I do and people are covering it up?" It's a teribble thought but I snap back into reality and tell myself it can't be.... I'm just not thinking rationally....and I'm starting to realize this. It's just this depersonalization is making me feel like I'm in a dream, and I question myself....its a terrible cycle. Lately I have been taking omega 3 fish oil. Also drinking lots of water and cutting out sugar and caffeine. I'm off Google for sure now but I still am looking for answers to why this came about. I def believe it was the meds my doctor prescribed me....a panick attack that I had and I never felt "right" or "normal" after that. Besides staying off Google and these forums for most of my free time do you suggest anything else? Melatonin? I'm skeptical on trying it because I don't want to wake up in more of a brain fog feeling than the night before. Feel free to message me or write on here about it. Any other suggestions to best this would be awesome. Thanks again!
Sorry for the long reply post lol too much I have been thinking about...

Avatar universal
by josh21892, Dec 04, 2012
I bought fish oil omega 3, magnesium, sublingual b12 complex vitamin (liquid form), and vitamin D3 1000. I will keep posting and update for how I feel starting tommorow. Lately I have been taking the fishoil and it seems to give me a calmer feeling of hope. Also I have been trying to stick to a high protein diet. LOTS OF WATER!!!! I'll probably be on here everyday to see if anyone posts (I am waiting) lol just because I want to help the future victims of this terrible feeling and keep people positive. I've noticed that if you start your day off with a big breakfast and also just go on with your day accepting the fact everything looks weird, less attention equals more progress to your normal self. If anyone wants to chat on here I will be on everyday on this specific forum....message me also. I will be here until I find the cure so I can pass it on to all of you! STAY POSITIVE! :)

Avatar universal
by josh21892, Dec 07, 2012
Alright everyone. I know I'm talking alone here but the vitamins I bought helped a little bit. The vitamin B12 complex sublingual form was awesome. Worked in half an hour. Brought me back to myself almost. I have been trying to get out lately. And yes going out def brings back that old self of yours. I'm slowly returning yo myself again and it feels amazing. You have to go out....its a must. Go hangout with friends....the mall is what I did today and it was awesome. The vitamins keep your mind out of over thinking and calming it. It also helps keep those repetitive thoughts away and makes you almost not care. And believe me that's what we all need. A way to cope or forget sbout this awful feeling. Like I said shoot me a message on here if you need help getting through this. I'm getting better!!!!! There is hope !!!!

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by maddy132, Dec 26, 2012
but this anxiety thing doesnt make any sense, the only time i ever get anxiety attacks is when im having a episode off derealization and feeling completely in a dream, but when it goes i feel 50/50 like its still there but not so bad that i have an anxiety attack so to me it feels like derealization with anxiety not anxiety with derealization. if that makes any sense

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by josh21892, Jan 08, 2013

It makes sense. I understand what you're saying. But to some people anxiety is so bad that it can cause derealization. For example when something stressful happens and anxiety is at an all time high Derealization can come in because you're over working the brain or stressing so much that DP/DR comes on even harder. Thats when people get stuck in the vicious cycle of DP/DR...because anxiety started it all. You stress, you stress some more, you stress too much, you 're vunerable to a panic attack and you have a panic attack, anxiety kicks in, anxiety makes you worry, your brain goes into defense mode, DP/DR comes on. After doing all of this research im no nurse or doctor...but thats how i look at it.

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by Xboxben, Apr 02, 2013
Hello it's great to see people with my condition I've went into a derealization when I was 11 after I was bullied out of middle school I was wandering if any of you could give me some advice or tips on how to come out of it I recently noticed that I was in a derealization and I'm sick of living this nightmare that I'm in a movie also i play Xbox alot which probly doesn't contribute to my condition and one thing that I noticed was when I stopped playing for 2 months my sence of realization improved but I was never able to come out of it I was aware of who I was I knew it was me looking back at my self but now when I look in the mirror I just see a unfamiliar face looking back at me I've told my parents about it and they say I need to get out side more often but the have a vague understanding of my condition I will be on here daily so if any one can help me what so ever please I begging you please send me a message thank you all

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by nursegirl6572, Apr 02, 2013
I'm SO glad everyone is still talking about this and sharing their experiences.  There are a couple common things mentioned over and over here, I wanted to point them out.


Anxiety is very frequently triggered by drug use.  Sometimes, it's the first time someone gets high, sometimes, it's time # 1,200, years after starting to use recreational drugs.  If you find yourself reading this after an onset of anxiety/panic and/or DR or DP, after drug use, you can bet there is a connection.  What amazes me is the people who try these "experiments".  They've experienced debilitating panic after say....smoking pot, or doing acid, or E, or other drug.  

They are just not convinced that the drug had anything to do with it, so they "test" themselves, getting high again.  Usually after about the 3rd or 4th time, they land here, posting a thread saying, "what is going on?".  The simple and obvious answer is...the drugs have triggered these symptoms.  Sometimes it's the drug itself, other times (more commonly), it's an anxious reaction from the sensation of being high...even if it wasn't a "bad trip".  I simply can NOT stress enough that in order to successfully treat anxiety and DR/DP, one has to steer CLEAR of mind altering substances (even alcohol...alcohol exacerbates anxiety terribly).  It simply makes no sense to keep exposing oneself to something that is very likely causing these issues, or in the very least, contributing to the severity of them.  If I had a severe reaction to something I ate or drank one time, you'd better bet your bottom dollar I would NEVER ingest that item again...there would be no "tests".  Same thing applies here.  It's common sense.

Also, pay close attention to the things people mention that have helped their DR/DP.  I LOVE angel100164's post (a long one) that talks about acceptance and letting go, distraction and getting back into the world (to name a few).  If you are suffering, PRINT this journal and the comments, get your highlighter out, and highlight her post, and any other info that is similar.  That is the KEY to overcoming both anxiety/panic AND DR/DP (and OCD, any kind of anxiety disorder).  You're literally in a battle against your mind.  The FIRST thing you need to do is educate yourself.  Learn about anxiety and the related symptoms.  

