Medical Questions > Mental Health > Anxiety and Stress Forum

Long time Derealization sufferer (Page 1)

I am a 36 year old male. Married for over 10 years (great wife), I have two wonderful girls (2,Cool. Nice house. Great job. My life is a good life. Why do I suffer?

Here is my weird story.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression since I was 10 years old. I can remember my 1st worry was how can we prove there is a God. Then I began to worry about the end of the world catastrophes, the greenhouse affect, nuclear war, etc. During all of this,things started to appear strange or weird looking. I would look at my hand and think it looked weird, unreal. Some things appeared that I was looking through a yellow haze or eerily dark (even when sunny outside).(This period of my life was when I was not happy due to parents divorce and mother dying of cancer). I developed a fear of a glass clown my grandmother gave my mom and she gave to me. I obsessed over this clown and I knew I could never get it out of my life even if I sent it into outer space. Very depressed, I could never be happy with this thing around. It went to the landfill and I got over it.
At about 14 years old I was still depressed and worrying about every stupid thing. Sitting around the kitchen table one day something in my brain triggered. I felt light headed, confused, scared. It was almost like someone turned the lights out. The yellow haze thing again. In my mind, everything seemed different than it was 5 seconds before. (I am assuming this was a panic attack). I was convinced that nothing was real and that I was living in a dream never to awake. I kept thinking and reinforcing to myself that I would awaken one day and be in a coffin unable to get out. I started to look for proof that life was not real. Any coincidence or improbable thing scared and reinforced these beliefs. I thought I could hold my breath forever. Something I dreamed the night before would happen the next day (dejaVU), weird unexplainable things really disturbed me. The world still looked and felt just weird and different. Looking out the window looked weird, Inside the school cafeteria looked weird w/ fluorescent lights (I thought it looked dark and dreary like it could rain in there) Depressed and worried all the time.

At 15, I move in with my mother. I met alot of friends, had alot of fun, and ignored my symptoms if they existed. I would get a feeling or disturbance every now and then but I went on.

At 16 I took a 1/2 hit of acid. (I now try to convince myself this is why I have all my problems). Nothing happened. (I just stayed up all night watching movies) Later, I tried marijuana. It threw me into a nightmarish state. Anxiety big time, I ran home. Felt really weird. I felt the same for many days later, like I was in a dream. My life was a hell for months. Spaced out, freaked out. Was I in a permanent drug induced state with no escape?

I met my now wife at 16, fell in love. Things slowly became better, and if I did ever feel weird, I ignored it.

Started college, really stressful on me. In my second semester sitting in psychology class, again like when I was young it felt like someone turned the lights out on me. My ears began to ring, I got confused, things looked hazy and dark, I was scared. My head was swimming. I wanted to run out. I kept this with me for years, always looking for these symptoms. I began to question everything that makes sense to a normal person. Why am I here?, Is this world real?, There could be darkness and nothingness in the universe. Void and nothing, but somehow we are here? Were is the end of the universe, it must have and end. This must prove life is unreal. I even questioned air itself.( what was in between me and another person. There should be something there? WEIRD!) People looked flat (literally) to me. Something a mile away I felt as it was close enough to touch. Depth perception way off. I questioned the borders of things like street signs and thought they should somehow be attatched to it's background. Weird stupid thoughts that drove me crazy.I was not happy, things were always weird, dizzy, scary, hopeless, hazy, foggy, dark. The sky was strange,it looked too blue. Sometimes things would appear to stick out at me, if not they looked flat. Depressed.

I coped for a couple of years and it began to intensify on me in my
Senior year of college. I had a fit and admitted myself into a hospital geared toward depression, anxiety. I stayed a week and they put me on prozac 20 miligrams. The place did not help. I even tried to blame (Why?) my girlfriend for my condition and broke up with her. We got back together thank God.

Over the next few years I got off and on Prozac with different Doctors and psychiatrist (They All diagnosed me with GAD - generalized anxiety disorder and depression) I got my first job and coped as well as I could. The majority of my days were happiness and good life, although these thoughts or feeling would invade every now and then. I would not let it defeat me.

