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I'm Not Me

I've had DP for as long as I can remember. I don't say this to exaggerate, I'm serious. I very first, clear memory was when I was about 5 years old, maybe younger. I was in the bedroom of our tiny apartment and I questioned how humans came to existence? Who created us? Why do we exist? Why do I exist? Honestly, they may seem like the silly questions any other child would ask. But I never actually asked anyone these questions, I kept to myself.

As I grew older, the DP just got worse and worse. I came to a point of extreme depression before starting high school and thought suicide was my best way out of this torture. This curse. Obviously, I didn't kill myself, but everyday is a struggle against that part of my mind saying, "It's the best way out, just do it. You have the pills, you have knife, you have alcohol, etc." I stopped trusting myself, I'm afraid of what I'll do next, I feel like I'm losing control of everything! My own mind, my actions! Like someone switched my mind off, but left my body on auto-pilot.

The DP is terrible. I wish this upon no one, not even the most evil person in the known universe! I would rather lose my leg than have this. I would rather have cancer. Just the thought of facing another day with this scares me. The fact that every other person looks like they were just pasted into the world. All the people in the street, the signs, the sky, the clouds, the rain, EVERYTHING feels unreal. Broken from reality. I'm living in a fractured world, I used to think my glasses made me feel weird like this. But they do nothing for it, they don't make it worse nor better. Frankly, there are no triggers for my DP. Few things do make it worse. Sleeping very little seems to be the only thing that does make it worse.

I tell my closest friend that I don't expect myself to live past 30. I know I won't die of natural death. I know I'll never live a normal life or have a single normal day in my life. This is what it's like to be dead.
mightybear mightybear 16-17, F 1 Response May 20, 2011

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Did you go to counseling or mental health to get help for this? Or get prescribed any drugs?<br />
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I'm sorry you have to go through this it sounds awful! <br />
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I went through depersonalization/derealization after my ex that I was deeply in love with left me. It was like I was a rat in an aquarium separated from the world, or watched my life through a television, I couldn't understand what people or things meant, but with this huge sense of pain/panic. Reminded me of that terror feeling of nightmares but when awake and lasting for an hour each time. My counselor told me though that it is something that often happens actually after intensely difficult life experiences, somehow this is how the mind protects itself which doesn't really make sense because it's painful.<br />
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For me it went away when I started feeling less depressed. The depression took a lot of work to overcome. I definitely wouldn't kill yourself because it may be that if you can fix other issues like the depression the depersonalization will lessen, or you may find some other solution, and then you'd really regret being dead instead of being alive and happy to have fixed your problems!<br />
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I don't know if it helps, but here's what I did to address my depression. 1. Go to sleep on time and enough sleep (not too much), 2. Eat right and regular meals, 3. Exercise especially aerobic in the sun, 4. Socialize at activities I enjoy to make friends, 5. Identify cognitive distortions and correct them by attributing them to the depression 'it's just the depression talking' and going through the list of things to make myself happier in the moment, 6. Be thankful, finding lists of things to be thankful for, 7. Finding dinner buddies, 8. Finding roommates, 9. Talking to my parents who can cheer me up. My reasoning was figure out what makes people real healthy mentally and physically and then do those things and I figured increased health would cause more happiness. It has for me greatly improved my depression. It has in some studies been shown St Johns Wort (which I take) and aerobic exercise each are as effective as antidepressant drugs. Antidepressants are also worth trying.<br />
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Anyway I hope you can talk about this to people who will have the knowledge to help! Also remember counselors/therapists do not always know what they are talking about, so you can try a bunch of mental health counselors and if none work out just try some more. Unfortunately fixing mental problems is something of an art and science, so a lot of sleuthing and seeing different practitioners is required until the problem can be improved. Also unfortunately many people suffering from these problems don't have the mental energy to do all this work. But this is why it's very important not to kill yourself since there are many treatments out there that are worth trying since they may work for you!<br />
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I am sorry for your pain and hope you can keep working on fixing the depersonalization! Life requires a lot of work so don't take the easy out. Also do call a suicide help hotline if you are ever in danger.