Anxiety disorders almost ALL involve some aspect of some kind of obsessive thinking, and usually it is irrational.  TRULY the BEST way to combat that is to learn how to shut off that cycle of worrying, and what iffing.  That's very difficult to do when you're FEELING so lousy, as the symptoms are a constant reminder, but it IS possible.  It just takes practice and determination.  Distraction is the number ONE best way to handle these things....keep yourself busy (which equates to keeping your mind busy).  

The very WORST thing you could do is pull back from life, isolate yourself, sit around and worry, and avoid people, places, or things.  On top of that, most people get stuck in the obsessive frantic searching of the internet.  That will fuel your anxiety like gas to a fire.  Educating yourself about something is FAR different from spending all day every day searching "HIV symptoms", or whatever it is you're "what iffing" about.  Stay AWAY from search engines completely.  if you want to educate yourself about anxiety, there are TONS of great books out there (I've made a health page with resources, I'll post a link at the end of this post).  I cannot say it enough (and I say it a lot on the forum)...distraction is KEY!!  You literally have to try to fool yourself into thinking everything is okay.  Pretend the anxiety isn't even there.  The more you do that, and the more you stay engaged in life, the more your mind will believe it, and the thoughts will decrease.'s an awful lot like a big game of poker, the mind is bluffing you with symptoms of anxiety, making you worry that there really IS something to be concerned you tackle it the same way, by trying to bluff your brain into thinking there's nothing at all to worry about (which there usually really isn't).

There is just SO much useful info in this journal (the comments).  Print it, and read the tips.  They really WILL help you.  If you do the things listed (and not just willy-nilly, I mean REALLY put your heart and soul into them), you WILL get better.  The more you ruminate, sit around, avoid people places and things, the more you isolate yourself and read about the things that scare you online, the worse you will get.  That's a guarantee.  A LOT of dealing with these symptoms involves work YOU yourself will have to do.  A lot of it is self control and self motivation.  Think of it like a "thinking" diet...there are certain thoughts you want to stay away from that are no good for you, at first, it's difficult, and you struggle to find the willpower to ignore those thoughts and not give into them..but with practice and perserverance, it's definitely possible.  Professional help is paramount, but the therapy doesn't end when you leave your therapist's office.  If you can, find a therapist who has experience with CBT.  That is a form of therapy where you will learn first hand the ways you address this to stop this kind of anxious thought process.  Always ask your therapist for recommendations...rescources, exercises, anything you can do yourself to add to any progress beind made on the therapy couch.  Taking a pill a day, and going to a session a month isn't enough,

Keep talking,'s wonderful to get your story out there, and let others know what has, and hasn't worked for you.  There IS hope.  Plenty of us have experienced this to some degree, and most of us have success stories to share, where once we dealt with the anxiety/panic, the other stuff (DR/DP) followed suit.  If you're new to this, and need answers or support, the best place to post is in the anxiety forum, as this journal doesn't see regular consistent activity.  This isn't the place to ask questions you're looking for immediate answers to.  Here's the link to the anxiety community:

Here's the link to the health page listing resources for anxiety/panic  (Please feel free to add any resources you're aware of that you found helpful in the comments section, and I'll add them to the list):

Wishing you all peace and a speedy recovery from anxiety and DR/DP!  I've been there, done that, and have the T-shirt, so my heart goes out to you all..I KNOW how scary it is.  You too can overcome it all.  Patience, professional help, and hard work!

Avatar universal
by Xboxben, Apr 07, 2013
Another thing I would like to add is that even tho I'm in a derealization I don't focus on it I don't get anxious it's almost like I'm in my own world nothing out side exists I don't know if that's a side affect from playing video games 8 hours a day every day for the last 3 years I'm confused and at this point I have no idea what I should do after I went out last night I had some concept of reality like I'm a step back from being in a derealization

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by nursegirl6572, Apr 07, 2013
Oh yes, video games 8 hrs a day is NOT good for the mental health sweetie!

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by josh21892, Apr 25, 2013
I got over DP after having it for 3 months. The trick is to just accept it and let it be and it will fade until one day you notice it's gone. Go out and enjoy life, have fun with your friends and start living! I know it sounds hard but pick up a hobby, don't be discouraged. Don't let DP DR keep you isolated in your house. I remember sitting in my house experiencing this scary dream feeling and it was the worst DP. When I went out it got better. I remember talking about it and saying "I'm never going to break this terrible nightmare." but I did. And I said I would help anyone out who was going through it and I'm sticking to my guns. I see a psychologist and he told me to relax but it's me worrying and it is anxiety that cased this. Anyone going through this needs to know that there is a light at the end of this tunnel and you will break this, and when you do you will feel silly it was that easy to break in the first place. Chin up. Head high. Stay positive.

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by nursegirl6572, Apr 25, 2013
HI Josh!  So glad to see your update!  You've said some very important things above!  Those really ARE the best ways to overcome DR/DP!  The more you throw yourself into life, and spend time with other people, and stay busy, the less time you have to think about it (which makes it worse).  When you stay engaged in life and a normal routine, the symptoms start fading into the background...then eventually they resolve all together!