I married my girlfriend and tried to move on with my life. Things would pop up but mostly I would put aside my symptoms. We had children I was happy raising them. I began going to the gym, quit smoking to prolong my life so to be there with my family. Feeling pretty good for a couple of years (not cured though). Forgot about my symptoms and my weird past.

I am now 36 years old and I am working up to the same level of anxiety at my worst,and I suffering from all the same thoughts, feeling, perceptions, delusions?. This has been building for two months now. I am questioning air again, flatness, depth perception, thing look weird again like a dream, dark. I am extremely stressed. clenching teeth, wake too early, worry, all muscles are tight and sore, heart beating out of chest, confused, weird, pressure in forehead, dizzy. I would struggle and go to work. I was at one point were nothing looked familiar, like I am in another matrix world and I have nothing from home to see or have. Everything is foreign. Every thing scares me, every thought bothers me. I could just make something up and within a few seconds it would be my new worst fear. Even sitting down to watch tv, I would go through the channels looking for something familiar or comforting. Everything felt wrong and "uncomfortable".

I went to my family doctor and twice they have increased my Prozac to 40 miligrams, to now 60 miligrams. I think 80 miligrams is max. I started taking Omega 3 fish oil also. I am alot better now than I was a month ago. But still not normal. It is depressing and scary to think back and every memory in my life is in this state.
I wish I could forget all this and put these childish ways behind me. I am afraid I will be a 80 years old one day tied to a bed in a retirement home in this hell screaming and afraid.

Do I need to pursue another medicine. It seems nothing I have ever done has worked. Increase to 80?

I am a smart, fun person, with what I feel like is a mental condition. I want to live like everyone else. In happiness without the worry and weird feelings.

Any advice??
Did you find this post helpful?
|
Users who thank WANTTOBEBETTER for this post: jrunner 

replied March 25th, 2009
I experience a lot of these symptoms and I feel for you soo much!! If you ever need to talk to someone please write me.
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank jl244753 for this post: WANTTOBEBETTER 

replied March 27th, 2009
Thanks, JL244753. It is good to know I am not alone. What is your anxiety like?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 30th, 2009
Hi
Sorry for the delayed response. My anxiety began after I smoked marijuana when I was in grade 9. I had a really really bad trip and the day after I didn't feel like myself I didn't really know how to put into words but now I'm starting to realize that what I felt was symptoms of derealization. The anxiety continued throughout that whole school year severely affecting my life. I definitely think there were numerous factors contributing to my anxiety such as living in a house hold with an alcoholic step-father who was both verbally and physically abusive and quite a pervert actually. Anyhow after my mother left him I went through lots of therapy and read self-help books which seemed to help greatly to the point that I was practically anxiety-free. It has recently returned though. I'm not sure what brought it on but once again I think it's a combination of things I have a lot on my plate right now. This time though I am having really intense feelings of derealization. It is so scary and disheartening. It just feels like I am constantly waiting to wake up from this dream and get back to my normal life.I am constantly questioning everything I've been feeling like I am just watching a movie at time and feel like I am going though the motions of life but aren't really feeling myself doing it though. I've been having a lot of deja-views just like yourself.Sometimes things just look so weird and bizarre almost like I am from another planet or something. I know that sounds crazy but it's the only way to explain it. I've also been questioning my sanity which I think in turn leads to more anxiety. I've joined the nomorepanic.uk group and I've been getting counseling, exercising, reading more on this subject and that seems to be helping.Just wanted to let you know you are not alone and please hang in there do not let this feeling fascinate you just except it as reality and live your life for whatever reason gives you meaning. I've been thinking about you since I read your post and it makes me feel better knowing that there is someone out there who may be feeling like I am. Thanks for sharing!
Julia
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Users who thank jl244753 for this post: WANTTOBEBETTER 

replied April 1st, 2009
Thanks Julia, You sound like a nice person. That is the problem with this illness. It only happens to intelligent and good hearted people. I have been feeling a little better lately. My Dr added Abilify to my prozac. I have also read alot on this forum and the nomorepanick one You use. There are alot of us out there it seems. None as crazy as me though Smile

I have realized I have the power to allow it to get worse and I also have the power to ignore it (stay busy) and cope alot better. It is stupid that the trivial things I think have so much of an impact on my life.