Hope you stick around and post on the anxiety forum, you could really help others.  Take care!  XOXO

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by josh21892, Nov 12, 2013
Well. It's been about 7 months since my last post. Just wanted to see if this thread is still going strong. Thanks nursegirl6572. For all of your help and advice. I'm back to normal! I haven't thought about DP/DR in forever. I only thought of it now because it was favorited on the internet. Haha

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by nursegirl6572, Nov 13, 2013
Wonderful update!!  Thanks for sharing, Josh!  I wish you the best!  :0)

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by DavidG25, Dec 03, 2013
There is a wonderful book available regarding how to cope with DP/DR. It is entitled "At Last a Life" by Paul David. He suffered with Chronic Depersonalization for almost 10 years, but he was able to recover completely. In a nutshell, DP is caused by extreme stress, anxiety, and negative thinking. When depression and panic attacks start in, the body/mind/emotions can't take anymore of the constant internal dwelling and worrying about the symptoms. So the body shuts itself down as a protection mechanism. That's all it is. It is your body taking a time out to heal, but it is incredibly scary at first and alarming. The best advice Paul gives is get on with your life and learn to live alongside the symptoms of unreality. This not only allows your body/mind/emotions to heal themselves, but it also gives a person the opportunity to correct negative thinking by distracting ourselves so we don't obsess. Most people that are prone to anxiety are very hard on themselves. There isn't a miracle cure, no magic bullet, no drug that can make the sensations go away overnight. It does take time to recover, but it can work. When I got it, I couldn't read a book, follow a movie, have a conversation with someone, or drive for 2 months. But I am better as a result and you can be too. Check out (I believe) and check out what Paul has to say. What have you got to lose? It's about getting something back, and the way to do that is to stop trying to fight and control the problem, but let the healing come to us. DP/DR are harmless symptoms, but they are very annoying. See if the book is for you. His website also provides wonderful insights to this and he provides some easy solutions that take time to work with. But it can happen. If I can do it, anyone can. There is hope all.

Good luck, and don't worry. Nothing is as bad as the thoughts we choose to associate with...

Avatar universal
by Mrmojorisin32, Jan 17, 2014
I want to add one more thing on here that's important.  Yes, it's originally caused by a shift in the brain chemistry, but what happens is you get "stuck".  What happens is you have associated this visual and feeling with "fear".  So what you do is start "over analyzing" and 'testing" 24/7.  It's still there because your mind is in this protective mode.  If people and world look less real then you can't be hurt.  For me it happened after a very tragic event in my life.  I did search the internet all the time and thought I went crazy.  It's still there, but I'm getting better living with it.  I still have deal with the anxiety, which is the underlying fuel that keeps it going.  I fought and tried to control it myself.  Of course it wouldn't go away!

I act like i have beat this thing, but I have not.  I'm dealing with it and it's annoying!  However, I'm starting to really understand what is going on here and going to really listen to nursegirl's advice.

Thank you for reading-

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by nursegirl6572, Jan 17, 2014
Charmin, so glad you found the journal!  There are sop many great tips in the comments!  Plus, as you can see, you're FAR from alone!  Sometimes we have to "fake it til we make it", and sometimes if we ACT and pretend everything is fine, sometimes the brain buys it.  Worth a try!

Keep posting on the forum, and let us know how it's going!

Avatar universal
by lexiboo26, Feb 03, 2014
You are very helpful, and reassuring , thank you for shareing this. If I didnt get your post I would of been stuck still and trippinq out bad soooo thank you, thank youu!! ♡♡

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by Dubfresh, Apr 22, 2014
I don't know if what I'm going thru is caused by drug use and extreme anxiety but I've bin having a lot of physical symptoms that debilitated me for small amounts of time. I also suffer from do and dr but I have something else mentally that I can't seem to get an answer too. We'll first I would like to explain what's happening I have bin having really confusing weird thoughts and I've bin doing some weird things as we'll like I'll be watching tv and I will tap my fingers together to try and change the tv but I notice I'm doing this and it scares me as well as my thoughts become very scrambled like one time I told my gf that I love her and after my mind said I would give ten bucks for your love but I was actually trying to think about something else to say to my gf I've bin confusing things like iPods with phones And one time I saw a kids cereal box with a find the items game on it and it was a magnifying glass that had a picture of a house and a neighborhood and I tried zooming in to find the objects in the picture like I zoom in on my iPod but I notice these weird things and they actually scare me  us no one knows what it is  I've had MRI and ct and all the blood work possible they've found nothing wrong and say it's anxiety and maybe a form of psychosis but I find no information about people or symptoms that match mine mentally does anyone know what this is?

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by nursegirl6572, Apr 23, 2014
Dubfresh....I'm sorry you're struggling, have you been evaluated by a mental health professional?  It sounds like you're having intrusive thoughts, and some of what you describe sounds similar to OCD.  I would recommend seeing a professional for an assessment.  You could also post your story on our OCD forum to see if it resonates with any of the folks there:

Good luck, please feel free to post in the anxiety forum, people will better be able to follow along with your situation than they would on this journal.

Avatar universal
by Dubfresh, Apr 23, 2014
Yes I have, with all the physical symptoms I have with this as well they don't have a specific answer for me but thinking it may be psychosis and extreme anxiety. Thanks for the link I'll check it out.

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by Ski17, Aug 18, 2014
Thank you, that's all I have to say

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by lesweet1971, Aug 30, 2014
Did anyone ever find meds helpful in their recovery?  I had a bout if anxiety and depression that started in Feb 2014. It's taken awhile to find the right med/cocktail. (I'd had - few bouts of depression/anxiety in the last 21 yrs- I'm 43, but always just took an AD & got better in 4-6 weeks). This time I was on a med. I thought it was pooping out so I switched and that was no good.

So since Feb, been trying to find a med/combo to alleviate my symptoms. It was mostly anxiety at first then deoression. The DP/DR came on a cpl months ago. It's not 24/7 but even one minute of it is upsetting lol. I haven't smoked pot in 20 yrs but frankly, pot induced anxiety in me. I can do that on my own, don't need a drug lol.

I started taking 100mg Pristiq & 25mg Lamictal 2 weeks ago. The first week I felt really good. This 2nd week, I've had a few days of the DP/DR.  Today I'm to up my Lamictal from 25mg to 50mg. I'm hoping the increase helps.

Id love to hear more success stories and what worked for them. Thanks!

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by real_jimmy, Sep 01, 2014
and we have all suffered and felt like aliens :)))

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by Lev1Fagan, Sep 18, 2014
Does Anybody Take Citralopram ?  

I Started Having Panic Attacks Again Lately, And The Doctor Has Put Me On Citralopram Because The Propanalol Arent Working As Good Anymore... But The Side Effects Are Horrible!  

I Dont Feel Myself Today At All, I Cant Sleep, I'm Not Even Eating Properly... I Am So Worried I'll Get Derealization Again, I Dont Want To Be Put Back In That Mind Set. Can anybody Reccomend Any Other Medicine, Or Are These Side Effects Normal.

Any Help Would Be great :(


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by nursegirl6572, Sep 18, 2014
Hi there Lev1Fagan...

Probably best if you started a thread in the anxiety forum:

More people will see it and reply.  

Briefly, the start-up side effects can indeed be bothersome to say the least.  Thankfully, for most people, they're short lived.  I'll keep an eye out for a thread from you in our anxiety forum, where we can discuss this further.  Hang in there buddy!

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by carlwclayton, Sep 26, 2014
A few weeks ago I met a girl whom I fell in love with quite swiftly, actually. My derealization bottoms in my social-phobia and after I chatted with her for two minutes, she told me that she found my blog. My blog is all done for entries but I haven't had the guts nor time to post anything of value yet, somehow though, she found me there anyway and decided to write. Since then I've been feeling so good, you cannot believe. We're together and honest to God, I never thought I'd love anyone as much as I love this girl. ( I've been a lone wolf for the past six years, no relationships before this one. )It's incredible how good life feels. But on the other hand-.. I've never felt this bad before. I'd prefer the derealization again. The "movie"-vision.

I'm nineteen and have been struggling with social-phobia and derealization for about three years now. It's become my way of living. I've just swallowed it and accepted that my life was supposed to feel that way and then I've just gone with it.

Two days ago, I started to feel -really- weird. I think that many can relate and imagine as if the corner of your eyes "opened up"? I feel as if I'm six feet shorter in a much larger world all of the sudden. Every movement I make suddenly feels as if they're a part of my body and it's completely freaking me out. I know that this is a good sign but I am really freaking out. I feel how I felt when the first "derealization"-feeling appeared, only-... reversed.

Has anyone else felt this? Even though it's individual, I'd like to know if it gets worse before it gets better.
Or is it just I that have to accept that it is okay to feel good? Am I keeping my own happiness out?
Anyhow, three years have passed - I just hope this is it.

Avatar universal
by carlwclayton, Sep 26, 2014
I should probably mention that my blog is about social-phobia and that she found it since she has severe social-anxiety and social phobia as well.

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by lajacks, Oct 22, 2014
I Lost my brother a year and a half ago and just lost my mother 2 weeks ago. When my Brother died it took 6 months to start my panic attacks which lead to Depersonalization it was scary. I was watching all the gym members pass me by like if I was watching them pass in a movie. It  stopped after a week or two. Well now my Mother died and the feelings are back but this time I'm ready for it. Not buying into it ,the feelings come and I talk about and shake it off. Doctor friend gave me Ativan , low dose. Being 18 years sober don't want to start a new addiction. So where I'm ahead of the game this time is being aware of it and not letting it grow into fear and panic. God is good and don't make junk. Every once in awhile we just need a little alignment. If I can work with it so can you all . Good Luck and God bless !

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by hotpheonix27, Oct 22, 2014
I most say am really glad I met this page, mine started after series of traumatic events for a week non stop its from being a victim of robbery, bad break ups, school stress and family stress I got so depressed to the point I could not eat, could not sleep, noticed my heart beats outta control and it all seemed foreign to me cos for my 25 years on this earth I av never experienced such so I went to the doctor and it went down hill from there. Usually I am very sensitive when it comes to any mind altering substance noticed that when I eaither take alcohol or weed, weed was worse cos immediately I take d 1st puff I start to panick till I fall asleep. So the doctor, he told me it was stress and handed me Valium which as at then I dint know what it was or anything about withdrawal, all I knew was it will help me sleep which I took everyday for 3weeks then I noticed my problems doubled so I googled this drug thank GOd for almighty Google, I was furious, if I had seen that doctor I would av given him d punch of life. So immediately I stopped cold turkey and I experienced the worst thing in life omg I tot I would die. And in Nigeria there is nothing like therapy u handle your problems by yourself so I trusted my life on Google and started doing as I read. Finally within six months I got through the major symptoms and all I have left is drealization which comes up due to stress or things that reminds of my traumatic event, had panick attacks the 1weeeks of withdrawal which is followed by derealization but it been months since I had panick attacks and some times the derealization freaks me out to d point where I feel I might get the attacks and what helps is to change your mind set immediately and persuade yourself you are OK.most of what is affected is driving so scared I might bump into something I still push myself to do it, afraid of going out at times but I still push myself on that.what I know I haven't done is travel probably cos I am scared of unfamiliar places. And again for women I noticed I get most of this derealization a week before my period don't know why though. But my stops at times and shows up after a stressful event but in all I think with time it will go away. Let's stay strong and stay of mind altering meds OK? Loads of love.

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by Naturalhealing2, Jan 24, 2015
Derealization is something that I was completely unfamiliar with until January of 2014, It started for me immediately following a panic attack I experienced after receiving a one time steroid in the ER for an allergic reaction to ibuprofen. This is the most strange, fear invoking feeling I've ever had. I would not wish it on anyone .... Not even my worst enemy. It's quite unbelievable that nobody can see or understand a problem that feels so debilitating to another human being. I have not had any panic since  February 2014, the derealization persists. I don't feel anxious at all at this point, but I continue to have derealization. It is definitely more severe right before menstruation. I haven't worked since this happened to me, but at this point I may have to for financial reasons. I don't know if I can function in a workplace with this issue. Honestly, I'm just making every effort to ignore it while waiting for it to leave. It will be a year on Monday
Are you able to work with derealization?