I have gotten back to the gym, eating better and sleeping better. I am not cured but alot better. Still would like to be normal and not ever had these feeling or thoughts. sometimes I think it would be better to be an idiot and be oblivious to the world surrounding us.

Thanks for being a freind.

Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 4th, 2009
ME TOO!!!
I read these forums over and over again just to give my self reassurance that i'm not going "crazy", and that there is hope for me. I feel like i'm the only person in the world walking around with these terrifying thoughts/feelings, odd perceptions. MY MIND IS NOT RIGHT!! I know what it's like to feel normal and this isn't it. I'm a 10 years panic disorder sufferer. I'm also a registered nurse. Was originally put on Paxil and it worked for the panic...but I gained 25 lbs! So I stopped taking it and was fine for 5 months. Then I relapsed and started having panic attacks again. Refused to go back on the zoloft because of the weight gain (I worked my butt off and lost it all plus some), so they decided to put me on prozac. YIKES!!! Worst experience ever!! (until now) Had a BAD reaction to prozac---my first experience with DP/DR. Could not eat, sleep, cried every day, had obsessive questions and felt like the sky was a "blanket". (weird??) It was difficult to put my symptoms/feelings/thoughts into words. I told my dad at the time that I just couldn't live like that and if I ended up in a mental institution, to somehow find a way to end my life. A psychiatrist saved me and realized I was having a bad reaction to the prozac. Put me on zoloft and took that for past 8 years. Got sick of taking it for so long and began taking it only every few days, just to treat the withdrawal symptoms ("zaps"). about 6 months ago, I cheated on my boyfriend that I was madly in love with and he found out...it was a "friend" that told him. I have such overwhelming guilt about what I did. I'm a single mother and struggle financially. I have no job right now and so much stress!! I try to fight it but it's becoming physically/mentally/emotionally EXHAUSTING...I don't know how much more I can take! I was put on celexa and had SEVERE DP/DR, like when I was put on Prozac. I'm constantly scared, feel strange, sad, etc etc. It's a horrible existence! Because the zoloft worked for me for so long, I'm going back on that. Just started today. Was only on a low dose (50mg) for all those years. The doctors are thinking of having me on 25mg zoloft (very low dose), and a small dose of wellbutrin. I'm afraid to try anything but afraid to continue living like this. I REALLY FEEL LIKE I AM CRRRRAAAAAZZZZZYYY!!! It's comforting to know that others feel this but I read these posts and ball my eyes out! It's a viscious cycle...my panic disorder causes depression which causes DP/DR which causes panic and so on. I am trying to be hopeful but sometimes I just feel like giving up. Sad
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 5th, 2009
I wish you well.
Hello scaredypoo,

This thing we suffer from is very consuming, difficult to explain, and just plain weird and depressing. We know these thought and feelings are not true, but can't get away from thinking them. Over the last few weeks I have decided to work around these feeling and thoughts, and strangely the less I fight them (or even embrace them) the less I feel them. This is our life, we own this problem and will always battle it. This is baggage we must always carry, but if you get in shape (mentally), the load will be lighter. It is up to you only to get through this.

I highly recommend you continue with your Zoloft. It has helped you along for 8 years while on it. You sound like me, the symptoms are not as strong and you try to get off the medicine and forget that you have a lifelong illness. You must accept it and do what the doctors recommend.

It seems the thing with your boyfriend happened after you came off your medicine. I too always think that happiness can be found somewere or with someone else. It is not true. (I would think I am suffering because I am subconsciously not happy with who I am with, my condition is the same no matter what environment I am in). I hope you meet someone who is understanding who you can share your life with.

Things will get better.

Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 5th, 2009
HI
HI scaredypoo I am studying to be a registered nurse too! I wonder if has anything to do with he profession we are in. I feel for you so much it seems even when there is very little to worry about life it still so difficult and it is almost too difficult to go on. Please remember that there is people out there who are going through this too and you are NOT crazy!!! If I could just help even one person who is going though this I would be happy. I would really like to chat with both you online. I think we all need a little moral support once in a while. I sure wish sometimes I had someone to chat with when I am feeling really down. Just one question for you when did you stat having these symptoms. I am trying to understand the etiology of my symptoms it seems as though they began when I stopped Yasmine. Anyway I tried posting my email on here before but the site administrators removed it Sad is there any way you guys can add me to msn? my email is valentine(underscore)85(at)hotmail thanks! Hang in there guys an just know when I am feeling really down I go on here and read these posts and you give me strength to get though the day.
Love Julia
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 10th, 2009
Hey guys how are you doing??
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 10th, 2009
ok
Hello Julia,
I am doing better. I have bad days and good ones. The symptoms are noticable sometimes and other times I don't seem to think about it. I feel better though. Not as weird as it was. Depression side seems to be under control. How are you feeling? I'm sorry I never got to email you. I will. Does your derealiztion always stay with you even when you are not depressed or in a panic. Or does it build up and down according to what is on your plate?

I hope you are doing well.

Thanks,
Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 10th, 2009
thanks
Hey Greg, it's been the same for me I have good days and bad days or even moments I should say. The derealization (which apparently is not the approriate term as my councellor notified me) seems to be present even when I am not feeling anxious or depressed but it's only there when I think about it if that makes any sense. It seems as though if I'm really occupied with something I forget about it and then before I can even think of it, it's there Sad like a constant cloud hanging over my head. For some reason it's worse at night or when I am outside, is it like that for you?I've also been having more dejaviews I hate that feeling especially when it lasts a long time and you fee like you know exactly what's going to happend next. Also is your vision kinda fuzzy or something? almost like shimmering sometimes? Is that normal? I've been feeling really lonely because of this. Sometimes I really need to talk to someone who understands I find it makes me feel a lot better. Do you have msn could you add me? valentine(underscore)swe85(at)hotmail(dot) com. The administrators of this site removed my email last time i posted it so thats is why I am spelling it like that. Thanks so much for your response,
Julia
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 10th, 2009
P.S. skype would work too just thought I would mention that. thanks
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 11th, 2009
Hey Julia,
Thanks for sharing!
What is the appropriate terms that your councelor calls it?
Thanks,
Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 11th, 2009
term
I just don't think she has enough clinical experience to be familiar enough with this disoder. I think this(derealization) is the proper term she just told me she's never heard of derealization only depersonalization. I think it is the proper term becasue when I did research on it on the internet that is the term that everyone used. I honestly think she is just does not have enouhgh experience with it. What do you think about my vision? DId you have anything like that? Is that normal? Did you see my post earlier? Would be able to add me to msn or something so we can chat?? Thanks for all your help,
Julia
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 12th, 2009
Hi Julia,
I am so glad I get to talk with someone that is like me. When you said you get your symptoms when you think of them makes pefect sense. It does feel like there is a cloud always there ready to throw something at you. That is what bothers me alot is knowing that I can always resurrect my symptoms just by looking for them. I feel like I have figured something out that other people people are unable to notice (not schizo dog talking to me but you understand). I do feel stranger outside, and I seem to get worse when I travel aways from home. I have also noticed being in a Walmart, Target, 7-11, or any store that has florescent lighting is really strange to my perceptions. I feel most comfortable at home on the couch watching TV (mostly). I know what you are saying about the distorted vision. I am so glad you mention the shimmering part, I noticed it for the first time abount a month ago in Kohls department store. I also get alot of floaters in my vision, and looking at the sky or snow really exagerates them. (I feel like I can see the blood cells coarse through the capillaries in my eyes. What the heck is wrong with me!!

Dejavu is one of the strangest mind trick ever! What helps me with this is knowing it is not true and a trick.I know this because after these strange perceptions have passed and I look back at the same situation and try to recreate the Dejavu it is no longer there. It is fact a unique situation that has never happened before. Wow, how weird life is.