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by stel3781, Feb 26, 2015
Hi Nursegirl- Thank you so much for your helpful information.  I have had this feeling for the past 9 months.  How long did you have yours for?  I need some reassurance that this will pass.  

Thank you :)

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by Iloveyou123456, Mar 03, 2015
I need ur help im not sure of what i have exaclty im a smoker female 21 ive been smoking since 3 years ago hash included and one night i was watching a movie with my husband and all of a sudden i felt that am not okay and nothing is real and that my legs are not mine i couldnt imagine that so i panicked and i went out of the room my husband came to me and tried to make me feel better i couldnt whenever i calm down i think of it i start to panic and immediatly have this urge to use the bathroom note that i had diarreha anyway it kept going and coming i had plenty of water but still it goes and come i dont know what is this exactly its so scary because i thought that iam going to die and no one could help or even try to make me feel better i couldnt walk my body was numb and so cold the panic lasted for a 10 min  4 times in a rown it felt crazy its not me its not my body and that am going to die any help please do i have a mental disorder  it felt like my mind had corrupted :/( wasnt even close to being high)

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by 1worriedmomhere, Mar 19, 2015
Hey I have a 15 year old son that has not been feeling well for the last week. He says things just don't real.  For instance he says he knows he went to eat with his friend and went to a baseball game but it's like he never went.  I know that teen years can be stressful.  Does this sound like something you have experienced. How can I help him? Thanks for your help!

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by MiddlekauffEvan, Apr 04, 2015
Hello, I'm 17 and two or so weeks ago I smoked and had a massive panic attack, and the next day I felt like I was going through derealization, but it only lasted a day. Fast forward ahead two weeks and I just finish eating dinner and all of a sudden I feel really strange. I thought of a flashback at first, but it was worse than that. I made some chamomile tea and fell asleep hoping to feel better in the morning. I didn't exactly feel better, instead I felt worse. I've been dealing with it for about a week and 4 or 5 days now. I've been going to school and getting outside more and it helps. I also saw a therapist and got techniques to relieve my anxiety (the underlying cause I assume) like earlobe massages, journaling your thoughts, deep breathing, but focusing the breathing into your belly, the somatic experiencing technique as in naming the things you see, hear, feel, taste, etc. and checking out a yoga studio... Depends on the person for what style of yoga they like. If you want something more slow paved, then go for Yin. If you prefer something more fast paced try Flow. I wish all of you the best, and I know we will all over come this. Also, for anyone who prefers natural medication, try Theanine Serene by Source Naturals, and brew Chamomile tea each morning and put it into a hydro flask and take it with you everywhere you go. It truly helps me.

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by MiddlekauffEvan, Apr 04, 2015
And I know it seems tough to go outside and face the world while experiencing this. The first time I went out for a walk at a nursery with my grandparents, I couldn't look out of the window or I'd freak out. I had to have my grandmother hold my hand as I laid down. Even walking was terrifying. As I got out more and faced reality each and every day, it became easier and easier until I got to the point I am at now where I absolutely dread coming back home. I just sink back to a sad state when I come home. Getting outside has helped tremendously and it's even better when the sun is fully out and you can feel the warmth. We as humans are more happy when we are exposed to the outside world and sunlight, so please, please, make am effort. You won't regret it.

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by jburd, Apr 10, 2015
Here's my experience, I smoked weed the first time at a friend's house. Thought I was having a heart attack when I was high and I probably had to much fort my first time.I felt depersonalization for nine days then it went away. Then suddenly out of nowhere about a month or less later it came back. I still feel it and it's been 4 days. Someone please answer I want this to go away. I don't have anxiety or anything like that, I just want this to go away. When do you tHink it will

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by MiddlekauffEvan, Apr 13, 2015
@Jburd It's hard to say. You could be under a lot of stress or you're having a flashback to the bad time. Mine kind of came on out of nowhere, but I deal with a lot of anxiety and stress. What I recommend is taking supplements like magnesium, multi-vitamins, b vitamins, fish oil, primrose oil, etc. Try and buy this stress/anxiety reliever, "Theanine Serene" and drink a lot of chamomile tea. Don't be afraid to go out and be active or maybe join a yoga class, even meditation works great. Just set small goals for yourself and achieve them and just try to immerse yourself back into reality. I'm stil going through it after two or maybe three weeks and I have my bad moments and my good moments, but overall I'm seeing improvement each day. You will get better, much love and support to you. Hope you feel better soon!

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by Yaksatom, Apr 17, 2015
Hey I am so happy to find this post! I thought I was going crazy!!!!!! I am going through DP and DR right now, it happened when I came off doxycycline an antibiotic. It's horrible I wouldn't wish this feeling upon my worst enemy! It's been a few days and I am struggling but what seems to help is natural medicines. St. John's worts, Kalms, Rescue remedy, B6 vitamins, Magnesium, multi vits etc!! Just keep your mind busy guys. I am certain I can beat this demon of a feeling, all we have to do is just get on with life and almost laugh in the face of DR and DP! Our minds are just stuck and once you come out everything will be rosy :-) just tell yourself it'll pass and work around it guys. Hope this helps!!!!!

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by mckritty, Apr 22, 2015
Hi everyone!  I just wanted to tell my experience with DP/DR. Anyone dealing with this is living through a terrifying experience.  However it will go away. Yes I know there are people who have dealt with it for 20 years and that scares people thinking they will have to live with it that long or always and that is just not true. The reason why those poor people dealt with it for that long was because 20 years ago nobody knew what the heck it was. Now they do. There is finally a name to describe the symptoms and more and more people describing the exact same feelings. 20 years ago people not only didn't have a clue about this but they probably didnt talk about it and suffered silently because they were scared they were going crazy and didn't want to tell anyone. So things are different now. You don't have to suffer silently.  So many people experience this. I had an experience with DP/DR 13 years ago. I got it from smoking pot. But people also get it when their body is stressed out.It lasted for about 5 months.I thought i was going crazy. Nobody understood what I was feeling and I got scared to tell any more people about it because nobody was getting it. Then one day at a Dr. appt my Dr.told me his brother went through the same feelings. I started crying instantly because I felt so relieved and I finally had hope. From that moment on I stayed busy,  focused minute by minute on staying active and focusing on my breathing. I took some anxiety medicine  and just hung out with my friends staying in the moment. Dont get me wrong some nights I would be out with my friends and have to go home early. But then I just kept focusing on the present moment and one day I realized it was gone. Just like that. I don't even know how long it was  that I felt fine. But it happened and it will happen for ALL of you too. Just hang in there. Find a hobby to stay busy. Mine was collecting recipes and then making them. Also get a massage it will help withbringing your senses back because your focused on how good the massage feels and your in the moment. Its meditative.You will make it out of this!!

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by selfmedxo, May 28, 2015
Thank you for this post, however old it may be. I have a BPD and have had anxiety since puberty and everything seemed to get worse as I went into adulthood and moved out and everything. I've been experiencing derealization episodes, especially outside and in bright lighted rooms and been extremely paranoid walking home at night, almost convinced someone is following me. I thought I was going psychotic or in the prodrome of schizophrenia and my anxiety fed that I think. I also thought that because I'm addicted to smoking pot/drinking alcohol to ''escape'' my anxiety, that might feed my thought of going psychotic. I'm really relieved to read that derealization is common in people suffering from anxiety. It is quite a bizarre experience to fear and wonder if what you see is really reality because it doesn't feel real.
I'm still going to watch my symptoms but this lifted a little bit of weight of my shoulder. Thank you!

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by Crazycastillian, Jul 01, 2015
Lot of good information here. I think that being aware this is part of a disorder has helped me more than anything. It doesn't make it easy but I know I'm not going crazy or am going to die. I just understand that I get hypersensitive and if I don't do some self talk or calming things can get out of hand really quick.
I would say that anyone dealing with depersonalization needs to understand this is a result of a mental disorder and you need to get help cause it won't get better all by itself. I can cope now and even find myself being observant of this surreal experience. I have anxiety/ panic disorder and have been to counseling along with medications which has helped me to live a somewhat normal life. It is a fight for sure but I would encourage anyone here to seek help because you don't have to feel this way and there is help. It's a terrible and overwhelming thing to suffer alone.
Here are some sources that I use regularly: Anxiety Guru podcast with Dr. Paul Dooley
Mindfulness meditation exercises ( you can find decent ones on YouTube.
Stoic writings by Epectitus " A Manual For Living"
And Senecas Letters t Luchillis. These schools of thought were the precursor and concepts for Cognitive behavioral therapy.

Last but not least you have to stop mind altering chemicals. I'm  telling you in the end they harm you much more than help. I know it is a tough one but I quit drinking and smoking. It didn't come easy but my mental health became way more important. you are never alone my friends. Fight the fear, fight the depression. Keep pushing no matter how tough it gets. Much love, Matt

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by Pugness, Jul 18, 2015
Thank you all for sharing your experience with DP/DR.  I have been suffering form both but more from DR than DP, since I had my thyroid removed April of 2014, and three days later I had my first episode that lasted two weeks.  I was terrified because along with the DP I had blurred vision to where I could see my silhouette on the mirror but not able to see my eyes, nose, lips. My father drove me to the many doctors appointment I had and my fiancé drove me to the hospital twice in the two weeks.  In the hospital I was given medication for panic but it did not help at all.  I have been desperately looking for answers for what is happening to me. Today I ran into and for the first time I realized that I am not alone.   All the articles I have read have given me hope that one day this horrible experience will be nothing more than a bad dream that will never come back. I don't smoke, drink, or have used drugs.  I have never smoke pot.  But Stacelynn said in her article that she was using Flonase and I was using it as needed before the surgery.  Also I was given Norcol for pain after the surgery. And now for the rest of my life I have to take Synthroid to replace my thyroid hormone.  Has anyone think or know that Synthroid may cause DP/DR? Thank you all again and please post your progress it will be nice to know that you are better. Thank you so much again

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by reachael, Aug 03, 2015
All these chaotic sad experiences
Im so tired, mentally, physically  and spiritually
Everyday its like I wake up   and attend my own funeral. Everyday. There has to be hope.

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by Tiss1234, Sep 03, 2015
I want to make this as short post as possible so I will highlight my horrific experience with depersonalization and de realization. First of all I empathize with each and every one of you!  After having come through the other side I assure you that there is help but be persistent!

1971 (fall)  smoked pot and became very paranoid with feelings of deper and dereal-- didn't touch it again
1972-- January -- a horrid person slipped me some LSD. I had no idea what was happening having never done any drugs aside from the pot.  Absolutely terrifying experience and became very paranoid and psychotic with terrifying depersonalization and derealization symptoms that lasted years. . Ended up in a mental hospital for 4 months and missed the 2nd part of my sophomore high school year.
Developed severe PTSD which of course no one had heard about in the 70s. Was diagnosed with PTSD 20 years after the slipped acid event. Believe me, I suffered through those years but somehow made it through college and got married and had 2 kids. Many many episodes of severe depression during this time.

After getting my diagnoses of PTSD in about 1992 I tried different meds which helped some and years of great therapy. But still had a lot of break through symptoms.

In my early 40s I was put on Lexapro and Xanax and restoril for sleep. Finally had a respite but still fought symptoms although not as intense.