I am happy to talk to you, I wish I had someone like you to talk to when I was getting this as a kid and through out my life. It probably would not have evolved to this point if I only knew there were others and the reasoning in it. Knowledge is power and the lack of it has let my imagination and axiety spiral out of control. I also blame both of my parents for not adressing my concerns as a child with therapy and medication at the onset of this. I would be alot better off now. I have been through psychologist and psychiatrist, and I feel that my family doctor has helped me more than anyone. (exept for the benefit I get from talking to people like you and reading everyoune elses forums.)

Thanks Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 13th, 2009
Hey, I really enjoy talking to you too it makes me feel so much better. I really wish my therapist was more familiar with this condition I think it would make our sessions alot more productive because right now I don't really feel like she truly understands what I am going though.The fluroscent lights in stores do the same to me.

I can't help but to notice however that you are not receptive to my requests to chat on msn or skype. Is there are reason for that? Thanks,
Julia
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 14th, 2009
I dont know how to do it.???
Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied April 29th, 2009
Does anyone else have these symptoms??
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 29th, 2009
Hi
Hi everyone,

I just wanted to say that it is great to find a forum like this. I, like most people, thought this was only happening to me. While reading Greg's original post, I found myself relating to almost all the thoughts and feelings. I feel like I am pretty confident about when this started for me, about a year and a half ago. Basically, I started a new job and it was also when I went off Zoloft and was then just on Lamictal. I am a programmer and a serious perfectionist and before this new job I had my first programming job but it was way stressless, and then I started this "real" programming job and I started trying to cram my brain with everything programming and i would sit there with my hand on my head and eyes closed going through extremely long patterns in my head about things I've learned and are afraid to forget. This gave me tremendous anxiety and when I opened my eyes after doing this for like 5-10 mins, sometimes up to an hour, I felt really anxious and I would do that all day really. I also have OCD and was on Zoloft since I was about 17. So when I started that job and started doing the cramming thing, I felt different but I though it was the Lamictal, so I asked my doctor if I could go off it, and I did. For the first couple of months, I was doing a strict diet and exercise program and I think that helped, but I stopped that a couple months ago and have been eating really bad since, and this last week something just clicked and I came home from work last Friday after being stress all day trying to get things done and just had the worst time. I started questioning why I was here, is this real, what is real, is something wrong with me, basically a lot of the same things Greg was saying, it of course threw me into several panic attacks and eventually I after a shower I was able to calm down and we went bowling which helped take my mind off of it. After that, I called in an urgent Rx for Zoloft from my doctor and I have been on 50mg for 3 days, and I wanna think that the derealization is feeling a little better. Last week when something finally hit me to do some research on how I was feeling, i typed in on google, "not feeling real" and thought I would get nothing back, but I did and everything I was reading I was nodding my head to. I guess before I just thought it was the Lamictal doing this and that's why I got off of it, and I wanted to go back on Zoloft because this wasn't happening before I went off of it. I started another new job 1 year ago and this one is even more stressful, more work and I've really put the pressure on myself to learn everything I can about programming. I knew that my cramming was taking over my life and I needed to stop but I scared that I am going to "forget" something I have learned...stupid. It wasn't just a work thing, I did it when I got home too and it's all I was ever thinking about. Again, just this last week, I said enough is enough and I am not doing it anymore, and I have an appt with a therapist next wednesday, so hopefully they will understand what I am talking about. I just knew I felt different for so long but I am just so happy something clicked this last week and helped me find out what this is. I hope this gets better. Thanks for your posts, it really helps to read other people's stories.

Adam (27 years old)
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied May 29th, 2009
Hi Adam,
Unchecked stress is one of my major triggers to my mental state. It sounds like your work is your major stressor right now. The worst part is you are putting it on yourself. That is not a bad thing (probably a good quality). But is seems out of control now. I bet if you get this under control, slowly your mental state will improve. I would try and stay on my Zoloft. Just my opinion.
This crap always happens to smart nice people.
Good luck Adam.
Greg
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Must Read
Learn how doctors clinically diagnose one of twelve kinds of anxiety disorders...and which doctors you should see for an anxiety diagnosis....
Anxiety disorders can affect anyone. But do you know the common signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders? Learn more now....
Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion when experienced during specific moments. But do you know the signs that anxiety has gotten out of control? Read more here...