Mid to late 40s-- around 10 years ago I went to see a specialist in EMDR.   It took about 6 sessions but it works. It was frightening reprocessing my traumatic event but not nearly as much as going through the experience again.  I still take Lexapro, Xanax (2mg day) and restoril at night. Yes it has caused a dependence on these benzodiazepines but give me that any day over reliving my nightmare again and again. I always take only as prescribed.  

I am now 59 and happier than I've ever been. I rarely experience deper or dereal but if I even think those feelings may be coming on I take a deep breath and self talk: this is anxiety.   My triggers are fluorescent lights, and cold bright winter days.  I take care of myself very gently when faced with those and have done very well since the EMDR.  

There is so much more help and great meds than back in the 70s and I wish everyone here the best of luck in finding the right kinds of help--/ meds, therapy, and EMDR -- that's what worked for me. Never give up hope!  And please know you are NOT alone!

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by themoonandthestars, Sep 23, 2015
I began having panic attacks a year ago during nursing school...these in turn led to general anxiety but through CBT and research into managing anxiety I made a lot of progress. During a particularly stressful time approx 8 months after my initial panic attack I began feeling immense anxiety again and constantly ill. It felt as if my head were rocking 24.7. Suddenly I sank into a derealized state and the external world appeared fake to me. Literally psychedelic looking as if cars were toys and the landscape fake paintings. I have now been battling this for 4 months, and have had relatively zero improvement. Things came and went during a month of lessened stress, but have been progressively worse as school started again. I have been having a horrible time with this and am desperate to feel good and see the world in a normal light. I am grateful to hear that some of you have managed to snap out of this's truly debilitating and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. If anyone has any similar stories please share, it helps. I can see that extra stress exacerbates derealization, but how can you Not stress when your world appears cartoonish/you feel dizzy and overwhelmed by your senses...? Most people I tty and explain this to think it sounds nuts and they are right it does. My family doctors are not even familiar with derealization, which further adds to my anxiety.

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by lovely11342, Sep 25, 2015
the best way is seeking jesus Christ, trust me he is the only savior and doctor. In short terms how can some one understand what you have except your creater who created your mind, soul and body

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by lovely11342, Sep 25, 2015
I also believe this disorder is kind of mental satanic attack so please don't rely on drugs rely on jesus and test him he will help you and this might happened to you here on earth by our god plan so he can save you from hell so change your life and live for him.
I hope you all be save
live in peace

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by Ainslains, Nov 26, 2015
I experienced DR after I got sick last December and started throwing up and when I was finally able to eat I didn't eat the proper things to re-nourish my body. That day my mom took us to dinner with some of our friends and I all of a sudden felt really weird and almost exhausted but everything didn't seem real and that feeling continued for a while. Now (Thanksgiving Break) I have been experiencing DP and I am thinking that nothing is real and this is an entire world I'm just imagining even though I know it's not because everything existed before I started feeling like this. I also want to add that I have noticed that whenever I am on a school break and my period is the next week so I am PMSing I experience anxiety. The first time I ever got my period we were out of school because of snow and I was at my friends house and I all of a sudden got anxiety and my period came 4 days later. Over spring break I was getting anxiety for fear I was having a stroke or Anyeresm or anything wrong with my brain and my period came about a week and a half later and now I am experiencing this while on a school break and my period is expected next week so I feel like some how it all goes together

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by kellen_cuz, Dec 16, 2015
So many stories this is very bittersweet to read. Bitter because I know how,much we are all suffering. Sweet because we know we are not alone.

I've had dp/dr to some extent all my life. Sometimes faintly. Sometimes chronic. Episodes would last for a couple days or even a couple months.

However I've had it really truly horrible for the past 3 years. I had a major panic attack in 2013 that triggered a major bout of hppd (with severe derealization and depersonalization). I have constant visual snow, anxiety, DPDR, cognitive impairment, halos,after images etc... Just hell

It was starting to fade a bit in 2014 and I was put on lamictal. It worked well for a year or so but then in early July I had a major episode and the lamictal turned on me. BIG TIME. I have every side effect imaginable. The DPDR is SO intense it's literally like being on another planet. Everything is 2 dimensional with zero depth perception. Everything feels,like a dream/nightmare. All day everyday. My eyes are extremely sensitive to artificial light. It started out as photophobia where the sun was too bright but now it's artificial,lights. Car lights, stop lights, neon signs, lamps you name it. All of them burn brighter it's really intense,and I've read its permanent :( It's given me crippling depression at times. So deep and hollow. Major major major suicidal urges and thoughts. Broken thinking. It's made me SO angry and irritable. I've had fits or rage. Manic episodes (I'm not BP but this stuff has made me feel like I am) intensified visual snow. These are side effects from the med I'm now trying to get off it and go med free. It's been very difficult and there are days I didn't think I'd,make,it thought but I'm still here down to 75 from 400. Fighting the good fight.

I know the horrors of DPDR. I got it from smoking weed before. Doing MDMA and shrooms. I can only hope it settles down again in the future and I have no crap in my system that can amplify it the way lamictal did.

I'm hoping dealing with my anxiety and living healthy will be enough and in the end I think it's all we can really do to tame the beast. But that could be just wishful thinking..

Much love to you all and if anyone wants to chat about their personal experience with me I'm happy too



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by Shorr, Apr 18, 2016
I'm 13yrs and I started feeling wierd... I thought I was going to die so I looked up my symptoms( I feel like im not myself, I feel like I'm numb,) I was feeling this when it smacked me hard,  all the sudden I feel like im going to die, Its very hard to explaine but it looks like your looking through your eyes at a 3rd person perspective, but as I write this im starting to feel a bit better but will it come back? If it does is there something I can do before it gets worse? please help me, im scared.

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by Spyro23, May 10, 2016
Shorr would recommend  talking to someone about it. And if you cant I will make sure to check back if you need anyone to talk too.

Sorry everyone if my story is long. Wow I am so happy to find this thread! Its great to know that I am not alone! Well I pretty sure both of these things have been happening to me since I was 18. I went to a party with some kids from school. Everything was going great until they started a fight with someone.. i walk out of the house and see them getting jumped so i jumped in and we got jumped by 24 people.. it was 3 against 24. They beat and kicked us and told us to leave. I gave my keys to one of the kids from school i was with and he hit a railroad tie at 75 mph and rolled my car.. 6 times. Well I ended up with a Dui and got in trouble because it got blamed on me. I am pretty sure I have PTSD from that night. After some of the most stressful months of my life..Well I meet my girlfriend in college that next year (she is the best) fast forward a couple years..some crazy times.. and fun times..and bad times.. I lost a couple friends to suicide and family members.. was hard but After a while everything went back to normal until recently.. I am now working on my masters degree (its time consuming and hard), about to buy a house, about to get married and dont live by any of my friends. So I havent been around many people since i work from home. Since i started my masters degree. My dad almost died, my great uncle died, and now my gma is dianosed with cancer.. again.. while barely seeing any one i had one of my craziest episodes where it was dream like and groggy.. i dont remember much of the night and i am extremely embarrassed about that whole night :( i could barely keep a conversation with anyone.. and after that night i have been super depressed and lonely and beating myself up about it. I almost feel like i am not even walking around. Well probably going to talk to someone about it.. well i am super glad to have found this site :)

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by Stou, Sep 06, 2016
Hey everyone,

I have cured my DP. Its pretty simple too.I am a 17 year old boy and I got it about a month ago from some underlying stress. The stress I got from thoughts of not being able to breathe(all in my head). About a week after dealing with the Dp/dr I realized two things. 1) It's all in your head. - yes that means you have dp. But it also means you are giving it to yourself through some stress about it. Do you know how to stop stressing something? Stop thinking about it. LOL. simply just focus on other things. You might say in a whiny bitchy voice "I cant my dp is so bad, you dont know what im feeling." Well to put it simply, youre wrong. I do know and mine was so bad.I felt hopeless and like I was all by myself and that I would rather have any disease but DP/dr. You are giving it to yourself. 2) EAT HEALTHIER foods. No mofo I dont mean eat an apple with your sugary breakfast and fast food lunch and dinner. I mean eat HEALTHY. Eat foods that will help your brain get stronger. Be determined to get rid of this fake disease. You should be eating a smoothie of fruits and veggies every morning. A lunch of veggies a fruit and a protein and same with dinner. The unhealthy foods=bad brainpower. Healthy foods=feel better + control your mind easier. SEROTONIN====MAJOR KEY.  search it up.
I ridid myself of this fake disease by not thinking about it and by eating EXTREMELY HEALTHY FOR A WEEK. I completely lost the thoughts and felt normal. YOU CAN AND WILL DO IT. I LOST IT IN A WEEK. YOU GOT THIS. MAN UP AND REAGAIN YOUR OLD SELF. YOU ******* GOT THIS. all of this passion comes from my pain of having it and how happy i am not to have it anymore. Go eat healthy, live your life and meditate. soon you will come out a STRONGER individual and you will feel better.

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by Derekcarter, Nov 30, 2016
Thank you so much I'm only 14 years old and I just went through that and I'm glad to know that there's nothing wrong with me I plan on seeing a psychotherapist about it

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by Ken1123, Jan 13, 2017
Nice post Stou.  

Also lidtke-tryptophan boost serotonin instantly in most, and GABA and MAGNESIUM CREAMS are also very Calming to the mind.  

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by Rana49, Mar 21, 2017
Reading through these posts is reassuring. I particularly like Stou's input, you make it sound so simple! I'll try that. One thing I have realised though is that it is just a by product of intense anxiety and stress. Essentially from what I've read it's a defence mechanism for the brain. That's why it's so scary, because the distorted perception is something we actually experience as we're conscious. Mine was brought about through some really intense OCD Harm intrusive thoughts. Which in itself was triggered around the same time I changed to a vegan diet with no refined sugars! Hit me like a bulldoser. I suffered depression too. I genuinely believe there was a chemical imbalance in my brain caused by the sudden change in what i was eating. Whatever your trigger was find it! Find the source of your anxiety or stress and face that head on through treatment and I'm confident the DP and DR will go away. Like most of the posts above, have a good balanced diet, use essential oils (frankincense is particularly known for its relief of anxiety) for calming and also try to implement some form of mindfulness. You'll get through this and use the experience to help others who may be facing the same paralysing experience.

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by NoEstoyLoca_888, Aug 01, 2017
OMG! bless you all for your posts.  I am a 68 years of age woman and I have suffered from DEP and DER ever since I remember.  Although I did not know what it was until now.  Sometimes is worse than others, but yesterday after reading all these comments, believe it or not, I fell like 1,000 pounds lighter just knowing I am not alone!  Thank you so much.  I have gone to doctors, have had all kinds of tests and all come out okay.  (My doctor even told me If I had more tests done I was going to glow in the dark) However it is very frustrating that doctors don't think of this and they just think you are crazy.  (mine does) There was a period in my life where when I was driving I thought the car was going to fall to the left and I had the most horrific anxiety/panic attacks, then it went away the same way it came.  Right now I have the dizziness along with the fear of fainting.  However I do not let any of this stop me.  I keep telling myself I am bigger than this and I keep on going.  Do not let any of these feelings physical and mental disable you.  We have to keep going for our own sake.  I am grateful to know that I am not alone thanks to all of you.  I am in the process of going to counseling and see how it all works out.  Most of all I am glad I am not crazy. PEACE

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by ritamariah, Sep 14, 2018
i have experienced the same thing . it all started with a strong panic attack that led to somatic breathing ocd that in turn led to general anxiety disorder. but I heard that this phenomena could lead to schizophrenia or psychosis is it true?

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